Thursday, May 31, 2012

Come on religious right, own your disease!

I am disappointed in the religious right.

With all of this free-flowing homophobia going around, one would think that Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher or their organizations would be making comments.

At the very least, listening to pastors say that gays should be put to death and three-year-olds singing songs about "homos not getting to Heaven" should be sending the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer into some type of orgasm.

I personally think that they are avoiding these controversies like it's a big pile of dog dirt that they are too lazy to clean up from their front lawn. And why shouldn't they be? In this case, the dog belongs solely to them.

All of that talk about gays harming children, trying to destroy marriage, and creating general mayhem doesn't just go down a rabbit hole. It attaches itself somewhere, festers, and grows like a disease. Case in point:

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'DOMA smacked down again! Thank Maggie Gallagher and Paul Cameron' and other Thursday midday news briefs

BREAKING: Two Republican Judges Declare DOMA Unconstitutional - There are sooooo many sweet things involved in this victory. For one, it was a unanimous decision by the three judge panel, two which are Republican appointees. 

 And then there are two especially sweet things you need to know: 

A. Boehner's attempted defense of DOMA has been doomed to fail from the beginning, which was something I predicted in August of last year when I broke the story about how Paul Clement, the lawyer defending DOMA, was citing junk science in his defense, including that of the discredited Paul Cameron. - Boehner's DOMA defense contains junk science, bad sources 

  B. And something to make the pot even sweeter is the fact that Clement attempted to cite the National Organization's Maggie Gallagher as an expert in a manner which would have allowed her to avoid cross-examination by the lawyers seeking to strike down DOMA. To this day, I don't think anyone has ever asked why and that is a shame. - Boehner’s DOMA lawyers want to cite Maggie Gallagher, but avoid cross-examination  

In other news:

 California state Senate approves bill to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy - We are almost there in California!

 In Milwaukee Post, Cardinal Authorized Paying Abusers - Cardinal Timothy Dolan implies that marriage equality is an attack on religious freedom. But apparently paying off pedophiles and lying about it is okay? 

Mormon group to march in Utah Pride Parade - Good for them!  

Tony Perkins Lashes Out at US Tourism Ad for Featuring Gay Couple - Give it a rest, Tony! 

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Church has no regrets with child singing anti-gay song

The story about the toddler being applauded in church for singing a homophobic song gets worse.

Apparently I was wrong when I guessed the child's age. He is actually three and not four. And now, the celebrity site, TMZ is reporting several sad developments:

Members of an Indiana church say they've been flooded with death threats since video of a 3-year-old proudly singing, "Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven" ... was posted on the Internet.

Multiple members of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana tell TMZ the church office has been getting harassing calls and the pastor has received death threats at his home. They also say a prayer meeting scheduled for this evening at church had to be moved to a secret location.

We're told they are looking into increasing security, but for now the congregation is handling it ... taking turns watching over the church.

One member says Pastor Jeff Sangl is extremely worried about his safety -- and this morning he and his wife left for vacation without telling anyone where they were going.

I am not for death threats. But I am for public humiliation when such warrants it and based upon what TMZ says next, the church deserves all of the public humiliation it receives:

 Despite the threats, all the members we spoke to have no regrets about the song getting posted online -- in fact one said, "The people who are upset just don't read the word of God. If we don't teach the children the truth early they will never learn."

As for the thunderous applause after the hate-filled song -- we're told, "Of course we applauded a child who is singing a song about God."

When one thinks about a child singing a song about God, "Yes Jesus Loves Me" comes to mind, not some homophobic tripe which puts a child in a position to judge - something the Bible has said we should not do (Matthew 7:1).

What's next? A song about how David (who killed Goliath) paid a dowry of 200 foreskins to King Saul of Israel? After all, that's in the Bible.

I wonder how much of an ovation would the child receive for that? It always amazes and saddens me that people pull the "Biblical truth" card when it comes to criticizing other people but yet will pay no attention to how that truth requires introspection before passing judgement.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The religious right claims that America is in ANOTHER moral crisis

The following is another one of those God-awful religious right produced "America is in a moral crisis" video.

How many times does that make it? What are we? A country or Erica Kane from All My Children.

One of these days, I am going to do a google search on all of the times the religious right have claimed that this country is in a "moral crisis."

Seems to me that a crisis denotes a coming catastrophe and if this country hasn't gone over the abyss yet, then someone or some people are yanking our chains.

From Religious Right Watch:

America is on the brink of collapse, and Truth in Action Ministries is warning in a new film, as a result of gay rights, liberalism and secular government. The group unveiled The Price of Freedom following a series of films blaming America’s ills on the IRS and homosexuality, calling for its criminalization. The film features Mike Huckabee, anti-gay activist Harry Jackson, Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, Movieguide’s Ted Baehr and tea party activist Paul Jehle, along with the predictably ominous scenes from gay rights rallies and parades. Others participating in the film include Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and Congressmen Todd Akin and Cliff Stearns.

“We have created a future for our children which is very negative in the sense that if they live in a socialized culture, in a perverse culture, all of the pillars of society are going to be pulled out from under them,” Baehr asserted. Jackson spoke of a “head-to-head battle” between “liberal, secular people” and the church, which Mihet said can prevent “moral chaos.”

Watch highlights here:

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'Brian Brown agrees to debate Dan Savage' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

NOM’s Brian Brown To Dine And Debate With Dan Savage - My money is on Dan Savage but if Brian Brown follows the "Maggie Gallagher Book of Debate," he will alternately attempt to boggart the debate by interrupting Savage while pretending to be the victim. Also, let's play a drinking game as to how many times Brown will whine about being "unfairly labeled as a bigot."

 Lawsuits Planned To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage In Illinois - This promises to be very interesting.

Texas may get 1st gay legislator since 2003 - "May get," my foot. She won!! 

 Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper to Release His First Book - One of my blogging buddies, the Arn Anderson to my Tully Blanchard will be releasing his first book next month! Awesome!

 Maryland Gay Marriage Opponents Announce They Have Enough Signatures To Force Referendum - Surprising no one. The big question is how many lies will they tell in their attempts to defeat marriage equality. Hell, how many lies did they tell to get the signatures?

 Gene Robinson, First Openly Gay Anglican Bishop, Celebrates 65th Birthday - Finally, Happy Birthday to a great man! 

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Pastors talk about killing gays, child says 'homos' won't make it to heaven

According to my online pal, Jeremy Hooper, the fact that gays and our relationships are getting more of a positive limelight is obviously beginning to scare some people.

He has tracked two unfortunate cases of pastors in the pulpit advocating killing gays:

But for sheer shock, Jeremy has to take a backseat to what looks like a four-year-old singing about how gays aren't going to heaven:

Wow, we don’t know what to say about this video. It’s a video of a young boy in what looks to be a church setting singing.

“I know the bible’s right, somebody’s wrong,” he says. And then the child goes on to say, “ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven.”

The congregation jumps up to cheer.

The video was initially been removed from youtube for hate speech, but someone else made a copy of it:

Just in case it's removed again, go here to see it.

I know what Gandhi once said about those who hate you - "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

But DAMN! It's hell when they fight you, isn't it?

Now I know not all Christians believe this way but I wish those who don't would stand up and be a bit more vocal in calling out those who are so venomously anti-gay.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alveda King speaks about her accusation against Bayard Rustin . . . or does she?

Alveda King
Today, I conducted a very short, very interesting (to say the least) interview with Alveda King, Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr's niece.

The interview stemmed from recent accusations she made about her uncle's gay aide and the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin. Ms. King charged in a statement :

"The 21st century homosexual lobby likes to point to the professional relationship between my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bayard Rustin, his openly homosexual staffer who left the movement at the height of the campaign. Rustin attempted to convince Uncle M. L. that homosexual rights were equal with civil rights. Uncle M. L. did not agree, and would not attach the homosexual agenda to the 20th century civil rights struggles. So Mr. Rustin resigned.

Bayard Rustin
That's simply not true. According to several sources, including the book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, Rustin resigned because several other black leaders were jealous of King's influence and were going to spread the story that he and King were lovers.

Earlier today, I spoke to Eugene Vigil, Ms. King's assistant. He told me that he forwarded comments I made on her blog to her and that she may be calling me. I seriously doubted that she would. You see, the comments I left on her page had been removed (but have since been restored.) You can imagine my surprise when she called me a few hours later.

Her tone was cordial but cautionary. I imagine she didn't exactly appreciate me branding her statements as lies.

In spite of this, the interview went fine at first. She said that she would be emailing me a column from a lesbian which would prove her accusation.

She also said that I had to understand that she, being a 61-year-old woman, had lived through the Civil Rights Movement and that made her privy to certain conversations of those involved.  I asked her what specifically did she allegedly hear regarding Rustin attempting to get MLK to connect the civil rights movement with gay equality.

She refused to go into detail, explaining to me she would not debate the words of the deceased because she felt it was disrespectful. That was when I pointed out to her that she had already begun the debate by making accusations against Rustin.

And that's when the interview went downhill fast.

We spent several minutes practically talking over each other. She kept saying that she would send me a column by a lesbian which would supposedly prove her point. I, however, told her that she would have to give me more information than that and if she was privy to certain conversations, why couldn't she give me the details of said conversations.

I also have to admit that I was put off by Ms. King's constant mentioning of the column "by a lesbian." She would not say this woman's name until I asked her. She finally told me that the lesbian in question was Irene Monroe, an ordained minister, religion columnist, public theologian,  motivational speaker and a person who I have extreme admiration for.

Needless to say that I was interested in reading if Ms. Monroe's words validated Alveda's assertions. However, I continued to press Ms. King to give me facts as to the personal conversations she allegedly heard.

That was when she hung up on me.

Now, the information Ms. King sent me from Monroe was a piece entitled What Did Martin Luther King Do When Confronted With Homosexuality?

And the portion Ms. King was talking about which supposedly validated her claim about Rustin was this:

SADLY, BAYARD RUSTIN, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted Martin Luther King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream.

In a spring 1987 interview with “Open Hands,” a resource for ministries affirming the diversity of human sexuality, Rustin stated that he pushed King to speak up on his behalf, but King did not. In John D’Emilo’s book “Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin,” D’Emilo wrote: “Rustin offered to resign in the hope that he would force the issue. Much to his chagrin, King did not reject the offer. At the time, King was also involved in a major challenge to the conservative leadership of the National Baptist Convention, and one of his ministerial lieutenants in the fight was also gay. Basically, King said, ‘I can’t take on two queers at one time.’”

The piece in question by Ms. Monroe was actually titled Monroe View: The King family's mixed legacy.

 It was written in 2007 and it does include the above passage.

But nowhere in that passage does Monroe indicate that Rustin tried to convince King to connect gay and civil rights. But unfortunately, however, Monroe did not into detail as to what exactly did Rustin want King to speak on his behalf about.

She corrected that error in a March 22, 2012 piece entitled Bayard Rustin: One of the Tallest Trees in Our Forest. Here is what she said at that time:

African-American ministers involved in the civil rights movement would have nothing to do with Rustin, and they intentionally spread rumors throughout the movement that King was gay because of his close friendship with Rustin.

In a spring 1987 interview with Rustin in Open Hands, a resource for ministries affirming the diversity of human sexuality, Rustin recalls that difficult period quite vividly:
Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality. Martin set up a committee to discover what he should do. They said that, despite the fact that I had contributed tremendously to the organization ... they thought I should separate myself from Dr. King. This was the time when [Rev. Adam Clayton] Powell threatened to expose my so-called homosexual relationship with Dr. King.
When Rustin pushed King to speak up on his behalf, King did not. In John D'Emilio's book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, he writes the following on the matter:
Rustin offered to resign in the hope that his would force the issue. Much to his chagrin, King did not reject the offer. At the time, King was also involved in a major challenge to the conservative leadership of the National Baptist Convention, and one of his ministerial lieutenants in the fight was also gay.

"Basically King said I can't take on two queers at on time," one of Rustin's associated recollected later.

And there you have it.

Alveda King bases her false accusation about Rustin attempting to manipulate MLK on a passage of a column taken out of context and comments she claims to have heard but won't go into detail about.

Draw your own conclusions as to Ms. King's credibility, folks.

As for me, I said I was determined to receive an answer one way or another. And I've got my answer.

I almost wish I could say that it wasn't what I suspected before I interviewed her. But it's not.

Whatever the case may be, I've done my duty. A great man was wronged and I hope that I did what was necessary to rectify that wrong.

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'Negative breakthrough in Alveda King/Bayard Rustin controversy' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

First, an update about the Alveda King/Bayard Rustin controversy. There has been a small breakthrough. I spoke to Eugene Vigil, Ms. King's assistant. He told me that he forwarded my comments to her and she may be calling me. I seriously doubt that she will. You see, the comments I left on her page HAVE BEEN REMOVED. At any rate, I am determined to get an answer one way or the other concerning her untrue accusation that Rustin attempted to manipulate Martin Luther King, Jr into connecting gay rights with the African-American civil rights movement.

 In other news:

 Otis Moss, III Challenges Fellow Black Clergy On Marriage Equality For Gays And Lesbians - Kudos to Minister Moss!

 Louis Farrakhan Critiques Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement - Well look who just jumped in out of the woodwork. With all due respect, I made it a point not to attend Farrakhan's call for a Million Man March and I'm not about to pay any attention to his words about a black man who is truly trying to change the nation for the better. The funny part is let's see how the right will embrace Farrakhan's words after years of branding him as a troublemaker.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Tony Perkins - Tony Perkins has agreed to come to dinner at the home of a same-sex family when he and his wife "receive the invitation to find a time that works.” Draw your own conclusions there.

Video: Richard Cohen strengthens marriage movement's unbreakable 'ex-gay' ties - Speaking of Alveda King, check out who she has been hanging around with in Spain.

Barber: NAACP's Support for Marriage Equality is Offensive and Demeaning - Matt Barber just said that gays have never been victims of lynchings. That's right. Being beaten to death, set on fire, castrated, or generally having the hell kicked out of us doesn't technically count as a lynching (eyerolling) 

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Alveda King needs to put up or shut up about her Bayard Rustin accusation

Alveda King
Last Wednesday, Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. put out a statement to address the push back she received from criticizing the NAACP. The NAACP passed a resolution supporting marriage equality and King did not agree with it because she has made a "name" for herself by speaking against marriage equality and gay rights in general.

Among other things she said in the statement was the following:

"The 21st century homosexual lobby likes to point to the professional relationship between my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bayard Rustin, his openly homosexual staffer who left the movement at the height of the campaign. Rustin attempted to convince Uncle M. L. that homosexual rights were equal with civil rights. Uncle M. L. did not agree, and would not attach the homosexual agenda to the 20th century civil rights struggles. So Mr. Rustin resigned. 

I have to tell you that when I first read that statement, I was, in street terms, pissed off to the highest levels of pissivity.

Bayard Rustin (right) with Martin Luther King, Jr.
I literally went into orbit because I knew her statement wasn't accurate. According to several sources, most specifically the book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D'Emilio, Bayard Rustin resigned because prominent black leaders, specifically the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, had gotten jealous of King's influence and were going to accuse him and the openly gay Rustin of being lovers.

It was some of these same leaders who did not want Rustin to have anything to do with the 1963 March on Washington, but labor leader A. Philip Randolph insisted that Rustin be involved. And Rustin proceeded to coordinate probably the most successful march in the nation's history.

Furthermore Rustin began speaking about gay issues in the 1980s at the behest of his partner, Walter Naegle. This was over two decades after MLK's death.

Consequently, I wrote a post not only correcting King's assertions but also challenging her designation as a black leader because, being honest about Ms. King's "credentials," if she were not the niece of MLK, no one would care what she had to say.  She was a child during the civil rights movement so it's safe to say that she was not included in King's inner circle and nor was privy to his beliefs or thoughts.

I felt a little satisfied with what I wrote but gradually, it became not enough for me. I got many kudos and literal pats on the backs but that wasn't satisfying because Alveda King's unchallenged inaccurate assertion of Rustin was still out there.

Bayard Rustin is one of my idols and a very important figure in the fight for equality. He was an integral part of the civil rights movement. He not only coordinated the 1963 March on Washington, but he also influence Dr. King when it came to nonviolent protest. However, he remained in the background because he was also openly gay. Even though I know he never sought the spotlight, Rustin should have gotten some appreciation for his work and some knowledge by the general population of what he had done while he was alive.

Slowly but surely, he is now getting what he deserves in terms of name recognition.

But then Ms. Alveda King proceeds to spread false stories about Rustin in order to exploit the supposed difference of opinion between the gay and African-American community on the subject of gay equality. Her statement is damaging because some people are still not aware of Bayard Rustin's contributions and they could actually believe that tripe she spread. Subsequently they see won't Rustin as a tireless fighter for equality - which he was - but someone who was attempting to manipulate MLK for his own purposes.

It more than bothers me. It unnerves me that Bayard Rustin, this great man who never really got his due, could be further denied because the knowledge of his work and existence interferes with the plans of a wannabe activist exploiting the name of her famous uncle.

And it also bothered me that other than myself, very few people - and even fewer organizations such as GLAAD, HRC, or even the NAACP - called out Ms. King for her inaccurate statement.

So I have taken further action

The following is what I wrote on Alveda King's blog:

a.mcewen says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM
 You told a blatant lie. Rustin never tried to convince King of anything. Rustin resigned because several black leaders were jealous of King’s influence and one of them – the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell – was going to accuse King and Rustin of being lovers. Rustin didn’t really start talking about gay issues until the 1980s at the behest of his partner Walter Naegle. I am interested as to where you received your information. You cannot speak the truth in love if the words you speak are inaccurate.
 I have included my email address – and I would like to know where you received your information regarding your claims of Rustin.

a.mcewen says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
BTW, I received my information from several sources including the book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio.
And again, I ask that you supply the proof of your charges. I have supplied my email address and will be expecting some type of answer from you. Thank you.

The POINT is will Ms. King give me a satisfactory answer or even post my comments?

I will be monitoring her blog. If she gives an answer, I will be very interested as to what it will be and I will post it.

If she chooses not to answer my questions or if my questions are deleted, then WE ALL would have our answer, wouldn't we?

And if the latter happens, we all need to let it be known about Ms. King's credibility - or definitely lack thereof - when she attempts to pass herself off as a leader in the black community.

The ball is now in your court, Ms. King. You called the game. Now you must play it.

Editor's note - I ask that anyone feeling compelled to go to Ms. King's blog and leave comments demonstrate the same dignity and grace that Bayard Rustin showed as a true leader in the fight for equality. Please remember that ignorant and juvenile comments will most likely be given center stage as indicative of the entire gay community at large and thus will allow an evasion of the question at hand. So while you may feel the need to become so angry that you speak before thinking, please be aware such comments can the cause more damage than good to not only our fight for equality but also Mr. Rustin's reputation.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

The days when gays were put behind fences

North Carolina pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church ignited a firestorm last week with his suggestion that gays and lesbians be encased behind electrified fences until they died out.

Yesterday, there was a huge protest of over 1,000 people angry at his words.

Meanwhile, from what I understand, Worley received a standing ovation from over 100 members of his church for his words. This shouldn't be surprising, seeing that members of his church actually defended his words on national television on the grounds that he was "merely" speaking the truth in "Christian love."

We are all missing the context. What Worley suggested is nothing new. In fact it has been tried. The fences may not have been all electrified but the objective was the same:

I should point out that I wanted to post other videos, but this is the tamest one I could find.

But if you want to see one of the others I rejected, go here. It's not pretty.

And may God help us all if we refuse to remember the past so much that we applaud its mistakes.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maine churches fighting marriage equality via the collection plate

Even if this legal, I don't think that it's morally right. It's one thing for church members to vote as their conscience dictates, but when the church itself becomes a tax-exempt political machine, we have problems.

From the NY Daily News:

Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father’s Day to kick off a fundraising campaign for the lead opposition group to November’s ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages.

Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to drum up support for the Maine campaign from religious leaders from around the country.

It’s unusual, but not unheard of, for churches to take up collections for political causes. Maine’s Catholic diocese says it raised about $80,000 with a designated collection in 2009 in its effort to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law, which was passed by the Legislature that year and later rejected by voters. The Catholic Church isn’t actively campaigning this time, instead focusing on teaching parishioners about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

Father’s Day, June 17, seemed an appropriate time to kick off this year’s fundraising campaign because of the day’s focus on family, Conley said. Additional collection-plate offerings at churches are expected in the months ahead.

Read more about the story here

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Bessie Smith

There are so many stories about the life of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. Let's clear up two. No, her death in an automobile accident was not the result of being denied entry at a white hospital. And yes she was bisexual and, to put it nicely, a bad ass one.

Bessie Smith - (1894-1937):

Bessie Smith was born poor in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her parents died when she was eight years old and she began singing to support her family at age seven. She sang on street corners with her brother accompanying her on guitar.

Bessie Smith went on to become one of the most successful Black performers of her day. Her album "Downhearted Blues," released in 1923, was the best selling blues record of its time. At the height of her career, she was making $2,000 a week. Quite a sum for those days.

Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey:

At age 17, Bessie Smith met Gertrude "Ma" Rainey and went on the road with her traveling show. Ma Rainey became a mentor to Bessie Smith. There is some speculation that the two were also lovers, but little to back that up.

Bessie Smith and Jack Gee:

Bessie Smith was married to Jack Gee in 1923. Both Jack and Bessie had affairs with women and these affairs caused many fights between the two. There are accounts of Bessie firing a gun at Jack after learning of one of his affairs and of Jack threatening to kiss Bessie after finding her with a woman.

Bessie Smith ended her relationship with Jack Gee in 1929 after she found out he was having an affair with another singer.

Bessie Smith and Lillian Simpson:

Bessie Smith had affairs with various women through out her life. One that we know about is with Lillian Simpson. According to Bessie's niece Ruby, who traveled with her, Bessie Smith had an on and off affair with one of her chorus girls Lillian Simpson in 1926. At one point when Bessie spurned her, Lillian tried to kill herself and ended up in the hospital. The affair eventually ended when Lillian left the tour, afraid of Bessie's husband Jack finding out.

Bessie's Love of Women:

Bessie's husband Jack found out about her affairs with women when he caught her with a woman at a boarding house in Detroit. He threatened to kill her, but she managed to escape with her troupe and back to her train and out of town before he caught up with her.

'Fake historian - homosexuality should be illegal in spite of the Supreme Court' and other Friday midday news briefs

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal - You gotta love those  religious right figures. BTW I don't think St. Paul said what David Barton claims. It sounds like a bad translation to me:


 And in other news

 Come on people – enough with stoking the black = homophobic meme - Pam Spaulding is right. It's time for that lie to die. 

 No contradiction: I'm black and gay - Meanwhile, L.Z. Granderson, an openly gay African-American columnist drops some more truth.  

Federal Judge Finds DOMA Unconstitutional - Look what just happened to DOMA (again)  

WHOA! Even the SBC is distancing itself from FRC honoree Ron Baity (and Charles Worley and Sean Harris) - You know things are getting weird when the Southern Baptist Convention begins to distance itself from pastors for being too anti-gay.

 Long Island School Inexplicably Suspends Student For Class Project About Bullying - She was reinstated and the suspension has been taken off of her record. But the entire thing is just weird. 

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Religious right hypocrisy on gays raising children

Tony Perkins

One thing which was pointed out to me about Tony Perkins's interview yesterday on CNN was when he said:

"There are some same-sex couples that are probably GREAT parents."

It reminds me of the time where Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage said last year :

"there are some gay people who are wonderful parents."

But both of these figures (Perkins and Gallagher) have gone on record implying awful things about gay parenting.

For instance, Gallagher once said “at least polygamy, for all its ugly defects, is an attempt to secure stable mother-father families for children.”

And Perkins claimed his children couldn't be gay because he is "teaching them the rights ways that they are to interact as human beings"

 So which beliefs do Perkins and Gallagher hold?

If Perkins and Gallagher think that gays make good parents, then why do they campaign tooth-and-nail on the distortion that marriage equality would harm children? And why do their organizations imply awful distortions about gays harming children?

It's a matter of simply hypocrisy. But as long as no one pushes the issue, they can get away with it.

If the media won't push the issue, then perhaps it's time that we did.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tony Perkins has another rough interview

Does anyone remember that comedy movie Airplane and the scene with the hysterical woman? The stewardess kept slapping her to calm her down. Since she was unsuccessful, another stewardess took over. And then another one. Pretty soon, a line forms behind the stewardess of people who will take their turn in attempting to calm down the hysterical woman. One man is wearing boxing gloves. One woman has a tire iron in her hand. Another woman has a gun. And so on and so on.

I was reminded of that scene because of an interview that CNN's Brooke Baldwin conducted with the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. Now Perkins has been having a rough time recently during news interviews. He was called to the carpet on his anti-gay distortions by CNN's Soledad O'Brien and then was further knocked on his ass on MSNBC's Hardball by Congressman Barney Frank with a little assist from host Christ Matthews.

And now Baldwin seems to want to get a piece of the action. She not only takes Perkins to task but asks him point blank about his homophobia and the fact that he doesn't know any same-sex families. Of course there was room for some improvement. When Perkins goes on a tangent about what his children are taught in schools and such, I wished Baldwin would have reminded him that gay couples have children also. Still seeing Perkins squirm in the morass of his lies was satisfying.

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'SPLC blasts NOM for its anti-gay lies' and other Thursday midday news briefs

National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays - The Southern Poverty Law Center blasts NOM for its lies about the gay community. Can a "hate group" designation be next? I certainly hope so.

 Welcome End of a Pseudotheory - The New York Times blasts social conservatives for their need to rely on bad studies.

  Air Force Academy Graduates First-Ever Openly Gay Cadets - Awesome!

 APA President-Elect: Ablow’s Comments Are “Misleading,” “Inaccurate,” And “Potentially Harmful” - Fox News's homophobic doctor in residence, Keith Ablow, gets his just desserts from the American Psychiatric Association.

  Underground LGBT Group Shakes Up Conservative Evangelical University - BAM! 

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NPR exposes the complex relationship between the Black Church and gays

Rev. Dennis Wiley
When it comes to gays and the black church, NPR just ripped opened the closet door and all of the bones fell out. An excellent piece which needs more exposure:

Fairly or not, African-Americans have become the public face of resistance to same-sex marriage, owing to their religious beliefs and the outspoken opposition of many black pastors.

Yet the presence of gays and lesbians in black churches is common. And the fact that they often hold leadership positions in their congregations is the worst kept secret in black America.

While many black pastors condemn gays and lesbians from the pulpit, the choir lofts behind them often are filled with gay singers and musicians. Some male pastors themselves have been entangled in scandals involving alleged affairs with men.

"Persons who are in the closet serve on the deacon boards, serve in the ministry, serve in every capacity in the church," the Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Maryland, says of black churches. Wiley is a prominent advocate of gay marriage. "I do believe a certain hypocrisy is there."

. . . Some say pastors' hostility cuts hard against the history of how countless black churches have flourished. The virtuosity of gay singers, musicians and composers has been the driving force in developing popular gospel choirs — even chart-topping, Grammy-winning acts — that make money for a church, help expand congregations and raise the profiles of pastors.

It all happens under an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" custom that allows gay people to be active in the church, though closeted, and churches to reap the benefits of their membership.

Some say the arrangement is not only hypocritical, but exploitative.

"On the one hand, you're nurtured in the choir but you also have to sit through some of those fire and brimstone sermons about homosexuality being an abomination," says E. Patrick Johnson, an openly gay gospel singer and author of Sweet Tea: An Oral History of Black Gay Men of the South.

Read more of Blacks, Gays And The Church: A Complex Relationship

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Alveda King, your lie about Bayard Rustin will NOT go unanswered!

Now Alveda King is lying about Bayard Rustin.
Dear Ms. Alveda King,

Bayard Rustin
I have watched your "career" as an "activist" and a "leader" over the years with a mixture of amusement and annoyance. I was amused as to how you were suddenly anointed as a voice for the black community simply because you are Martin Luther King, Jr's niece.

And I was a bit annoyed at your nasty attack on Coretta Scott King two years ago when you implied that you knew MLK's heart better than her because you "had his DNA and she didn't."

However, your recent comments have led me to a state that goes beyond annoyance. Comments you made about the late Bayard Rustin make it necessary that I call you out for your blatant dishonesty.

You said:

"The 21st century homosexual lobby likes to point to the professional relationship between my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bayard Rustin, his openly homosexual staffer who left the movement at the height of the campaign. Rustin attempted to convince Uncle M. L. that homosexual rights were equal with civil rights. Uncle M. L. did not agree, and would not attach the homosexual agenda to the 20th century civil rights struggles. So Mr. Rustin resigned.

I would like to know where you received your information concerning this claim and until you show this information, I feel safe in calling you out as a boldfaced liar.

According to several sources, most specifically the excellent book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D'Emilio, Rustin resigned because prominent black leaders, specifically the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, had gotten jealous of King's influence and were going to accuse him and the openly gay Rustin of being lovers.

It was some of these same leaders who did not want Rustin to have anything to do with the 1963 March on Washington, but labor leader A. Philip Randolph insisted that Rustin be involved. And as you SHOULD know, this was a good move because Rustin was the architect of that successful march.

Furthermore Rustin began speaking about gay issues in the 1980s at the behest of his partner, Walter Naegle. This was over two decades after MLK's death.

Ms. King, you like to talk about the so-called sin of homosexuality, but let me remind you that the Bible also says something against bearing false witness.

And between me and you, from one African-American to another, I would personally like to know just what constitutes you as a genuine leader in the black community?

To my knowledge, no one has taken the initiative to ask you that question, so I would like to. Do you really think that your relationship to one of the greatest American leaders of the 20th century makes you a leader?

I don't think so. On my father's side of my family, I am a distant cousin to the rapper Lil Bow Wow, but at no time have I rushed to a record company demanding a contract.

Ms. King, it takes more than familial connections to make one a leader. Allow me to school you on the qualities.

A leader sacrifices for others.

A leader does not seek the spotlight.

A leader works his or her fingers to the bone for a cause.

A leader inspires others.

A leader puts him or herself on the line more than once even though success of the cause may not be assured.

Bayard Rustin had all of these qualities. You have none of them. Ever since you have shown your face in the public arena, the only person you seemed to have cared about is yourself. You inspire no one. You do the least amount of work. And worst of all, none of your fame comes from anything you have done, but only due to the fact that you had the good fortune to be related to Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you didn't have this familial relation, no one would care about anything you say.

So please stop lying to yourself as to your status and your impact. You have neither.

And while I detest how you are reaping the benefits of your uncle's hard work, I have nothing to do with it.

BUT I will be damned if I say nothing while you besmirch the name of a man whose hard work put you in your pseudo-prominent situation.

Bayard Rustin was a leader in every sense of the word.

You aren't. And while you may have King's DNA, you are sorely lacking in his integrity or love.

You go and make your money, now.

Consider yourself checked and dismissed.

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'40 Faces of Homophobia' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

40 Faces Of Homophobia Around The World - This is a disgusting but necessary photo essay.  People need to see this to get an understanding of what our community has to deal with. If this gets you angry, good. Do something positive with your anger. And the following two examples from the photo essay should give you incentive:

In other news  

Pastor "Beat Gay Kids" Denounces Pastor "Put Them In Concentration Camps" - One bigot denounces another. Would spontaneous combustion be something to wish for here?

 POLL: African American Support For Marriage Equality Is Higher Than General Population - Well that's one myth (black folks are more homophobic than the general population) shot to pieces.

Miranda Salman: Transgender Soccer Player Defies Prejudice Against LGBT Community (VIDEO) - Good for her! 

 American Family Association, Family Research Council Attack Target for Selling 'Pride' T-Shirts - Come on guys! Surely there is a school with a gay/straight alliance you can demonize. This is just ridiculous. 

Gay community - pay attention to Fox News

I've mentioned this slightly and now I am making a full post about it because I feel that it is an important issue.

The gay community needs to keep an eye out for Fox News.

The claim that Fox News is "fair and balanced" is the biggest joke out there, period. The network pushes conservative propaganda even to the point that reporters show their bias by arguing with guests they don't agree with and conducting one-sided interviews with folks whose issues they do agree with.

How Fox News has tried to consistently undermine President Obama will be a widely discussed issue in classrooms for years to come

But the gay community should be forewarned that Fox News also has a negative eye cast upon us.

The blog Equality Matters casts a spotlight on Fox News by how its resident "doctor," Keith Ablow, has demonized the gay community:

Ablow is notorious for peddling the false idea that children might decide to identify as transgender if they see a happy transgender person – like Dancing with the Stars’ Chaz Bono – on television. He’s also suggested that using pink nail polish and having same-sex parents might similarly cause children to abandon their gender identity. He’s been open about his belief that transgender people are suffering from "psychotic delusions" and should be encouraged, through therapy, to identify as their biological sex.
Ablow has also voiced his support for the claim that homosexuality is a product of environmental factors and, as a result, can be changed or reversed. In the past year alone, Ablow has argued that:
And last week, Ablow condemned the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for declassifying Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality (EDH) as a mental illness in 1987. EDH, which was the diagnosis given to people who were distressed by their same-sex attractions, continues to play an important role in the pseudoscientific research produced by modern “ex-gay” groups today.

Ablow has also attacked same-sex parenting by falsely claiming that there is no data to determine the psychological effects to children. Equality Matters points out just how wrong he is.

I might point out that Ablow was a member of Truth4Time, the secret anti-gay Facebook group whose plans to disrupt the gay community was made public earlier this year.

But Ablow is just one problem that the gay community could potentially see with Fox News. As I said before, reporters on the network sometimes conduct extremely soft interviews with media figures.

Imagine Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage or Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council being allowed to spout lies about the gay community, not only unchallenged but also helped along by a person who is supposed to ask them questions designed to get to the bottom of the issue, but instead elects to aid and abet their propaganda.

It's a scary thought indeed. And we need to ask ourselves how close it is to becoming a reality.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Church members support pastor's call to imprison gays behind electrified fence

By now, we all know about Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church, NC and his sermon advocating imprisoning gays within an electrified fence so that we may die out.

But here is another sad part of the story. Members of his congregation support him:

Mark my words. Gays and lesbians are not the destroyers of Christianity. Some of these folks are doing an excellent job of it themselves and if those Christians who are shocked by this just simply stand aside and say nothing, then they are cowards.

It's easy to get angry at this madness but just remember one thing. The more ignorant people talk about destroying others, the more they destroy themselves. Hang tight brothers and sisters!

Hat tip to Towleroad

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NAACP attacked by 'The Vultures' for its support of marriage equality

Alveda King is a sad woman living off her uncle's name.
When the NAACP passed a resolution support marriage equality, I knew that THEY were coming.

By "THEY," I am talking about a group of wannabe black leaders who I like to refer to colloquially as "The Vultures."

These folks claim to lead "big time" organizations with important sounding names. Something like "The High Impact Leadership Coalition" or "Brotherhood for a New Destiny" or "Center for Urban Renewal and Education."

I should tell you right now that these organizations are astroturfed. They don't speak for the black community because a vast majority of us have never heard of them. And why should we? Whenever there needs to be a true voice in the black community addressing issues such as poverty or socio-economic equality, these groups are never around.

They exist only as convenient black faces to be trotted out by conservatives or the religious right when it comes to issues of race. These so-called black leaders don't care about the black community because they are too busy telling some whites what they want to hear about the black community.

That's all they do. That's the only reason why they exist.

And in the case of the NAACP accepting marriage equality, these folks are in rare form. Religious Right Watch covers what several of them had to say:

Stephen Broden, a Republican politician who has said that the violent overthrow of the government should be “on the table,” dubbed the NAACP “irrelevant”:
Stephen Broden, pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Dallas, notes that the black community is suffering from soaring unemployment, an extraordinarily high rate of abortions, a high school drop out rate among black teenagers that is breathtaking, an exploding rate of single parent households and the decimation of black families.

Yet, Broden says, the NAACP is making statements about same-sex marriage. “The NAACP has proven again to be an irrelevant organization as it relates to issues of survival for the black community,” says Broden who co-authored Life at All Costs with King and Gardner. The book addresses issues such as abortion and homosexuality.
Domestic violence perpetrator turned “pro-family” activist Timothy Johnson called on African Americans to ditch the NAACP and join his own group, the Frederick Douglass Foundation:
"When you recognize that the black community is strongly a Christian-based group of people, conservative in most of the things they believe, the NAACP has gone diabolically the opposite direction of tradition of the black community," he states. "[The NAACP] really is doing this in order to stay relevant and in order to build up their revenues as it relates to what they can get from the gay community."

"... I think those individuals who call themselves Christian or call themselves Jewish who are members of the NAACP should denounce the organization, should cancel their membership, and really look for something else or another organization such as the Frederick Douglas Foundation to be affiliated with," he states.

Religious Right Watch also mentions comments by the "Queen Mother" of the group, Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr's niece:

Alveda King, as always, tied the topic to the question of abortion rights and claimed to speak for her uncle and other relatives in claiming that the King family has always opposed the “homosexual agenda”:
"Neither my great-grandfather an NAACP founder, my grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. an NAACP leader, my father Rev. A. D. Williams King, nor my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced the homosexual agenda that the current NAACP is attempting to label as a civil rights agenda," says King, founder of King for America and Pastoral Associate for Priests for Life.

"In the 21st Century, the anti-traditional marriage community is in league with the anti-life community, and together with the NAACP and other sympathizers, they are seeking a world where homosexual marriage and abortion will supposedly set the captives free.”

Alveda King is a sad fraud. Practically her entire career has been reaping off of her famous uncle, a man who lived and died when she was a child. I doubt she knew anything about King. I doubt very much that she is aware that one of King's advisers, Bayard Rustin, was an openly gay man. It was Rustin who not only coordinated the March on Washington, but also introduced King to the idea of non-violent resistance.

 I also seriously doubt she knew what was in King's heart when it came to the gay community. However, we do know what she thought of Coretta Scott King, MLK's wife and the person who did know his heart and was also a very vocal ally of the gay community.

Two years ago, when she was asked about Coretta Scott King's support of the gay community, she made a highly inappropriate comment:

"She (Coretta) was married to him (Martin Luther King, Jr.). I've got his DNA. She doesn't. She didn't. She's passed away."

That comment alone gives a great indication of Alveda King's mindset and lack of integrity.

But generally speaking, anyone using Alveda King or any of these other spokespeople or groups as proof that the black community has turned on the NAACP for the organization's support of marriage equality is lying to their readers.

Neither these groups nor their spokespeople never really cared for the NAACP in the first place.

Because to them, it's all about the spotlight.

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'Astroturfed group of black pastors attacking Obama over marriage equality' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Happy Harvey Milk Day everyone!

North Carolina Anti-Gay ‘Electrified Fence’ Pastor Faces National Backlash - Awwww the poor baby. SOCK IT TO HIM!!!!!!!! And I DARE anyone from the religious right to defend this man.

  Harry Jackson: God punishes marriage supporters, NAACP next; you're not taping this, are you? - Harry Jackson, it seems to me that if your words are Godly, you shouldn't worry about whether or not you are being taped.  

Commentary: Pastor Invokes Bible to Attack Obama - Some may call me racist for this but I don't give a crap. Seems to me that if you are taking a picture of a group of black pastors who are supposed to be standing against President's Obama support for marriage equality, then shouldn't the majority of folks be black pastors rather than two blacks pastors already affiliated with the religious right and NOM (William Owens  and Harry Jackson) and people like Tony Perkins? Can you say fraud? BET socks it to them. Not for that point, but still, it's an excellent commentary.

Justice for Maverick! Student Wins Right to Wear Shirt - Score one for the First Amendment!

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Home Depot stands up to the American Family Association during shareholders meeting

Sometimes a simple declaration is all one needs to turn aside a bigoted statement.

Home Depot has been on the "shit list" (so to speak) of the religious right, particularly of the American Family Association because of its participation in gay pride parades and its donations to GLAAD, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

AFA is presently boycotting the company, demanding that Home Depot "stay neutral" in the so-called culture wars. Of course the irony is that if Home Depot was on AFA's side in the argument, the organization would be defending "it's right to participate."

Recently, AFA spokesman Randy Sharp made a statement to Home Depot chairman Frank Blake, Home Depot's board of directors, and its shareholders during the company's annual shareholder meeting.

Blake's answer to Sharp was neither long nor was it drawn out, but it made things clear how Home Depot stands on the matter. Blake's response to Sharp starts at 3:18 and also hear the voice of support of Blake's statement from a self-identified "married lesbian from Massachusetts:"

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Crazy North Carolina pastors? Blame the Amendment One vote

It's been said that during an argument, the first person who accuses the other of being a Nazi is automatically the loser. I think whoever said that would make an exception in the case of North Carolina pastor Charles Worley of of Providence Road Baptist Church:


"I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it passed through Congress. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out…And you know what, in a few years, they'll die out."

Now the most creative of my lgbt brothers and sisters would accuse this pastor of slyly talking about concentration camps and unfortunately they aren't off the mark.

However, I think the old man thinks too much of himself. For centuries the gay community have withstood violence, hatred, and ignorance wrapped up in a religious package. We have withstood scorn, ridicule, and also disease. I hardly think that the silly plans of a backwoods preacher can bring us down.

But sadly, I don't solely blame Worley for his outrageous comments. I also blame the National Organization for Marriage and its recent successful Amendment One campaign. I've always said that wherever the organization goes, it leaves destroyed communities in the wake of its anti-marriage equality campaigns with people having to make amends with each other for voicing negative opinions about gays that were brought to the forefront.

Now in the case of North Carolina, NOM's sickness has infected several pastors.

Patrick Wooden and a cell phone?
Worley is just one. Let's not forget the diaper pastor Patrick Wooden who, because of NOM's Amendment One campaign, claimed that gays have so much sex that we require stitches and diapers. He later doubled down on that lie and also claimed that gays use cellphones a sexual instruments.

That's Wooden right there on the right at the Amendment One victory party. Doesn't that look like a cell phone in his hand? If it is, I don't want to know where he got it.

And let's not forget about Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church Fayetteville, who advised parents to use violence against their potentially gay children:

What it comes down to is that NOM's campaign against marriage equality made it permissible for some of these folks to let their freak flags fly. But now they can't seem to pull them back down.

North Carolina's gay community will survive the Amendment One vote. But I am seriously worried about some of the state's pastors. If another pastor pulls another outrageous outburst, I'm going to be calling the guys with the white coats.

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'The most nauseating picture of anti-gay violence you will ever see' and other Monday midday news briefs

This awful scene is Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of Gay Forum of Ukraine, is beaten as he met with members of the media to inform them that a scheduled gay-pride parade was cancelled. (Anatolii Stepanov, Reuters/Landov)

Kiev Pride Cancelled, Two Beaten - Box Turtle supplied the picture and details of this awful scene. You see this is what the Obama Administration was talking about when it made its stance against anti-gay violence. No matter how the religious right tries to bamboozle the situation, let this picture provide the truth of the situation for you.

NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality - The resolution not only helps gay equality but it also helps the NAACP in that it indicates that the organization is growing in a positive manner to encompass the universal struggle for equality.

 NOM pushes extreme video; pushes away remaining stake in political moderation - The National Organization for Marriage is now embracing a fraudulent video pushed by the Family Research Council. For more information on this fraudulent video, see Family Research Council pushing another video of anti-gay lies 
Civil rights group says school censored students - Rainbow symbols promote gay sex. Who knew?