Friday, March 30, 2018

'Big questions remain about Trump's trans ban. Who gave the recommendations?' & other Fri midday news briefs

No one will say who gave the recommendations for Donald Trump's recent transgender military ban.

Pentagon says White House helped draft transgender military ban, contradicting White House’s claim - The questions linger and I hope they don't stop. We could be looking at something potentially big here.

Pentagon refuses to clarify unknowns in transgender ban - More on the situation. 

Real Visibility Is Transgender People Living Openly And Authentically - AMEN! 

Mike Pence says he's 'proud' that his hometown is hosting its first Pride - Yeah. Right.

LGBTQ Americans Won't Be Counted in 2020 U.S. Census After All - Positives and negatives about this. Either way, I am very wary of the situation.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Watch It - Prince steals the show at the 1985 Grammy awards.

I'm putting this post out for two reasons:

It's Prince, which in itself is reason enough. And we are nearing the second anniversary of his death. A lot of us still miss him because he was frankly talented as hell, as this video shows.

The 1985 Grammy Awards show came a year after Michael Jackson's legendary sweep and in contrast to that show, the competition was heavy. Especially for Album of the Year.

Cyndi Lauper, the winner of Best New Artist, was at the start her career, with She's So Unusual. Bruce Springsteen - who only received one award that night - had cemented his legendary status and hype with Born in the USA. Tina Turner - who turned out to be the big story of the awards - won three, thereby completing what was called the greatest comeback in music history with Private Dancer. And there was Prince, who has come into his own with the monumental album and movie Purple Rain. He also won three that night.

Unfortunately the winner of Album of the Year turned out to be Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down, which had to be seen as an upset. It was one of two Grammys  he won that evening.

Still, the best performance of the night had to belong to Prince, performing "Baby I'm A Star" with his band at the time, the Revolution, Sheila E,  and members of the audience joining in (was that Grace Jones on stage?)

I'd kill to have that outfit he wore. I'd even wear it to church.

Trump Administration's cozy relationship with anti-LGBT hate groups is being ignored . . . and that's not good

If the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins had said these lies about any other group of Americans, neither he nor his group would have hardly any influence in the Trump Administration

Editor's note - Just one news brief today because it's an important one:

The trans military ban is yet another example of the White House's cozy relationships with anti-LGBTQ hate groups - Trump's attempt to ban transgender troops is only part of the story about his cozy relationship with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, and other anti-LGBTQ hate groups who are attempting to undermine LGBTQ safety and equality:

 After consulting with ADF, Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions released religious exemptions guidance making it easier for individuals and businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. 
 The Justice Department issued an unusual brief on behalf of ADF’s client in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court court case.
 ADF is reportedly in “negotiations” with the Trump administration to undo protections for incarcerated transgender people. 
 Perkins has bragged about how many times he has visited the White House. 
 Trump is nominating attorneys with ties to ADF for federal judgeships. 
 Former ADF legal counsel Matt Bowman works in the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), which has been employing more right-wing religious activists and has started a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division that makes it easier for health care providers to deny services to LGBTQ people, among others.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dear Family Research Council, repetition does not turn a lie into truth

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council can't make their lies into truth no matter how many times they repeat them.

An annoying, but enduring tactic of anti-LGBTQ groups is to repeat a lie consistently no matter how many times it has been refuted.

A good example of this is yet another Washington Update by the Family Research Council praising Trump for his latest attempt to ban transgender men and women from serving in the military.

I will spare you the nauseating entirety of the kiss-up because I wanted to point to the follow excerpt:

For this White House, rolling back Obama-era extremism is nothing new. President Trump has been doing it for the better part of 14 months. But doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing, and the media is doing its best to make the administration's reversal of the Pentagon's transgender policy sting. Lucky for us, Donald Trump isn't bothered. With the military on the brink, staring down a $3.7 billion price tag for service members' sex changes, President Trump decided it was time for a return to common sense. And plenty of Americans are lining up to thank him.

That $3.7 billion price tag comes from FRC itself. Supposedly, the organization claims that it reached this amount by using "pro-LGBT" resources.

With all due respect to FRC, it doesn't exactly have a history which lends to affirming its credibility when it comes to using data. In the past, the group has cherry-picked information from pro-LGBTQ sources and legitimate science or relied on junk science  to reach false (and negative) conclusions about the LGBTQ community.  Remember that FRC's lies are so numerous that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated it as a hate group.

I'm old school about this sort of thing. If a person or group has demonstrated a propensity to lie about a certain issue, I'm generally not going to believe any future claims they have about said issue.

In reality, the Pentagon commissioned a study about this subject in 2016. According to Fortune magazine:

The study, conducted by the Rand Corporation, estimated that there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender individuals on active duty in a force of 1.3 million people. The cost of providing those individuals with specialized health care, including possible surgeries, would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year. Total military health-care expenditures were $6.27 billion in 2014.

In all fairness, Fortune magazine also points out that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis criticized the RAND study, claiming that it “heavily caveated data to support its conclusions, glossed over the impacts of health care costs, readiness, and unit cohesion, and erroneously relied on the selective experiences of foreign militaries with different operational requirements than our own.”   

But in July of last year, Reason magazine pointed out another study which, while not coming to the exact numerical figures as the RAND study, backed up the belief that the cost of allowing transgender troops to serve is nowhere remotely near $3.7 billion:

A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2015 found slightly less than 13,000 transgender service members and transition-related care amounted to between $4.2 million and $5.6 million per year. The military's annual health-care budget is around $48 billion a year. Those numbers are small enough on their own, but they shrink even more when put into context of other medical expenditures. For instance, the Pentagon spends about $42 million a year on the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra and another $23 million on Cialis. According to one estimate, the Navy spends $115 million a year simply to transfer pregnant women from active duty back to land.

So who should you believe? Two groups with pretty much no credibility issues about this subject or a faux Christian organization which is infamous for lying about and denigrating the LGBTQ community to the point of being designated as a hate group?

In a reasonable society, this wouldn't have been a question anyone would have to ask.

'Should 'ex-gay' therapy be considered a religious liberty of churches?' & other Wed midday news briefs

Bethel comes out against LGBT bills pending in state Legislature - A church in California is sounding the alarm against pro-LGBTQ legislation, especially a bill which cracks down on fraudulent ex-gay therapy. Mark my words. Claiming that churches have a religious right to push ex-gay therapy (no matter how fraudulent it is) has potential to be the next "religious liberty" argument. To me, saying that a church should be allowed to push "ex-gay" therapy on the basis of religion is like saying churches can prevent people from being treated for ailments on the basis of religion. Both are wrong.

Trump’s transgender military ban prompts mental health experts to clarify the science - More nails in the coffin of Trump's ban on transgender troops? I'm all for it. 

LGBTQ Org GetEQUAL to Close Amid Financial Troubles and Storm Over High-Profile Firing - I was never that much of a fan but in terms of the advancement of LGBTQ equality, credit must be given where it's due. 

Trump Administration Creates an Office of Discrimination - This opinion piece asks a wonderful question - "Why is it that 'religious freedom' only comes into play when a woman or gay person is involved?... Is it really just a coincidence?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Trump's ban on transgender troops has bad day in court

While Trump's newest policy on banning  transgender men and women from serving in the military came out Friday, his Administration went to court today in Seattle to defend the ban in general.

It didn't go well for them. To put it nicely, the judge might as well have said "how in the world are y'all gonna come up in my court with this bullshit?"

Washington publication The Stranger broke down the proceedings:

Justice Department attorney Ryan Parker did not have an easy case today attempting to argue in favor of President Trump's transgender military ban in US District Judge Marsha Pechman's courtroom. 
The plaintiffs in the case, which now include both transgender service members and the state of Washington, filed the lawsuit nearly eight months ago after Trump tweeted that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

. . . Justice Department attorney Ryan Parker attempted to argue that because of the new policy (which ultimately resembles the old one), the plaintiffs' case against the government over the old transgender military ban memo was moot. But Judge Pechman, who had earlier issued a preliminary injunction finding that the old ban caused immediate harm to transgender individuals, did not appear to buy that argument. 
"I've read your brief," Judge Pechman at one point told Parker. "I can't find any factual underpinnings in what you've supplied to me in the brief." 
Pechman also criticized Parker and the Justice Department for failing to respond to the state of Washington's arguments made in a separate brief altogether, failing to put their briefs in the right font, failing to make their arguments outside of their briefs' footnotes. She even once considered holding the Feds in contempt of court. Perchman also grilled Parker for not including arguments about the legitimacy of the Twitter-announced ban in the existing briefs, and merely focusing on the last-minute policy issued on Friday.

The ruling could come within a month. Meanwhile, according to The Hill, more than 20 retired generals and admirals issued a statement opposing this latest rendition of the ban.

'Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler helping hate group push lie about trans troop ban' & other Tue midday news briefs

The Family Research Council is doubling down on the lie that Trump's recent transgender troops ban came from the Department of Defense rather than an ad-hoc committee of anti-LGBTQ activists (including FRC head Tony Perkins.) Yesterday, the group retweeted the following from one of its allies in Congress:

Hartzler was the point person in getting Trump's original transgender troops off the ground, including constantly needling him about it and supplying misleading data (which also included astronomical monetary figures about how much it would cost to allow trans troops to serve openly - figures which her office refused to explain about when asked) to justify it:

Hate group Family Research Council awards Congresswoman who waged war against transgender troops

Hate group to host Congresswoman who funneled its false data

In other news: 

Trans military ban ignored by reporters, White House at briefing - Why I'm pushing hard for the above issue. Very few in the media has covered this and our community has a way of being desensitized after a while. It's really not our fault. When you have to deal with homophobic bigotry, desensitization is a coping mechanism. 

College soccer player came out as gay at Christian college and it was no big deal - Yet another reason why we have to stop people like Robert Jeffress and Franklin Graham from bogarting the debate about the LGBTQ community and religion. 

Town That Initially Banned Pride Parade Celebrates LGBTQ People In A Very Big Way - Sweet victory for our community. 

Gay couple to open Wisconsin's first group home for LGBTQ youth - This is wonderful and I wish them much luck.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Family Research Council sets a standard for lying in explaining trans troop ban

The Family Research Council bent over backwards to obscure how its president, Tony Perkins, helped to develop a new ban on trans troops.

As to be expected, the Family Research Council posted a Washington Update celebrating Trump's newest attempt to ban transgender troops from serving in the military. And of course, the update is a piece of deluded trip which deliberately obscured that the fact that FRC president Tony Perkins was one of the folks who played a part in drafting this monstrosity of a policy.

Also, FRC seems to be deluding itself in terms of what is known about this newest ban. You can read the entire thing, but here is the meat of FRC's distortion:

Under the memo released Friday, both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson signed their names to a 40-page document that will help free our military from the radical grip of the Obama years. Building on the GOP platform he swore to uphold, the president took a strong and decisive step away from the uncertainty that Ash Carter injected into the military when he tore down the barriers to transgender service. "Military standards are high for a reason," Secretary Mattis wrote in the report, "the trauma of war, which all service members must be prepared to face, demands physical, mental, and moral standards that will give all service members the greatest chance to survive their ordeal with their bodies, minds, and moral character intact. The Department would be negligent to sacrifice those standards for any cause."

In the new policy, people who identify as transgender, but who haven't been formally diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" and have not undergone a "gender transition" are free to serve or join the military -- with one catch: they must serve as their biological sex. On the other hand, anyone with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria (which the Pentagon defines as someone who requires "substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery") are barred from the military, except under limited circumstances. While there are certain caveats, including when a person entered the military and in what state of transition, the administration's decision sends a powerful message that the days of reckless social engineering in the military are over.

After digging into the science and the instability Obama's policy created, Mattis and his team were more convinced than ever that letting this type of gender chaos into the military presents a "considerable risk" to its "effectiveness and lethality." And they had more than enough evidence to back it up. The memo does a great job dismantling the flawed RAND study that former Secretary Ash Carter used to prop up Obama's move. DOD insists that RAND "mischaracterizes or overstates the reports on which it rests its conclusions" (p. 39). "In fact," officials write, "the RAND study itself repeatedly emphasized the lack of quality data on these issues and qualified its conclusions accordingly" -- a fact the last administration never bothered to mention.

The Defense Department also takes Carter's regime to task, explaining that they found several instances where "standards were adjusted or relaxed to accommodate service by transgender persons" (p. 19) -- which is somewhat ironic, given the Left's insistence on "equality." To bend the rules and justify their decision, Carter's team had to ignore stacks of research from their own ranks. For example, people who suffer from "gender dysphoria" in the military are eight times more likely to commit suicide (p. 21) and nine times more likely to have negative "mental health encounters." And while the taxpayer-funded treatments go on, their service peers are the ones left picking up the slack. "To access recruits with higher rates of anticipated unavailability for deployment thrusts a heavier burden on those who would deploy more often" (p. 27). While Democrats like Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) fire off angry tweets, arguing that the president's position "cuts directly across the drive for equality," DOD points out just how mistaken they are. If any policy was unfair, it was Obama's! As Defense officials point out, if a service member had to have genital reconstruction surgery because of a traumatic combat injury, they would have been disqualified from military service without a waiver. But if someone decided to change sexes because they were struggling with their identity, their waiver would be granted (p. 28). That's how twisted Obama's agenda was -- rewarding service members with mental struggles on one hand and punishing hurting heroes on the other.

As we all know, the memo in question was NOT developed by Mattis or the Department of Defense.  Mattis was actually for transgender men and women serving in the military. He advocated this position in February. What changed?

News brief special - Family Research Council trying to omit its role in developing transgender troop ban

Anti-LGBTQ Activists Reportedly Helped Guide New Pentagon Policy On Trans Service Members - Just in case you didn't know this, you do now and it will be shouted until it is drilled into the heads of the LGBTQ community. Don't let the homophobes write the policies which govern our lives. Tell each other and contact your congressional leaders. 

 Trump’s panel of “experts” on trans military ban included anti-LGBTQ hate groups and extremists - With more detail on who these folks are and why this practice is dangerous.

Joni Ernst says she supports transgender people serving in the military - Never thought I would ever agree with Joni Ernst but her statement says it all. 

 Meanwhile, the Family Research Council commented by sending this laughably ridiculous tweet by Congressman Andy Harris, who just happens to be an enemy of LGBTQ equality:

And another tweet conveniently omitting how its president Tony Perkins helped to develop the ban via refuted junk science:

You are going to have to do better than that, FRC

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Eight reasons why the LGBTQ community cannot trust Mike Pence

Now that we know that it was Vice President Mike Pence who was behind this newest ban against transgender troops and we know how he pushed for it (overruling Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis who thought that transgender troops should serve, gathering together his own committee filled with anti-LGBTQ activists to create reasons for the ban, and ignoring the committee who was set up to look at the issue), this supercut of a 2015 interview when he was governor of Indiana has a new poignancy. 

Pence at the time had signed an anti-gay "religious freedom" bill and eight times during the interview, he refused to say if he was opposed to anti-LGBTQ discrimination. I think it's safe to say based upon his actions regarding the transgender troops ban, we now have our answer.

I personally never felt for the "aw, shucks" bullshit Pence tried to project throughout his political life. While he does it better than Mike Huckabee, his soft-gloved approval of homophobia is still there. And this case, more dangerous. Let's not get so distracted by Trump's antics that we don't keep an eye on this charlatan.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Slate reports that Trump's newest trans troops ban was developed in part by anti-LGBTQ actIvists

According to The Slate, Tony Perkins of FRC helped develop Trump's newest trans troops ban.

Friday night, the Trump Administration released a new policy which bans most transgender men and women from serving in the military.

In a memo released Friday night, the White House said that transgender individuals are “disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.” The full ban was set to officially take effect Friday, though a pair of federal courts in December ordered the U.S. military to allow the recruitment of transgender citizens into the armed forces despite Trump’s declaration. “Transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria ― individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery ― are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances,” the memo says.

 Critics of this ban were caught by surprise but quickly voiced their opposition. The White House, however, insisted that;the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans."

This would be a departure from last year when Trump tried to implement a trans ban via a tweet message.

One group pleased with the new ban was  the Family Research Council. In a statement, the FRC president Tony Perkins said the following:

President Trump is moving the military away from the crippling policies of the Obama era that left our nation’s defenses at its lowest levels of readiness since before WWII. He recognizes that the last thing we should be doing is diverting tax payer dollars from mission-critical training to funding for controversial gender reassignment surgeries and transgender sensitivity training for service members. The president is keeping his promises and advancing policies essential to keeping our military strong and our country safe.

Perkins conveniently forgot to mention something about the new ban. According to The Slate, he and other anti-LGBTQ activists helped to write it.

 . . .behind the scenes, a “panel of experts” has been crafting a report, also released on Friday, designed to provide pretextual justification for Trump’s ban. According to multiple sources, Vice President Mike Pence played a leading role in the creation of this report, along with Ryan Anderson, an anti-trans activist, and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ lobbying group. Mattis actually supports open transgender service, but he was effectively overruled by Pence, and chose not to spend his limited political capital further defending trans troops. In a memo released on Friday, Mattis encouraged Trump to ban transgender people from enlisting in the military, and to discharge those service members who wish to transition. Trump has now formally adopted these suggestions.

In other words, a policy regarding transgender men and women serving in the military was written in part by folks who are known to have a bias against transgender men and women, even to the point of spreading and relying on false information:

Tony Perkins - head of an anti-LGBTQ organization which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because of the distortions and lies it has spread against the LGBTQ community.

Ryan T. Anderson - an anti-LGBTQ activist with the Heritage Foundation and author of a recent book attacking the transgender community; a book which was criticized for its numerous errors and distortions.

Mike Pence - who has a long history of anti-LGBTQ actions. Last year, Trump caused a firestorm by "jokingly" claiming that Pence wanted to hang gay people.

These three men on any committee developing LGBTQ policy is akin to Richard Spencer and David Duke on a committee developing policy about racism.

The Slate pointed out:

Given its authors, the Trump report’s conclusions are unsurprising. It claims transgender service members “undermine readiness,” which is demonstrably false. The RAND study carefully analyzed the armed forces of Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom after each country legalized open trans service, and it found these policies had no impact on “readiness.” Yet the Trump report disavows this conclusion by pointing out that each country reported some initial “resistance in the ranks”—which, it argues, “is a strong indication of an adverse effect on unit cohesion.”

For now, Trump's newest ban is irrelevant. Court injunctions are in place allowing trans troops to serve in the military. Still, it is very bothersome to find out that Trump consulted with people like Anderson and Perkins to create policy on members of the LGBTQ community.  And also that Pence is allowing his homophobic bias to taint the same process.

It's scary to ponder what other policies about our community these three may be involved in undermining.

UPDATE:Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban - Zack Ford of ThinkProgress has just published a more detailed article of how this newest trans troop came to be and it is scary. Pence is behind the entire thing, even to the point of overruling Mattis (who wanted transgender troops to be able to serve in the military) and creating his own committee comprised of anti-LGBTQ activists while ignoring the committee already created to look at the issue

Thursday, March 22, 2018

First it was about bakeries, now it's about families and children. 'Religious liberty' is a homophobic sham

From Lambda Legal

Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin have been married for nearly three years. They have long wanted to have children, and decided they wanted to become foster parents for a refugee child and asked to start the licensing process. However, when in their first interview they revealed that they were a married same-sex couple, the affiliate’s Director of International Foster Care informed them that they would not be permitted to apply to be foster parents because their family structure did not “mirror the Holy Family.” Fatma and Bryn’s humiliating rejection as foster parents illustrates how one of our most cherished rights is being tuned into a weapon to discriminate against LGBT people – and further, how opponents of LGBT equality are attempting to put discrimination beyond legislative or judicial remedy by wrapping it in the language of “religious freedom.” Lambda Legal has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on their behalf. Learn more about the case here

 This could be any of us, folks. When we said that the fight against the religious right bastardized concept of religious liberty was more than about baking cakes and buying flowers, the case of Fatma and Bryn is what we were talking about.

 Lambda Legal also said:

 We are facing a nationwide crisis: over 100,000 children in child welfare systems nationwide are currently in need of loving, stable homes, but there is a shortage of available foster homes. As tax-payer funded child-placing agencies struggle to find care for these children, seven states have allowed them to refuse to place children with LGBTQ families or people of different faiths. In states like Oklahoma and Kansas, waves of discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ bills are threatening to become law. A similar law in Texas, which went into effect last fall, not only allows these government-funded providers to turn away loving families, but permits them to engage in religious education, opening the door to “conversion therapy” or to refuse to acknowledge a transgender youth’s identity and deny services — including medical care — the child may need.

It was never about cakes or flowers. It was always about keeping the LGBTQ community under heel, as well as undermining our rights and ability to function as regular human beings, complete with having families.

'Trump Administration trying to walk away from upholding rights for women & trans people' & other Thur midday news briefs

Carson and DeVos both admit their departments are abandoning transgender people - IF we let them. And we won't.

Trump administration scrubbed lesbian & bi women’s health info from government website - They think they are being slick, but we see them. 

Texas bombing suspect compared ‘unnatural’ homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality - Not trying to be "that guy," but I seem to remember when that awful man shot Congressman Steve Scalise, certain people made a note of how he was a fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Just noting that in the silence over this guy.

Same-sex couple rejected from wedding venue because they’re gay – and it’s legal - UGH!

Teens Who Hide Their Sexuality Have Higher Suicide Risk, Study Finds - Confirmation of past research which puts the blame on homophobia for negative behaviors in LGBTQ youth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Throwback Thursday featuring the three killer lesbians - 'The Bitch,' 'The Butch,' and 'The Femme'

Let's throw in a change of pace for 'Throwback Thursday.'

Years ago, I had a segment on this blog entitled 'Know Your LGBT History.'  Featuring scenes from past movies and television shows as well as featuring biographies on famous LGBTQs, the segment focused on how our community was featured in the media at times when we weren't able to come out as well the times in which we were more embraced by society.

The segment came about because of positive feedback I had from posting an episode of The Jeffersons featuring a story line about the transgender community.   The next segment officially began the 'Know Your LGBT History' cavalcade and it was controversial:

This is what I said in the blog post about the episode:

 In the 1970s, actress Angie Dickinson starred in the successful Police Woman television series. This particular episode, 'Flowers of Evil,' was so controversial that it was only shown once due to protests by the lgbt community. It dealt with Dickinson getting to the bottom of a case in which three lesbians running a retirement home were stealing money from their residents, drugging them, and then gruesomely murdering them. As this minisode (an abridged version of a television episode)shows, there is a lot to be desired from this particular episode.
Trust me when I say that the full episode is much worse, specifically the stereotypical portrayals of the three villains:  
 The Bitch (Gladys) - The ringleader of the trio. Beautiful and sleek enough to supposedly "fool" men about her sexual orientation. She is the one who commits the only murder shown in the episode and it's not a nice scene. Her sadism is matched only by her lust; a quality that leads Dickinson to successfully go undercover at the retirement home.  
 The Butch (Mame) - Coarse, crude, and detached to a fault. She enjoys watching Gladys commit the murder.  
 The Femme (Janet) - The supposed "true woman" of the trio and as such, the one with a conscience and the "weak link." While Gladys strangles the victim and Mame watches, Janet stands outside in the rain crying in guilt. She can be prodded with kind words or a hard slap by Gladys.

Needless to say this post was a huge hit and enabled me to run 'Know Your LGBT History' posts from 2009 to 2014.

Y'all think I should begin running them again?

'Ben Carson plays divide-and-conquer on LGBTQ rights by attacking trans people' & other Wed midday news briefs

Ben Carson
Ben Carson Said Trans People In Homeless Shelters Make Others ‘Not Comfortable’ - First rule of life - NEVER buy the horseshit. And this is grade A horseshit. A divide-and-conquer tactic. Carson makes a judgement which could negatively affect the ENTIRE LGBTQ community and then tries to put the transgender community front and center as part of the blame for his actions. No doubt, the anti-transgender folks and the TERFS will say "this is why the transgender community is dragging us down." I say it's bull. The problem Carson referred to is one which can be taken care of without pointing fingers or playing us against one another. Don't fall for the horseshit.

And to answer whatever questions there may be regarding the above news brief, there are a series of articles on transgender men and women in homeless shelters:

New Housing Rule Requires Shelter for Transgender People Based on Identity  
Discrimination Against Transgender Women Seeking Access to Homeless Shelters  
Know Your Rights|Housing and Homeless Shelters 

Civil Rights Chief At HHS Defends The Right To Refuse Care On Religious Grounds - Vague interview with a man I still don't. Nothing is mentioned about the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ people need to be condemned just like ISIS, Christian university president argues - Reposting a reiteration of this to remind folks that those who say the LGBTQ can sometimes be too sensitive and defensive can kindly go and fuck themselves.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Family Research Council tries to paint Pompeo's apocalyptic view as mainstream Christianity

Trump's Secretary of State pick Mike Pompeo has an apocalyptic religious view of Christianity.

There have been genuine concerns asked about Mike Pompeo, the man Trump picked to be his newest Secretary of State. A lot of these concerns have focused on his long history of opposing LGBTQ equality.  But now an online article at Vox has raised questions about how his evangelical faith could complicate the duties of Secretary of State, should Pompeo be confirmed.

Apparently, the article has caused such a stir that the  Family Research Council has attacked Vox. The group seeks make Pompeo sound more palpable, even at the expense of distorting the article.


President Trump's cabinet (like America's population) has a high percentage of Christians, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when he nominates another. Tell that to the liberals at Vox, who are quite beside themselves to learn that Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick for Secretary of State, is not only a Christian -- but actually thinks like one!

"That Pompeo is an evangelical Christian is, on its face, not particularly notable; 25 percent of Americans are," Tara Isabella Burton writes. "But Pompeo's specific brand of evangelical Christianity, with its insistence on seeing Muslim-Christian relations as an apocalyptic holy war, makes him an unnerving choice for such a senior foreign policy position." Then, as if it were breaking news, she informs readers that Pompeo has told people, "Jesus Christ ... is the only solution for our world."

'Will & Grace' sacrificing accuracy for comedy in wedding cake discrimination episode' & other Tue midday news briefs

'Will & Grace' about to make a serious error in the 'who' and 'what' of  anti-gay discrimination.

‘Will & Grace’ episode reinforces anti-gay talking points on wedding cake discrimination - Great. And I say that sarcastically. I get that people don't want to be preached to when it comes to television shows, but accuracy shouldn't be sacrificed for comedy. And it sounds like 'Will and Grace' is about to lay a big bomb here. It's the negative side of having LGBTQ images in the media. What do you do when they get things confused? There is no excuse for this show to conflate refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple with refusing to put a certain message on a cake. It's not the same and the courts have said so thus far.

New Middle-Grade Book Features Girl with Two Moms, Marriage Equality Win - Wonderful! We need more books like this. 

Christian College President Compares LGBT Students to Members of ISIS - What a charming person. 

Queens Are Questioning RuPaul’s Grip On Drag Culture After His Controversial Trans Comments - Ru, you should've known better. You know what a stickler some folks in our community are about protocol.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dear anti-gay evangelicals, you're fake, you're phony, and you're not fooling anyone

The man who sent this tweet is claiming that Christians like him are being unfairly attacked by the LGBTQ community

In the age of Trump, the audacity of the anti-LGBTQ evangelical right to get their agenda through has been off the charts. And with that audacity comes an obliviousness which is sad. The way they have been carrying on, one gets the impression that they are drunk with power. They seem to think that the gravy train of influence they are partaking of via Trump won't end or somehow they will be shielded from being called out for their hypocrisy, even when he leaves office.

Today, the American Family Association's fake new source, One News Now, issued a warning to parents implying that a new movie seeks to indoctrinate their children into homosexuality:

Christian parents are being advised to be ready for a conversation with their children about a movie that opened this weekend that could have them talking. Love, Simon (PG-13) is billed as a trendy romance – but in fact it's the first "gay" romantic movie with a full-throated Hollywood marketing campaign. This movie was not made for LGBT audiences; instead, it's a subtle message movie for the straight world:  
 From the movie trailer: "My name's Simon. For the most part, my life is totally normal. I have a family that I actually like, and there's my friends. So I'm just like you, except that I have one huge secret: nobody knows I'm gay."  
 The story line focuses on how Simon "comes out," or announces to the world that he's gay. The characters are relatable, sympathetic, and loveable. The producers are hopeful audiences will yearn for Simon to be accepted and find his true love – and if data from the Barna Group and Impact 360 Institute is to be believed, many children from Christian homes are ready to get on board in today's environment of moral relativism.

This nonsense about gays attempting to indoctrinate children is nothing new from One News Now. But it's very interesting that the news source talks about "moral relativism"in attacking 'Love, Simon" when one takes into account the numerous articles and columns it has published since Trump's election calling his ascension into the White House as ordained by God or defending him the numerous times he has shown himself to be a caustic, incompetent boob with awful ideas. Or constantly attempting to justify why evangelicals voted for him in a large number in spite of the fact that he doesn't even begin to embody the ideas they think up when attacking others(the Stormy Daniels controversy included big time) And speaking of keeping children away from harm, I won't even talk about the numerous articles and columns One News Now published defending failed Senate candidate Roy Moore when he was accused of misconduct with underage girls.

But believe it or not, One News Now and the AFA doesn't take today's prize for hypocrisy.

'John Oliver trolls Mike Pence's homophobia' & other Mon midday news briefs

John Oliver rips homophobe Mike Pence — and does something amazing with his pet rabbit Marlon Bundo - Comedian John Oliver trolling our homophobic vice president is the cure for the Monday blahs. 

Savannah Georgia ruined Mike Pence’s St. Patrick’s Day in the best way possible - Speaking of Pence . . . 

Before 'Love, Simon': Coming Out And Coming-Of-Age At The Movies - 'Love, Simon' is already being declared a hit by the LGBTQ community. I haven't seen it yet, but as this article points out, the movie is historic.

Billie Lee On Why It’s So Important To Have Transgender Visibility On Reality Television - I despise reality television so I post this with a divided opinion. 

Longtime AIDS researcher may be Trump’s pick to lead the CDC - We'll see how this works out. This is of utmost interest to me due to my work of refuting religious right propaganda.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Philly stops two agencies from placing foster children because they discriminate against gays

Batten down the hatches because things just went off in Philadelphia with regards to "religious liberty" vs. anti-gay discrimination.

According to Philly News:

The city announced Thursday that it had stopped two faith-based agencies from placing foster children after learning the organizations discriminate against LGBTQ people.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services has ceased foster-care intake with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, pending an investigation by the Commission on Human Relations. 
The restriction follows an Inquirer and Daily News report that the city-funded agencies will not work with LGBTQ people or same-sex couples interested in becoming foster parents, a stance that likely violates city contract rules. The organizations do work with LGBTQ youth.

That first news story also revealed that the two foster agencies, Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, were both reimbursed over $1 million in tax dollars for operating foster care homes. 

All of this began when a lesbian couple, Magan Paszko and her wife, went to an orientation meeting with one of the agencies and was told that they shouldn't waste their time.

 "The trainer approached us, and she was really nice, but she told us, ‘I just want to be upfront. This organization has never placed a child with a same-sex couple,” Paszko told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “She told us she didn’t want to waste two hours of our time."

This situation is the latest salvo in the argument over "religious liberty" or the belief that personal religious beliefs should give individuals and groups a free card to discriminate.  I personally think that such a belief is wrong, especially when those wanting to discriminate also want to help themselves to our tax monies.

Friday, March 16, 2018

'Anti-gay judge loses three years of pay for serious misconduct' & other Fri midday news briefs

Oregon judge who refused to marry same-sex couples found guilty of ‘exceptionally serious misconduct’ — and a cover-up - I know of a certain judge who won't be portrayed by the religious right as a "martyr."

Anti-gay discrimination just cost this judge 3 years of pay - More about the situation from ThinkProgress. 

 Two groups stand against LGBTQ rights. One is dangerous and the other is simply gross - My post from last night because I feel that it is one of the most important things I've written in recent memory:
 1. The Dodgers - The Dodgers consist of groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, people like Franklin Graham and Todd Starnes. The best way to describe them is to compare them to David Duke when he attempted to clean up his image by claiming to be "pro-white" rather than "anti-black.
 . . . 2. The Ick Factor Fanciers - These folks are simply consumed with talking about gay sex. They are anti-LGBTQ activists and groups such as Mike Huckabee, Mass Resistance, Brian Camenker, Matt Barber, and (of course) "Porno Peter LaBarbera who have at least once openly espoused talking about gay sex because they feel such talk would nauseate people against LGBTQ equality. Almost every conversation and debate about LGBTQ equality - whether it be about adoption rights, marriage, anti-discrimination ordinances - is broken down to talking about things such as "sodomy." "the thinness of the rectum" or "spilled semen." 

  Irish Lawmaker Proposes Ban On ‘Harmful, Deceptive’ Conversion Therapy - An international ban on this madness would be lovely. 

  LGBTQ advocates see Pompeo as 'reckless choice' for top diplomat - Needs to be repeated continuously.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two groups stand against LGBTQ rights. One is dangerous and the other is simply gross

In terms of homophobic personalities and groups in American society, I've broken them down into two entities - One group is sly because they practice passive-aggressive tactics. The other group is simply gross because they attempt to make almost every LGBTQ debate one about gay sex.

1. The Dodgers - The Dodgers consist of groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, people like Franklin Graham and Todd Starnes. The best way to describe them is to compare them to David Duke when he attempted to clean up his image by claiming to be "pro-white" rather than "anti-black."

In that same mind frame, the Dodgers claim that they aren't anti-gay, but are "pro-family." This is done so that they can appeal to so-called common Americans while publishing columns, giving interviews, or appearing on news programs. Their goal isn't to scare without saying the word "Boo!"

They generally attempt to make the narrative about how the Christian community is supposedly in danger because of the so-called "gay agenda." They use and distort anecdotes portraying people on their side with the highest degree of innocence. A woman who refuses to serve gays in her flower shop is made over into a "Christian grandmother being driven out of business by a homosexual couple who targeted her." A government employee who undermines a gay couple attempting to get their wedding license is transformed into "a Christian woman who is thrown in jail because she won't  compromise her faith."

 The Dodgers never speak specifically about LGBTQs, unless they are trying to label us as angry and threatening. They categorize us as a nameless, faceless, raging horde. They never speak about gay children nor same-sex households. They never acknowledge us going through the day-by-day paces of life. And don't even talk about admitting that some of us are religious.  To them, it's all about erasing our humanity and putting us in opposition to people of faith.

'Two foster agencies in Philly reimbursed millions in tax dollars, but won't place kids with LGBTQ people' & other Thur midday news briefs

Two foster agencies in Philly won't place kids with LGBTQ people - I'm sorry but I have a serious problem with agencies getting LGBTQ tax money and having the ability to discriminate against gays. And this sort of things does a great harm to LGBTQ youth in foster care.

 Last year, Bethany Christian Services was reimbursed $1.3 million for operating foster homes for 170 children, representing 1.5 percent of the department’s payments to foster care providers. Catholic Social Services was reimbursed $1.7 million in the same year for 266 children, representing 1.9 percent of the amount paid. Joe DiBenedetto, a spokesman for Bethany, said the organization places children with married couples made up of two parents of the opposite sex, or in some cases individuals. He said the organization does not believe it is in violation of any city ordinances. “This has been our practice throughout our nearly 75 years of operation and is based on our adherence to what we believe to be foundational Biblical principles,” he said. Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said Catholic Social Services wasn’t aware of any recent inquiries from same-sex couples but confirmed that the organization would not work with interested LGBTQ people if approached. 
Both organizations work with LGBTQ youth. That can send a mixed message to children and teens in their care, said Currey Cook, an attorney who heads Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-home Care Project. “How do you pretend you can simultaneously say we serve all youth and do a good job serving all youth while at the same time you’re saying same-sex couples are not real parents, are not good parents?” Cook said. “LGBT youth who have faced so much isolation, stigma, prejudice in the system are left wondering, ‘What’s going to happen if I come out, and I’m being served by parents or an agency that basically says trans parents, LGBT people, aren’t good parents?'”  

Media banned from Mike Pence’s meeting with gay Irish PM Leo Varadkar - I'm curious as to why.

Retiring Texas Republicans blast anti-trans bill on their way out the door - Not that it matters because they are retiring. Meanwhile, the bill will be coming back in 2019.

Companies With LGBTQ-Inclusive Ads Can Increase Sales By 40%, And Here's Why - Pay attention folks. Inclusion sells.

Protests break out over judge who overturned charges for man who admitted pushing trans woman to death - You damn right! What the hell . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just two repulsive men pushing the stereotype of the unattractive lesbian . . .

Granted, we are talking about two backbench conspiracy theorists here in the video with Gavin McInnes and Alex Jones, but the things they say about lesbians in this video are simply vulgar. Especially when one sees that neither one are exactly prom night dates themselves. While they both exploit one stereotype, they definitely prove another one to be true. What's the deal with ugly, nasty men attacking lesbians for supposedly being unattractive?

Editor's note - I would say a couple of more things about the two, but I'm trying to be progressive and polite.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trump evangelical Tony Perkins practically giddy that Pompeo may turn blind eye to anti-LGBTQ persecution

Editor's note - There will be no Wednesday mid-day news briefs.

"Those Trump evangelicals!"
When I heard that Trump's pick for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has a long record of opposing LGBTQ equality, I practically predicted the following Washington Update by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins praising him:

When Rex Tillerson was first announced as the president's pick for Secretary of State, I communicated my concern privately and publicly. I said that the State Department needed a strong change agent like Trump, and there was no way based upon Tillerson's record that he would do enough to roll back the harmful cultural imperialism which had been pushed in the State Department during the Obama administration, and to restore our promotion of international religious freedom to where it should be. And under Tillerson's leadership, not much did change in these areas. Religious freedom and human rights for all continues to take a backseat to the LGBT agenda as LGBT-promoting acting ambassadors remain in place around the world and our tax dollars still go to non-government organizations (NGOs) aligned with groups like George Soros' Open Society and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 
Now that Tillerson is on his way out, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been tapped to take the helm, there is hope for the United States to once again lead the world toward the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of human rights. I believe Mike Pompeo is the agent of change the State Department needs, and he has the president's ear. He cares about religious freedom, and about restoring the United States to its historically-esteemed role of human rights defender -- not cultural imperialist. And with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Brownback also in place, the United States is perhaps better poised than any other time in recent memory to significantly make inroads in promoting religious freedom worldwide.

As usual, Perkins lying. There was no prioritizing of LGBTQ rights over anything else in the Obama Administration. Those of us who are aware of the history of Perkins and FRC know that his definition of giving LGBTQ rights priority means acknowledging that these rights exist in the first place.

Trump pick Mike Pompeo has a long history opposing LGBTQ equality' & other Tue midday news briefs

Mike Pompeo
In case you have been living under a rock, Trump just fired his present Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and appointed former CIA head Mike Pompeo. Everyone is talking about how much of an idiotic bonehead move this is, except for the Trump evangelicals (such as the Family Research Council), who, let's face it, would find a positive thing to say about Trump if he had an intestinal distress in the middle of a speech. Missing in firestorm is the simple, and very unfortunate fact, that Pompeo is extremely anti-LGBTQ.

GLAAD has compiled a list of his homophobic statements and actions. It's not pretty and it will definitely play against our community on the international stage. Whereas the Obama Administration stood up for LGBTQ equality in the world, I somehow doubt Pompeo will be as engaging

According to GLAAD, Pompeo has:

Opposed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, suggesting that "when you enter the army you give up a few of your rights." Also said of DADT repeal, "we cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of our nation." 
Decried the US Supreme Court's 2015 ruling granting marriage equality to all fifty states as "a shocking abuse of power" that "flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution." 
Has vowed to continue his fight abortion, marriage equality, and related matters "each and every day": "As a Kansan, I hold a deep reverence for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of family, and the solemnity of marriage. I will continue the fight to uphold these fundamental ideals each and every day. I am, and always will be, pro-life and will defend life from conception to natural death. I will continue to oppose any taxpayer funding for abortion. I also fully support the traditional institution of marriage. Strong families are the most important building block of our Republic, and we must preserve them for the sake of our community and our culture." 
Co-sponsored two bills, the State Marriage Defense Act and the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, both designed to undermine the effects of court rulings on marriage equality. 
Denounced the Supreme Court rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 as "both sad and counter to the most profound tradition of our great nation."

In other news:

The ‘Gays for Trump’ guy is running for office &  he’s dangerous to trans people - It is possible for someone to be repulsive and a joke at the same time.

Vietnamese Singer Wins International Transgender Beauty Pageant - Good for her!

Linda Harvey Prays That Gay Conservative Commentator Guy Benson ‘Loses [His] Platform To Mislead People’ - I'm rooting against both. Linda Harvey is so homophobic, I bet she doesn't like to say the word "gay" in the song "Deck the Halls." On the other hand, Guy Benson is an entitled creep. He works against his own people and has done nothing to earn the position he has except be a novelty.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Trump evangelicals like to dish out moral criticisms, but can't take any.

Trump evangelicals moved their loyalty from the man on the right to the man on the left and are getting angry for being dragged about it. They had better get used to it because the dragging will be going on for a long time.

The Family Research Council, a group which supports Donald Trump in spite of his incompetence and immense moral failings, is angry at  a writer at The Atlantic for calling out their hypocrisy.

In a just published Washington Update, FRC president Tony Perkins verbally went after Michael Gerson for his recently published, and very astute, criticism of white evangelical support of Trump. In his piece, The Last Temptation,  Gerson doesn't pull any punches in dragging Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins and other conservative evangelical figures and groups.

And Perkins is "ever so pissed" about it:

CBS's "Face the Nation," which, like most liberal outlets, is quite content beating this dead horse, invited Gerson on the show yesterday to elaborate, without, I should add, a countering perspective. Like other partisans masquerading as "journalists," he insists evangelicals are hypocrites for not demanding a national recall of the president over 10-year-old allegations of infidelity. The host reminds Gerson that evangelicals' support isn't without cause. After all, the president has spent the year delivering on a long list of promises to his base. No matter, Gerson waves her off. "They are acting like, you know, slimy political operatives, not moral leaders. They are essentially saying, in order to get these benefits... they are willing to wink at Stormy Daniels and wink at misogyny and wink at nativism." 
Evangelicals, he goes on, "have not provided that moral judgment that I think leavens our politics or should leaven our politics." I'm curious what kind of "moral judgment" Gerson thinks Christian leaders should be offering. This is, after all, behavior that happened in the past. Does Gerson think that Christians should continue piling on judgment for actions that, to our knowledge, no longer continue? No one is rationalizing or excusing his failings. But Americans -- evangelicals included -- elected Donald Trump with almost full knowledge of Trump's past. As I've explained numerous times, it came down to him or Hillary Clinton, so Americans gave him a chance despite his past. Now that he's earned their support with his actions as president, it's our job to hold Donald Trump accountable for what he does in office. We can't do anything about the past. If any immoral behavior were taking place on the president's part today, Michael Gerson would be writing a very different story about the estrangement of Trump and his evangelical base. 
For now, our support for the policies of this president is hardly the great mystery that liberal lackeys like Gerson claim it to be. This isn't blind allegiance on the part of evangelicals or "slimy" opportunism. This is reasoned support for a political leader who has made and kept his campaign promises. If you want to know the real reason Gerson's crowd is unhappy with evangelicals, it's not because we're hypocrites. It's because we stand in the way of the Left's designs, with the same ability to affect government that they've had for almost a decade. Their goal is to try and shame evangelicals into disengaging from the policies and elections that govern our lives and our ability to live according to our Christian faith.

Damn, what exactly did Gerson say Perkins riled up?

'Psychiatrist found guilty of trying to 'cure' his gay clients with gay sex' & other Mon midday news briefs

Psychiatrist found guilty of trying to 'cure' his gay clients with gay sex - A situation from Canada for us to keep in mind when we fight against forcing kids to go through "conversion therapy."

Texas Teacher Suspended After Seeking to Add LGBT Protections to School District’s Policy -THIS is a mess!

What Trump’s Judicial Nominees Have in Common: They Really Don’t Want LGBTQ People to Have Rights - Yep, yep, a million times yep!

Anti-gay pageant answer comes back to haunt attorney general candidate - We got you, girlfriend. The queer community doesn't forget a thing. 

 Amid a sea of voices, Vox’s Carlos Maza breaks through - A gay journalist is breaking through the mad cacophony of voices and is making a definite mark.