Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Ex-gays' attempt to undermine GLSEN's Day of Silence will fail

Tomorrow will be GLSEN's Day of Silence and I anticipate it being a huge success.

Of course, as they attempt every year, various religious right groups will attempt to undermine it. From the ridiculous Day of Dialogue to encouraging students to be absent, these folks just don't quit with their futile tactics.

And now one can add the supposed 'ex-gays' to this list.

 From One News Now:

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is encouraging students to celebrate the "Day of Silence" by distributing flyers discouraging ex-"gay" bashing at school.

The "Day of Silence," scheduled for tomorrow, is an annual event put on by Gay-Straight Alliance organizations in schools nationwide and sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The purpose is to draw attention to alleged homosexual discrimination and bullying by remaining silent throughout the school day. But PFOX board member Peter Sprigg sees the event as an opportunity to get his group's message out as well.

"One way that we're encouraging people to do that is by going to the PFOX website … downloading some of these flyers and publications, and distributing them yourselves in the schools," he says.

He reports there are a variety of downloadable flyers aimed at students who might want out of a homosexual lifestyle, and they include facts about youth and sexual orientation, gender identity, and pointing out that discriminating against ex-gays is wrong.

Please bear in mind that Sprigg did not even elaborate just how those who call themselves "ex-gays" have been bullied in our nation's schools. Of course we all know why he didn't. This is nothing more than a ridiculous attempt by PFOX  to disrupt and undermine the Day of Silence. And it won't succeed.

However, let's not allow this moment to escape us without demonstrating the religious right's hypocrisy yet again.

You will notice that Sprigg was quoted extensively in this article. Too bad the article omitted questioning him about when he said that homosexuality should be outlawed:

Or when he said that gays should be exported out of the United States:

Seems to me that if Sprigg is truly concerned about anyone being bullied, he would first watch his own tongue.

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'Rachel Maddow demolishes ex-gay movement' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Rachel Maddow give the ex-gay movement a deserved swift kick:

In both this video and the one I posted with Dan Savage, one fact is clear. The fight for lgbtq equality will not be fought simply in the streets. It will be fought online and in the halls of public opinion. In our zeal to become angry and call upon the protests of the past, we forget to use all of our resources in combating the right. We allow them to have the advantage by not studying their distortions and using our voices to not only shout slogans but also to expose their distortions to the world. Our fight shouldn't entail solely marches, but quiet rooms where we study their lies, formulate rebuttals and use these rebuttals aggressively and on the offensive instead of waiting for the right to attack us.

In other news:

Conservatives’ Anti-Gay Day Of Dialogue Encourages Students To Promote Shame, Depression, And Substance Abuse - Lest we forget, today is the religious right's sham event, the Day of Dialogue. I wouldn't have said a word about this but Think Progress published a dynamite rebuttal to this lie of a day and it needs to be read by as many folks as possible.

Uganda President Defends Anti-Gay Laws - This, my friend, is what you call a super hot mess.

Vote For Marriage NC is bombing - It couldn't have happened to a nicer group of homophobes.

Richard Land's Terrible Week Gets Even Worse as ERLC Launches an Investigation - Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at gays.

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Dan Savage exposes religious right talking head for his lies

I've given Dan Savage hell before, but when he nails something, I've given him his props.

And in this case, Savage gets tremendous props for doing something I have done only once and have dreamed of doing more times - Calling out a religious right talking head on his/her deception.

Equality Matters gives the full story:

On the April 16 edition of KCTS 9’s new show, Public Affairs with C.R. Douglas, the program spotlighted Washington state’s recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Panelists included Joseph Backholm – leader of the Protect Marriage Washington effort and president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) – and prominent gay activist Dan Savage.

While much of the episode followed the show’s signature use of the Socratic Method, the debate became more confrontational after Backholm began discussing same-sex parenting:

BACKHOLM: I think there’s a general understanding of the fact that if you have a million kids who are raised by their mother and father and a million kids who are not raised by their mother and father, knowing nothing else about them, that the million kids who are raised by their mother and father are going to do better.
SAVAGE: That’s bullshit.
BACKHOLM: Now there’s certainly going to be outliers in that–
SAVAGE: Sorry, that’s bullshit.
DOUGLAS: What is your basis for that?
BACKHOLM: I think it’s observable reality. And of course, to my left here, Professor Schwartz knows a lot more about the data, and as she just admitted there’s a lot that we don’t know about this because we have not been -- we haven't been far enough down this road. We don’t have longitudinal data to really be able to study this. But I think most people understand that it’s good for kids to have a mom and a dad and that’s one of the reasons why the current definition of marriage is one that we are in support of.
Savage went on to point out that Backholm’s “observable reality” and “general understanding” actually contradicted the majority of data relating to same-sex parenting. As Savage noted, opponents of marriage equality incorrectly cite studies about single parenting, usually ignoring the “mountain of evidence” – including longitudinal studies – demonstrating that committed same-sex couples are capable of effectively raising children.

Notice how Savage's take down reduced Backholm to ridiculous explanations of his distortions. Savage's ability to call Backholm out for his distortions came no doubt from studying how the opposition works and distorts.

And that highlights something sorely missing from our side. It's not enough to call these folks bigots. We have to study how they lie. And believe it or not, it's relatively easy because these folks are lazy. They rely on the same tactics using the same junk science and the same cherry-picked studies time and time again. It's sad to say but a matter of truth to realize that the only reason why they have gotten away with it is because we have not done the work to call them out.

Savage has clearly shown how it's done.. Now if more of us can do this when we are debating folks like Maggie Gallagher, etc (even though Gallagher will probably talk over you and whine about being unfairly attacked), just think of how much ground we would gain.

And how much ground folks like Gallagher would lose.

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