Wednesday, December 31, 2014

'End of 2014 - life, death, & resolve' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Trans teen: ‘My death needs to mean something’ - no one should have to die to make a difference in the world, especially a child. We have LOTS more work to do in the coming year. 

 Gay-hating Duggars have a lesbian in their family — and she thinks they’re crazy - I got news for girlfriend. We ALL think they are nuts. 

 Peter LaBarbera’s Terrible, Horrible Anti-LGBT Year - Any time THAT turkey has a bad year is always a reason to celebrate.  

The Top Sports Moments of 2014 That Scored Major LGBT Points - Cause I love me some sports. Playing football is the only time I ever got cheered for chasing, tackling, and wrestling down a man to the ground.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Defense Secretary Hagel's holiday message includes gay military couple

The above holiday greeting from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his wife, Lillibet, includes nice addition - an image of MM2 2nd Class Jerrel Revels' proposal to his boyfriend Dylan Kirchner.

According to the Huffington Post:

This viral gay marriage proposal happened in 2013, just two short years after the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A gay military couple has reportedly never before been included in the Defense Secretary's holiday message for the troops.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

'Top 14 anti-lgbt villains of 2014' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Parents who spoke out for their LGBT children in 2014 - THESE folks should be commended for being true loving parents. 

14 Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Villains Of 2014 - Meanwhile, THIS usual cast of nauseating characters need a swift kick in the tuckus (figuratively, of course).  
ADF Lawyer: Gay Rights Opponents May Soon Be 'Put In Jail For Standing For Marriage' - Oh please. I'm still waiting for us to "arrest pastors for preaching that homosexuality is a sin" due to lgbt-inclusive hate crime laws.   
Rhode Island Supreme Court Shoots Down Firefighters' Religious Liberty Lawsuit - That ends that (hopefully).  

The Real Story Behind the Fight for Marriage Equality - With marriage equality becoming a reality, there will be many books like this one. I'm still waiting on someone to write how lgbt bloggers contributed and rocked the fight for marriage equality. Come on, my mystery writer. I don't want to end up like Little Richard going "I'll tell the real story . . ."

Anti-gay spokesman: you are all going to hell

Anti-gay spokesman and editor of the prickly online publication BarbWire has a message for you all:

You are all going to hell.

Barber makes his case in a piece which is so rambling, so bizarrely written but so full of religious fanaticism and venom that Tomas de Torquemada (who oversaw the Spanish Inquisition) would loudly say "who is this weirdo?"

The title, We Are Not 'All God's Children' should give you some clue as to how low Barber sinks here. If it doesn't then the illustration  of hell which accompanies it should:

Naturally,  I will spare you details as to Barber's exact words, but feel free to click on the link to read it. However, after seeing the above picture, would you want to?

The only thing I can say is that someone as viciously homophobic to that point that he bears false witness (such as tweeting an ugly picture of a gay Scout leader propositioning a child) without so much as a guilty conscience should worry less about someone else's eternal home and more about his own.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Steve Scalise and racist groups, Tony Perkins and racist groups - it's all relative

Rep. Scalise
Washington is all abuzz about a huge scandal regarding Rep Steve Scalise, soon to be House Majority Whip, and a 2002 speech he made to a meeting of a white supremacist group founded by known racist David Duke:

Twelve years before he was elected by his colleagues as House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke at a conference hosted by white supremacist group European-American Unity and Rights Organization.

Louisiana political blogger Lamar White Jr. dug up a number of posts on Stormfront, one of the original white supremacist websites, that place Scalise at the 2002 gathering. According to one user who attended the conference, Scalise -- then a state representative -- spoke to the organization at a workshop "to teach the most effective and up-to-date methods of civil rights and heritage related activism."

According to another Stormfront post, the National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights was held from May 17 to 18, 2002, at the Landmark/Best Western Hotel in Metairie, Louisiana. The conference was also listed on an Anti-Defamation League list of extremist events for that year.

Scalise has admitted to making the speech, but claimed that he was unaware of the group's racist nature.

Of course to the media, that's like dipping a bloody toe in shark-infested waters with them being the sharks.  Several members have asked how could Scalise have not known what the group was all about, with others implying that his speech was covertly racist.

Will Scalise be forced to resign? Who knows. It's too early to tell. But to me, there are two interesting things about this controversy. For one, there is my snarky observation involving the Republican party. It is usually when they have power in Congress that a member or two will make a supreme mind-blowing screw up.

The second is even a bit more to the purpose of this blog.  If one asks will Scalise survive, one needs to look to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.  While Perkins is now looked upon in Washington as a "voice of morality" by some, he has a history with racist groups probably more checkered than Scalise (at least for now.)

'Top anti-lgbt stories of the year' & other Monday midday news briefs

The Year In Homophobia: Ten Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Stories Of 2014 - What are the top 10 anti-lgbt stories of the year? I will give you a hint about one of them. Apparently comparing lgbts to Nazis was the "in" thing to do for the religious right. 

College professor and anti-gay activist Robert Oscar Lopez yet again lies about me—in a legal document - Here is something interesting which should answer the annoyingly perennial question of why folks like me shine a bright light on the anti-gay industry. Not only is Lopez lying about Jeremy Hooper but he has also locked down his own website and has been scrubbing the internet of his ugliest comments. As if that could hide what he has been saying about lgbts. This is what happens when you expose the rhetoric of homophobes. In common language, it's known as "plucking the turkey."  

Sam: Coming Out Was Right Thing To Do - Yes it was, Michael Sam.  

How Florida Officials Plan To Undermine A Federal Marriage Equality Order - For Pete's sake, y'all. Give it up already. You lost. 

 Heroine of gay marriage movement feels pride in progress - Last, but not least, an awesome interview with Edie Windsor, heroine of the marriage equality movement.

Is the anti-transgender 'bathroom bill' lie losing its sting?

 . . . given the public’s general lack of familiarity with transgender people and their experiences, it hasn’t been hard to get voters more concerned with the prospect of wig-donning criminals sneaking into public bathrooms.

The myth has been used to attack all kinds of pro-LGBT protections -- city non-discrimination ordinancesfederal employment law, and school diversity policies. It’s not unusual for anti-LGBT conservatives to simply rebrand broad non-discrimination laws as “bathroom bills” – phrasing that was unfortunately often adopted by news outlets.

That trend was strong in 2014, with conservative media outlets like Fox News regularly peddling “bathroom bill” talking points to attack non-discrimination laws like the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

But the “bathroom bill” horror story appears to have lost some of the weight it once carried. HoustonSan AntonioMiami-Dade CountyPlanoSpringfield, Missouri, and other cities all enacted non-discrimination laws protecting transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations. The Cleveland City Council is currently considering an ordinance that would explicitly repeal the bathroom exemption of its non-discrimination law -- a proposition that would have been dead in the water just a few years ago. Schools across the country have adopted policies allowing transgender students to use the locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, and the Department of Education’s official recommendation for public schools is now in line with that position.

According to Carlos Maza of Equality Matters, the "bathroom bill" fear tactic is losing its sting because of two factors - transgender folks are receiving visibility and the horror stories of predators invading women's restrooms are turning out to be more blather than truth.  While this homophobic lie does retain some power, it's nice to know that yet another religious right tactic geared to denying lgbt equality is slowly but surely going the way of  the dinosaur.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'How the Knights of Columbus bankrolls anti-gay, conservative movement' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

How One Religious Organization Bankrolls America’s Social Conservative Movement - And the Knights of Columbus do it via charitable donations. It's an ugly thing because it almost makes one not want to donate to charity. 

 Anti-gay activists Peter LaBarbera, Bill Whatcott found not guilty of mischief - Oh come, y'all. I'm not so nauseating as to wish a jail sentence for LaBarbera at Christmas time no matter how obnoxiously homophobic he has been over the years. Look at it this way - he can no longer exploit his "Canadian odyssey." Then again, scratch that. LaBarbera would exploit the relationship between Peppermint Patti and Marcie of 'Peanuts' if he could get away with it. 

Supreme Court To Consider On Jan 9. Whether To Hear Challenges To Same-Sex Marriage Bans - Get your rest, brothers and sisters because we get to begin it again in January.  

USA, Pennsylvania: Marriage Equality Support Jumps, New Poll Says - Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! 

Camenker: Gay Student Clubs Love To Recruit 'Kids From Christian Backgrounds' - An interesting spin on the "gays want to recruit" children" talking point. The irony is that there is a small kernel of truth in this ugly claim and this kernel merely underlines the fact that younger Christians aren't as opposed to the lgbt community and lgbt equality as the anti-gay right would like. Ah yes. The future. It scares anti-gay activists and groups so much.  

How Michael Sam Knew He Made The Right Choice In Coming Out - I won't give it away but he is so right.

Monday, December 22, 2014

NOM's warped version of The Nativity Story leaves out 'peace on Earth' & 'good will towards men'

And now here is the Nativity story according to Brian Brown of NOM:

Brian Brown of NOM
Recently, reflecting on the story of the birth of Christ, I realized something... When Jesus came into the world, it was with nothing. No money. They had to move to a new city. His father, Joseph, had to start a new business. They didn't even have a home to stay in as he came into our world. But the one thing God did give him — seemingly the one thing God thought His only begotten Son could NOT do without — was a loving mother and father to care for and protect Him. It underscores the foundational importance of the mission that NOM has undertaken – to defend marriage and work to ensure that every child in our society, as much as it is possible, enjoys the love of his mother and father. We are winding down our year-end, $200,000 matching gift campaign. To date we have raised almost $60,000 toward our goal. If you haven't yet made a gift that will be matched dollar-for-dollar, please prayerfully consider making a generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500, or even a major gift of $1,000 or more to help NOM close the year on firm financial footing so we can provide marriage with the best defense possible in this pivotal coming year. We tend to think of Christ magically moving from an infant to an adult, with only scant glimpses of him as a teen. But the reality is that in assuming the human form, Jesus experienced the unique contributions of a father and a mother in his life. For years, Jesus learned how to live, act, feel, work, care and love by absorbing the unique gifts of his father and his mother, who represent the two halves of humanity. The Holy Family is the perfect example for the human family — a man and a woman coming together in love for each other, and to provide the ideal environment for any children born of their union. That is what marriage is, and the story of Christmas perfectly models it for us. 

Brown's rendition of the Christmas story would almost make sense except for the fact that women who had children without a husband were mostly shunned back then.  And  according to the Bible, Mary was a virgin and not pregnant with Jesus via any type of intercourse with Joseph but through the Holy Spirit.

So technically, Jesus had two fathers.

But who cares about all of that. Whatever happened to the "peace on Earth and good will towards men" part?

'Gay rights will cause Jesus to return?' & other Monday midday news briefs

Five Moments From 2014 That Definitely Were A Sign Of The End Times - I'm angry. We should be at the top of the list. Why are we only number three?

 Major Cleveland Outlet Is Dead Wrong About The City's Transgender Non-Discrimination Law - Looks like a Cleveland newspaper outfit is deliberately pushing a war of misinformation against the transgender community. 

Judge asked to rule against florist who refused services for gay couple’s wedding - Sorry it has to go down like this but if discrimination on the basis of "religious freedom" is allowed here, where does said discrimination stop? 

 Ben Carson stands by claim that gay marriage leads to pedophilia and bestiality - Lord, give me strength . . . patience . . . alcohol . . . acid . . . anything! Why are black conservatives so damn crazy?

Ugandans Won’t Be Getting A New Anti-LGBT Law For Christmas - I vote for the lump of coal in their stockings.

Marriage equality coming to Florida!!!

By now, I am sure everyone has heard the wonderful news of marriage equality coming to Florida early next month. But watch this short video of a newscast announcing the fact. The family interviewed underscores what this fight has all been about.

Friday, December 19, 2014

'Michigan's so-called 'religious freedom' bill dies in Senate' & other Friday midday news briefs

Good news from Michigan:
Transgender Student Files Federal Complaint Against School District For Banning Him From The Boys Restroom - If anything, this case points out the hysterical lunacy our transgender brothers and sisters face everyday. There wasn't a problem with him using the boys restroom until anti-gay groups got parents spooked.

Bigotry doesn’t pay: North Carolina anti-gay group $15,000 in debt - Oh the poor babies (extreme sarcasm alert).

 Anti-gay orgs continue to offend children of single parents, gay parents, more - Children DESERVE a family who will give them love and support and that does not come solely from the one man/one woman dynamic.

Richmond's Gay Community Strikes Back With 'We Are All Born To Love' Billboard - Now that the 'ex-gay' billboard has backfired spectacularly, let's throw some real love in the situation.

Good news for transgender community has anti-gay group spinning fear about children and churches

Excellent news for the transgender community. According to the Huffington Post:

The Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as protecting transgender government employees from discrimination, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday.
In a memo, Holder wrote that the "best reading of Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status." Holder said that while Congress "may not have had such claims in mind when it enacted Title VII, the Supreme Court has made clear that Title VII must be interpreted according to its plain text."
In a statement, Holder called the move an “important shift" that "will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status."

And leave it to the Family Research Council to distort Holder's statement and spin a little fear into the situation:

FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg released the following statement:
"Parents are deeply concerned that giving a special status to transgender persons will lead to troubling situations for their children, and religious leaders are left unsure how this arbitrary new rule will affect hiring within their ministries.  This is another example of the Obama administration circumventing the role of Congress in imposing its own radical re-interpretation of the law.  It seems safe to assert that not a single member of Congress in 1964 would have believed that they were granting special rights to people who want to reject or change their biological sex.

In other words:

Granted, the graphic above is by the Traditional Values Coalition but FRC is saying pretty much the same thing, albeit in muted terms.

It's still a vicious lie and an ugly stereotype.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bobby Jindal sidesteps controversy about rally by playing 'war on Christians' card

It is rather unbelievable the way Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is attempting to defend his upcoming controversial prayer rally.

According to Religious Right Watch, he actually sidestepped questions about how his rally is being funded by the anti-gay hate group the American Family Association and instead pulled the "war against Christians" card:

 Jindal has now been forced to personally address the issue, which he has predictably done by side-stepping criticism of the AFA's bigotry and instead accusing "the left" of attacking Christians:

"Let's be clear about what this is. This is an opportunity for people across denominational lines to come together to pray," Jindal said. "It's not a political event, it's a religious event." He said that while he respects the rights of protesters, religious groups have the right to express their beliefs and should not be barred from being able to hold the event on the LSU campus. A protest is planned while the event is taking place at the campus's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and critics are urging LSU not to allow the prayer rally to happen. "Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans. Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."

Doing so is a huge mistake by Jindal because it not only sullies him but Christians in general. His defiance gives the impression that the following statements by the AFA's Bryan Fischer (who will be attending and broadcasting the rally) is an example of Christian behavior:

Fischer has a long history of vicious rhetoric and all of it has been documented via video and on print. If Jindal considers himself a true public servant (and especially a Christian), he should address why he is teaming up with such voices of unbridled ignorance and hatred like Fischer and the AFA instead of attacking those who are merely pointing out his hypocrisies.

On second thought, maybe he shouldn't have teamed up with Fischer and the AFA in the first place.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The video Bobby Jindal probably doesn't want you to see before his prayer rally

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is planning a prayer rally next month in what some say is an attempt to play up to the religious right because he intends to run for president in 2016.

Already there is much controversy regarding who Jindal's office's is partnering with.  Students and faculty members of Louisiana State University, where this prayer will be held, are already up in arms about it. According to The New Orleans Advocate:

LSU students, faculty and other activists have come out against the event, called “The Response,” largely because it’s being paid for by the American Family Association, a controversial conservative religious group that opposes gay marriage and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights efforts. A protest has been planned in response to The Response, and a petition has gained hundreds of signatures in just a matter of days.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the Tupelo, Mississippi-based AFA as “some of the most hateful anti-gay voices in America” and has classified the organization as a hate group.

 Right Wing Watch has also pointed that the rally will have other controversial participants, including:

Jennifer LeClaire - LeClaire is the editor of Charisma magazine, where she routinely warns that Halloween is demonically evil and that gay superheroes are corrupting your children's souls. She has repeatedly told gay athletes to stay in the closet and repent and warned that the fight for gay marriage is a Satanic plot to send people to Hell.

 EW Jackson - a Religious Right activist and former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia who has asserted that the push for gay rights has killed more black men than the KKK and said that gay men and women are "perverted," "degenerate," and "frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally." He has warned that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and said that there is a "direct connection" between homosexuality and pedophilia. The definition of marriage can never change, Jackson has declared, because "America was ordained by Almighty God." 

Jindal, who earlier called this prayer rally  “a time of prayer, fasting, repentance and celebration.” and a way to turn the nation back to God, seems to be sidestepping all questions about his partnership with the AFA.

'Religious freedom crowd cheer Russia's persecution of gays' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Pat Robertson: Gays 'Will Die Out Because They Don't Reproduce' - Doesn't Pat Robertson know that we reproduce by the power of Madonna and Cher albums?  

Texas Gets 1st Openly Gay Federal Judge Thanks to Anti-Gay GOP Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz - I never thought I would live to see the day when I thanked those two bozos for anything.  

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges - In between wringing their hands over the false notion that gays will deny evangelical Christians their freedom in America, the anti-gay right takes time out to praise Vladimir Putin for denial of freedom for gays in Russia.  

How a sheltered housewife became the foremost in-your-face challenger of Christian homophobia - A profile of an awesome facebook friend of mine and one of the best allies for the lgbt community, Kathy Baldock.

Will Michigan's controversial 'religious freedom' bill die in legislative session?

It is a strong possibility - at least for now - that the controversial Michigan "religious freedom" bill may die in the state Senate.

According to Buzzfeed:

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville expects a religious freedom bill, which would allow people the right to refuse service based on their faith, to die in the legislature without a vote, according to his spokesperson.

“He does not expect the bill to come up for a vote in the senate before the end of the term,” said Richardville’s spokesperson, Amber McCann.

The state’s GOP-controlled house of representatives passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) along party lines on Dec. 4. The bill is now in the state senate, where Richardville, a Republican, sets the agenda. Michigan’s legislature session adjourns this month.

“He does not feel the need to rush any bill through for a vote,” McCann told BuzzFeed News. “RFRA is not a priority for Senator Richardville.”

Critics have dubbed the measure the “right-to-discriminate bill,” arguing it would grant people sweeping discretion to discriminate against any sect of society they choose on religious grounds.

Critics, particularly lgbt bloggers have pointed out that the bill is so broad that it can also protect pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for medication to fight HIV or hospitals refusing to admit lgbt patients.

Rana Elmir, deputy director at ACLU of Michigan, told Buzzfeed that thousands of Michigan residents have been contacting lawmakers in protest. She claimed that public opinion is against the bill.

Elmir has a point. Yesterday, according to The New Civil Rights Movement, there was a protest at the state capitol against the bill.

Above picture courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

'Gays are the greatest threat to American liberty? REALLY? & other Tuesday midday news briefs

The greatest threat to American liberty? Gay rights? Sometimes I like to pretend that Bryan Fischer is just saying these things because he has a very sick relative and he needs the money given to him for these outrageous commentaries. It's either that explanation or simply the man is a homophobic sleazeball. Whatever the case may be, I don't feel angry. I feel the need to buy a one piece white suit and a Persian cat which I will then stroke gently while speaking in a faux European accent while commanding a bunch of fearful subordinates.  

An Open Letter to Mainstream LGBT Organizations That Have Remained Silent on Black Lives Mattering - Excellent point AND it underlines the intersection of the lgbt and African-American communities.  

How the anti-gay bill affected Uganda’s tourism - Thanks to folks like Martin Ssempa, Uganda can now 'eat da poo poo.' 

 Marriage Equality Arrives In Scotland - Not bad. Not bad at all!  

Philly Anti-Gay Hate Attack Suspects Determined To Fight Charges In Court - Bring it on!  

Religious Right Group Defends Bogus Ex-Gay Billboard - Of course they do and in the attempt, they underline the point I made about anti-gay distortions of science:

 Greg Quinlan, PFOX’s conspiratorial and extremist spokesman, defended the billboard in an interview today with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily, insisting that that his group just wants gay people to know that “the truth that homosexuality is destructive to someone.” 
 “The billboard speaks to the scientific fact that to quote the American Psychiatric Association, ‘there still remains no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality,’” Quinlan told WND. “There is zero evidence that a person is born a homosexual. In fact, Dr. Francis Collins of the human genome project with the National Institute of Health, who was appointed by President Clinton to do the project said homosexuality was “not hard-wired.’” 

 But THAT is not true. In 2008 and 2010, Collins has gone on record saying that he didn't make that statement. And Quinlan knows this because during the 2008 situation,  HE WAS MADE AWARE OF WHAT COLLINS SAID.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Research Council spokesman gives lukewarm response to proposal that gays be put to death

I don't know what's scarier about the following audio clip - that this caller actually proposes executing lgbts or the lukewarm way the Family Research Council's Craig James addresses the man's proposal.

In all honesty, I don't blame the caller for what he said. I blame people like James, Tony Perkins, and the rest of the anti-gay right (especially Fox News' Todd Starnes) for consistently ginning up the lie that gays want to harm Christians. What do you expect when you conjure up visions of gays recreating the Holocaust on evangelical Christians? When you are constantly feeding people fear, what the heck do you expect the outcome will be?

Anti-gay billboard the latest in a long line of scientific lies by the religious right

PFOX's inaccurate billboard highlights the organization's willingness to lie.

Last week, the anti-gay group PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) suffered a huge embarrassment because of a billboard it put up on a Virginia interstate:

 The billboard appeared recently beside I-95 in Richmond, Virginia, according to NBC affiliate WWBT. The sign depicts two males, one dressed in a suit and the other in a white T-shirt, and says: "Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twin research studies show nobody is born gay."

As it turned out, the two males featured in the billboard sign was only one man, Kyle Roux, who happens to be openly gay.  This slip provided a delicious degree of schadenfreude
for the lgbt community.

However, in the midst of the laughter and derision, the lgbt community seem to be missing the larger picture which can be potentially beneficial to the community.

The way PFOX cited twin studies is inaccurate, according to lgbt activist and Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen:

“PFOX’s billboard underscores the groups scientific illiteracy and shows that ‘ex-gay’ activism is about demagoguery and marketing, rather that truth and results,” said Besen. “In reality, twin studies prove that there is a genetic link to sexual orientation. It is stunning that PFOX would pay for a billboard to showcase its ignorance and incompetence.”

A Truth Wins Out press release accused PFOX and other anti-gay groups of continuously distorting science:

 . . . anti-gay activists consistently distort research. They point to twin studies and say, “if homosexuality was truly genetic, the concordance rate for identical twins would be 100-percent.” Scientists say that this is a gross misunderstanding of the research. According to Dr. Eric Vilain, Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology at UCLA, and the Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics:
“All sorts of traits that are clearly genetic do not show 100% concordance [in twins]. I’ll give you examples, if people look at obesity. Or autism, looking at twins. There is undeniably, no one will even challenge that there is a genetic cause for both obesity and autism.
The twin studies do not show that it is 100% genetic. They just demonstrate that there is a genetic influence. There could be other influences on sexual orientation. Some of them might be environmental. For instance, the older brother effect [studies showing the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay] is an environmental influence. That’s what has happened in the past, in the same womb seems to influence the sexual orientation of future pregnancies. So, it is certainly not an all or nothing phenomenon.”

Truth Wins Out's  press release also quoted  Dr. Marc Breedlove, Michigan State University, Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience and Dr. Simon LeVay, author of Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. They both went into detail about what was omitted by the simplicity of PFOX's billboard.

PFOX's  billboard is the latest in a long history of scientific inaccuracies and distortions undertaken by various anti-gay groups to bolster their negative claims against the lgbt community.

'Horses, marriage equality & ex-gay billboards' & other Monday midday news briefs

No One Is Born Gay? Hundreds Join In Protest Of 'Ex-Gay' Billboard - Nothing like an idiotic anti-gay happening to get the folks stoked up. I hope they stay stoked up.

  Mississippi Pastor Edward James Protests Gay Marriage With Horse In Wedding Dress - Somehow I don't think he successfully made his point. What I want to know is how did he get the dress on the horse.

No, My 10-Year-Old Son Isn't Looking for a Girlfriend. He Likes Boys. - I read this piece over the weekend and I think it should have a wider audience. THIS is what parental support looks like. 

 Scott Lively claims homosexuality worse than mass murder 'from God's perspective' - Because apparently God speaks His word through a two-bit homophobic #@!% who exploited homophobia and fear in foreign countries to further the persecution of lgbts. Who knew? 

 Bobby Jindal Is Predictably Partnering With Anti-Gay Radicals For His Prayer Rally - Bobby, Bobby, Bobby! The key to pandering is to not make it look so obvious.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gasp! Proctor & Gamble enlists Tide in pushing the 'gay agenda!' Oh horrors!!

My only regret about this commercial is that it from Canada. One can only imagine how our very creatively enterprising opponents would spin this.

I can just hear them now. - How DARE Tide run a commercial showing a gay couple doing normal things like bickering over laundry when it is a well-known fact that gays all congregate in huge board rooms and discuss the overthrow of America, the indoctrination of children, and the imprisoning of heterosexual Christians.:

Hat tip to Towleroad.

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Ex-gay group contradicts its own message via billboard model' & other Friday midday news briefs

'Ex-Gay' Group Erects Billboard Saying 'Nobody Is Born Gay' - A couple of days ago, the anti-gay group, PFOX causes a huge controversy by a billboard it put up along a major interstate highway in Virginia. However, we now know that this is ONLY part of the story. 

HILARIOUS: Model from 'ex-gay' twins billboard is 'out, proud gay man,' not a twin - HERE is the other part of the story. Because of its cheap budget and exploitation of stock footage, PFOX made a MAJOR Freudian goof. 

 Barber And Staver: The Fight Against Gay Marriage Is 'The Next Civil Rights Movement' - This of course is absolutely the most ridiculous, stupid, ignorant thing I have heard today, but it bothers me. As much as some heterosexual African-Americans carry on when they think that lgbts are appropriating the Civil Rights Movement, I wish they weren't so silent when anti-gay white folks do it.

 The Duggars Just Made It Easier To Discriminate Against LGBT People. Will TLC React? - Unfortunately, probably not. At least not now. But let's give the Duggar family time and room to dig their own hole a little deeper.  

Alabama recalls vanity license plate with gay slur - I guess I'm SUPPOSED to be happy over this. Why was the slur approved in the first place?

The Family Research Council isn't held accountable for its homophobia, anti-gay lies

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

According to GLAAD, FRC president Tony Perkins has made several outrageous comments about the lgbt community, including accusing us of being "pawns" of Satan, claiming that we want to put Christians in boxcars and cart them away, comparing us to terrorists, and - of course - claiming that we want to recruit children.

Substitute the African-American or Jewish community for lgbt community in terms of who FRC and Perkins denigrates and do you honestly think that the following montage of Perkins being called upon to comment as a "Christian leader" on Fox News would happen:

The problem here isn't solely the fact that Perkins and FRC continuously lie about and denigrate the lgbt community. Part of the problem is that the media doesn't hold them accountable for these actions.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper for the montage.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Will the right consider pushing an anti-transgender constitutional amendment?' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Editor's note - Due to prior commitments, today's news briefs have been moved up

School Athletic Officials Debunk Horror Stories About Transgender Student Athletes - Courtesy of Equality Matters, a new crop of anti-transgender horror stories, this time involving student athletes, have been debunked.

FRC Spox Proposes Constitutional Amendment To Ban Recognition Of Gender Reassignment - However, that doesn't keep the Family Research Council from talking about a constitutional amendment to ban recognition of gender reassignment. Oh vey!!

FDA Panel Endorses Lifetime Ban on Gay Blood Donation, Suggests Gay Men Are Diseased Liars - Speaking of FRC, I can just hear Tony Perkins crowing over this already.

NOM's bald-face lies about the 2014 midterms - What doesn't NOM not lie about?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Exposing the mind of a 'paid-in-full' homophobe

LaBarbera doesn't like to be asked about his tactics.
First of all, I should let you all know that this post is a rehash of one from my early days of this blog. I am reposting it because I think it's highly important,

In 2008, before I was "well-known" enough for Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth to block me on twitter and avoid my email questions, he and I had an interesting email debate.

If you ask me, this debate is probably the singular reason why LaBarbera bends over backwards to avoid me.  The email debate, at the time served as a blueprint of a basic belief I have when it comes to anti-gay spokespeople, groups, and propaganda. For too long, lgbts have been put on the defensive about our lives and our families. In spite of the fact that the courts, science, and the arena of public opinion are on our side, we constantly take the bait when anti-gay groups and spokespeople begin questioning our lives, as if we constantly need to refute them or justify our existence.

And all of this happens in front of a backdrop of distortions, lies, junk science, and cherry-picked science disguised as Christian beliefs. This decades-old backdrop has been, for the most part, unquestioned by the mainstream media and even our media. I say it's time for lgbts to stop being on the defensive because we have proven ourselves continuously. It's time for anti-gay groups and their spokespeople to explain themselves, explain their claims, and most of all explain their most un-Christian tactics to deny our equality.

That was the subject of the debate between LaBarbera and I.  And as you can see, LaBarbera wasn't used to being questioned

Beginning of  2008 post :

On his webpage, our friend Peter publishes his "response" to an email allegedly sent to him from a person from Michigan regarding his recent publishing of x-rated pictures from a San Francisco street fair.

Peter does not publish the person's letter but says the following:

The following is adapted from my response to a letter from a Michigan pro-homosexual activist who wrote AFTAH, making the usual obnoxious charges: that I am a “pornographer” (for exposing San Francisco’s government-tolerated public street depravities) — and, of course, that I am a secret homosexual (”You are gay and part of you knows it and HATES it”). It’s all par for the course when you cover the loving and tolerant GLBT community.
By not showing the alleged "obnoxious" letter but publishing his response, Peter tries to make himself look intelligent and noble.

Don't be fooled.

You see, Peter and I had an email exchange last week and based on that exchange, Peter does not come across as an intelligent or noble person. Nor does he come across as a particularly moral person.

Judge for yourself as I reveal a snippet of our email conversation. In it, I was able to question Peter point blank about his tactics as well as the tactics of other members of the anti-gay industry:

From: Peter L.
Sent: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:42 am

Spare me. Talk about consumed? You are beholden to your "gay" ideology, so much so that you are actually comparing ex-gays to that? Skin color is immutable. MANY people have left homosexuality behind. Just because YOU don't believe that -- or you explain it away thru your various arguments doesn't make it not so.

Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:29 AM

well you can always ask wade richards or michael johnston. to me though sexual orienation is fluid. science may never find the reasons behind sexual orientation. but it leans to it not being able to be chosen.

but you miss the point, peter.

Your beliefs about homosexuality is on what you call a solid foundation (i.e. the Bible). Every time you and those on your side distort legitimate studies, every time you all use bad studies (i.e. Paul Cameron, John R. Diggs), every time you go to one of those subcultural events and attack lgbts there without saying a word about the heterosexuals who attend the events, you weaken that foundation.

The house you seem to think you are building on a rock will start to have a foundation of sand. And that house will crumble.

Look around you. It's crumbling now.

'Religious right 'Christians' defend acts of torture' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Christian right’s vile PR sham: Why their bizarre films are backfiring on them - Well it could be that they are pretentious trash. But this explanation goes into good detail.

Accurate representation isn't 'indoctrination' - Bar none, the best thing Jeremy Hooper has ever written (and his daughter is soooo cute!):

 . . .that's what these anti-LGBT activists fail to acknowledge. They refuse to see that we exist, now and already. They won't even give the slightest credence to the fact that we do have kids and they too attend school. Instead they act like our families are some sort of a collective theory whose very existence is up for debate. They pretend that our lives are rumors that will only exist if people with agendas (i.e. LGBT humans) tell our supposed lies (i.e. our literal truths) long enough. That's why they so easily play the "indoctrination" card when it comes to the fair and accurate depictions of our existences: because it's easy to dismiss that which you don't want to and don't care to—and in fact refuse to—see. And since they know that their exclusionary agenda is one that is most likely to take hold if it starts young and goes on unchallenged, they are most threatened when we talk to children about childishly simply notions like love and family.  

Fischer: Release Of Torture Report Shows That Democrats Are 'Juvenile Delinquents'

Sandy Rios Defends CIA Torture: 'It's Not Like We Beheaded Them'  - Isn't this lovely. When they are not whining about being "persecuted" by gays for their supposed Christian beliefs, religious right spokespeople are defending acts of torture. What would Jesus do indeed? I can tell you what he wouldn't do. He wouldn't defend acts like sleep deprivation and other acts I just cannot mention here.  

Jamaican priest washes the feet of lesbians and calls for ‘respect’ for human rights - In contradiction to the briefs above . . .

 ‘No Homo’ Personalized License Plate Issued By Alabama - When do we get the "HOT MESS" license plates issued next?

Arkansas victory exposes hypocritical nature of the Duggar family's version of Christianity

Yesterday, the lgbt community suffered a nasty defeat in Fayetteville, Arkansas. According to LGBTQNation:

Voters in Fayetteville, Ark., on Tuesday repealed a controversial LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance approved by the city council in August.

KFSM-TV reports that 52 percent of voters cast ballots to repeal the ordinance, compared to 48 percent who voted to retain the measure — a difference of fewer than 500 votes, with turnout less than 30 percent of registered voters.The ordinance, approved by the city council in a 6-2 vote on August 20, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.

LGBTQNation points out how this vote got nationwide attention due to the inclusion of the reality television stars, the Duggar family:

Opposition to the ordinance gained national attention due in part to the efforts of the Duggar family of TLC’s reality series “19 Kids and Counting.” In August, Duggar matriarch Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall urging residents to pressure council members to oppose the measure, claiming it would lead to women going topless at public swimming pools, men using women’s restrooms, and allow pedophiles and sexual predators to abuse people. As of October 31, the Duggars had donated $10,000 toward the city council campaigns of the ordinance’s three most outspoken critics, two of whom were listed as contacts on a press release for the repeal effort.

In fact, when vote was announced, Josh Duggar, who spoke against the ordinance and is also employed by the anti-gay Family Research Council, sent out the following mindboggling tweet:

One good thing about this setback - however minor - is that it exposes the hypocritical nature of the Duggar family.

Folks who were angry at how the Duggars were spreading inaccurate information about the ordinance signed a petition demanding that their show be canceled. Other lgbt activists used the controversy to raise a large amount of money for an Arkansas charity, Lucie's Place, devoted to helping homeless lgbt youth.

The Duggars themselves and their allies claimed that they were under a so-called "malicious attack" by "radical homosexual activists" who attacked them because of their faith and sought to deny them their "religious liberty."

However, this victory in Fayetteville contradicts the "religious liberty" card played by the Duggars.

You can't exploit your fame as reality tv stars to bear false witness against the lgbt community and deny us equality while simultaneously claiming victimhood status when we react to your actions.

The sad thing is that I think the Duggars family actually think they can get away with this subterfuge.

The good thing is that in reality, they can't. And they won't.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

'Ex-gay movement loses another spokesman and this one dishes info' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

“I won’t be a weapon anymore,” says former symbol of ex-gay movement - Not only does the ex-gay movement lose another spokesperson, but this one provides details regarding the movement's deceptions and hypocritical behavior.'s Editorial Board Stokes Fears Over Transgender Non-Discrimination Law - It is spooky to me as a journalist when an editorial board behaves like this one.

 Plano, Texas Passes LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections Despite Vocal Opposition - Even WITH exemptions (transphobic, of course), the opposition wasn't happy. 

 NOM asks for inspiring marriages, equality activists answer! - NOM is dying a slooooooow death.

  Court Orders Florida to Start Letting Gay Couples Marry in One Month - Another state!!

Homophobia thrives when we don't call it out

Now before you begin the jaded phrases of how our friend below, Gordon Klingenschmitt, is a relic of the past and his type is on "the wrong side of history" or we shouldn't give this man any attention, remember one thing.

He is now a fairly elected member of the Colorado state legislature. So someone has paid this man some attention and unfortunately, liked what they saw. What's that old say:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

And usually this happens when good men (and women) sit on their asses yawning when evil stares them in the face:

Monday, December 08, 2014

Family Research Council conveniently silent about anti-gay pastor, church it once defended

Steve Anderson, the pastor of Arizona's Faithful Word Baptist Church, has caused shock and revulsion for his recent claim that the AIDS crisis would end if gays were executed. However through it all, folks are missing a point that only us wonky individuals would bring up.

In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Anderson's church as an anti-gay hate group along with several other organizations. Of course much of the attention following this announcement had to do with the other groups SPLC listed, particularly the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

In fact, it caused such a stir that FRC began a campaign entitled Start Debating, Stop Hating. Through this campaign, the group claimed that SPLC was trying to 'silence' Christian groups:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents "hate groups." No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate! 

FRC did not differentiate between itself and other organizations named as anti-gay hate groups. However the organization did run a full page ad in Politico. According to Talking Points Memo, several Republican leaders signed on to this ad:

The ad is undersigned by a number of leading Republican politicians, social conservative and mainstream alike: House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sen, Jim DeMint (R-SC), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and even Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. 

I should also point out that SPLC received considerable criticism from many circles for supposedly attacking "Christian groups."

So what's the point with me bringing all of this up? Certainly not to imply that FRC believes that gays should be executed.  However, it should be noted that FRC is tacitly silent about Anderson and his church right now, both of which the organization defended in 2010, as are the Republican leaders who supported FRC's campaign back then.

And it should also be noted that Anderson's recent homophobic spew only proves SPLC's point about anti-gay hate groups who hide their vindictive nature behind "Judeo-Christian" beliefs. And also that SPLC was not trying to "silence Christians."

I think certain parties owe SPLC a huge apology right now.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins continues to lie about DADT repeal, military sexual assaults

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council comes another lie about the repeal of DADT:

President Obama may have admitted that sexual assault is a serious problem in the military -- but what he hasn’t conceded are that his own policies have helped create it. For the past few years, the Pentagon has downplayed the effects of open homosexuality sexuality and the addition of women on the front lines. But it will have a tough time doing that now with the rate of male-on-male assault at its highest levels. A stunning 3,840 military men were raped last year, headlines screamed.
While outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel insists the military had made “real progress” on the problem, the latest numbers certainly don’t bear that out. The total number of sexual assaults (at least the known cases) actually climbed by another eight percent -- a statistic the administration pins on better reporting, not an actual spike in abuse. Either way, the message is clear: there has been a significant change in military culture, and reversing those trends will be nearly impossible with the radical sexualization of our forces.

“Almost 6,000 victims reported a sexual assault in 2014, up from 5,500 last year, according to the report… only 1 in 10 victims reported a sexual crime in 2012, compared to 1 in 4 this year.” And while the media is adept at burying the story, the real scoop is that in Rand Corporation’s survey “more than half of the victims are men.”

The White House has spent Barack Obama’s entire presidency turning the military into a social experiment, beginning with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Of course, what’s interesting about these statistics is that they were released at a time when the military is having trouble finding new recruits. Fewer people see the military as a “good choice” for their future. And given these statistics, it’s not difficult to see why.

In their attempts to blame the repeal of DADT for the sexual assaults of men in the military, Perkins and company are pushing ignorant ideas about sexual assault itself.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Open letter to Pastor Stacy Swimp - you can't omit African-American lgbts from black history

Stacy Swimp wants to omit people like Bayard Rustin from black history.

Stacy Swimp is an African-American Michigan pastor who right now is riding the crest of his ego.

Recently, he spoke in front of the Michigan House in opposition of a non-discrimination ordinance claiming that gays never suffered the indignities of discrimination as had African-Americans. The House, by the way, killed the bill because there wasn't enough support for it.

But Swimp's words, which if I reposted here would cause my blood pressure to go up again as it did when I first read about the story, is just yet another infuriating attempting from ignorant, homophobic African-American heterosexuals to again omit lgbts of color from black history.

And to make matters worse, a good friend of mine sent a link to his facebook page in which he attacked Laverne Cox for making the cover of Time magazine.  I won't repeat the negative transphobic nonsense he and his supporters brayed.

I will just repeat what I wrote as a response in the form of an open letter not just to Swimp but other holier-than-thou African-American heterosexuals who are attempting to slander lgbts of color and deny us our right in the rich plateau of Black History:

Good gosh, listen to you all. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, especially you, Mr. Swimp. I got news for you all, No matter how many verses of the Bible you cite (the same book which was used by the way to justify slavery and segregation), you will NEVER be able to omit African-American gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender folks from Black History. It's our history too. We were there during slavery, Reconstruction, and segregation. We were lynched, raped, abused, and scorned just like you heterosexual African-Americans. And we played a great part in the civil rights movement. You forget that Bayard Rustin, an openly black gay man, coordinated the 1963 March on Washington. You forget about James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Barbara Jordan, etc. 

You attempt to condemn us to the realms of your own ignorance because you are too limited to see us as anything but outputs of your lurid imaginations of what supposedly gays do in the bedroom. That's YOUR problem. You all are the epitome of ignorance. Arbitrarily accusing gays of pedophilia is no different than arbitrarily accusing black men of being thugs or black women of being sluts. What verse of the Bible gives you the right to bear false witness? What verse of the Bible gives any of you the right to bogart, slander, accuse, and attack? Whether you like it or not, black gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender folks aren't going away. 

Ms. Cox is looking mighty fine on the cover of Time magazine and rather than attack her, you should praise her for being open and honest. She is a role model to millions of folks, ESPECIALLY African-American transgender men and women. No matter how much it sickens you or how high and mighty you pretend to be, there is nothing you can do about HER or any of us lgbts of color. You can try but you can't erase us, you can't omit us, and most of all you can't condemn us. THAT right belongs to God and the last time I checked, NONE of you are him. God doesn't condemn us because he loves us the way we are. Tend to your own houses before you come knocking on our doors.

Related post: 

The Erasure of 'Gay' From Black History & the Black Community Must Stop

Friday, December 05, 2014

'Religious liberty bill pre-filed in South Carolina' & other Friday midday news briefs

Senator Files Bills on Guns, Same-Sex Marriage Refusal - South Carolina state senator Lee Bright just pre-filed a bill which would allow probate, clerk, and county employees the right to refuse to grant same-sex marriage licenses without fear of reprisal in terms of liabilities and punishments if the refusal is because of a "sincere religious belief." Bright has also pre-filed bills which would make it legal to carry guns on places like college campuses. Not that the bills have anything to do with each other but aren't they a fascinating juxtaposition. It sort of makes you feel as if it was actually Chuck Norris who delivered the Sermon on the Mount with an uzi strapped to his back
Some Religious Leaders Denounce Pastor Who Wants To Ends AIDS By Killing Gays - As much fuss as I raise when I don't hear Christians condemning mess like what this man said, I think I should showcase it when some do. 

 Michigan Advances ‘License To Discriminate’ While LGBT Protections Stagnate - Previews of things to come, folks. Pay attention and begin planning the counter offensive now. 

 Johnny And Todd's Story From The Let Love Define Family Series - This is sooooo cute!  

Garlow: Force Gay Marriage Supporters To Live In Houses With Improper Plumbing - I think there is a sexual insult in there somewhere . . .

Transphobia FAILS in Minnesota

In spite of this ad, Minnesota schools struck a blow for fairness for our transgender children.

In spite of the efforts of  some folks to confuse the issue by appealing to fear, Minnesota schools struck an excellent blow for our transgender children yesterday.

From Buzzfeed:

Amidst a week of victories for transgender rights activists, transgender high school students in Minnesota can play on boys’ or girls’ sports teams “consistent with the student’s gender-related identification,” according to a policy passed today by the state’s High School League. The policy, which will go into effect with the 2015–2016 academic year, also applies to certain extracurricular activities. 

Overcoming fierce opposition from critics, the league voted 18-1 on the policy that “allows participation for all students regardless of their gender identity or expression in an environment free from discrimination with an equal opportunity for participation in athletics and fine arts.” The policy outlines a process for transgender students to apply to a team, including providing evidence of their gender identity and a “written statement from an appropriate health-care professional.” The greatest point of contention in a packed hearing today was male-to-female athletes playing on girls’ teams. Critics warned that transgender girls could use their XY genetics, having developed larger muscles and bones, to give them a competitive edge in strength and speed over cisgender athletes.

In that vein, the Minnesota Child Protection League took out a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in November. The ad questioned if the policy would cause “the end of girls’ sports?” Featuring a photo of a girl with a baseball bat, the ad included text suggesting her dreams of a sports scholarship could be dashed after being displaced by a transgender female player, which the ad calls a “male,” and then adds, “and now she may have to shower with him.”

 . . .   A 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association report responds to beliefs that female transgender athletes pretend to be women or have a physical edge. “These assumptions are not well founded,” says the NCAA report. This is particularly true for transgender girls who start medically transitioning during adolescence. The report explains that “their participation in athletics as girls does not raise the same equity concerns that arise when transgender women transition after puberty.”
Minnesota is the 33rd state to approve a transgender-inclusive policy for high school athletes, according to MPR News.