Thursday, November 30, 2017

'Christian' organization prays for anti-LGBT discrimination, raised taxes, wrecked healthcare, and religious/political corruption

It's rather sad that the Family Research Council, an organization which claims to be devoted to Christianity, morality, and values, prays to God for the legal right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community while knowing fully well how this could devastate the LGBTQ community, particularly our children:

May God preserve and protect the freedom of Christians and other Americans whose consciences say, "God made marriage between a man and a woman." May He powerfully anoint the briefs and arguments presented to the Court on behalf of Jack Phillips. May He specifically intervene to guide each member of the Supreme Court to uphold religious freedom for every American and to stop the widespread recrimination of LGBT activists against Christians. 

 What the Family Research Council is asking God to give them the ability to do:


But what about the GOP tax plan currently in the Senate, you ask? The one, if passed, would raise taxes on middle class Americans in order to give a tax break to the wealthiest earners? The one which also contains provisions devastating Obamacare, thereby robbing millions of healthcare and repealing the Johnson Amendment, thereby insuring that churches would be traffickers of unethical dark money campaign funds?

FRC  is encouraging its supporters to pray for its passage.  So in essence, this supposed Christian organization is praying to God for the legal right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, including children; for taxes to be raised on middle class Americans; that healthcare be taken away from Americans; and for churches to be able immerse themselves in the corruption of the political system.

And the sad irony is even after this, FRC will be still be thought of and referred to as a Christian organization by members of the mainstream media.

No wonder people are wanting to #EmptyThePews . It's the only way they can keep from getting covered with the stench of hypocrisy.

'Roy Moore blames LGBTQ community for his sexual misconduct allegations' & other Thur midday news briefs

Roy Moore

Roy Moore Just Blamed His Sexual Misconduct Allegations On Lesbians, Gays, And Socialists - You know, should he become a Senator - and I really am hoping that he doesn't - Roy Moore would actually be a benefit to the cause of LGBTQ equality. I'll give him six months before he says something to get his own party exasperated.

In 2008 audio, Roy Moore compares marriage equality to Nazism and pines for sodomy laws - See news brief 1.

Mat Staver: Roy Moore Election About Whether We ‘Have Same-Sex Marriage For The Rest Of Our Lives’ - Those who are thinking that the religious right won't attempt to get the SCOTUS decision on marriage equality overturned, come here and let me slap some sense into you.

South African Court Rules a Gay Couple Can’t Adopt Because One of the Men Is Closeted - I agree with this decision as a condemnation of how homophobia in society makes it difficult for the LGBTQ community to lead normal lives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A 'license to discriminate' shouldn't be excused by false religious arguments

In a few days, the United States Supreme Court will be hearing the case of a Colorado baker who claims that his religious beliefs should allow him not to serve a gay couple. On it's face - and in the hands of the anti-LGBTQ industry - it is a simple case about a baker supposedly having the right to choose his customers.

But it's so much more:

The bakery’s claims are constitutional ones (free speech, freedom of religion), meaning if they win, they will gain a constitutional right to discriminate that can’t be undone with a legislative fix.
A win for the bakery could extend to any kind of business with a creative or custom element—hair salons, restaurants, florists, uber drivers, school counsellors, etc. So it won’t just be that refrain we sometimes hear about “why don’t they go to another bakery?” it will be that throughout people’s lives, they will have to live in fear of discrimination and humiliation, across a whole range of circumstances, and we won’t be able to pass laws to stop it because this will be legal even when nondiscrimination laws are in place. 
A win for the bakery could allow for discrimination against many types of people, not just LGBT people but people of color, religious minorities, women, etc. Many assume that existing legal protections against racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination won’t or can’t change. But think about the fact that we are in a country considering a wall, a Muslim ban, where the Supreme Court gutted part of the Voting Rights Act, where white supremacists kill protestors and the protestors are blamed, etc. Once we start chipping away at the foundations of nondiscrimination laws, we are in danger. If a bakery can refuse a gay couple, what’s to stop a florist refusing service to an interracial couple celebrating a wedding anniversary? 
We know people support freedom of religion, so that makes them conflicted. But that freedom doesn’t give any of us the right to impose our religious views on others, to harm people, or to discriminate. The bakery owner is still free to believe what he believes and go to the church he goes to. 
. . . if the bakery loses, this does NOT mean a Jewish bakery would need to make a swastika cake (or similar examples). Businesses can decide WHAT to sell (wedding cakes but not swastika cakes) but once they sell something (e.g., wedding cakes) they can’t refuse to serve certain kinds of customers in violation of nondiscrimination laws.

In the context of a nation rocked by racial discrimination at levels unseen in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 5th in a case that could gut not only state nondiscrimination laws but also erode the Civil Rights Act—and turn back the clock to a time when businesses could tell people, “we don’t serve your kind here.”

In response, a broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), civil rights, racial justice and allied organizations have launched Open to All, a national campaign to focus attention on the far-reaching, dangerous risks of the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.

'Hate group working to rig the federal court against the LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

'In the name of God,' the Alliance Defending Freedom is attempting to create a federal court with an anti-LGBTQ bias.

The Christian Legal Army Behind ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ - By far the scariest article about the anti-LGBTQ industry I've ever read. While we are busy mocking the 'Fred Phelps' gang or laughing at people like 'Porno' Pete LaBarbera, a hate group of lawyers have quietly trying to rig our court system against the LGBTQ community by instilling themselves in state attorney general offices and becoming federal justices. And with the Trump, they just got a shot in the arm. The Alliance Defending Freedom is truly the most dangerous group we ever faced because the effects of its acts is like a nuclear cloud - highly destructive and lingering for decades. These are some points you need to remember:  
 Trump's solicitor general "one of its allied attorneys in an establishment-clause case that Francisco helped ADF litigate in 2016"-- a fact he neglected to list on the Senate questionnaire he filled out for his confirmation hearing.   
 "At the state level, at least 18 ADF-affiliated lawyers now work in 10 attorney-general offices; all of them were appointed or elected in the past five years." "in just one year, 
Trump has nominated at least four federal judges who have ties to ADF—Amy Coney Barrett, recently confirmed to the Seventh Circuit; Kyle Duncan, nominated to the Fifth Circuit; and Jeff Mateer and Michael Joseph Juneau, both nominated to district courts."

The Movement To Remake ‘Religious Liberty’ Is Taking The Courts - Speaking of which, one of the hearings is today.

At rally against Roy Moore, fears about future of LGBT rights - Moore possibly being the US Senator from Alabama was always a huge reality. However while his side will celebrate should he win, we should be planning. His unearned Christian image has been knocked down a peg and the LGBTQ can attach his "fall from grace" as an albatross around his neck.

Australian Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill In Historic Vote - THIS happened in Australia and the chance of the bill becoming law looks very good right now.

Trump saying 'Merry Christmas' does not make him a better president than Obama - Reposting my piece from last night cause some Trump lovers have been trying - but not succeeding - in giving me grief over it. It just shows how the anti-LGBTQ industry will abandon their values to kiss the behind of a known liar if he can give them a little power.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trump saying 'Merry Christmas' does not make him a better president than Obama

Trump is a disaster of an embarrassment of a president. But one thing about him I will consider a positive is how the religious right and anti-LGBTQ industry have no compunctions about publicly humiliating themselves to figuratively kiss his feet.

A perfect example is the following from anti-LGBTQ hate group and faux Christian group the Family Research Council:

There've been a lot of wise men in the White House. But this Christmas, there are three more in the East Room, where the Trumps are highlighting a larger-than-life nativity scene. That's just one of the ways the First Family is separating itself from the Obamas, who came dangerously close to ditching the 50-year-old display in 2009. There wasn't room for Jesus at the inn -- and for eight years, there wasn't much room for him at 1600 Pennsylvania either. 
The Obamas famously wanted a "non-religious Christmas" (which makes about as much sense as a vegetarian barbeque). But they were outed by their social secretary, Desiree Rogers in an eye-opening profile piece for the New York Times. "The lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display -- a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood. (A White House official confirmed that there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.) 
Ultimately, the Obamas caved to pressure and included the nativity in its décor. For two terms, that was the extent of Christmas in the White House. There were no mentions of Christmas on official cards -- and only a smattering of references in eight years of greetings and special events. After eight years of making political correctness a state religion, it's really no wonder Americans flocked to a man who isn't afraid to call the season what it is. 
"You go to stores, you don't see the word Christmas," Donald Trump argued on the campaign trail. "It says 'happy holidays' all over. I say, 'Where's Christmas? I tell my wife, 'Don't go to those stores'... I want to see Christmas." Thanks to the president and First Lady, Americans are seeing Christmas. The White House is alive with tradition, from the "Merry Christmas" on the White House card to its official hashtag #WHChristmas. To the Trumps, it's just another way of keeping their promise. 
"Something I said so much during the last two years, but I'll say it again, as we approach the end of the year, you know we're getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don't talk about anymore," the president said at last month's Values Voter Summit. "They don't use the word Christmas because it's not politically correct. You go to department stores, and they'll say 'Happy New Year,' and they'll say other things. It'll be red. They'll have it painted. Well, guess what? We're saying Merry Christmas again."
The crowd erupted in cheers -- completely baffling the media. Like most liberals, they couldn't understand why the issue resonated so much with conservatives. Other reporters almost mocked the line, latching on to it as another silly soundbite on an issue they consider so trivial. But to every Christian in that room, the president was talking about a lot more than the war on Christmas. He was speaking directly into the fight for religious liberty in America. 
Maybe the mainstream media didn't notice how stifled Christians were under Barack Obama's government -- how everything they said or wore or posted was scrutinized (or worse, punished). After two terms of the most hostile administration to faith the country has ever seen, I guarantee no one takes the simplest expression -- "Merry Christmas" -- for granted. To the people who elected Donald Trump, this isn't just about putting Christ in a day. It's about putting faith back in American life.

First of all, let me make a quick sidebar here. I for one, am so sick of people like Tony Perkins bogarting the word "Christian" as if God gave them the patent to it. If you asked another group of Christians, say African-American Southern Baptists, about feeling stifled under Obama, they would have a totally different reaction.

But back to the subject at hand -  Perkins isn't the only conservative celebrating over this nonsense, but it is the height of shallowness that he refers to a 2009 article spotlighting former Obama social secretary Desiree Rogers (and probably truncated by his group) to attack the former president.

It is even more shallow, more ridiculous, and just downright sad that Perkins seems to be implying that Trump is a better president than Obama because his Christmas decorations include a Nativity scene or that he makes it a point to say "Merry Christmas."

'GOP hoping anti-LGBTQ religious right will help lobby for awful tax bill in exchange for political power' & other Tue midday news briefs

The GOP is hoping that 'religious leaders' such as Tony Perkins of FRC will help get tax bill passed. 

Senate Republicans Will Give Christian Right an Easy Victory in Exchange for Tax-Bill Lobbying - If you see organizations like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association and people like Franklin Graham lobbying for the GOP tax bill or urging their followers to do so, it's not because they think it will benefit Americans. It is because the tax bill will give these so-called religious entities more power in endorsing candidates and funneling campaign donations through churches. They don't give a rip about how damaging this bill would be for the country.

The GOP’s effort to let churches endorse candidates is deeply unpopular - And even though the idea of churches becoming more politically powerful (while most likely keeping their tax-exempt status) is unpopular, it won't stop these folks. It was never about morality or values. It was always about power and the forcing of their views on the country because of their sense of entitlement. 

 And if you think this won't cause havoc for the LGBTQ community, think again. 

The Ultimate LGBT Glossary: all your questions answered - It includes the phrase "baby gay," but not "pocket gay." I like "pocket gay." 

$100 million for gay purge victims as PM apologizes for LGBTQ discrimination - Canada is making amends to military members and federal employees whose careers were destroyed because of a "gay purge." 

The Senate Just Voted Down All The Conservative Amendments To The Same-Sex Marriage Bill - WOW! Go Australia!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Federal judge- military must move forward with plans to allow trans recruits

Transgender men and women who want to fight valiantly for our freedoms shouldn't have to go through all of this mess. And if it weren't for a certain incompetent, mistake of an obtuse-minded, error of space residing in the White House right now, they wouldn't be.

Hopefully this obnoxious journey will end soon.

From Buzzfeed:

A federal judge ruled on Monday that the military must move forward with plans for allowing transgender military recruits starting on Jan. 1, 2018. The ruling clarifies an earlier injunction against President Trump's memorandum halting Obama-era policies allowing for transgender service — the first of two injunctions against Trump's order. The Trump administration already has said it is appealing the injunction from US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in DC, which was issued in October.

Check back at Buzzfeed for more details as this is a developing story.

'GOP tax package has potential to give evangelical, anti-LGBTQ right more political power' & other Mon midday news briefs

The GOP tax package contains an insidious provision that would ruin the separation of church and state - Imagine anti-LGBTQ pastors such as Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress having the power to mobilize their followers by actively endorsing candidates with tweets and on their Facebook pages. Imagine their churches - and other right-wing churches - becoming become bastions of dark money by entities like the Kochs and Mercers. It would be legal in the House version of the GOP tax package. Besides other disasters the tax package has for the American public, it also includes a provision which would make such things as I've described as legal. And don't even count on the followers of people like Franklin and Jeffress to show any disagreement. As we have seen in the case of Roy Moore, they are sheep willing to follow these leaders over a cliff.

The many ways Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting against transgender student equality - Naturally groups like this one are for that tax package. It would tremendously help them in their war against out LGBTQ kids. This brief is spooky because someone actually sat down and thought up these methods to harm trans children. Ignoring them or simply calling them bigoted on Facbook isn't enough here. 

Chechnya's Leader Says He's Ready to Resign - What's the matter? Too many LGBTQs in Chechnya for you to persecute? 

Successful Aging Among LGBT Older Adults: Physical and Mental Health-Related Quality of Life by Age Group - Wonderful common sense study which talks about the importance of social networks.

Australian conservatives hope to corrupt marriage equality with ‘religious freedom’ exceptions - Ah yes. We are so familiar with this.

How to hide anti-LGBTQ discrimination in 'religious freedom'

I run with this video accompanied with a serious lecture to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters. On December 5, the Supreme Court will be hearing a case which could potentially codify anti-LGBTQ discrimination as lie. The anti-LGBTQ industry has disguised this mess as "religious liberty" and subsequently has also filled the airwaves, news media, and youtube with videos and the like making it seem that they are merely "protecting Christians."

In reality, "religious liberty" is a code word for homophobic discrimination.  Our side hasn't been so eager to seize the narrative. The most I could find which is remotely on the level to what the other side has been doing is this video from two years ago. It speaks wonderfully, but is rather dated.

I'm hoping that the Supreme Court will not rule for LGBTQ discrimination.  But should they, I intend to join the community in anger and fighting against it. However, forgive me for rolling my eyes every now and then at yet another time we aren't weren't proactive and have to catch up on just how potentially dangerous things happening around us are:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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

FRC head Tony Perkins

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

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

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

Perkins and FRC have refused to comment on the situation.

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

Huge hat tip to Joe Jervis

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

Why so quiet, Tony Perkins?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Roy Moore supporter tries to move conversation away from underage girls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something a little different for this morning.

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

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

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

Definitely something worth thinking about.

Friday, November 17, 2017

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

Franklin Graham is a cyst on Christianity.

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

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

All without any shred of humility or shame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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

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

It went as well as one would expect:.

From Right Wing Watch:

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

It got even more interesting as the video above shows:

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

Then, believe or not, it got crazier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

'Star Trek' franchise features its first gay kiss

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

 From The Huffington Post:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or is it really ironic at all? 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Family Research Council spins resentment & racism as positives after election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Danica Roem becomes VA's first transgender state legislator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 06, 2017

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

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

From Right Wing Watch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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