Friday, June 29, 2012

Over 200 professors, therapists condemn anti-gay parenting study

Editor's Note - Today's edition of Know Your LGBT History has been put on hold because of some explosive news:

From Think Progress:
Mark Regnerus’ flawed paper on gay parenting has won the acclaim of hate groups and ex-gay therapists and its publication seems to have been politically calculated with marriage equality opponents like the National Organization for Marriage. A group of 18 anti-gay religiously-biased professors defended the paper, but now, a group of over 200 professors and therapists have written a “bombshell letter” critiquing its methods and publication.

Among the concerns are how quickly it was published, the validity of its peer review, and the merits of its methodology and conclusions:
We are very concerned about the academic integrity of the peer review process for this paper as well as its intellectual merit. We question the decision of Social Science Research to publish the paper, and particularly, to publish it without an extensive, rigorous peer review process and commentary from scholars with explicit expertise on LGBT family research. The methodologies used in this paper and the interpretation of the findings are inappropriate.
The publication of this paper and the accompanying commentary calls the editorial process at Social Science Research, a well-regarded, highly cited social science journal (ranking in the top 15% of Sociology journals by ISI), into serious question. We urge you to publicly disclose the reasons for both the expedited peer review process of this clearly controversial paper and the choice of commentators invited to submit critiques. We further request that you invite scholars with specific expertise in LGBT parenting issues to submit a detailed critique of the paper and accompanying commentaries for publication in the next issue of the journal.
Read the full letter for more detail about the professors’ concerns.

The data in this study clearly lacks the integrity to actually impact mainstream psychological thinking on the question of same-sex parenting, as exemplified by this letter and the American Psychological Association’s rebuke of the study. Whether its publication was politically intentional is irrelevant to the fact that the only purpose it serves is to add to the stack of invalid studies the anti-gay movement cites to defend its anti-equality actions.
The letter also raises another question regarding Regnerus' study - the length of the review process before it was published  and who was chosen to review it:
We question the process by which this paper was submitted, reviewed, and accepted for publication. The paper was received by the journal on February 1, 2012. A revision was received on February 29, and the paper was accepted on March 12. This suggests that the peer review process and substantive revisions occurred within a period of just five weeks. According to the peer review policy of the Social Science Research website hosted by Elsevier, the first step of the review process is an initial manuscript evaluation by the editor. Once deemed to meet minimum criteria, at least 2 experts are secured for a peer review. The website states that, “Typically manuscripts are reviewed within 2-3 months of submission but substantially longer review times are not uncommon” and that “Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the initial referees upon receipt.” Clearly, Dr. Regnerus’ paper was returned to him very quickly, because he had time to revise the manuscript and get it back to the journal by February 29th. Further, it appears that a second substantive peer review may not have occurred as the paper was accepted just two weeks after the revision was submitted.

The five-week submission to acceptance length was much shorter than all of the other articles published in the July 2012 issue. The average period of review for papers published in this issue was more than a year and the median review time was more than ten months. As we note below, there are substantial concerns about the merits of this paper, and these concerns should have been identified through a thorough and rigorous peer review process.

We further question the selection of commenters for the Regnerus paper. While Cynthia Osborne and Paul Amato are certainly well-respected scholars, they are also both active participants in the Regnerus study. According to her curriculum vitae, Dr. Osborne is a Co-Principal Investigator of the New Family Structure Survey. Dr. Amato served as a paid consultant on the advisory group convened to provide insights into study design and methods. Perhaps more importantly, neither Osborne nor Amato have ever published work that considers LGBT family or parenting issues. A cursory examination of this body of literature would reveal a wide range of scholars who are much more qualified to evaluate the merits of this study and were neither directly involved in the study design nor compensated for that involvement.

Slowly but surely, this study is becoming a headache for all involved in its creation, funding, publishing, and promoting.

It's extremely unprecedented that over 200 professors and therapists condemn one study. Instead of jaded comments of "well we know it was biased," the gay community needs to spread news of this to the four corners and beyond. A lot of people DO NOT know this study is trash and it's up to US to tell them.

Hat tip to author Scott Rose who has been on the ball from day one exposing the truth about this study.

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'NOM affiliates with ex-gay church' and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM Hosting Summer Student Conference At “Ex-Gay” Church - Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

 Head of PAC trying to stop marriage in Maine: Refer to 'sodomy-based marriage' as 'monstrous insaneness' - Geez, what is the deal with homophobes and anal sex. They are like racists and interracial sex. 
 Porno Pete Mad At Facebook Guy For Giving Money To Cause He Believes In - Cause you know everyone who gives to a gay cause is apart of the secret plot to make everyone gay.  
Obamacare Will Help LGBT People Access Health Insurance - Now about that mocking of the "fierce advocate" label . . .  
Tyler Clementi's Parents Give Interview, Blame Dharun Ravi's Webcam Spying For Son's Suicide - As well they should. Just plain trashy what Ravi did to that child. 

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Reason why Christianity is getting a bad reputation

A recent poll claims that young Americans are beginning to lose faith in God:

The poll, conducted in April by the Pew Research Center, showed that 31 percent of respondents under the age of 30 have doubts about the existence of God, compared to 9 percent of those polled who were 65 or older.

When asked to evaluate the statement, "I never doubted the existence of god," 18 percent of all respondents said that they mostly or completely disagreed.

Now some folks may chalk it up to the "last days before Jesus returns." Others may call it a minor blip.

Personally I think the following has a lot to do with it:

Finger-pointing and lies never does any good, does it? What would Jesus do, indeed?

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Minnesota group lying about anti-gay protest attendance

Apparently spinning stories about hacking isn't the only talent Minnesota for Marriage's Andy Parrish possesses.

He can also be counted on to spin stories about a pitiful protest, as this tweet demonstrates:

According to Jeremy Hooper (thanks Jeremy for the picture by the way), Parrish's claim (at the bottom of the tweet - enlarge it to read)  that General Mill's VP and Head of Security is intimidating those protesting the company's support of marriage equality simply isn't true:

In truth, General Mills has greeted these laughably failing protests with both open arms and refreshments. But then again, I guess desperately disastrous PR stunts call for desperate, face-saving spin.  

Parrish's false claim comes days after Minnesota for Marriage blatantly lied about the number of protestors at its last protest:

Screen Shot 2012-06-27 At 9.00.08 Am
Does the following look like hundreds to you?

Screen Shot 2012-06-28 At 8.12.15 Am

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper for this graphics as well.

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'School board stymies ex-gay group' and other Thursday midday news briefs

I think it's safe to say that gay news today is taking a backseat but I will attempt to entertain you with items happening having nothing to do with the SUPREME COURT UPHOLDING ACA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

School Board votes to curtail policy that allowed ''ex-gay'' organization to send home anti-gay literature - Good. We don't need mess like that in public schools.

Christian group backs away from ex-gay therapy - What took them so long?

Conservative Hate Group Uses Gay Couple's Wedding Picture In Attack Ad - Haters just can't help themselves.

New Bill Would Recognize Military Same-Sex Spouses - I don't see why not.

Federal Judge: Counseling Student Has No Right To Impose Anti-Gay Beliefs On Clients - Religious liberty my ass!

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Anti-gay group's hacking claim smells fishy

Yesterday, the group Minnesota for Marriage (an organization pushing hard for the state referendum which would ban marriage equality in the state) claimed that its facebook page was hacked.

The organization made this claim after a message was posted on its wall which said the following:

According to Talking Points Memo, the post was placed on the wall late Tuesday night and remained there until mid-afternoon Wednesday:

Minnesota for Marriage Communications Director Chuck Darrell told TPM that the Facebook page was hacked. “There’s always somebody in this game that wants to inflict or inject a hateful, divisive message, and that’s what happened here,” he said. “We’ve been running our message for over a year now, and it’s been a very pro-family, pro-children, pro-marriage message, and promoting respectful discussion. We’ll be searching for the person who committed this act and we’re prosecuting them to the full extent of the law.”

In addition,  Andy Parrish, the group’s deputy campaign manager, claimed that all of his online accounts (twitter, facebook, and others) were hacked.

Now it could be that Parrish and the group is telling the truth. Of course very few in the gay community believe that they were hacked.

Many of us simply don't believe that an organization (Minnesota for Marriage) which includes a group (the Minnesota Family Council) which accuses gays of bestiality, pedophilia, and the consuming of human waste would suddenly balk at publicly citing Biblical verses calling for the death of gays.

For me, it's a bit more simple.

With all of that hacking supposedly going on, how odd is it that only one message was left? Parrish claims that all of his accounts were hacked, yet the havoc done was supposedly on the Minnesota for Marriage facebook page.

I mean if someone takes the time to hack one person's facebook page, twitter account, and other accounts, then why would they leave one seemingly innocuous message on a facebook page?

Just a question.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters celebrates one million hits!!!!

I'm proud of this day, the day when my blog has officially breached one million hits in the span of a little over five years.

What can I say but how thankful I am for those who have supported me, helped me, advised me, especially given me kind words, and most of all read my posts.

Initially the Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters blog began as an advertising tool for a self-published book I wrote of the same name. I wrote the book because I felt that the lgbtq community was not getting what it needed in terms of information to refute the lies of the religious right.

The book was published in 2007 and it was a very, very minor success. To be honest, it didn't come off like I wanted it to. One day I will go revisit it and maybe work on another edition.

But for now, it's all about this blog. So much has happened in the years I've been posting.

Marriage equality is now seen as an inevitability rather than an impossible dream.

We have an African-American president

Gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military

And most of all, our community has become more powerful. We have taken advantage of the internet age in terms of sending out information and reaching those in our community which we never have before. And we have become more sophisticated in exposing the right.

Years ago, a study like that awful one which was published recently about gay parenting would have devastated us. We wouldn't have been able to combat the junk science in it. But now we can and we have. We have become more intelligent, more consistent, and more direct in calling out the religious right when they lie on us.

I like to think that I play a part in that.

That's not to say there haven't been problems.

I do not act, I do not sing. I am not a celebrity. I do not live in a metropolitan area. I am an unconventional gay man - older, African-American, not twinkish at all, and from the South. No one is going to put me on camera as representative of the gay community no matter how much intelligence or finesse I possess and very rarely do I get the play I would like from some of the national groups or the attention I would like my blog to receive from some of the scoops I break.

And there are times in which I get depressed when I take into account the enormity of the fight for equality or when I wonder if my words are having an effect.

But those moments come and go like rain. They never stay. What does stay is my need to educate my lgbtq brothers and sisters on the basic fact that just about every negative thing said about us are lies.

We are not sinners, we are not filthy and evil, we are not sick, and we don't need prayer to change ourselves.

The lgbtq community is as God made us and as such, we are marvelous in His eyes.

Our sexual orientations are not things that we can take on or off nor are they "conditions" which we should be ashamed of or allow the ignorant to strip us of.

I am a gay man. That part of me as a crucial to my personhood as my ethnic heritage and my very humanity. No one can take that away from me. And no one will.

And as long as you keep reading, I will keep posting. To the right corner of this blog are some of what I consider the best posts I have done in these five and a half years. If you haven't yet, feel free to indulge yourselves.

One more thing:

Dear Peter LaBarbera, Peter Sprigg, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Tony Perkins, Matt Barber, National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council and the rest of you nuts,

Thank you for being so transparently full of lies that you have given me more than enough material to work with in these five and a half years.

No doubt, you will continue to shuck and jive and lie in the name of God as you do those things that you think we are not hip to.

Please be aware that as long as you do them, I will be there to shine a light on your hypocrisy, laugh in your face, and expose your distortions in front of God and Man alike.

Also be aware that no matter how much money you have or influence you think you may have, the one thing you do not have and you will never have is truth.

You are going to lose this fight. Count on it.

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'Minnesota anti-gay marriage group says 'gays should be put to death' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Minnesota for Marriage: Gays should be 'put to death' - There is it on the facebook page. This is not an exaggeration:

In other news:

Meet The “Social Scientists” Defending The Flawed New Same-Sex Parenting Study - It turns out that the flawed study on gay parenting has flawed defenders. Surprising? No. 

Chuck Norris Asks: 'Is Obama Creating a Pro-Gay Boy Scouts of America?' - Is Chuck Norris less and less like his character in 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and more and more like the bad guys his character fights? Yep. 

Related post - Chuck Norris - the fraud who won't stand up to real injustice 

 Maryland's Marriage Foes Are Broke - And it is also the reason why they have been able to get signatures for the referendum so easily. They have been paying a company to get them and now owe the company a huge amount of money.

  U.S. May Cut Aid To Uganda Because Of Anti-Gay Crackdown - One wonders if this is one cut that Boehner and company may object to. Just asking.

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Religious right calls out Dick Cheney, Laura Bush for supporting marriage equality

According to a fundraising letter sent out by the Family Research Council, several interesting names are listed as supposedly having gone on to the "dark side" of supporting marriage equality:
This week, most eyes are looking toward the Supreme Court and their decision on Obama Care, a decision that is expected most likely on Thursday.
I say most eyes, because what some national Republicans are doing on the issue of traditional marriage is worrisome, and someone has to keep an eye on them.
That's where the staff at FRC Action comes in.
The Republican National Convention is August 27 -30. The real fight however, is the week before when the Republican platform is decided.
FRC Action will be there to make sure the document that guides the Party of Lincoln for the next four years will be pro-life and pro-marriage.
Can I count on you to support our efforts?
It's important to note that Family Research Council Action is neither Democrat nor Republican. And while we certainly have plans to attend the Democrat convention in Charlotte North Carolina, the Republican Convention is the only one we have been invited to actively participate in.
We take that invitation very seriously.
Despite a majority of Americans who are pro-life and 30 states that have marriage protection in their state constitutions, we won't take it for granted that Republican Leadership will always respect that it's the social issues that have been at the heart of the party.
In conventions past, there has been controversy surrounding the pro-life plank in the party platform. This year, it appears that controversy has shifted to traditional marriage.
Strong voices within the Republican Party would like nothing more than to change the official stance in regards to marriage between one man and one woman:
Dick Cheney, former U.S. Vice President
Laura Bush, former U.S. First Lady
Ken Mehlman, former Chairman of the Republican National Convention
Former Governors Christine Todd Whitman (NJ), Gary Johnson (NM), Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Tom Kean (NJ), Dan Evans (WA), and William Weld (MA). 

I wonder how former President Bush would feel about his wife being used so precipitously in a fundraising letter.

Forget him. How about Cheney. How convenient is it that FRC comes out with this fundraising appeal days after his daughter, Mary Cheney, married her partner.

Both Laura Bush and Dick Cheney have come out in favor of marriage equality in their own way, which makes FRC's usage of them in a fundraising letter probably appropriate, if not uncomfortably odd seeing that opposition to marriage equality was the wedge issue which got Bush re-elected.

I would practically give my eyeteeth (whatever those are) to hear the reactions should he and Vice President Cheney find out about this fundraising appeal.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thank General Mills and stick it to NOM!

As you all may or may not know, the National Organization for Marriage is angry at the Fortune 500 company General Mills.

General Mills recently announced its opposition to the anti-marriage equality amendment that NOM is working hard to pass in Minnesota.

Not only that but Ken Charles, vice president of global diversity and inclusion for General Mills, recently testified in favor of ENDA (Employee Non-Discrimination Act which would extend protections in hiring, promotion, and advancement to members of the lgbt community.

Naturally NOM is upset over all of this and has organized a Dump General Mills with its affiliate organizations:

In an e-mail to supporters, Minnesota for Marriage called the move “stupid” and announced it would be hold four days' worth of “Dump General Mills Rallies.”

“I know it seems odd for a company who spends billions of dollars marketing products to moms and dads with young children to do such a thing, but General Mill has tried to please a small minority of individuals who feel entitled to change the definition of marriage for all of society. They have calculated that we won't fight back. They have grossly miscalculated us!” wrote Andy Parrish, deputy campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage.

The daily rallies will take place across from the company's Minneapolis headquarters starting on Tuesday, June 26. Supporters are being called on to bring General Mills products from home and dump them in a trailer to be donated to a local food bank.

Today's rally garnered a total so small that it could probably fit into a Cheerio. NOM itself has a Dump General Mills webpage petition (which I will not link to) which already has over 7,000 signatures.

I think we can do better than that.

The organization fighting that awful amendment in Minnesota, Minnesota United for All Families, has organized its own petition asking folks to thank General Mills for its support of the lgbt community:

Thank you General Mills!
Fortune 500 Company General Mills has just announced that the Golden Valley, MN corporation opposes the constitutional amendment seeking to limit the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples in Minnesota.

Sign our petition today thanking General Mills for supporting all Minnesota families!
Click here to read about General Mill's decision on their company blog.

I think it would be in everyone's best interest to sign the petition thanking General Mills. It would definitely show that we appreciate whenever companies support our community.

And let's face it - you know you want to stick it to NOM.

Here is your chance.

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'Religious right claims about gays in the military proven false' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

What they said… - An awesome post comparing religious right claims of the so-called dire consequences of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military with the reality of what is actually happening. 

 Congressional groups join for ''Invisible Lives'' forum on black LGBT experience - About time this got some attention.

 Janet Mefferd has No Use for Gay Rights 'Talking Points' that Make 'No Mention of Sodomy' - It's all about "booty sex" with these people. 

 Mild Wingnut Slap Fight: Porno Pete vs. Tony Perkins and Rand Paul - What if religious right talking heads had a short feud and no one cared?  

Gay Conversion Therapy Devastated My Family - A sad story about "ex-gay" therapy with a happy ending.

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Anti-gay groups peddling discredited information, bearing false witness

Randy Thomasson
The American Family Association's One News Now is trumpeting a fact page put together by a California religious right group which supposedly proves that people are not born gay.

But it seems to me that the fake news source has put itself in a nasty corner:
A leading pro-family group has put together a fact page about alternate lifestyles as a tool to educate people that they are not "born gay."

 Randy Thomasson explains that's "Not Born This Way" webpage aims to educate individuals on the truth about alternate sexual orientations. The page provides facts about LGBT lifestyles, as well as scientific research disproving the popular claim that people are born homosexual.

"Without any reputable evidence, the entertainment culture, the uneducated media and homosexual activists have seduced today's teenagers, in particular, to believe that people are born homosexual," Thomasson recognizes. "However, science has found no biological basis for homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality."

The president reports that the homosexual lifestyle has the highest rate of cancer, sexually-transmitted diseases and early deaths. He also notes that the American Psychological Association has reversed its statement that people are born gay, admitting that there is no "gay gene."

First of all, let's put this "gay gene" argument out of the way. No major gay rights group or medical organization has ever said that there may be a "gay gene." The "gay gene" argument has never pushed by people on our side of the spectrum. It is a straw man argument pushed by religious right groups.

Legitimate medical organizations have said that sexuality is fluid and there is a danger with someone attempting to alter their sexual orientation via reparative or "ex-gay" therapy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Homosexuality leads to cannibalism?

Three steps below the organizations like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage are the street preachers who come to pride events and shout all sorts of nonsense through bullhorns.

But these street preachers in Cleveland, OH win the booby prize:

Somebody definitely needs Jesus, but it ain't the folks who came to this pride to have a good time.

Hat tip to Back2Stonewall.

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How gay marriage has harmed the state of New York

A year ago, New York passed a bill allowing for gays and lesbians to be married in the state. Look how much "damage" it has done to the state:

Oh the horrors!

Brought to you by the Family Equality Council.

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'NOM spending $2 million in NY to overturn marriage equality' and other Monday midday news briefs

Conservatives target Republicans who back gay marriage: 'You could lose your career' - Long story short - the National Organization for Marriage is funneling $2 million in New York in an effort to repeal its marriage equality law. Now that's just mean.

 UPDATE: Discriminating Reception Hall Employee Resigns - Good answer to my Friday question. Managers should not be protected for their so-called personal religious beliefs against marriage equality if the business supports marriage equality.

  School board hopeful attends anti-gay church - Just imagine a school board member in Fred Phelps's back pocket.  

A tempest in my soul: A son's secret brings a Southern Baptist minister to his knees - How his son's death and the aftermath made a Southern Baptist minister an advocate for love and acceptance. 

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The Family Research Council can't stop lying on gays

The following email was sent out by the Family Research Council as a fundraising appeal to stop us "spooky gays" from supposedly discriminating against Christians. As you can see, the organization lists several examples of this happening.

And these examples are lies. Thanks to the site Think Progress, you don't have to look that far in order to refute them:

CLAIM: “Catholic Charities of Boston–forced out of the adoption business after more than 100 years and surrendered their license because they would not obey the state’s mandate to place orphans with same-sex couples.
REALITY: Catholic Charities had two choices to continue its work: stop relying on government subsidy or stop discriminating against same-sex couples. They gave up entirely. When Catholic Charities faced the same dilemma in Illinois, a judge upheld the state’s right to pull funding because of the agency’s discriminatory practices.
CLAIM: “Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a historic New Jersey Christian camp, ordered by a judge to allow same-sex ‘commitment’ ceremonies on their property, even though it violated their religious views.”
REALITY: The pavilion’s tax-exempt status was part of a recreational real estate agreement with the state to ensure its availability to the public. It was not tied the church’s religious designation.
CLAIM: “Marcia Walden, a counselor with the Centers for Disease Control, fired when she politely declined to help a lesbian continue a same-sex relationship. Marcia, a Christian, felt she wasn’t the best counselor.”
REALITY: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Walden’s firing — not because of the anti-gay religious beliefs she held, but because of her insistence upon imposing them on clients.

I don't think it's farfetched to say that FRC's other claims in its email - that the organization presents "carefully researched facts" to refute the claims of "gay activists" - are bold faced lies also.

But after all of these years, is it really a surprise that such lies come from the Family Research Council?

Related post -  16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group

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Friday, June 22, 2012

How far will the religious right take the 'religious liberty' argument?

An incident took place in Illinois recently which illustrates how dangerous this religious liberty card that the religious right pushes can be so dangerous:

A same-sex couple from Davenport, Iowa says they were banned from possibly renting a Moline, Illinois reception hall because they are gay.

The manager of the University Club in downtown Moline confirms she refused to let the couple see or rent the space for a reception because of her religious beliefs.

Taylor Shumaker says she called the University Club on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 to inquire about the place. She says bar manager Kristen Stewart offered to give Shumaker a tour and asked if her fiance would be coming.

“And she asked if ‘he’ would be coming and I just said, ‘No, it’s not actually a ‘he’, it’s a ‘she.’ And she said, ‘Excuse me?’” recounted Shumaker.

“I said, ‘It’s a woman,’ and she said, ‘Oh, we don’t rent to homosexual couples’”

 . . . In a phone interview with WQAD, Stewart says it is all true, and defended her right to refusal.

“I am a biblical Christian and I do not believe in homosexual marriage, that’s correct. And because marriage is a covenant that God created for man and woman, as a biblical Christian, I cannot help them into or celebrate that sin,” said Stewart.

But there is a problem with this. Stewart was the manager. She is not the owner of the hall.

Know Your LGBT History - Leonard Matlovich

It's my sad duty to report that on this day in 1988, the lgbtq community lost a warrior whose fight against injustice paved the way for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military - Leonard Matlovich.

 He was the first gay man to demand his rightful place in the military. Before anyone even thinks of saying "thank you" to President Obama for the legislation allowing us to serve openly, they should say "Thank You Leonard" several times.

And loudly:

From Michael Bedwell, Matlovich's close friend:

Six weeks after telling a rain-drenched Sacramento gay rights rally that, “Our mission is to reach out and teach people to love and not to hate,” a year after being arrested in front of the White House protesting President Reagan's virtual passive genocide, more than a decade after telling his African-American Air Force supervisor that his letter outing himself meant, “Brown v. the Board of Education,” and twenty years after surviving a land mine explosion in Vietnam, AIDS' great black wings swept Leonard's last breath away beneath a large framed photo of Martin Luther King, Jr, at approximately 9:43 pm. On one side of his bed, holding one hand, was his roommate, Joe, a nurse cousin, and myself; on the other side, holding his other hand, his heartbroken mother still trying, like so many mothers during those relentless dark days, to fathom how she had outlived her son; and his father, the stoic conservative who, before retiring after 30 years in the military himself, had stood by his then 19-yr. boy as he was sworn in. Thirteen years before this day he’d opened the morning newspaper and found out for the first time that his son was gay . . . and that he was threatening to sue the United States Air Force for discharging him. He then locked himself in his bedroom, and cried for two hours. As he looked down now at the shriveled body finally at peace, his inconsolable grief gently rested against the shoulder of his immeasurable pride.

Learn more about Leonard Matlovich here.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'NOM upset about comic book gay marriages' and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM Is Worried About The ‘Sanctity’ Of Gay Comic Book Weddings - And soon, Maggie Gallagher will be announcing a parternship with Dr. Doom and the Red Skull on the situation. Watch out Doom and Skull. NOM will turn on you. 

Marriage Equality: LGBT Religious Leaders Speak Out On The Spiritual Value Of Gay Marriage - Yet another nail in the coffin of the mindset that the lgbt and religious communities are separate entities forever at war with each other.

 Liberty Counsel/Liberty University's Matt Barber: Bestiality advocates just like gay activists - The Repulsive One, Matt Barber compares marriage equality to bestiality. (Editor's note - Okay I know The Repulsive One doesn't have the same zing as "Porno Pete," but I like the ring to it. I may use it from now on to describe Matt Barber.)

 Frenchie Davis Comes Out: 'The Voice' Singer Reveals She's Been Dating A Woman - Another celebrity comes out. My "gay ray" keeps missing Philip Seymour Hoffman. :(  

Experts Condemn Flawed Regnerus Study On Same-Sex Parenting - And I can't think of a study more deserving.  

New Lesbian Parenting Study Debunks ‘Fatherless’ Male Role Model Concerns - Now there is a much better study on the matter. 

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'Porno' Pete LaBarbera is back again with funny photos of gays

Peter LaBarbera
Rabid anti-gay spokesman and hate group leader Peter LaBarbera has partly returned to the very thing which made him infamous - snapping pictures of gays and lesbians allegedly doing "naughty things" and posting them on his webpage as proof of the so-called gay agenda to harm children and corrupt values.

He hadn't done this in a while because of much deserved derision he received from all sides of the argument over gay equality (conservative and liberal) over his tendency to attend subcultural events such as leather festivals and take pictures of gays allegedly indulging in all sorts of lurid behaviors while ignoring the heterosexuals also in attendance.

Some folks have played armchair psychiatrists in their attempts to guess his motives behind such an obsession in gays and leather. And he was given the nickname of "Porno Pete."

So apparently LaBabera pulled back from this sort of thing for a while. Now, however, he has returned with a new bent. Supposedly, he attended Philadelphia’s Gay Pride Parade and “PrideDay”festival Sunday, June 10, 2012 and observed all sorts of interesting things there.

I should tell you, however, that the pictures - saving one - are relatively tame in comparison to the stuff LaBarbera used to publish. I  mean we are talking about a man who once published a close up photo of anal warts on someone's rear in an attempt to smear the gay community. But what makes it all funny are the captions LaBarbera uses in an attempt to make the photos seem more lurid than they really are.

For example:

Sadomasochist man in a gown of sorts marches along 7th Street in Philadelphia carrying "Leather Pride" black-and-blue flag. The man to his left is carrying a "Bear Pride" flag. "Bear" is slang for heavier, hairy homosexual men.

Sounds freaky, doesn't it? But check out the photo and ask yourself, does it really match the words:

It's a man in a homemade camouflage dress and while I doubt it would be a huge hit at the Oscars, it's hardly brings up images of whips, chains, and candle wax on the nipples.

And then there is what I like to call the bait and switch photo:

LaBabera says this about TLA:

PORN BOOTH - A banner at the booth for TLA, a distributor of homosexual pornographic videos, offers a "Gay Adult DVD" in its "TLAgaypack" goodie bag for PrideDay attendees.

I don't know the truth about what LaBarbera is claiming (it's interesting that he doesn't even take a picture of the so-called goodie bag), I do know that TLA sells other things besides pornographic movies. The company also sells mainstream movies and gay themed regular movies. 

What a pity that we don't know what was actually on TLA's table during the festival because LaBarbera didn't post any pictures of that either. How convenient.

LaBarbera may have actually struck some type of gold with this next photo:

He said the following:

Go-go boys grind to the music on a float in the Philly homosexual "Pride" parade. Young children both participated in the same parade and watched it from the side streets.

A photo taken of two men dancing can reveal a lot of things, but then it can also give a pretty false image. I don't see anything wrong with it, but I find it interesting that LaBarbera was so shocked by these men dancing that he chose to post two pictures of it. I wonder just how many pictures of these two men dancing did he take?

Now I won't post the last photo because it is extremely lurid. You can see it on LaBarbera webpage (and when you see it, you will know what I'm talking about), however, based upon his description of it, the subject in question may not have been a part of the festival:

The large poster drawing of a naked man wearing a condom was visible from afar at the Penn’s Landing ‘Pride” festival. There was NO warning at this booth that it was off-limits to children, but even if there was, young children would still see this inappropriate poster.

Is it just me or is LaBarbera starting to get boring. I almost miss the old Porno Pete.

Surely there must be another leather festival somewhere.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

How much was NOM involved in creation and pushing of anti-gay parenting study?

Maggie Gallagher
A new article in The Huffington Post raises more questions regarding that recent study claiming that children in homes with gay parents have more negative outcomes than those with heterosexual parents.

The study, created by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus, has caused a lot of controversy because of questions regarding its methodology. In addition, Regnerus has said repeatedly that the study does not establish a relation between same-sex parenting and negative outcomes.

But The Huffington Post article, authored by Andy Birkey of The American Independent, not only looks at those involved in the study's creation and promoting, but also makes the claim that the study's creation and usage may have been a part of an internal plan by the anti-gay group, The National Organization for Marriage:

The use of Regnerus' study by NOM and its allies aligns closely with the organization's 2009 internal strategy documents that were released in court filings earlier this year.

NOM outlined what it called its "Expert Witness Project," an effort to "identify and nurture a worldwide community of highly credentialed intellectuals and professional scholars, physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, and writers to credential our concerns and to interrupt the silencing that takes place in the academy around gay marriage and related family issues." According to NOM, "Marriage as the union of husband and wife has deep grounding in human nature, and is supported by serious social science."

This is the same infamous internal strategy documents which got NOM into trouble because in it, the organization talked about plans of playing the African-American and gay community against one another on the subject of marriage equality.

When it comes to Regnerus's study, several other things Birkey points out should raise eyebrows as to how close those involved with NOM was also involved with funding and promoting the study:

The study was funded by the Witherspoon Institute with a grant totaling $695,000. The Witherspoon Institute is a conservative think tank founded by prominent Catholic intellectuals Luis Tellez and Robert George. George, a professor at Princeton University, also sits on the board of the Bradley Foundation, which gave Regnerus another $90,000 for the study.

Groups closely connected to the Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation touted the study last week as evidence that gay parenting poses risks for children, and that intact, opposite-sex couples make the best parents.

The National Organization for Marriage, which was co-founded by George and shares several board members with the Witherspoon Institute, devoted five blog posts to the study the week it was released.
NOM reprinted part of an article from the conservative Washington Times on the study as well as an article by NOM's other co-founder, Maggie Gallagher.

NOM blogged about an article and an editorial on the study published by the Deseret News, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. George serves on that paper's "editorial advisory board."

Then he points out how statewide groups affiliated with NOM are conveniently using the study:

Minnesota for Marriage, a group campaigning for a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, said the study showed "risks" to children of same-sex couples.

"New study suggests risks from same-sex parenting. '...empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,'" the group said on Twitter.

And on Facebook, the group wrote, "New, highly respected, rigorous study shows that 'the empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go.'"

Preserve Marriage Washington, a group working to repeal Washington's recent law making same-sex marriage legal, took to Facebook to promote the study.

"Kids are in no way better off," Protect Marriage Washington wrote. "A new study on same-sex parenting by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas was released yesterday."

On Facebook, Protect Marriage Maine -- which is opposing a ballot initiative that would legalize same-sex marriage -- posted an infographic created by the Washington Times along with a quote from Regnerus.
NOM has close ties to all three of these state groups.

Birkey also points out how Gallagher of NOM and other groups associated with the organization have pushing the study:

Gallagher has been especially active in promoting the study, writing three posts about it on the website of the conservative National Review.  She penned a column for the conservative Town Hall under the headline, "The Gay Murphy Brown Effect."

Gallagher's Culture War Victory Fund, which was incubated at the American Principles Project, a group founded by Robert George in 2009, promoted the same articles that NOM did on its blog.

Another NOM-connected group, the Love and Fidelity Network, also promoted the study.

The Love and Fidelity Network shares an office with the Witherspoon Institute. Gallagher and George, the founders of NOM, are on the Network's advisory board. Luis Tellez, who founded the Witherspoon Institute with George, is also on the advisory board of the Love and Fidelity Network.

For its part, the Witherspoon Institute wrote a lengthy analysis of Regnerus' study under the headline, "The Kids Aren't All Right: New Family Structures and the 'No Differences' Claim."

The Witherspoon Institute also launched a website featuring Regnerus' data.

Regenrus continues to say that the study's funders had nothing to do with its outcome.

We don't know the truth about that, one way or the other.

But what we do know is this:

  • In 2009, an organization dedicated to stopping marriage equality (NOM) creates a strategy which calls for the creation of "expert witnesses" and "research" to use against marriage equality. 
  • Two years later, a study comes out funded with big bucks by conservative organizations (the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation) which has NOM's founder and chairman emeritus (Robert George) on their boards.
  • NOM then pushes the study heavily through several posts on its blog and other publications (The National Review and Town Hall. It also funnels the study through several statewide and national organizations that it is connected with. One of these groups (The Love and Fidelity Network) just happens to share an office with the Witherspoon Foundation, one of the study's funders.
  • Another publication which has NOM's founder and chairman emeritus (Robert George - he is on the board of both organizations who funded the study) on its board (Deseret News) writes an article and an editorial praising the study.
  • The Witherspoon Institute - one of the study's funders  - writes a lengthy, and positive, analysis of the study and creates a webpage about it.

Regardless of what Regnerus may say, there are too many fingers in the bowl, so to speak, for folks to take his word at face value when it comes the objectivity of his study.

More questions need to asked to and definitely answered by Regnerus and those involved with NOM.

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'GoProud taken to task for dumb Romney endorsement' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Dan Savage, my friend, slurring GoProud and allowing them to play the victim for endorsing Mitt Romney is NOT how you bring your point across. THIS is how you do it:

In other news:

 BREAKING: House GOP Leaders Will Ask Supreme Court By the End of June to Take DOMA Appeal - After losing FOUR cases in court in their attempt to defend that awful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), House leaders seem to be begging the Supreme Court to put them out of their misery. 

 US State Dept Voices “Deep Concerns” About Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill - Remember that awful "Kill The Gays" bill in Uganda? It's not dead yet. 

 Shocker: Vast majority of Minn. For Marriage cash comes from Catholic conference, MFC, NOM - From the Department of No Shit, Sherlock. 

Jim Daly Claims Satan is Behind Push for Same-Sex Marriage - That very, very small bit of credibility Focus on the Family had when compared to groups like the Family Research Council just flew out of the window. 

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Religious right suffering from 'gay on the brain' when it come to the military

Is it just me or do some members of the religious right think everything is a part of a gay conspiracy?

Witness this bizarre grouping together of two different issues having absolutely nothing to do with each other:

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty says it's a sad state of affairs when the U.S. military decides Bibles are out but "gay pride" is in.

The publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention reported last week that its Bibles will no longer display the official insignia of U.S. military branches. The Pentagon had originally granted permission in 2003, but withdrew that last year because of a complaint and legal threat from anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

. . . One day after the publisher's announcement regarding military insignia on Bibles, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the military will honor the contributions of homosexual service members as part of "Gay Pride Month." Crews urges people of faith to stand firm.

"Evangelical soldiers, airmen, Marines, they're going to have to make some courageous stands right now to say to their commanders, 'Sir, I cannot participate in this type of ceremony because we believe this is a celebration of something that God's Word is clear about defining as wrong,'" he tells OneNewsNow.

According to Crews, such actions came about only because a lame-duck Congress forced the radical homosexual agenda on the military when it repealed the 1993 law banning homosexuals from serving in the armed forces.

So the removal of military insignias off of Bibles and the decision to honor gay military service members is connected because of THE CONSPIRACY by President Obama and the former Democratic-led Congress to destroy the military and thereby the United States by forcing heterosexual service members to hold ceremonies to honor gay and lesbian service members so that they are recruited in these ceremonies to a homosexual lifestyle.

Apparently the military insignias on the Bibles created a force field which made heterosexual soldiers impervious to the sly come-ons by members of the gay community, come-ons which they will receive at these Gay Pride ceremonies, which now thanks to Weinstein, they are susceptible to.

Or something like that.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Southern Baptist Convention doesn't know the meaning of the word 'irony'

Yesterday, the Southern Baptist Convention recently elected its first African-American president.

From The Washington Post:

When the Southern Baptist Convention met Tuesday, it elected its first African American president, Fred Luter Jr., a former street preacher and current pastor of a church in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.
Luter’s election marks a watershed moment for the SBC. The organization was founded in a split over slavery before the Civil War and for decades was a largely segregated, all-white denomination. It was not until 1995 that the organization adopted a resolution of racial reconciliation; it has come under scrutiny for racial insensitivity as recently as the Trayvon Martin case, when the president of its policy arm made racially charged comments about the case.

But the election of Luter will not be, at least primarily, about fixing the sins of the past. Rather, it will be about the future of an organization that has seen declining membership for five straight years. The denomination—the largest Protestant body in the United States—will need to seek new growth from urban centers and minority groups, or at the very least, maintain its size by helping struggling churches find ways to stay afloat. “I think they thought racial diversity would happen,” Ed Stetzer, the president of the SBC’s research organization, told the Associated Press. “Now they realize they have to make it happen,” he said.

I would probably applaud the SBC except for the following from The Associated Press:

 A day after electing their first African-American president, Southern Baptists were considering a resolution Wednesday opposing the idea that gay rights are the same as civil rights.

The resolution up for a vote at the denomination's annual meeting in New Orleans affirms Southern Baptists' beliefs that marriage is "the exclusive union of one man and one woman" and that "all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful."

It acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience "unique struggles" but declares that they lack the "distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections."

"It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are promoting the recognition of 'same-sex marriage' have misappropriated the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement," the resolution states.

So let me get this correct.  An organization (the Southern Baptist Convention) which started over the question of slavery - it was for it -  and was heavily segregated during the Civil Rights Movement has now its first black leader and but is also presently thinking about passing a resolution accusing gays of  misappropriating the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement; a movement started in part because folks like the people in the Southern Baptist Convention justified the treating of black people as inferiors.

The irony boggles the mind, but it does justify an old saying.

You can't put a new auto body around a crappy engine and expect it to perform.

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'GoProud sells out gay community for press coverage' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Purportedly pro-LGBT civil rights conservative org GOProud endorses Romney - No GoProud, endorsing Mitt Romney doesn't make you look edgy. It makes you look elitist, out-of-touch with your own community, and stupid. It's the equivalent of putting your head in the mouth of a hungry lion and then not expecting the lion to chomp down.  

Here you go: LGBT rights advances under President Obama that President Romney could undo - Just a reminder of how severe the bite of that lion can be. And remember that Romney did sign that National Organization for Marriage pledge.  

A Gay Couple weds at NYC's Midtown Comics Store - Go ahead. You know you want to say it - "Aw how cute!" 

 Obama is Not a Christian Because 'the Bible is Very Clear About Homosexual Acts Being a Very Evil Thing' - ONLY if they are done very early in the morning. Three a.m. is a very inhuman hour for "homosexual acts."

 Rubio: Society Shouldn’t ‘Tolerate’ Same-Sex Marriage - OH REALLLLLY! As long as society "tolerates" my tax dollars, it should (and will) tolerate my rights. 

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Family Research Council destroys study's credibility

Peter Sprigg
The anti-gay parenting study authored by the University of Texas professor Mark Rengnerus just received another kiss of death aside from condemnation from social scientists.

Apparently the Family Research Council loves it.

FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg wrote a long love letter to the study, having this to say at the conclusion:

 The myths that children of homosexual parents are "no different" from other children and suffer "no harm" from being raised by homosexual parents have been shattered forever.

Of course that statement is strange, seeing that Regnerus - for all of the faults in his work - clearly said the study does not establish a relationship between same-sex parenting and negative outcomes (see point 2 in the Equality Matters link).

Also, according to the online publication The Daily Beast emphasis added:

In his Slate essay, Regnerus preemptively defends himself against  . . . criticisms with a limited interpretation of the results. “We didn’t have as many intact lesbian and gay families as we hoped to evaluate, even though they are the face of much public deliberation about marriage equality,” he writes. The results reflect on a previous generation of gay parenting, before the legalization of gay marriage in some states, he writes. “I’m not claiming that sexual orientation is at fault here, or that I know about kids who are presently being raised by gay or lesbian parents. Their parents may be forging more stable relationships in an era that is more accepting and supportive of gay and lesbian couples.” Regnerus says his study’s political implications are unclear and are not intended to undermine the legal parental rights of anyone.

But Sprigg has an interesting way of overlooking Regnerus's caveats. This is what he says:

While the Regnerus study is a vast improvement over virtually all the prior research in the field, it still leaves much to study and learn about homosexual parents and their effect on children. Author Mark Regnerus emphasizes the traditional caveat in social science, warning against leaping to conclusions regarding "causality." In other words, just because there are statistical correlations between having a homosexual parent and experiencing negative outcomes does not automatically prove that having a homosexual parent is what caused the negative outcomes--other factors could be at work.

This is true in a strict scientific sense--but because Regnerus carefully controlled for so many other factors in the social environment, the study gives a clear indication that it is this parental characteristic which best defines the household environment that produces these troubling outcomes. The large number of significant negative outcomes in this study gives legitimate reason for concern about the consequences of "homosexual parenting."

In other words, Sprigg is saying "Hey, the study does not say that same-sex homes causes negative behaviors and I won't say that they do either, but since the large number of significant negative outcomes in this carefully controlled study come from same-sex households, by all means feel free to make that assumption."

Herein we see the futility of Regnerus's caveats. Sprigg not only pushes them aside, he does it without apology, as does several other religious right groups and websites who are already claiming that Regnerus's study proves that same-sex households are somehow dangerous towards children.

I guess they didn't read Regnerus's caveats regarding causation. Or maybe, like Sprigg, they just don't care because they now have something which they can use against the gay community, caveats be damned.

Therein lies the immediate danger of Regnerus's work. It's not about science nor the slow process of coming to the conclusion about a social issue through research. It's about the impact of shock headlines and the assumptions that people like Sprigg and organizations like FRC will invite others to make; assumptions designed to denigrate same-sex households and distort images of the gay community before anyone has a chance to delve deeper into the issue.

I seriously wonder if Regnerus knows what he has gotten himself into with this. I also would suggest that Regnerus, if he is truly to be believed about the objectivity of his study, should step in and forcefully speak against the use of it to demonize same-sex households and the lgbtq community in general.

If he speaks out, we will know where he stands regarding the assumptions the religious right is making about his work.

If he is silent then I guess that will still let us know where he stands, won't it?

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