Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bill protecting gay children from 'ex-gay' therapy signed by CA Gov Brown

This good bit of news needs only to be posted as is. It needs no further additions on my part:

On Saturday California Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) minors from "reparative" therapies administered by mental health professionals aimed at altering sexual orientation or gender identities and expressions.

Senate Bill 1172, which the National Center for Lesbian Rights notes was co-sponsored by the NCLR, Equality California, Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, and Mental Health America of Northern California, and supported by dozens of organizations, is the first law of its kind in the United States and will become effective on January 1, 2013.

"Conversion" or "reparative" therapies, which can include a wide variety of techniques from counseling to shock therapy to -- in extreme cases -- exorcism, have long been used in an attempt to "cure" individuals of their homosexual and transgender orientations and identities. However, in recent years even those who once championed the idea that someone can convert to heterosexuality have admitted that viewpoint is flawed.
In April Dr. Robert Spitzer, author of a landmark 2001 study that claimed gay people could be alleviated of their homosexuality, admitted that, "In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques [of my study] are largely correct... The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.” notes that Governor Brown said, "This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

'Slut-shaming' President Obama's mother can make you a lot of money

Dinesh D'Souza smiles because stupid people get him PAID.
This isn't necessary a gay issue, but someone needs to shout ENOUGH! 

An excellent piece in The Daily Beast has caught my eye and raised my nerves because of the following passage:

D’Souza argues that part of the reason Ann Dunham sent Obama to live with her parents in Hawaii was so she could pursue affairs with Indonesian men. “Ann’s sexual adventuring may seem a little surprising in view of the fact that she was a large woman who kept getting larger,” he writes. On the next page, he continues, “Learning about Ann’s sexual adventures in Indonesia, I realized how wrong I had been to consider Barack Obama Sr. the playboy … Ann … was the real playgirl, and despite all her reservations about power, she was using her American background and economic and social power to purchase the romantic attention of third-world men.” 

The woman in this passage is Ann Dunham, President Obama's mother.

And the man who wrote those unproven and highly ugly comments about her is Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative writer and columnist. That passage came from the most recent entity in his anti-Obama trilogy, Obama's America.

In 2010,  he wrote a nonsensical book called The Roots of Obama's Rage, which pushed the hilariously ugly theory that Obama fosters a secret hate of America. Thanks to conservative and right-wing hype, that book was a "success." This year, he published a continuation piece called Obama's America, which is a companion piece for a movie he produced called Obama 2016. Both of these entities, with more help from conservative and right-wing hype, are also successes. However they, like his original book on Obama, have been roundly condemned by mainstream media as crackpot nonsense with a phony intellectual glaze.

Now I try not to allow conservative so-and-so's like D'Souza or Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and the other assorted denizens (I want to call them worse but it would ruin the integrity of this piece) to bother me.

I don't watch them. If any of them are on my television, I turn the channel.

These folks make a living off of wingnut welfare and think tank money. Their lifeblood is funding by mysterious wealthy individuals with Napoleon complexes and more money than common sense. And their food is resentment and chaos. Every angry American is like $100 in their bank accounts.

But this is going too far. To D'Souza, it's as if Obama is a succulent piece of meat on a dinner table which he has picked clean. However failing to be satiated, D'Souza now seems to be busying himself with breaking the bones of the meat and sucking out the marrow in loud, repulsive slurps.

One has to ask who else in the Obama family will he go after while under the false veneer of "pursuing the truth?"

Of course this is Dinesh D'Souza who makes his money as an "analyst" for various right-wing think tanks such as the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institution. And he is the same man who wrote The End of Racism, a book so outrageous that it offended black conservatives because it claimed that "black culture" was inferior to "white culture," that segregation was misguided paternalism, "based on the code of the Christian and the gentleman" and intended to protect blacks, and that parts of the Civil Rights Act should be repealed.

So why should we be surprised with how low he has stooped here?

Also there is a HIGH degree of Obama Derangement Syndrome out there. The same Daily Beast article says that another film about the president, Dreams from my Real Father, not only pushes a ridiculous theory that Obama's real father was a black communist, but that his mother modeled in 1950s bondage and fetish porn.  Allegedly, millions of copies of this film is being sent out to voters in several states including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

So again, why should we be surprised when there seems to be a market out there for lurid beliefs about Obama.

It's understandable that many of us are desensitized to this stuff. In all truthfulness, these videos and D'Souza's books  probably won't have any effect on the electorate who should be used to Obama being called everything including the Anti-Christ.  At least let's hope not.

But consider this - D'Souza at the very least has been featured on legitimate news program such as CNN hawking his visual and literary firewater without any form of shame.

And all in the name of the false equivalency of supposedly presenting both sides of a "political argument."

When is the media going to dispense with this nonsense and call bullshit for what it is - bullshit. It would be nice to see D'Souza subjected to a moment not unlike the ending of the tale "The Emperor's New Clothes," when all it took was the innocence of a child to break through the pretext of nonsense which was going on.

Would it have hurt for someone with a mainstream news reputation to tell D'Souza the equivalent of the statement, "you know you are so full of shit, right?" (Editor's note - in all honesty, HBO host Bill Maher did actually do this but it really didn't resonate in the media like it would have if someone like Soledad O'Brien had done it)

I honestly feel embarrassed by asking this question but how does it feel to be members of the most powerful nation in the world and instead of discussing the pertinent issues which confront us, being forced to listen to idiots push ludicrous theories on whether or not the president's mother was either an overweight slut or a freak who engaged in fetish porn?

If you don't feel a little ashamed at this, then check your pulse because you may be dead.

EXTRA: It has been pointed out by Rational Wiki the distortion techniques used by D'Souza.
  1. D'Souza has an aggressive and rhetorical speaking and debating style, which makes him sound forceful and convincing. He uses the Gish Gallop frequently and effectively, rebuffing his opponent for not addressing every point he makes. 
  2. He frequently employs caricatures and strawmen of atheist positions. He presents these positions so as to make them sound whimsical or silly, while presenting his own statements with an air of utmost gravity, no matter how lunatic or far-fetched they may be.
  3. He is a big fan of quote mining. Not content with simply taking his opponent's statements out of context, he will take a quote about a topic completely unrelated to the one under discussion and re-frame it to make it sound as if his opponent is uninformed or delusional.
  4. A main weapon in his debating arsenal is the emotional appeal, where he paint his opponent's position as false because some of its implications may be distasteful to certain members of the audience.
  5. He enjoys painting his opponents as vicious critics of innocuous policies and events, and himself as a paragon of intellectual virtue. While not going as far as character assassination (at least not in a face-to-face debate), he does subtly attack the character of his opponent.
  6. He often says that an assertion by his opponent, or even the opponent's entire position, is invalid because it is not intuitively or obviously true. He paints this as a "common sense" argument, where he calls upon the audience to evaluate an assertion using their own intuition. In reality, this is a denial of the obvious fact that many things are counterintuitive and require expertise beyond the experience of the average person (but don't take our word for it; ask your neighbor about quantum mechanics or the economics of sub-Saharan Africa). This is a particularly effective tactic, as it shifts audience opinion to his side.
  7. Thanks to his wide repertoire of tactics, he rarely is forced to allow a point by his opponent to pass unchallenged. This projects the illusion of competence, whereas most of his rebuttals are intellectually dishonest and completely invalid.
  8. When all else fails, he will spout outright lies and half truths, pulling facts and statistics out of thin air to give his argument some credibility. This amounts to an argument from authority, which he seems to derive from his public "reputation" as a political commentator, academic and writer.
  9. Lately, he appears to carry around a sizable library of books to debates, frequently flashing them at his opponent and at the audience, while stating that they completely prove his own, or disprove his opponent's points. These are usually self published works by fringe lunatics (which are not worth the toilet paper they are printed on). This is argument from authority on steroids, since no one except him has read the book. Therefore, his opponent cannot call him out on it, and is forced to let the point go without comment.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Prayers for Bobby

For today's edition of Know Your LGBT History, I'm combining my original focus of spotlighting movies and television shows and my new focus on featuring real events from the lives of gay historical figures.

 On August 27, 1983, a 20-year-old gay man named Bobby Griffith committed suicide by jumping over an a freeway overpass in Portland, OR.

 As it turns out, four years before his death, his mother, Mary, was attempting to get him to "cure" his homosexuality through prayer.

Naturally his entire family, especially his mother, was devastated by his suicide. His death resonated with her so much that she began to question her fundamentalist Christian beliefs and realized that there was nothing wrong with him being gay.

Mary Griffith subsequently began crusading for the rights of gays and was especially vocal in getting parents to love and accept their gay children.

In 1996, the book chronicling these events, Prayers for Bobby, was published. In 2009, a motion picture of the same name premiered on Lifetime Network.

I enjoyed the motion picture and Sigourney Weaver as Mary gave an excellent performance. However, in the deepest part of my heart, I hate it when the gay community receives allies this way, i.e. a parent losing her child in order to see a basic truth  - that homosexuality is not a handicap and parental acceptance of their child's God-given sexual orientation is, more times than not, the difference between life and death.

Mary Griffith should be saluted because she transformed her loss into something which has and will continue to save the lives of countless gay children. And for that, I admire her, tremendously:



Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Why can't religious right groups stop attacking gay families?' and other Friday midday news briefs

Recently, I wrote a post on how those favoring gay equality need to step up and defend same-sex families. Two attacks on these families today illustrate my point:

 Barber: The Progressive Movement Seeks to Create an 'Androgynous America' - Matt Barber exploits a case which had nothing to do with same-sex families to attack them:


Audio: New NOM radio ad uses discredited Regnerus study to shun gay parents - NOM cites the discredited Regnerus study to attack gay parents.

In other news: 

Local victim of hate crime takes a stand - Good for her for standing up for herself!

 Jimmy Jam, Syndicated Radio Host, Apologizes After Offer To 'Change Hot Lesbians' Willing To Date Him - What a dumbass! 

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Focus on the Family video sets new standard for incoherence

To Focus on the Family or anyone else making videos to send a message, the first rule about making them is the videos HAVE TO MAKE SENSE:


I reiterate - WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peter Sprigg is further proof of the Family Research Council's 'hate group' status

Peter Sprigg
Poor Family Research Council. They just can't lay off the Southern Poverty Law Center.

FRC is still sore over being designated as a hate group by SPLC.

Personally, I like it when FRC or one the organization's phony experts attack SPLC because it gives me the opportunity to demonstrate yet again their hypocrisy.

Today, FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg attempts to get semantic about what exactly constitutes a "hate group." He published a summary of the SPLC, making sure to note how much money the organization receives and and relying on old articles or straw man arguments to attack the group.

Like this for example:

What does the SPLC consider a "hate group?"
  • Logically, a "hate group" should be defined as one whose members 1) actually say that they hate a particular group of people; and/or 2) engage in or condone violence or other illegal activity toward such a group.
  • The SPLC, however, uses much broader criteria for defining "hate groups," and criteria which can vary depending on which of fourteen categories of "hate groups" you are looking at-ranging from "Neo-Nazi" to "Black Separatist" to "Radical Traditional Catholicism." These criteria are entirely subjective and largely ideological.
  • While their rhetoric ties "hate groups" with actual "hate crimes," the SPLC acknowledges alleged "hate group" activities include constitutionally protected activities such as "marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing," and that the "hate group" designation "does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity." However, they do not distinguish between racist or violent groups and legitimate organizations that participate peacefully in the political process-tarring all with the same label.
  • As genuine "hate groups" such as the Ku Klux Klan have dwindled, the SPLC has broadened its target list in order to justify its continued existence. In recent years, whole categories and new groups have been added not because of actual "hate" activities, but because they hold conservative positions on controversial political issues such as immigration and homosexuality.

Basically, Sprigg's gist is that SPLC is simply "creating" new hate groups because the organization is in need of money. If you look at Sprigg's piece, you will notice that he doesn't even address the reasons why SPLC considers FRC a hate group except for this one line - In recent years, whole categories and new groups have been added not because of actual "hate" activities, but because they hold conservative positions on controversial political issues such as immigration  and homosexuality.

I continue to be amazed by the absolute dishonesty of Sprigg and FRC. The following is what SPLC head Richard Cohen recently said:

Contrary to what the FRC has repeatedly claimed, we do not list the FRC as a hate group because of its opposition to gay marriage or because of its religious beliefs. Instead, we list the FRC because it engages in baseless, incendiary name-calling and spreads demonizing lies about the LGBT community. The FRC portrays gay people as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. It insists that gay people are “fundamentally incapable” of providing good homes for children – a myth that has been rejected by all relevant scientific authorities.

Sprigg seems to be implying that since FRC is not advocating for violence against gays, then the organization is not a hate group. However, Cohen makes an excellent point.  The organization creates an image of gays as dangerous, diseased individuals who are out to "corrupt" children or destroy America.  And the organization does this via bad science, distorted science, and out-and-out lies.

And ironically, the proof of this is none other than Sprigg himself.

'Religious right spokesman caught telling a HUGE lie about Romney rally' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Exclusive: Conservs (like Matt Barber) trying to pass off Obama '08 rally as a Romney '12 event - Looks like Matt Barber has been caught RED-HANDED lying about the size of Romney's rally. (so much about the Biblical verses regarding truth). Good job, Goodasyou

 An Obama rally from 2008 (photo courtesy of Wonkette/Getty Photos)


And what how religious right spokesman Matt Barber distorted this photo today:


Minnesota Vikings’ Chris Kluwe Attacked As Pedophile For Supporting LGBT Equality - Hot mess number one:


Fischer: Thanks to DADT Repeal, We Can 'Expect to See More Instances of Pedophilia' in the Military - Hot mess number two. Actually that's not true. I keep telling folks not to get so angry at Bryan Fischer that we don't recognize what good he does our side. He is so outrageously homophobic that he undercuts the "sweet and light" message of bigotry propagated by folks like Maggie Gallagher. In other words, put this fool on center stage with a HUGE spotlight: 

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Gay community MUST do more to promote our families

In our pursuit of equality, the gay community must do more for same-sex families. This point was driven home to me by an excellent piece by GLAAD.

The subject of the piece was that while T.V. shows featuring same-sex families like Modern Family are raking in awards and accolades, actual same-sex families face a barrage of negativity from the religious right.

A vivid portion of the piece was when Jeremy Hooper, the post's author, detailed various comments made about same-sex families:

Here are just a sampling of things that prominent GLAAD CAP figures from groups like the National Organization For Marriage and the American Family Association have recently said about parents like Mitchell and Cameron:
Compared children losing their parents on 9/11 to children with gay parents: "Our President gave a speech a few days ago in which he said, ‘the tragedy of 9/11 was that it robbed so many children of having a mommy or a daddy.' Well, you know something Mr. President, your failure to defend marriage and to redefine marriage means that everybody who is under that redefined marriage will lack either a mommy or a daddy and that is morally wrong.”
Jim Garlow [CAP]
- Claims that children with gay parents will end up “behind bars for committing violent crimes.” (0:00 - 0:56)
Mat Staver [CAP]
- Says gay couples who adopt “turn children into little teacup dogs -- it's an accessory to put in my purse" (see video from 4:35-5:16)
Chris Plante [CAP]
- Leant credence to a widely discredted study suggesting gay parents are not ideal: "What we should avoid at all costs is silencing such research and such discussion because it is seen by some as politically incorrect. Where optimizing the well-being of children is involved, no stone should be left unturned." 
- Claimed lesbian parents need to be studied to see if they "turned" their child transgender: "We have two women raising a child. He's adopted. And he's come to believe that he too is female. That argues for a complete psychological evaluation, not just of the boy, but of his parents as well to see whether psychological forces are at play here to make him say such things" 
Keith Albow [CAP]
- Said two loving gay parents add no value to parenting: "But the fatherhood ‘effect’ is not cumulative - two daddies are not better than one
Jim Daly [CAP]
- Referring to President Obama’s Father’s Day recognition of gay parents: “[H]ere we have the leader of our nation and the Democrat [sic] Party celebrating sexual behavior which is contrary to nature and pushing a household structure that we know is harmful to children ... [O]ur President is so committed to normalizing homosexual conduct that he is putting the twisted sexual desires of adults ahead of the needs of children.”
Tim Wildmon [CAP]
- “That lifestyle [homosexuality] is outside of God’s design for the family.” (0:23-0:28)
Bob Vander Plaats [CAP]
- On multiple occasions, called for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households
- Claims "allowing gay adoption is a form of sexual abuse
Bryan Fischer [CAP]
- Warned: “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s God.” (1:24-1:28)
Bill Donohue [CAP]

 So what do we do to combat this mess? Simple. By not putting up with it. By loudly and without apology declaring offense when comments like the above are made, even if those making them play the "deeply held religious belief" card.

And even before comments like the above are made, the gay community must not allow folks like Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, and others to own the idea of "family."  We all know that when these individuals talk about family love and support, they are talking about only the heterosexual (and usually married man and wife) model.

Reality tells us that families come in all numbers and are brought together due to a multitude of circumstances. Families are not determined by the number of designated models in it, but by the love and support it gives out.

Our families are as loving and supportive as any other family unit and it's time that we let people know it.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catholic bishop - Voting for the Democratic Party could endanger your eternal salvation

While it is not my aim to offend anyone of the Catholic faith, I simply have to ask what's up with the Bishops?

Not only have they declared war on marriage equality, but recent incidents show that they have declared war not only on the Democratic Party but gay equality in general.

From Right-Wing Watch comes this unbelievable clip of Thomas John Paprocki, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, IL. In it, he implies that voting for the Democratic Party could endanger one's soul:


There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding "political" and didn't say anything about the morality of these issues. People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party's official "unequivocal" support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.

 . . . Certainly there are "pro-choice" Republicans who support abortion rights and "Log Cabin Republicans" who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party. Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

 And Paprocki is not the only bishop raising eyebrows.

Last month, Washington State officials had to warn Bishop Joseph Tyson not to proceed with his plan of raising money for an anti-marriage equality referendum in that state. According to Reuters, Tyson had sent a letter to  area pastors asking them to distribute donation envelopes to parishioners during the weekend of September 8-9. The money was supposed to go to Preserve Marriage Washington, the campaign to defeat legalization of same-sex marriage on the state's November ballot.

According to Think Progress, Omaha, Nebraska Archbishop George Lucas is asking all priests in his diocese to speak on behalf of an effort to repeal recently passed sexual orientation non-discrimination law.

Think Progress also points out that in New Jersey:

 . . .a Newark Archbishop recently sent a pastoral letter to implore over 1 million Catholics in his New Jersey parish to stop supporting same-sex marriage. In fact, Archbishop John Myers even went so far as to suggest that any Catholics who support same-sex marriage, regardless of their own sexual orientation, should refrain from taking communion at Catholic mass because they are “unable to assent to or live the Church’s teaching in these matters.”

Lastly, according to the San Diego Lesbian and Gay News:

 Minnesota’s 400,000 Roman Catholic households are scheduled to receive a letter this week from all of the state’s bishops, urging them to donate money for television ads asking voters to say yes to a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. John Green, a political science professor at the University of Akron (Ohio), said that the mailing is “unusual” compared to Catholics’ roles in marriage amendment campaigns in other states. “I can’t think of anything as direct and as explicit,” Green said. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it legally, but certainly I’m sure it’s very controversial. Catholic leaders have been involved in fundraising. I know of examples where they have reached out to parishioners, but I’ve never heard of anything quite this comprehensive,” he added. 

These incidents should make us all extremely uncomfortable as to the power Catholic bishops seem to be flexing. No doubt, they plead victimhood and claim that they are merely protecting "traditional values" and "religious liberty."

However, to me the entire thing stinks of an abuse of power.

There is an old saying about "paying the piper," and I have a feeling that a while from now, the tune the piper will be playing for these Roman Catholic Bishops will be titled Internal Backlash.

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'Anti-gay group sued for theft of gay couple's photo' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Cultivating the deranged vote: a look at a survey question from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom coalition- What I don't get is that if this is a Christian group, then why does it stoop to such a nasty level. When did Jesus say "do unto others before they do it to you?"

 Brian Edwards And Tom Privitere, NJ Gay Couple, To Sue Over Anti-Gay Political Attack Mailer - Homophobic group steals picture from gay couple and gets sued. I hope the group loses.

 Collusion and Corruption of the New Family Structures Study by Dr. Mark Regnerus- Lengthy but necessary break down of that recent discredited study on gay families.

 Ron Crews Calls Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell a 'Grave' and Ominous 'Threat to Freedom' - A claim which is a lie but when do religious right groups and their spokespeople worry about being truthful? 

  General Mills defends gay marriage stance - General Mills is standing firm against anti-marriage equality groups. Good. 

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Documentary focuses on the relationship between gays and the Church

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ad - Obama will force doctors to allow gays to 'buy' babies

We are officially in the silly season of the 2012 election as evidenced by this ad which, according to the Huffington Post, ran in a number of newspapers on Sunday, including The Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

All of these claims are false, but I especially get a kick out of the claim that Obama will "force doctors to assist homosexuals in buying surrogate babies."

Not only does it dehumanize us, but it makes us look like we are treating babies like turkeys in a Thanksgiving dinner.

The ad is run by an organization called

From its webpage, GINGPAC stands for Government is Not God and it claims to be a political action committee for social conservatives. Its chairman is William J. Murray. Supposedly Murray is the son of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the late atheist whose lawsuit in front of the Supreme Court led to the eradication of required prayer in public schools.

But that's not the most interesting thing I found out about Murray. Apparently GINGPAC is only one of the organization he leads. There is also the Religious Freedom Coalition and We The People Nation. All three groups claim that their desires are to bring America back to its supposed "Judeo-Christian" heritage.

Murray asks for "contributions" through GINGPAC and the Religious Freedom Coalition (surprise, surprise!) In addition, he also has a youtube channel.

So what we are talking about here is a one-man operation causing all sorts of chaos in the name of God.

And I thought the Catholic League and William Donohue was bad.

But to be fair, I don't think Donohue ever made a move to physically assault someone. In spite of all Murray says about "Godly values," he has a good left hook as this video from last year demonstrates:

The Tampa Bay Times contains a full list of the newspapers where Murray's ad ran. Also, according to the Times, some people are highly angry at the ad, so angry in fact that they intend to protest.

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'DUI Archbishop wants to deny gays the Holy Communion' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

In San Francisco, Prop. 8 backer to head Catholic Church - And Salvatore Cordileone - archbishop in question - has already declared that "Gays and lesbians who are in sexual relationships of any kind . . .  should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion." The grand irony is that he is the SAME GUY who was arrested in August for drunk driving. Maybe HE should refrain from taking the Holy Communion.

 Iowa Newspapers Condemn Politicized Campaign To Oust Supreme Court Justice - This campaign by religious right groups is designed to oust judges, not for any type of corruption, but for handing down decisions which these groups don't agree with. Such a thing is a slap in the face to our republic.

  In which ActRight and Preserve Marriage Washington feign disinterested party status - those interested in the hidden finances of NOM and where these monies go, have at it.  

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: ‘Homosexuality Ceases Procreation’ - Is he for real? Famine, flood, or tornado couldn't stop anyone from "procreating" or at least trying. 

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Fringe 'black leader' attacks Obama, Democratic Party

E.W. Jackson
Batten down the hatches. We have another wannabe black leader urging African-Americans to leave the Democratic Party.

Not vote for Romney, mind you, but leave the party period.

Bishop E.W. Jackson of S.T.A.N.D. (Staying True To America's National Destiny) has launched a project called "Exodus Now," which calls for a "mass exodus of Christians from the Democrat Part."

"We believe that the Democrat Party has shown itself to be anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-family, anti-life and anti-God, and it's time for Christians to come out," Jackson explains. "We are focusing particularly -- not exclusively, but particularly -- on black Christians who in our view have been held captive by the Democrat Party with a tissue of lies."

While S.T.A.N.D. is encouraging people to vote their conscience, the group's founder asserts, "We have stayed away from either endorsing Mitt Romney or saying that this is a call to vote against President Obama and make it personal. But I will say this," Jackson adds. "We're calling people to come out of the Democrat Party and not support candidates who represent its values and the rebellion that it represents against God. That certainly would include President Barack Obama."

Bishop Jackson notes that the Democrat Party has "manipulated, deceived and misled the black community" for a long time, and it's time "to awaken them that they are being used in a power game by Democrats who could care less about the black community, only care about staying in power, and they will use the black community for as long as they will allow them to use them."

You say you have never heard of E.W. Jackson? Good. Then count yourself lucky. For one thing, he is a failed candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia (losing in the primary to George Allen) and  has been apparently "waging public war" with the Democrat Party since 2010 when he started his organization, S.T.A.N.D.

And like all members of the religious right, Jackson has been extremely homophobic in his rhetoric.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bishop Harry Jackson performs excellent 'tap dancing' for religious right

From my online blogging friend Jeremy Hooper, I grabbed the following:

You will notice that one of the special guests of this laughable summit will be Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition. I've written about Jackson many times recently because I think it's safe to say that Jackson has replaced the Coalition of African-American Pastors as the wedge in which the religious right's attempt to sabotage President Obama's African-American support.

At first, CAAP seemed to have been getting a lot of attention until it was discovered that it was receiving monies from religious right groups and also its leader, William Owens, may have misled folks with regards to his alleged participation in the civil rights movement. It seems to me that the group thought it was best to perform soft-shoe dance into the background.

Bishop Harry Jackson
And in it place has come Bishop Jackson, a long time black face in the religious right. He is practically present at almost every major religious right event since he first came on the scene in 2004 while spewing all sorts of hateful nonsense about the gay community from accusing them of "recruiting children" to claiming that gays are bringing Hitler's time to America.

 According to People for the American Way in its report, Harry Jackson: Point Man for the Wedge Strategy :

 His media profile, and his embrace by Religious Right leaders and right-wing politicians have led to his being anointed a “conservative Christian A-lister” by Beliefnet’s Dan Gilgoff and “one of the 50 most influential Christians in America”  by the Church Report.   In 2005, then-President of the National Association of Evangelicals Ted Haggard said of Jackson, “He’s building a bridge between white evangelicalism and African American evangelicalism that we haven’t had in 20 years.”

 . . . Jackson’s profile has been boosted significantly by his alliance with Religious Right leaders James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Lou Sheldon.  They’ve invited him into insider leadership circles like the Arlington Group.   They’ve made him a regular speaker at Religious Right events, where he builds his public profile and raises money from white evangelicals.  At a Values Voter Summit he told white evangelicals something they don’t hear very often – the notion that racism is a continuing reality in America and it’s their responsibility to do something about it.   He told the whites in the room that the olive branch of peace has to be put forward by white churches: “If you don’t do it, the blacks aren’t coming.”

Jackson is also on the board of The Call, an organization that mobilizes evangelical youth and which waded deeply into politics last year with a national rally on the National Mall and a pro-Prop. 8 stadium rally in California.  He told journalist Michelangeo Signorile last fall that he serves on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals.  He was among the participants at a three-day conference  “commemorating the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown as evidence of America’s heritage as a ‘Christian nation.’”

As we get closer to the election, Jackson is taking a larger public role.  People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch has counted at least over five times this month and the last in which Jackson has given speeches or written columns on the need for the black community to escape the "so-called" Democrat plantation or stand hard against marriage equality.

Does Jackson do it because of his religious beliefs? Maybe. But one thing is clear, he is getting paid nicely.

According to Mother Jones magazine, Jackson has received $20,000 from the National Organization for Marriage’s “education fund” for his efforts to exploit the opinions of those in the black community who do not agree with marriage equality.

In addition, in 2010, Jackson attempted to get a measure on the ballot opposing marriage equality in D.C. In pursuit of that  effort, he led the group Stand for Marriage DC.  According to documents attained by Mother Jones magazine, NOM gave $60,000 for that effort.

Mother Jones also points out that this was a NOM effort all the way:

As the head of the political action committee Stand4MarriageDC, Jackson was meant to be the voice of local opposition (he had a condo in the city). NOM's fingerprints, however, were obvious: The two groups shared an address; NOM gave Stand4MarriageDC direct financial support; and Brian Brown, NOM's executive director, was its treasurer. The measure passed, and NOM then spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to unseat councilmembers who supported the bill, without success.

Apart from NOM, Jackson also has tried to raise money in other ways. In July of this year, he sent out a request asking for donations for a vague project against marriage equality. He had hoped to raise $1.5 million:

According to People for the American Way, he may have another reason for his participation in religious right endeavors - the need for political power:

Jackson, the pastor of a congregation in Maryland, has been ushered into the Religious Right’s inner circle since he announced in 2004 that God had told him to work for the reelection of George W. Bush.  Since then, Jackson has become somewhat of an all-purpose activist and pundit for right-wing causes – everything from judicial nominations to immigration and oil drilling -- but his top priorities mirror those of the Religious Right: he’s fervently anti-abortion and dead-set against gay equality.  And he has enthusiastically adopted the Right’s favorite propaganda tactic: he routinely portrays liberals, especially gay-rights activists, as enemies of faith, family, and religious liberty.

Jackson has big ambitions.  He sees himself as a game changer in the culture war, someone who can help conservative Christians “take the land” by bringing about a political alliance between white and black evangelicals.  Religious Right leaders see him that way, too, which is why they’ve helped Jackson build his public profile. 

Because of this, the report says, Jackson has towed the religious right and conservative line on other issues including immigration, health care, energy and the environment, and falsely claiming that abortion is leading to genocide in the black community.

And Jackson has been successful because he knowingly exploits his ethnicity:

Jackson has become popular with the media, not only because he is a smooth performer, but also because a black pastor and self-described “registered Democrat” is viewed as a desirably atypical right-wing spokesperson.   Jackson understands this dynamic, telling an interviewer on Daystar Christian television that it “takes blacks like myself to speak up.”  Jackson bragged that when he got a group of African American pastors to hold a press conference (falsely) attacking a federal hate crimes bill as a threat to religious liberty, he got media coverage that traditional Religious Right groups had been unable to generate. 

Jackson may be successful and popular in the religious right, but he has faced somewhat of a backlash. In April of this year, he complained that there have been ministers who would not work with him supposedly because they were jealous of his success and "were resentful that he has God's favor."

Perhaps these ministers see Jackson the same way I do.

Bishop Harry Jackson constantly reminds me of the only African-American I would see when watching "The Lawrence Welk Show" as a child. And that black man was always performing a tap dance number.


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'Did Rick Perry threaten to sue to clamp down on gay rumors' and other Monday midday news briefs

Report: Rick Perry Aides Battled Gay Rumor With Lawsuit Threat - Now I ain't one to gossip but (dodges a big bolt of lightning) but this is an interesting story.  

Jesse Ventura: MN marriage ban is 'most flagrant discrimination you've ever seen - I always did like Jesse Ventura, even when he was a bad guy in pro-wrestling.  

Washington Archbishop Claims ‘Human Society Would Be Harmed Beyond Repair’ By Marriage Equality - I personally think sexual abuse of children would be a bigger problem for human society, but far be it from me to be "implying" anything.  

NJ Defender of Ex-Gay Therapy Can’t Even Provide One Client As Evidence Of Success - Surprising who? 

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There was a LOT of anti-gay hate in May

Submitted for your perusal, a little bit of the anti-gay speech stuff which occurred in May 2012. Please don't think that I am reflecting on the negative. In my defense,  my lgbt brothers and sisters have a nasty habit of forgetting important matters.

My attempts to get you to remember that all of this stuff happened in May 2012 is not meant to get you frustrated or just anger. It's intended to motivate you to do something positive with your anger.

Remember, this is an election year:

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ann Coulter wants to choose who gets civil rights

Ann Coulter is has just written a book on racial issues. Yes THAT Ann Coulter.

Now knowing the Ann Coulter formula - which has reaped a lot of success for her, this is what is going to happen:

1. Her book will be filled with nonsense and ad hominem attacks

2. In promoting the book, she will say some absolutely shocking and outrageous things

3. Coulter will then exploit the controversy to sell more books while whining about how she is merely trying to press a point of view. She will also whine about being "silenced" by liberals.

I'm here to report that we are now at point two, as evidenced by today on the ABC news program "This Week." Coulter gives her view on just what is civil rights and who deserves civil rights: Ann Coulter tires me out. She is a fraud who likes to be provocative to make money but when all of the controversy and insanity dissipates, she really isn't saying anything thought-provoking or intelligent. Or better yet, my feeling about Ann Coulter is shared by this snippet from the episode of the Adult Swim program, "The Boondocks" (Editor's note - The following clip is NOT safe for work):

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Racism and homophobia - different sides of the same coin

1938 - U.S. Senator (and former Governor of Mississippi) Theodore Bilbo speaking against the Costigan-Walker anti-lynching bill.  The Costigan-Walker anti-lynching bill would have outlawed mob violence against African-Americans
"If you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate."

2011 - Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council speaking against the Obama Administration's support of the "It Gets Better" campaign. The "It Gets Better" campaign was created to combat the prevalence of suicide amongst lgbt children:
"The videos are titled “It Gets Better.” They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for “coming out” as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. . . It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that “lifestyle.”

No other comments on my part are necessary.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Roy Cohn

Roy Cohn is proof that not every figure in gay history is a good one. He was a powerful gay man associated with the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy. He was also one of the most powerful lawyers of his time. But if you did a poll, he would be near the top of the list of one of the most hated people by the gay community:

Roy Marcus Cohn was born in New York City on 20th February, 1927. His father, Albert Cohn, was a New York State judge and an important figure in the Democratic Party. After being educated at the best private school in Manhattan, he entered Columbia Law School. Admitted to the bar at twenty-one, he used his connections to become a Assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. He played a prominent role in the trial of eleven leaders of the American Communist Party and in the prosecution of Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg in 1951.

 In 1952 Joseph McCarthy appointed Roy Cohn as the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Cohn had been recommended by Edgar Hoover, who had been impressed by his involvement in the prosecution of the Rosenburgs. Soon after Cohn was appointed, he recruited his best friend, David Schine, to become his chief consultant. For some time opponents of McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual relationships. Rumours began to circulate that Cohn and David Schine were having a sexual relationship. Although well-known by political journalists, it did not become public until Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vegas Sun in 25th October, 1952. Joseph McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home. In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military.

Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realised that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities. The United States Army retaliated by passing information about Joseph McCarthy to journalists known to be opposed to him. This included the news that Cohn had abused congressional privilege by trying to prevent David Schine from being drafted. When that failed, it was claimed that Cohn tried to pressurize the Army to grant Schine special privileges. The well-known newspaper columnist, Drew Pearson, published the story on 15th December, 1953. The televised hearings of the Senate hearings exposed the tactics of Cohn and Joseph McCarthy. Leading politicians in both parties, had been embarrassed by McCarthy's performance and on 2nd December, 1954, a censure motion condemned his conduct by 67 votes to 22.

'Gays, African-Americans unite to fight for marriage equality' and other Friday midday news briefs

Maryland Marriage Equality Vote Brings Together LGBT, Black Civil Rights Groups - Lgbt groups, African-American civil rights groups, and Black clergy are uniting in Maryland for marriage equality. I certainly hope we win this particular fight, but regardless, you have to admit that this is a BFD (thanks Vice President Biden).  

Paris Hilton Apologizes For Homophobic Comments About Gay Men And AIDS - Since I posted about this yesterday, I should post this follow up. It's been said that when you forgive someone, sometimes it's less about not just about their sincerity, but the strength of your heart.  

E.W. Jackson: Blacks are Selling Themselves into Slavery By Supporting the Democratic Party - I feel safe in speaking for a vast majority of African-Americans when I ask, "just who is this fool?"

 On This DADT Repeal Anniversary, Let’s Not Forget The T - An excellent point about the DADT repeal. 

General Mills' Profits Rise Despite Boycott Over Gay Marriage - NOM's General Mills boycott is failing hard. 

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Family Research Council should admit lies about DADT repeal

Tony Perkins
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the DADT repeal and I was VERY disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I was happy about the anniversary and reading the articles about how gays and lesbians can now openly serve in the Armed Forces. And I loved the pictures that came with it.

But the bitch in me needed to be fed.

I can remember when the repeal was about to happen, many folks in the religious right were up in arms about it. The Family Research Council, in particular, were making all sorts of dire predictions. From reading what was said by Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, and company, one got the impression that repealing DADT would be THE THING which would cause Gabriel to blow his trumpet and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to streak across the skies.

Now that the repeal has been in place for a full year, the gay community seems to be so wrapped up in celebration that it allows Perkins, Sprigg, and company to walk away while nonchalantly whistling a tune with their hands in their pockets.

Peter Sprigg
But not so fast. Thanks to Equality Matters and the Palm Center, there is a list of the top five horror stories spun by the Family Research Council about the repeal of DADT which did not come true.

Allow me to summarize the list.

FRC: Repeal Will Increase The Rate of Sexual Assault

Palm Center Report: Experts “All Concur That Repeal Has Not Led To Any Increase In Assaults.” According to the Palm Center’s report:

[A] comparison of pre- and post-repeal Military Times surveys suggests that the rate of male-male sexual assault did not increase after DADT repeal went into effect. In response to a July/August 2011 pre-repeal Military Times survey, 1.4% of male respondents said that they had been a victim of sexual assault while in the military, compared to 1.1% of male service members who indicated on a January 2012 post-repeal survey that they had been victimized. The pre-repeal percent of men who reported having been sexually assaulted during their military service, in other words, was roughly equivalent to the post-repeal rate. These data call into question any assertion that repeal has led to an increase in assaults.

FRC: Repeal Will Undermine Servicemember Morale

Palm Center Report: No Apparent “Measurable Consequences” As A Result Of Morale Change. According to the Palm Center’s report:
The new policy of open service produced a decrease in morale for a small minority of service members, and enhanced the morale of an even smaller minority. Yet few of those troops who experienced a decline in morale appear to have suffered any measurable consequences. This should come as no surprise, as the extensive scholarly literature on the determinants of military morale does not mention the presence or absence of LGB colleagues. [Palm Center, “One Year Out,” September 2012]
FRC: Repeal Will Undermine Recruitment And Retention

Palm Center Report: “DADT Repeal Has Not Had Any Measurable Impact On Recruitment Or Retention.” According to the Palm Center’s report:
As discussed, a minority of service members reports that DADT repeal has influenced their likelihood of remaining in the military, with some indicating that repeal has made them less likely to re-enlist and others suggesting that they are more likely to remain. What the preponderance of evidence shows, however, is that DADT repeal has not had any measurable impact on recruitment or retention, even among chaplains.  It is certainly true that the weak domestic economy and disengagement from two wars have made recruitment and retention easier. But in an era when enlistment standards have tightened, service members were just as likely to say that they plan to re-enlist  after DADT repeal  as  was the case pre-repeal. [Palm Center, “One Year Out,” September 2012, emphasis added]
FRC: Repeal Will Undermine Unit Cohesion

 Palm Center Report: “Cohesion Did Not Decline” After DADT Repeal. According to the Palm Center’s report:
Even in those units that included openly LGB service members, and that consequently should have been the most likely to experience a drop in cohesion as a result of repeal, cohesion did not decline after the new policy of open service was put into place. In fact, greater openness and honesty resulting from repeal seem to have promoted increased understanding, respect and acceptance. [Palm Center, “One Year Out,” September 2012]
FRC: Repeal Will Undermine Religious Freedom For Military Chaplains

Palm Center Report: DADT Repeal Has Had “No Measurable Impact” On Chaplain Retention. According to the Palm Center’s report:
Even among chaplains, the evidence suggests that DADT repeal has had no measurable impact on retention. Chaplains were thought to be among those most likely to leave the military after DADT repeal, in part because  contracts allow them to resign more quickly than other military members, and many threatened to resign if LGB troops were allowed to serve openly. Such concerns, however, have proven to be unwarranted. Lieutenant Colonel Lisa H. Tice, a chaplain who serves in the personnel, budget and readiness division of the Air Force Office of the Chief of Chaplains, told us that no Air Force chaplains left the military as a result of DADT repeal. Navy Chaplain Capt. John H. Lea III reported that one Navy chaplain separated because of repeal. Lieutenant Colonel Carleton Birch, a spokesman for the Army Chief of Chaplains, said that in March 2011, one Army chaplain left the military over the pending repeal of DADT. But when we called the Army Chief of Chaplains office in June 2012, a spokesperson told us that, “We’ve had nobody else leave for that stated reason in the Army out of the 3,000 or so full-time and part-time chaplains” and that no endorsing denominations had withdrawn their endorsements as a result of DADT repeal. [Palm Center, “One Year Out,” September 2012]

Claiming that gay equality will lead to chaos is a hallmark of religious right deception. You will remember that FRC and other religious right groups claimed that lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation would lead to pastors being arrested for simply saying that homosexuality is a sin.

That claim has yet to become reality.

So the way I see it, the religious right is 0 for 2 in claiming that the passage of gay rights initiatives will cause harm.

Unfortunately, the gay community is also 0 for 2 in pushing the issue. While we celebrate our steps to full equality - however tiny they may be - there is nothing wrong with noting that the groups and people who are against us attaining full equality are wrong when they claim that we are somehow the doorways to destruction of American society.

In cases like hate crimes legislation and the DADT repeal, rubbing the religious right's collective face in the fact that they were wrong is not a sign of bad manners, but something which should be embraced as a necessary tactic.

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