Monday, March 31, 2014

Signorile interviews infamous homophobe Scott Lively, catches him in a blatant lie

Recently, lgbt activist and radio host Michelangelo Signorile conducted an interview with infamous anti-gay activist Scott Lively.

It went as well as one could expect and if you have a desire to listen to the entire thing, check out this Huffington Post link.

However, one section really caught my ear:

Asked about his comments on a radio program in which he suggested President Obama is the “anti-Christ,” Lively laughed and denied saying anything of the kind.

“I did not say that Obama is the anti-Christ,” he flatly replied. But then when the tape was played for him, in which Lively talks of the anti-Christ being the leader of the “largest superpower in the world,” he revised his answer.

“No, no — that’s Obama,” he admitted, adding, "but the context of that show was laying out a hypothetical situation.”

In other words, Lively lied, got caught on it, and tried to explain it away.

How very typical of Lively's kind.

'Happy International Transgender Day Of Visibility 2014!' and other Monday midday news briefs

42 Unforgettable Moments From The UK’s First Same-Sex Wedding - Sweet! Marriage equality became official in the UK last weekend. 

How One Reverend Is Defying Uganda’s ‘Kill The Gays’ Act - American evangelicals should take note. THIS is Christianity and bravery.  

Happy International Transgender Day Of Visibility 2014! - Did you know that today is International Transgender Day of Visibility? Well now you do. So educate yourself on it by way of my good friend, Monica Roberts.

Laverne Cox to be honored at #glaadawards, Ellen Page to present - Good for her! I can't think of a more deserving recipient.  

They Fought The Gays and The Gays Won: How The “Duck Dynasty” Stars’ Homophobia Destroyed Their Brand - An interesting and very good take on the Duck Dynasty controversy.  

Gordon Klingenschmitt Poised To Clinch GOP Nomination In Colorado Race - What is this? April Fool's Day?

Are SC legislators harming state universities on behalf on anti-gay groups?

Outloud: The Best of Rainbow Radio
"Based upon emails, blog posts, and statements from
conservative figures in the state, it wouldn't be far fetched to say that a plan to attack the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina-Upstate via the legislature was in the works ever since last year after a failed attempt to generate an outcry over the books . 

Furthermore, based upon those same sources, this issue seems to be less about protecting students from obscenity and more about anger over the fact that gay-themed books were being assigned on university campuses."

In my state of South Carolina, there is a serious controversy brewing with regards to the state legislature "penalizing" two colleges for assigning gay-theme books for students to read.

The new state budget deducts $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina-Upstate. The amount adds up to the how much the two colleges spent on the gay-themed books. Rep Garry Smith is leading the charge because he claims the books, Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio doesn't represent SC community values. Rep. Smith also made the accusation that the College of Charleston was pushing pornography on students.  He pointed to images in one of the books, Fun Home, as proof of  his charges.

The controversy has raised many questions with regards to
Fun Home
academic freedom. Rep. Smith claimed that the universities are corrupting the ideas of academic freedom.

However, just where did Rep. Smith get the idea to go after these two colleges?

The answer may be remarkably simple.

 Based upon emails, blog posts, and statements from
conservative figures in the state, it wouldn't be far fetched to say that a plan to attack the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina-Upstate via the legislature was in the works ever since last year after a failed attempt to generate an outcry over the books.

Furthermore, based upon those same sources, this issue seems to be less about protecting students from obscenity and more about anger over the fact that gay-themed books were being assigned on university campuses.

Late last year, an organization by the name of the Palmetto Family Council began raising a fuss about the books. For the uninitiated, the Palmetto Family Council is yet another one of those so-called morality groups which operates under the guise of "protecting the dignity of the family."

The only problem is that their definition of  "family" seems to only pertain to two-parent married heterosexual families. No single parent homes, and definitely no same-sex families allowed. And, like so many of these groups, their definition of protecting the family never seems to include debating issues such poverty, income inequality, educational inequality.

Rather, the Palmetto Family Council deals with issues regarding their definition of "Christian values" and how they pertain to the family, as if implying that the only families which do count in South Carolina are two-parent married heterosexual families who have the same personal religious beliefs that the organization does.

But back to the matter at hand.

In two posts on the organization's blog from late 2013, the Palmetto Family Council railed away at College of Charleston for selecting Fun Home as a reading assignments for students. In the the first post, written on June 24, the Palmetto Family Council contrasts Fun Home to other books assigned by other state colleges and universities. And here is the interesting part. The organization doesn't say one word about the so-called "pornography" of Fun Home. Instead, the Palmetto Family Council cites a publisher's review of the book:

This autobiography by the author of the long-running strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, deals with her childhood with a closeted gay father, who was an English teacher and proprietor of the local funeral parlor (the former allowed him access to teen boys). Bechdel’s talent for intimacy and banter gains gravitas when used to describe a family in which a man’s secrets make his wife a tired husk and overshadow his daughter’s burgeoning womanhood and homosexuality. His court trial over his dealings with a young boy pushes aside the importance of her early teen years. Her coming out is pushed aside by his death, probably a suicide. (Review from Publisher’s Weekly)

The comparison made between Fun Home  and the other books offered by other SC colleges and universities implied that the College of Charleston was engaging in some sort of " gay indoctrination." Palmetto Family Council also said the following in its post:

Which one of these books is not like the others? And exactly how bad is it? Stay tuned for the story of the family that arrived at CofC freshman orientation with happy anticipation only to discover the deep commitment the College has made to Fun Home and all that it symbolizes.

Now in the second post with regards to Fun Home, dated August 9, 2013, the Palmetto Family Council finally mentions the alleged pornography:

Ten South Carolina colleges assigned books for their freshmen to read. As we reported, a number of them selected sufficiently edgy, thought-provoking books. Then there is the College of Charleston’s Fun Home. Were it a movie, it would be NC-17, and not because of its ‘LGBT’ theme. Nine other colleges in South Carolina (and most in America) chose broad, healthy debate…and common sense. The College of Charleston chose to spend $50,000 in state funds and/or student tuition dollars on a narrowly-focused, cartoon (graphical), borderline pornographic book rarely used for this purpose.

That statement is a serious irony because, as I said, in its first post about Fun Home, the Palmetto Family Council never said a word about any pornography. In the August 9th post, the organization also complained about how the media was not giving them the angle they want:

The media has tried to turn our opposition to Fun Home into a dog bites man story: “right wing conservative group opposes book with references to Lesbianism; neo-Victorians seek to keep minds of young adults tightly closed.” That’s not the story. But then learning the truth takes time…and a desire to discover it. As for the book selection process, the task seems as easy as applying common sense, basic values, and a good grasp of reality to a wide variety of options. Nine of our ten colleges that assigned Freshman reading found a way to do that. Why was it so hard for CofC?

Now if this issue was simply about pornography, then why is the University of South Carolina-Upstate in trouble for assigning Outloud: The Best of Rainbow Radio when that book contains absolutely nothing which can be construed as pornographic? (Disclosure - I wrote a short piece on anti-gay propaganda which was included in Outloud: The Best of Rainbow Radio.)

According to a SC libertarian blog, FitsNews on August 13 of last year,  the Palmetto Family Council sent out an action alert to its email subscribers complaining about Outloud: The Best of Rainbow Radio:

In an action alert to its subscribers, Palmetto Family Council blasted the book. “The University of South Carolina Upstate is taking its own shot at traditional South Carolina values using taxpayer and family tuition dollars,” the email noted. 

Also, consider the following. On August 20 of last year,  Josh Kimbrell, a conservative radio host of a show called Common Cents and head of an organization called the Palmetto Conservative Alliance, had this to say about Outloud: The Best of Rainbow Radio:

This is yet another example of how institutions of higher education across our state are ignoring the values held by the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians. To add insult to injury, these university-endorsed promotions of homosexuality are being paid for by tax money and / or mandatory student fees, effectively forcing the people of this state to support an agenda wholly opposed to our values. I half expect this kind of promotion of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and California, but not at public universities in South Carolina. I also imagine that most of my fellow South Carolinians would be just as outraged if they were aware of such abuse.In an effort to reverse this publicly-funded promotion of homosexuality at public institutions in the Palmetto State, “Common Cents” and our policy foundation, the Palmetto Conservative Alliance, are working with our allies in the South Carolina House and Senate to introduce legislation that would forbid public universities from using public money and mandatory student fees to promote any sort of sexual agenda.

 Below those comments is an audio of  Kimbrell's show in which he not only reiterated that his group would be working with "allies" in the SC Legislature, but also predicted (starting at 17:45) that in January, there would be legislation coming out designed to "put a stop" to so-called university promotion of homosexuality

Just what exactly is the Palmetto Conservative Alliance? Your guess is as good as mine. I could find no information on it, particularly its membership.  However, I find it interesting that Kimbrell made an accurate prediction about upcoming legislation crafted in response to the book assignments; i.e. legislation which we are presently debating.

In addition, what are the odds that members of the legislature just happen to negatively target two universities which were the subjects of complaints by the Palmetto Family Council for the same reason - assigning students to read gay-themed books?

Coincidence? I don't think so.

It is becoming more apparent that this controversy is less about pornography and more about some folks having a problem with universities assigning gay-themed literature to students. The "adult" material contained in Fun Home is merely a distraction, a sidebar if you will, to disguise the issue and make the faux outrage a bit more palpable to those who might not be following the issue.

There is one more facet to this story. When a constituent wrote State Senator Shane Martin an email protesting the cuts, the following was his reply:

I regret that you misunderstand the problem. The problem is that a public college is using taxpayer dollars to promote an agenda that the vast majority of taxpayers, the people that fund the school, do not agree with. No one in the General Assembly, including me, has banned any books. Colleges are free to use whatever books they want to use, or teach any classes they want to teach, or employ any professors they want to employ, unless and until they run afoul of the people paying the bill, the taxpayers. And if they want to do those things anyway, then they are free to find another source of funding. When you take your car in for service, would you want the mechanic to spray an air freshener in the car that they believed expressed their spiritual sense even if the air freshener made you sick? Of course not, and you wouldn't pay for it. The public schools and colleges of South Carolina are not free agents. They work for the people of South Carolina, and if the people of South Carolina are unhappy with something going on at the public colleges, then those colleges are going to have change. I am very confident in the manner in which I represent my constituents, especially on this issue.

If one were to overlook the absolutely insulting idea of comparing South Carolina lgbts to air fresheners, there is that pesky bit of truth that those some South Carolina lgbts are also taxpayers. It is regrettable that on this particular point, Sen. Martin has chosen to be disingenuous.

This really was not an issue except for the Palmetto Family Council and other conservative groups.  There was no outrage, no groundswell of anger against the universities on this issue. To this day, many South Carolinians still are not aware of what's going on or why these decisions were made. And amongst those who are aware, there have been serious signs of discomfort with not only lawmakers attempting dictate how colleges can educate their students but also their attempt to erase a portion of the state's population by reducing the dignity of their lives to the cynical categorization of  "an agenda."

 Perhaps instead of a conversation about academic freedom, our legislators need to have one on just who do they serve. Do they serve all South Carolinians or organizations who have obviously overstepped their bounds in attempts to define  "morality" and "families" in the Palmetto State?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Know Your LGBT History - George Michael

Friends, Romans, countryman (and assorted lgbts who can remember this far back), the purpose of this post is not to rehash the career of George Michael or dwell on the unfortunate things which led him to come out as a gay man and also possibly caused problems for his career.

The purpose of this post is to simply ask, based upon the following videos, how in the heck could anyone have mistaken Mr. Michael for a heterosexual in the first place. Particularly the last video. I mean how many times can one man show his butt onscreen? My God, we were so naive in the 80s:



Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:

'Federal government WILL recognize Michigan same-sex marriages' and other Friday midday news briefs

Extreme Anti-Gay Group Is Hosting "An Evening With Erick Erickson" - Ugh! One of those situations you wish was a Greek myth ending with Zeus striking all parties to kingdom come with a big ole thunderbolt.

US Attorney General Eric Holder Extends Federal Recognition to Michigan Same-Sex Marriages - Awesome! By the way, that loud popping sound you are hearing is the spaceship U.S.S. Religious Right Pissed Outrage going into orbit.  

WND publisher says 'God is truly the enemy' of pro-gay President Obama #tcot - Because apparently the guy who sells bumper stickers questioning President Obama's U.S. citizenship decides these things for God.  

Scott Lively Insults His Way Through Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum On LGBT Issues - Poor Scott Lively. To be made fun of and laughed at by the audience during a gubernatorial debate. Oh who am I kidding? I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Family Research Council praises supporter of anti-gay persecution while ignoring its victims

Franklin Graham
This week, Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, made some controversially negative comments, particularly about the lgbt community.

And as it is when folks make controversially negative comments about lgbts, they are always quick to claim that they are merely following the Bible, even though said comments have nothing to do with what the Scriptures allegedly says about lgbts.

For a vast majority of folks - myself included - Graham crossed a huge line when he attacked same-sex families:

When it was pointed out that homosexual couples can adopt children, Graham responded: “They can recruit. You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children from exploitation – all exploitations.”

He made these comments while praising Russia's anti-gay laws - laws which have caused persecution against the Russian lgbt community. Franklin claimed these laws protect children from "gay propaganda
Franklin Graham also addressed for the first time his latest venture into controversy: his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin for his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” – a record, Graham wrote in a March magazine article, that is better than Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.

Read more here:

Tony Perkins of FRC
However, don't tell any of this to the Family Research Council. In a recent posting, FRC praised Franklin for his comments about lgbts, while NOT not telling their readers about what he actually said:
On Tuesday, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Franklin explained that he owed his fighting spirit to his dad, Billy.

"You talk about controversy -- my father stood with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s. My father never worried about polls. I don't care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today -- if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I'm speaking out on them." And that includes one of the biggest cultural flashpoints of our generation -- homosexuality. "I love people enough and care enough to warn them... that if they choose to continue to live in sin, God is going to judge them one day..."

FRC linked to the original interview, so surely it's not a mistake that the organization conveniently didn't go into detail about what Franklin said about same-sex families or his praise of laws which have made Russian lgbts feel like hunted animals in their own country.

A victim of Russia's anti-gay laws praised by Franklin Graham. In praising Graham for supporting these laws, the Family Research Council omitted mention of these victims.

I'm not surprised by FRC lack of candor in regards to Franklin's attack on same-sex families and his support of anti-lgbt persecution in Russia. When the Southern Poverty Law Center called out the organization for its constant pushing of false claims about the lgbt community, FRC whined and cried about being persecuted while cleverly dodging the specific issues which led SPLC to call them a hate group.

Tony Perkins, FRC's president, even claimed that SPLC was attacking them because of an anti-Christian bias. It's safe to say that the praise he and his group just heaped on Graham dispels that notion.

The Family Research Council is not a Christian group. I've never heard of any Christian group who praises someone for supporting persecution while going out of their way to erase any mention of the victims of that persecution from the conversation.

Tony and the rest of you lovely liars at the Family Research Council, allow me to let you in on something.

'No one, and I mean NO ONE is fooled.

Photo of Russian victim taken from David Mixner's blog.

Read more here:

Maryland passes law banning anti-transgender discrimination

Maryland's transgender community received a much deserved victory today:

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act just passed in the House of Delegates by a vote of 82-57 and now heads to Governor O’Malley for his signature. This bill will add explicit protections on the basis of gender identity to Maryland’s non-discrimination laws, making Maryland the 18th state to have such protections, and leaving only three states in the country that have sexual orientation but not gender identity state-wide non-discrimination protections.

And Governor O'Malley WILL sign this bill.  Of course, the anti-gay right will start whining about "bathroom bills" and push lies about men invading women's locker rooms and restrooms in order to either "sneak a peek" or sexually harass. However, this is nothing but a lie. The following chart by Equality Matters (which I have been practically dying for an excuse to put up) puts those horror stories to rest:

'Sorry haters but the FBI has not disavowed the SPLC' and other Thursday midday news briefs

In which 'Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard rumormongers a new anti-LGBT meme into being - Another day, another lie told by the anti-gay right on the Southern Poverty Law Center. The truth in summation - NO, the FBI has not disavowed the Southern Poverty Law Center.

HRC Foundation Releases Detailed Report on Scott Lively’s Anti-LGBT Past - The Human Rights Campaign gives a blistering report on the history of anti-lgbt monster Scott Lively.

 Liberty Counsel Defends Christian School's Right To Demand Tomboy Student Follow 'Biblical Standards' On Gender - A "Christian" school kicks out an eight-year-old girl because she is a "tomboy" and leave it to the Liberty Counsel to defend the school.

Is There Such Thing As Being Too Extreme For Breitbart? - You don't want ME to answer that question.  

How The World Vision Flip-Flop Demonstrates Conservatives’ Commitment To Anti-Gay Discrimination - Ya think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THIS is the perfect antidote to anti-gay propaganda. USE IT!

With the anti-gay right and its supporters going ape-crazy today over Vision America and claiming that gays are of Satan, recruiting children and bound for hell, I thought this would an appropriate time to again showcase How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America.

How They See Us is a free booklet which I published online last year specifically because I feel that this so-called culture war has been slanted against the lgbt community from the start. We, and everyone else, argue about lgbt equality on a religious level and are forgetting that the religious level is merely the way that anti-gay groups and spokespeople are hiding their deliberate spreading of anti-gay propaganda.

In other words, the lgbt community has a serious problem. No matter how nasty or wildly untrue the lies said about us by the opposition are, anti-gay groups can always hide their hatred and deliberate spreading of propaganda behind the veneer of "morality" and "Scriptures." If anti-gay groups and their spokespeople said the same things about  African-Americans or those of the Jewish faith, no one would fall for their claims to be speaking "from their faith."

But they can get away with when talking about us because we don't make enough effort to challenge the fact that their propaganda isn't coming from the Bible but their own dark minds.

Until we do, we are going to be having the same conversation continuously and always on the turf of "religious liberty," rather than "lies told in the name of God."

This is a free document so please feel free to read it,  pass it along, and embed it on your own blogs, webpages, etc.

And if you are having a problem reading or downloading How They See Us from Scribd, this link will take you to a direct adobe acrobat copy which you can read, print out, download, or save.

Or you can go to this page to get some background and then print out a direct copy.

I get no payment, restitution, or any form of compensation from this booklet.

I'm just so damn tired of fighting this battle on the turf of these charlatans. I'm tired of having to explain myself as a gay man and having to defend myself from false claims that I'm a pedophile, I'm going to hell, or I'm trying to "silence" people. And I am so tired of no one addressing the fact that these claims are ugly lies instead of making me seem like the bad guy because I demand dignity as an lgbt.

And I know that many, if not all of you, are tired too.

Anti-gay groups may have the money, parts of the media, and some members of Congress, but we have the truth.

But our problem is we wait for them to spread the lies before we start pushing the truth. Let's start spreading a little truth in preparation of these lies.

Three anti-gay reasons why Christianity has been taken hostage by kooks

Franklin Graham
Apparently it's "Evangelicals Show Their Asses" Day:

VIDEO: Franklin Graham defends Putin remarks, says gay and lesbian couples ‘recruit’ children  

Duck Dynasty star: Gays are going to hell is ‘what the Bible says’ 

 Pat Robertson Recalls The Days When Gays Were Stoned To Death, Blames Satan For Gay Rights

And there you have it - three reasons why Christianity is getting an awful reputation these days. Odious, self-righteous folks lacking humility and introspection in their rush to judge others. They are so eager to clutch their Bibles in sad attempts to defend their need to attack families and persons who don't fit their definition of morality while at the same time willing to play the victim when called out for their attacks.

They pervert the Word of God into a whip which only they have the right to wield.

It's like what I said in my booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America

 Whether it be the defense of “Southern culture,” the “German homeland,” or “Judeo - Christian values,” it all adds up to the same thing - isolating an innocent group as the essence of evil and claiming that if only said group were put in its place, the world would be a better place.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Surprise! The religious right actually don't believe in religious liberty!

UPDATE - I call it hypocrisy but whatever it is, it worked for the anti-gay right. World Vision has reversed its decision.

When World Vision, a Christian ministry, made the recent decision to employ Christians married in gay relationships, I knew the blow back would be hostile amongst religious right groups.

But from how some anti-gay groups are describing this decision, one would think God is going to unleash all of the 10 plagues of Egypt at the same time:

And then:

Last, but certainly not least, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

 This isn't neutrality -- it's open rebellion. If we're going to follow Christ, we need to follow Him in every aspect -- including the biblical design for the family. And while there are several areas of Scripture that are open to interpretation, this isn't one of them. "Children," writes The Gospel Coalition's Trevin Wax, "are the ones who suffer when organizations like World Vision, under the guise of neutrality, adopt policies that enshrine a false definition of marriage in the very statement that says no position will be taken.

I have one question. Wasn't World Vision's decision an act of "religious liberty?" Wasn't it an act of a religious body being able to make its own decision without being cajoled, but according to its conscience and deeply held personal beliefs?

So what's with all of the cries of doom and cataclysm? What's with the weeping and gnashing of teeth? Don't get me wrong. I can understand how some folks may disagree with World Vision's decision, but after all of the fuss they created in attempting to enshrine anti-gay discrimination under the banner of "religious liberty," anti-gay groups and spokespeople are coming across as highly hypocritical.

The least they could have done was to say "we don't agree with this but in the spirit of religious liberty, we respect the decision of World Vision."

Instead, we get this talk of Satan, and the "mark of the beast," and inferences of open rebellion against 'God's plan."

Of course that last inference has always been hilarious to me because every time I hear anti-gay personalities speaking it, I take to scanning the Bible. To this day, I have yet to find a passage saying that God has appointed them as his moral squad.

What this ridiculous non-controversy proves is something we always knew. Anti-gay groups don't really believe in religious liberty. They believe in religious liberty for themselves and those who believe as they do, but with that belief comes another belief that their interpretations of Scriptures and the decisions they make in accordance to these interpretations are the only ones which matter.

That has nothing to do with religious liberty but everything to do with being selfish and self-righteous - two very un-Christian qualities to possess.

How to answer an insulting statement on marriage equality

I don't know what program this is, but it sounds like something from Great Britain. At any rate, the older woman claims, in an insulting tone, about how marriage equality will hijack her marriage. While it's easy to allow yourself to get angry when people make statements like this, remember that when folks like Brian Brown says things like this, they want you to get angry so they can play the victim. We should remember that our answers need to be not out of anger, but firmly committed to our relationships and common sense, just like the young lady debating her and a member of the audience:

'Anti-gay reporter meets personality who spooks even HIM' and other Tuesday news briefs

Due to a family funeral today, there will be no midday news briefs. Hopefully these news briefs will tide you over:

Todd Starnes
 Credit Where Due: Todd Starnes Ends Interview With End Times Fanatic Rick Wiles - File this under bizarre. Anti-gay writer Todd Starnes meets another anti-gay personality who scares even HIM. Two amazing things happen during this interview. Starnes abruptly ends the interview and I give him props for the dignity he handles the situation. I suspect that second thing won't be happening any time again soon.

 Fox News Still Uses "Homosexual" To Describe Gay People - Fox News would make cake and ice cream sound vulgar.  

Ellen Page Tweets Response To Message From Anti-Gay Pastor - Sweet!

Why Affirming Bisexuality Is A Public Health Concern - Because bisexuals exist and have to deal with a huge amount of stereotypes, particularly involving promiscuity.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Michigan, Mark Regnerus, and John Boehner prove that the going rate for homophobia is over $4 million

University of Texas (Austin)  professor Mark Regnerus and all of the other so-called experts called by the state of Michigan to defend its ban on marriage equality was humiliated during the judicial overturning of that law but I wouldn't worry about their feelings.

As it turns out, they were all well compensated. According to LGBTQNation:
The state of Michigan says it has spent $40,000 on witnesses who testified as experts at a recent trial on same-sex marriage. The state has paid $39,478.75 to experts, and some additional bills “have not yet been sent in,” Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, told The Associated Press.

Let's put Michigan's waste of $40,000 in a larger perspective.

Regnerus had already received $90,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and $695,000 from the Witherspoon Institute to fund his now discredited study on gay parenting.  The study was an attempt to sway the Supreme Court in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases and it failed miserably.
Regnerus continued to say that his work was objective, but according to the Huffington Post and the American Independent:

 . . . documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement. The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Speaking of which, Speaker of the House John Boehner spent $2.3 million of taxpayers' money in the failed attempt to defend DOMA. Of course this is the same man who won't help pass a bill giving unemployment benefits to Americans out of work, but that's another "pot of potatoes."

'Anti-gay right turns on Chick-Fil-A' and other Monday midday news briefs

With the news that Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy claiming that his company has stepped back from the argument over marriage equality, anti-gay right groups and personalities are turning on him HARD:


Scott Lively: The Mark Of The Beast Now Looks Like A Chick-Fil-A Sandwich - Well if anyone would know about the "mark of the beast," it's that devil, Scott Lively.

 In other news:

 Read This One Document To Understand What The Christian Right Hopes To Gain From Hobby Lobby - A case you would think has nothing to do with lgbt equality does in fact have something to do with lgbt equality.  

Karen Adell Scot, California Teacher, Comes Out As Transgender - In past cases in which I have seen, having a transgender teacher does not harm children. But the parents freak out like it's the end of the world. I say keep the teacher and let's work on the parents.  

Obama Administration To Take Action In Response To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law - And hopefully it's an action which will send a message that persecution of any stripe will not be tolerated.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Family Research Council desperate to smear Southern Poverty Law Center

Tony Perkins of FRC
In the midst of the happy news involving Michigan, I would it would be remiss of me to lose myself in the reverie that I forget what's going on in other places.

Most specifically, the Family Research Council - and an ally in Hawaii - is stepping up its program of revenge against the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 In 2010, SPLC named FRC as an anti-gay hate group for consistenly and deliberately launching inaccurate attacks against the lgbt community. Since then, FRC has been bouncing around several ways to answer the charges from claiming that pride to be called a hate group, to complaining that SPLC is attempting to censor them for their so-called Christian values and belief that "marriage is between a man a woman," to falsely linking the group to an awful near massacre at FRC headquarters(in which a deranged young man, Floyd Corkins, attempted to force his way in, shoot FRC employees, and stuff Chick-Fil-A sandwiches down their throats.

Now it would seem that FRC has settled down to one direct path - good old fashioned revenge.

Earlier this month, FRC began pushing a false story that supposedly SPLC was bribing Hawaii's teachers to participate in its Teaching Tolerance workshop. Initially, FRC complained about a stipend given to teachers who participated in the workshop.   However that complaint died when it was discovered that teachers were paid this stipend ($159) because the second day of the workshop was on a Saturday, when they would normally not be at work.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Judge hands Michigan lgbt community a HUGE victory on marriage and against junk science

In striking down the Michigan law against marriage equality, US District Judge Bernard Freeman actually handed the lgbt community two victories. First, from ABC News:

Michigan's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge said Friday as he struck down a law that was widely embraced by voters a decade ago — the latest in a recent series of decisions overturning similar prohibitions across the country.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman released his 31-page ruling exactly two weeks after a rare trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.

He noted that supporters of same-sex marriage believe the Michigan ban was at least partly the result of animosity toward gays and lesbians.

"Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage," Friedman said. "Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law."

The decision was filed shortly after 5 p.m. in Detroit, when most county clerk offices were closed. Clerks issue marriage licenses in Michigan.

Attorney General Bill Schuette said he would immediately ask a federal appeals court to freeze Friedman's decision and prevent same-sex couples from marrying while he appeals the case.

Now comes the part which has us wonky lgbts doing the "tootsie roll" while reading our twitter feeds. You will remember that during this trial, University of Texas (Austin) professor Mark Regnerus served as an "expert witness" for the state of Michigan.

'Anti-gay groups want to censor gay families off of television' and other Friday midday news briefs

Check out these three articles (particularly the last one from that vile Matt Barber site BarbWire) to see how anti-gay groups want to censor same-sex families off of television. Honey Maid Crackers shows a commercial featuring a same-sex family and these losers see only sexual intercourse:

Janet Mefferd Upset Honey Maid's Graham Crackers Push 'The Gay Propaganda Machine' 

 AFA's One Million Moms Joins Graham Cracker Boycott  

Video: See What Nabisco Finds ‘Wholesome’ – Hint: It Ain’t Graham Crackers - This particular article is pathetically hilarious because of the following opening passage:
Nabisco is the latest formerly family-friendly company to fall under the curse of moral relativism. In a new commercial for Honey Maid products the company not-so-subtly suggests that 1) sexually immoral male-on-male sodomy, and 2) selfish “gay” men intentionally depriving children of a mother are both somehow “wholesome.” How far America has fallen.

In other news:  

When Black Lesbians Are Killed by Black Men - Easily one of the most poignant and saddest articles you will read in a while.  

Poll Shows Transgender Rights Bill Has Wide Support, While Lawmaker Fears 'Guy In A Dress' (UPDATED) - Oh Good Lord! 

Is there any advocate more disingenuous than a professional 'ex-gay'? - Particularly when that professional "ex-gay" will deliberately cherry-pick scientific information? No.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Show love to Fred Phelps's family instead of hatred

Self-described enemy of the lgbt community, Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church died last night. Naturally, his passing has elicited many opinions in the lgbt community. A good online buddy of mine, Erica Cook, has a  good suggestion as a way to mark his passing and preserve the dignity of the lgbt community.  I personally like what she has to say:

I’m sending this message to you in hopes that you may send it on. I hope that as in other times a cooler mind may win out before others make a choice we, the LGBT community, won’t be able to take back. It has been reported today that Fred Phelps has died. It is safe to say that, given his attitude and his devotion to hate, those of us within, and around, the LGBT community will not mourn his end. He caused many families pain at a time when they were already hurting from the death of loved ones. However, this is his legacy, not ours.

The very post I saw his death reported also had a call to picket his funeral as he has done to so many. This was by a friend who has seen his hate, and understandably wants to exact revenge. But if the actions of his life have shown anything it is that the funeral is no place for revenge or the spirit of hate. We may not feel sorrow at his death. It may even be a day of relief. But this is the time to show why he was wrong to protest the funerals of our family.

This is the chance to show the world how we are better people. We aren’t people who make the death of a man the reason to celebrate, no matter who that man is. We are the better people. And no matter who he is to us, he was someone’s father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. We may still be fighting against them, but today they need the respect they didn’t have the capacity to give when it was us. If we act in any way other than respectful we become no better than them. In stooping to that we relinquish the right to call what they do wrong.

'15 experts TOTALLY destroy anti-transgender myths about bathrooms' and other Thursday midday news briefs

15 Experts Debunk Right-Wing Transgender Bathroom Myth - The headline alone is gold for the lgbt community. The article is an awesome rundown which should be repeated continuously. 

Debunking The Big Myth About Transgender-Inclusive Bathrooms - Equality Matters goes into more detail and it includes a incredible graphic which the organization should make as a stand alone graphic (hint, hint, hint).

Fred Phelps, former head of Westboro Baptist Church, died, family member says - R.I.P. to a very hateful man. He has to answer to God now for his behavior. And unlike some in the lgbt community, I refuse to give this mess more attention than it deserves. Our fight for equality goes on.  

Could Austin Ruse’s Violent Rhetoric Endanger C-FAM’s Status with the UN? - It's spooky to think how much pull this anti-gay group could have had in the UN had not Austin Ruse opened his big mouth.

Teacher Suspended For Comparing Gay-Straight Alliance To Drug-Users Club - Tacky comment from a teacher causes deserved suspension.

The difference between being persecuted and just plain whining

This visual, which I gleaned from an online friend, says it all:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bryan Fischer HAS to be secretly working to advance gay equality

Bryan Fischer
It is not easy being a blogger, particularly the type which I am. On top of no pay and extra work comes the fear that I am falling into a rut. The entire purpose of my blog is to expose anti-gay propaganda and religious right lies pertaining to the lgbt community.

But sometimes I wonder if I tire my readers by presenting time after time after time in which anti-gay groups are lying and deceiving with their lies, cherry-picked science, and junk science. I wonder if I am making you all desensitized.

It gets tiring.

Then something happens or someone says something so outrageous that I'm off to the races again in order to get the information out. The following clip featuring your "favorite homophobe and mine," Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is one of those times. I can't explain what Bryan Fischer is saying here. You just have to listen to him and I dare you to NOT come away with the feeling that Fischer is secretly working to ensure lgbt equality rather than prevent it:

'Family Research Council launches self-defeating campaign against marriage equality' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

FRC launches 'National Campaign in Defense of Marriage;' claims gay parents 'provide distorted values to innocent adopted kids' - The Family Research Council is attempting to raise money against marriage equality and the irony of it all? The organization advances arguments which have led to several losses for its side in the courts such as:

Guys, you may be able to raise money to pay your bills with that argument, but you won't be able to convince a judge to rule against marriage equality.  

Nearly 200 Congressional Democrats Call On Obama To Issue LGBT Workers’ Order - If President Obama did issue this order, I would only partially agree with it. On one hand, it would be a tremendously good thing for the lgbt community. But on the other hand, it would enable us from dealing with the facts about our fight for ENDA. Whether the lgbt community wants to admit it or not, ENDA is going to be a HUGE fight and the anti-gay right will pull all of their tactics  from "bathroom bill" memes to "religious liberty" talking points. And we should be ready for it. In fact we should not only be ready for it, we should play aggressively and begin refuting their points. In my eyes, the largest hurdle against ENDA are anti-gay groups, not President Obama. And how much energy are we devoting to pushing Obama instead of confronting the propaganda which we KNOW will be launched against any push for ENDA?  

Illinois Republicans Nominate Candidate Who Blames Gay Rights For Autism And Tornadoes - Oh good grief. But it's not all bad news. Republicans targeted because of their vote FOR marriage equality won their primaries.

 Obama Administration Pressed To Review U.S. Aid To Countries With Anti-LGBT Laws - And it's the Congressional Black Caucus doing the pushing. Remember that.  

John Kerry To Send Homosexuality 'Experts' To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law - Based on the next news brief, Uganda is going to NEED these experts.

 Ugandan First Lady Doesn’t Know Any Gay Cows, So Homosexuality Must Not Exist - Nothing I can say will add any more snarkiness to this article.

Will South Carolina be sued over anti-gay budget cuts?

And the situation in South Carolina over the state legislature "punishing" two colleges for assigning gay-themed books just heated up. From the Huffington Post:

Ten groups that care about free speech sent a letter Tuesday to South Carolina state senators warning that a bill to cut public college funding based on legislators' objections to certain books could bring on First Amendment lawsuits.

The South Carolina House approved a budget last week penalizing two public colleges for assigning LGBT-themed books in campus-wide reading programs. Pushed by state Rep. Garry Smith (R-Simpsonville), legislators are considering $52,000 in cuts for the College of Charleston and $17,142 in cuts for the University of South Carolina Upstate to offset the costs of those programs.
"The proposed budget cuts undermine the fundamental mission of higher educational institutions, which is critical analysis and free and unfettered debate," the protest letter said. It added, "Legislative efforts to control discussion and debate in a university setting are ill-advised, both legally and educationally."

The 10 groups behind the letter were the ACLU of South Carolina, American Association of University Professors, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, Association of American Publishers, Association of College and Research Librarians, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Modern Language Association, National Coalition Against Censorship and National Council of Teachers of English.

 Read the entire story here

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Family Research Council runs story of 'religious persecution' even after claim is refuted by other anti-gay group

The Family Research Council is presently pushing a strange story of so-called religious persecution in its attempt to create a phony moral panic about the issue:

Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy should expect to be trained in dealing with fear -- fear of surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft fire, or falling into enemy hands. Unfortunately at today's Air Force Academy, cadets must also deal with fear of expressing their faith. Recently, a cadet wrote a Bible verse on the dry-erase board on the door to his dorm room. Apparently, the Apostle Paul's words to the Galatians that "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me..." (Gal. 2:20) were a little too much for someone to tolerate, and the verse was removed after an anti-Christian activist group complained to the Superintendent of the Academy.

This incident reflects a culture of suppression that is being instilled among some of America's best young warriors. When religious expression is whitewashed because of the complaints of a hyper-sensitive few, the Academy develops a culture of fear when it should be developing warriors. If cadets are taught to be afraid of Bible verses, how will they respond against terrorists who are willing to die for their cause? Our U.S. Air Force Academy cadets should be taught how to intercept the enemy, not how to tiptoe around the hyper-sensitive complainants. Join me in standing against this culture of fear at the U.S. Air Force Academy and stand for the cadets by signing the petition to Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson to protect the religious expression of Air Force Academy cadets.

There's just one problem with that story.  It's not true and strangely enough, it's the American Family Association's One News Now which reveals the truth:

As reported Friday, attorneys with Liberty Institute flew to Colorado Springs following the news that an Air Force Academy cadet had removed a Bible verse from his whiteboard outside his dorm room, apparently after anti-Christian zealot Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained about it. But Liberty Institute learned that the unidentified cadet had voluntarily removed the verse and it had nothing to do with Weinstein's complaint. 

In FRC's defense, the organization's story is dated on Friday, the same day in which the incident took place. However, the post continues to stay up today unchanged even after One News Now's correction.

'Hello there you gay-loving Godless human minions of Satan' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

BarbWire: Gay Rights 'Has Its Roots In Hell,' Championed By 'Godless Human Minions Of Satan' - Well I've been called many things, but this one is a first. With rhetoric like this, how can the anti-gay forces fear losing this so-called culture war. (eyes rolling)

 The next anti-LGBT export target: Peru - Uganda, Jamaica, Russia, and now Peru. Do you notice an ugly trend or is it just me?

 Catholic Leader Resigns From Austin Ruse's Group Following Remarks About Shooting Professors - I am so loving this entire story. 

STUDY: Military Should Abandon Policy Banning Transgender Servicemembers - Yes it should. End of story.  

According To Pornhub, The South Watches More Gay Porn Than Any Other Part Of The U.S. - And proud of it, dude. Mississippi is number one, which gives new meaning to the song 'Mississippi Goddamn Mississippi.'

SC legislators being deceptive when attacking academic freedom regarding gay-themed books

By now, you already know the controversy regarding the SC legislators punishing colleges for assigning two gay-themed books for students.  The new state budget deducts $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina-Upstate. The amount adds up to the how much the two colleges spent on the gay-themed books. Rep Garry Smith is leading the charge because he claims the books, Fun Home and Out Loud: Rainbow Radio doesn't represent SC community values. He and other supporters claim in particular that Fun Home is pornographic.

I am calling bull to Rep. Smith's charges.

I haven't read Fun Home, but I contributed to the latter book, Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio,  and there is nothing pornographic in it. The two books do have a similarity, however. They talk freely about lgbts, i.e. the gay community.

 Rep. Smith and his allies claim that they are merely protecting students from pornography.  But I have a serious problem believing this. Situations like this have played out so many times that we know the score. Smith and supporters apparently took offense to the colleges requiring students to read these books, so they scoured one of the books, in this case Fun Home, for what seems like a few "dirty passages" and, without taking note of the context of the passages, have based their entire case on them.

If you don't know what I'm getting at, then the following tweet from a SC religious right group, The Palmetto Family Council, should give you some indication:

The group was celebrating the passage of the budget via the House of Representatives, including the $70,000 deduction. But its gloating is much more extensive  if you look past the surface.

This isn't about protecting students or community values. Rather, it's about what Rep Smith originally claimed before he began pushing the more politically advantageous angle of stopping the spread of pornography, i.e the supposed "indoctrination of students into the so-called homosexual agenda." (cue the spooky and dramatic music).

You see, this is the rub of the situation.  Rep. Smith (and others) seem to have a bee in their bonnets that these books actually recognize and acknowledge lgbts and especially about same-sex families. And these books don't condemn  them either.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Franklin Graham supports Russian anti-gay persecution, disgraces his father and his religion

Franklin Graham supports Russian anti-gay persecution.
 It is commonly believed that in the early days of the Christian church, followers of Jesus dealt with harsh persecution. The tales of  Romans falsely labeling the Holy Communion as "cannibalism," and Christians being thrown to the lions while Roman citizens cheered have entered the canon of legends and we don't know truth from apocryphal tale.

What we do know is that from time to time, enterprising Roman politicians made Christians the scapegoats of the community, thereby leading to various acts of violence while they themselves reaped the spoils.

Throughout the centuries, Christians have faced persecution from different factions, including themselves via unnecessary disagreements regarding denominations and customs.

Not surprisingly and justifiably, Christians have always maintained a fierce devotion to their beliefs. It is a shame that, at least in the case of one Christian, this devotion isn't accompanied with a desire to speak out for other groups facing the same type of persecution.

Franklin Graham, son of the iconic pastor Billy Graham, chose to go the other direction, i.e. embracing the perpetrators of evil rather than the victims. In recent comments, he commended the country of Russia for the recent passage of its anti-gay laws under the lie that it protects children:

Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own? In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.

The inference that gays will somehow harm children is an old dodge perpetrated continuously because it works.  Whenever someone wants to pass anti-gay laws or keep pro-gay laws from passing, or build a reputation for themselves on the hallmarks of "values" and "family," they exploit children as psychological shields, playing on the heart strings of the ignorant by conjuring up images of oversexed gay men raping children, "indoctrinating" children, or "recruiting" children.

It's the same in Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The claim that these anti-gay laws in Russia were created to "protect children" is a lie created give Putin more power and popularity. And in exchange, Russian lgbts now face horrible consequences as a result of these laws. The beatings, the unfair arrests, the all-around abject fear which now grips Russia's gay community are the results. The sad irony is that before these laws, Russian children weren't in danger. But they are now, if they are gay.

And with his one ignorant statement, Mr. Graham dips his hand into the blood spilled because of these laws and publicly wipes it on his face with zest.  In doing so, he spits not only his father's legacy, and the faces of Russian lgbts facing daily persecution. He also spits upon his own religion, particularly the memory of Christians persecuted so long ago after themselves being falsely accused.

No matter what your personal or so-called religious belief about homosexuality may be, there is no excuse for making lgbts scapegoats via lies and scapegoating. Jesus never stooped to doling out excuses designed to justify horrible acts of violence and uncaring attitudes about innocent groups of people. It is an awful shame that those who claim to follow Him have no problems doing this. It is an awful shame in the eyes who claim to follow Jesus, political power makes the lives of lgbts disposable liabilities.

Even in today's oxymoronic climate of Christian leaders clutching the lapels of their expensive suits as they trod across immaculately clean carpets of megachurches or before congregations of thousands and in front of cameras broadcasting to millions as they whine about being persecuted simply because they must acknowledge folks with different belief systems, Mr. Franklin's cluelessness is just obscene.

If he wanted to be a leader with as much notoriety as his father, then mission accomplished. But it's notoriety in the other direction. I've been to a Billy Graham crusade and I've seen him on television numerous times. He represented the humility of Christianity, the acknowledgement and respect for a higher power who we must leave all judgement up to while we do whatever good we can for each other.

Franklin now represents the hypocrisy of Christianity, the lack of humility which now plagues the religion but is something no one wants to talk about. Franklin represents the cluelessness that comes with forgetting your past and sacrifices of those who came before you; forgetting the innocent blood shed by those who paved the way to those expensive suits, mega churches with their immaculate carpets, congregation of millions, and television cameras. And especially the lack of shame which comes with scapegoating innocent groups of people in the same manner which your group was scapegoated and using the Bible to justify your sad behavior.

Mr. Graham, you are a disgrace to not only your father, the Christian religion, but humanity as well. I hope that you can see past the glitz which comes with being a supposed acclaimed Christian leader so that you can one day embrace the same humility which made your father such a wonderful person. 

'SC lawmakers continue war on colleges, gay-themed books' and other Monday midday news briefs

Lawmakers to S.C. colleges: Choose freedom or funding - And the drama continues in my state of South Carolina as lawmakers "punish" colleges for getting their students to read gay-theme books. A chilling part of the entire mess which very few are paying attention to is this quote by the author of the legislation, Rep. Garry Smith:
Smith has said the colleges failed to act responsibly in just presenting one side of an issue.
Does this mean that colleges are going to have make a place for discredited ex-gay therapy studies and junk science or legitimate science cherry-picked to demonize lgbts. In MY backyard? I fan myself with anticipation of the multitude of letters to the editor, columns, and posts I can't wait to write should that become a reality. 

'The Death Sentence of AIDS:' Newly minted Wyoming lawmaker stands by controversial book - Would THIS be the junk that Rep. Smith speaks of when he talks about the other side of the issue. Whatever the case may be, it is the MAIN reason why this blog exists and why I wrote the booklet How They See Us: Unmasking the War on Gay America, which you can read about here and download or if you want to skip the preliminaries, you can download it here. It's free, short, and probably the most complete thing you will read about anti-gay propaganda, at least until those with more power in the lgbt community do what they need to do and address the issue head on.

 Photo: NYC church says to 'stone homos' - This just in. Pastor James Manning has lost his damn mind.

 Guinness And Heineken Drop Sponsorships Of Anti-LGBT St. Patrick’s Day Parade - AWFUL situation. By the way, did any of you know that my hometown of Columbia, SC never has that problem of folks attempting to keep lgbts from participating. Heck, the organizers of the parade look forward to our full participation, float and all.

 'Wendy Williams Show' Hosts Transphobic Panel About Transgender Athlete Chloie Jonsson - So much, so much, so much work to do.  

GOP Lawmaker Thinks Businesses Ought To Be Able To Deny Service To Black People - What the "religious liberty" argument can ultimately cause. And this lawmaker's assessment is inaccurate. Someone needs to be schooled on segregation.