Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ten-year-old with two gay dads writes President Obama a poignant letter

The following letter, written to President Obama from 10-year-old Sophia Bailey Klugh highlights the simple fact that often times when we talk about allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry under law, we aren't talking solely about the couples protecting each other. We are also talking about protecting their children:

See this Huffington Post article by Jamie McGonnigal, founder of, for the full story behind this poignant letter.

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'Log Cabin Republican face internal firestorm after Romney endorsement' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Log Cabin Republicans' Mitt Romney Endorsement Prompts Los Angeles Couple To End Membership - I'm glad to see that someone in the Log Cabin Republicans have a sense of integrity.  

Biden Calls Transgender Discrimination “Civil Rights Issue of Our Time” - And he makes a good point, too. 

 Opponent’s Facebook Scam: Sudden Spikes in “Like” Numbers, International “Favorite Cities” Suggest False, Inflated Fan Base - Looks like the opponents of marriage equality in Washington state are running a scam.  

Focus on the Family to America: We will never stop pushing junk science as gay 'cure'; our newer, softer image is all a ruse - Apparently Focus on the Family is heavily pushing the fraudulent "ex-gay" therapy. 

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Mike Huckabee is a psychologically bloated SOB . . .

HUCKABEE: Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable: The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the Church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life. Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? This is Mike Huckabee asking you to join me November 6th and vote based on values that will stand the test of fire.

Because of this video by Mike Huckabee, I can safely say that this election has pushed Christianity back so far, I am surprised I don't have soldiers from the pre-Elizabethan period of English history knocking on my door talking about "the true faith" and arresting me for "heresy."

And it's also where I want to get off of the world. Forget "stopping the world," I will just jump off and take my chances of landing on my feet.

What the hell is going on here?

How many folks have implied thus far that if we don't vote the way they want, we are going to hell or our immortal soul is in danger? Who in the hell gave them secret clues?

 Or in this case, what does Mike Huckabee know about souls? Who appointed him? Couldn't God find someone who seems less self-righteous and hypocritical? Better yet, who is he to imply about "persecution?"

Let me put in a less kinder, gentler way.

Mike Huckabee is a psychologically bloated SOB who emphasizes what's wrong with Christianity in this country. What's a man with a six-figure salary, his own television and radio show, expensive suits, and more than one house know about persecution of any type?

And to solely put Huckabee in this category would be wrong. You could say the same about the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins or the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer. 

You could say the same about any religious right figure with a convenient six-figure salary and an expensive suit you see on television, hear on the radio, or who crawls out of the warm swamps of self-righteousness in order to exploit anecdotal incidents to fool the evangelical masses that their "religious liberties" are in danger or that "pagans" (and of course that includes gay folks) are taking their country away from them. The country that God gave them as Christians.

How do we know that this last part is true? Why because Christian historian David Barton has verified it. Who cares how many times he has been discredited or refuted.

It would almost be humorous to sit back and analyze how Huckabee and company have padded their own egos and salaries feeding on the fears of Christians with visions of false entitlement.

But for those of us who don't share their beliefs and are the victims of their lies while observing how they travel in media circles of power, it's not humorous at all.

It's downright infuriating. And for those who consider themselves as Christians, it should be downright embarrassing.

It's all a lie. A con-game. A 21-century version of televangelism at its worse recreated for an audience smart enough to work the internet but dumb enough to not realize that they are being played like a harp.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'Gays = Cannibals?' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Mark Regnerus Admits His ‘Family Structures’ Study Wasn’t About Gay Parenting - So he finally admits it!

 Linda Harvey Compares Homosexuality to Cannibalism - To answer questions, we monitor crazy mess like this to give it a pushback in front of the young lgbts who are watching and need someone to call bullshit for what it is. And trust me when I say, that our lgbt children ARE watching.

 Nearly 3,000 schools expected to participate today in Mix It Up at Lunch Day - In other words, the American Family Association's attempt at disrupting this event is failing.  

Milestones in LGBT Parenting History - An awesome graphic which needs to be saved and passed out.

 WA: Knights of Columbus chip in another $50K; top 6 donations from two out-of-state Catholic groups - One would think that the Washington State Knights of Columbus would use their money for more important purposes. 

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'Ex-gay' group wants pro-gay information removed from CDC website

Editor's note - Let's continue to pray and do what we can for those caught in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

An "ex-gay" group, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), has written a letter to President Obama demanding that the Centers for Disease Control stop linking to sites providing positive information about being gay, such as gay/straight alliances.

However, the organization doesn't necessarily say it like that. PFOX makes it seem as if these organizations are attacking organizations, like PFOX, and individuals who embrace the supposed "ex-gay" therapy:

On behalf of the Christian ministry Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), the United States Justice Foundation submitted a letter [PDF] to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), calling for President Barack Obama's administration to put an end to its promotion of websites attacking Christian ministries that reach out to individuals departing from homosexual lifestyles.

The Christian group challenges the CDC's denigration of those who are not on board with the homosexual agenda, noting how the Obama administration backs organizations and publications with websites bashing biblical worldviews.

"The website also contains links to anti-heterosexual publications and organizations, such as PFLAG [Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays], which openly denigrates former homosexuals, and the infamous ex-gay publication Just the Facts, which advocates against Christian anti-gay ministries and lists only those religious organizations that affirm homosexual behavior," the U.S. Justice Foundation's letter reads before posing a critical question. "Why is the federal government spreading intolerance against the ex-gay community and Christians who support the religious testimony of former homosexuals?"

One of the links provided by the CDC -- titled "Empowering youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools" -- states that the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Network helps GSA clubs become activist clubs that can "educate teachers and students to improve the school climate" (according to its own standards and regardless of parental objections). Such sites "warn" against counseling that helps students deal with their unwanted same-sex attractions

First of all, "ex-gay" therapy has been declared ineffective and dangerous by several medical organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Secondly, it would seem that PFOX is desperate for attention, which is of course why this letter was written and publicized. Or to put it in the words of a comment left on the article about PFOX:
I checked the CDC site, as well as the sites of the links provided. I found information on those sites which references scientific studies which have proven the ineffectiveness of reparative therapy as well as the harm that can result from such therapy. I found no information on any of the sites to suggest that those who make the claim that they are no longer homosexual should be treated with derision or hatred. That seems to be complete hyperbole.
Hyperbole indeed. It's what organizations like PFOX do best.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Trying to win against gays through fearmongering about children (again)

According to Think Progress:

The campaigns against marriage equality in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, and Washington are all running some variation on an ad featuring David and Tonia Parker, a Massachusetts couple who in 2005 objected to their kids learning in school that same-sex marriages existed. Conservatives regularly highlight David Parker as a victim to scare voters, but his story is told in incredibly misleading ways.

There is a big difference between mentioning that some kids — including students in the class — have same-sex parents and teaching about same-sex sexuality. The former is what happened in schools, but the latter is what the Parkers claim they objected to. In fact, David Parker so objected to the use of materials including all families that he appeared at the school to protest and refused to leave, forcing an arrest for trespassing. Parker then sued and a federal judge dismissed his complaint, saying that schools are “entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.”

The following is a mashup of all of these ads and a few others which basically breaks the fact that the anti-marriage equality folks are relying on the same old lie about how gays will harm children. This time, however, they are disguising it through a phony "parents rights" agenda:

However the folks in Washington are combatting this fear mongering with an ad featuring parents who have no problem with children learning about same-sex families:

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'Video footage shows Romney lying about same-sex families' and other Monday news briefs

I talked about these comments from Romney about same-sex families last week and here they are now on video.  And while making these comment, Romney told a deliberate lie:

One of two video clips that Waas has now uploaded to YouTube shows Romney speaking to conservative voters in South Carolina in 2005, as he was testing the waters for a presidential bid, discussing his battle with the Registry of Vital Statistics and Records regarding the birth certificate forms. Romney distorted the Registry of Vital Statistics' plan, which was to change the labeling of boxes on the forms from "father" and "mother" to "father or second parent" and "mother or second parent." He claimed the plan was to change the form to have "Parent A" and Parent B" boxes, when, as the documents Waas obtained show, those terms were not in fact used:
"Today, same-sex couples are marrying, under the law, in Massachusetts. Some gays are actually having children born to them. We've been asked to remove the phrase "mother" and "father" and replace it with "parent A" and "parent B." It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has the right to have a mother and father."

In other news:

 First out of the gate: fundie pastor blames Obama, Romney and TEH GAY for Hurricane Sandy - Tell me you didn't see this coming. At least he didn't blame us for those awful uniforms the Pittsburgh Steelers wore yesterday.  

CCL of Maine flips Thurgood Marshall quote; repurposes positivity for fear - Apparently religious right groups are doing down a list of all of the civil rights leaders whose quotes they can distort.  

Anti-bullying program draws more participants despite boycott call - In your face, American Family Association!

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Don't hold marriage equality against Romney. It's not his fault

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married. And it happened under Mitt Romney's watch. However, according to this December 2007 appearance on Howie Carr's radio show, Romney doesn't want anyone to hold it against him.

Let's see - that's negative statements against same-sex families and now this. Why did the Log Cabin Republicans and GoProud endorse Romney again?

Oh wait. Let me guess by remembering the words of a GoProud member:

“I understand I’m going to be subject to certain limitations . . . I understand I won’t have equal rights. But I also want to be filthy rich, and I think the Republican ticket can get me there.”
Big hat tip to Jeremy Hooper, who was recently chosen as one of Instinct magazine's "Leading Men of 2012." 

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Trevor

Trevor (1994) is an Academy Award-winning short film about a gay 13-year-old boy who attempts suicide because of how he is treated. It still holds up after all of these years and personally, I think it should be required viewing in schools.

Trevor inspired the creation of the Trevor Project, a 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Editor's note - For those who are interested, Trevor does have a happy ending. Sorry if I ruined it for you but those who read these Know Your LGBT History segments know that when I focus on movies, I always feel it's more important to emphasize when a gay-themed movie has a happy ending. Goodness knows we catch enough hell from real life than to sit through a gay-themed movie with a sad ending.)

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Romney's meanspirited comments about gay families' and other Friday midday news briefs

Equal rights vs. going to hell - marriage equality fight in Maryland

You can tell that the marriage equality vote in Maryland is going to be wild and both sides are going all out for the African-American vote on Nov. 6.

The following is an ad put out by the anti-marriage equality group the Maryland Marriage Alliance featuring Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr's niece:

(Editor's note - Other than being the niece of Dr. King, Alveda King has never really contributed to the Civil Rights Movement.)

And this ad is from Marylanders for Marriage Equality:

So I guess it's a question of equality and fairness or listening to a phony civil rights leader so you don't "go to hell."

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obama gives support to pro-marriage equality votes

In November ballot initiatives looking at marriage equality, President Obama has rallied to our side.

Washington state:
President Obama is weighing in with support for Referendum 74, which would legalize gay marriage in Washington state. Through a spokesman, the president urged voters to vote yes on the measure. “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. Washington’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the President supports a vote approving Referendum 74,” said Paul Bell, the Washington and Oregon press secretary for Obama For America.

President Barack Obama is throwing his support behind Maine’s ballot question seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. Mainers United for Marriage, the group leading the campaign in favor of gay marriage, says the Obama campaign’s regional press secretary issued a statement Thursday giving support to Maine’s gay marriage referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. Obama last May announced his full support for the right of same-sex couples to wed, serving as a rallying point for gay marriage supporters. But until Thursday, he hadn’t expressly given his support to Maine’s ballot question. Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage, says his group is grateful for Obama’s support


President Barack Obama's campaign released a statement this afternoon in support of Question 6, Maryland's same-sex marriage law.

“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," said Obama for America spokesman Frank Benenati.

  "Maryland’s same-sex marriage law would treat all Maryland couples equally, and that is why the president supports Question 6.” President Obama's support is definitely welcome. It's nice to hear the voice of not only the President, but a high-profile African-American supporting marriage equality.

Meanwhile, our friend Porno Pete Labarbera conducted an interview with anti-gay pastor E.W. Jackson. Jackson, who has been basically pleading on deaf ears for the African-American community to leave the Democratic party, seems to have finally agonized over gays so much that he went on a strange tirade. You can go here to listen to it all. The following is a transcript of just a few of his comments:

Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality. When they talk about love they’re not talking about love, they’re talking about homosexual sex. So they can’t see clearly. Jesus said ‘when the eye is dark the body is full of darkness.’ Let me come back to this whole issue of their using the black community because here again some of the most vicious attacks ever leveled against any black conservative or black Christian for that matter has come out of the homosexual community. . . . This is what they do, they lie because they need—look, I am convinced of this, this is not ultimately about civil rights, it’s not ultimately about not being bullied or being tolerated, this is ultimately about legitimacy. They need it because inside they don’t have it and they’re hoping that if the can ultimately get everybody to approve then they’ll finally feel satisfied that this is really okay but the reality is they’ll never feel satisfied because in their heart of hearts there will always be that place that God put there that says this is wrong, it is immoral, it is perverse, it is degenerate, and there is nothing they can ever do to overcome that so they got to try to change the culture hoping that it will make them feel at peace.
But he wasn't done yet:
It’s a very sad situation that people who have been hurt and wounded, instead of seeking deliverance from it, they perpetuate that wound and they transmit it to others. This is why I am absolutely convinced that they want to inculcate youth with the idea that homosexuality is okay, I think what they’re often doing is repeating what has happened to them because it’s been introduced usually at a young age and early on in their lives and they want to do the same thing to others. So other than being a force for helping people to avoid it and to be delivered from it, they have instead become a force for trying to introduce it to young people the same way they were introduced and it’s really tragic. Look, they claim that we hate them and there is nothing we can do to persuade them otherwise because if you don’t go along with what they want to do they’re going to label you as a hater. But if they could see into our hearts and see the love of God that we have for them and the desire to see them set free they’d have a whole new picture but they simply can’t see it because they’re spiritually darkened. . . . I don’t have any data or study to give a definitive answer to this but I can tell you based on anecdotal observation and experience, I’ve heard a lot of young black ladies that a lot of young black men seem to be gay. I’ve heard them complain about it, they say ‘so many of these guys are homosexuals’ and they are frankly frustrated by it because they’re saying these are often nice looking men, they look like they can build a life for themselves but they’re not interested in a marriage to a woman, they’re interested in being with another man. There’s something that is going on in the community and I think fatherlessness has contributed to it greatly because if you haven’t been loved by your father, just like young ladies do, young men can do the same thing. They can make the mistake, particularly if they are recruited into it, they find a man who will love them and give them what they’re looking for but sexualize them then they end up for the rest of their lives end up looking for love in all the wrong places.

I ask you. Just what can you add to the ramblings of a crazy man?

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'Baltimore Sun blisters anti-marriage equality group for venomous homophobia' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Contradictions from the anti-Question 6 campaignThe Baltimore Sun calls out ugly homophobia in Maryland. Let that be a lesson. When you compare gays to pedophiles, those who engage in bestiality, and also say that gays are worthy of death, don't do it in front of the media.

 Foster Kids Do Equally Well When Adopted by Gay, Lesbian or Heterosexual Parents, Study Suggests - Of course we knew this already, but it's always good to hear it again. 

 Military Group Picks Trans Woman As Leader - Awesome news from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.  

Romney Refused To Provide Accurate Birth Certificates For Children Of Same-Sex Parents - Are you paying attention, Log Cabin Republicans? 

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Chris Kluwe records hilarious ad for marriage equality

I LOVE this ad from Minnesota Vikings Chris Kluwe which speaks against Minnesota ballot initiative to outlaw marriage equality in the state. It's funny, to the point, and most of all, puts those seeking to push this nonsense on the defensive:

Hat tip to Joe Jervis.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another astroturfed African-American group attempting to sabotage Obama's support with black voters

As if by magic (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), there is yet a third group which seeks to exploit President Obama's support of marriage equality in order to sabotage his support in the black community.

This organization is called Pivot Point and has been running the following ad on BET:

If you are keeping score, Pivot Point is the third group seeking to persuade African-Americans to not vote for Obama.

The first was the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) and the second is called God Said.

All three groups share the similar goal - the defeat of President Obama, but approach it in different manners.

CAAP is trying to persuade African-Americans to withhold their votes from Obama because of his support of marriage equality.

God Said claims that it wants to "strip" Obama of 25 percent of the African-American vote because of his support of marriage equality.

Pivot Point just comes out and tells African-Americans to vote for Romney because Obama is supposedly not helping the community and also supposedly disrespecting the community for supporting marriage equality.

And here is something else. All three groups share the same interesting fact - they all have mysterious or questionable funding and memberships.

CAAP is run by William Owens, who is also the liasion for the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-marriage equality group who has already endorsed Obama's opponent, Romney. He has admitted to receiving a "salary" of $20,0000 from NOM. Harry Jackson is also involved with CAAP and through two other groups, NOM has funneled $80,000 to him.

Owens and Jackson are also involved in God Said. It is not known where God Said's funding is coming from but the group has pledged $1 million for its campaign. One more thing you should know about God Said.

A member of its board is Jesse Lee Peterson, head of Brotherhood for a New Destiny (BOND). Peterson has made many questionable statements about African-Americans, including the following about victims of Hurricane Katrina"
About five years ago, in a debate before the National Association of Black Journalists, I stated that if whites were to just leave the United States and let blacks run the country, they would turn America into a ghetto within 10 years. The audience, shall we say, disagreed with me strongly. Now I have to disagree with me. I gave blacks too much credit. It took a mere three days for blacks to turn the Superdome and the convention center into ghettos, rampant with theft, rape and murder.

Also involved in God Said is Alveda King, MLK's niece. King has made a name for herself by being "the African-American face" in many conservative events, that is when she is not insulting MLK's late widow, Coretta.

As for Pivot Point, there is nothing known as of yet about it, except for the irony that for a supposed African-American oriented group, it is run by a white "scientist" name Dave Shemwell.

In an interview with The Slate, Shemwell said:
"I've been working with a fellow named Wayne Perryman, a local black evangelical pastor in Washington state who's been active in gang outreach and various religious outreach programs . . . Since he's also a Romney supporter, I said I want to reach out into communities that are not Republican. I started talking about jobs, and all the things that people have in common, and he said: You're not going to reach anyone that way." So they cut a more personal ad, thinking of what might appeal to black voters who think that "despite being the first African-American president, Barack Obama hasn't done anything to help the African-American community. One of the focus groups on Fox News had a black guy who said: Nobody is even talking to us. And that's the problem. There are people who are exactly like us in their conservative stances, but who we can't get to vote our way."

Perryman is a Washington pastor affiliated with the tea party. In 2010, he gave a speech repeating the false story that President Obama went on an apology tour, detailing about how he is tired of the "race card" being played, and proclaiming that whites do not get enough credit for their part in ending slavery. I kid you not:

According to Shemwell, the group will be focusing ad buys in Ohio. This is probably because Ohio is conveniently the state which many have said will probably decide the election and Obama is ahead there.

I personally find what happening regarding CAAP, God Said, and Pivot Point to be fascinating in the fact that the media will most likely make a lot of noise about these groups.

We will probably see discussions on news programs (comprised predominantly of white pundits, of course) who will talk about why these groups are appropriate and refreshing or why they are bogus.

Meanwhile, the African-American will do what we have always done in cases like this. Keep quiet because we know the media isn't really interested in talking to us about these situations, talk amongst ourselves, making sure to laugh loudly at the foolishness of the whites behind these organizations and shake our heads at the greed of the African-Americans fronting these organizations.

And finally, pull that lever for who WE have decided to support, which will be the person we have seen on our side and fighting for us.

I don't think I have to elaborate on who that is.

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'MN anti-gay leader in trouble for Hitler comparison' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

MN For Marriage spokesman caught comparing gays to Hitler (*just like he's done before) - Why don't we ever get compared to Bette Davis in "All About Eve" or Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest?" I mean what's with the Hitler thing? At least the person voicing those ugly comments is catching hell for them.

 Log Cabin Republicans’ False Hope That Romney Might Support LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections - I would laugh if this wasn't so pathetic.

Word Of Faith Fellowship Church Confined, Abused North Carolina Man For Being Gay: Report - Ugh, I say. Ugh!

 Kuhner: 'Gay Gestapo' Will Have Opponents 'Burnt at the Stake' - It drives me CRAZY that I don't get these memos from the "Gay Gestapo." I thought I was a member in good standing.

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Washington anti-marriage equality group showcases a sad rally

According to The Seattle PI, the National Organization for Marriage is funneling $199,970 in order to defeat Referendum 74, the bill which allow marriage equality in Washington.

That would bring a grand total of $1.225 million that NOM has given the anti Ref-74 group, Preserve Marriage Washington.

The Seattle PI also points out that the anti-Ref 74 group has serious ground to make up. The pro-Ref-74 group has reportedly raised over 10.4 million and pre-election polls in pre-election polls show marriage equality with support at or just over 50 percent in not only Washington but also two other states - Maryland and Maine - who are having ballot fights on marriage equality.

Of course this does not mean for folks on my side to throw the confetti and pass out the champagne as of yet. However, based upon pictures of a rally against Ref-74, it appears that the those against the bill have other areas to make up in.

Naturally, NOM brags on this rally with the following pictures:

The movement to protect marriage is diverse and inclusive! Check out these photos provided by Preserve Marriage Washington, which is urging Washingtonians to reject Referendum-74 (gay marriage):

It's rather embarrassing to claim that your side has diversity and then repeatedly show pictures of the same elderly people.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NOM loses final appeal to challenge marriage equality in NY

According to The Advocate, the National Organization for Marriage lost its last effort to stop marriage equality in New York through the courts:

The top court in New York declined to hear a challenge to the state’s marriage equality law Tuesday in a move that appeared to end any immediate legal threats to the measure passed last year. Gannett Albany reports the state's Court of Appeals tossed out the challenge brought by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative religious group that lobbied against the law’s passage.

Its lawsuit challenged the law on procedural grounds, with claims that the Republican-controlled state Senate had violated the state’s open meetings law by meeting behind closed doors to discuss the legislation with advocates such as New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last November a state Supreme Court judge in Livingston County ruled the lawsuit could proceed, but the Appellate Division unanimously rejected the challenge earlier this year. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms then appealed to the state’s highest court.

In his opinion last year, Judge Robert Wiggins of state Supreme Court in Livingston County said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who pushed for the passage of the legislation, used “arm-twisting” tactics against the legislative branch.

Governor Cuomo issued a statement Tuesday saying the Court of Appeals denial meant the law would be “secure for generations to come.” “Today, the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, denied leave to appeal the validity of the Marriage Equality Act, which affords same-sex couples in this state the right to marry,” he said. “New York State has served as a beacon for progressive ideals and this statute is a clear reminder of what this state stands for: equality and justice for all. With the Court’s decision, same-sex couples no longer have to worry that their right to marry could be legally challenged in this state. The freedom to marry in this state is secure for generations to come.”

That settles that. Eat it, NOM.

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'NOM's 'wedge' strategy against Obama collapsing in NC' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

NC Early Voting Day 4: African American Turnout Doubles White GOP Turnout Sunday - Remember that plan by the National Organization for Marriage using black pastors (that the group paid off) to get black voters to withhold their votes from Obama because his support of marriage equality? Remember the radio ads that the diaper pastor Patrick Wooden made urging black voters to not vote for Obama? Based on what's happening in NC, I think it's not working.  

New Anti-Equality Ads In Maine Rely On Misleading Claims Of Victimization - And speaking of NOM . . . 

Log Cabin Republicans endorse their right to be federally banned - There are no proper words that don't involve profanity for me right now. 

 Crampton: Gay Activists 'Abhor Freedom' and Will Stop at Nothing to Intimidate Christians - I never get these memos. :( 

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NOM pushes another phony victim of an alleged gay conspiracy

The National Organization for Marriage is pushing another phony victim of the gay community - Don Mendell:

According to Equality Matters, there are several facts that NOM and Mendell deliberately omitted:

NOM’s video presents a highly misleading version of the events surrounding Mendell’s investigation, which still fails to demonstrate an example of “defamation.”
The complaint against Mendell was filed by several of his colleagues who were concerned that his public involvement in an anti-gay campaign undermined his ability to effectively counsel LGBT students. In addition to starring in the anti-gay TV ad, Mendell had written several anti-gay letters to the editor of Maine’s Bangor Daily News, including one in which he claimed gay activists were trying to “use children’s trusting nature to turn them against the natural law.”
Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation eventually dismissed the complaint against Mendell. According to a recent Mainers United press release:
The complaints against Mr. Mendell were dismissed by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation in the Baldacci administration on First Amendment grounds.
Mr. Mendell’s right to participate publicly in a political campaign were confirmed by a Democratic administration that held a view contrary to the one expressed by Mr. Mendell.
There was no lawsuit filed in relation to this complaint or Mr. Mendell’s activities. [emphasis original]
Equality Matters also adds:

The latest Marriage ADA video adds to NOM’s long list of “defamation” examples that aren’t so. If NOM selected these stories to support the myth that opponents of same-sex marriage are “facing threats to their person, property or livelihood,” it’s no wonder the group has such a terrible track record of actually proving it in court.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

'Gays, allies deemed 'worthy of death' again' and other Monday afternoon news briefs

Audio: Maryland Marriage Alliance panel claims gays and supporters are 'worthy of death' - And they don't want US to add to the gene pool.

Focus On The Family President: Gays Are In ‘Pain’ And At Battle With God - Bizarre. Neither of those things came up in my last prayer.

Fox Ironically Supports “Spirit Day” After Months Of Attacking Anti-Bullying Efforts - First they verbally bash us, then they kiss us. That makes me want to fight. I am not Fox News' bitch.

Fischer: I am a 'Prophetic Voice' Warning Against the Gay Agenda - No. You are a @!%$ with a big mouth and a radio show.

Illinois School Board Abandons Transgender Students For Hate Group’s Favor - This is ridiculous!

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Maine anti-marriage equality group spreading fears about gays and children

It doesn't amaze me how those who are against marriage equality continues to bring up the same lie time and time again - i.e. that marriage equality will endanger children. Such scare tactics generally work.

This video is being run the so-called "Protect Marriage" group in Maine. The state will be voting on marriage equality next month:

If you recognize the video and the family involved in it - The Parkers - then you know that anti-marriage equality forces used the same video in the Prop 8 fight. They claim that the father, David Parker, was arrested for merely voicing a disagreement to his son supposedly being taught about marriage equality in Massachusetts schools.

It is a lie. The entire situation was a fraud perpetrated by David Parker and a Massachusetts anti-gay group, Mass Resistance. Mass Resistance, by the way, has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of the myraid of deliberate inaccurate things it does to propagandize against the gay community, such as the Parker controversy.

The Parker video should remind one of what Marc Mutty, the head of the campaign which defeated marriage equality in 2009,  said about the false claim regarding children and marriage equality in a recently release documentary about the fight, Question 1 :

When the entire incident took place in 2005, I covered it and found out several things that neither the Parkers nor Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council - who is hosting the video - will tell you:

Distortion - David Parker objected to his child being exposed to homosexuality because it was an issue of sexuality and Joseph Estabrook Elementary refused to accommodate him

Truth - In a January 17, 2005 email to the school, Parker said: “There is a book included entitled, Who’s in a Family (with pictures) that include lesbian and homosexual couples with children—implicitly equating this family structure as a morally equal alternative to other family constructs. We stand firmly against this book or any other subject matter pertaining to homosexuality ever being indoctrinated to our child, discussed in school, or sent home. We don’t believe gay parents constitute a spiritually healthy family and should not be celebrated.”

Joseph Estabrook Elementary principal, Joni Jay, wrote Parker an email clearly saying homosexuality is not a part of the kindergarten curriculum. She also said she cannot control what students say to one another and that many children attending Joseph Estabrook Elementary live in same-sex households. Point of fact: The entire controversy began because Parker’s son brought home a “diversity bookbag” with several items in it. Among them was a book showing certain types of families, including same-sex families. It was the only book in the packet that talked about anything of a homosexual nature.

Anti-gay group gave $100,000 to black pastors for 'wedge strategy'

Owens got $20,000 from NOM
When the media talks about the small group of black pastors attempting to sabotage President Obama's African-American support, there is something that I think they should give first mention.

It yanks my nerves when folks jump into the discussion about this non-controversy regarding black pators angry over Obama's support of marriage equality WITHOUT expressing the point first of all that these pastors are bought and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage,  who has endorsed Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney.

So the following quote from Bill Owens from a September article in the Washington Blade should bring it home to those confused - whether willfully or not - about the situation:

In the wake of internal documents from NOM leaked earlier this year, Owens was asked by CNN’s Dan Merica about having a connection with the anti-gay group. The pastor confirmed the anti-gay group compensates him. “They pay my salary,” Owens said. “My wife … has an earned doctorate from Vanderbilt University and I have three degrees, we make a combined salary of $20,000 a year because they were kind enough to pick us up, because we did not have funds, and they said we can put you in the budget for $20,000. So we are in relationship with them and I’m very proud of it.”

Owens, by the way, is one of the ring leaders of the nonsense. He is the leader of CAAP (Coalition of African-American Pastors), the organization which began the plan to sabotage Obama's African-American support.
NOM siphoned $80,000 to Jackson

He is also a member of God Said, another group of African-American pastors seeking to siphon 25% of the African-American vote from Obama.

My opinion is that CAAP and God Said are comprised of the same members.

Involved in both groups is Bishop Harry Jackson, a pastor whom NOM has given $80,000 through two different organizations.

In the Bible (Mark 8:36), there is a verse which asks For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Apparently to $100,000 sounds good to some black pastors.

I wonder how much the other black pastors involved with Jackson and Owens are getting.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - Christine Jorgensen

I'm guilty of something that I am ashamed of. Sometimes when I talk about lgbt equality, I forget about "t" - our transgender brothers and sisters.

Therefore, I thought I should feature Christine Jorgensen, the first person to become widely known for receiving sexual reassignment surgery. Jorgensen was not the first person to receive sexual reassignment surgery, but in 1952, a cover story in the New York Daily News made her a celebrity and her willingness to be open and forthcoming with such dignity and poise made her an icon as far as I am concerned.

But what particularly makes Jorgensen a heroine of mine is her determination to live her life on her own terms, particularly in a time in which such things weren't as open as they are now.

She teaches us a lesson we should all remember.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'NOM strategist has a breakdown during interview' and other Friday midday news briefs

Frank Schubert, Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Mastermind, Crumbles Under Questioning (AUDIO) - This is HUGE! Frank Schubert is the NOM strategist behind the Prop 8 campaign and is behind the "marriage equality will harm children" lie. However, during an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, Schubert seems to have what can be called a breakdown under intense questioning. This has to be heard to be believed.  Try to listen to it all, but the real good stuff starts at 10:00. According to Signorile:

Schubert seemed to crumble when I played a clip of Marc Mutty, his campaign manager in Maine in 2009, admitting in the new documentary Question One that the campaign had used hyperbole and engaged in distortions and untruths (and saying that he was worried that he would be remembered for that ugly campaign). Schubert responded to me by oddly distancing himself from the campaign while also saying that Mutty was "misrecalling" events.

... Several times he said he is not trying to stop gay adoption because he just wants to "protect" traditional marriage and is not "on a crusade" to take away the rights of gays -- including those of his own sister. (I raised the fact that she, a Sacramento deputy district attorney, is a lesbian in a relationship and has children, as has been reported in the media.) But why isn't he on that crusade if he truly believes that children do better in heterosexual households, as his campaign rhetoric claims? The only answer is that his money is coming from the folks trying to ban gay marriage, not from those trying to ban gay adoption. And that's what it seems to be all about for Schubert: money.

In other news: 

 Video: Maggie Gallagher's friend and former boss says vote NO on MN marriage ban- Former marriage equality opponent says NO to voting for Minnesota's anti-marriage equality bill. 

 Knights of Columbus’ Financial Opposition to Marriage Equality Revealed - Guess who much the Knights of Columbus shelled out to stop marriage equality? Who knew they had THAT much money?

 A Brief History Of Fox News’ Support For Anti-LGBT Bullying - Brief but repulsive. 

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Religious right leader blames marriage equality for attacks in Libya.

Apparently according to religious right leader Rick Scarborough, marriage equality is one of the reasons for that awful attack in Benghazi, Libya which left four American, including Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.:

In Isiah 5:5, God warns Israel of the punishment which will befall the disobedient nation: “Now I am going to tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard, I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed. I will break down its wall and it will be trampled.” And again in Deuteronomy 28:25: “The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: Thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” Like Biblical Israel, America is mired in sin – 1.2 million abortions a year, the assault on God’s institution of marriage, an explosion of pornography, children robbed of their innocence, skyrocketing rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, the Church persecuted – need I continue? And yet we blithely go on as if there was no connection between this and the way we violate God’s commandments? Too many Americans act as it the Bible’s prophecies are charmingly poetic, but bear no relation to today’s events? How many more 9/11 attacks, how many more wars, how much more turmoil – how many more Benghazis – will it take before we finally begin to make the connection between our behavior as a nation and the horror unfolding before our eyes?

If you recognize this awful stream of thought, it's because it was the same one that the late Jerry Falwell used to partly blame gays in the aftermath of 9/11:

And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

It was nauseating when Falwell did it and its equally nauseating when Scarborough does it.

It's sad when anyone exploits tragedy for their own agenda. It's especially sad when so-called religious leaders do it.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Waffle House beat down underscores potential problem with lgbt community

 By now, you have probably seen this controversial video of a presumed heterosexual man verbally slurring a group of gay men and getting beaten down hard. It's generated a lot of discussion.

There are some lgbts who applaud what happened because they figured the man brought it upon himself.

And another camp worries about what effect would it have if the religious right would use it to attack gays.

Lastly, there are many who say that violence under any circumstances is wrong, i.e. it was wrong to attack this man no matter what he said.

I'm kinda in the third camp . . . with a caveat.

I don't condone this type of violence, period. There was no need for it. But the caveat I have was how many who condemned this action was so caught up in denouncing the violence that they missed the bigger picture.

When one looks at the group of gays in the video, one would probably brand them as violent thugs. I don't because I know folks like them. And I know why they were so quick to gang up on the man.

These are the lgbts you hardly ever know or see. Part of it has to do with the fact that they are African-American and urban. Let's be honest about some things in our community. There are times that if you don't look a certain way, dress a certain way, fit a certain social strata, or don't run in a clique, you might as well be invisible.

Unfortunately this problem bleeds into our equality organizations

And the problem with being invisible is that a lot of times, your issues get ignored. The progress that is seen in the gay community skips over you. Yes DOMA is being defeated in the courts, but how does it help a young lgbt of color who can't seem to find a group indigenous to his or her needs? We see folks like Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, and Neil Patrick Harris daily, but again let's be honest.  How many young lgbts of color know who these folks are as opposed to white lgbts. And how many lgbts of color regard these folks as role models?

Also, another problem being invisible is that you have to adapt. You have to survive on your own with very little support systems and unfortunately young lgbts of color are put in that situation. Who is there for young gay black men in schools when they get jumped in school for "acting too feminine?"

And say they make it out of high school and into college? They have two choices - either go to a predominantly white university where they most likely won't fit in with the gay crowd because they are considered "too ghetto" or go to a predominantly African-American university where homophobic attacks against them are at times ignored by faculty members who assume that these children bring it on themselves for "acting like a punk."

But the beauty of mankind is how we survive. When someone closes a door, we open a window or knock down a wall. Young lgbts of color form loose groups of friends and organizations that are underground. They love each other, support each other, and - as I suspect what I saw in the video - stand up for each other when the time call for it.

There are solutions to this problems. All of us need to recognize that the gay community is not a bland, homogenous concept of folks.  We are multicultural and multi-ethnic. We do not like the same things. We don't admire the same heroes and we don't celebrate our sexual orientation the same way.

We need to get out of our cliques and celebrate our differences. If you are white, don't assume that black pride events preach separation. If you are a gay man, educate yourself on the transgender community.

Don't look for things that force us to come together so much that you ignore the things that make us unique as gay people.

And above all, each of us must take a stand - whether it be verbal with our friends, volunteering, or even emailing our organizations - about those in the lgbt community we don't hear about - the lesbian community, the elderly gay community, the different cultures of the gay community.

When we recognize that our differences make us strong instead of attempting to force each other to blend in, we as a community become stronger.

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'DOMA just lost in federal court AGAIN!' and other Thursday midday news briefs

BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down DOMA In Opinion By Republican-Appointed Judge - How much money is Boehner wasting to defend DOMA? He keeps losing.

 E.W. Jackson: Pro-Gay Rights Liberals 'Have Done More to Kill Black Folks' than the 'Ku Klux Klan' - My lgbt brothers and sisters have to learn that when it comes to the religious right, there is a certain degree of style which must be applied. For example, hearing about a young lgbt youth committing suicide is something we should get angry about. E.W. Jackson going on one of his tangents is not something we should be mad about, but rather use for our own benefits. You should never get angry at a nut, but if he is bound and determined to make a fool of himself, you give him room. With his words, Jackson is indicting famous African-American lgbts as Barbara Jordan, Bayard Rustin, Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Mathis, James Baldwin, Wanda Sykes, Keith Boykin, LZ Granderson, Don Lemon and so many others of killing their own people. He is personally attacking the sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in the African-American community of killing more black folks than the Klan. Rather than shake with anger or shake our heads, we need to point out the basic inane hatred of his words to everyone, especially folks in the black community.  

Gay Pride Month: Black LGBT Icons (PHOTOS) - According to crazy E.W. Jackson, it is these folks who are helping to kill more African-Americans than the Klan. No it doesn't make sense. Let's hammer that point a bit.  

Liberty Counsel: Dan Savage is Encouraging Violence Against Christians Like the Nazis Did to the Jews - IRONY ALERT - Matt Barber, who is included in this interview, once said the first who attacks his opponents as Nazis is losing the argument. Well Matt, more proof that you are a loser works for me.

 The Catholic Hierarchy’s Devotion to Fighting Marriage Equality - Ultimately, this fight will severely hurt the Catholic Church. 

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