Thursday, July 05, 2012

Do the religious right care about same-sex parents and their children?

The following story has a happy ending, but I am still angered by it.

 From Think Progress:

Same-sex couples Will Trinkle and Juan Granados had purchased a family membership to the Roanoke Athletic Club so they could take their 2-year-old son to its outdoor pool. Less than two weeks later, their membership was revoked because, the club claimed, they were not a “family” under Virginia law. A viral petition and lawsuit from the couple received national attention, and now the club is changing its ways, announcing today on Facebook that it was changing its policy from a  “Family Membership” to a “Household Membership”:
In keeping with this goal, and in recognition of the many contemporary households that can benefit from our facilities through discounted membership fees, we are pleased to announce that we have expanded our Family Membership into a new Household Membership with the following criteria:
A household consists of a primary member and up to one additional household member that permanently lives in the household, and any of their dependent children under the age of 22 who also reside in the household on a permanent basis.

All I can say is thank God that child was two-years-old, so he probably won't remember this.

But what if he was of an age where he could understand what transpired? What if he could understand that some people don't think of his family as equal?

It gets me angry to think about it and it should get you angry too. Because you see, when organizations like the  National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council and people like Maggie Gallagher and Tony Perkins whine about "the rights of parents" and "family values," they seem to always omit the simple fact that same-sex families exist.

And it's not by accident. On NOM's blog is this tripe about children supposedly being forced to learn about marriage equality in Great Britain:

Schools could be required to teach children about gay marriage, Government documents seen by the Daily Mail reveal.

Officials at the Home Office and the Department for Education concede that teachers may be under a legal obligation to inform children about same-sex marriage once it has passed into law.

Under the Education Act 1996, pupils must learn about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life in sex education classes.

Critics said the documents, released under freedom of information laws, demonstrate that plans to introduce civil marriage ceremonies for gay couples in addition to existing civil partnerships, could have far-reaching and unintended consequences.

The article sounds so alarming that some folks may be fearful to ask what's wrong with children learning about marriage equality? If children in same-sex households attend public schools - which they do - then odds are their fellow classmates already know about these homes.

So learning the fact that same-sex couples can marry wouldn't "force" school children to learn something they already know about.

But what bothers me is the message stuff like this sends to children in same-sex households. That's a subject that Maggie and company conveniently (and deliberately) never want to talk about.

However, I think our community owes it to these households and these children to force the issue. Otherwise there will be incidents like what happened in Roanoke but this time it will involve children old enough to notice that some people don't like their families.

And I cringe to think what it could do to their self-esteem.

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'Religious right's war on California's gay youth' and other Thursday midday news briefs

What a despicable image. And it's a part of an awful lie on the part of religious right groups:

Save California: Bill Limiting Ex-Gay Therapy is 'Locking Children into Homosexual Bondage' - A California religious right group claims that limiting fraudulent ex-gay therapy will expose children to danger.

Anti-gay groups peddling discredited information, bearing false witness - And this post contains the false information they are using.

 Focus On The Family Objects To California Bill That Would Train Foster Parents On LGBT Youth - Meanwhile, in the SAME state, they are objecting to a bill which would help train foster parents on the needs of lgbt youth. So if these children are rendered "invisible," the easier it is to hook them in "ex-gay" therapy. I'm not saying that it's a deliberate plan but we know how these things always turn out.

In other news:
 Chaplains Aren’t Leaving Military Over DADT Repeal - Oh let me tell the religious right! Please!
Go the Way Your Blood Beats: Frank Ocean Frees Himself and Others - R&B singer Frank Ocean comes out. I was just telling myself that some black folks need to get into the mix of all of these folks coming out. Mr. Ocean is the first but I would like to see some others. 
Connor Ferguson, Transgender Prom Queen, Takes The Crown In Trenton - And we have another hero. You can't have too many of those. 

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No one is buying NOM's fake 'neutrality push'

As many of you already know, the National Organization for Marriage is pushing a boycott of General Mills and Starbucks because of these two company's support of marriage equality and gay rights in general.

NOM claims that companies should be "neutral" in the area of gay rights, i.e. not taking one side or the other.

So imagine everyone's surprise - or rather non-surprise - when NOM wraps its arms around another coffee company because its refusal to "remain neutral."

At you can enter your city or zip code and come up with local coffee shop alternatives to Starbucks. However, most of us do not purchase every cup of coffee while we are out around town. This week we are proud to roll out Jitters and Bliss Coffee as a provider of excellent coffee that can be brewed with a clean conscience any time you want at home, at the office or at your church.

. . . During the month of July Jitters and Bliss is offering a 5% discount to every customer who enters the promotional code "marriage". A small portion of each purchase made also goes to support the National Organization for Marriage as we work to educate people and corporations on the importance of marriage to our society.

. . . Let me be clear. Jitters and Bliss has not, as a corporation, taken a position in the debate over marriage. Just like every company, they have customers, employees, and vendors who hold personal views on what marriage ought to be. They are committed to honoring those views by maintaining a neutral corporate position on marriage.

So, according to NOM, Jitters and Bliss is remaining neutral in the debate over marriage equality while at the same time agreeing to donate a portion of proceeds from its discount to NOM's coffers.

I gotta tell you that while I am not buying the doublespeak here, I admire NOM's chutzpah in its attempt of actually trying to get away with it.

And I am not the only one who isn't falling for the doublespeak. In a surprising degree of candor, comments on NOM's blog are also voicing problems with NOM's hypocrisy over "remaining neutral."  I say it's surprising because NOM usually has strict control over the comments section, making sure to block negative comments while allowing pro-NOM comments from what seems to be the same cadre of individuals.

That's not the case here:

Offering a discount to NOM supporters and donating a portion of profits to NOM is hardly remaining neutral.I respect the right of Jitters and Bliss to give money to whatever cause they want, but let's keep in mind that they are not staying neutral; they are indeed picking a side.

From this blog June 14, 2012:
"[T]he Target Corporation is donating $120,000 to same-sex marriage advocates who are official participants in the campaign, is saying that the debate will be bad for the Minnesota business community, and still has the nerve to say they are not taking a position on the marriage amendment itself."—Jonathan Baker, Director of the Corporate Fairness Project, NOM—

Seems to me that in this instance it equally true that:
""[T]he Jitters and Bliss Corporation is donating X dollars to same-sex marriage opponents at NOM, who are official participants in the campaign, and still has the nerve to say they are not taking a position on the marriage amendment itself."

I see the NOMers suddenly have no words. NOM is soley based on bigotry and hypocracy.

Cue the ant-gay protests. Another mainstream company has hired an openly gay celebrity as a spokesperson.Procter & Gamble announced Monday that comedian and actress Wanda Sykes ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") has become its "Gain Scent Matchmaker" to promote Gain detergents. The interactive YouTube spot features Sykes helping visitors to choose their scent among such options as Apple Mango Tango, Icy Fresh Fizz and Butterfly Kiss. Sykes was already doing voiceover work for Gain. “Gain understands, like me, that it’s all about finding the things that make us happy, like scent, and having a little fun,” Sykes said in a press release. Sykes, who came out as a lesbian in 2008 and whose wife gave birth to twins in 2009, is the latest high-profile gay pitchwoman to back a mainstream company.

How exactly is it "respecting all customers" to be donating to an organization that is dedicated to denying some people full equality under the law? I mean, we can agree to disagree, but Jitters and Bliss is clearly NOT, as NOM would like, "remaining neutral." They have picked a side. So, no way are they "respecting all" customers.

So... how is that whole "remain neutral" thing going, Brian? Remaining neutral means remaining neutral: not offering discounts and donating 5% of profits to the National Organization for Marriage. Hypocrisy.

Isn't providing a 5% discount to those, who wish to have a portion of their purchase sent to NOM, really in effect a 5% surcharge on those, who do not wish to fund anti-gay discrimination with their coffee purchase? Also, NOM and it's minions pitched a fit last month when Target chose to sell pride t-shirts and donate the proceeds from the sale of that item only to a pro-equality group. I don't recall you objecting to NOM's actions then with the argument that Target customers not wanting to support equal treatment of their LGBT fellow citizens could simply chose not to purchase pride t-shirts. So you've merely provided us with yet of further example of situational ethics, without which NOMies would be completely bereft of any ethics what so ever.

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