Thursday, October 31, 2013

Religious right counting on transgender horror stories to stop ENDA

Oh the lies they tell about ENDA!
Just as I predicted.

As the United States Senate gets closer to a vote on ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act), religious right groups are pulling out the "do you want your children taught by crossdressers, drag queens, and transgenders" card.

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition (who always seems to be strangely silent except when folks start talking about ENDA) had this to say:

Andrea Lafferty tells OneNewsNow that the first impact might see transgendered people teaching in public schools. "We believe that children need a psychologically stable and emotionally secure environment to learn," says Lafferty. "And that is not the case when you put individuals who struggle with gender identity [into classrooms]." She argues that transgender people are "psychologically unhealthy individuals" who shouldn't be "forced on children and parents" in schools around the country. 

And of course the Family Research Council gets into the act via an email alert which spun other tales of lies:

ENDA would force religious business owners and workplaces such as Christian bookstores, religious publishing houses, pre-schools and religious television and radio stations to accept as normal any employee who has had a sex-change surgery, any employee who has changed or is "transitioning" their public "gender identity" (regardless of whether they have had surgery or hormone treatments), transvestites (people who dress as the opposite sex on an occasional basis for emotional or sexual gratification), and drag queens or drag kings (people who dress as the opposite sex for the purpose of entertaining others).

Making matters worse, "perceived gender identity" status does not require sex-change surgery, so ENDA would allow some biological males (who claim to be female) to enter and even appear nude before females in bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. Situations like this have already been reported in several states with ENDA like laws such as Maine, Colorado and California.

We had better get ready to hear more of this junk. It's all a matter of fear tactics.

Regarding "religious business owners," that's too broad of a field for my taste. Anyone employed in or owning a secular business should not get religious exemptions, no matter what their personal beliefs may be.  Tax dollars are being used to protect these businesses, i.e. the police department and the fire department, etc. And the last time I checked, LGBTs pay taxes.

Regarding bathrooms, locker room, and showers, let me ask you one question. We hear horror stories of what could happen, but have we ever heard any actual stories of things like this happening. Notice how FRC is deliberately vague about that. I can honestly tell you that here in Columbia, SC where there is a trans-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, we have never had these problems. Transgender men and women aren't predators. They aren't trying to "sneak a peak."  They go about their business not trying to draw attention to themselves . . . just like everyone else.

Now about the biggie, i.e. schools employing transgender teachers. Let's ask ourselves an honest question about that? Just what harm would it do to children? Is there any case of children being harmed by being taught by a transgender teacher. Goodness knows, there are more than enough cases of parents freaking out over the possibility. But has the possibility ever become the actuality?

In 2010 Lafferty actually tried to dig up cases of children being harmed by transgender teachers. She cited three. However, as with the case of so many religious right spokesperson, she gave the cases inaccurate spins. I took it upon myself to dig deep and found that none of the cases involved children being harmed. In fact, what actually happened was that many of the children and their parents supported the teachers and a lot of the controversy and angry noise came from folks who didn't even have children attending the schools.

But who cares about truth, huh? It's a sad day when those who call themselves Christians and children of God appeal to fears and distortions rather than truth and love, especially to deny their fellow men and women their God-given right to equality.


'Anti-gay pastor denies comments even AFTER they were caught on audio and video' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Editor's note - I am pretty sure that folks have noticed that I haven't blogging as much as I have in the past.  I have been derelict in that department because I have been prepping my booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America, for a major national award nomination. On Monday, I will mail off the final paperwork. Wish me luck.

E.W. Jackson Resorts To Lying To Duck Questions About Anti-Gay Rhetoric - VA lt. governor nominee and anti-gay pastor has denied that he ever called gays sick and that God will stop blessing the military over gay rights. But there is one problem with his denials. He is ON AUDIO AND VIDEOTAPE making both statements. Sorry, Jackson but being a pastor doesn't give you the Jedi mind trick.

 10 Myths Conservatives Spread In Opposition To LGBT Employment Protections - Here are ten more conservative lies about ENDA.

Meet The Pacific Justice Institute, The California Group Behind Fox’s Anti-LGBT Horror Stories - Here is a look at the big bad "Christian" organization who resorts to smearing transgender children.

Orson Scott Card Calls Backlash To Anti-Gay Views 'Savage, Lying Deceptive Personal Attacks' - Now come on, Orson. You started it. Be honest.

 Maggie Gallagher Believes Her Fight Will Be Fully Lost Within Two Years - That's a nice thought. 

Trans Teen Won't Be Homecoming King, But Can Start a GSA - LGBT children are changing the world for the better!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

'Top 10 Religious Right lies about ENDA' and other Wednesday afternoon news briefs

Last Three Democrat Holdouts To Support ENDA - There will be a vote on ENDA in the Senate and all the Democrats there support it. But you know what this means . . .

The ENDA is Near: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (UPDATED) - THIS is what the vote means. As much as you probably don't want to (and I don't blame you, familiarize yourselves with these ludicrous arguments because you will be hearing them soon.  

Yanel Valenzuela, Transgender Woman, Allegedly Barred From LA Fitness Locker Room - It was downright nasty how this young lady was done wrong.  

How Unjust Family Laws Are Keeping LGBT Parents Away From Their Children - Bar none, the scariest thing an LGBT parent will probably ever read.  

Good News: We Can All Stop Worrying About Bullying Now - Pay attention, boys and girls. This is how you use a strawman argument to minimize a huge problem.

The Family Research Council publishes sadly neutered piece on marriage

The Family Research Council and other religious right groups will have you to believe that recent victories by the lgbt community regarding marriage equality is the result of an immoral collusion between us and so-called activists judges.

But a recent "analysis" by FRC gives a good indication of why these groups have been getting practically destroyed in the courts.

The analysis, Complementarity in Marriage: What it is and Why it Matters, was written by FRC Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder and has to be the most oblivious piece of anything I have ever read. The first excerpts gives you a clue:
Men and women are different.

This self-evident and clichéd claim is no longer as uncontroversial as, historically, it once was. According to a 2011 report from the American Psychological Association,

Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice, or body characteristics ... Transgender people experience their transgender identity in a variety of ways and may become aware of their transgender identity at any age. 

This statement includes a reference to an undefined but apparently defining “internal sense” and the concurrent argument that one can recognize his or her transgenderism “at any age.” Such an assumption has stunning implications for the way law, society, and family all function. But before we examine that assumption, let’s start here: what’s the deal with exclusively male- female unions? 

Men and women are different? No kidding.

And it goes on like that for seven pages, carrying on different variations of the tired argument that "men and women complement each other and their function is to get married, have children, and raise children while living together as husband and wife."

It's an argument the lgbt community has heard so many times that a lot of us can probably recite it fro memory. Never mind that it's an argument which does not speak to a reality where not all couples are married or have children and not all children have both parents or at least one parent in the home.

This analysis doesn't hardly touch same-sex relationship except to say that if the door is opened for it, we could be seeing things like polygamous relationships and a vague reference to how children "need both a mother and a father."

And therein lies the problem. Where is the concrete evidence that marriage equality would prevent male/female relationships, harm male/female relationships, or harm children who are already in same-sex families.

FRC doesn't say a word about that reality. It's as if the organization refuses to comprehend that the latter (children in same-sex households) don't exist.

In short, this analysis is more neutered than a stereotypical 1950s husband after his harridan of a wife has bashed him over the head a few times with a rolling pin.

The truth is clear.  Marriage equality is not a danger to society and FRC knows it. And in writing this junk analysis, Schwarzwalder and FRC have obviously given up on their attempts to raise a false alarm. At least this time.

Are we finally getting to them?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

'CA conservatives continue to target transgender children' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

California Conservatives Fabricate Another Story About Transgender Restroom Harassment - Some of the worst bullies wear the cloak of religion. 

ANOTHER PJI-backed signature gatherer caught LYING about trans kids - See item one. This one is worse, though. (Editor's note - careful about the autoplay)

State Senate committee passes same sex marriage bill - Hawaii's on the road to doing the right thing.  

NY Post Celebrates Stephen Jimenez's Matthew Shepard Trutherism - Apparently according to NY Post columnist Andrea Peyser, Stephen Jimenez is "the most dangerous gay journalist on Earth." Well every newspaper has "ONE (modesty precludes me from going further)" and Andrea Peyser is it for the Post.

 Gay Parents Are Like '5-Year-Olds Who Think They Can Drive Cars,' Apostle Paul David Rodgers Claims - Forget that dumb comment for a second. Just when did Jesus make this man an "apostle?"

ENDA opposition rests on extreme transphobia, homophobia

It's no secret that religious right groups cannot stand ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act).

But the depths they have stooped to in order to stop it seems to fall under one theme. This theme can be best described by simply showing you the various anti-ENDA graphics sent out by religious right groups over the years.

Have you figured it out yet? It's kinda sad how low some supposed Christian groups will stoop in order to stop a sensible law from being passed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seven times the Family Research Council has distorted ENDA

Tony Perkins of FRC
It has been announced that ENDA will be coming up again soon:

Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Monday that he will be bringing legislation banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination to the floor for consideration before Thanksgiving. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban most employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, was passed out of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with bipartisan support earlier this year. Reid, in announcing the plans for this work session, said the Senate would be considering the legislation.

Part of me cringes because I know that this means we will be hearing all sorts of things about "Christians being persecuted" for not serving gays and "Christian nursery schools being forced to hire crossdressers."

In other words, anti-gay groups are going to go nuclear, as they always do when ENDA comes up, with the horror stories of  gays wanting to jail "Christians" and transgender men and women supposedly wanting to corrupt children.

But another part of me says "bring it on" because I've got a litany of stuff I can pull from past religious right actions against ENDA legislation, such as what I am about to present today by revisiting the seven times the Family Research Council have distorted ENDA:

1. Family Research Council deliberately misinterpret words of Obama official to discredit ENDA - The Family Research Council deliberately distorts the words of John Berry is President Obama's director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to claim that the passage of ENDA will lead to an overturning of DOMA.

2. Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA - In testimony against ENDA, FRC head Tony Perkins uses anecdotes and distorts a study on lgbt health.

3. Family Research Council exploiting Amanda Simpson's appointment to stop ENDA - The Family Research Council exploits the presidential appointment of transgender Amanda Simpson to call ENDA a "Crossdresser Protection Bill."

4.  Family Research Council getting extremely 'scary' about ENDA - FRC channels the image of the Grim Reaper to assist in its lies about ENDA.

5.  Religious right groups can't make up their minds when lying about ENDA
- FRC falsely calls ENDA the Discrimination Against Christian Workers Act and uses one-sided anecdotes of people fired supposedly for their Christian beliefs.

6.  FRC: Gays and lesbians shouldn't be employed in 'some' jobs - When FRC says "ENDA would mandate the employment of homosexuals in inappropriate occupations," are they implying the homosexuality = pedophilia lie?

7.  Family Research Council gearing up to fight ENDA with distortions - blah, blah, blah, the "crossdressers" and liberals are trying to silence Christians.

'Discredited anti-gay researcher Paul Cameron addresses Russia parliamentarians' and other Monday midday news briefs

Discredited U.S. Anti-Gay Activist Addresses Russian Parliamentarians Over “Family Values” - Looks like Paul Cameron has come to Russia. Things over there just got uglier. Check out the article for the 411 about Cameron but let me give you a taste of his "studies." Amongst other things, Cameron believes that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums. We laugh at the inanity of it, but Russia is passing laws because of it.  Check out this Southern Poverty Law Center profile on Paul Cameron and yes, his organization is a designated hate group.

A Quick Guide To The Research On Same-Sex Parenting (As Presented To The Federal Courts) - In spite of all their lies, the fact that same-sex parenting benefits children is the steel wall that religious right groups can't break past. 

Male cheerleader forced to quit, change schools over 'gay' bullying - Oh come on, folks!  

The Hidden History Of Same-Sex Marriage In Asia - A fascinating piece.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - Famous transgender men and women throughout history

The transgender community does not get its due when it comes to lgbt equality.  I hope these spotlights would pique interest into getting educated on issues involving our transgender brothers and sisters:


 Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:

'Transgender teen attacked by anti-gay group now on suicide watch' and other Friday midday news briefs

Anti-LGBT Group Continues Targeting Transgender Teen On Suicide Watch For ‘Unhealthy Behavior’ - This is terrible and something should be done about it! They lied on this young lady and even after this, they just don't care.
 Carrabba's Italian Grill Waiter Receives Anti-Gay Message From Customers In Lieu Of Tip - The message read:

“Thank you for your service, it was excellent.That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.”

'The Hill' runs FRC's opinion, helps push factually inaccurate smears - I disagree with what Jeremy Hooper is implying here. Instead of raising hell when opinions expressed by those in the Family Research Council appear in mainstream publications, we should engage them openly and fiercely. As a matter of fact, why even wait until after these inaccurate opinions are lodged. Call them out first! Demand the war of rhetoric!

Cindy Meneghin And Maureen Kilian, High School Sweethearts, Receive New Jersey Marriage License - Because we should all have the right to marry our high school sweethearts.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fox News reporter Todd Starnes 'pimpin' for anti-gay hate groups

Todd Starnes
It's bad enough that Fox News reporter Todd Starnes engages in bad reporting in order to push a false narrative of anti-Christian bigotry.

But now, he is using his role as a reporter to fundraise for anti-gay hate groups such as the Family Research Council. According to Equality Matters:

On the October 23 edition of FRC’s Washington Watch radio program, FRC president Tony Perkins invited Starnes on to once again falsely accuse the military of persecuting Christian groups because of their opposition to homosexuality. At the end of the segment, Starnes – who has acted as a de facto mouth piece for AFA and FRC on Fox – encouraged listener to “pick up that phone and throw a few dollars into the cause” by donating to the notorious anti-gay groups:

STARNES: Tony, I want to thank American Family Radio. This is a share-a-thon.There’s a reason why we need groups like Family Research Council, why we need folks like American Family Radio. Get the word out there, airing my daily commentaries. So folks, pick up that phone and throw a few dollars into the cause.

Even if this crap is legal, I know that it cannot be ethical.  But I predicted this a while back and it has come to pass. Now the religious right has a network (Fox News) and a reporter (Todd Starnes) with which it can funnel its anti-gay lies without courtesy of correction or debate.

So if you think that nonsense about anti-Christian persecution in the military is bad, just wait. I think we will see worse.

'Other American anti-gay groups met with author of Russian anti-gay bill' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Focus On The Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, NOM Leaders Reportedly Met With Author Of Russian 'Homosexual Propaganda' Bill - This is big. More American religious right groups met with the author of that awful Russian anti-gay bill, including Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom. Now here is where our media should DEMAND some answers. What the hell were they doing?

 Bryan Fischer calls GLAAD 'sinister,' 'evil'; GLAAD clearly doing something right - GLAAD has Bryan Fischer running scared. My only regret is that I don't have a part in this. I hate missing a good religious right spokesperson beatdown!

 How The Incendiary Rhetoric Against Transgender Youth Is Escalating - We need to pay attention to this. It has the potential to lead to some awful consequences. 

Growing Up Gay In The 'Rigid, Hard, Tough' World Of Black Masculinity (VIDEO) - We need more stories like this.  

NOM has no love for Christie - Apparently the National Organization for Marriage doesn't like Chris Christie "nor his mama."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Liberty Counsel scares the money out of guillible Christians

This video is brought to you by the anti-gay organization The Liberty Counsel. This is how they make their money - scaring the hell out of gullible Christians. For the record, the situations involving a pastor being arrested for preaching against homosexuality and a student "forced" to dress up as a member of the opposite sex has never happened.

And they never will. But don't say that too loud. The Liberty Counsel needs to get paid.

'Meet the newest anti-gay spokesperson on the rise' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Meet Janet Mefferd, The Go-To Radio Host For Anti-LGBT Hate Mongers - The lgbt community has too many folks attacking us for simply being who we are. We should stop pussyfooting and call them out. You ignore them and they will only get more powerful, no matter how outrageous they get. 

Rachel Maddow Reports On NOM’s Terrible Day In New Jersey - Thank you, Rachel Maddow for putting attention where it should be. 

 South Carolina gay blogger has his mind on a million and a million on his mind - If you didn't read my post from last night, here is another chance. Why? Because IT IS IMPORTANT.  

FedEx, Other Gay-Friendly Companies Partner With Anti-Gay Leader On Energy Lobbying - Careful, gay-friendly companies. You let the devil ride and then he is going to want to drive.

Brian Camenker, Right-Wing Pundit, Blames LGBT Russians For Anti-Gay Violence - Brian Camenker is a FREAK! I will admit I deserve boos and maybe even some tomatoes for my Nina Simone interpretations but NO ONE deserves to be made a victim of violence for any reason.  

Klingenschmitt: Transgender CO Student Is Visually 'Raping' Girls By Using The Locker Room - OMG! I wish they stop picking on this innocent young lady!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

South Carolina gay blogger has his mind on a million and a million on his mind

The first experience South Carolina blogger Alvin McEwen had of hanging out with a group of gay men was not a good one.

“It was one of those college groups devoted to give gay men a place to talk and be out of the closet.  When I walked into the room and sat down, I immediately took off my glasses so I couldn’t look any of them in the face. That’s how ashamed I was of being gay. I had been taken in by all of the negative talk around campus and especially on television voiced by people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. It’s kind of sad how we as a community either laugh these experiences off or don’t talk about them.”

That day serves as a stark memory to McEwen 20 year later as he devotes a considerable amount of time and effort in exposing the anti-gay propaganda which once made him ashamed of being a gay man.

“No one should feel what I felt back then,” he said.

Since 2007, McEwen has been blog master of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, a site which focuses on refuting anti-gay propaganda spread by religious right groups.  However late last year, Mc Ewen felt as if he was in a rut. He felt that he was going nowhere constantly refuting anti-gay propaganda only to hear religious right spokespeople repeat the propaganda. He asked himself many times just what good was he doing.

McEwen also felt that there needed to be something which put religious right propaganda in a new perspective. In  January of this year, he published an online booklet entitled How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America.

How They See Us is the first of its kind – a free online booklet which challenges religious right
propaganda, including claims that a large number of pedophiles are gay or gay men have a very high number of sex partners – but with an original twist. Instead of writing long-winded refutations, McEwen used the graphic images created by anti-gay groups and words uttered by their spokespeople to demonstrate just how ludicrously wrong their claims are. In addition, he also traced the multiple times in which researchers have cried foul over the distortion of their work by anti-gay groups.

“The point of How They See Us is simple,” McEwen said. “Religious right groups today are constantly spinning tales of gay calamities and horror stories. Then they hide behind the idea of ‘deeply held religious beliefs.’  But I found proof from 1986 which demonstrates that it’s all a big lie designed to exploit religious beliefs and fears.”

The proof McEwen speaks of is a 1986 anti-gay comic book which was endorsed by a former Congressman, William Dannemeyer, and Beverly LaHaye, founder of the anti-gay group Concerned Women for America. The comic book which makes up a large part of his booklet , contradicts any claim one hears from anti-gay groups that they are acting in “Christian love.” McEwen takes various images from the comic book and compares it to present day religious right rhetoric about gays, proving that there is no difference between the two.

“Graphic images of hate just gave way to words of hate,” McEwen said, “and none of it is Christian.”

When it was first published, How They See Us caught the attention of a few lgbt bloggers as well as  several lgbt and progressive news sources, yielding some attention. When this attention died down, McEwen began an aggressive Facebook and twitter campaign in order to keep the booklet in the public eye.  This campaign has paid off.

Presently, How They See Us has over 58,000 direct readers and over 671,000 fans who read it from embedded sources.  It also has over 700 downloads.

However, the progression of How They See Us has not been smooth. One problem McEwen had is how little attention his booklet attracted from the mainstream lgbt media such The Advocate and Out magazines and mainstream lgbt organizations such as GLAAD and HRC.

In all honesty though, McEwen really doesn’t view this as a problem.

“Gay organizations and magazines have a lot of other things on their plates, and I certainly don’t blame them for that,” he said. “Plus, I may not have been able to get away with as much as I did if I had teamed with them. I may have been forced to tone it down.”

But McEwen sees the second problem as a danger to the lgbt community. He said there seems to be reluctance in calling out religious right groups until after the fact when the damage is done.

“We don’t take care of business before these organizations get a foothold in local communities and in the media,” McEwen said. “Then after these groups have done their damage, we either gripe or attempt to cram something together. Why the hell are we waiting until they make the first move?”

McEwen attributes it to too many members of the lgbt community being extremely blasé and then raising hell when these anti-gay groups and their spokespeople are interviewed on the major news networks.

 “When we hear that MSNBC or FOX or CNN will be interviewing people like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council or Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, we demand that they don’t do it on the grounds that these are hate groups. That’s a huge mistake.  Instead of saying that these organizations get no time, we should be demanding equal time. If NOM or FRC has someone on these shows, we should be demanding that representatives from HRC or GLAAD be included. We cannot begin to eradicate anti-gay propaganda until we stop running from it. We may not take it seriously, but a lot of others do and our silence only hurts us in this matter.”

How They See Us is free to the public and McEwen has even emailed several adobe acrobat copies to individuals who have problems with downloading the online file. Anyone wishing to have a copy can email him at

While McEwen’s immediate goal is to attract one million readers, he has larger aspirations. He wants to transform the debate on lgbt equality.

“Why is it when there is a debate on lgbt equality, the gay community seems to always be on the defensive,” McEwen said. “We aren’t doing anything wrong. We aren’t the ones lying or cherry-picking research. The point of the debate should never be ‘why are gays deserving of this or that.’ The onus of the debate should fall on these so-called morality groups.  I would like to hear their explanations of not only why they feel that gays shouldn’t have equality, but why do they call themselves Christians when one takes into account the levels of lies and deception they engage in.”

'Opponents of San Antonio pro-gay law fail to get enough signatures to force referendum' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Local effort to force referendum on NDO fails, not enough signatures - Was meaning to mention this earlier. This is awesome that the pro-lgbt law in San Antonio will be upheld.  

San Antonio Judge Bolts GOP Over Anti-LGBT Extremism - Good for him!

 Dr. Chaps Is Running For Office! - Another anti-gay pundit is running for public office. Sorry but as kinky as it sounds, I would not vote for anyone who has the nickname of "Dr. Chaps."

A third of the US population has marriage equality - Sweet!  

Chris Christie Gay Marriage Move Stirs GOP - It will surprise you.

Meet the 'ex-gay' former Satanic drag queen who isn't exactly 'ex-gay'

Meet the Trace McNutt, a self-described former Satanic drag queen who recently received a "Courage award" from Voice for the Voiceless, the "ex-gay" group behind the recently unsuccessful lobby day and banquet on Capitol Hill a while back.

And one more thing, according to another interview, he isn't exactly "ex-gay."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fox News, Todd Starnes continue to lie about anti-gay hate groups

Check out this ridiculous interview on Fox and Friends with fake journalist Todd Starnes in regards to the controversy of the American Family Association allegedly being branded a hate group by the United States Army. Starnes particularly continues to say that groups like AFA are considered hate groups simply because they oppose marriage equality.

Not only is Starnes lying, but he knows that he is lying.

Now check out what Starnes and Fox &Friends omitted. And you can bet your eyeteeth that they won't mention the following video. Now whether someone in the Army branded AFA as a hate group is irrelevant because the fact of the matter is whoever that person was had just cause:

The power of the press doesn't always lie in what's said but also what's unsaid. As long as Starnes and company don't talk about comments made by AFA members like Tim Wildmon and Bryan Fischer (as well as Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council), they will proceed to fool a lot of people about not only the nature of these so-called morality groups but also that of Christianity.

'Conservatives, religious right targeting innocent transgender teenager' and other Monday midday news briefs

Mother Of Transphobic Smear Campaign Target Defends Daughter - Oh big defenders of morality to team up and pick on an innocent girl with a fake story! 

Russia Will No Longer Consider Taking Children From Gay Parents - I'll believe it after a while when they don't try anything new to harm Russian lgbts.

BREAKING: Governor Christie Withdraws Appeal Against New Jersey Marriage Equality - It's the story everyone is talking about, so why not me. Marriage equality is officially official in New Jersey!  

Shorter NOM: We know we've lost Jersey - And it looks like NOM knew ahead of time.

Gay couples make it 'official' in New Jersey!

Many same sex couples in New Jersey made it official at 12 a.m. this morning:

More than 200 supporters, friends of the brides and grooms, and marriage equality activists gathered in the rotunda to see the 12:01 a.m. ceremony, which Booker’s office organized after a trial-court judge ruled last month that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New Jersey on Oct. 21.

And they were officially married by the newly elected Senator Cory Booker, who also had a way of dealing with hecklers:

The ceremony began just after the clock struck midnight, when Booker announced to the crowd, “Alright, ladies and gentleman, it is officially passed midnight. Marriage is equal in New Jersey.” Cheers filled the room when the first couple, Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, two 65-year-olds who have been together now for 15 years, joined Booker up front. From the second-floor balcony, cameras flashed down on the soon-to-be-newlyweds as Booker recited the vows required by the state from a black binder.

When Booker reached the line in his script that prompts attendees for objections — to “speak now or forever hold your peace” — a man on the south wall of the rotunda broke the silence. “It is unlawful in the eyes of God,” he yelled, carrying a sign with bible script written on it.

The man continued to shout, but Booker began to talk into the microphone over him. “Well, sir. Well, sir,” said Booker. “Could you please remove him? Please remove that person.” After the heckler had been removed from the room, Booker turned to the audience and said, “Not hearing any substantive and worthy objections, I now will proceed with the vows.”

Photo by Adam Hunger of Reuters.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - Famous bisexual men and women throughout history

While we all celebrate the immense victory given to our community today in New Jersey, let's also take the time to spotlight members of our community who don't get their due.

The following videos spotlight famous bisexual men and women throughout history.

Many have been verified, while others have the subject of much speculation. Whatever the case may be, it's important to remember that being bisexual has nothing to do with promiscuity.  The bisexual orientation is not a light switch to be turned on and off. It simply means you have an attraction to both men and women.

One more thing - to my transgender brothers and sisters, I have something special for you too, which will be featured next week. I want to create posts which specifically show bisexual and transgender men and women in their own spotlight because it's way past time that this is done.

Next list:

1) Leonard Bernstein
 2) Mick Jagger
 3) David Bowie
 4) Kurt Cobain
 5) Sammy Davis Jr. 
6) Billie Joe Armstrong 
7) Alec Guinness 
8) Merv Griffin
 9) Errol Flynn
 10) Gary Cooper 
11) James Dean 
12) Marlon Brando
 13) Howard Hughes 
14) Bret Easton Ellis 
15) Hans Christian Andersen 
16) William S. Burroughs 
17) Lord Byron 
18) Walt Whitman 
19) Langston Hughes
 20) Oscar Wilde 
21) St. Augustine of Hippo 
22) King Philip of Macedon 
23) Socrates 
24) Julius Caesar 
25) William Shakespeare 
26) Abraham Lincoln 
27) Alexander Hamilton 
28) Alexander the Great 
29) All 300 of the Spartan Warriors

 Information about Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed can be seen here.

Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:

Unsolved murders, attacks on lgbts of color NEEDS more attention

Editor's note - There will not be a midday post today due to prior commitments on my part.

Presented without jokes or wisecracks. Just a huge degree of sadness and prayers that these victims and their families get justice:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A class action suit against homosexuality? Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!

Religious right spokespeople don't simply live in a bubble. They operate in a broken down rocket ship which they have fooled themselves into thinking has cruise control when it is actually lost in the deepest parts of outer space.

Case in point courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

Rick Scarborough invited Peter LaBarbera to address his Tea Party Unity group today, and the two anti-gay activists discussed ways to somehow file a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality just like when attorneys general of many states filed a lawsuit against tobacco companies. LaBarbera was also upset that Fox News and other outlets aren’t covering the “wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle,” explaining that he wished there was an ad “of the kid in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV.”

 . . .  LaBarbera: We need to work on our conservative, alternate media and say, ‘look, don’t do the pro-gay thing, why don’t you rather step out and support these ex-gays?’ We should encourage Fox News to tell their stories. Fox is now telling the stories of black conservatives because the other media is not doing that, we should all get on Fox and say, ‘come on, tell these stories, these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.’

Scarborough: Peter, the whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit. I just wonder if you’ve explored that, talked to anyone about it. Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that. Any thoughts on that kind of an approach?

LaBarbera: Yeah I think that’s great. I would love to see it. We always wanted to see one of the kid in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV. But we never really got the client for that.

Even though I know it won't happen, I really wish these folks would actually entertain an inane idea of a "class action suit against homosexuality."

Not only would they lose, but they would lose badly. A perfect example of how they would lose is demonstrated with that ridiculous statement from Scarborough regarding the CDC. The CDC has never made any type of inference of what he alludes to. Ironically, the CDC actually does says that when gays are susceptible to diseases or bad health behaviors, its due to the negative effects of a homophobic society rather than the lgbt sexual orientation.

Just imagine what other lies Scarborough and company have deceived themselves into thinking are facts.

And that last wish from LaBarbera (regarding the hypothetical HIV positive child) is just morbid. But if we played his game, wouldn't there be more evidence to bring a class action suit against the "ex-gay industry" on the grounds he alluded to.

Remember the 1998 campaign to mainstream the ex-gay movement and its star, Michael Johnston:

For those who don't know, this is what happened after the campaign in regards to Johnston:

Any ridiculous notion of a "class action suit against homosexuality" is just that - a  ridiculous notion. I've used many adjectives to describe the religious right, but I would never use the word "stupid." They have neither the guts nor the stupidity to do something so dumb. Not only would it embarrass them but it would totally wreck their credibility.

 To LaBarbera in particular,  the class action suit would probably end up with you still attending subcultural leather events, but you wouldn't be taking pictures in order to demonize the lgbt community. You would most likely be trying to make up the money to pay for your court loss. And that being the case, you had better work hard to make it all up.

 My pimp hand is strong. You get my drift?

'Fox News reporter claiming Obama will persecute Christians via military' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Starnes: Obama Will 'Turn The Military Against The People' And Attack Christians - Ten minutes following Fox News' Todd Starnes around with a tape recorder makes one weep for the state of American Christianity and the standards of those who chooses to practice it. 

Former NYT Editor Rebuts Stephen Jimenez's Claim About Matthew Shepard Story - And another claim in that awful Matthew Shepard book bites the dust. Or rather consumes the dust.  

NOM can’t buy a win. Literally. - Damn, NOM. Rather than wasting money on losing Congressional candidates, why not just cut ME a check.  

BRITAIN: "Ex-Gay" Group Sues Again Over "Some People Are Gay" Ad Campaign - I just LOVE British comedy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The bizarre irony of Eminem's homophobic lyrics . . .

Now I generally don't like to cover entertainment issues because I feel that the lgbt community has too much celebrity on the brain. A lot of times, we are not in the business of training leaders because wait for the latest celebrity to come out of the closet and then anoint that person as our spokesperson.

However, I do believe in pointing out basic strange ironies and the situation regarding rapper Eminem's new album is a huge one. I am of the belief that if I don't point this irony out, no one will.

From the Huffington Post:

So is this the real Slim Shady?

Notoriously profane rap star Eminem has for years been criticized for lyrics that routinely use slurs of all flavors, not to mention violent and abusive rhetoric. Now the rapper has decided homophobic slurs are fair game once again, releasing a new single, "Rap God," which references "faggots" and "gay boys." 

More than six minutes long and chockfull of lightning-fast braggadocio, "Rap God" -- off the upcoming album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" -- includes Eminem boasting in the first verse about how he'd like to "break a motherf----r's table over the back of a couple faggots and crack it in half." Later on in the second verse, the rapper includes the following description in a long riff on different kinds of "boys":
Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / 'Oy vey, that boy's gay,' that's all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.

I want to get angry at Eminem because lyrics like this have no place in popular music, but I can't because the irony of the entire situation has me scratching my head.

Now I'm certainly not calling Eminem gay because I don't know his sexual orientation, but I am saying that his embracing of homophobic lyrics is bizarre in light of the fact that this young man has probably shown his bare butt more than most gay men I know.

So far, Eminem has mooned folks at the 2004 Video Music Awards

on a television show in Germany in 2004

and several other places including red carpet events and music videos.

And I haven't even mentioned the Sacha Baron Cohen incident where, while Eminem did not show his rear, he was in an extremely close proximity to buttocks.

My thing is this - come on, Eminem. If you are going to rap negatively about gay people, first let's hear about the fact that many of us have probably seen your butt more than that of George Michael's.

But at least George Michael kept his pants on.

'The two most important articles you will read about lgbt equality in a long time' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

For those who care about lgbt equality in the United States and worldwide, the following two articles by John Becker and John Aravosis are the most important posts you will read in a long time: 

Enthusiasm Gap on LGBT Issues at Values Voter Summit
Homophobia Inc. and America’s newest export: Hate (Part 3 of 3) 

In other news: 

 How Eager Is Conservative Media To Demonize Transgender Youth? - Very eager. Even to the point of spreading false stories. 

 5 Flawed Arguments Officials Are Using To Defend Utah’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban - to the lgbt community, flawed anti-gay arguments are like guests we can't get rid of, meaning that we have seen these before.  

MassResistance's Camenker: Gay Couples Enter Businesses And "Fondl[e] Each Other" To Test Owners' Tolerance - Just in case you need a primer, Camenker is lying through his teeth.  

Fox's Starnes Can't Stop Defending Anti-Gay Hate Group - Calling Todd Starnes out on his lies is so enjoyable that it should be fattening.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Attorneys calls attention to, refutes claims in Matthew Shepard book

It's safe to assume the new book regarding Matthew Shepard's murder is not exactly hitting the spots to change the narrative of that awful crime.

To recap - Author Stephen Jimenez claims via his book that Shepard's murder was not the result of homophobia but a drug deal gone wrong and that also Shepard and one of his murderers had sex.

The book, while celebrated by conservatives and the religious right, has been justifiably condemned pretty much everywhere else.

And since I am a proponent of smashing until consuming (it's a Biblical reference), allow me to spotlight another condemnation courtesy of Equality Matters. Amongst other things, apparently Jimenez's anonymous source for his ugly spin on the crime wasn't all that trustworthy:

The appellate attorney who represented an accomplice in the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard assailed author Stephen Jimenez's book suggesting that Shepard's murder was fueled by meth, not anti-gay hate.

In a statement provided to Equality Matters, attorney Tim Newcomb - whom Jimenez lists as a source in The Book of Matt - responded to Jimenez's claim in a recent interview that Newcomb's criticism of the book is invalid because Newcomb was an appellate attorney and not involved in the Shepard case from the beginning. As a longtime resident of Laramie, the small college town where Shepard was brutally murdered, Newcomb said in his statement that unlike Jimenez, he has a long-standing familiarity with the tight-knight community:
Unlike the author, who visited Laramie from New York a year and a half [after Shepard's murder], I was an attorney living in Laramie, and had been for several years, when Matthew was murdered. I mention that only because Laramie has few people and we tend to know of each other. Hidden truths behind notorious crimes are as rare as windless winters.
Moreover, as the appellate attorney for Russell Henderson, Aaron McKinney's accomplice in Shepard's killing, Newcomb dealt with one of Jimenez's apparent sources, who claimed to know the "hidden truths" in the murder. In his statement, Newcomb described how -- like many of Jimenez's other sources -- this man put forth multiple shifting stories, including the theory that Shepard's murder wasn't motivated by homophobia:
During the time I represented Russell, a man called his grandmother, saying he had been Matthew's lover and had his diary. I called him and asked if that was true. He told me it was, so I asked for a copy. His story shifted; his sister had the diary. I asked that she send me a copy. His story shifted again. She wouldn't show it to anyone because she feared for his life. I asked why he called Russell's grandmother then; eventually, he seemed to suggest that he didn't have enough money.
Our conversation ended but I'm told he became a source for a recently published book rewriting Matthew's murder, claiming that McKinney did not target Matthew because he was gay.

For more of this story, go here to Equality Matters.

'10 ways the religious right showed their homophobic asses at the Values Voter Summit' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

10 Disgusting Things Said About LGBT People At The Values Voter Summit - Hold your stomachs and get your barf bags ready. Of another way of putting it would be 10 reasons why American Christianity is so discredited. 

Despite Constitutional Ban, A North Carolina Clerk Accepts First Same-Sex Marriage Applications - And we are suing for marriage equality in South Carolina. This is getting GOOD!

Trans Student Attacking Girls in School Restroom! Or, you know… not - More transphobic lies bites the dust.

 Fox News’ Todd Starnes attempts to defend anti-gay hate group via lies, omissions - I know. I wrote it and featured it before but in my defense, it's an exclusive for Justice for All and thus has not appeared on this blog. Plus, I think I come close to reaching my inner Truman Capote.

Rachel Maddow calls out NOM for anti-gay actions in Russia

While this is a few days old, it is VERY appropriate. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC calls out the National Organization for Marriage for its role in Russia's persecution of its lgbt citizens.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Anita Bryant pie incident deserves intelligent analysis

Thirty-six years ago today, anti-gay activist Anita Bryant was struck in the face with a pie during a press conference. Bryant at that time had gained prominence for her successful fight against pro-gay ordinances via vigils, public events, and speeches where she combined her religious belief that homosexuality was a sin with false horror stories about gays raping and "recruiting" children.

 Many folks in my community have cheered the above incident and have talked about how anti-gay activists these days need to have the same thing done to them. Others have actually imitated the pie throwers in their own way with the "glitter bombing" mania a while back.

I'm probably going to get called out and yelled at for this but I despise the above video. Don't get me wrong. When Bryant begins crying while praying for those who hit her with the pie, I really don't feel sorry for her.

But in a general sense, I've always felt that smacking Bryant in the face with a pie was an awful thing to do. And I bristle every time I hear one of us, expressing more of a desire to vent than to be intelligent, start wishing that we go back to physically attacking our opponents.

Some of us want to be all snarky about how Bryant is a "b#!@*" who deserved the pie in the face, but remember this. Bryant not only succeeded in her endeavors (at the cost of her career) but laid the groundwork for the hard road the lgbt community now trods in pursuit of our equality.

You see, Bryant was probably the first to spread lies about the lgbt community under the visage of "religious liberty"  to beat back pro-lgbt laws.  But she wasn't the last. From her tendrils sprung Paul Cameron, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and even the National Organization for Marriage.

And while we cheer Bryant getting hit in the face with a pie, while we plan more acts of public protests, or while we wax nostagically about "zapping" anti-gay activists, that crucial point of our history is being ignored.

We have the unfortunate belief that public incidents of civil disobedience or those designed to attract attention will get us where we need to go. We have to get away from this mindset.

It's time we stop thinking that media attention alone is something we need to aim for. Equality is our goal. Media attention is merely a tactic. Some of us have gotten the tactic mixed up with the goal.

What happened to Bryant 36 years ago must never be imitated by any of us.

'Documentary showcases religious right damage to Ugandan gays' and other Monday midday news briefs

'God Loves Uganda': American Evangelicals Export Their Anti-Gay Message - It still turns my stomach when I think of what the American religious right did to the lgbt community in Uganda. 

Black Christian Group working for LGBTQ rights from within Black Churches - Good news to cheer you up after the depressing first news brief.  

Pro-discrimination Prop 8 proponents still in search of a court that'll buy into fables - The poor, pitiful pro-Prop 8 forces in California still fighting a war which they lost.  

Be Out, Be Healthy, Get Covered: Answers To 10 Queer Questions About Obamacare - A MUST for every LGBT in America.

 It Gets Even Worse: New Russian Bill Seeks To Ban Same-Sex Surrogacy - Pretty soon, Russia will create a law which will seek lgbts from even gazing upon children. My statement was a joke but we are at red alert conditions here.  

The 15 Best Reactions To National Coming Out Day - Nice!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sandy Rios proves the hypocrisy and unrelenting ignorance of the religious right

Something interesting just happened at that ridiculous Values Voter Summit which I need to point out because it proves the point I and so many others have been making about the religious right.

Earlier this week,People For the American way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza sent a letter to every public official who was scheduled to attend this summit asking them to cancel. That letter found its way in the hands of Sandy Rios of Concerned Women for America and she read part of it from the podium just now:

 It's fascinating to me that Rios read only a part of the letter and claimed that it proves that this is a "dangerous time to be a Christian conservative." However, here is the part of the letter she did not read and I doubt will address:

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.

Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.” Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

So Rios is using the letter to make it seem that Christian conservatives are being "victimized," only after omitting the portion which calls attention to the simple fact that the organizations she is defending are guilty of demonizing, vilifying, and basically bearing false witness against lgbt community.

So in a way, Rios is right. It is a dangerous time to be a Christian conservative but not for the reason she wants us to think.

Seems to me that if being a Christian conservative commands you to show hate and bigotry against a group of people and then hiding this hate and bigotry by either the "sin of omission" (such as Rios just did) or behind a false image of "Christian beliefs," you have serious problems.

In fact, to paraphrase an old saying, you have 99 problems but the lgbt community and our allies aren't one of them.

Right-wing activist - Gay people should 'keep it private'

As mentioned before, taking place this weekend is that dreadfully repugnant "Values Voter" summit put on by the Family Research Council.

A key part of this monstrosity of an event is always the awful anti-gay comments. And this is evidenced by the following video of a speech which just took place by right-wing activist Star Parker:

Sorry, Star Parker (and by the way, you are so unaptly named), but neither me nor any of my lgbt brothers and sisters will follow different rules of behavior from folks like yourself. We will not keep our families, our relationships, and our very lives "private" simply because you have a hang up about sexual intercourse.

That's YOUR problem, not ours.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch who has taken the awful task of live tweeting this event. I think the organization deserves some type of perpetual award for that one.

Also, let's keep up the twitter bombing:

 RT How They See Us: Unmasking the War on America

Friday, October 11, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - 25 years of National Coming Out Day

Enjoy this video retrospective of 25 years of National Coming Out Day and pat yourselves on the back. We as a people have come a long way.

Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:

'Happy National Coming Out Day' and other Friday midday news briefs


In other news: 

 Video: Latest PR campaign in religious right's push to sell discrimination as 'religious freedom' - Here we go again. ANOTHER fake case of a violation of so-called "religious liberty" by lgbts.  

Rubio: There Is A 'Rising Tide Of Intolerance" Against Conservative Christians - Unfortunately, as the nation celebrates National Coming Out Day, the Family Research Council is holding its annual "Values Voter" summit. Expect more false rhetoric like this to be uttered throughout the weekend.  

CWA Spokeswoman: DOMA Decision Will Cause 'Pain,' 'Hurt Women And Hurt Men' - Because fairness and equality generally does that sort of thing. (Double serious sarcasm alert).  

Hate Spewing Family Research Council Asks, Why So Angry, Bro? - No comment (jive @#^!)  

California law ensures LGBT seniors get respectful, competent elder care - Let's end these news briefs on positive note!

Editor's note - to those who possess a twitter account, let's play a game. Let's twitterbomb the Values Voter Summit with the following:

 RT How They See Us: Unmasking the War on America

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Marriage equality inching closer to reality in New Jersey with judge's ruling

Looks like in spite of objections from Gov. Chris Christie, marriage equality may be coming to New Jersey . . . at least for the time being.

From The Huffington Post:

A New Jersey judge has denied a request from Gov. Chris Christie's administration to delay the start of gay marriage in the state until after a legal appeal is final.

The ruling Thursday from Judge Mary Jacobson moves the state a step closer to start recognizing same-sex nuptials on Oct. 21. That's the day Jacobson had said in a previous ruling that the marriages had to be allowed.

But Christie's administration is expected to appeal the denial to a higher court.

The administration has already asked the state Supreme Court to reverse Jacobson's earlier ruling that the state has to allow gay couples to get married.