Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Ex-gay' leader apologizes to the lgbt community for pain he caused

If you heard a gigantic pop today, it's because of the multitude of religious right heads exploding. And why? Because of this: Alan Chambers, head of Exodus International, the oldest and largest group pushing "ex-gay" therapy has publicly apologized for the hurt his organization has caused.

From Buzzfeed:

In a letter “to members of the LGBTQ community,” Alan Chambers, the head of Exodus International, a group that has long backed “change therapy” for gays and lesbians, issued an apology Wednesday, stating, “I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced.”
The public statement comes in advance of a Thursday airing of the television broadcast “God & Gays” on Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN, in which Ling talks with Chambers about these issues.

In his apology, Chambers wrote, “I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.”
Later, he added:
I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.

Nice, but you are gonna have to do more Alan. Check out the rest of the story here. 

UPDATE - According to the story, not only is Chambers apologizing but Exodus International is shutting down. I can just see the religious right heads spin.

'Fox News has a problem with the transgender community' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Fox News' Coverage Of Transgender Community Challenged By Equality Group - For the longest time, I predicted that Fox News would become a problem to the lgbt community. I'm glad to see some of my brothers and sisters finally getting hip to the problem.  And yes I said the lgbt community as a whole because if you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.

Fox News’ Transphobia Problem - And here is the report mentioned in the first news brief.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski Becomes Third Republican Senator To Back Marriage Equality - Way to go, Senaor Murkowski!  

West Virginia Democrat Signs On As The 52nd Sponsor Of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act - Meanwhile, we have 52 sponsors for ENDA!

Delaware Poised to Adopt a Transgender Rights Law - Good for Delaware!

Family Research Council unveils poor effort to stop gay equality

With the fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) heating up, we can always count on organizations like the Family Research Council to be the "loyal opposition," even if they have to distort the issue.

The organization has recently announced a special site entitled Stop ENDA in which it lists reasons why it's not a good idea to protect lgbts from employment discrimination. Granted the reasons are highly specious and should lead to more questioning of FRC spokespeople at to their claims. My guess is that Tony Perkins and company will not be asked to speak specifically to them or will dodge if asked:

ENDA is a "one size fits all" solution to alleged discrimination that erases all marriage-based distinctions. It grants special rights to homosexuals while ignoring those of employers. The federal government should not force private businesses to abandon their moral principles.
FRC Action opposes this legislation on the following grounds (which by the way FRC offers absolutely no proof of):
  • Such legislation affords special protection to a group that is not disadvantaged.
  • The issue is not job discrimination.
  • The first "religious exemption" clause is very narrow and offers no clear protection to church-related businesses.
  • The second "religious exemption" clause fails to offer protection for all hiring by church-related organizations or businesses.
  • It is unlikely that the "religious exemption" included in the bill would survive court challenge.
  • ENDA would mandate the employment of homosexuals in inappropriate occupations.
  • ENDA violates employers' and employees' Constitutional freedoms of religion, speech and association.
  • ENDA would approvingly bring private behavior considered immoral by many into the public square. 

Between you and me I really want to know what does FRC mean about "the employment of homosexuals in inappropriate occupations." My guess is FRC is implying that gays shouldn't be school teachers.

And then to top it off, FRC includes a video about an alleged incident involving a Christian ministry ordered to undergo "sensitivity training."


 But there are several problems with this video, including:

  • it's about a Canadian ministry,
  • the video is from a year ago, and
  • none of the principal parties are interviewed. FRC's Peter Sprigg interviews an editor from a conservative news organization on the incident.

If this is FRC's best effort in its attempt to stop ENDA, then the organization needs to go back to the drawing board. FRC offers no proof that ENDA isn't a good idea, but instead displays the prejudices which prove just why ENDA is necessary.