Thursday, September 08, 2011

Slur spewing pastor taking center stage in North Carolina

Donald Fozard
Those against marriage equality in North Carolina pushing the race card extremely hard.

Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage pushed a portion of an Associated Press article which focused on a group of black pastors who supported the upcoming anti-marriage equality amendment.

Today, NOM pushed the below video on its blog claiming the following:
An ABC news video on the North Carolina debate. The black church is taking a leading role, to Democrats dismay.

But when one looks at the video, one sees that the claim is false:

Now Focus on the Family has done the same thing, i.e. pushing the idea that the black church is going to "save" North Carolina from "the gays.":

Focus on the Family’s audio and the video featured by NOM have two things in common. Both omit the fact that the state NAACP has been very vocal in opposition to the amendment. And both feature a pastor named Donald Q. Fozard of the Mount Zion Christian Church. He is the man who is speaking in the FOF audio and the man calling another a “liar” in the video.

From the way Fozard has made himself available to NOM and FOF, one gets the idea that he is trying to be the southern Ruben Diaz.

However, one could say that Fozard is a bit more like Fred Phelps. This is him in 2004:

From this past Sunday's sermon, one would think the Rev. Donald Q. Fozard Sr. likes saying the word faggot. The pastor of Durham's Mount Zion Christian Church hollers the word's last syllable as if he were exorcising a demon, or as if he were a movie star who understands that notoriety rises when you do something incendiary.

"Faggots across the nation, heading churches. Homos on the pianos. Faggots in the choir. What kind of spirit is leading that church?" he asked his 150 worshippers.

. . . Fozard continued with his own spectacular show. "And now? Men with men, women with women? Let me remind you of Sodom and Gomorrah. That sin will bring fire from heaven. I tell the homosexual man: repent, turn and get a woman. I tell the woman who wants to get married: get yourself a man."

(If Fozard stresses the last syllable of "faggot," he sounds out each vowel and consonant of "homosexual".) "The Reverend Al Sharpton says it doesn't matter who you sleep with?" he said. "I'll tell you one thing: the Reverend ain't no Reverend. All of them are running around saying it doesn't matter who you sleep with! They want that little 1 percent of faggots that go to vote."

I assure you that this is no joke. Thanks to NOM and those who are trying to stop marriage equality in NC, a slur speaking awful excuse for a reverend has now taken center stage.

This mean unfortunately that yet again the religious right - particularly NOM - is exploiting the black community. And yet again the black church is allowing itself to be used as a tool against its own people.

But most specifically what will a young African-American lgbtq think after seeing this?

That seems to be the one thing which no one thinks about – not the gay community in its justified anger, not the black church in its self-righteous pose, not the black pastors who spew such vitriol in pursuit of attention and monetary gain (because if you don’t think money has changed hands when black pastors come out against gay equality, you are fooling yourself), and certainly not the organizations like NOM or FOF instigating this mess.

For every "faggot" or "liar" that comes out of Fozard's mouth, I see a young lgbtq of color pushed deeper into the closet, sneaking out at night, and engaging in unsafe behaviors because he or she feels that they are going to hell anyway so why bother being careful.

Or even worse, moping in their rooms making unnecessary prayers to God about changing their sexual orientation instead of looking at it as a gift from Him - which it is.

You wanna know why HIV and AIDS is affecting the black community at a high rate? Listen to pastors like Fozard, who seem to be so concerned with the spotlight that they are pushing our children to their doom with their hateful  rhetoric.

Well as long as you get camera time and a chance to primp in front of your congregation, who gives a care?

Right, Mr. Fozard?

 Hat tip to Pam's House Blend and Good As You.

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What the heck is a 'Gay Zombie' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Maryland Governor O’Malley: Marriage Equality Is About Protecting Children - Truer words were never spoken.

Gay Zombies Want Brains Of Children - And there are people who actually believe this hot mess. I wonder if George Romero will be making a movie about it.

NOM EXPOSED: FEC Filing: NOM gives nearly 50k to defeat David Weprin - Pretty soon, NOM's gravy train will come to a halt and we are going to know who is funding it.

Medical schools not teaching gay health issues - This is not good. It does add to the problem of the gay community not getting adequate health care.

Maryland Del. Burns pressures churches, blacks to oppose marriage-equality bill - Check the brotha's palms for grease.

NOM's 2009 victory in Maine comes back to haunt the organization - It's kinda rare for me to refer to a morning post in the news briefs, but I enjoyed writing this so much that I want other folks to read it. Mark my words on this one, folks.

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NOM's 2009 victory in Maine comes back to haunt the organization

 The National Organization for Marriage loses another round in court against Maine's disclosure laws. Meanwhile, a soon-to-be released documentary threatens to expose the questionable tactics of those the organization employed to defeat Maine's marriage equality law.

Don't be fooled by the National Organization for Marriage's public bravado and supposed unstoppable appearance.

Behind the facade,the organization seems to be ever so slowly but surely heading towards a precipice and the thing nudging it along the way is the state of Maine.

NOM was successful in its ballot initiative to overturn Maine's law allowing marriage equality in 2009. But it was a messy win which is turning out to be a pyrrhic victory (a win which ends up biting the victor in the ass) for the organization.

NOM continues to fight against the state's public discloure laws, losing at every turn. The latest loss for NOM came yesterday:

A federal appeals court is denying a request for a new hearing in a public-disclosure case stemming from Maine's 2009 same-sex marriage campaign.

The appeal came after a 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston a month ago rejected the National Organization for Marriage's challenge to Maine's political action committee laws, and upheld Maine's law requiring disclosure of independent expenditures in candidate elections.

In a decision Wednesday, the court denied NOM's request for a rehearing.

NOM was the primary donor in 2009 to Stand for Marriage Maine, a political action committee that helped repeal Maine's same-sex marriage law.

According to the website NOM Exposed:

NOM provided more than $1.8 million of the $3 million spent by opponents of marriage equality to pass Question 1 – but it illegally failed to disclose where the money came from. Public disclosure laws create transparency by informing voters who is behind a campaign effort. Maine’s law does this by requiring that any funds raised to support or oppose a ballot question be made public.

 . . . Based on an initial complaint filed by Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate, the Maine  Ethics Commission launched a formal investigation into NOM’s fundraising tactics in late 2009. NOM has refused to cooperate with the state inquiry each step of the way, stonewalling requests to turn over documents to the Ethics Commission. The Commission’s executive director defended the inquiry in February 2010: “NOM donated almost $2 million in support of the referendum. The Commission needs to understand how NOM solicited the funds in order to determine whether campaign finance reporting was required.” In June 2010, the Ethics Commission unanimously denied NOM’s latest request to dismiss the state investigation into the organization’s finances.

NOM has also attempted unsuccessfully to halt the state investigation in court, suing to prevent release of its Maine campaign donors and, in a far-reaching effort, to dismantle Maine’s campaign disclosure laws. A federal district judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit have soundly rejected NOM’s attempts to evade the ethics investigation and ordered NOM to produce records to the state.

And if questions about its flouting of Maine's disclosure laws isn't bad enough, there is a soon-to-be released documentary which will shed light on NOM's questionable tactics. Filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile convinced both sides of the Maine marriage equality fight to give them "fly on the wall" access during the campaign.

What they filmed is the basis of Question One: the Battle for Same-Sex Marriage in America. As we all know, NOM and its supporters won that fight. But it's Marc Mutty, the head of the campaign against Maine's marriage equality law, who has become the documentary's lightning rod

In the documentary, Mutty voiced extreme displeasure with how his group was attempting to sway people to vote against marriage equality. According to the Iowa Independent:

The film begins with Mutty describing his role in the campaign as that of the “chief cook and bottle washer,” but in the campaign’s final weeks, it’s Frank Schubert, president of California-based Schubert Flint Public Affairs -– the same publicity firm used to defeat same-sex marriage in California in 2008 –- who is calling all the shots, telling reporters he’s the chairman of SMM, making himself marketable for a future anti-same-sex marriage campaign.

At one point in the film, Mutty admits to being upset over two ads pushed by Schubert Flint, which Mutty admits “when I saw it, I cringed,” because of their insistence that civil marriage in Maine will lead to teachers instructing first-graders about gay sex. The longer version of the ad, which Mutty opted not to use, discussed sex toys. In the car, a visibly frustrated Mutty tells Schubert in clipped tones that his staff signed off on the ad. He then slams his cell phone shut and mutters, “So Frank wins the day again.”

The documentary also reveals that Mutty was forced to run the campaign:

On screen, Mutty says he never wanted to run the ‘Yes on 1′ campaign, but that his boss, Bishop Richard Malone, wanted the diocese to handle it, and Mutty felt as though he had no choice. In the early days of the campaign, he jokes around with his small staff in their Yarmouth, Maine, headquarters and appears to take his position — one he describes as being “impossible” — in stride. But by the campaign’s end, Mutty often appears agitated, saying things like: “This has been a mother-f***ing son of a bitch.”

And according to a piece written by Peter Montgomery of  Religious Dispatches, the documentary reveals that Mutty may have been simply a figurehead but not really calling the shots in the campaign:

The documentary exposes several myths promoted by the opponents of marriage equality in Maine, including that it was a Maine-based campaign when California-based Schubert-Flint was clearly calling the shots; and that it wasn’t about homosexuality, when religious objections to homosexuality were clearly a driver for many of the activists and leaders. At one campaign rally, for example, a speaker portrays the campaign as a spiritual battle against the devil himself.

One press conference orchestrated by Schubert-Flint used teenagers as props, including one who claimed that at her public school she was made to feel like a second-class citizen for being straight. It seemed like a ludicrous assertion, so I asked filmmaker Joe Fox who told me that those teens were brought out to read their scripted statements, then declared off limits for follow-up questions.

Question 1 is scheduled to have a limited release in the fall and a national release in January. One wonders how NOM will handle damage control then while continuing to fight the disclosure laws not only in Maine but in also several other states.

As far as I'm concerned, these troubles couldn't have happened to a nicer group of folks.

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