Friday, December 30, 2016

'13 wonderful LGBT moments' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Editor's note - This will most likely be the last post of 2016 on this blog. It wasn't exactly a fun year and I won't talk about the BIG UGLINESS who was elected in November. I will just say that 2017 brings challenges but with challenges come the promises of victory. Let's not dwell on things which will divide our communities. Let's unite and go full speed ahead in mutual trust, love, and understanding. And especially with the knowledge that we will take no slack or  any disrespect. 2017 is all about us up in here!  And we intend to get everything which belongs to us.

Catholic groups are suing the Obama administration over trans protection laws - Just as they did with marriage equality, Catholic religious groups are exploiting their religion to push anti-lgbt laws. The last time, they wasted lots of money in the loss. This time, they may lose something a bit closer to home - their so-called religious integrity. 

13 Moments That Made Us Proud To Be Queer In 2016 - Just 13?

 'I feel alive': Transgender Iowans on medical care, surgeries - When the religious right demonizes the transgender community, it prevents critical stories like this one from being read or heard. 

The top 10 transgender stories of 2016 - And stories like these also. 


This Gay Man Is Fighting For LGBT Rights In The South And Beyond - This is from September and I neglected to even write a post on it. The Huffington Post featured ME and this blog in an interview. I talk about being an "activist" and facing homophobia, racism, and regional prejudice. Plus, the picture of me is wonderful. Unashamedly black. It reminds me so much of Nina Simone.

Preachers on Trump's inaugural podium a collection of hot messes

Franklin Graham
Trump will have several ministers on his podium during his inauguration and wouldn't you know it? They all seem to be "hot messes." Particularly when it comes to the lgbt community.

From Right Wing Watch, this is just two of them:

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, son of the iconic evangelist Billy Graham, is a more intensely anti-gay right-wing version of his father, and reflects the continuing spiral of America’s right wing into anti-Muslim conspiracy-theory paranoia.

Like Trump, Graham is a fan of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, praising Putin’s anti-gay policies and defending his support for the Assad regime in Syria. Graham went to Russia in 2015, where he praised Putin while criticizing secularism in America. While in Russia, Graham told a reporter that President Obama was “leading America down the wrong road” and “taking a stand against God.” Graham also planned to host a conference in Moscow with the Russian Orthodox Church to address anti-Christian persecution, but had to cancel after Putin outlawed evangelism from Christians who aren’t members of the Orthodox church. Although Graham maintained that he was not formally endorsing a presidential candidate in 2016, he held rallies around the country during which he made it clear what he thought Christians’ duty was at the ballot box. Graham, who has said the advance of legal equality for LGBT people is a sign of the coming End Times and invites the judgment of God, repeatedly said that 2016 was the last chance for Christians to save America from godless secularists and the “very wicked” LGBT agenda being promoted by the Obama administration.

Graham was among the Religious Right leaders who spoke up for Trump when the tape of him bragging about sexually assaulting women was released, decrying “the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton” and saying the Supreme Court was the most important issue for Christians when voting. When Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” Graham defended him and said he’d been making the same argument “for some time.”

And of course Timothy Dolan:

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan criticized Trump’s nativist rhetoric in 2015, but more recently has praised Trump’s positions on abortion and “religious liberty” and has said since the election he looks forward to the appointment of Supreme Court justices “who will reform the injustice and travesty of Roe v. Wade.”
Dolan hosted the meetings at which the 2009 Manhattan Declaration was created, and he was among its original signers. The declaration is a manifesto for Christian conservatives who declare that when it comes to opposition to abortion and marriage equality, “no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.” Regarding marriage specifically it says, “No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage.” And it vows civil disobedience, saying:

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Someone probably needs to anoint that podium with holy water before AND after the inaugural ceremony.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

'Religious right groups to have inaugural ball. Probably will be a drag' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Religious Right Groups To Celebrate Trump With Inaugural Ball - Religious right groups, including the Family Research Council, will be putting on an inaugural ball to celebrate Trump in probably the most boring party in history. Now you KNOW that I DESPISE being catty (moves out of the way of the lightning strike) but I imagine that the dancing will be like the above video and should Josh Duggar should show up, I hope all of the ladies present know judo. I'm just sayin' . . . 

Franklin Graham, Other Anti-LGBT Clergy Booked for Trump Inauguration - Speaking of the inauguration, it also promises to be a drag. 

 27 Must-Read Queer Essays From 2016 - Take your pick. All of these essays are powerful.

 Sh*t Homophobic People Say - My post from this morning because it bears repeating. 

 36 Tweets That Made The LGBT Community Cackle In 2016 - This was EVIL in a funny way. And it offended some folks. I personally thought it was hilarious satire.  

For LGBT People In Rural Areas, A Tough Transition To Retired Life - A population in our community who shouldn't be omitted.

Sh*t Homophobic People Say

From Lambda Legal, this is over four years old, but it is CERTAINLY appropriate and should serve as psychological adrenaline to get you psyched for combat starting next year. When these same folks come and claim that "evangelical Christians" are being "persecuted for their beliefs," don't believe it:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

'Parents create phony panic about eight-year-old transgender cub scout' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Cub Scouts ban 8-year-old transgendered boy after other kids’ parents complain - This is a mess. Textbook case of children being harmed by parental freakout fueled by "those homosexuals and transgenders want your children" nonsense. 

A Look Back At 2016’s Best, Worst And Ugliest Queer Political Moments - It was a wild, horrible, and sometimes magical year. The fight continues.  

The Religious-Liberty Showdowns Coming in 2017 - Meanwhile in 2017 . . . get it together or leave it alone. 

  The Dangers of the Gay Conservative Movement - No offense, but when a gay conservative can take his or her own party, i.e. the GOP, to task and win, then I will care about them. They throw mess in the lgbt tent. And let's be honest. There is a serious touch of white paternalism involved.  

On losing George Michael in 2016, a year in which toxic masculinity reigned - Thoughtful essay.

The lgbt community can still win against Trump & his anti-lgbt allies

Under the guise of 'values,' groups who spread this junk hope to thrive under Trump.

With the incoming Trump Administration, religious right and so-called traditional values groups will be in the best position they have probably ever been to create policy for the country. And a large part of that policy will be to undermine lgbt equality under the guise of Christianity and religious freedom. According to Right Wing Watch, the Family Research Council is practically chomping at the bit to get things started:

Thrilled by Donald Trump’s election, the Family Research Council has laid out an ambitious agenda for the president-elect.

The Religious Right group wants Trump to appoint far-right justices to the bench; roll back LGBT legal protections and “ferret out” LGBT rights supporters from administration posts; reverse “social engineering” in the military; further restrict abortion rights; defund Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Media Matters also points out that FRC has played a pivotal part in the direction of the incoming Trump Administration and the GOP in general:

FRC president Tony Perkins played a pivotal role in Trump’s campaign and helped shape the Republican Party platform. During the Republican National Convention, he was successful in adding support for “ex-gay” conversion therapy, a discredited, harmful practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and has been denounced by every major medical organization. Since the election, some of Perkins’ FRC affiliates have won spots in Trump’s transition team. Wired’s Emma Ellis spotlighted the hate group’s growing influence on the Trump administration, which includes the following members affiliated with FRC:

Media Matters also says that coupled with the fake news generated from sites like Breitbart, the Daily Caller, etc, the future of the lgbt equality could be irrevocably in jeopardy.

Well that could be true, if we wait for these things to happen without even so much as a little pushback. What I am about to say is coming from a place of love, not spite. Ever since Trump was elected, members of the lgbt community have been cowering in a corner waiting for parental punishment.  Of course things are going to get ugly. So what. Aren't we used to it yet?  There is no equality without backlash and there is no such thing as victory without adversity.

And when faced with an old enemy, why is it so difficult for us to call them out? You know where I stand on this situation. It's the same place I've always stood for 10 years:

When in doubt, call those bastards out.

The Family Research Council and the religious right in general have too much of a paper trail of lies, distortions, and junk science to get away with being designated as "Christian groups" who "fight for values."

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that with this role in the Trump Administration, they've made themselves a target for extreme scrutiny. And it is to the advantage of the lgbt community to tell folks where to look.

Like here for example. The copy of my booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the War on Gay America, on adobe acrobat.(where the graphics in this post came from). It's free and it's a start.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

'Queer Nativity scenes show that Christmas belongs to everyone' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Queer Nativity Scenes Show That It’s Love That Makes A Family - I guess Todd Starnes and the rest of that bunch will be screaming bloody murder, but let them. One thing that irks me is when these folks are hardly ever told to their face that they own neither Christianity nor Jesus nor Christmas. It's not theirs to decide what is or isn't. So let those silly snowflakes melt.

 North Carolina Republicans failed to repeal HB2. They’re blaming everybody but themselves - Of course they are . . .

The 2016 Right Wing Watch War On Christmas Gift Guide - The religious right has more ways to extend their fake 'War on Christmas' than George Lucas can even think about for the Star Wars movies. 

Here Are 15 Of The Year’s Most Compelling Online LGBTQ Campaigns - 2016 was not a totally bad year. We had more downs than ups but this shows that we can still bring it and we will in 2017.

 Bryan Fischer: Single-Stall Bathrooms Give ‘Special Rights’ To Transgender People - I guess he wants to make it triply difficult for our transgender brothers and sisters to be able to use public restrooms in peace.

Obama: Russia wins if U.S. opts to ‘discriminate against people’ - SO true. I am going to miss this man as my president.

No Repeal of HB2

Not surprising that the GOP of North Carolina would play a game to keep the law.

From The Huffington Post:

What was supposed to be a smooth repeal of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law fell apart Wednesday as Democrats said Republicans backed out on a deal to put forward a clean repeal bill. The General Assembly voted to adjourn its special session after more than nine hours with the law still on the books.

 . .  On Monday, Charlotte’s city council also voted unanimously to rescind its nondiscrimination ordinance under the promise that the General Assembly would then move to repeal HB2. In response to Charlotte’s move, McCrory called the legislature back for a special session Wednesday.
Democrats said Wednesday that they were expecting a clean repeal bill. But instead, Sen. Phil Berger, the GOP leader of the chamber, put forward a measure that would set a six-month “cooling-off” period during which time localities would be barred from making changes to their ordinances on issues of employment and public accommodations. In other words, HB2 would essentially be in effect for another six months. The measure could also have tied the hands of localities looking to change ordinances on issues like the minimum wage. 

And the rest, as they say, was @&!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Will HB2 be repealed today? We'll see' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Fate of HB2 in the balance as NC lawmakers convene, Charlotte repeals its ordinance - HB2 is supposed to be overturned today. Even though I'm hopeful, I don't like the fact that Charlotte had to repeal its ordinance as part of a "deal." 

Repeal of HB2 during special session could be in jeopardy - Because as the recent election has taught us, some of our governmental officials aren't above pulling some shady $#@! to get what they want. 

Protections Against Workplace Discrimination Vary Wildly From State To State. See How Yours Stacks Up - Even BEFORE Trump, our fight for equality was not over. Even though we got marriage, we should be demanding more. As taxpaying Americans - some of us raising families - we should never be asking for begging, but demanding what belongs to us.

  Bryan Fischer: Liberals Who Can’t Understand Why Clinton Lost Are Spiritually Blind - Says the guy who thinks children in same-sex households should be kidnapped  from their parents.  

Trump urged not to cut overseas LGBT aid - We'll see . . .

American Family Association instigates fake anger against First Lady Michelle Obama

During a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama said a lot of things and made a lot of good points. One point she made about the election of Donald Trump was the following:

Following the election of Donald Trump, Michelle Obama said many Americans now know what it's like not to have hope.
"We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like," she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview, a clip of which aired on CBS on Friday. "Hope is necessary. It's a necessary concept and Barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes." 
"He and I and so many believe that -- what else do you have if you don't have hope," the first lady added. "What do you give your kids if you can't give them hope?"
Leave it to One News Now, the fake news site of the anti-lgbt hate group American Family Association to imply that her comments were insulting Trump voters.  In an article, One News Now spotlights Jeanine Pirro, some low-budget television judge who also has a show on Fox News, to make a sad attempt to take our First Lady to task.

But what caught my attention, other than the ugly comments to Michelle Obama under the article, was the One News Now "poll."

One good thing about Trump being elected seems to be all of the masks are slipping, particularly those of people and groups who call themselves Christian.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

'New study, same old anti-lgbt junk science' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Mark Regnerus is back with more fake science

Anti-gay researcher now tries to claim stigma doesn’t harm LGBT people - Another thing we have to watch for in the wake of Trump's election - anti-lgbt junk science carrying resonance in spite of the fact that it has been be refuted. The dupe of the marriage equality fight, Mark Regnerus is back and his new "research" is as bad as his earlier stuff. 

Homeless Charities Warn Of ‘Dramatic Rise’ In Number Of LGBT Youth Being Thrown Out Of Home - This awful and would be made worse by folks believing the junk science in the above news brief. Regnerus is saying this sort of thing doesn't contribute to negative health behaviors in lgbts.

 ‘Bachelor’ Contestants Fall For Each Other, Share Love On Instagram - I love this! They need to do a movie about this!  

People Are Loving This Bystander’s Pure Reaction To A Woman Proposing To Her Girlfriend - It's a wonderful photo because of the bystander's reaction. And it's a lesson to not let fear keep you from taking chances

Actual 'War on Christmas' is waged through fear & ignorance

Editor's note - Due to a doctor's appointment, today's news briefs will be postponed.

I tried to find something a bit comical on this 'War on Christmas' nonsense that the religious right and Fox News pulls every year about this time. Unfortunately, youtube is filled with videos which either hysterically scream about a 'War on Christmas' or throw out bizarre prophecies about Christmas and Armageddon.

And those last ones scare me.

So here is a video featuring a young man, Alex Meyers, who tells us the true history of the so-called War on Christmas:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Family Research Council - For God's sake! Send us money! Please!!

The Family Research Council has taken a break from gloating about Trump's election win in order to beg for money. Or the "evil homosexuals will put Christians in jail and force women to have abortions."

Or something like that. The letter is a hoot and of course FRC president, Tony Perkins, hysterically lies throughout it:

The radicals still WON'T accept it.
But they WILL subvert it. Unless . . .

Click here to donateThe radical Left won't accept the future for which Americans voted.
But they will subvert that future, unless . . .

. . . unless Christians like you stay engaged in the political process.
Don't leave it up to the politicians. You must help stop the Left from ruining every reform soon-to-be President Trump and pro-family conservatives in Congress have promised to make.
The Left has already violently protested the election in the streets -- with many of the protests paid for by money from Hollywood-Washington elitists.
They've already tried to manipulate the Electoral College to overturn the results.
They've already advocated changing the Constitution to permanently empower them.
And when the new Congress is seated January 3 and President Trump is sworn in January 20...? Get ready for the Left's massive attempt to DECEIVE, INTIMIDATE, AND SIDETRACK lawmakers from enacting reforms in favor of your faith, family, and freedom.

What can you do to fight back? First and foremost, you can donate now to help Family Research Council (FRC) reach our 2016 year-end budget goal of $975,000 by December 31.
You see, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have already had record-breaking fundraising immediately after the election.
Backed by hundreds of millions of dollars, they -- and other left-wing groups -- will try EVERY POLITICAL TRICK IN THE BOOK to influence the Trump administration and Congress:
  • Not to protect religious freedom of Christians against the LGBTQ+ attempts to criminalize our beliefs on sexuality.
  • Not to confirm a conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice.
  • Not to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Not to overturn Obamacare and its discrimination against Christians and its attacks on the unborn and disabled.
FRC must counter these efforts. FRC experts will be on Capitol Hill -- and we will be at the White House -- debunking the deception of the Left.

We will remind President Trump and Members of Congress of their campaign promises.
The key link, however, is you.

You must be there for FRC so that our team of experts can work on your behalf . . . against Planned Parenthood . . . against the radical homosexual activists like the Human Rights Campaign . . . against secular giants like the ACLU.

For FRC to be at full strength when Congress is sworn in three weeks from today, we must receive $975,000 by December 31 to finish 2016 on track.

Will you take a moment now to give your year-end gift and ensure we meet our goal?

The Left isn't going away.

So let's make sure we didn't win the 2016 election battle just to lose the 2017 policy war. Thank you for standing in November. And thank you for standing now.
Standing (Eph. 6:13),

Tony Perkins


P.S. Fellow FRC supporters are so concerned about the Left's plans they have offered a $250,000 MATCHING GRANT to double your year-end gift! Every dollar will go TWICE AS FAR up to the combined total of $250,000. So please be generous and help us reach our goal! Remember, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have already raised staggering amounts to attack you, your beliefs, your religious freedom, and your family. Answer these radicals with your year-end donation to FRC right now. Thank you!

Well Perkins is right about one thing. We are NOT going away. I'm certainly not.

And I intend to have a rip-snorting, ass-kicking, hell-raising time during these upcoming four years. I hope y'all got some vitamin E. And oxygen. Lots and lots of oxygen.

'Butt-shaking birther claims Trump's win is signal for religious right to 'reshape' America' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Editor's note - The electoral college is meeting today and barring any unusual situation, they will officially make Trump the winner of the 2016 election. I would kindly suggest that folks who are angry and/or aggrieved harness their emotions to focus on fighting any screw-ups Trump may attempt (particularly with Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and "religious liberty" laws) and work on breaking down his power in the 2018 mid-year elections however they can. No one is going to save you but you. And unfortunately, America may have to learn some hard lessons on how to pick good leaders, regardless.

Tom DeLay thinks God allowed Trump to win for religious right.

Tom DeLay: God Has Given The Religious Right A ‘Clean Slate’ To Reshape America Via President Trump - A perfect idea of what we will be fighting. To summarize it better, I suggest a different headline - "A hypocritical former convicted felon & butt-shaking birther claims that God had Trump to win so the religious right can force its views on the American public."

 The looming Republican crackdown on LGBTQ rights and abortion - Some form of this is coming and protesting in the streets is just one thing we can do. Alliances and coalitions do wonders (not just talking about them, people.) Being vocal and not letting opponents control the argument. Telling your stories and highlighting who will be harmed by this madness. Above all, show discipline and consistency. Don't get lose your focus by sidetracking yourselves in petty arguments. Now, more than ever, we are going to have to learn to trust one another. And that especially goes for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender men and women, and our allies.

 The Kim Davis of Indiana just lost in court - This is going to come up again.

Because I’m Gay And In High School, Legislators Don’t Care About My Health - But a lot of us do and we are going to fight for you REGARDLESS of hell or high water.

Ga. lesbian takes groundbreaking case to fed’l court - SNAP!

Second anti-gay group president hints about purging lgbt equality supporters from the State Department

Austin Ruse
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is facing a criticism for a recent remark he made advising President-elect Donald Trump to get rid of State Department officials who support the "promotion" of lgbt equality in other countries.

But he is not the only religious right leader speaking out publicly on this issue. Austin Ruse, who heads an organization, the Center for Family and Human Rights (and a personal enemy of mine) also hinted on the same advise for Trump.

But in, shall we say, less polite language:

Consider this: Sometime during the Obama administration, they determined to bring the homosexual issue into the congressionally mandated Office of Religious Freedom of the State Department. This is the office that is to report annually on the persecution of religions around the world. Obama shoe-horned LGBT into that office, much to the chagrin of some of those working in the office. A contact formerly in that office told me that those who objected were sidelined and later fired. This person told me this exact same thing has happened all over the federal government where organized LGBTs have gotten people fired who stood in their way or otherwise objected to their agenda.
The anti-Christian rainbow flag flies over U.S. embassies all over the world. Exporting LGBT is now part of the "DNA" of our foreign policy, often to the detriment of our legitimate national security. We have homosexuals openly serving in the military, without a doubt something that is harmful to unit cohesion, but we have the proposition of men in dresses openly serving as well. Even more, we may be forced to use taxpayer money to pay for sex-change operations. We have Christians hounded out of the military for expressing Christians beliefs about human sexuality.

It is crucial that anyone who takes a top spot in the administration in any of the agencies to know that sexual radicals have burrowed in and burrowed deep and they are out to protect their turf and they are out to take scalps – Christian scalps.

Bear in mind that while Ruse didn't outright say anything about "purging" the State Department of those who support lgbt equality, the semantics behind his mentions of "Christian scalps" and "anti-Christian rainbow flags" serves to point in that direction.

Ruse's caterwauling is nothing more than alarmist tripe, but not surprising. His organization, the Center for Family and Human Rights is a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, just like the Family Research Council.

In 2014, SPLC called out Ruse for his use of violent rhetoric when he said “hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities…should all be taken out and shot.”

Friday, December 16, 2016

'Dark history of 'ex-gay' therapy (torture) should not be ignored' & other Fri. midday news briefs

The Dark History Of Ex-Gay Torture [VIDEO] - Not only is "ex-gay" therapy a fraud, but it has a nasty history which we should all do what we can to make public. The video is definitely something to remember when one takes into account that several  religious groups and figures support this disgusting belief that you can and should change your sexual orientation if you are an lgbt. 

Hat tip to JoeMyGod 

 In other news: 

 Gay HIV positive 'First Dates' diner told he was 'high risk' and must disclose status to date - A touchy issue and one that I am ashamed to say I was on the wrong side of a few years ago. People with HIV shouldn't be treated as pariahs. 

 American Family Association's attack on same-sex families reveals hypocrisy of anti-Christian persecution claims - My piece from yesterday evening. It resonated big time so I want to repost it.  

Anti-gay group declare that only they know the true meaning of Christmas - Lord, give us all strength to deal with self-righteous fools. 

 Appeals court doesn’t make transgender student wait for the right to pee - Thank you, Appeals Court.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

American Family Association's attack on same-sex families reveals hypocrisy of anti-Christian persecution claims

One thing we have got to make clear is that when organizations like the American Family Association, the Liberty Counsel, or the Family Research Council (and their conservative allies) push this idea that Christians in America are being persecuted, they are pushing an ugly lie which serves to mask their true motivations. And these motivations are to undermine lgbt equality and push our lives and families back into the closet.

If there is any doubt in your mind about this, allow me clarify with a recent event. There is a recent controversy brewing because a children's magazine, Highlights, has chosen to diversify its spotlight to include same-sex families. An affiliate organization with the American Family Association, One Million Moms isclaiming that merely acknowledging that same-sex families exist is wrong because it supposedly "indoctrinates' children into the supposed "gay lifestyle."

AFA's fake news site, One News Now, published a badly written, one-sided article on the subject. I left a simple comment under the article and the following comments is what I received (click on graphic to enlarge it):

My comment:

Sorry guys, but same-sex families exist and if Highlights want to showcase them, then there is nothing wrong with that.

Replies I received: 

Once again, the minority ruling the majority? What's wrong with this picture?

Polygamy exist also
Right and wrong exist
The challenge is to differentiate

 Same sex families exist to destroy themselves and their communities. We can say stop destroying our communities by going against God and getting His wrath upon our communities.

 Murder exist! Rape exist! Human sex slavery exist...should we showcase that as well??

I was disgusted and flabbergasted. But I was also relieved because there was no subterfuge here. There was not nonsensical spin we are always hearing from organizations like the AFA about "Christians being persecuted" or "Christians being forced to chose between their livelihood and faith." This is the true face of the religious right - instigated contempt and hatred for the lgbt communities, their families, and their children. And where there is not hatred, there are sanctimonious tomes about "loving the sinner, but hating the sin."

The grand irony is that in the same issue, One News Now posted an article about an Indiana religious right group attacking an lgbt ordinance.  But according to the article's headline, the group is "fighting for families and religious freedom."

The purpose of this post is not to smear Christians, even those who feel that homosexuality is a sin. The point is to call out the bullshit pushed by organizations like AFA, the Liberty Counsel, the Family Research Council, and others who exploit their beliefs, fears, and egos.

If you bellyache about the perceived persecution of a religion while simultaneously egging on the actual smearing of  families, there is something really wrong with you and your belief system. So-called Christians like these need not worry about persecution from the outside. They have enough internal hypocrisy to deal with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

' How Ben Carson could harm the lgbt community as head of HUD ' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Ben Carson could cause havoc against the lgbt community as head of HUD.

Ben Carson’s HUD may roll back housing protections for LGBTQ people - Get the facts because this would be extremely disastrous to our transgender brothers and sisters AND our children. 

Loretta Lynch Is Preparing To Hand Over Her Justice Department To Trump - And what will this mean for the lgbt community? We will see . . .  

This Camp Offers LGBTQ Youth An Incredible Way To Celebrate The Holidays - THIS is wonderful and it should garner more attention. 

Exxon faces anti-gay bias lawsuit as Trump taps CEO for State - How convenient.  

Zoning Commission clears path for LGBT seniors home - A lot of the times, the community forgets about the needs of lgbt seniors. That's a huge mistake on our part.

Religious right publication shows the danger of fake news under Christian guise

Sometimes fake news doesn't entail creating lies, but deliberately publishing slanted, sloppy work. With that in mind, the following is a first for this blog. I am posting an article from the One News Now (the online "news site" of the American Family Association to demonstrate what I'm talking about:

Highlights magazine had originally stated that it would not address social issues such as same-gender relationships, but following a backlash from the LGBT community, the magazine has reversed that policy.
Monica Cole, who serves as the director of -- a division of the American Family Association (AFA) – reports that pro-family advocates are extremely disturbed by the decision.

"This is the last place you would expect for children to be indoctrinated and exposed to the homosexual lifestyle," Cole insists.

The conservative activist told Onenewsnow that many of her organization’s members have already contacted Highlights to cancel their subscription, and she believes they have gotten the magazine's attention because Highlights has back-stepped a bit.

"They're saying that the decision is pending until the first of the year,” Cole shared. “I'm sure it's not a coincidence that it's Christmastime and people are buying subscriptions for Christmas gifts.”

Despite news to the contrary, it appears that Highlights might not move forward with a new pro-LGBT policy.

“Then we're also having some supporters saying that some of the feedback they're receiving by phone conversation that they haven't committed to this policy change,” Cole continued.

As Highlights appears to be riding the fence on this issue, Cole stresses that it is vital that more parents make their opinion known.
What's the problem with this article? Plenty. But mostly, it's horribly slanted.  The general tone is saying that "gays are coming for your children." "They are even invading magazines created especially for families and children so they can recruit and indoctrinate"
 Children are being raised in same-sex households all over America, but author of this article doesn't acknowledge the fact.
And I haven't even begun to talk about the claims in the article made by Cole, i.e. that her organization's members complaining to Highlights magazine or that the magazine may not go forward with its "policy". The author has chosen to print them at face value, while not seeking verification.

And the worse thing is that this vision is created under the auspices of a group claiming that it stands for Christianity and "traditional values." It all proves that fake news has a lot to do with slant, as well as the omission of facts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

'Latest 'War on Christmas' lie reveals empty shell of religious right groups' & other Tue. midday news briefs

I've had it up to the tiptop of my last nerve with this phony 'War on Christmas.'

Liberty Counsel Warns That Religious Leaders Might Soon Be Beaten To Death For Celebrating Christmas - This absolutely obscene post underscores just what is wrong with anti-lgbt religious right and "traditional values" groups. If it's not lgbts, they are conjuring up something up to scare their supporters. I mean really! Isn't the main tenet these people are supposed to have is faith in God? I was raised in a faith (a black church) that, despite it's faults, told me to have faith in God and not to fear Man. Groups like the Liberty Counsel are all fear, apprehension, and despair. Where is the peace knowing that you are in God's bosom? Where is the comfort? Where is the knowledge that "no weapons formed against you shall prosper" (an actual Biblical verse.)?  They are constantly creating false futures in which evangelicals and Christians (who hold their point of view) will be victims of mass persecution and/or genocide. Where is the faith and intelligence of those who claim to be Christians? How long will they allow these folks to enrich themselves by conjuring up dystopian futures instead talking about the love of God? The Liberty Counsel and other religious right groups are nothing more than emotional manipulators who will use anything to further their reach on the gullible, including a joyous holiday like Christmas. If anything, this constant appeal to fear  says that groups like the Liberty Counsel  see the Christian faith as a commodity. It also says that their supporters' faith in God doesn't go further than passing judgement and thinking of themselves as the entitled top of a social class.

Man Says Trump Gave Him Permission to Scream Homophobic Tirade in LGBT-Friendly Church - Trump is merely the new fuel. The old homophobia and bigotry always endures. 

 Transgender employment discrimination suit can proceed, federal judge rules - Good news! A positive outcome will be beneficial for a long time.

 15 Queer Women Whose Fearlessness In 2016 Gives Us Hope For 2017 - Women in general don't get the credit they deserve as trendsetters and leaders. Follow these ladies' lead instead of the fear you may be facing about the coming Trump Administration. 

Photo taken from Raw Story.

The more homophobia changes, the more it stays the same

While watching this old clip of an Anita Bryant interview (I don't think I need to go into a recap about her influence on anti-lgbt propaganda), it's amazing to see how her mannerisms and claims are still prevalent in the pushing of anti-lgbt propaganda. One thing which really stands out is semantic argument that lgbts are somehow a threat. That's the issue we should tackle. And not in a way which makes us look like we are begging for "tolerance" or "acceptance." The fact of the matter is that we are taxpaying citizens and many of us have families. America should do right by us, like it does heterosexuals.

Monday, December 12, 2016

'Anti-lgbt activists, Congressional leaders planning mischief nationally & internationally' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Sen. Cruz is planning to push an national anti-lgbt 'religious liberty' bill next year.

Republicans Will Re-File Religious Freedom Bill Protecting Anti-Gay Beliefs - And the gauntlet slowly comes off with regards to a post I talked about before. The usual cast of Congressional anti-lgbt leaders are here - Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. While the idea is vile, we can use this to our advantage by asking several crucial questions (such as how far should such a noxious bill go) and spotlighting the folks and families its passage will hurt. But the important thing to remember we win when we put up an intelligent, relentless, and vigorous opposition to this mess. 

Brian Brown Launches New Global Anti-LGBT Group & Manifesto - Meanwhile, Brian Brown of NOM is pushing a new international lgbt group. DO NOT take this lightly for any reason. As I said in the first post, use it to spotlight what nastiness they are defending and who will be harmed. The cast of anti-lgbt characters here are numerous. Good for us. Bad for them (if we push it to our advantage.)

 Fake news also hurts the lgbt community - The post I published this morning regarding how fake news (specifically that pushed by Fox News personality Todd Starnes) serves to harm the lgbt community has gotten popular. So let's give it more attention.  

Trump’s Antigay Cabinet and LGBTQ Rights - If you don't know, now you know. And you better get educated even more.

Fake news also hurts the lgbt community

Todd Starnes constantly pushes fake news against lgbts.

With attention on the dangers of fake news and how much damage it causes, it wouldn't be fair for the lgbt community to be left behind.

Over the years, this blog has pointed out incidents of the religious right groups and figures using junk science or cherry-picked to denigrate lgbts. This blog has also pointed out how the same entities have either created phony controversies or slanted  articles to cast lgbts as child-recruiting, Christian attacking monsters.

A perfect example of my point is Fox News personality Todd Starnes. He has made a career out of publishing articles which claim that "Christians are under attack" (usually from lgbts). Generally, his articles are sloppily written and often (deliberately?) omit crucial details. Such the following:

April 2014:

Starnes spin - As part of a lgbt-inclusive anti-bullying workshop at Linden Avenue Middle School in New York, two female students were forced to kiss each other.and male students were told to carry condoms in their pockets

Truth - The school district investigated and issued a statement that neither of these incidents took place

From the Huffington Post (Full disclosure. I wrote this Huffington Post article.) 

Starnes is a willful puppet in a legitimate news group (if one actually thinks of Fox News as legitimate)  who spews crappy articles  designed to generate false ideas and beliefs about lgbts. But I am sure there are others. I've compiled a list of false ideas and beliefs about the lgbt community which fake news articles generally put out about us  How many do you recognize:

  • 1. Homosexuality is a lifestyle more harmful than cigarette smoking. 
  •  2. Gay men have a short life span. 
  •  3. The gay and lesbian community have a high rate of domestic violence. 
  •  4. Unhealthy behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, promiscuous sexual behavior) is indicative of the gay or lesbian orientation. 
  •  5. Gay men molest children at a high rate. 
  • 6. Gays and lesbians want to silence Christians.
  • 7. Gays and lesbians recruit people, particularly children, to their "lifestyle."
  • 8. Gays and lesbians are following a six-point plan to take over America.
  • 9. Any judge who rules in favor of the gay and lesbian community in a case is an "activist judge."
  • 10. Anal sex is "homosexual behavior."
  • 11. Robert Spitzer’s study confirms that gays and lesbians can change their orientation.
  • 12. Gays and lesbians want to force acceptance.
  • 13. Gay bowel syndrome is a legitimate medical term.
  • 14. A man who molests a boy or a woman who molests a girl is automatically homosexual.
  • 15. A convenience sample or out-of-date study can be used to generalize about an entire community.
  • 16. The average gay man has many sexual partners. 
  •  17. Laws created to protect transgenders from discrimination will make it easier for sexual predators to come into womens' bathrooms and locker rooms

Related post:  Ten controversies caused by Todd Starnes and his sloppy, homophobic journalism

Friday, December 09, 2016

'Anti-lgbt hate group targeting CT state official because of legitimate investigation' & other Fri. midday news briefs

AFA attacking CT official for legitimate investigation.

Editor's note - if you haven't already, check out this morning's post  What we know (and should know) about the Family Research Council before or after going through the following news briefs.

Gay Connecticut Official Investigating American Family Association Now Target of Conservative Hate Campaign - Figures. A man is only doing his job and the American Family Association is screaming "persecution" because legitimate questions are being asked about their "charity."  

This trans rabbi is fighting bigotry in America - My kudos to a BOLD activist!

Stop erasing the humanity of trans people in life and death - It's bad enough when members of the transgender community are taken from us due to tragedy. The sadness is compounded by the disrespect given to them after they pass. 

 Arkansas’ Top Court Says Married Lesbian Moms Still Not Equal On Birth Certificates - So much damn work to do . . . 

Austin Ruse’s Anti-LGBT UN Crusade May Get Big Boost From Trump - Just in case you aren't aware, yes there is a group fighting against lgbt equality at the United Nations. And the head, Austin Ruse, is an odious man who cannot stand me. It's really a badge of honor.

What we know (and should know) about the Family Research Council

This blog has always focused on refuting the anti-lgbt propaganda spewed by the Family Research Council. With the Trump Administration coming next year, the efforts to refute the lies take on a new urgency because FRC would be one of the main religious right entities (unfortunately there are others) best positioned to cause problems for the lgbt community.

With that in mind, here is an old video from my friend Matt Baume refuting one of their infomercials as well a collection of blog posts (in no particular order) outlining the unscrupulous tactics FRC uses to undermine lgbt equality while hiding behind religion:

Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again

Family Research Council pulling the 'gay = promiscuous pedophiles' card to defend DOMA 

 Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

 Seven ways the Family Research Council have lied about ENDA

 The Family Research Council's deceptive use of social science to defend DOMA

Family Research Council's anti-lgbt stance built on distortions
Family Research Council's 'detailed response' to SPLC's charges leave much to be desired

 Family Research Council caught falsely accusing Congresswoman of religious bigotry

Thursday, December 08, 2016

'NC Gov-elect says HB2 repeal a priority' & other Thur. midday news briefs

NC governor-elect Roy Cooper
Incoming North Carolina governor says repealing anti-LGBT law is a priority - Keep your fingers crossed. 

 A Watershed Moment for Equality - In a state (ugh) which Trump carried, a governor lost his office because he pushed an anti-transgender bill. Now if this were one of those sci-fi or superhero movies, members of the lgbt community would play the scientists who would attempt to isolate this occurrence in order to study and replicate it. Well this is neither a sci-fi or superhero movie but I have my lab coat and goggles ready. Who's with me? 

Massive survey paints bleak picture for transgender Americans - Because as you can see, there is a HELL of a lot of work which needs to be done. 

 Trans People Are Being Harassed In Public Restrooms, Survey Finds - More the above survey. 

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Zales Ad Execs Are Possessed By Demons - Because Zales featured a lesbian couple in one of its ads . . .

Religious right group angry that same-sex families are acknowledged, treated like normal

One Million Moms wants people to pretend these families don't exist

Have you ever noticed that the most dangerous and annoying groups out there are the ones who claim to be "protecting " decency and values?

As proof of this, I give you the American Family Association affiliated group One Million Moms. One Million Moms (which of course is an overstatement of how many mothers are actually involved) seems to be always raging against groups and organizations which violate its standard of decency. Naturally violations of this standard especially includes showing lgbts as regular people.

But this latest complaint of theirs goes beyond the pale. They are angry at a children's magazine for (wait for it) having the nerve to acknowledge that same-sex families exist:

Where is the last place parents would suspect their kiddos to be exposed to same-sex "families" portrayed as normal? In the current controversy, Highlights magazine decided to include same-sex families in their magazines. Babies and preschoolers will soon be introduced to this sensitive topic in the Highlights line of magazines. Parents are seeing more examples of children being indoctrinated to same-sex families as normal, especially in the media. Children's publications are no longer off limits, even those that cater to toddlers and elementary age children.

A lesbian mom reportedly complained that the magazine Hello didn't feature any same-sex families. Hello's audience is children 0-2, and it's published by Highlights. Highlights had explained that they believe parents should decide when to bring up the topic because it's "still new, and parents are still learning how to approach the subject with their children, even the very little ones." They wanted to allow parents the opportunity to talk to their children about homosexuality as they considered appropriate. But after backlash from the LGBT community, Highlights committed to including same-sex families in future publications.

 . . .  Many parents and grandparents buy subscriptions to these magazines as gifts, especially at this time of year. They should be warned of the upcoming change of content in these kid's magazines. This would be a deal breaker for conservative families. Parents are left with no other choice than to cancel their subscription. Even if 1MM didn't disagree morally with the decision, it is not a magazines' job to introduce so called "social issues" to children. That is a parent's role.


Urge Highlights to go with their initial decision and not cave into pressure from homosexual activists by including same-sex families in the magazines.

 According to Bowling Green University report published in 2013, nearly one-fifth of same-sex households contain children and 225,000 minor children live in same-sex households.

But this so-called moral organization One Million Moms, these families and their children don't matter. All that matters is keeping lgbts invisible. Ignore the simple fact that they have families and are raising children. Keep pressing the semantic argument that they are outsiders out to oppress religion and "recruit" children.

Same-sex families are normal and they deserve as much recognition as heterosexual families. Any person or group who thinks differently are in fact bigoted and no one should trust them to stand up for anything noble or good any more than they should trust a wolf to be in charge of a hen house.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

'MN business hopes to discriminate against gay couples' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Editor's note - When I began this blog a little over 10 years ago, it was a labor of love which I didn't expect to make money from. On that score, it has been very successful. I felt that the lgbt community wasn't getting proper education or guidance when it came to anti-lgbt propaganda. I am proud of how successful my efforts have been in THAT particular regard. 

However, things have changed. 

The proliferation of fake news sites make it very difficult for me to maintain my credibility.  Not impossible, but difficult. And then there are some in the insular world of lgbt news who have gone out of their way to make sure that I know they don't regard me as an equal in spite of my two GLAAD Media Award nominations, over four million readers, and mentions in Newsweek, The Advocate, etc. To make a long story short, I have been contemplating shutting this blog down.

But I won't for two reasons. 1. I'm a stubborn person and when I start something I feel is very important, I don't like to finish it until I feel the job is done. 2. With the Trump administration coming in next year, the lgbt community will need as many folks as possible who can uphold our rights, stand for our equality, and basically battle those who oppose us while utilizing innovation and unrelenting forcefulness. Therefore, instead of quitting, I will work even harder to gain more credibility ,make sure everything I post on this blog is accurate without fault, and continue to call anti-lgbt groups to the carpet for their homophobia, junk science, and outright lies.

 You have stuck with me these 10 years. I hope you will continue to do so.

Minnesota Business Owners Sue For Right To Discriminate Against Gay Couples - Here we go again. And it's about filming same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, while there is a good reason for folks to stand on the side of this business, what they fail to realize and acknowledge is that allowing businesses  to discriminate against marriage equality is a gateway to allow them to discriminate against lgbts period. First it's marriage. What else is next? Apartment complexes? Restaurants? We have not done a good job to explain this. 

 Minnesota’s nondiscrimination protections are the latest target for anti-LGBT law firm - More detail on this situation. 

Trump's religious dealmaking pays dividends - And we had better start quickly as possible based on THIS particular article. Trump is maintaining a very close relationship with the religious right.  

Linda Harvey Calls On HHS Nominee Tom Price To Crack Down On Homosexuality - Harvey is irrelevant. She has no idea what she is talking about (as usual). It is what Price will attempt should he become HHS secretary. Any anti-lgbt move he makes will be met by us. And we won't be smiling with crumpets and tea.

Family Research Council has yet to address article claiming that it uses anti-lgbt junk science

FRC president Tony Perkins
The Family Research Council is an organization which doesn't like to be publicly criticized about its agenda or tactics. The group generally likes to frame any public criticism it receives as an attack on "Christian values" and generally exploits said criticism as such in its emails and fundraising to its supporters

But not a recent public criticism.

Last week, the online magazine Wired called out FRC for using junk science to denigrate the lgbt community. The article was extremely scathing. Part of it reads as follows:

That the FRC has found its way back into a position of influence over the presidency shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The group has been making political moves since the early 1980s. Since then, it’s grown to become the most successful progeny of an effort among social conservatives to move the basis of their policy recommendations away from Scripture and toward sociology. Not that legitimate sociology is where the FRC has arrived. Rather, the group is to homophobia what the National Policy Institute is to the alt-right—a bland, respectable-sounding, quasi-academic front for a hateful, regressive ideology. It comes packaged in a way that looks like real science but is really just cherrypicked data stitched together to serve its agenda.

“A whole slew of real scientists who have demanded that the Family Research Council stop using their data,” says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has designated the FRC an extremist group.

 . . .  The papers the FRC produces often purport to be meta-analyses—studies of studies. Rather than compiling an accurate synthesis of mainstream scientific inquiry, however, the group mis-contextualizes data to arrive at a desired conclusion. This technique is how the FRC manages to link homosexuality to, among other things, pedophilia and shortened lifespans, despite strong scientific consensus to the contrary. When the group is not twisting mainstream scientists’ numbers, it’s citing organizations such as the American College of Pediatricians, which sure sounds like the American Academy of Pediatrics but is actually a far-right breakaway group with only 200 members.

The article was significant for two reasons. 1. It avoided the "religious angle" FRC generally uses to cover up its anti-lgbt bias. 2 Since its publication, no one from FRC, including its president, Tony Perkins, has made any comment on it.

And that last point is highly striking.  A high level Washington beltway organization, albeit one thought of as a hate group by a large number of people, not answering the charges that it relies on junk science is a major deal.

Maybe FRC is hoping that whatever controversy the article may bring will pass without generating any significant discussion or look into its doings. If this is the case, it sounds like there does need to be a serious degree of discussion on this issue.

I hope folks are paying attention.