Monday, July 31, 2017

Religious right groups, figures debasing themselves to ignore Trump's many disasters

With the latest White House firing - "potty-mouth" Scarmucci lasted only 10 days - and very low approval numbers, as well as a long list of missteps and policy failures in a short length of time, we should admit that Donald Trump is a disaster.

Seriously, he's the worst thing to come to D.C. since the British during the War of 1812. At least Nixon got some things done and his administration was simply crooked. Trump's Administration is crooked and incompetent. It's as if Americans were so high on drugs on Election Day that they chose to elect the Three Stooges reborn into one braggadocious, hideously coiffed body.

However, Trump still has his fans. Eager to keep the access his administration has given them (OMG, they have us on speed dial!!!), evangelical conservative groups, i.e. the religious right, have  been recasting the Orange Disaster to their supporters as the Second Coming of the Biblical king David (minus the Bathsheba incident), Davy Crockett (portrayed by Fess Parker), and every character John Wayne played in one of his movies (who wasn't killed at or before the conclusion of the movie).

 It's just downright embarrassing that in midst of so many ugly moments (Scarmuccci's insane New Yorker interview, Trump's ridiculous attempt to ban transgender men and women from serving in the military, the sacking of Reince Preibus and Scarmucci, Trump's constant public humiliation of his own attorney general, Trump's failure to repeal Obamacare,Trump advocating police brutality . . ), groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and other "religious" groups and leaders think no one is noticing them debase themselves.

'Reuters poll - Americans support transgender soldiers' & other Mon midday news briefs

Majority of Americans think trans people should be able to serve in the military - Regardless of what one may think, this country's reputation for fairness always manages to shine through the nonsense.

Jeff Sessions’ Assault On Gay Workers Revealed Yet Another Lie He Told At Confirmation Hearings - I never liked Sessions and I never trusted him.

Laverne Cox fires back at comedian who joked about killing trans women - The entire thing is seriously some screwed up shit. The "transgender women are always trying to trick men" lie is no different than the "gay men want boys to molest" lie. 

'I'm The Scary Transgender Person the Media Warned You About': Parents Raise Gender Non-Conforming Kid - Yes we do need more education about transgender children. 

Editor's note - It is with a bit of sadness I say the final item: I only saw her in two films when I felt mesmerized by her power. She wasn't in the first one for more than five minutes. And in this one - not that good of a movie - she was stunning. I love this scene and copied her in it so many times. RIP Jeanne Moreau:


Email punctuates religious right hypocrisy about Trump

At the end of a week punctuated by embarrassing and public infighting in the West Wing, Trump advocating police brutality, a ridiculous attempt to ban transgender troops ignored by the Armed Forces because it was done via a tweet, and a failed attempt to take healthcare away from millions of Americans, the Family Research Council sent a very unfortunate, but probably ironically accurate email:

The above announcement says less about Trump and more about the Family Research Council and the rest of Trump's evangelical supporters. Other than gloating - then remaining silent when the entire thing proved to be disastrous - about Trump's ban of transgender soldiers in the military, the religious right has been silent during this week regarding the rest of  his "conduct."

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post puts it better:

“The religious right, which intones ‘Judge Gorsuch, Judge Gorsuch!’ when confronted with the series of Trump abominations, should do some soul-searching,” she wrote. “Was this trashing of the White House, assault on civil language and conduct and contempt for the Constitution (the one the religious right thinks is so important that the new Supreme Court justice must protect it) worth it?”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

What you need to know about anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their bigotry

'How They See Us,' a crash course on the anti-LGBTQ groups hoping to grab power under Trump.

Due to recent attacks on queer equality by the Trump Administration and the boasting of the religious right and anti-LGBTQ hate groups (such as the Family Research Council) that they played a hand in these attacks, I think it's time  to pull out information from the archives of this blog. We need a crash course in what we are dealing with.

In 2013, I published a free online booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America.

How They See Us breaks down how organizations like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and others exploit religious beliefs, fear, and junk science to demonize the LGBTQ community.

An excerpt says the following:

  . . . their idea of Christian values seem to rely heavily on forgetting the ninth commandment against bearing false witness because these groups have declared war on the gay community and their weapons are propaganda designed exploit fear and religious beliefs. Through a clever use of junk science, misrepresented scientific work, outright lies, or . . . demeaning images, they work to stand as a roadblock to any advancement of gay equality by stigmatizing the gay community and falsely labeling homosexuality as a threat to societal order and wellness. And what’s worse, they use the religious belief which designates homosexuality to be a sin as a free license to sugarcoat their tactics as mere “expressions of their personal religious beliefs” and label every question regarding these tactics as an “attack on their religious liberty” or an attempt to “silence” them. What these groups do is nothing new and it’s certainly nothing Christian or moral about it. When any group spreads propaganda, it’s always “in defense” of something and it usually scapegoats a group undeserving of such hostilities. Whether it be the defense of “Southern culture,” the “German homeland,” or “Judeo-Christian values,” it all adds up to the same thing - isolating an innocent group as the essence of evil and claiming that if only said group were put in its place, the world would be a better place.

A key part of  How They See Us spotlights images from a 1986 anti-gay comic book which sought to show the so-called dangers of the so-called “homosexual lifestyle” through stereotypes brought to life via an artist’s pen. I compare the ugly images in that comic to statements made in recent years by members of religious right groups.

In addition, I also show the subtle ways anti-LGBTQ groups push horror stories about the queer community, as well as distort science, to promote the the false idea that being gay is a "dangerous lifestyle."

With Trump in the White House, these groups can cause a lot of mischief. But so can we. With more power comes more scrutiny. In the past, they could get away with playing the "religious beliefs" card. However, as a recent Newsweek article has shown, there is a lot more spotlight focused on them.

With that spotlight comes a need to educate about these groups. The main thing being everything they do and say is a smokescreen. When they talk about "protecting the safety of women and children" "military readiness," "religious liberty," or "protecting marriage and American values," it all comes down to one thing - keeping the LGBTQ community underfoot,  powerless, demoralized both physically and spiritually, and above all, with no rights.

How They See Us is free and available for anyone to read and download via the link.

Read it, download it, share it.

Friday, July 28, 2017

'Anti-LGBTQ right trying to send message to queer community' & other Fri midday news briefs

A friend of mine, Matt Baume breaks down Trump's ridiculous trans ban and does something else which I think is required viewing AND repeating. Beginning at 3:20 of this video, he gives a history lesson of the times the anti-LGBTQ right have attacked out community from marriage equality to HIV/AIDS to claiming that we will harm children. Baume basically says all of these crusades weren't necessarily from ignorance but a deliberate attempt to send a message to us. And he is right on point. 

Transgender Military Ban: The Rise of Anti-LGBT Hate Groups in Trump's White House - Newsweek finally gets with the program and shines a bright light on anti-LGBTQ groups which now have immense power via Trump. Good article (although for ego's sake, I wish the reporter had talked to me. I got a gallon of tea to spill on the Family Research Council and other like minded groups. As they get more powerful, they become more vulnerable to public scrutiny.)

Trump, the 'most pro-LGBT Republican nominee in history,' takes a wrecking ball to LGBTQ rights - Or at least tries. We are at war, brothers and sisters. Not open warfare yet. Never in a situation of violence. This war is about position and we will not lose. 

Court: Violence law unfair to gay South Carolina couples - Meanwhile, we won a huge victory down here in South Carolina. 

13 Kids, 2 Dads - Reminder. No matter how they try, they cannot defeat us, push us back into the closet, nor keep us from living our lives based upon OUR terms.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Family Research Council deluding itself, spinning lies about Trump's disastrous ban

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins

This afternoon featured more incompetence from Donald Trump and chaos over his tweeted ban of transgender men and women serving in the military.

And one fact came into focus. It was something we all suspected and now it is official. When Trump tweeted that he consulted with generals and military experts before the ban, he was lying through his teeth.

You don't have to believe my word.

According to CNN:

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, including chairman General Joseph Dunford, were not aware President Donald Trump planned to tweet a ban on transgender service members, three US defense officials told CNN -- the latest indication that top military leaders across all four service branches were blindsided by the President's announcement. For now, Dunford has informed service members that there will be "no modifications to the current policy until the President's direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines." "In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect," Dunford wrote in a memo to the military that was obtained by CNN. "As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions."

You read that last part right. For now, there will be no ban.

Politico reiterated this point:

Dunford's message was seconded later in the day by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' chief spokeswoman. "The Department of Defense is awaiting formal guidance from the White House as a follow-up to the commander in chief's announcement on military service by transgender personnel," Dana White said. "We will provide detailed guidance to the department in the near future for how this policy change will be implemented. "ThedDepartment will continue to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes, while ensuring all service members are treated with respect," she added. The Pentagon's position underscored how the military, like legal experts, does not consider the president's social media pronouncements policy.

That's the real world. In the fake world created by the religious right, groups like the Family Research Council continue to make Trump look like the second coming of John Wayne while omitting his incredible incompetence.

News Brief Special - Transgender troop ban shaping up to be another monumental disaster for Trump

James Corden Rips Donald Trump’s Trans Military Ban In The Most Musical Way - See above

Joint Chiefs: No change in transgender policy until Trump sends Pentagon direction - In other words, no ban as of yet. Why? Because you DO NOT make Armed Force policy through a tweet!!!! Proving yet again, as Anderson Cooper did yesterday in a must see video, Trump lied about consulting with generals before making that awful policy.

OnPolitics Today: Trump's Mar-a-Lago trips cost more than trans soldiers' health care - Speaking of another distortion Trump made in his tweet regarding costs . . . 

  Watch a transgender former Navy SEAL explain the disruption Trump's military ban on trans service members will have on the military - Damn right. 

American Medical Association Says Military Trans Ban Isn’t ‘Medically Valid’ - PREACH!!!!!!!

Transgender Airman Defies Trump: ‘Try To Kick Me Out Of My Military’ - Two snaps up! 

The Daily 202: Growing GOP backlash to transgender troop ban underscores Trump’s political miscalculation - Yep! Even the GOP is pissed. 

Trump's trans military ban eschews years of research in favor of junk science from a hate group - Dear sadity, blase, snobby, cliquey Beltway media journalists, the Family Research Council is a hate group because of crap like this. So what if the group doesn't outright call for the deaths of the LGBTQ community. Their lies and distortions undermine our lives and create chaos such as this. 

Editor's note - My eyes and ears are open about other issues and problems, such as Trumpcare and the situation regarding the Texas legislature and its attack on the trans community. However, I feel that Trump's attack on our trans men and women in the military is right now the singular shining example of all of the lies, distortions, and scurrilous behind-the-scenes maneuvering which got him elected and is now creating monsters we are having to fight. It is also a perfect example of the astounding incompetence of the fool who is now situated in the White House.

 Stay awake about EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anderson Cooper proves Trump's ban on trans people serving in the military was built on lies

Everyone needs to see this video of Anderson Cooper taking down Trump's reasoning for banning transgender men and women from serving in the military. It's accurate, succinct, and proves that Trump basically told a bunch of lies Watch it. Retweet it. Share it. Cooper breaks everything we need to know and talk about in less than five minutes.

Anti-LGBTQ talking head wants gays to be next group kicked out of the military

According to Right Wing Watch, members of anti-LGBTQ and religious right groups are practically giddy with happiness over Trump's decision to kick transgender soldiers out of the United States Armed Forces.

Matt Barber
If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read the link. To me, however, one comment stood out. It was from Matt Barber, a spokesman for the anti-LGBTQ hate group Liberty Counsel and editor of an online crapfest called BarbWire:

Next step? Prohibit all open sexual deviancy in the ranks of the armed services. The military is no place for extremist San Francisco-style socio-political activism. Such social engineering destroys national security, troop morale and unit cohesion. It also violates natural law, settled science, and God's moral law. President Trump did the right thing today by prohibiting those suffering from the gender dysphoria mental disorder. Individuals with other mental disorders and even flat feet cannot serve in the military. It's a privilege not a right.

For those asking, yes Barber means eliminating gays from the military. Barber has a long,ugly history of demonizing the LGBTQ community in some of the worst ways possible, including:

telling other religious right activists that they must talk in all sorts of awful terms about gay sex, claiming that the "ick" factor of it is the "Achilles heel" of the LGBTQ equality movement.

sending out the following disgusting tweet during Obama's 2011 State of the Union address:

and sending out this equally hideous tweet protesting the inclusion of gays in the Boy Scouts:

I've learned not to discount the audacity of the anti-LGBTQ right so I say with all seriousness that I have no doubt that some of them are dreaming about eliminating gays from the military.

But even if Barber's desire is only a pipe dream, the fact that Trump empowers homophobes like him remains. That in itself is a danger to the LGBTQ community in every realm of American life.

News brief special - Trump sloppily bans transgender community from serving in the military

So much for Trump being the LGBTQ community's friend

The dumbass struck again.

In a tweet this morning, Trump banned transgender men and women from serving in the military in any capacity in spite of the fact that many are already serving. The religious right is ecstatic, a large majority of us are pissed (as well we should be) and the Department of Defense was caught off guard by it. I don't expect that they are happy. Mattis may go through the roof.

Here is the story as of now via various news articles and tweets:

Donald Trump Says Transgender People No Longer Allowed To Serve In Military - The skinny.

Trump Administration Official Admits Decision Banning All Transgender Service Members Is Purely Political - Not gonna even try to hide it. 

What does transgender mean? - The people whose service Trump just spit on.

How many members of the military are at risk? A huge number:

According to members of the press, the Pentagon wasn't even consulted, which means Trump may have lied in the tweet when he said he consulted with "his generals." And I wonder just what "experts" he spoke with:

Pentagon Policy on Trump Total Ban of All Transgender Service Members: 'Call the White House'- Yep. This decision was made without input.

GOP lawmaker on Trump transgender military ban: No one should be prohibited from serving - It's not just Democrats not happy with this.

Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Another Check On The Religious Right’s Policy Wish List - And they are practically pissing on themselves with happiness.

Various religious right comments from an article I REFUSE to link to:

"It's about time common sense comes to the Pentagon. The president obviously has been consulting with the top leaders in the Pentagon, who are grounded in common sense, and they made recommendations to end it. So the president [has decided to] not go down that path that the Obama administration paved regarding political correctness." - Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis (USA-Ret.) Senior fellow for national security Family Research Council 
 "[There likely will be legal challenges, but you can examine] Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the First Amendment – there are no federal government protections for people based upon their sexual inclinations [toward] the same sex or because they are sexually confused and struggle with a mental disorder wherein they believe they are the opposite sex."  - J. Matt Barber, attorney Founder, 
 "Pleased to hear that @realDonaldTrump shares my readiness and cost concerns, & will be changing this costly and damaging policy #readiness." - Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Missouri) (author of defeated amendment to NDAA that would have ended military funding for sex-change operations for active duty service members) 
 "AFA applauds President Trump for his courageous decision to end the usage of our military for social engineering and political correctness. American families deserve a military that is focused solely on readiness and national defense." - Tim Wildmon, president American Family Association

 "The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda ... The last thing we should be doing is diverting billions of dollars from mission-critical training to something as controversial as gender reassignment surgery. However, the cost to readiness, recruitment, retention, morale and cohesion would have been even greater under the Obama policy." - Tony Perkins, president Family Research Council

Before Trump banned transgender people from serving in military, here's who praised him as pro-LGBTQ - I hate to be "that guy," but those who made this claim deserve all of the crow shoved down their throats.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson hosts group that claim gay men 'sexualize' feces

Tucker Carlson
According to Media Matters, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson hosted the head of a fake medical group (and an SPLC-designated hate group) on his show to spin lies about the transgender community:

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson hosted Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), on his show to attack transgender children, their parents, and their doctors. During the appearance, Cretella spread anti-transgender junk science and said transgender children are “engag[ing] in magical thinking” and that treating them is “child abuse.” ACPeds is a small, deceptively named hate group, with only a few hundred members, meant to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) -- a 60,000-member group comprising “leaders in the professional field.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), ACPeds hides “under the veneer of its professional-sounding name and claims” in order to “defame and discredit LGBT people, often by distorting legitimate research.” ACPeds began when a “small group of anti-LGBT physicians and other healthcare professionals broke away” from AAP after it began supporting the right of same-sex couples to adopt and foster-parent children. ACPeds has been relentless in its claim that it’s dangerous for children to identify as LGBTQ; its blog has suggested that “P for pedophile” should be a part of the LGBT acronym, and the ACPeds president sent a letter to more than 14,000 school district superintendents advocating for conversion therapy and outlining the so-called “health risks” of “claim[ing] a ‘gay’ identity.” Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that has been “rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades.”

Needless to say,  I was not happy when I heard this. A long time ago, I said that the Fox News Network was especially dangerous to the LGBTQ community because sooner or later, it would allow phony medical groups to repeat homophobic junk science unchallenged. And now we are seeing it come to pass. No doubt some folks will complain and if the complaints become numerous, Carlson will play the "We are merely having a debate. What's wrong with debating the issues" card. 

Fair enough. Let's have that debate. And let the subject of the debate be the history of ACPeds because I've written in the past about this group's efforts to shove homophobic lies into the realm of legitimate science.

In a 2010 Huffington Post article, I wrote about how the organization peddled to school districts nationwide  a webpage entitled Facts About Youth  . ACPeds portrayed Facts About Youth as a way to help youth by combating the so-called "politically correct" view of science which serves to "affirm unhealthy lifestyles as normal behavior."

That's merely a fancy way of saying ACPeds is about to hit you with all sorts of homophobic nonsense like the following:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes.

The above statement is still on the webpage.

It gets more interesting. I pointed out at least six major errors in ACPeds' Facts About Youth webpage, including:

1. Facts About Youth repeats the lie that a Canadian study proves that gay men have a short life span, even though in 2001, the researchers of the study said their work was being distorted.  
2.  Facts About Youth repeats the lie that the Robert Spitzer study proves homosexuality to be changeable, excluding the fact that Spitzer has said on more than one occasion that his research was being distorted.  
 3. Facts About Youth repeats the claim that Dr. Francis Collins stated that homosexuality is not hardwired by DNA. The truth is Francis Collins never said this. In fact, Dr. Collins said his words were being distorted.

And sadly, none of these errors have been corrected.

I doubt Carlson will have the journalistic integrity to have an actual debate regarding ACPeds and I'm sure that Fox News will be interviewing other representatives from phony medical and anti-LGBTQ groups in general.

So I guess this post is to serve notice. Every time Fox News attempts to give these homophobes any authenticity, there will be a push back of facts. Facts never stay buried.

'Trump's anti-LGBTQ 'evangelical team' running interference against Russian investigation' & other Tue midday news briefs

Robert Jeffress (top picture) and Jerry Falwell, Jr. (bottom) - members of Trump's 'evangelical team.'

Trump’s Evangelical Team Defends Kushner Against Russian ‘Nonsense’ - The white evangelical sell-out of America is complete. I guess God smiles on possible unscrupulous actions to win an election when you are trying to save a country from "evil liberals" and the "oversexed homosexual agenda." Check the list in the link. Many of these folks on Trump's evangelical team' have spoken out against the LGBTQ community. I personally think they should have stayed out and let the investigation play out. Instead they chose to interject so as to sway people against it.

Gay Basher Now Claims Self-Defense in Horrific Philadelphia Hate Crime Case - Girlfriend, you might as well just stop. 

89-Year-Old Man Tearfully Recalls Impact UK’s Anti-Gay Laws Have Had on His Life: VIDEO - Our history must always be told. All of it. 

Catholic Parents’ Story Reveals the Love, Struggles of Having Transgender Child - Wonderful post!

 Rose McGowan's new short film, Ruth, tells the story of Ruth Coker Burks, an Arkansas woman who cared for hundreds of dying gay men. - I love this!

Monday, July 24, 2017

SPLC puts the Alliance Defending Freedom's long history of anti-LGBTQ bigotry on public blast

This book helps SPLC make the case against The Alliance Defending Freedom

SPLC "pulled out the receipts" on The Alliance Defending Freedom

Media Matters just published an article detailing how religious right and other groups are targeting the Southern Poverty Law Center in a below-the-board, but coordinate campaign.

The organizations, such as the Family Research Council, are angered that SPLC designated them as hate groups. This latest attack on SPLC was precipitated when the group called out the Alliance Defending Freedom, another religious right group, for its efforts to stamp out LGBTQ equality, including supporting the criminalization of homosexuality in several countries.

'I get some of the 'loveliest' threats' & other Mon midday news briefs

Editor's note - From time to time, I get "lovely" messages:

 . . .you are distorting and even justify it by claiming they hide homophobic behavior, that is itself a distortion and a spin. You should clean up your own house and look at your own bigoted nature. In fact not only do I now have your IP address I will be posting your name and address as a militarized homosexual bigot who is full of hate towards a religious people he follow the teachings that tell them homosexuality is an abomination and do not take part in it, yet you demand they put their religious convictions aside to appease you. I'm not really posting your name and address although that is what has been done by the ADL and ilk, shameful.

Nice to see someone "appreciates" my work.

Hate groups hide years of extremism behind baseless "fake news" accusations - Speaking of which, Media Matters cites my work in calling out anti-LGBTQ hate groups. 

Chris Christie signs two pro-transgender bills into law - When people aren't looking, Christie can be a rather nice guy. 

Five Things That Can Help Us All Better Understand Transgender Childhood - Yes! Yes! A million times, yes! 

Bryan Fischer: Opposition To LGBTQ Rights Is A Test Of Who Can Govern When Jesus Returns - Oh Bryan, I have missed you, you homophobic shit. 

 Moonlight and Magic: Where is the Black LGBTQ representation in media and Hollywood? - Preach!!!

Trump has the religious right & white evangelicals in his hip pocket

Don't expect the religious right and white evangelicals to step up as Trump's "moral conscience" as we all get immersed in his scandals. They are too busy trying to reap the benefits of kissing his behind.

From Newsweek:

"(The Trump Administration) not only on our speed dial, we’re on their speed dial. In my opinion, it’s good for America,” says (Christian businessman Johnnie) Moore.  
Evangelical Christians have unprecedented access to President Donald Trump’s White House and are “on speed dial” with the administration, according to an activist who prayed over the president in the Oval Office. The evangelical community overwhelmingly backed the Republican in November’s election, and Trump has been quick to repay it. The president has signed an executive order on religious liberty and cut funding to abortion providers overseas. Now, it appears that the president is rewarding one of his most important support bases with a hotline to the White House and some of the most senior officials in the administration. . 
. .This support has continued throughout Trump’s first six months in office, according to Paul Djupe, an associate professor at Denison University who specializes in religion and politics. Djupe says he has collected data in recent months that shows that aside from traditional hot-button issues for evangelicals like abortion and religious liberty, the community has backed Trump through the scandals his administration has weathered. For example, evangelicals mostly supported Trump’s decision to fire ex-FBI director James Comey and do not believe that the multiple investigations into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia will uncover any wrongdoing, says Djupe. “Evangelicals, really, from the beginning of Trump’s campaign, have been working in symbiosis with the administration. They clearly have their own interests but they are all aboard the Trump train,” says Djupe.

Friday, July 21, 2017

'Couple suing Kim Davis awarded over $200,000' & other Fri midday news briefs

Kim Davis (before losing $200,000 in a court case.)

Judge awards couples who sued Kim Davis more than $200,000 in fees - GOOD! Maybe Mike Huckabee and all of those other folks cheering Davis will chip in the coins.

Taxpayers will pay for Kim Davis' stand: Judge orders Rowan County to pay attorneys' fees to same-sex couples who sued clerk - More details. Give it up! Turn it loose! 

LGBT groups and allies hold press conference in rotunda while Senate committee hears anti-trans bills - Big day of drama in Texas. 

Conservatives propose anti-trans ‘bathroom’ initiative in Alaska’s biggest city - Like cooking oatmeal. Always lumps you have to beat down. 

Donald Trump to Nominate Another Anti-LGBTQ Secretary to the Army - Donny didn't learn his lesson from the last time. 

Anti-LGBTQ Group Spokesperson Pulls The ‘Fake News’ Card - I have been driving folks crazy by posting this Huffington Post article twice  as well as tweeting it but trust me when I say that it is necessary. Everyone is paying attention to Trump, etc but some of us are fighting small skirmishes like this one. The anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom has been on a media blitz bashing SPLC for designating them as a hate group. In the midst of it all, the spokesperson for the group claimed that allegations regarding her group's attempts to support the criminalization of gays in foreign countries is fake news. HOWEVER Media Matters has "the receipts" (i.e. the footage, pictures, verbatim speeches) which prove her to be a liar. I caught this and have been trying to make the situation go viral. And thanks to you all, it is amongst the top stories in the Huffington Post Queer Voices section. But please help me more. Read it if you haven't already. Please share it in every way possible. This is US on the offensive instead of the defensive, for a change. And we shouldn't spare the enemies of equality any mercy.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Family Research Council pleads with Jesus about those 'wicked' transgender soldiers protecting its freedoms

A supposedly Christian organization sends out a public prayer to God. What do you think the prayer would be about?

Safety? Peace? Decent healthcare? Protection against the ills of the world:

Those choices would probably be high on the list if one were talking about a legitimate Christian organization. However, since it's the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, the issue de jour is one which the group has been exploiting to spook its supporters and drive up the donations

Transgender men and women in the military:

“Heavenly Father, it is time for you to act, for your law is being broken! This policy must be rejected: it brazenly defies You, God our Creator, and Your fixed, eternal moral laws. We defied your definition of marriage, now we defy the very apex of your created order, mankind created in your own image, male and female. Please forgive us, extend Your mercy to us, and grant us repentance. You who bless nations that obey You, and curse nations that disobey you; You who promise battleground victory to those who obey you, but defeat to all who disobey, have mercy! Grant repentance to President Trump and Secretary Mattis for even considering to keep this wicked policy in place. Grant them understanding, courage, and willpower to stand up to the forces of darkness that gave birth to it and wholly to repeal it. Save our young men and women who are already living under this tyranny. Save our children from the predictable impact of this policy. May Your people not only pray, but rise and use every tool they possess as American citizens to preempt this policy. Please correct the members of Congress who used their votes to enable and fund it. We appeal to You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Some things are so silly, so contradictory and downright bizarre that they render me speechless.

'Lawsuit against congressman claims LGBTQ rainbow flag akin to religious display' & other Thur midday news briefs

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (pictured) is being sued for this pride flag display

Man files suit against Long Beach congressman, claiming gay rights flag amounts to religious display - I wish this was a joke. Some homophobic grandstanding thunderhead (he has filed other lawsuits) is suing three members of Congress for displaying the rainbow pride flags outside their offices. He claims that the flags amount to religious displays. Somehow, I think the religious right will be avoiding this situation for a number of reasons. Just take your pick.

FRC Is Outraged That Obama ‘Refuses To Sit On The Sidelines’ - Hate groups gotta raise those "coins."

Anti-LGBTQ group spokesperson pulls the ‘fake news’ card - My recent post condensed and in The Huffington Post. Please show your love by liking and/or retreating.One of the reasons why anti-LGBTQ hate groups get away with what they do is because people are too blase about them. That's why their spokespeople have no problem with telling bad lies in a public forum. They feel that it will go unnoticed. 

UNAIDS Report Reveals Continued Progress in Global HIV Fight - Good news, mostly. But there is still more work to do. 

HBCU leaders focus on LGBT inclusion during summit with advocacy group - Wonderful news!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Racist webpage joins Family Research Council's effort to smear SPLC

'White nationalist', i.e. racist website VDARE is joining FRC's anti-SPLC smear

The Family Research Council and other organizations attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating them as hate groups just got some assistance in their quest.

But I doubt it's the kind of help they want or need.

 According to Media Matters:, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has described as a “white nationalist” and “anti-immigration hate website,” has joined other hate groups in an official smear campaign against SPLC launched by anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council (FRC). 
FRC and other organizations that SPLC has labeled hate groups launched a campaign on July 17 accusing SPLC of “fueling hate, killing free speech and even encouraging terrorist-style attacks on those it doesn’t agree with,” as the Washington Examiner described it. The campaign included a “planned Monday tweetstorm” and the suggestion that its supporters use the hashtag “#SPLCexposed.” 
White nationalist hate website VDARE joined FRC’s campaign on July 18, tweeting the #SPLCexposed hashtag alongside an accompanying article from the site that called SPLC the “Southern Poverty Lie … Center” and touted the #SPLCexposed Twitter campaign. The article also attempted to cast doubt on the reasoning behind SPLC’s designation of anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). 
 . . . According to SPLC, VDARE, founded in 1999 by English immigrant Peter Brimelow, is an “anti-immigration hate website” with a “white nationalist ideology” that frequently publishes articles advocating for a white America and filled with anti-Semitic tropes. One article asserted that “America was defined — almost explicitly, sometimes very explicitly — as a white nation, for white people.” Another claimed that Jewish people’s “objective has been control of economic resources and political power.” Yet another article lamented that “whites are doing something no other people have ever done in human history” by welcoming “replacement by aliens” and sacrificing “our interests to those of favored minorities.” 
SPLC noted that the website also posts stories by prominent anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald and that even Brimelow acknowledges that VDARE “hosts ‘white nationalists’” but argues that they merely “aim to defend the interests of American whites”

I guess the adage of "when you lay down with dogs, you end up with fleas" is highly appropriate here. And the fact that I can direct it to both FRC and VDARE is delicious icing on the cake.\

All jokes aside, FRC would do best to publicly distance itself from VDARE. And soon.

After all, what would people think?

'State Dept dodging questions about silence over anti-LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya' & other Wed midday news briefs

Secretary of State Tillerson
State Dept. dodges question about Tillerson’s silence on Chechnya - Secretary of State Tillerson needs to speak out against LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya. No excuses. 

 The Religious Left is getting under right-wing media’s skin - For those who are wondering on the absence of the "religious left" while the religious right bogarts the conversation about culture, values, and morality. Not necessarily an LGBTQ issue per se. But then again, yes it is. 

Salvation Army among New York City drug clinics rejecting transgender people - Okay, I know the Salvation Army does good work with the bell ringers at Christmas, but this here is NOT right. The organization should NOT get a pass for this.

A Texas-Sized Special Session Is Underway Solely To Attack Transgender People - A mean spirited, nasty hot mess. And this nastiness includes attacks on transgender children.

Mormon University Professor Fired After Pro-LGBT Facebook Post - So much for "religious liberty."

Alliance Defending Freedom spokesperson cries 'fake news' while omitting her group's paper trail of homophobia - Just in case you missed my post from last night.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alliance Defending Freedom spokesperson cries 'fake news' while omitting her group's paper trail of homophobia

ADF's Kerri Kupec made a faux pas in defending her group.
Apparently all of the attention focused on the homophobic deeds of the Alliance Defending Freedom and SPLC naming them and other religious right organizations as hate groups has exploded into a huge controversy.

Granted, this controversy is overshadowed by the GOP continuously Keystone Kops-like efforts to repeal Obamacare and the firestorm over Trump's alleged Russia connections during last year's election.

Nevertheless, it is huge ado because now ADF is dragging ABC News into the storm.

From One News Now:

A leading Christian law firm is pushing back against an ABC News story that labels them a "hate group," describing it as "journalistic malpractice." Alliance Defending Freedom invited Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a conference on religious freedom last week. In an apparent attempt to link President Trump's attorney general to some scandal, ABC News – reporting on the AG's participation in the conference – trotted out an accusation that ADF was an "anti-gay hate group." ADF's director of communications, Kerri Kupec, says the phraseology was an old trope made up by the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center.

One News Now's article was a biased, one-sided interview with Kupec whining about how supposedly SPLC is intolerant to ADF's seemingly innocent goals of "protecting religious liberty." Usually, I would be crying foul, but not this time.

Kupec, you see, proceeded to put ADF in a hole with the following claim:

In its report, ABC says ADF (according to SPLC) "specializes in supporting the criminalization of homosexuality abroad." To which, Kupec responds: "I have no idea where that came from. That's fake news, for sure."

So is Kupec saying that her organization doesn't support the criminalizing of homosexuality in foreign countries? Or if we were to parse her words to exact phrasing, is she saying she doesn't know where that idea came from?

If the latter is the case, one wonders if Kupec is lying or has she not checked the history of her employer?

'TX business groups stand against anti-trans 'bathroom bill' & other Tue midday news briefs

Will TX Gov Greg Abbott get his 'bathroom bill' passed? Hopefully not.

Business groups tell Texas lawmakers: Reject ‘bathroom bill’ - Get with the program, Texas. Or face the consequences. I doubt the religious right will be donating funds to bail you out.

How The Religious Right’s Love For ‘Lion Of Christianity’ Putin Is Helping To Shield Trump - Unfortunately, this is another example how religion and tyranny goes hand-in-hand. 

Every LGBTQ Rights Group You’ve Ever Heard Of Opposes Two Of Trump’s Judicial Picks - Hoo boy! And they may get confirmed. Well another mountain to climb, another river to cross. 

How the Congressional Assault on Trans Service Members Was Beaten Back - But, as this item shows, having to climb mountains and cross rivers don't necessarily mean the end result is defeat for equality.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Research Council leads silly hashtag tantrum against SPLC

Today, the Family Research Council and a few other organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center have rightfully deemed as hate groups attacked the organization under the hashtag #SPLCexposed.

I should tell you though that other than small contributions from other like minded groups, the hashtag consisted mostly of FRC sending ridiculous tweets attacking SPLC:

I don't think SPLC even cared to address FRC's tantrum because it stands by its accurate work. I, on the other hand, had to have a little fun with the situation:

'GOP trying to ban existing federal civil rights laws from protecting trans people' & other Mon midday news briefs

GOP Bill Banning Existing Federal Civil Rights Laws From Protecting Transgender People Advances to Subcommittee - Remember my post this morning? One transphobic bill is defeated and some of the same characters pushing out another one. Not impossible to defeat. It's just a matter of keeping your eyes open, your nails sharpened, your twitter finger on the ready, and your mouth running.

Do You Understand Me? Black Gay Men Are More Than What You See on Television - I hope so. We are portrayed as too sweet, too harsh, hardly ever intellectual, and never leaders.

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education - LGBTQ inclusive sex education is a must and I'm glad some folks are beginning to realize it.

 Eliminate Hate Campaign: News outlets that properly label hate groups should never apologize - Damn right.

  Fox News comes to hate group’s defense over ‘hate group’ label - Speaking of which . . . bring it on, bitches!

Sticking together and standing firm are keys to LGBTQ victories in Trump era

The LGBTQ community enjoyed a stunning victory last week when GOP efforts to deny transgender soldiers their necessary medical care lost in a close vote. And like every victory against those who would deny us our right to equality, this particular one demonstrates a path to the LGBTQ community should follow if we want to make such victories the normality instead of the rarity.

Michelangelo Signorile breaks it down in The Huffington Post:

. . . Since the 2016 election, we’ve heard ad nauseum from a subset of Democratic activists, pundits, and strategists that one reason Trump won is because Democrats are too focused on “identity politics,” or what Columbia University professor Mark Lilla, in a New York Times piece, derogatorily called a “fixation on diversity” and “identity drama.” In an op-ed two weeks ago in the Times, headlined, “Back to the Center, Democrats,” Mark Penn and Andrew Stein warned that Democrats had become “mired” in “transgender bathroom issues,” among other things, ignoring white “working class voters” who “feel abandoned.” It’s the same old mantra, which amounts to a call for pandering to bigotry.  
. . . But what happened this week proved, once again, that that kind of thinking isn’t just offensive; it’s bad political strategy. The Democrats stuck together, standing up for what’s right but also for their base ― which is a diverse and large coalition ― and it was the Republicans who went on the run. In the face of the danger of a rollback not just on rights for queer people but for all minorities under attack in the Trump era, this showed that standing firm, energizing activists in the base and resisting ― rather than pandering and caving in ― is the way to win.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sorry, Family Research Council & Alliance Defending Freedom, but you are both hate groups. Own it

The Family Research Council is angry about the controversy with Jeff Sessions and has taken to bashing the Southern Poverty Law Center over the hate group designation it and other religious right groups have been given.  It's all a bunch of tripe, but take a look at this last sentence from FRC's whine fest:

After eight years of an all-out war against men and women of faith -- led in part by Obama’s Justice Department -- the attorney general’s willingness to talk openly about issues like religious freedom is refreshing. As ADF and Trump’s DOJ have made clear: “We all condemn manifestations of true hate.” But believing what the Bible says about marriage, sexuality, and gender isn’t hate -- no matter what SPLC’s apologists say.

No matter how many times SPLC has made it clear that it does not give out "hate group" designations because of religious beliefs, the Family Research Council will continuously claim that this is the reason why it is being called a hate group. That in itself is a lie. Let's go over this again, because I love doing it.

SPLC has said:

 . . .  The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident LGBT rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and "convert" them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging "facts" about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the "bestial" black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.

SPLC has also said:

Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

'GOP ripping necessary medical care away from transgender soldiers' & other Thur midday news briefs


GOP Poised To Strip Medically Necessary Care For Transgender Troops - Seriously, what the hell! This is not the way to treat people fighting for our freedoms. 

 US Rep. Joe Kennedy III slams proposed defense spending bill amendment as 'anti-transgender'- And this is NOT going without a fight 

 A Reminder That Russia Is An Authoritarian State That Terrorizes LGBTQ People - It would seem that a lot of folks are forgetting this lately.

Attorney General Sessions refuses to release transcript of his speech to anti-LGBTQ hate group - Reiterating my post from last night. When the United States Attorney General has a secret meeting with a group behind almost every anti-LGBTQ bill in America and pushing the cause of criminalizing the LGBTQ community worldwide and will NOT release the transcript of his speech to them, we got problems. BIG PROBLEMS.  

Here's What Parental Leave Is Like For LGBT Families - Keep telling these important stories.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Attorney General Sessions refuses to release transcript of his speech to anti-LGBTQ hate group

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

UPDATE - Sessions's speech has been posted and it's not that controversial (for now). Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed breaks it down

From Mediaite:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a much deserved record of both casual racism and outright attacks on civil rights, but his latest actions reveal he’s hardly concerned about his reputation for bigotry. Sessions opted to speak to members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “anti-LGBT hate group” in 2016, at an event closed off to reporters on Tuesday night, and now, Sessions is refusing to release his remarks to the group to the public. ABC News reports that the Department of Justice confirmed that Sessions spoke to the group on Tuesday, but didn’t respond to multiple requests for Sessions’ remarks to the group. Instead, the department released transcripts of Sessions’ remarks from speeches made in Dallas and Las Vegas this week. A spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom told ABC News the group was “working through channels” to release his remarks, but did not specify when they would be released, nor did the group comment on the nature of its relationship with Sessions.

According to SPLC:

Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally. Despite its regular defamation of LGBT people, the group has managed to win special advisory status at the United Nations, in the European Union, and with the Organization of American States.

. . . The ADF has several initiatives that help train conservative Christians. These include a variety of programs designed for young lawyers, including the Young Lawyers Academy, which schools new U.S. attorneys and provides opportunities to “engage the culture and join a network of Christian attorneys around the globe,” and the Areté Academy, which “launches highly accomplished university students and recent graduates on a path to future leadership in law, government, business, and public policy.”

The ADF Academy is a training program that purports to equip participants to “effectively advocate for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” The ADF claims more than 1,800 lawyers have participated. The organization also offers the secretive Blackstone Legal Fellowship, through which Christian law students study under prominent scholars, participate in internships, and prepare for life and leadership in the legal profession. Since 2000 (the year of Blackstone’s inception), the ADF claims it has trained over 1,600 law students from 225 law schools in 21 different countries.

Media Matters pointed out how ADF uses these resources to create a homophobic octopus whose tentacles stretch not only across America, but several foreign countries