Friday, February 03, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - James Baldwin

Words can't do James Baldwin proper justice, so I hope that these two videos can. I especially like the second one. It's why he is one of my role models:

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Will Virginia discriminate against gay taxpayers?' and other Friday midday news briefs

Opponents of Marriage Equality in Washington Gear Up for Ballot Referendum Before It's Even Law: VIDEO - Well we knew this would happen. And check out the list of organizations behind this mess. The usual cast of "characters."

Virginia House To Approve Anti-Gay Adoption Bill - This will probably end up in the courts. If you don't want to abide by the rules regarding non-discrimination, then don't take the money. It doesn't matter if you are a religious organization. "Faith-based" adoption agencies want to take gay taxpayers' dollars while telling them "you are too evil for us to allow you to adopt children."

‘Ex-Gay’ Conference To Be Debunked in Atlanta on Feb. 16 - Awesome!

Sit-Ins for Stacey - The smallest violin in the galaxy plays for "poor" Stacey Campfield

NOM's clumsy heavy hand finds its next 'they' - and NOM lies AGAIN.

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Parents angry at 'ex-gay' group for pushing false information to children

As if our lgbtq children don't have enough to deal with:

I did note a silver lining to this story. As the video noted, it was a parent who complained and other parents were not happy either:

Karen Yount-Merrell, a licensed, clinical social worker, got one of the flyers when her son came home with his report card from Einstein High School.

"I don't like it," Yount-Merrell declared. "Everything in this flyer make its sound like the goal is to be [an] EX-gay, [or an EX]-lesbian. It is not embracing of a different orientation. It reiterates a societal view that there's something 'wrong' with you, if you're not in the norm. If you aren't heterosexual. And teenagers have a hard enough time dealing with who they are and feeling good about themselves."

The video also notes how those pushing the flyer are also pushing that "we just want tolerance for our point of view" hogwash argument:

Supporters of the flyer say their literature simply calls for "tolerance" of a different viewpoint on homosexuality.

"If people were to actually read the content of the flyer that we're distributing, they will see there is nothing in here that is insulting or even critical of homosexuals,” said PFOX board member Peter Sprigg. “All it is telling kids [is] that you don't have to be gay if you don't want to be."

And therein lies the heart of the deception. Sprigg says that the flyer is not insulting or critical of gays, but then he implies that there is something wrong with being gay with his statement "you don't have to be gay if you don't want to be."

Also please note the fact that the parent in the video has expertise as a licensed, clinical social worker. Sprigg has no expertise other being anointed as an "expert" by his organization, the Family Research Council. As demonstrated by his flawed testimony in Maryland this week, he doesn't deserve that title.

Furthermore, please don't be fooled by Sprigg's false show of innocence. As Right Wing Watch points out:

The PFOX board [pdf] is also composed of some of the most stringently anti-gay voices in politics today, including Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, who claims gay youth are more likely to commit suicide because they intuitively know homosexuality “is wrong and immoral;” Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, who thinks there is a conspiracy among gay Hill staffers to control Congress; Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who has called for gays to be deported from the U.S., and of course, Greg Quinlan, who was once married to a fellow “ex-gay” woman until she divorced him. As Amanda Hess of the Washington City Paper notes, very few people serving on the PFOX board are actually “ex-gays,” but that hasn’t stopped them from promoting dangerous “ex-gay” reparative therapy to children.

Right Wing Watch also notes that this is not simply an issue of  PFOX as a group with a "differing point of view."  PFOX is a group which peddles dangerous lies:

. . . the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychiatric Association all deny the effectiveness, safety and ethics of reparative therapy. While Religious Right groups have sued for the right to distribute literature in Montgomery County schools, like the PFOX flyer which propagates discredited and harmful misinformation about sexual orientation and gender identity, they have also sought to deny this right to groups they disagree with.

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