Thursday, February 28, 2013

President Obama, sociological association deals Prop 8 case a one-two punch

The case for Prop 8, the California law outlawing marriage equality in California received a serious one-two punch today courtesy of President Obama and the American Sociological Association. Both the Obama Administration and the ASA are filing briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8.

First from the Obama Administration:

California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages in the state, should be overturned, the Obama administration plans to tell the Supreme Court.

An administration official confirmed that the Justice Department will file a brief in the case today. Officials would not discuss the legal arguments the brief would contain. The decision to enter the case comes despite the president’s past position that marriage rights should be a state matter. In recent weeks, however, Obama increasingly has referred to same-sex marriage as an issue of civil rights.

Other administration officials have taken the same stance. In a television interview to be aired next week, for example, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said that he saw marriage equality as “really the latest civil-rights issue.”

The American Sociological Association has already filed its brief and it destroys claims made that same-sex households are inferior when it comes to raising children, which is a major argument for those pushing Prop 8. The ASA especially calls out the Mark Regnerus study, which is the recent controversial study claiming children raised in same-sex households suffer adverse efffects. Supporters of Prop 8 made this study a huge part of their arguments in spite of fact that it has been discredited.

ASA said the following about the Regnerus study in its brief (pgs. 26-29):

 First, the Regnerus study does not specifically examine children born or adopted into same-sex parent families, but instead examines children who, from the time they were born until they were 18 or moved out, had a parent who at any time had “a same-sex romantic relationship.” . As Regnerus noted, the majority of the individuals characterized by him as children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” were the offspring of failed opposite- sex unions whose parent subsequently had a same-sex relationship. In other words, Regnerus did not study or analyze the children of two same-sex parents.

Second, when the Regnerus study compared the children of parents who at one point had a “same-sex romantic relationship,” most of whom had experienced a family dissolution or single motherhood, to children raised by two biological, married opposite-sex parents, the study stripped away all divorced, single, and stepparent families from the opposite-sex group, leaving only stable, married, opposite-sex families as the comparison. . . Thus, it was hardly surprising that the opposite-sex group had better outcomes given that stability is a key predictor of positive child wellbeing. By so doing, the Regnerus study makes inappropriate apples-to-oranges comparisons.

Third, Regnerus’s first published analysis of his research data failed to consider whether the children lived with, or were raised by, the parent who was, at some point, apparently involved in “a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” and that same-sex partner. Instead, Regnerus categorized children as raised by a parent in a same-sex romantic relationship regardless of whether they were in fact raised by the parent and the parent’s same-sex romantic partner and regardless of the amount of time that they spent under the parent’s care. As a result, so long as an adult child believed that he or she had had a parent who had a relationship with someone of the same sex, then he or she was counted by Regnerus as having been “raised by” a parent in a same-sex relationship.

 Fourth, in contrast to every other study on same-sex parenting, Regnerus identified parents who had purportedly engaged in a same-sex romantic relationship based solely on the child’s own retrospective report of the parent’s romantic relationships, made once the child was an adult. This unusual measurement strategy ignored the fact that the child may have limited and inaccurate recollections of the parents’ distant romantic past.

Finally, the study fails to account for the fact that the negative outcomes may have been caused by other childhood events or events later in the individual's adult life, particularly given that the vast majority (thirty-seven of forty) of the outcomes measured were adult and not childhood outcomes. Factors other than same-sex parenting are likely to explain these negative outcomes in the Regnerus study. Regnerus himself concludes that “I am thus not suggesting that growing up with a lesbian mother or gay father causes suboptimal outcomes because of the sexual orientation or sexual behavior of the parent.”

 In sum, by conflating (1) children raised by same-sex parents with (2) individuals who reportedly had a parent who had “a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex,” and referring to such individuals as children of “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers,” the Regnerus study obscures the fact that it did not specifically examine children raised by two same-sex parents. Accordingly, it cannot speak to the impact of same-sex parenting on child outcomes. 

The fact that President Obama is supporting efforts to overturn Prop 8 is a major deal, but the ASA denunciation of the Regnerus study is also a huge victory for the lgbt community. When religious right groups find a piece of information to use against the lgbt community, they tend to use it continuously. Thanks to the ASA, whenever they cite the Regnerus study, the lgbt community now have a huge caveat we can make use of. 

'AFA: Gay-Muslim-Atheist Alliance trying to destroy America' and other Thursday midday news briefs

'Project 2026' to Fight the Gay-Muslim-Atheist Alliance Destroying America - Say whaaaat!? Aw hell, I betcha i was the gay folks who told them. We just can't keep secrets.

 Minnesota Republican Legislator: Homosexuality Is A ‘Sexual Addiction’ And An ‘Unscientific Lie’ - Every time someone says we should ignore comments by the AFA's Bryan Fischer or Linda Harvey, or Matt Barber, I like to include a new brief like this one. You can't ignore it when state legislators say the same trash.  

Pediatrician On CNN: Transgender Girls Will Walk Around Bathrooms With Their Genitals Exposed - Vile lie for which he got called out for. And for the record, when I used the boys bathroom in school, I never walked around with my genitals exposed and neither did anyone else I knew.  

FRC prayer: Marriage equality = 'onslaught of evil' - The Family Research Council routinely lies and bears false witness against the lgbt community, yet it feels it can go to God and repeat its slanders. The old African-American phrase "they are going to bust hell wide open" comes to mind. 

 House Dems to urge Supreme Court to strike down DOMA - Good for House Democrats!

NOM's bought and paid for African-American group to lead march

Bill Owens
In its upcoming supposed "March for Marriage," the National Organization for Marriage is pulling out all of the stops, including teaming up with several religious right groups, such as the Family Research Council, having Catholic dioceses bus members to Washington, and this very interesting last item via press release:

Civil Rights activist Reverend Bill Owens has joined with the National Organization for Marriage to promote and lead the March for Marriage occurring in Washington, D.C. next month. 

 . . . Gay activists are wrong to claim the mantle of the civil rights movement in their push to redefine marriage for all - the most important civil right related to marriage is the right of every child to a mother and father," said Rev. Owens in a Feb. 25 statement.

Owens is the founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, a group that describes itself as "a grass-roots movement of Christians who believe in traditional family values such as supporting the role of religion in American public life, protecting the lives of the unborn, and defending the sacred institution of marriage."

He also was a participant in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s in Nashville Tennessee.
So in order to give some degree of historic relevance to its march,  NOM is including its own bought and paid for African-American leadership to participate.

Owens and CAAP are not necessarily independent participants. 
We already know that Owens is NOM's liasion to the black churches. We also know that NOM was using CAAP last year in a failed attempt to sabotage President Obama's African-American support during the 2012 election.

Owens has admitted to being paid by organizations like NOM ($20,000), the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association to be a shill.

But it really doesn't matter. In this age of Obama, some folks have no problem with cashing in on their black skins. No matter how much of their integrity it costs them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bill O'Reilly's attack on school transgender policy is BAD journalism

Not trying to sound like a cranky old man, but I remember a time in which journalists actually researched things before they went on television and ran their mouths. But thanks to people like Roger Ailes, the standards which journalists used to aspire to have gone down the toilet. Witness Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's ignorant rant about a Massachusetts policy to protect trangender students:


O'REILLY: This is truly madness, ladies and gentlemen. You're telling me that a kid can go to a public school in Massachusetts, immediately upon entering the school take off the kid's shirt and put on a dress, alright, go to the girls' room when he's a boy, and then change his name from John to Tiffany, and then after school, put the shirt back on, go home, and he's still John.
O'REILLY: There's a difference between a conversation and a lifestyle. That's such a violation of parental rights by the state of Massachusetts. It's off the chart violation.
O'REILLY: We don't even want to get into the locker room situation here, okay? Because I know a lot of wise guys who would exploit this in a way that we're not even going to talk about.

Media Matters breaks down how many errors O'Reilly commits with his rants.

 . . . in his rush to condemn the new policy, he overlooked a few important facts about the directive and what it means to be transgender:

1. Gender Identity Is Innate And Largely Inflexible, Even In Young Children. As the MA directive explains, children who identify as transgender are typically responding to an "innate, largely inflexible" characteristic of their personality - not a random or casual "lifestyle" choice . . . This position is supported by experts at the American Psychological Association (APA).

 2. Students Aren't Allowed To Casually Change Their Gender Identity. The MA directive also establishes that schools should only accept the assertion of a student's gender identity when there is "consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity"

3. Ignoring A Student's Gender Identity Is A Bad Idea. Allowing schools to acknowledge the appropriate gender identity of transgender students is an important step in protecting transgender youth from a host of negative consequences. Studies show that unwelcoming environments do serious damage to transgender youth, and simply refusing to acknowledge transgender children has been discouraged by medical experts. Instead, the APA encourages schools to provide support to vulnerable LGBT youth. This is especially true considering the "extreme harassment" already faced by many transgender students.

4. It's Dangerous To Inform Parents About Their Child's Gender Identity Without The Child's Consent. As the MA directive explains, allowing teachers to reveal their students' transgender status to their parents without permission is a terrible idea.

 5. Schools Are Allowed To Question A Student's Gender Identity In Appropriate Circumstances. The MA directive also instructs school staff to question a student's gender identity in the highly unlikely circumstance that a student claims to be transgender for inappropriate reasons, like "wise guys" trying to get into the girls' locker room. 

I don't care whether you are a reporter or a blowhard commentator like O'Reilly, when millions of people count on you for news and views, you have a responsibility to do the proper research in order to inform them correctly.  There is just simply no excuse for spreading misinformation even if you couch your errors as simply being your opinion.

But sadly, there is no accountability for O'Reilly and others who get paid megabucks for lazy journalism

In the early 1980s, a Washington Post reporter, Janet Cooke, was drummed out of the business after she admitted to making up a story about an eight-year-old heroin addict. To this day, she doesn't write for any newspaper.

If Cooke had committed her lie in this era of irresponsible journalism, she would probably end up not only still in the business but making more money than those who do abide by the standards of good journalism.

'NOM spokesperson uses Tyler Clementi's suicide against lgbts' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

NOM’s Morse Uses Tyler Clementi's Suicide To Discuss Exploitation Of "Confused" Adolescents By Gay Activists - Dear Bryan Fischer, move out of the way because Jennifer Morse has now taken your place as the top religious right embarrassment. 

 American Christian Legal Group Exports Anti-LGBT Agenda To Brazil - For those who laugh at Pat Robertson's televised verbal antics, keep this in mind - he is the founder of an anti-gay "Christian legal group" which has a presence in Africa and Eastern Europe. And it has now moved into Brazil.  

Family Research Council: Transgender People Need Therapy, Not Nondiscrimination Protections - I would absolutely KILL, I said KILL to hear an interviewer ask  FRC's Peter Sprigg for his credentials before he/she lets him go on his homophobic monologue. The man has none. He is not a medical professional so why he is labeled as an expert? 

NY state senator Rubén Díaz bussing crowds to NOM's #marchformarriage - Great. More people to be bussed to NOM's March for Marriage.  

Over 100 Prominent Republicans Have Signed Brief Supporting Same-Sex Marriage - And the list grows.

 Camenker: Educators Who Support LGBT-Inclusive Schools Like 'Nazi Concentration Camp Guards' - The hyperbole! Oh Lord, the hyperbole!

Jennifer Morse - bad for NOM, good for the lgbt community

Last night, the Illinois House committee advanced the marriage equality bill to the full House for a vote. This came after much testimony for and against the bill. One of the folks testifying was Jennifer Morse of NOM's Ruth Institute. From what I gleaned from twitter, her testimony was bizarre and she was cut off because she went over her time. But more than that, the idea that Morse would be chosen by NOM to testify isn't a good sign. She has a history of outrageous statements. I've covered several of them and thanks to Equality Matters, here are two more: She compared supporting marriage equality to Nazism:


And then comes this clip, which is not necessarily lgbt indigenous but does give an idea of how cold-hearted she is. In this clip, she is telling women facing unwanted pregnancies to "suck it up."


Jennifer Morse is a terrible person, but she is exactly the type of person the lgbt community needs to be on the forefront of the opposition. She makes our job easier.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Republican case FOR marriage equality explained

While the religious right have been silent - no doubt in shock - over the news that over 75 prominent Republicans signed on to a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8, the Republicans in question haven't been so silent. The following is a New York Times interview with one of the Republicans, Margaret Hoover:

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper.

'NOM puts its hypocrisy on full display' and other Tuesday midday news brief

The National Organization for Marriage takes the cake with this nonsense:

Perhaps the denizens of NOM are living in a bizarro universe because the following statements have not come from supporters of "gay marriage" (marriage equality):

"The idea of same-sex marriage is troubling even to some homosexuals, let alone those who hold a biblical conviction that marriage is intended by the Creator to be between a man and a woman. . . Every time Western civilization seems to reach the bottom, one discovers a new low even farther down the pit. If Western populations don’t wake up, before long they will find themselves all the way in the Lake of Fire with the devil laughing his head off". - Michael Youssef, televangelist

"This is a really pernicious lie of Satan to say that the gender part of humanity doesn’t really matter because the gender part of humanity is really denying the distinct God imaging in each of us as males and females. We need to understand that as Christians. That’s the biggest thing. The other is that, ‘you know kids don’t really need a mom and a dad they just need any configuration of loving adults who care for them,’ in fact, and this has already been in the case, we all know about what hate speech is, the fact of saying a child needs a mother and a father will be deemed hate speech because that is a statement against same-sex marriage and parenting." - Glenn T. Stanton, Focus on the Family

"We need to remember that in the time leading up to the Flood what the rabbis teach about the last straw for God before He brought the Flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage and Jesus said that you’ll know the End Times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the Flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end." - Scott Lively (Editor's note - there is NO verse in the Bible which validates Lively's assertions regarding marriage equality songs and Noah's flood). 
In other news: 

Scores Of Republicans Sign Legal Brief Supporting Gay Marriage Ahead Of Supreme Court Argument - This story practically blew up my twitter and facebook last night. For that reason, it needs a repeat for those who haven't heard about it yet.

 If you're going to DC to counter NOM's marriage march… - Be forewarned. IF you are going to DC to counter NOM's march, the organization will attempt to goad you into acting foolish so they can catch it on film. They admit it. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO DO THIS!

Student Suspended For Participating In ‘Day Of Silence’ Sues School - Oh this is gonna be good!

Fischer: 'There Is No Right to Engage in Immoral Behavior' - Bryan Fischer is talking about sex again. Whoop te do.

TWO Slams Quack Therapist Christopher Doyle For SPLC Hit Piece In The Christian Post - SPLC is really getting on the nerves of the anti-gay industry. Good!

Homophobe's plan for 'pro-family' victory involves shutting down gays

One has to give anti-gay activist Scott Lively points for chutzpah.

After spending the longest time attempting to deny his involvement in how Uganda created it's "Kill the Gay" bill, Lively is now peddling the same mindset which led to the bill's creation.

In a recent issue of World Net Daily, Lively advances what he calls a theory which will ensure a "pro-family" victory. It's actually a repeat of what he wrote to Russia in 2007.

Are you ready for two of his suggestions? :

1.  . . . begin training doctors, psychologists and therapists in the techniques of helping homosexuals to recover, and offer this therapy as a public service. Promote recovery for homosexuals in public advertising and reach out to young people who may suffer from same-sex attraction. Catch it early and spare these youths a lifetime of pain and suffering. Importantly, if Russian authorities publicly promote recovery for homosexuals, the “gays” will not be able to deceive the public with their “born the way” propaganda.
2.   . . .  criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don’t want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage “gay pride” parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality. 

In other words, leave gays alone. Just pass laws which make it absolutely impossible for them to function other than clandestine sexual encounters in bathrooms, rest stops, etc.  Destroy their ability to function openly in society, have public relationships, and families. Make their lives so intolerable that while you are not forcing them to seek ex-gay therapy per se, you are manipulating them in that direction. 

That's the most brazenly dishonest idea I've heard since Romney's desire for undocumented immigrants to choose "self-deportation."

This madness will never happen. But let's ask ourselves something. With all of the "Don't Say Gay" bills lurking about in state legislatures, the constant attacks by organizations like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, and the attempts to allow discriminatory behavior under the guise of "religious liberty," one wonders whether or not other religious right figures and supporters are a step ahead of Lively in the idea of making the lives of gays so intolerable that we practically trip over ourselves to rush into "ex-gay" therapy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Family Research Council pushes meanspirited video against marriage equality, gay families

If you want to see all of the inane arguments against marriage equality wrapped up in one video, check out the above monstrosity from the Family Research Council.

It is a four minute rush of almost every anti-gay point, every anecdotal horror story, and every lame argument against marriage equality.

The gist of the video is that homosexuality is a "behavior" therefore marriage equality contributes nothing to society. The video compares marriage equality to dealing drugs.

The video basically makes the following points, which I took the liberty to refute in parentheses.

Heterosexual marriage supposedly:

Creates children (Because in the world of the Family Research Council, gays and lesbians cannot create children. Apparently our "parts don't fit"),

Best raises children (That is if one ignores the millions of gay households raising children in this country as well as worldwide),

Protects women (Except for the wives who get beat up by their husbands),

Civilizes men (Except for the husbands who treat their wives like punching bags),

And lowers crime, poverty, and welfare, which reduces government spending and deficits (which is really a reason to support marriage equality if you think about it).

On the other hand, marriage equality:

Validates sex partners (Because married heterosexual couples don't have sex. If you think I'm wrong, ask Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, his wife and their multitude of children which they got from a cabbage patch in their backyard.),

Harms children by supposedly denying them a mother and a father (Because apparently a household with two fathers or two mothers is spooky),

Schools will subject children to "mandatory homosexual curricula" (Because apparently children in gay households don't attend public schools and if they do, who cares about letting them read reports about their families anyway. After all, they are inferior.),

Business and taxes will fund homosexual relationships (Because we all know that gays and lesbians don't own businesses and are exempt from paying taxes),

Freedom of religion and speech are gagged (Didn't they say this about lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation? Generally non-discrimination laws have less to do with marriage equality and more to do with fairness and taxes. An adoption agency receiving tax monies should not have the right to discriminate, regardless of which religion it serves).

This video is a colossal error on the part of the Family Research Council in that is provides arguments easier to poke through than Kleenex.

And more than that, the video comes across as just plain mean. It's dripping with a lot of naked animus towards same-sex couples and their families.

For one thing, it deliberately ignores the reality that children are raised in same-sex households. To me, implying that a child's family is nonexistent or inferior is more harmful than being raised in a same-sex household.

In addition, the video implies that gay couples know nothing about stability and fidelity. Maybe FRC should remember Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who after 55 years together were married in 2008 in California before Prop 8 was passed.

Or Edie Windor, who is seeking dignity for her over 40 year relationship with her late partner, Thea Spyer, by attempting to overturn DOMA.

And the thousands of couples in the states which passed marriage equality laws who stood in line in joyous celebration, tears, and accompanied by their children and family who were happy that finally their relationships were being treated with validity and respect.

But we all know that FRC won't do these things.  The group is too busy creating caste systems for God.

All I can say is keep it up, FRC.  If you keep showing America what you really think of same-sex couples and their families in such nakedly ugly details, we will receive marriage equality in practically no time at all.

'Gay self-acceptance compared to a roach motel' and other Monday midday news briefs

This unbelievably nasty tweet by so-called "ex-gay" activist Linda Jernigan is a prime of example of why I started this blog. Regardless of what folks like Jernigan say about them being 'Christian' and the lgbt community being bullies the opposite is true. My advice to my fellow lgbt brothers and sisters and our allies not to slam them with profanity on the Internet or anywhere else. USE these people. USE their words. SHOW people what they say. TELL people what they say. They are their own worst enemies and our best weapon for lgbt equality.

'Ex-gay' Linda Jernigan compares gay people's self-acceptance to a roach motel commercial - More details about Jernigan and that awful statement. I wonder will she be speaking at the NOM/FRC rally.

U.K.’s Top Cardinal Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Complaints From Priests - And of course he is anti-gay. And guess how far back these allegations go?

Kansas Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Same-Sex Adoption - I do love Kansas.

Texas Republicans Threaten Funding For Schools With Pro-LGBT Policies - Let them try.

Harvey: Gay 'Deception' Going Global - Linda Harvey is yet another example of what I'm talking about. USE the liars. Their words are our weapons against them.

Family Research Council resurrects old claim attacking same-sex families

For whatever reason, the Family Research Council has decided to resurrect the distortive story of supposedly what will happen if marriage equality is declared legal throughout the country, i.e. children will be "taught" about homosexuality.

Those who are familiar with how the right distorts this claim should know just who are the stars of the above video - two families from Massachusetts, the Parkers and the Wirthlins.

In 2005, the Wirthlins were supposedly upset that their child was read a story about a prince who marries another prince (instead of the customary stories of a young girl and her grandmother being eaten by a wolf or two children being abandoned by their parents in the forest and nearly cannibalized by a witch).

And the Parkers are really special. In 2005, the father, David Parker, was arrested for not leaving his son's school.  He claimed that he wanted some type of parental notice which would exclude his child from discussions of gay families, even if those discussions happened by accident. However, there are some (this author included) who believed that Parker had conspired with a local anti-gay group (Mass Resistance) to blow the entire incident out of proportion.

Both families sued the schools, claiming that parents had the right to opt out their children when lessons like these were taught. And they lost in front of the Supreme Court, who found that while Massachusetts did have a law allowing parents to opt their children out of lessons regarding human sexuality, learning about different families is not a lesson about human sexuality.

However, the story didn't die. The National Organization for Marriage used the Parkers and Wirthlins in its successful attempt to pass Prop 8 in California. And the families were used in ads last year in Maryland, Maine, Washington state, and Minnesota - all failing efforts by the way.

This particular video starring Parker and Wirthlins runs like a conversation with FRC head Tony Perkins. However, I think it fails. Other than the ominous music and the fake tears at the end from Parker and his wife, I think the viewer will wonder what exactly is the problem.

If anything, the video makes the Parkers and Wirthlins look clueless and bigoted. While FRC tries to make the video seem like homosexuality will be "taught" to children as if this would be a calamity, the Parkers and Wirthlins freely admit that they object their children knowing about same-sex households.

And therein lies the difference. It is the reason why both families lost their lawsuit in court. Learning about different families has nothing to do with human sexuality. According to the Seattle Times, who wrote about an ad featuring the Parkers and the Wirthlins last year:

In reality, in classrooms across the state and the country, teachers are already having conversations with children about different kinds of families — those of mixed race or religion, or those headed by single parents, grandparents, two moms or two dads.

And lessons about families are already part of the grade-level requirements for first-graders in Washington schools — the idea being that it helps prepare them to function as citizens in a diverse society.

But those requirements say nothing about any kind of marriage, and schools typically don't raise the subject — in deference to students who come from homes where the adults may not be married. Perhaps more importantly, there's no direct link between school curricula and same-sex-marriage laws . . .

And while the video focuses on the Parkers' children - making free use of footage showing them playing and walking with their parents  - this footage again undercuts the message FRC tries to present because the actual message it is saying is that same-sex households and the children who live in those households are somehow inferior and should not be type of respect that two-parent heterosexual households are given.

No doubt, FRC will sway the minds of those who are already in its camp, but that's a given.  If the group was attempting to win over new converts to its side, then it will fail miserably. All in all, the video is archaic and the Wirthlins and Parkers come across as mean-spirited and selfish people determined to push second-class status on families who are not like their own.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - WKRP in Cincinnati: 'Les on a Ledge'

WKRP in Cincinnati _ Les On A Ledge by hulu

As seen by this 1978 episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, members of the transgender community and the idea that someone would attempt suicide after being called gay were funny topics once upon a time without hardly any reprisal.  Not so much today.

While we continue to do the work to gain equality, let's never forget how far we have come or where we have come from.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'NOM teams up with anti-gay hate group for march' and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM joins forces with Family Research Council, undeniable anti-LGBT animus - The era of the Maggie Gallagher passive-aggressive homophobia is officially over for the National Organization for Marriage. And let's not forget one of the many statements made by FRC about lgbts:

Philly Archbishop To Bus Parishioners To NOM Hate March On SCOTUS - And unfortunately, some members of the Catholic Church will be busing people in.

And what are we doing to counter it? This, which I fully support!
Pope Benedict XVI Resigned Partly Because Of Powerful Vatican Gay Lobby, Italian Paper Claims - I definitely missed the memo from national headquarters on this one. 

 Scott Lively Finds More 'Proof' That Obama is Gay, Having an Affair with Reggie Love - That Scott Lively! Always good for a laugh!

Christian writer - heterosexual sex reveals the mystery of Jesus and church

 A few thoughts about what you have just seen:

First of all, this is not a parody. This seems to be taken from an episode of Pat Robertson's "The 700 Club."

This Christopher West guy is a STRANGE one and what exactly is "theology of the body." That's just creepy.

Lastly, I was so blown away by that long-winded, absolutely Tommy Chongish explanation of heterosexual sex that I almost missed getting angry when he next compares gay and lesbian relationships to alcoholism and sexual addiction.

I almost WISH this guy was a witness at the Prop 8 trial.

To those who seek to stop gays and lesbians from getting married - if you even condone this guy's explanation of why marriage equality shouldn't be allowed, then I suggest you start buying us gays and lesbians the wedding rings NOW!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

American Family Association faces backlash after attacks on Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow
I was going to write a long-winded piece on  Tim Tebow canceling his appearance at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas due to controversy about the head of the church's (Robert Jeffres) vicious comments about gays, Jews, Mormons, and Catholics. But in researching that post, something else caught my attention and I just had to make you aware of it.

Naturally, the American Family Association's fake news publication One News Now (which the group now calls Instant Analysis) blistered Tebow on his decision to cancel:

Instead of standing with the Christian leader of their day, the disciples of Christ fled like panicked sheep when he came under direct attack. I had thought and hoped Tebow was made of sterner stuff. Tebow needs to clarify and expand on his remarks immediately, and undo this disastrous decision. Dr. Jeffress is a man of unconditional love and will gladly receive him back. 

The publication even invites readers to either tweet their support of disappointment to Tebow by using the hashtags  #tebowcaves or  #tebowsupport.

But the AFA had better stop worrying about Tebow and worry about its supporters.

In a huge surprise to me, the comments on Instant Analysis (formerly One News Now) favor Tebow and actually takes AFA to task for attacking him. Here are just a few:

  • I am not disappointed in Tebow, but in you for setting up a hashtag and news headline "tebowcaves" to automate heckling of someone that has stood far beyond where most people, and probably yourself would stand. Why would you create a link to entice thousands of others to torment him? As believers we understand that your acts do not represent Christianity, However, non believers view these type of acts as a representation of "Christians". Please consider your actions before recruiting thousands of people to turn against another believer. Thank you.

  •  My thoughts mirror most of the prior ones. How quickly we jump to conclusions w/o knowing the whole story. Tim Tebow has not suddenly become the bad guy here. We should be showing our love and support during what must be a difficult time for him. How can we "Christians" turning on him help the situation? It's hardly acting the part of a Christian...

  • Much as I have supported, sponsored and appreciated AFA for years, and as a  large part of my pro-family, anti-tyranny activism is through them, I believe  that the hashtags are a downright mean-spirited idea and I'm ashamed of AFA in  that regard. From the whole world's history with Tebow's faithfulness to date in the face of the diseased liberal left, I think we can be certain he knows how to pray about his  own decisions --and has the freedom to do so! Good GRIEF, AFA! Voice your disappointment if you wish, and raise questions that will draw accurate answers when the facts come in, but draw the line at bullying, please! You've got an  apology to make, and I hope to see you somehow back off that foolish  mob-gathering "Tebowcaves" hashtag. You are always ready for me to pop off  pointed letters that register my disappointment with various offenders; well,  here's my letter to you.

  • I couldn't agree more,  .... I will be looking a lot more closely at AFA activity and agenda in the future before I jump in and support. My antennae are up bigtime ...

  • What is wrong with the people that wrote this article?? You're being judgemental! You are not God. Only Tim knows what is between him and God and the reasons he is not speaking at this church. Read the Bible and you will see many instances where people are persecuted for doing the very thing God has asked them to do. Several years ago (about 12 years), my family and our pastor's family started a new church. We felt the Lord was calling for us to do that work. Wouldn't you know it, the very people that made fun of us by calling us names (seriously!) were the supposed Christians we had attended church with earlier! Today, that church is alive and well. If God is in it, NO man can defeat it. Tim, you keep doing what the Lord tells you to no mind to mere men who call themselves Christian.

  • When a pastor chooses to take such a public stance on controversial issues - perhaps devoid of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, I might add - then they will get the attention they want, but only serve to further separate people rather than helping people join together. Chasing homosexuals from your church is not what Jesus did. This pastor is a loudmouth who wanted attention...and he got it. clapclapclap But I do not applaud his clumsy attention-getting behavior. I do applaud Tebow distancing himself from this loudmouth attention seeker. While we all are guilty of all-too-Human behavior from time to time, pastors must hold themselves to a higher standard and not take advantage of the trust and sometimes blind faith congregations have in THEM, rather than in Jesus Christ. Just sayin'.

  • I am no longer in receiving messages or participating in this judgmental site. I'm not perfect like the people who run it. I don't deserve to associate with them.

I guess the American Family Association just learned the hard way that while you can pick on gays, you don't mess with football players.

 UPDATE - AFA wiped away all of the links and put up a "update" with a half-assed apology

'Tim Tebow cancels appearance at anti-gay, anti-Semitic church' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Tim Tebow Cancels Appearance At Anti-Gay Megachurch - Come on folks, give Mr. Tebow some "dap" for making the right decision. I can almost forgive him for beating my Steelers in the playoffs two years ago. 

Miss. Newspaper's Coverage of Lesbian Wedding Sparks Outrage and Owner's Kick-Ass Reply - And the reply should be remembered as legendary. 

 Yesterday's anti-gay rally in Illinois: Weak crowd lacking in diversity - You mean the anti-marriage equality crowd exaggerates the number of its supporters. Well knock me over with a Joan Crawford dvd.  

Rhode Island’s Board of Rabbis Endorses Marriage Equality Bill - I believe the word here is "BOOM!"  

Study: Gay Troops Denied Nearly 100 Benefits Because Of DOMA - THIS should NOT be happening.

Hide your children! Here comes the 'dreaded' gay couple

In spite of all religious right attempts, the belief that marriage equality will doom America doesn't seem to be catching on. It's probably because a lot of people are being made aware that gay couples are just the same as heterosexual couples when it comes to love and devotion. And the following couple demonstrates this point, perfectly:

According to Buzzfeed:

This video is one of six The Devotion Project has produced so far. Each introduces us to queer couple with an amazing story to tell.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There is nothing Christian about Rick Scarborough's hate

From Right Wing Watch:

Vision America's Rick Scarborough delivered a guest sermon at the Fairton Christian Center in New Jersey earlier this month where he declared that gays coming out of the closet was a sign that a nation has forgotten God.

But Scarborough quickly corrected himself and apologized for using the word "gay" when he really meant "sodomites" because using the word "gay" is "an abuse of the language." Scarborough went on the predict that, very soon, pedophiles will be referred to as "happy people" and they will have parades and be defended by legislators ... and those who don't think this can happen just need to remember that "twenty years ago, who called a sodomite 'gay'? We had laws in Texas 'til 2002 that we sent them to prison! That was based on the Bible, by the way"

I've got a Facebook friend who speaks in vicious tones about the Bible and Christianity in general. He at times drives me crazy. But when I listen to Scarborough, I can understand his anger.

If Rick Scarborough had said the same things about African-Americans or those of the Jewish faith that he just said about gays, there would be no question about his bigotry. Since when is using the Bible as a crutch an excuse for such abusive language? Bigotry is bigotry, no matter how you attempt to dress it up.

'Focus on the Family dooms its anti-gay argument with deceptive video' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

The above video by Focus on the Family is an example of oblivious ignorance.

From Think Progress:
In a conversation between host Stuart Shepard and Focus’s resident ex-gay Jeff Johnston, the two suggest that “the real agenda” of the equality movement is to “marginalize” Christians for opposing same-sex marriage . . .

 . . . Shepard and Johnston are categorically denying that discrimination is discrimination. They cite various cases of so called “marginalization” of Christians, but none of them even took place in states that have marriage equality. In each situation, it was a business refusing to provide a service to people because of their sexual orientation and then being challenged under state laws because that form of discrimination is illegal. A New Mexico photographer refused to document a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony and lost in court. Bakers in Colorado and Oregon have been challenged for refusing to sell cakes to celebrating same-sex couples. A t-shirt company in Kentucky was found to be in the wrong for refusing to print t-shirts for a Pride festival. None of these states even have same-sex marriage; the business owners simply do not have legitimate standing to discriminate.

The thing is that these folks seem to think that pushing such an argument helps them. Maybe it gets them accolades from folks who already support their point of view. However, in the mainstream, they are practically slicing their own argument to pieces. I say keep it up!

In other news:

Video: Secure in own marriage, unthreatened Delawareans secure equality insteadIn contrast to the above monstrosity of self-destruction comes this very neat and complete video from Delaware citizens who support marriage equality. 

59 Percent of Voters Oppose Section 3 of DOMA - And Section Three is the main part we are attempting to overturn.

The Down-Low Stigma Is Still Prevalent in Urban Gay Media - The Down-Low Stigma is a mess, particularly because it leaves "Woody Allen" types of black gay men like myself out in the cold when it comes to media representation.  Don't get me started when it comes to lack of diversity when it comes to the public images of black gay men.

Bayli Silberstein, Bisexual Eighth-Grader, Speaks Out As Florida School Board Tries To Block GSA (VIDEO) - I adore our young lgbt heroes!

Morse - gays want to convert the workplace using 'their agenda'

Part of me adores Jennifer Morse of NOM's Ruth Institute. Whereas Maggie Gallagher tried to be slick regarding NOM's homophobia, Morse refuses to play such games. She has let her homophobic "freak flag" fly, so to speak, thereby exposing NOM's true angle. Case in point, why she feels lgbt-inclusive nondiscrimination laws are a bad idea:

MORSE: Once a person is in the workplace, then they use their position of authority to steer the whole organization towards the larger objectives of the gay lobby which is not limited to making their company and their employer as successful as possible in the marketplace. You know? They’ve got other objectives that they’re working towards and they’re using their positions of authority inside companies to do that. And I think that’s the pattern, and I think that’s, in a sense, the story, for people to see that. And of course for an employer to say “well, gosh, I don’t want you to work for me anymore because the objectives of the gay lobby are not my objectives and you’re taking up a lot of corporate time pressuring us internally to steer us towards the gay lobby, and that doesn’t really do anything for me, and so I want to fire you because of that or I don’t want to promote you because of that because I don’t think you’re really working hand in glove with the overall objectives of this company,” I think they’d have a hard time firing somebody on that basis because of the anti-discrimination law. Or certainly it would be tricky to fire somebody. So I think people need to kind of understand that there’s more at stake than anti-discrimination policy. That those kinds of statutes, those kinds of laws, that kind of case law and so on, it seems like it’s innocent enough, actually carries with it, in its wake, more than people may realize. [emphasis added]

Apparently, Morse has been watching too much Star Trek and thereby has the lgbt community mistaken for the Borg, a community of marauding aliens led by a hive mind.

Members of the lgbt community are not attempting to get nondiscrimination laws passed so that we can easily spread the supposed "gay agenda" in the workplace. It's so that we can work freely unencumbered by the possible ignorance of our fellow employees.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Family Research Council wants YOU to pay for its anti-gay lies

I have just received an email from the Family Research Council announcing a new initiative (the Marriage Preservation Initiative) and its purpose is to raise over $200,000 to expand FRC's research, flood Capitol Hill with ads, and put a bunch of ads on the Internet and major newspapers.

Supposedly the purpose of these ads it to spell out a message of doom should the Supreme Court overturn Prop 8 and DOMA.

In its email, FRC gave an indication of the kinds of claims they will make.  Allow me to list the claims and refute them:

  • Will the federal government now tell pastors what they can and cannot preach from the pulpit so it conforms to approved government speech? Didn't FRC say the same thing about lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation, i.e. that the government will tell pastors what to preach. NO such thing took place after lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation was passed. 

  • Will pastors who preach against same-sex "marriage" and homosexual behavior be prosecuted for hate speech? On the risk of repeating myself, didn't FRC claim that lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation would lead to pastors being arrested in the pulpits for declaring homosexuality to be a sin? No such incident took place after lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation was passed. 
  • Will churches that refuse to host same-sex "weddings" lose their tax exemptions? No church will be forced to host same-sex weddings. Period.

And FRC lists other portents of doom. Allow me to correct those also:

  • The military will have to provide "married" housing to same-sex couples at taxpayer expense. Oh this is terrible because you know, gays and lesbians are exempt from paying taxes. That was sarcasm, folks. 

  •  Christian adoption agencies will be forced to place children with same-sex couples or close their doors. Sorry but this situation has less to do with marriage equality and a lot to do with Christian adoption agencies taking taxpayer money and feeling that they still have the right to discriminate. 

  •  Christian-owned companies and even para-church ministries will be coerced to extend married benefits to same-sex couples. What the heck are "para-church ministries? But more importantly, notice the semantics here.  "Christian-owned companies" doesn't necessarily mean churches, but restaurants, apartment complexes, and as we have seen, bakeries and flower shops owned by folks who call themselves Christians. If you allow secular businesses to discriminate based on their religious beliefs, you are unleashing a huge dragon who will probably end up biting FRC in the ass. 

  •  And children who won't affirm the legitimacy of the homosexual "lifestyle" choice will be forced to undergo psychological counseling. For the life of me, I don't know what the hell FRC is talking about here.

So basically, the Family Research Council wants your money to help it spread a bunch of lies about marriage equality and the lgbt community in general.

'Gay man confronts homophobia, earns applause and respect' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Gay Man Confronts Homophobic Subway Preacher, Train Crowd Applauds (VIDEO) - If the homophobia in the world ever depresses you, take a look at this video. A gay man confronts a homophobic subway preacher and earns the applause of other passengers. And I love his hat, by the way.  

Music Producer Clive Davis Comes Out As Bisexual - In case you haven't heard, legendary music impresario Clive Davis has come out of the closet. Welcome to the open family, Clive. Now I've got this cousin . . . .  

A Trans Man’s First Year As A NYC Public School Teacher - Fascinating article. We need more things like this and less of those "bathroom lies" the religious right likes to peddle.

 Do not be deceived—tomorrow's anti-#ILequality lobby day is all about 'rescuing homosexuals' - And who will rescue from those who are attempting to rescue us?

Video exposes religious right's talent for anti-gay misdirection, omission

This hideously bad video is by former Family Research Council intern Anna Maria Hoffman and she wants us to "stop the hate" of those who support so-called traditional marriage. Though it was excruciating to watch, especially the couple of seconds (Girlfriend can't sing. Not a lick!), her attempt to outline the point of view of those on her side of the marriage equality argument actually helps us.

Not because of what she says, via bad cue card reading, but because of her tone, how she misdirects the argument, and what she omits.

1. Tone - Ms. Hoffman whines about that those on her side of the argument are unfairly attacked, yet she makes it seem that those of who support marriage equality are doing it because it's a "trendy" thing to do. To the vast majority of us, gaining marriage equality is not like going to the new club or attempting a new dance. We have a desire to affirm our love and see our families protected as all Americans do.

2. Misdirects - Hoffman lists an entire set of reasons why so-called traditional marriage is in danger such as the rate of divorce and households without a father. However, none of the reasons she lists has anything to do with gays and lesbians getting married. Nor does she say how allowing gays and lesbians to get married would exacerbate these problems.

3. Omission - Finally, Hoffman seems to be taking a page from the Maggie Gallagher book of "Whine about being called bigots to cover up how bigoted our tactics are." She goes on a spiel about how unfair it is that those like her are labeled as "bigots" simply because they support so-called traditional marriage. Is she serious? Was Hoffman asleep during her entire tenure at the Family Research Council?  Hoffman seems to conveniently omit the many, many times her organization has demonized gays, labeled us as the "dangerous other," and expressed desires that we be either deported from the country or put in jail. And that doesn't even begin to cover the cherry-picked studies the Family Research Council uses against us.

Hoffman is unfortunately indicative of religious right group employees and spokespeople. They want to claim victimhood for being called bigots while at the same time spewing their bigotry.

You simply cannot have it both ways.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper.

Monday, February 18, 2013

13th researcher cries foul over anti-gay distortions of his work

We've heard this song before and I wish someone besides a few of us would pick up on the tune. 

From Truth Wins Out comes this piece of news:

In what has become a disturbing pattern, a top researcher has accused Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), of grossly distorting his work to advance NARTH’s discredited view that gay and lesbians people are mentally ill.

Dr. Allan Schore, a leading psychotherapist and neuropsychologist, is the latest NARTH victim to have his research deliberately misused and politicized. This is particularly alarming because NARTH is the primary organization trying to use the courts in California to strike down a new law prohibiting reparative therapy for minors.
NARTH is not a scientific organization, but a disreputable public relations campaign that twists legitimate research in an effort stigmatize the LGBT community. NARTH members, including Joseph Nicolosi, are ethically challenged and should not be taken seriously by the courts or society.

According to Truth Wins Out, Nicolosi implied that he had a working relationship with Schore. However,  when Dominic Davies, of the London-based organization Pink Therapy investigated, he found this implication to be false:

Throughout the text,” said Davies, “Nicolosi claims homosexuality as an Attachment Disorder and distorts and misattributes Schore’s work in Attachment Theory in support of his spurious argument.” Davies contacted Schore to clarify his relationship with Nicolosi. In their correspondence, the scientist made clear that he was “deeply disturbed” that he was misquoted by Nicolosi and said that “there is absolutely no neuropsychological research evidence that homosexuality is a disorder.” He further stated that Nicolosi is “grafting my shame and attachment models on to gender identity disorders, something I have never even written about.”

Here is the thing which bothers me about this. This discovery was made last week and other than a mention in Think Progress, it was totally ignored - just like the majority of other times in which physicians and researchers have complained about the distortion of their work by the religious right.

And when I say totally ignored, I am not pointing fingers at the mainstream media. My accusations are at the lgbt media and the community at large.

Religious right groups and affiliate organizations have a long history of distorting scientific research and we have the complaints to prove it, but what have we done to publicize these complaints?

Not a damn thing.

 Instead, some of us roll our eyes and yawn as if we are being subjected to something which bores us immensely. And our media and leaders ignore these revelations because apparently they aren't "positive news."

Meanwhile, groups like the National Organization for Marriage or the Family Research Council are able to take anecdotal situations involving bakers who refuse to make wedding cakes for lgbt couples, or elected officials who get into trouble for placing their beliefs above their job duties and get maximum media coverage which allows them to push their inaccurate point of view to the public

And why is that? Because they know the power of good press and don't shirk away from exploiting, if you will, any and all situations to make their point of view seem plausible.

In contrast, the lgbt community seems to be so jaded that we will not recognize a chance to publicize when the religious right is blatantly lying.
It all leads me to realize one thing -  the main reason why the religious right continue to lie about the lgbt community and to deliberately distort science is because we let them by keeping silent.

Related posts:

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America (pgs. 8-10)

Friday, February 15, 2013

'Thousands come to Minnesota State House to support marriage equality' and other Friday midday news briefs

Look: Thousands Flood Minnesota (Yes, Minnesota) State House To Support Gay Marriage - Unlike NOM, our supporters don't have to lie about OUR numbers.  

Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony Founder, Says Gay Marriage 'Damaged His Company' - Mr. Warren trashes gays, but it was the "Christians" whom he had to bodyguards to protect himself from when his company changed its policy.  

Illinois' leading purveyor of gay marriage myths now pushing offensive infertility claims - And our opponents wonder why they are losing . . .  

Virginia Legislator Kills Employment Protections Because Anti-LGBT Discrimination ‘Doesn’t Exist’ - And of course he is wrong.

Porno Pete LaBarbera upset over full frontal male nudity

I haven't picked on Porno Pete LaBarbera for a while and I think he is feeling lonely.

On his Americans for Truth webpage, he is on a new crusade. Apparently he is upset that the Huffington Post ran a spotlight on male full frontal scenes in movies in its Gay Voices section.

Now in all honest, I was initially put off by the feature, but then I came to the understanding that there a is a good cultural discussion which can arise from it. For years, motion pictures had no problem showing female frontal nudity and now things seem to be balancing out. What gives? Are some male actors less afraid to show off their possible "shortcomings?" It's an interesting thing to talk about when it comes to gender and power.

However, LaBarbera refused to become so enlightened. To him, it's a part of the gay conspiracy:

The HuffPo video reminds us of one salient point in the national debate over homosexuality: “gay” guys like to see other men nude, and lesbians like to see women nude. Thus, the perversion of homosexuality turns seemingly “safe” places like gym showers, dorms and collective military showers into potential leering zones for those beset with aberrant sexual desires. (At many colleges, students are forbidden  under “nondiscrimination” codes from demanding a new roommate because they don’t want to room with a homosexual.) Thus the privacy of sexually normal people is violated.

I'm going to ignore that crack about "normal people."  I just want to know how many times did LaBarbera have to "look" at the video in question for him to fully register his "shock."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love makes a family, not talking points

Impact Magazine just ran an awesome story from Rob Waston, director of Partners and Alliances Communication for Hitachi Data Systems and who also blogs at evoL.

The story by Waston talks about his two sons who he and his partner fostered and then adopted. Excellent read through and through. I especially liked this part:

As I look at my sons, I am filled with the awareness of a love for each that I could never fathom in my wildest imagination previously.  The love I have for each is unique, each powerful in its own right, but its own “color” if you will.   Jason is the son of my heart, Jesse is the son of my soul.
Today they act as twins.  Since he is physically bigger, they have decided that Jesse is the “big brother”.  Since he was born four months earlier, Jason has been dubbed, by mutual consent, as the “older brother”.   We do not have a “little brother” in the family.

That is how two little best friends became brothers.  It is how my gay family came together.  We have a unique story, but we are not unique.  All same-gendered parent families have a story.  While my friend at the airport was right, “all ways can be hard”, all ways can also be miraculous, loving and intensely wonderful.

How our families come together is being judged today, and in the next few months.  It will be judged by the US Supreme Court.  Our families are likely to be judged long after that as well, no matter what the results.

And, no matter what the judgments on our value, I will always know the truth.  I know how thoroughly REAL we are.  I live it and I have seen it.

All of the nonsense in the world dragged about by Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, and that bunch at NOM can never compete with that.  It reminds one that family doesn't necessarily always come from biological ties.

But those who create families through biological ties and those who don't should never think that their families are in competition with each other. Rather, they are kindred spirit because they both share the ability and desire to love and sacrifice.

And more often than not, that's all you need.


'So God Made a Gay Man' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Stunning video! I love it! Okay my lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, the ball is in your court. I would love to see an equally powerful video created by one of you. 

In other news:

37 Senators Call On Obama To Ban Anti-LGBT Bias By Contractors - So do it already! I'm sure that Obama will as soon as he gets his religious right flame retardant suit ready.

 Illinois ‘Family’ Group: Gays Shouldn’t Even Be Teaching, Let Alone Marrying - Some folks really need to get over their homophobia.

  Olympic Wrestling Canceled Because Of Gay Conspiracy, Russian Coach Claims - Claiming that gays plotted to eliminate wrestling from the Olympic Games is the single most clueless thing I have heard in a while for so many reasons besides the belief that gay men enjoy watching men in tight outfights slam-bamming each other on a mat.

Anti-gay Indiana teacher gets parodied in brutal video

In the controversy involving Sullivan High School in Indiana and the situation involving the supposed "traditional, no gays allowed" alternative prom, Diana Medley the special education teacher who spoke on the side of those wanting that prom (Medley is not employed at Sullivan High School) has taken a huge amount of the criticism.

Petitions have been passed around asking that she be dismissed, comment after comment have been written about her. And the final indignity? The video above parodies her absolutely vicious comments about gays, particularly gay youth.

The reason for all of the animus directed at Medley is simple.  Think Progress puts it like this:

Of course Medley has the right to her fraudulent, offensive beliefs, but she also has an obligation to the safety and well-being of students that she supervises. As a special ed teacher, she is likely working with students who are already vulnerable to bullying because of their physical, mental, or learning disabilities. By publicly stating that an entire group of students don’t have a purpose in life, she compromises her trust as an educator.

I would also like to add that to many older gays, Medley touched a nerve because perhaps she reminded them of the times they were bullied in school. Perhaps to them, Medley represents the teacher or principal who stood by and let it happen and then afterwards blamed them for their treatment by saying that they needed to supposedly "act normal."


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NOM attacking same-sex families with tacky graphic

Number one on the Top Ten Chart of Tackiness is the above graphic by the National Organization for Marriage.

It's pathetic on so many levels. At least allow me to count off three:

1. It attacks same-sex families

2. It blames same-sex families for the single-parent homes and takes President Obama's words out of context. At no time has President Obama ever blamed same-sex households for fatherless homes. Jeremy Hooper said the following:

When President Obama uttered those words, he was referring to the very specific problems of dads who played a role in creating a family only to abdicate responsibility. That is an issue—one that we should solve. Same goes for when mothers step out on families that they should support. In an ideal climate, we could all agree on this.

 In a less politicized world, we could hope that all human beings would take responsibility for whatever family form they, by virtue of their own choices, created.
But in the aggressive world that NOM is forcing on us all? Gays are the scapegoat. Our families come at an expense. A penis and a vagina are innately better than a doubled set (regardless of any other qualities attached to the genitalia). Homes like mine are on par (or worse than) ones where a father walks out on his children. And of course our President cannot make a strong statement about

3. It underscores the simple fact that other than attacking same-sex households and attempting to inaccurately attach them to the problem of fatherless homes, the National Organization for Marriage has done NOTHING to address the problem or provide solutions. If anything, NOM is exploiting the problem of fatherless homes to attack same-sex families.

But one good thing does come out of NOM's graphic. It exposes just how low the organization will stoop to attack same-sex families and households.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper.