Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'GLAAD Media Award nominees showcase the richness, diversity of our community' & other Tue. midday news briefs

GLAAD Media Award Nominees Revealed - While we are embroiled with an earth-shaking battle for equality and self-determination with the "Orange stain" in the White House, let's not forget the richness and diversity of our community. We should never stop loving ourselves and celebrating who we are. Besides, this is THIS BLOG'S THIRD NOMINATION FOR OUTSTANDING BLOG!!!!!!!!! "Booty dance! Booty dance!" I am currently looking for a copy of that red feathered outfit which the late Zsa Zsa Gabor wore when she made a cameo in "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3." It will look good on me as I watch the show on twitter with my fingers crossed. For more details, see GLAAD's webpage.

Boy Scouts welcome transgender boys, prompting conservatives to flee - This is just silly. Why are they scared of transgender children? Why do they get scared of transgender men and women in the first place?

Trump to preserve Obama order barring anti-LGBT discrimination - I got my arms crossed with my best "mmmm hmmm" face. And I suggest that the rest of the lgbt community should also. We have to neither like nor trust Trump. Just let him know that if he steps the wrong way . . .

Don’t Fall For Donald Trump’s Latest Ploy. He Is No LGBTQ Hero. - Like I was saying . . .

Senate Must Stand Firm Against Anti-Equality Supreme Court Candidates - And let's not forget the really HUGE fight. I'm saving my good tennis shoes for this one.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Possible anti-lgbt executive order is a nasty piece of discrimination

This will NOT be our future!

UPDATE - According to The New York Times, it looks like Trump may not be pushing an anti-lgbt executive order. In fact, he will be keeping Obama's 2014 pro-lgbt executive order:

The White House said on Monday that President Trump would leave in place a 2014 Obama administration order that created new workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. In a statement issued in response to growing questions about whether Mr. Trump would reverse the Obama order, the White House said the president was proud to embrace gay rights. “President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of L.G.B.T.Q. rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement said. “The president is proud to have been the first ever G.O.P. nominee to mention the L.G.B.T.Q. community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

I personally don't trust Trump. He has shown his capacity to lie at the drop of a hat. At the very least, he is still suffering from the negative publicity of his anti-Muslim immigrant executive order. At the state he is in now, getting the lgbt community all up in arms would be like all of the fires of hell collapsing on his head. DO NOT get slack and close your eyes with this administration.

We knew it was coming the night Trump won the election. And all during the day today, I've heard rumblings from various sources. Now the confirmations are slowly coming in.

There will be an anti-lgbt executive order from Trump. According to blogger Joe Jervis,  Washington Post reporter has claimed that there is a draft targeting adoption and other issues.

LGBTQ Nation adds more details:

Several sources spoke with LGBTQ Nation on the condition of anonymity who have told us that the order will allow for discrimination in a number of areas, including employment, social services, business, and adoption.

From what we’ve heard, the executive order could be far-reaching, and could include: making taxpayer funds available for discrimination against LGBTQ people in social services; allow federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents; eliminate non-discrimination protections in order to make it possible to fire federal employers and contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; and allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.

The order is expected to come in the packaging of so-called “religious freedom,” which argues that someone’s religious beliefs should be enough to prevent them from having to provide goods and services to members of the LGBTQ community if doing so would conflict with said beliefs.

Should this mess come to pass, I am making a guess and a "read."

The guess is that I am seriously doubting anyone employed by the Trump Administration is crafting this junk. The grubby fingerprints of The Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, or other anti-lgbt organizations and hate groups will be all over this mess.

Now the read, or for the sake of those who aren't familiar with that gay term, "the throwing of shade:"

The situation  that our opposition call "religious liberty" was never about bakers or florist supposedly forced to participate in same-sex weddings. That was a smokescreen. This is the same anti-lgbt mess from the same crowd of self-righteous, lying fake-ass "Christian" morality groups who've made it their life's work to stamp out lgbt equality.  It has nothing to do with protection. It's exploiting spite, i.e. the spite of individuals who don't want to admit that horror stories and fear tactics they used to scare people about lgbts failed them time and time again in the courts of America. They seem to think that special rules apply to them; that they can spin all sorts of lies about lgbts (such we are a health hazard  or we "recruit" children) without any reprisal  When the reprisal does come, be it their lies being exposed or them losing hard in the courts, they blame the so-called "forces of darkness" rather than the schadenfreude of their lies biting them in the ass. In the cases of adoption rights, private sexual behavior, and marriage, we've beaten them down. And with each loss, they deceive themselves into thinking that God is telling them to "try harder" the next time. I think He is telling them something, but they are too full of their own egos to get the correct message.

So now they come with this executive order junk, which sends so many ugly messages. Not only does it give homophobes the right to take lgbt tax dollars while discriminating against us, it also tells lgbts "You are inferior. Yes, we have a right to your money and don't have to respect you as taxpaying Americans And we don't have to respect your family, either. Why? Because of Jesus." 

No matter the excuse, discrimination is discrimination. No matter what happens, we are in this for the long haul. We are lgbts. We are American citizens, families, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, taxpayers, job creators, etc.

We will not stand for being disrespected and treated like second class citizens. Trump can sign whatever he wants and he can attempt to hold to it for how long he wants. But it will not stand. It will crumble. And then we will stampede all over it, just like we have done to everything else used to hold us down.

Come for us.

'Lgbt-affirming pastor calls out Franklin Graham for supporting Trump's immigration ban' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Mark Wingfield
Here’s How Franklin Graham Justifies Trump’s Expected Refugee Ban - Before Trump pushed that awful immigrant ban, Franklin Graham that the issue isn't "biblical." 

On immigration, Franklin Graham is dead wrong - But Pastor Mark Wingfield would like a word with Graham.  I should point out that Wingfield is an affirming associate pastor whose church, Wilshire Baptist Church (Dallas, TX), has gotten into trouble for performing same-sex marriages. 

 LGBT Refugees’ Lives Depend on the U.S. Resettlement Program - Let me again remind folks that we are involved in this issue. DEEP.

 All Democratic senators will oppose DeVos as education secretary - We are NOT buying the trash that DeVos is a friend to the lgbt community

 Due to “Administration-Related Changes,” the EEOC May Withdraw From a Trans Rights Case - This AIN'T good, folks.

Lgbt community registers fierce opposition to Trump's immigration ban

You have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Donald Trump's awful ban on immigrants from Muslim majority Middle Eastern countries and the rage and protests it has caused in so many circles.

Just in case you are wondering, one of the those circles is the lgbt community. The ban affects our community and we will not be quiet.

Shadi Ismail, a gay man from Syria, came to the U.S. in 2012. Since then, he’s resettled in Boise, and even found love with boyfriend Ian Guthrie
In all, 11,469 Syrian refugees were admitted into the U.S. between October 2015 and September 9, 2016. of them, 118 have relocated to Idaho. (The number in Boise is twice that of New York City.)

Back in September, Ismael told McClatchy, “it’s good, very good news—people coming in, being safe now. They will have a life.” But just four months later, his mood has changed drastically. He worries for his countrymen, and fears Trump’s policies are “signing them to die.”

LGBT organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders have gone on record condemning the ban. Meanwhile, members of the lgbt community are also joining protests.

According to The Washington Blade:

Kent Fogg, a gay 31-year-old D.C. resident, said he came to protest the executive order because he opposed it based on his experience working for human rights overseas in Kosovo, a Muslim-majority country.

“I just spent the last two years living as a guest in a majority Muslim country in Kosovo,” Fogg said. “Everyone was not only incredibly open and welcoming to me, but they look to America as a model of a place that’s welcoming. And as a country in the Balkans that recently had its own refugee crisis, you heard the personal stories of what people went through, why people become refugees, and it’s just inhumane and against everything we stand for for us not to have the compassion that’s required to respond to the situations that are going on, and to let people in regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds.”

 . . .  Joe Sudbay, a gay D.C.-based progressive activist and blogger, was among those at the demonstration and said it was important to “make your voice heard in front of the White House” against Trump. “Donald Trump needs to know, the American people, the people of D.C., do not stand for hate, do not stand for the Muslim ban, do not stand for his wall,” Sudbay said. “We’re vehemently opposed to his policies. He’s out of touch, and we need to tell him, and we need to tell him all the time.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

'Gay State Dept. employee resigns rather than work in Trump Administration' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Trump proves that the religious right is a 'religious fraud' - And speaking of our Orange Encrusted Overlord and the religious right, a repeat of this morning's post.

 Citing HB2, national group pulls out of meeting planned at Rowan-Salisbury Schools - Just a reminder that the boycott of North Carolina because of HB2 is still on.  

Browns’ Joe Thomas: Every NFL locker room would welcome gay teammate with open arms - I don't know . . .  

While Trump Grabs Headlines, Texas Republicans Launch New Wave of Assaults on LGBT Rights - We are paying attention.

Trump proves that the religious right is a 'religious fraud'

The religious right have their 'Jesus.'
In a short but sweet post, Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum  nails something I've mentioned on this blog and what we all need to be pointing out every chance we get.

Trump's election and the silence of religious right organizations with regards to his behavior since then only proves that their entire routine about upholding morality and Christian values is just talk.

Groups like the American Family Association and the Family Research Council cheerlead the possible elimination of Obamacare (even though it will leave millions of Americans without health care) or urge Trump to push against a law which restricts pastors and churches from endorsing political candidates. Meanwhile so-called religious leaders like Franklin Graham and the Catholic Church are silent when Trump threatens to sign executive orders against immigrants, which doesn't exactly hold up to the tenet Jesus spoke about when he told the parable of  The Good Samaritan.

In the case of Graham, the silence is truly sad, seeing that he doesn't ever seem to be at a loss for words when it comes to denigrating lgbts and especially smearing the transgender community.

As Drum points out, religious right groups and leaders aren't interested in acting as Trump's moral conscience. They are too busy providing him with an alibi.

The entire piece is wonderful reading. But I especially loved this part:

The Christian right has never been about actual faith. Like any other interest group, they just want what they want: abortion restrictions, money for private schools, opposition to gays, and so forth. As long as you're on board, they don't care what's in your heart. They never have, and that's why the suggestion that Democrats need to be more publicly devout has always been so misguided. Faith doesn't matter. Empathy for people of faith doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is supporting the Christian right's retrograde social views, and Democrats were never going to do that.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

'Trump's immigration executive order also affects lgbt community' & other Thur. midday news briefs

 America ‘turns back on’ LGBT refugees who fled ISIS persecution as Trump axes resettlement plan - Just in case you think the lgbt community isn't affected by Trump's anti-immigration madness. Sad irony alert - there were some folks saying that we should vote for Trump if we fear what ISIS would do to lgbts. We are now seeing that was verbal nonsense. If you won't protect my brothers and sisters from other countries, then I really don't expect you to protect me. And yes, major lgbt organizations have raised the alarm over this.  

The Queer Response To Trump’s Promise To Build Wall Along Mexican Border - And we don't like his jacked up idea about a wall, either.  

The insidious new line in South Dakota’s bill attacking transgender kids - People who are bound to create havoc can use anything for their own purposes, even one seemingly innocent word.

State treasury official resigns after declaring homophobic jokes ‘back on’ under President Trump - Fools are going to slowly but surely learn that Trump being president can't save their ass should they choose to BE asses.

Meet Anti-LGBTQ Extremism’s Insidious New Leader - "Look, Martha. We got another one."

I'm in love with this Kellogg's commercial featuring 'Mark & Chris'

This Kellogg's commercial from the United Kingdom featuring gay couple Mark and Chris is so simple, yet says so much. This is partly what it's all about. Having a normal life with someone you love.

From The Huffington Post:
Chris Hall and Mark Hearfield, who hail from Bury, England, are among the eight families featured in Kellogg’s “My Perfect Bowl” effort, which highlights the “weird ways” that people eat the signature cereal. In the clip above, Hall, 42, says he likes his cereal with “piping hot” milk and honey. Hearfield, 59, prefers a more straightforward, “room temperature” preparation. The men, who have been together for 22 years, told The Bury Times that they were thrilled to take part in the commercial, which debuted on YouTube and British network television on Jan. 6.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

'Spokesman - DeVos supports marriage equality' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Betsy DeVos Supports Same-Sex Marriage, Spokesman Says - Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education supports marriage equality? After ALL of the stuff we have heard about her family giving generously to anti-lgbt groups and causes, we are just hearing this NOW?! Yeah. Okay. My medicine isn't THAT strong to make me buy that.

Future of U.S. LGBT envoy remains unclear - We are watching this situation with MUCH interest.

You Probably Missed The Troubling Thing Sean Spicer Said About LGBTQ Rights - We caught it.  

Charlotte, N.C., Government Fears Retaliation for Pro-LGBTQ Legislation - And the mess in North Carolina continues. 

 Politics are personal for those who are LGBT, inducing self care - You'd better believe it, jack.

 5 hours later, LGBT non-discrimination ordinance advances 4-3 at relocated council meeting - Even in the midst of negativity, lgbts and our allies are succeeding. From what I hear, the crowd at this council meeting in Jackson City (Michigan) was full of folks who supported the ordinance. Of the 86 speakers, 82 favored it.

Randy Rainbow is the perfect antidote to the 'age of Trump' and its 'alternative facts'

I'm not completely familiar with this performer, Randy Rainbow, but I love this video. In the "age of Trump," we are going to seriously need comedy, we are seriously going to need satire, and we are seriously going to need to be "bitchy." I'm talking "Joan Crawford bitchy." And this video of Randy Rainbow taking on Kellyanne Conway about "alternative facts" fits the bill and then some. Yes it's a stereotype to say so, but sometimes it takes a queen . . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

''Moonlight' makes Oscar history, part of huge crop of diverse nominees' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Not So White After All: Oscar Nominations End Diversity Drought With New Honorees - FINALLY! The 2017 Oscar nominations made history big time today. 'Moonlight' received eight nominations and became the first lgbt of color themed movies to be recognized, particularly with the nod for Best Picture. And it is a member of a triumvirate of African-American themed movies ('Fences', 'Hidden Figures') to receive the nomination for the big award (Best Picture). And that's just the beginning. Nominations in other categories (especially acting) were also historical in terms of diversity. 

Texas Supreme Court considers same-sex spousal benefits an open question - Texas is getting on my nerves. Get with the program, guys. Marriage equality is legal so stop with the nastiness about benefits. 

 Kim Davis’s Lawyer Makes Bizarre Claim About Orlando Victims And AIDS - Yes it was nasty. I swear . . .  

The religious right have been using 'alternative facts' against the lgbt community for years - I posted this last night and thanks to a wonderful bunch of folks who read and spread it, it has gone viral BIG TIME. But it needs to be said and repeated again. A visual on how the anti-lgbt religious right have been using "alternative facts" to harm our community LONG BEFORE Kellyanne Conway coined the term. 

 Nigeria’s anti-homosexuality laws block access to care - A reminder that our fight for equality and self-determination is global.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The religious right have been using 'alternative facts' against the lgbt community for years

The controversy over the use "alternative facts" is actually nothing new to the lgbt community. As the graphics and soundbites below will tell you, religious right and "traditional morality groups" (the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the Liberty Counsel, the National Organization for Marriage, etc.) have been creating their own "alternative facts" over the years about the lgbt community. The goal has always been exploiting religious beliefs against homosexuality to paint us as immoral, God-hating, disease ridden public menaces.

And while these soundbites and graphics seem comical, they have been highly successful over the years. It's something to remember as we all engage further into the argument over "religious liberty." Truth be told, that particular argument is nothing different than what these groups have done to us. It still paints us as invading outsiders, but with a gentler tone.

Religious right "alternative facts" about the lgbt community over the years (click on graphic to make it larger):


'The drag queen who attended Trump's inauguration . . . ' & other Mon. midday news briefs

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Courtney Act attended Trump's inauguration.

A Drag Queen Went to Donald Trump’s Inauguration (Video)You simply have to see this! RuPaul’s Drag Race star Courtney Act attended Trump's inauguration and interviewed the folks there.

The faces of the Women’s March turn Washington from red to rainbow - Last weekend Women's March on Washington of course included the lgbt community in a large number.

 Iceman finally has his first gay kiss in X-Men – see the glorious full page illustration - Nice! 
Amid worry, gay conservatives see hope for LGBT rights in Trump - I'm afraid I got some bad news for SOME folks . ..  

Gay Buddhist monk is also a makeup artist who helps trans people look their best - I ADORE positive stories like this one.

Hate group leader spews 'alternative facts' about Christianity, Obama, & Trump

Trump aide Kellyanne Conway's unfortunate turn of the phrase "alternative facts" is an excellent segueway to this morning's post featuring Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and his "glorified gloating" about Trump's inauguration:

This is truly an exciting time as the oppressive anti-family, anti-faith policies of the outgoing administration will soon be history. There's no question that people not only hope again -- but genuinely believe that America can be great again. But the prospects of America's greatness cannot be separated from our goodness. Last night, I had the privilege of opening the official inaugural candlelight dinner with that message as I prayed for the president and vice-president. The event, which was held at Union Station, also included most of the president's staff and those nominated for cabinet posts. Quoting from Proverbs I reminded those gathered what one of the wisest kings wrote, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
To be great, we must be good. And government can never make us good, only God, working in each of our hearts can accomplish such a task. That's why religious freedom is so intertwined with America's success. We must be free to pursue God and obey God. As Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments. We are grateful for the incoming president to restore America's religious freedom -- our ability to live our lives according to our faith.

I don't know which is more laughable - the lie that the Obama Administration was anti-family and anti-faith, or the fact that Tony Perkins is actually citing Biblical verses to justify the election of an odious bully who once bragged about sexually assaulting women.

Perkins's tone deaf kissing up is indicative of religious right and so-called white evangelical leaders like himself who have abandoned the tenets of Christianity in pursuit of political power.   Apparently they have taken to heart the idea put forth in the Old Testament about a "chosen people" (in this case it is them rather than the Israelites) and have ignored what Jesus said in the New Testament about loving thy neighbor and doing right by the poor (Perkins and company have either cheerleaded or ignored the possible elimination of Obamacare regardless of the fact that it would leave millions without any healthcare.)

For my money, however, it's ironic how Perkins takes on the visage of a saint when his past comments would disgrace devils:

To paraphrase an old saying - Mr. Perkin, DO NOT play the lgbt community cheap. We got you on tape and your paper trail is even longer.

Friday, January 20, 2017

'Ain't nobody scared of no #&@! Donald Trump!'

"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war.". - Julius Caesar

In November of last year for whatever reason, America took a headfirst leap into a dark abyss. We elected a blundering, lying boob with more mouth than sense and more inane bravado than integrity.

The so-called upholders of virtue and morality let their masks slip as they abandoned the integrity they claimed to have in order to cheerlead his ascension. They fashioned a halo from his horns and ignored his tail and pitchfork. They ignored the fact that over 18 million people may lose their healthcare if he carried through with his plans and pushed aside whatever other calamities, lies, and all around disasters which may happen under his guard as they drooled over the prospect of making America a "Christian" nation. "Christian" by their interpretation, of course.

And they stand in front of a pack of pampered, trust fund holding, over privileged hordes eager to remake America in the images they have discussed and dreamed about while planning all sorts of chaos in their think tanks and foundations.

Meanwhile, us regular and common folks seem to be like naked villagers in the dead of winter, shivering from cold and fear while the wolves surround us. Particularly those of us who are lgbts. We wait in anticipation of the possible havoc to come as certain parties are eager to undo all of the progress we made over the last eight years.

We wait in anticipation, but not in fear. Some of us are scared and that's healthy. But I look at it this way. We fought hard for our progress and we are not going to hand it over. We fought hard for our healthcare and we won't be giving it up without a fight.

No one is scared of you, soon-to-be President Donald Trump. And no one is scared of those who are coming with you. We are going to fight your nonsense. We are going to take you to the limit in everything. And we are going to win.

So enjoy your inauguration day. Whatever fantasies you have in finally gaining power and respect are fulfilled. You got the prize. 

We have to deal with your mess for probably four years at the very least. But you also have to deal with us.  I would suggest that you stumble yourself into correct behavior. Accidentally do the right things if you must.

But if and when you step out of line, WE. WILL. CORRECT. YOU. You weren't elected king. You now work for us.

And as for your friends, particularly those attempting move the needle backwards on lgbt equality, DO NOT fool yourselves. You are still immoral liars masquerading as virtuous upholders of Christianity.

And lies told in the name of God are still lies. And you will never win.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

'LGBT advocates plan push back against Trump Administration' & other Thur. midday news briefs

LGBT advocates plan to ‘defy’ Trump - Oh yeah. WHEN Trump doesn't do us right (because it's not an "if" but a "when"), the brother gonna be in trouble.   
Wow. Indiana Republican Actually Blocks Anti-Transgender Bill - This happened on the 16th, but it's still amazing particularly when one hears the reason. State Representative Cindy Kirchhofer said more focus was needed on state's opium and heroin epidemic, i.e. she felt there are more important and pressing things to focus on rather than discriminating against the transgender community. Yeah, I know. Common sense from Mike Pence's state. Wow!  

Oklahoma considers extreme pro-discrimination ‘religious liberty’ bill - Oh fun, fun, fun!

Jesse Lee Peterson: Obama Commuted Chelsea Manning’s Sentence Because He Has A ‘Weakness’ For Gay And Transgender People - Dear white gay folks. THIS is our real life "Uncle Ruckus." 

 11 Heartwarming And Hilarious Stories About LGBT Parents Coming Out To Their Kids - I once had a boyfriend with three daughters who probably knew before he even told them. Thank goodness they never called me "Uncle Alvin."

Obama proud of his LGBT legacy, credits the 'individual activists'

Yesterday in his final press conference as president, Obama said that he is proud of the legacy his Administration has in the cause of lgbt equality and credited individual activists for what they did to help move the needle forward.

That's right. Under Obama, we worked hard and gained a lot. And we will keep what we gained in spite of Trump and the ugly horde he brings with him. Don't waste time despairing. Now is the time to remember who we are and whose shoulders we are standing on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

'Senator Franken tangles with Trump cabinet nominee over support of anti-lgbt groups' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Trump nominee Betsy DeVos
WATCH: Al Franken destroys Education appointee Betsy DeVos over her support for gay conversion therapy - Other than that "bear" comment, this was a serious highlight of yesterday's hearing with Trump's pick for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Al Franken is a serious boss! 

DeVos rejects anti-LGBT views, but bruised in bumpy hearing  - Another article on the situation.

 Lambda Legal: Price would endanger health of LGBTs, people living with HIV - Speaking of another one of Trump's cabinet nominees . . . 

 Donald Trump Meets with SCOTUS Candidate William Pryor who Supported Criminalizing Gay Sex - Will the "homosexuality is a dangerous, deadly lifestyle" talking point take center stage again? If it does, the situation is going to get ugly because I got enough material saved up to make it ugly. And I won't be holding A THING back.  

Hate group Family Research Council wants Special LGBT Envoy gone from State Department - My post from this morning deserves another look because I didn't post it right the first time.  

Gay teen at risk of deportation because Sweden doesn't believe he's gay - What the $#@!  

Transphobic Slurs And Death Wishes: How Right-Wing Media Responded To The Commutation Of Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence - Disgusting. Can't even present their arguments in an intelligent manner.

Hate group Family Research Council wants Special LGBT Envoy gone from State Department

FRC wants Randy Berry purged.
In its Washington Update yesterday, SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council made it more than clear that with Trump's incoming administration, it would like to see one state department official purged.

Why? Because he was appointed by Obama as Special LGBT Envoy.

Randy Berry has served less than two years at his job, but to hear the Family Research Council tell the story, he has been causing chaos:

The new administration is sending Obama's diplomats packing -- but some are not going too far. In the case of LGBT Envoy Randy Berry, the move may be a short one. Inside the State Department, rumors are swirling that Secretary John Kerry's pro-gay protégé just took a different job in the department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor division -- giving the radical agenda a permanent home in an agency that some claim has nothing to do with social issues.

"I plan to come to work the day after the inauguration," Berry told the Blade a year ago. "I serve the U.S. government. I serve the American people." Unfortunately for voters anxious to return to real diplomacy, he may be close to making good on that promise. Berry, who spent more than a year and a half on a worldwide "tolerance" tour, has been very clear about his intentions from Day One. Special rights for people who identify as gay or transgender "creates a more durable, healthier nation," he's insisted. He took that message on the road through most of 2015 and 2016, leaning on other countries in an effort to force them to open their doors to extreme policies at the expense -- not just of the host nation's values, but of international religious liberty.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How Trump could destroy Obama's LGBT Progress (IF we let him)

My online friend, Matt Baume details how Trump could harm the progress the lgbt community has made under Obama. I added the caveat "if we let them" to remind everyone that nothing is ever hopeless and to gear up. We fought hard for what we have and we are not about to let any of it go. Not without a big nasty, knockdown, dragged out fight.

'A quick observation on Franklin Graham, the transgender community, & the ACA repeal' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Just an observation about Franklin Graham, the repeal of Obamacare (which could leave 18 million people uninsured,) and the transgender community. Feel free to retweet it:

In other news:

Religious freedom: It’s a core American principle, and it doesn’t mean what right-wingers want it to mean - I am sure we will be debating this heavily this year. Folks need to get prepared to give an aggressive AND intelligent push back.  

Women’s March to include LGBT presence - You'd better believe it! 

 Trump demands officials justify ‘massive’ spending on federal AIDS programme - Very definition of the phrase, "this #@!# just got real." 

 Conservatives try to convince the Supreme Court to embrace transphobia - This came from four days ago, but it's a wonderful breakdown of the anti-transgender argument conservatives are pushing to SCOTUS in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G 

 Mat Staver: Right Wing Watch ‘Is Just A Bunch Of Fake News’ - Like anyone actually has to make up any news about hate group leader Mat Staver.

Hate group still hating on Obama

As President Obama leaves office and the Orange Encrusted Overlord prepares to attempt to take his place, the thing which aggravates me probably the most is what people are missing about Obama's time in office.

Obama has said that at times he failed to translate his personal popularity to support for his policies and no doubt, this probably be what a portion of his legacy may be. And it's a fallacy.

No president, as far as I know, had networks, think tanks, and "news sources" constantly undermining him 24 hours a day as Obama did. No president had opposition who constantly pushed lies about his background, his motivations, and the successes of his policies as Obama did.

Case in point is this nonsense below. Even though he is leaving office, the anti-lgbt hate group the American Family Association, through its phony news service One News Now, can't resist taking at least one more dig at Obama via a false poll:

America is substantially better in all of these areas as Obama leaves office, but One News Now will spin it in the opposite direction. And of course its "Christian" readers will respond like sheep. As of 7:51 a.m. PST, the results are:

Some have claimed that Obama always had a problem with white evangelicals. When any group, be they white evangelicals or anyone else, are constantly relying on a news sources which gives consistently them negative headlines and articles about Obama, what does one expect him to have BUT problems.

Ironically, One News Now is also running articles implying that we need to "come together" under President Trump.

Keep dreaming. It ain't gonna happen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

'Some homophobia & transphobia simply cannot be ignored' & other Fri. midday news briefs

This is Theodore Shoebat, an incredibly insane Christian militant who was fairly popular in religious right circles, even appearing in an anti-lgbt documentary created by Janet Folger in 2015 and starting some nonsense about gay bakeries refusing to cater to homophobes in 2014. The video above is an example of why those folks are now wary to associate with him. In December, he verbally attacked the editors of National Geographic for putting a transgender child on the cover and also verbally attacked the child. He isn't joking. He means everything he says and it is the reason why sometimes we can't ignore homophobia or transphobia. Someone is always listening. 

156 LGBT Elected Officials Call On President-elect to Advance LGBT Equality During His Presidency - Noble endeavor. 

 Pompeo tells Kamala Harris he won’t discriminate against LGBT workers at the CIA - Senator Kamala Harris grills Trump's pick to run the CIA, Mike Pompeo, on lgbt rights in the organization. Conservative magazines and online news sources aren't happy. To hell with them and good for her!

LGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimony - Looks like at least one pick in Trump's cabinet has good sense. 

Trump Nominee Won’t Disavow Claim That Women, LGBTQ Soldiers Harm Military - But then again, there is is an alternate view of the situation. 

 Making Elder Homes More LGBT-Friendly - An important article.

Family Research Council ignores 'Christian' values in rejoicing over possible Obamacare repeal

Family Research Council happy about possible Obamacare repeal.

Even though this blog focuses specifically on lgbt issues, there are times I have to comment on other issues. And regarding the issue of the GOP attempting to repeal Obamacare, I must say that I am amazed and disturbed about the spin the Family Research Council is attempting to put over on its supporters:
President Obama has been unwilling -- and soon, unable -- to undo his policy blunders like Obamacare, but Congress is giving his successor a chance to try. In the wee hours of this morning, the Senate took the first step of a journey that Republicans have been on for the last seven years: the repeal of Obamacare and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. For all of the question marks heading into last night's marathon session, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered on his biggest promise -- to pass a budget resolution that would clear the decks for rolling back Obama's worst atrocities.

By the slimmest of margins, 51-48, he held together his coalition -- which was no small feat after the threats of at least five moderate Republicans earlier in the week. By 1:36 a.m., when members finally walked bleary-eyed to their cars, 180 amendments had been filed (and 20 voted on) in the unique budget free-for-all -- which, for all the frenzy, isn't even legally binding. As it has for years, the Senate uses this crazy process to map out a budget blueprint. The benefit is that, unlike other legislative business, leaders can offer an unlimited number of amendments without worrying about filibusters. That usually means senators will take the opportunity to make a political point -- or try to get their colleagues on the record on an issue that they can use to their advantage in campaign ads later on. "Unlike normal legislation, which can be debated for weeks on end, this law limits the total debate time for a budget resolution to 50 hours... This is quite different from the process on a normal bill," former Senate staffer Keith Hennessey once explained, "where you can offer an amendment but not be assured of a quick vote."

By the end, the Senate will typically have crammed in a third of their votes for the year into this one chaotic night. While our government affairs team worked late tracking amendments, there were a few surprises. As usual, the president's party tried to throw a few wrenches into the process, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) "women's health" amendment, which would have stopped the GOP from making any changes to Obamacare that affect the contraception mandate or taxpayer-funded abortion. Fortunately, the Senate deadlocked, killing it by a tie vote (49-49).

Although no one is settled on an official replacement plan for Obamacare, the hows and whens took a backseat to getting this crucial vote out of the way. Knowing that America is also on the path to hollowing out federal tax funding of Planned Parenthood should taste sweet to the millions of voters who streamed into polling places to protect the unborn. The bottom line is the bottom line: Planned Parenthood doesn't need taxpayer dollars. All the government's contributions do is enable Cecile Richards's group to spend more money on politics and candidates who support their radical agenda. This forced partnership must end. And thanks to Senator Mitch McConnell's leadership, it's well on its way.

Granted, I despise the Family Research Council because the group was founded to undermine lgbt equality via lies and junk science under the guise of religion. But I am also incredibly disturbed how unbelievably tone deaf the group is about the dangers of  an Obamacare repeal.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Will Caitlyn Jenner attend Trump's inauguration?' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Caitlyn Jenner at Trump's inauguration? We will see.
Caitlyn Jenner Will Reportedly Attend Donald Trump’s Inauguration - Now some folks may think this is a bad thing, but I say it has wonderful potential. Sit her next to Franklin Graham or Tony Perkins. If so, I hope she knows judo or owns some pepper spray. Especially if she tries to shake Trump's hand. 

 Tillerson declines to say whether ‘gay rights are human rights’ - Trump claims that he will be an lgbt ally, but his nominee for Secretary of State won't say if our rights are human rights. It's a simple trick using your mouth - YEEES! 

Anti-lgbt hate group wants 'religious liberty' for Kim Burrell but not for Carrie Underwood - My post from this morning. It's going viral, but I want more. This is a wonderful discussion for the lgbt community to initiate BEFORE any Congressional action on one of those dreary "religious liberty" bills. Just whose "religious liberty" are they looking to protect? 

 Gay man legally donates blood after a year with no sex - I love his commitment, but at the same time, ugh to the dumb rule which made him do it in the manner which he did. 

 Donald Trump’s Inauguration Singer Speaks Out Against Transgender Bathroom Bills - Good for her in the way she used her platform!

Anti-lgbt hate group wants 'religious liberty' for Kim Burrell but not for Carrie Underwood

The American Family Association pushes the idea that criticizing Kim Burrell (first picture) for her homophobic sermon is anti-Christian persecution. But at the same time, the group criticized the selection of marriage equality supporter  Carrie Underwood (second picture) as a singer for a recent Christian festival. Why does AFA believe that Burrell deserves 'religious liberty' for her beliefs, but not Underwood?

 Under the Trump Administration, there will probably be a Congressional battle regarding the so-called concept of "religious liberty." When that time comes, I expect there to be a huge inundation of horror stories about "Christian"business owners being "forced" to act in opposition of their faith and serve members of the lgbt community. No doubt, the focus will be on bakeries, flower shops, and other wedding businesses. Of course the effects of "religious liberty" bills becoming law will be the allowance of discrimination against the lgbt community in a wide variety of places other than wedding businesses (because those individuals and groups supporting these bills have neglected to say where a line should be drawn) under the guise of religious expression.

We all know that when the religious right talks about "religious liberty," they are pushing anti-lgbt discrimination in terms which make it sound more palpable. My guess is that they don't really mean "religious liberty" for everyone.

Two recent incidents and a hate group's response to these incidents prove my point.

Popular singer Carrie Underwood has been criticized because she recently sang at Atlanta's Passion, an evangelical conference for youth. The reason? She supports marriage equality in accordance to her religious beliefs.  Leading the charge against Underwood is the anti-lgbt hate group, the American Family Association.

Via its online phony news site, One News Now, AFA focused two articles on criticizing Underwood and the founder of the conference, Louis Giglio. Both articles highlighted a letter written to Giglio by Wesley Wildmon, AFA's director of Outreach. The letter itself appeared Engage Magazine, another online project of AFA.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

'Sessions says he will uphold pro-lgbt laws, lgbts of color done with black church hypocrisy,' and other Wed midday news briefs

Jeff Sessions Says He’ll Uphold LGBTQ Protections - So in his hearing yesterday, Trump's pick for attorney general Jeff Sessions claims that a woman's right to choose and marriage equality are "settled" laws. That s until the religious right and their allies attempt to drudge up challenges. He may become our attorney general, but Sessions will be watched intensely.

Jeff Sessions Deflects Questions About His Anti-LGBT Record - More details from yesterday.

 Kim Burrell Reminds Us How The Black Church Uses, Abuses Gay Christians - Kim Burrell's attack on the gay community is the last straw to many of us lgbts in color. As Irene Monroe says in this wonderful piece, the conciliatory attitude lgbts of color take when attacked by the Black church has been thrown out of stained glass window. We have had it up to our necks with helping to create the ambiance of black church worship behind the scenes while being called sinners in public. And we've are SO OVER scenes like in the above video. Remember him?
‘Visionary’ Religious Right Activist Mike Farris Takes Over Alliance Defending Freedom - An anti-lgbt group has a new leader who is as odious as the old one. It's important that we keep tabs on these folks and groups.

Don’t Forget Exxon’s Lousy Record On Gays And Women - Today, Trump's pick for Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil CEO, has his hearing. I wonder will questions about Exxon's crappy record on lgbt rights come up?

President Obama's Farewell Address

He is the first African-America president and came into office hoping to repair a bad economy without the help of the GOP, who chose to oppose everything he pushed.

But he was successful, loved, and will be remembered as one of this country's greatest presidents. AND his administration was scandal-free. He redefined humility, love of country, and helped to bring lgbt equality to the mainstream. Enjoy President Obama's farewell address:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

'Religious right leaders thrilled that Dept. of Justice 'will no longer be obsessed with this civil rights issue'' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Editor's note -  The hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General is happening this morning. It has been interesting, particularly what he said about marriage equality. He tried to be general but I don't think he answered the question. If anything, it may give us a clue as to how religious right groups will attempt to dial it back. There will be more on that later. I'm guessing that since the GOP is the majority of the Senate, he will get through. However, do not despair. He is just a player put in place. He is neither the game nor the end of the game.

Jordan Sekulow: Under Sessions, DOJ Will No Longer Be ‘Obsessed With This Civil Rights Issue’ - Okay this makes NO sense. But these are the Sekulows who, for those who don't know, have made an obscenely large amount of money suing in the name of Jesus. Apparently they missed the story about Jesus and the rich man. 

A day in the life after you've been kicked out for being LGBTQ - A sad occurrence which needs more attention paid to it.

 Anti-lgbt hate group caught in lie about incident in MA public restroom - My post from this morning demonstrating how the American Family Association lied when smearing the transgender community for a recent incident in Massachusetts.

Kerry apologizes for past LGBT discrimination at State Department - We needed to hear this even though it took so @#$! long!

The White House LGBT Liaison Is Worried Trump Will Scrap The Position - If we hear that Trump tries to do this, we should make lots of noise. We need this White House Liasion.

Anti-lgbt hate group caught in lie about incident in MA public restroom

The American Family Association just got caught in a lie.

An attack on the rights of transgender men and women exploiting the "bathroom predator" myth demonstrates just how eager religious right groups are when it comes to telling lies and smearing lgbts.

One News Now, the fake news publication of the anti-lgbt hate group American Family Association ran an article yesterday which claimed that transgender women put other women at risk in the public restrooms in Massachusetts. In order to justify this claim, the publication referenced a recent event:

A woman who requested anonymity was in a women's bathroom at a T.J. Maxx in Plainville, Massachusetts and recalls her experience in an interview with WCVB TV:

"I looked down and I saw a man's shoes, and as I looked up, there was the camera. His cell phone camera was in my stall."

She left and asked store personnel to call police, and when they let her know they were forbidden to do so, she made a 9-1-1 call herself. Police soon arrived and arrested 48-year-old Gabriel Muniz, who has pled not guilty. But Chanel Prunier of Keep MA Safe tells OneNewsNow this woman may not have been the only victim.

"When security later viewed the footage, they found that he had been in the bathroom for over a half hour, so it's entirely possible that he videoed and photographed other women without their knowledge," Prunier reports.

Similar incidents have been reported throughout the country, especially at Target stores. But in Massachusetts, the problems stem from a state anti-discrimination law that includes transgenders. That means a man can say he is transgender, whether or not it is the truth, and pose privacy and safety dangers for women.

Unfortunately, the incident did take place, so One News Now's rendition of the situation was accurate EXCEPT for the last part:

  . . . in Massachusetts, the problems stem from a state anti-discrimination law that includes transgenders.

Nothing in the original story (the link was provided by One News Now itself) said anything about the transgender community. And no one indicated that the suspect pretended to be a transgender woman. Not the victim, not the police, and definitely not the suspect himself. Basically there nothing to indicate that the incident had anything to with the state's anti-discrimination law.

No doubt, One News Now and the American Family Association hoped to scare its readers by pushing a horror story. What they succeeded in doing is demonstrating just how low they will stoop to attack the transgender community.

Monday, January 09, 2017

'Don't get distracted by Meryl Streep's dragging of Trump' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Streep's dragging of Trump shouldn't distract us from this week's cabinet hearings.

Editor's note - Meryl Streep's dragging of Trump during last night's Golden Globe Awards was truly sweet. However, don't let it - and especially Trump's ridiculous response to it - distract you from the fact that the GOP is trying to push in multiple confirmation hearings of his cabinet nominees this week. And these nominees have NOT been thoroughly vetted. A distracted people cannot unite to oppose wrongdoing.

Lambda Legal: Jeff Sessions Would Put LGBT Rights at Grave Risk if Confirmed - For example, THIS guy Trump wants to appoint as Attorney General. 

 Ted Cruz Lost, But Trump Is Giving the Religious Right His Cabinet - AND the rest. 

 In other news:

 Moonlight wins Golden Globe Award for Best Picture-Drama - In a huge coup last night, Moonlight, a movie about being a black gay man in America, nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama. I think this makes it the "dark horse" (apologies) for Best Picture at the Oscars. Double sweet! I would be happy for several nominations.  

"Moonlight" Director Explains The Need For Diverse Storytelling In Trump’s America - Speaking of which . . . AMEN!!  

Percy Jackson author snubs Texas lawmakers over ‘nonsense’ bathroom bill - I own two of his books! Good for him! 

 Gordon Klingenschmitt: Gay People ‘Should Be Disqualified Immediately’ From Being Teachers ‘Because Of Their Immorality’ - Gurl, sit your behind down! 

Anti-lgbt hate group removed from list of Connecticut approved charities for payroll deductions.

AFA gets smacked down by Connecticut

It's no doubt that the following item will be exploited as an example of how Christians are supposedly being "persecuted" in America:

From the Hartford Courant:

Mississippi-based Christian organization is being dropped from a list of approved charities for state employees after the group failed to provide a copy of its anti-discrimination policy.
Timothy K. Newtown, chair of the Connecticut State Employee Campaign Committee, wrote to the group's president, Tim Wildmon, on Thursday notifying them they were being removed. The program allows state employees to direct payroll deductions to a charity of their choice.

"I am grateful for the committee's unanimous vote to remove AFA from the state charitable campaign – and I'm proud to live in a state that broadly prohibits discrimination, whether based on an individual's race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, national origin, ancestry or disability," Lembo, who is openly gay, said in a written statement.
Apparently, this was a unanimous vote of the Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign (CSEC) Committee. But before the vote, the AFA chose to focus on Lembo's sexual orientation:

 Lembo had asked the group for information regarding its non-discrimination policy and the group responded by asking its members to contact Lembo for attacking their group’s Biblical beliefs and what they saw as his attempt to diminish those beliefs by asking for information about discrimination. Lembo has said most of the communications were uninformed.

Not that I'm telling anyone anything that they aren't aware of but for the record, the American Family Association is a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group. According to SPLC:

The AFA has been extremely vocal over the years in its opposition to LGBT rights, marriage equality and allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the military. The group's arguments are filled with claims that equate homosexuality with pedophilia and argue that there's a "homosexual agenda" afoot that is set to bring about the downfall of American (and ultimately, Western) civilization. In one October 2004 article, the AFA Journal suggested that gay influences are leading to a "grotesque culture" that will include "quick encounters in the middle school boys' restroom."

For years, until 2010, the AFA had a section on its website that supposedly exposed "The Homosexual Agenda." There, a reader could find articles and other AFA publications that claimed LGBT people were trying to force the acceptance of homosexuality on children through sex education programs in schools; condemned companies like Disney for supporting LGBT rights and programming; and, also until 2010, featured a particularly noxious booklet the AFA had published in 1994. That booklet, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths, included the bogus research of thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron as a source. One of the publication's authors, Richard Howe, used Cameron's "research" to claim that LGBT people don't live as long as heterosexuals, that they're more promiscuous and that the "disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many diseases are present in the homosexual community." Another claim was that "[p]rominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality."

The question shouldn't be should the AFA be included on the list of groups Connecticut employees can donate to via payroll deductions. The question should be how in the world did the AFA get on this list in the first place.