Wednesday, November 22, 2017

'Other evangelical right members knew of Wes Goodman's secret gay life' & other Wed midday news briefs

Evangelical right leaders knew Wes Goodman had a secret gay life.

Conservatives knew 'family values' pol had secret gay life - Under the noses of America, the Wes Goodman sex scandal is shaping up to be the incident which shows the so-called evangelical (and anti-LGBTQ right) as they actually are. Let's bring things up to date - Goodman, a Ohio legislator and a religious right favorite who opposed marriage equality was secretly going buck-wild by having a secret gay life in which he is alleged to have sexually harassed over 30 young men. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council knew of one incident which had to do with the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old, but did not alert authorities. And now this - Perkins wasn't the only evangelical right leader who knew about Goodman's secret dalliances: 

 The nation's leading anti-gay marriage organization, Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, was among the Christian conservative groups that knew of Goodman's extramarital sexual contact with other men before his election last year, The Associated Press has learned. 
Board member Seth Morgan said the group discovered — after it had endorsed him in last year's legislative primary — that Goodman had engaged in consensual gay activity. Goodman faced no general election opposition and was said to be "dealing with it," Morgan said, so the issue was set aside by CCV and another group that was briefed, Ohio's Conservative Republican Leadership Committee. 
Morgan said he sees no hypocrisy in the values movement's support of Goodman, adding "we're not perfect people." 
"From our perspective, we look at this and say, this hits close to home, but it's another example of why we stand for the things we stand for," Morgan said. "It's not something that causes us to shrink back. It causes us to, sadly, move forward with a greater sense of determination."

What a load of "cover your ass" bullshit. Goodman wasn't "dealing with it." He was still getting some on the side and they knew about it. AND they still let him get away with pushing himself off as a "champion of morality and values." It's never been about preserving morality and "traditional values" with Perkins and that bunch. It was and still is all about power and control. But still, why should we be surprised. For decades, the evangelical right cited research they knew was discredited & fake to smear the LGBTQ community. With Roy Moore, we see that they have no problem supporting a suspected child molester. With Goodman, we see that they have no problem supporting a man whom they know is having secret gay affairs. Just as long as he tows the line and votes their way.

Related post - ‘Christian values’ leader helped cover up alleged assault committed by closeted anti-gay lawmaker

11 lives were lost in 11 days. For the LGBTQ community in Utah, enough was enough. - It shouldn't have taken 11 suicides for this Utah community to get it together, but thank God they are working to get it together.

Trump’s ban on transgender military service just took another blow - Another well-deserved "pimp slap" for Trump's supposed ban on transgender military service.

Republican lawmakers abolish gender so they don’t have to call trans politician Danica Roem a woman - Just petty.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Conservative writer calls out FRC head Tony Perkins for role in Wes Goodman scandal

FRC head Tony Perkins

Well at least we have one religious conservative in America with a shred of integrity.

Rod Dreher in yesterdays edition of American Conservative diidn't play favorites as he scolded Family Research Council president Tony Perkins for his "judgement" in the Wes Goodman sex scandal.

Goodman, a former Ohio state legislator and a religious right favorite, recently resigned from office after getting caught while "dallying" with a young man in his office. After his resignation, over 30 men have come out accusing him of harassing them for sex. In addition, it also came out that in 2015, Goodman allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old as he slept and that FRC president Tony Perkins knew of the incident but didn't alert authorities.

Perkins and FRC have refused to comment on the situation.

And Dreher took Perkins to task:
I spoke this afternoon to a Christian source well-placed in DC conservative political circles. He told me that it’s emerging in conversations among Washington conservatives today that a lot of young conservative men knew about Goodman’s proclivities — he was rather indiscreet — but none of them said anything. 
Again, neither did Tony Perkins, so why should they have? Remember, it was only two years ago that Perkins, in his capacity as head of the Family Research Council, got sandbagged by the Josh Duggar scandal. What, if anything, did he know about Duggar’s sex life before he signed Duggar up to be an FRC national leader? Maybe nothing, but the Goodman fiasco is the second prominent example of Perkins’s bad judgment — and in the Goodman case, we have documentation (in the form of a letter from Perkins) that Perkins knew about Goodman’s homosexuality and habit of coming on to young men, and let him go into politics as a conservative, pro-family Christian anyway. 
To be clear, Perkins did say in that private letter to Goodman that he (Perkins) cannot endorse his entering politics, given that he had not shown that he (Goodman) had dealt with his sexual disorder. But why did Perkins remain silent when Goodman entered an Ohio statehouse GOP primary — and won?  . . . As an Evangelical pastor friend texted today, in deep frustration, “This is what people think Christianity is.” Yes, that is what people think of it: overlooking or excusing serious personal sin for the sake of advancing power. . . .

Huge hat tip to Joe Jervis

'Family Research Council head Tony Perkins refuses to address alleged role in Wes Goodman sex scandal' & other Tue midday news briefs

Why so quiet, Tony Perkins?

‘Christian values’ leader helped cover up alleged assault committed by closeted anti-gay lawmaker - Wes Goodman is a former state lawmaker who claimed to espouse "family values" and "natural marriage." Recently, we learned that over 30 men has accused him of sexual misconduct. We also learned that Family Research Council president Tony Perkins possibly knew of an incident involving an alleged assault on an 18-year-old but helped to cover it up. And the biggest thing we've learned based thus far? Perkins and FRC refuses to comment about the situation.

The Christian Post reached out to FRC and Perkins for comment, but was told the organization will not be releasing a statement on the issue.

This means Perkins and FRC will probably get away with not addressing the situation and all the while standing on the mantle of "Christianity, family values, morality, and Jesus." 

Violence Against Transgender People Has Gotten Worse - This means we have to do better to protect our own.

Delaware schools anti-bias proposal under fire - Particularly our trans children. Here we go again with THIS particular fight. 

Anti-LGBTQ hate group kicked off its conference with an amazing interpretive rainbow flag dance - Hate groups are so stupid. It's the same group which pushed that "Hazards of Homosexuality" crap at the Values Voter Summit 

The FCC has unveiled its plan to repeal its net neutrality rules - This is an LGBTQ issue. It could potentially devastate our power to get the news and facts out as well and our ability to unite the community.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Roy Moore supporter tries to move conversation away from underage girls

Left to her own devices, religious right talking head Janet Porter (yet another person affiliated with the the anti-LGBTQ industry whom I really don't care for) tends to go haywire.

However, she is rather savvy in media interviews, as shown by this recent one on MSNBC with hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle. Watch how she bogarts the conversation about the controversy by attacking Gloria Allred, the attorney of one of the women accusing Moore of impropriety.

The hosts generally let her go on her tangent, but then when they break to ask questions about Leigh Corfman, the woman who claimed Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14 (or Moore and underage girls in general), Folger isn't so quick to speak all that confident.

And the confidence she does display in talking about Moore's supposed Christian stance should scare you. Particularly when you take a gander at the video below taken from 2010. If anything should make you aware of what Folger and folks like her want via supporting Moore, it would be this video.

This is the real face of Moore; the one she didn't show in the above interview:

'Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017, how Roy Moore is taking down the evangelical right' & other Mon midday news briefs

OutFront: 'We need to keep fighting,' Transgender Day of Remembrance founder pleads - Today is a sad day but let's use it as motivation to make our futures better. 

This powerful film about being a young trans person is a must-watch - Wonderful film. We need more things like this to tell our stories. 

Lucy Meadows was a transgender teacher who took her own life. Her story must be remembered - Speaking of which, this is a power and sad story. 

 On Transgender Day of Remembrance, These Are 25 Trans People Killed, So Far, in 2017 - We have to do better in order to protect our own.

Roy Moore And The Dangerous Rise Of Christian Nationalism - Yep. It's been like this for years.

Why evangelicals are again backing a Republican despite allegations of sexual misconduct - Take what you will with this quote from the article: 
"Allegations that Roy Moore sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago have turned many Republicans against their party’s Senate candidate in Alabama, but one bloc of conservative leaders is standing by their man: evangelicals. It is the latest example of a shift in attitude among Christian conservatives, who polls show are increasingly willing to overlook sexual misbehavior if a political leader is firmly committed to opposing abortion, gay marriage, and transgender rights. In today’s hyperpartisan environment, ideology trumps personal transgressions for these religious leaders, who years ago called on President Clinton to resign over his liaisons with White House intern Monica Lewinsky." 

The danger of the #MeToo movement on the presumption of innocence

Something a little different for this morning.

The #MeToo movement is a wonderful tool to highlight the havoc which sexual harassment plays on people's  lives. However, I've had a fear that it could cause us to veer from one extreme to another i.e. from ignoring or belittling the victims of sexual harassment to presuming that everyone accused is automatically guilty.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one, as this wonderful piece by Brendan O'Neill proves:

The “Weinstein contagion,” as a Guardian columnist refers to it, has seen members of Parliament branded sexual predators for such small fare as a fleeting hand on a female journalist’s knee or flirtatious letters written 20 years ago. Earlier this month, a Welsh Labor MP, Carl Sargeant, committed suicide. He stood accused of sexual misconduct. His party refused to tell him what the allegations were, and yet he was suspended from his job as a Welsh minister on the basis of them. Sargeant’s lawyers said the mysterious accusations had plunged him into black turmoil. Although people refer to #MeToo as a progressive movement, it is starting to look like an exercise in public shaming, a rash extrajudicial application of stigma to supposedly wicked individuals. We need to recover the benefit of the doubt, just like Piven said. 
Some have argued that the presumption of innocence is a legal standard that does not apply in everyday life. The law must not prejudge someone, but we can. In fact, that’s how Mitt Romney framed his condemnation of Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate who stands accused of molesting teenage girls. 
“Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections,” Romney wrote on Twitter. 
In a narrow sense, that’s perfectly true. But Romney’s line of argument can lead us astray. Legal standards aren’t cold, abstract ideas. They embody what communities over time have agreed is a more civilized way of doing things. People are brushing aside the presumption of innocence as mere legalism so they don’t have to feel bad when they tweet: “George Takei is a pervert.” They’re saying that while judges should exercise restraint, mere mortals don't have to. What spectacularly low self expectations.

Definitely something worth thinking about.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Franklin Graham's defense of Roy Moore exposes the lie of conservative Christianity

Franklin Graham is a cyst on Christianity.

Let me skip to brass tacks about a certain American so-called religious leader.

Franklin Graham is an ignorant, self-righteous fool who exploits his family name and the word of God to suit his own ego. He is a repulsive mockery of an Christian and a prime example of how conservative white evangelicals of the religious right are sad cases who, for all of their talk of God and morality, are willing to sacrifice what little integrity they have for positions of power. If Jesus came back, Graham wouldn't know it because he would be busy tweeting out lies regarding the LGBTQ community to his gullible followers or wearing an expensive suit while sitting in a row of fellow ecclesiastical fat cats awaiting his turn to scare throngs of wealthy, well-to-do sycophants with lurid tales about how they are treated worse than the Nazi treated people of the Jewish faith.

All without any shred of humility or shame.

What set me off? The following tweet he just sent about Roy Moore:

To people like Graham, nothing else matters more than conservative judges making decisions and conservative legislators making laws, both of which putting their version of Christianity above all other concepts and ideas.

 If there is any positive which comes out of Trump being in the White House, it will be the realization  by many that folks like Graham have reduced the grace, sincerity, and sweetness of Christianity into vile swill which they ingest, swallow, and spew  like rutting hogs wearing necklaces made of crosses, hoping to put on a facade of holiness, and thereby deceiving people to their true greedy natures.

'Trump trying to stack federal courts by choosing anti-LGBTQ activists as judges' & other Fri midday news briefs

Thanks in part to fools like this, Trump is in a position to pack the federal judiciary with anti-LGBTQ activists

Trump’s Judicial Picks Call Trans Children ‘Satan’s Plan,’ Says Gays Are ‘Brainwashing’ Kids, and More - Knowing that the LGBTQ equality is virtually undefeated in the courts, there seems to be a move to game the system by appointing people with homophobic biases to be federal judges. Disastrous and happening under our noses. Imagine someone who believes that transgender children are a part of "Satan's plan" or another person who says that gays are brainwashing children being federal judges and deciding cases about our rights, children, and community. This may not end well.

Conservative group with major role in picking Trump judicial nominees proposes court-packing scheme - And this is one of the groups doing it. 

Rick Wiles: There Is A ‘New Nazism’ Rising In America That Is Dedicated To Killing Christians - This is why we are where we are in this country. Rhetoric like this is preposterous and inexcusable. But it resonates with some folks.

LGBTQ Activists Amplify Their Plea For A Global End To Conversion Therapy - Yep, some countries do engage in "ex-gay" therapy such as injections and electric shock treatments. It doesn't work. 

Roy Moore: A History of Bigotry, Extremism and Contempt for the Rule of Law - An appropriate read about a disgusting man.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Roy Moore supporters blame 'gay terrorists,' 'lynch mob media,' etc for his troubles

Today, supporters of Roy Moore held a press conference offering support for the beleaguered senate candidate. Moore is facing allegations that he sexually harassed seven women, some under the age of consent.

It went as well as one would expect:.

From Right Wing Watch:

Anti-abortion activist Janet Porter drew a gaggle of Religious Right activists to Birmingham this afternoon for a press conference praising Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, a portion of the more than 200 people she said have signed a new letter standing up for Moore after a spate of allegations that he made sexual advances on teenage girls. 
The press conference, which Moore and his wife Kayla attended and Moore spoke at, featured effusive praise for Moore’s character and record and vehement denunciations of the “character assassination” Moore’s supporters say is being waged by his enemies. Speakers identified these enemies not only as the women accusing him of sexual misconduct (“lies” and “vile calumnies”), but also the “lynch mob media,” “gay terrorists,” “communist Democrats,” “anti-God Republicans,” and other enemies of life, liberty and the Ten Commandments. 
Speakers included anti-abortion extremists like Flip Benham and Operation Save America’s Rusty Thomas, long-time Religious Right fringe figures and like Alan Keyes and Gordon Klingenschmitt, right-wing internet personalities like Activist Mommy, local pastors, and even Janet Porter’s mom, who is still furious about the way Republicans treated her daughter when she ran unsuccessfully for the Ohio state senate last year. Also speaking was Steve Hotze, a Texas activist who has been a major funder of Moore’s campaign, who Porter said had helped to organize the event.

It got even more interesting as the video above shows:

 One standout—both for being a non-Christian and for the intense ugliness of his anti-gay rhetoric—was Rabbi Noson Leiter, who denounced the “abomination” of marriage equality and “homosexualist gay terrorism and blackmail” and praised Moore for taking on “immoral Bible-hating millionaires” including “anti-god Republicans like McCain and Romney.” He said Noah’s flood “was triggered by societal recognition of same-gender marriage—so-called marriage.” Letier said, “We need Judge Moore to stand up to the LGBT transgender mafia, which legislates sins that the Bible brands abomination into public policy, thereby advancing laws that result in state-sanctioned abuse of children and adults alike.”

Then, believe or not, it got crazier.

'Family values' Ohio state legislator resigns after 'same-sex tryst' in his office' & other Thur midday news briefs

Former  legislator Wes Goodman becomes a part of a story as old as the hills.

Christian GOP lawmaker who pushed ‘natural marriage’ resigns after same-sex tryst at Ohio office - He used to push "natural marriage." Apparently he got caught pushing something else. Or pulling . ..

Meet the powerful group behind Trump’s judicial nominations- The group is the Federalist Society, and they aren't pro-LGBTQ by any stretch of the imagination.

Okla. lesbian latest to claim victory against GOP in 2017 election - The victories from the Nov. 2016 elections get an exclamation point. 

Gay Australian Senator Chokes Up Introducing Marriage Equality Bill into Parliament - This is wonderful! 

From Liz Smith To Kevin Spacey: How The Hollywood Closet Endured And Caused Harm - Sad tale of the hazards of being in the closet in Hollywood.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

'Star Trek' franchise features its first gay kiss

I'm not a big fan of Star Trek but I am a very big fan of any positive visibility which tells our LGBTQ kids that they shouldn't feel excluded or omitted. This is merely a start in what I hope to be a plethora of more LGBTQ images being seen in our motion pictures and television shows. Showing people's lives is by no means forcing anything on anyone.

 From The Huffington Post:

 In a first for the beloved science-fiction franchise, Sunday’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery” featured a kiss between Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). The two men had been building their romantic relationship all season, but this was their first on-screen smooch ...

'Roy Moore's wife fighting dirty against charges' & other Wed midday news briefs

Australians overwhelmingly expressed support for marriage equality. Now what? - Yesterday's victory doesn't mean marriage equality is a given in Australia. There are things needing to be done.

30 Fearless, Hilarious, And Gay AF Signs From The 10th Delhi Pride Parade - These are some brave folks here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah takes Roy Moore's defenders to the proverbial woodshed

In the space of within seven minutes, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah takes both the conservative and religious right to the woodshed over their defense of Roy Moore:

'TLC cuts ties with reality star following attacks on Jazz Jennings, more GOP legislators turn against Moore' & other Tue midday news briefs

Jazz Jennings
TLC severs ties with Derick Dillard following more tweets about Jazz Jennings - Apparently Dillard didn't learn anything from the first time he began picking on Jazz. When someone doesn't want to learn the first time, make the second time the last time.

Several pastors dispute new letter claiming more than 50 faith leaders still support Roy Moore - We haven't forgotten about nasty Roy Moore. He's still on our minds and we are watching.

Paul Ryan Calls On Roy Moore To ‘Step Aside - And it's getting thicker for Moore. Did I mention that Jeff Sessions also turned against him.

A Minnesota lawmaker attacked a new transgender city council member. Her ‘apology’ was just as bad.- Promising that we will be watching Minnesota with MUCH interest.

California Leads the Way Teaching LGBT History to Schoolchildren - Let's ending today's news briefs with some ass kicking sweetness.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roy Moore has already lost. He's too self-righteous to realize it yet, but he will.

Even though another accuser has come out in public against Roy Moore and people are beginning to claim that his alleged predatory behavior around underage girls was widely known and that he was once barred from a mall for it, I still think that he will not drop out of the upcoming election and that he will win.

But, I also think that Moore has lost the one thing he always claimed to have - his so-called high moral ground. Unless this entire thing is proven to be a conspiracy comparable to that of the 1960s movie The Manchurian Candidate, Moore will be a caricature; a toothless, useless creature whose talk about God and the so-called evils of homosexuality only served to mask his own peccadilloes until the piper came knocking on his door with the bill.

And that will occur even if he does manage to become the US Senator from Alabama.

With that in mind, enjoy the videos below of Moore dogging the LGBTQ community in the past, preferably while sipping a nice cup of tea:

Mitch McConnell abandons Roy Moore, new accuser holding press conference & other Mon midday news briefs

Roy Moore was supposed to be a nightmare for the LGBTQ community but has become one for the GOP

McConnell on Moore: 'I believe the women,' Moore should go - And shyte just got real. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just said he believes the women who claimed that Roy Moore pursued relationships with them when they were underage.

Gloria Allred to hold press conference with new Roy Moore accuser - While at the same time, controversial attorney Gloria Allred says she will hold a press conference featuring a new accuser Roy Moore accuser. All of which, in my opinion, will make Moore more defiant and his supporters even more defiant. Count on them all to spin this as a conspiracy to destroy more using the politics of personal destruction. Either way, the GOP is screwed. And also remember that the LGBTQ community's fight for equality hangs here also. Should Moore be elected, that will be an old enemy of our community with more, albeit, crippled power to use against us. 

Wayne Allyn Root Defends Roy Moore By Alleging That Clinton And Obama Had Gay Relationships - Why are we, Clinton, and Obama being dragged into this mess?

Roy Moore’s Religious Right Supporters Stand By Their Man - Well duuuuh!

Anti-LGBTQ hate group stands firmly behind Roy Moore in spite of pedophilia accusations

Roy Moore
The controversy involving Roy Moore seeking out underage girls when he was in his 30s and the support he continues to get from religious right circles really shouldn't astound anyone.

In spite of what's being spun, the controversy is not a moral question of the white evangelical political power seekers willing to drop their integrity. It's a case of them dropping their masks.

This is what anti-LGBTQ hate group the American Family Association had to say:

AFA Action has endorsed Moore, who is seeking the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. Attorney General. AFA Action vice president Rob Chambers says they're standing by Moore unless and until the charges are proven.  
 "AFA Action believes Justice Roy Moore to be a truthful man and a solid Christian. Based on his statement of denial, we are proud to stand by our endorsement of Justice Roy Moore," Chambers told OneNewsNow.  
 The Moore campaign also noted that The Washington Post, which broke the story, has endorsed his opponent in the race. Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist who is now executive chairman of Breitbart news, wondered last night if it was merely "a coincidence" that "the Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime on Donald Trump, is the same Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore."

How ironic that an organization who has lied for so many years about gays and pedophilia will turn a blind eye regarding a man who possibly did go after children simply because he is a Republican who touts the group's line about God.

Or is it really ironic at all? 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

'Eight transgender candidates won elections on Tuesday. Now comes the hard work' & other Thur midday news briefs

A historic feat: 8 transgender candidates won elections on Tuesday - Eight transgender men and women made history on Tuesday. And we are ALL the better for it. 

Right-wing media react in disgust after openly transgender candidates win historic elections - Because that's all they can do. Punctuated by Danica Roem's victory in Virginia, the transgender community was the big winners in Tuesday's election as far as I'm concerned. 

Transgender people have been elected before. But they can finally let the voters know.- Where do our newly transgender elected officials go from here. 

21 LGBT Groups Oppose Confirmation of Gregory G. Katsas - Trump and Mitch McConnell trying to sneak another anti-LGBTQ through as a judge.

Family Research Council spins resentment & racism as positives after election - My post from last night which I simply cannot emphasize enough. While we moved forward (just a little), anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council distorted and celebrated the resentment and hate which is the foundation of Donald Trump's popularity among his supporters.

Children of Gay Parents Are Still Turning Out Just Fine, Says New Massive Trove of Data - More data proving the point that children of gay parents are perfectly fine. Yeah, I know. More proof of what we have always said, but you know how the other side is. And basically we need to hammer them with the truth continuously until stop their lies. And more so after then.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Family Research Council spins resentment & racism as positives after election

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council gives a deceptive spin of last night's election

In its attempt to spin the Democrat's election night victory, which saw several transgender Americans become elected officials as well as a wide repudiation of Trumpism, the Family Research Council went to an extreme.

In it's latest Washington Update, FRC president Tony Perkins attempted to distract by pushing the same spin that conservatives have been spinning all day, i.e. claiming that since Virginia was a blue state and therefore governor's race which served as a bellwether in the media of this year's election, really didn't mean much.

We all know that had the Virginia election gone to the Republican candidate Ed Gillespie rather than Democrat Ralph Northam, FRC would have elbowed its way to the head of the line of crows proclaiming how "Americans are embracing Trump."

But what caught my attention was this last part of the Washington Update:

The takeaway from Tuesday's results is this: these two states are an extremely small sample size of mainly blue voters. The real test will come in Alabama, the heart of Trump country, where the special election for Jeff Session's old Senate seat will give us a much better indication of what Americans are thinking. Even now, though, in swing states like Pennsylvania, the support for the president runs deep. Virtually unscathed by the congressional drama, the president still polls well in purple states. In a fascinating article, Politico tries to explain why Trump's base is still rallying around the president, supplying the bulk of his rocky approval ratings. 
"Over the course of three rainy, dreary days last week," Michael Kruse writes, "I revisited and shook hands with the president's base -- that thirty-something percent of the electorate who resolutely approve of the job he is doing, the segment of voters who share his view that the Russia investigation is a 'witch hunt' that 'has nothing to do with him,' and who applaud his judicial nominees and his determination to gut the federal regulatory apparatus... In spite of unprecedented unpopularity -- nearly all people who voted for Trump would do it again."

As we saw with Clinton, who was abandoned by blue collar voters for her extreme social stance ("the Democratic Party cared more about where someone else went to the restroom than whether they had a good-paying job"), Middle America still embraces Trump's agenda. But they also understand his limitations without a cooperative Congress. "I asked [voter Pam] Schilling what would happen if the next three years go the way the last one has," Kruse shares. "'I'm not going to blame him,'" Schilling said. "'Absolutely not.'"

Aside from the fact that Alabama is a deep red state and a victory by Moore has been predicted for weeks,  there are two things worth mentioning about FRC's spin here.

'LGBTQ wins part of a historical electoral wave against Trumpism' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Here’s A List Of Historic Victories Democrats Had On Election Day - Last night was monumental for so many reasons. Danica Roem made history last night but apparently she wasn't the only transgender American who made history by winning an election. Andrea Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. Lisa Middleton became the first openly transgender person to be elected to a non-judicial office in California. There's more. Jenny Durkan became Seattle’s first lesbian mayor. And it wasn't just the LGBTQ community who saw victories last night. The Latino community, the African-American community, the Asian community, the Sikh community, former refugees, immigrants. There was a potpourri of wins last night which should remind us all what America is truly about. Now the "fun" starts. As we learned after Obama was elected, winning is only part of the battle. Maintaining and creating a positive legacy is the truly hard work. But we are on the march. Let's not lose the momentum. 

10 candidates that made history on November 7, 2017 - More information about last night. 

One Year Later, The Trump Nightmare Is As Horrific As Many Of Us Imagined - Damn skippy!

Paris Is Still Burning: What if We Loved Black Queers as Much as We Love/Steal from Black Queer Culture? - Two snaps up and REWIND! 

Christians, including evangelicals, are leading the movement against Liberty University - It's about time other Christians object to the high-jacking of their religion by the so-called privileged few.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Danica Roem becomes VA's first transgender state legislator

Danica Roem will be Virginia's first transgender legislator.
In what's shaping up to be a wonderful election night for the Democrat party, a transgender candidate for the Virginia state legislature has made history:

Democrat Danica Roem ousted longtime incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) Tuesday, according to preliminary returns, becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia — and one of very few in the nation. 
The race between Roem, 33, and Marshall, 73, focused on traffic and other local issues in Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a local journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against an outspoken social conservative who earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee. 
The contest was one of dozens of state legislative races where Democrats were pushing to gain ground in the Republican-majority General Assembly, buoyed by a surge of anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats and independents and hoping to provide an example for the nation of how to run in opposition to the unpopular Republican president.

The article goes on to credit a VERY aggressive ground game for Roem's well-deserved victory. And with it, a door has been opened just a little. Roem is the first of what I hope to be many LGBTQs who run for public office and win. She has proven that in spite of all of the slander, lies, and horror stories, transgender men and women are not outsiders and can appeal to the American voter. And why shouldn't they? They are too Americans who care about this country. They are raising children, defending our freedoms, and basically having productive lives. And they are doing this under the long shadow of liars spinning false images of "bathroom predators" and "exhibitionists."

Roem didn't hide who she was, but faced the nonsense head on. I hope that she feels the sweetness of this victory because she deserves every bit of it. And Roem's victory is not just for her but for an entire community who shouldn't have to prove that they are worthy of dignity and respect, but are doing so with flying colors.

'Five elections the LGBTQ community need to be following today' & other Tue midday news briefs

Will Danica Roem make electoral history today? I certainly hope so.

5 Elections You Need To Be Following Today - Thank goodness for this. We need more eyes watching all elections so that our interests are being spotlit and protected. 

GSA latest agency to omit LGBT people from non-discrimination rules - Seriously, what the hell? The Trump Administration seem to be doing it slowly but they aren't slick.

Student sues Frederick County schools over transgender policy - More like a student whose parents are allowing them to be a patsy for the anti-LGBTQ industry in order to harm trans kids.

Here’s Why Twitter Is Blocking ‘Bisexual’ From Its Search Results - This explanation had BETTER be legendary. 

How Does Your State Rank In Trans Equality? - Well . . .

Monday, November 06, 2017

Hate group leader Brian Brown gets all 'hot and bothered' over homophobic speech

In the unsuccessful fight against marriage equality, former National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown liked to portray himself and his organization as defenders of freedom who merely wanted a conversation about the issue. We all knew it was a lie. I guess the loss he suffered has made Brown abandon that fake posturing.

From Right Wing Watch:

 In late October, Brian Brown, who heads the National Organization for Marriage and the International Organization for the Family, sent out a gushing email about his “good friend” and “close ally” of IOF Bosko Obradovic, whom Brown described as “a Member of Parliament in Serbia, and leader of the pro-family Dveri Party.”  
 You wouldn’t know it from Brown’s description of Dveri as a “pro-family” party, but the Dveri Party is a fringe far-right nationalist movement that just barely won representation in parliament in 2016 by joining forces with another party to narrowly overcome the threshold of 5 percent of the vote. 
 . . . Brown’s email about Obradovic was practically a love note:  
 Bosko is much more than a committed and outspoken supporter of the family, he’s a true champion and courageous leader. The other day, he gave an incredible speech before the Serbian Parliament that was a true tour-de-force, an incredibly powerful rebuke of the LGBT movement. He spoke truth to power, and passionately took on the majority’s insistence on imposing pro-“homosexualism” on society.
The rest of Brown's email is nauseating hero-worship so sappy that it would make you develop a case of diabetes.

In reality,the speech is horrid. To to call it a "hot mess" is an insult to all hot messes in the world. This speech is so nasty there needs to be a new term to properly describe just how ugly it is. You can see it below but here are the quick points about it: Obradovit calls for all pride parades to be outlawed. He calls the LGBTQ community a totalitarian cult, which (wait for it because you know it's coming) is attempting to recruit children into our supposed lifestyle. He even pulls the "I don't have a problem with anyone's lifestyle" nonsense.

No wonder Brown loves this speech so much. It's the same mess he tried to peddle to America. The conundrum is amusing, though. It figures that the only time Brian Brown gets all "hot and bothered" over a man is because he gives a speech claiming that gays want to recruit children.

'How Trump Administration has impacted the LGBTQ community since election' & other Mon midday news briefs

Easily the most oxymoronic image in election history (emphasis on the word 'moron.')

How the Trump Administration Impacted the LGBTQ Community Since the 2016 Election - Here's a hint. It's been a stinking pool of nastiness. And of course the worse is yet to come, but that doesn't mean we are going to lose. Let's rock, biiitaches!!

14-year-old shot dead by his father because he didn't want a gay son - Oh God in Heaven!

Two People Crashed A Church Service To Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage - This happened in Australia, but still deserves a "oh no you didn't!!!!" 

Same-sex marriage conference to take place in Costa Rica - It's nice to see folks on our side of the spectrum not fall for the "it's over! we've won!" lie. 

10 Companies Leading the Way on Global LGBTI Rights - This is good know. The fight continues but we have some good allies.

Repost - Your Religious Liberty Doesn’t Give You The Right To Steal My Queer Tax Dollars

Editor's note - A repost from earlier this year.

With Trump in the White House, religious right groups such as the Family Research Council and figures like Franklin Graham and Fox News personality Todd Starnes are eager to get certain goals accomplished.

High on their list is a dehumanization of the lgbt community under the seemingly innocent courtesy of “religious liberty,” or allowing entities and people to discriminate against queers under the guise of “personally held religious beliefs.” It’s been a goal they have been working on for a long time and with Trump as president, they hope to reap benefits for all of the stories and hype they have spun about bakeries and florists “forced” to accept money from queer customers for their services, government employees like Kim Davis “forced” to do their jobs, and religious groups such as Catholic Charities with its adoption services which are “forced” to say no to government money because they refuse to not discriminate against lgbts.

They imply that it’s all about preserving the integrity of the “faith” of groups and people supposedly targeted by lgbts with a huge phone book, an obscene amount of Facebook friends, a pipeline to a secret worldwide organization not unlike the one James Bond has fought against, and long list of IOUs to cash in for being denied the right to supposedly “flaunt” their lifestyle or “pervert” marriage all of these years.

Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit, but the gist of what I said is true. And so is my next statement. Like so many times before, the entire truth about “religious liberty” is a world of difference from what is fed to us by the religious right. Unfortunately, the terms of this debate are usually dictated by them because they appear to have the loudest megaphone and the most access to the media, even if what they say isn’t necessarily true.

Here is a fact about the “religious liberty” argument which is generally not talked about but needs to be moved in the midst of the discussion. The argument as it is presented now is degrading, embarrassing, and simply hurtful. It’s yet another attempt by the religious right to put us on the defensive and make us have to justify our existence and our right to respect and dignity.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Franklin Graham engages in hypocritical bigotry against Disney, LGBTQ youth

So Franklin Graham just put out this tweet this morning:
So he's mad at Disney for daring to emphasize the reality that LGBTQ children exist. That's his right. However, I call out his homophobia as well as his hypocrisy for doing so.

 This is the same guy who supports "pu@@y-grabber" Donald Trump's presidential administration even to the point of speaking at his rallies. However to my knowledge, he has NEVER publicly called Trump to the carpet for the myriad of distasteful things he has done, from his vulgar comments to his questionable public policies, and general incompetence.

What's more of a negative influence on our children? Disney acknowledging the simple fact that LGBTQ youth exist and showing their lives or a pastor who has abandoned his moral and religious integrity for the power and spotlight?

Friday, November 03, 2017

Roy Moore will bring more homophobia & hypocrisy to the Senate

Most likely,  the controversial former Alabama judge (he was kicked off of the bench twice) Roy Moore will be elected as the US Senator from Alabama due to a combination of the GOP putting party before country and Alabama citizens so programmed to vote Republican that they do it anyway even when they don't like the GOP choice. Taking that in mind, the following video courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign is what not just what the LGBTQ community will be getting, but also what America in general will be getting.  Enjoy it (or not).

Too bad Moore doesn't feel the same way about crooked money practices than he does about the LGBTQ community. Moore's philosophy seems to be "homosexuality is a sin, but questionable ways to get money isn't." But seeing who is in the Oval Office at the present, Moore's brand of evangelical plutocracy will fit in nicely.

Editor's note - I didn't publish this post to create despair so don't even start with the raging or wringing your hands in abject fear of what's coming. Knowing what could be coming is just the first step in  defeating it. The key to victory here will be not losing your head to fear or rage. It will be knowing what's coming, planning for it, and if necessary, using whatever you can to your advantage. In other words, Moore's fanaticism could be more of an asset than a liability to us.

'GOP tax plan would let pastors endorse candidates from the pulpit' & other Fri. midday news briefs

The GOP are about to reward the religious right for replacing Jesus with Trump.

Republicans' tax plan would let clergy endorse candidates from the pulpit - This would eventually be catastrophic for the church. And you know it would wreak havoc with the LGBTQ community. On one hand, with the religious right pushing heavily for this, we are gaining further proof of the power hungry face it hides. On the other, I am a religious person and I don't like churches being immersed in the ugly political world. This will lessen its credibility.

GOP lawmaker suggests repealing the Johnson Amendment isn’t really about ‘religious freedom’ - This is why they want to repeal the Johnson Amendment.

Battle Over Rights Inspires More Transgender Political Candidates - THIS is wonderful news - "Nearly 30 races in the 2017-18 U.S. election cycle already have a transgender candidate, up from 13 in 2015-16, according to Harvard researcher Logan Casey." You see, that's how progress begins. These candidates understand that it's about more than academic terms in your circle, group-shaming of people not being "correct" or useless public displays garnered to simply get attention. 

 Virginia Legislator Says Trans Opponent Defies ‘Laws Of Nature’ At A ‘Fundamental Level’ - BUT it's not without struggle. No struggle, no progress. 

This Short Film Hilariously Examines Dangerous Expectations Of Masculinity Among Gay Men - THANK YOU!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

When religious liberty was used to justify racism instead of homophobia . . .

Zack Ford of ThinkProgress has just published an excellent piece about the upcoming SCOTUS case involving  the baker attempting to use his religious beliefs as an excuse to not serve gay couples.

In 8 arguments against the anti-gay baker you may not have considered, Ford looks at the amicus briefs submitted in the case on behalf of the gay couple. It's all a fascinating read which proves that this is not a case simply about baking a cake.

One brief I found interesting in particular was by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Apparently the idea of using religious liberty as a way to deny services was already litigated in the courts. But that particular case had to do with racial discrimination:

One particular amicus brief makes perhaps the most compelling argument that the Masterpiece Cakeshop case poses a threat to all civil rights. Here’s how the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund describes it: 
This case involves a familiar story: Three customers walk into a small business that sells specialty foods. The owner is said to be an “artist” for his unique culinary skills and believes his religious convictions imbue his work. The owner turns the customers away entirely or denies them access to the full range of his products because these religious beliefs forbid him from serving a particular group of persons. When the owner is challenged in court regarding his refusal to serve the customers, he claims that the First Amendment should abrogate public accommodations laws and immunize his refusal to provide service. 
This portrays what occurred in 2012 to Mr. Mullins, Mr. Craig, and Ms. Munn in the instant case—but it also describes what transpired in 1964 to three African-American customers at a barbeque restaurant in South Carolina, which led to this Court’s seminal case addressing racial discrimination in public accommodations. 
The NAACP is referring to the case Newman v. Piggie Park, which it litigated. And exactly as the organization describes, an “artist” of barbecue, Maurice Bessinger, denied service to customers on account of their race and argued that he was simply following his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court outright rejected these arguments and ruled that the discrimination was not justified. It’s an informative case because 50 years have passed and it’s clear there were no consequences to ruling against the owner’s “religious freedom.”

'Senate confirms Trump judge opposed by 27 LGBTQ groups' & other Thur midday news briefs

27 LGBTQ groups opposed Joan Larsen but the Senate confirmed her judgeship.

Senate Confirms Trump Judge Opposed By 27 LGBTQ Rights Groups - Not good, but we are going to be watching her with MUCH interest. 

Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad - Lawd hammercy!

Rejected by adoption agencies, same-sex couple from Dimondale is suing the state - If you get tax dollars from gays, you shouldn't have the right to discriminate against us regardless of your faith. If you feel that your faith is strong, then pray for the funding. Michigan is getting with a lawsuit. 

AU Tells Supreme Court To Stop Businesses From Using Religion As Excuse To Discriminate - PREACH!! 

The Muted Fight Against HB 1523, the Most Anti-LGBT Law in America - Now I like this right here. Just because work to ensure LGBTQ equality isn't shouted from the rooftops doesn't mean its nonexistent. As the anti-LGBTQ industry has shown, the best work is always done behind the scenes and away from the "maddening crowd."

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Parents call out Trump judicial nominee for derogatory comments he made about their trans children

Easily the most offensive of Trump's judicial nominees (all of them are awful as it is), is one Jeff Mateer, whose work with the anti-LGBTQ organizations led him to impugn transgender children by claiming that they are proof that "Satan's plan is working."

Since that revelation, the Trump Administration and the anti-LGBTQ industry have been silent regarding Mateer, which is surprising. I thought at least the Family Research Council or the American Family Association would be publicly defending him.

However, the parents of transgender children have not been silent and in this video, they address Mateer personally for what he said about their kids. They also break down why they oppose his nomination as a judge.

'Latest Trump judicial nominee, like others, has ties to anti-LGBTQ industry' & other Wed midday news briefs

Leonard Steven Grasz, the latest Trump judicial nominee with ties to anti-LGBTQ groups

Donald Trump Keeps Losing in the Courts, so He’s Trying to Take Them Over - You're almost there. Scratch out Trump's name and insert "the anti-LGBTQ industry." It's not just that these nominees are anti-LGBTQ, it's that a concerning number of them come specifically from anti-LGBTQ organizations. 

We Need To Stand Up To Bullying In The Asian American And Pacific Islander Community - Speaking of diversity in the LGBTQ community . . . 

Out2Enroll launches LGBT coalition to promote Obamacare under Trump - Wonderful! 

Breathtaking Portraits of the Children of LGBTQ Parents - Author of photo book spotlighting children of LGBTQ parents talks about her project. 

  Egypt Doesn’t Speak for Africa on LGBT Issues - Egypt has declared war on the LGBTQ community. South Africa isn't happy over it. Step up!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Family Research Council has no use for credible legal experts in condemning block of trans ban

As to be expected, hate group the Family Research Council is "ever so pissed" at the decision of a federal judge to block Trump's ban on transgender Americans serving in the militaryAnd the organizations has "experts" ready to spell out why Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was wrong in her ruling.  

In reality, FRC doesn't. It only has vitriol like so:

It may be Halloween, but Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly didn't bother disguising her activist agenda. In a stunning ruling on Trump's military policy, Kollar-Kotelly thrilled liberals by putting the brakes on the president's July order that stopped people who identify as transgender from serving. Although it's the same policy Barack Obama held for seven years, it's apparently unconstitutional now that Donald Trump is president. 
Most Americans will probably never get used to judges substituting their own opinion for the law, but it was especially jarring yesterday when this one declared herself the final authority on U.S. military policy, despite never being elected for the job. As any credible legal expert would tell you, Kollar-Kotelly's opinion was amazingly presumptuous for an unelected district judge, who -- without the benefit of internal intelligence, the service chiefs' counsel, and Defense Department data -- is quite content telling the White House how to defend America. 
It was a jaw-dropping move, suggesting that she knows better than the commander-in-chief, but that's the unfortunate climate of America's courts. Liberal judges have gone from rewriting the law to second-guessing our president in areas like national security, where the courts almost always defer to the executive branch. And this court doesn't tiptoe -- it leaps over the White House's authority on military issues.

Now the headline of FRC's condemnation of Kollar-Kotelly's ruling says the following:

However, it is clear that FRC sees the concept of "legal expert" with as much contempt as it sees the concepts of "truth" and accuracy." FRC seems to think the integrity of all of these concepts are mere expendables in its quest to shape America to its pseudo-Christian liking.

The experts used by FRC in its post are employees Travis Weber and Peter Sprigg. Weber has practiced law and does have a Master's Degree. But based upon his statement, Weber seems to be unschooled about how our court system works:

"This type of judicial activism gives the court a self-conferred 'veto' of any presidential decision concerning the military the court simply thinks is unlawful. That's not the way our constitutional order works."

Actually, our constitutional order does work that way. The courts do not issue vetoes. They see that laws follow the constitution and this also includes executive orders.

And then there is Peter Sprigg, whom I've written about more times than I can count. Sprigg has no law degree and no experience in practicing law. He is a pastor and a former professional actor. He also has a propensity for spinning shameless lies and distortions about the LGBTQ community.

In contrast, the judge FRC smears, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, has been on the bench for 20 years.

So one side of a judicial decision, you have a judge with 20 years experience. On the other, you have an obviously wet-behind-the-ears fanatic and a man who couldn't give a proper legal reason for even picking his nose.

I think we know whose opinion to trust here.

'Roy Moore wants to impeach judge who blocked Trump's trans ban' & other Tue midday news briefs

Roy Moore

Roy Moore: Impeach Judge for Blocking Trans Military Ban - A preview of scenes to come should Roy Moore win the election in AL to be a United States Senator. God help us all, but let's start planning now, just in case, to undercut and use his homophobia and transphobia as an asset to our equality movement.

Hillary Clinton: Roy Moore's 'bigotry and hatred speaks volumes' about country - Mercy, she should have been president. At least she is doing what other folks don't have the courage to do.

The Senate Is About To Confirm A Frenzy Of Conservative Judges - Pay attention cause this is NOT good.

U.S. Congress unanimously condemns anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya - It's about time.

Michigan city among first to permanently display LGBT pride flag - Sweet! 

Conservatives Are Hinting They May Try And Delay Marriage Equality If Australia Votes "Yes" - A good sign for marriage equality in Australia. Those who oppose it are scared of losing a public referendum.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Think Progress - Trump's trans ban blocked due to his incompetence & laziness

Incompetent Trump gets burned by a federal judge.

By now you know that a federal judge suspended Trump's executive order banning transgender men and women serving in the military.  The details will filter out and I'm sure the anti-LGBTQ industry will have its (false) spin on the situation.

But for my money, I love the post by Ian Millhiser of Think Progress, who pulls no punches, particularly with the headline  A court blocked Trump’s transgender military ban because Trump is lazy and incompetent 

Before most presidents announce a significant policy change, they spend some time studying the problem. They consult with outside experts and various stakeholders concerned about the issue. They seek the input of senior advisers, who themselves seek input from a team of researchers and policy experts. 
Donald Trump, by contrast, is more inclined to simply announce a major policy shift on Twitter. 
This lack of concern with the intricacies of policymaking bit Trump hard on Monday.

. . . Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s opinion is significant for several reasons, including the fact that it holds that courts should treat all government discrimination against transgender individuals with a great deal of skepticism. One of Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s most significant conclusions, however, is that she does not owe much deference to Trump’s judgment thanks to the slipshod way that Trump decided to implement the ban.
. . .In reaching this decision, Judge Kollar-Kotelly notes that she may have reached a different outcome if Trump had followed a more ordinary process before announcing his new policy. If Trump had bothered to study the question in a serious way “and then decided that banning all transgender individuals from serving in the military was beneficial to the various military objectives cited, this would be a different case. But as discussed above, that is not the case before the Court.” Rather “it appears that the rights of a class of individuals were summarily and abruptly revoked for reasons contrary to the only then-available studies.”

Millhiser goes on to break down just how shoddy Trump's defense for his executive order was and links his loss in court today to the losses he suffered regarding his Muslim ban, specifically with this savage closing sentence:

In the age of Trump, liberty’s greatest shield is Trump’s goonish ineptitude.