Monday, April 30, 2018

Family Research Council paints its hypocrisy in glowing colors with attack on Michelle Wolf, WHCD

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council are oblivious to their own hypocrisy.

I want to be blunt here.

A lot of the pearl-clutching, hand wringing, and jockeying for the moral high ground with regards to Michelle Wolf's performance at the recent White House Correspondent's Dinner (WHCD) is some major bullshit. Why do I say this? Because the Family Research Council has gotten into the  act.

The following is only part of the nonsense spewing from FRC president Tony Perkins and it's dripping with rotten, seven-month old sanctimony:

 Michelle Wolf may have been listed as a comedian at Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner, but no one is quite sure why. Her monologue, an abusive personal attack on the women of this administration, was spectacularly unfunny. And by the program's end, the only joke -- liberals agreed -- was that Wolf was ever invited in the first place. 
After a string of especially vulgar lines, the Comedy Central contributor couldn't help but notice the uncomfortable silence that followed. "Yeah, you shoulda done more research before you got me to do this," she cracked. That was certainly the consensus on both sides of the political aisle after a performance so biting that some people got up and left. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the brunt of the savagery, sitting quietly on the same stage as Wolf, listening as the woman at the podium derided everything from her character to her eye make-up. 
"I love you as Aunt Lydia in 'The Handmaid's Tale,'" Wolf said, referring to an evil character on the show. "Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited because I'm not real sure what we're going to get -- a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. I really like Sarah, I think she's very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she's born with it... maybe it's lies." In an especially cringe-worthy moment, Wolf compared Sanders to Uncle Tom. "I'm never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like what's Uncle Tom for white women who disappoint other white women?" 
And Sanders wasn't the only target. Wolf called the president's daughter, Ivanka, "as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons." She took on Kellyanne Conway, a key White House advisor, insisting she was an inveterate liar, and asked: "If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree?" 
For the media, who's already in an uphill battle for Americans' trust, Saturday's dinner didn't exactly help matters. "If the #WHCD dinner did anything tonight, it made the chasm between journalists and those who don't believe us even wider," tweeted the AP's Meg Kinnard. MSNBC co-host of "Morning Joe," Mika Brzezinski, was one of the dozens of horrified Left-leaning reporters to come to Sarah's defense. "Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable." She’s right. Not only was the profanity inappropriate for this kind of public forum, but the harassment of Sanders made more than a few of us wonder: what happened to all of those anti-bullying crusaders?

I'm not even going to mention how FRC and Perkins chose to omit the fact the Wolf went after both Democrats and Republicans and how she also had some zingers about the Washington media in general. I'm simply enthralled by how FRC attempts to create  a scene of martyrdom with both Sanders and Ivanka Trump tied to the stake and Wolf leading the the press with lighted torches. Apparently in its attempt to recreate 'The Passion of Joan of Arc,' FRC failed to practice a little self evaluation. Isn't this the same organization which has made its name and gathered its coins by daily conjuring up a false image of the LGBTQ community as slobbering, child-snatching, Christian-hating sex maniacs,.This organization, right here, which now has the temerity to scold on vulgarity?

'Trans ban proving to be a mistake which may trap Trump, Pence, & religious right' & other Mon midday news briefs

Attempts to ban trans troops is proving to be a mistake which may trap not only Trump, but also Pence and the religious right

A Growing Problem for the Military Transgender Ban — Facts - Make no mistake about it. Trump's attempt to ban transgender soldiers is a smoldering powder keg just waiting to blow up in his face and in the face of the religious right. I've got my fingers crossed and my nails sharpened for when it happens. Why? Check out the next news brief. 

Family Research Council whines, fundraises off subpoenas from trans servicemembers lawsuit - This article was published last week but it signifies what's going on. The Family Research Council is silently running scared because its usage of junk science and cherry-picked studies to smear the LGBTQ community may receive a much deserved spotlight. And this possibility may harm Pence as well as Trump.

‘Big Win’: Bryan Fischer Celebrates The Firing Of The House Chaplain - More proof that when folks like Bryan Fischer whine about "religious freedom," they only mean themselves.

Schools Struggle to Support LGBTQ Students - Teachers want to help our LGBTQ kids but don't know how. And you just know certain entities want to keep them from learning how. 

Ghana’s Christian lawmakers insist homosexuality won’t be legalized anytime soon - A reminder that our struggle for equality and safety is worldwide. 

Hawaii Moves To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy For Minors - Sweet!!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Top 10 Ridiculous 1980s Music Videos (you just KNOW LGBTQs are included)

As I've noted before, in this age of Trump, the LGBTQ community finds itself fighting tooth and nail for the rights we recently won and also not to be pushed back in the closet. And we are going to win, too. 

But with that in mind, there needs to be some time where we can cool off and laugh. This is why from time to time on this blog, I am going to feature things designed to be totally fun and frivolous, such as this video, which had me laughing and going back to memory lane at the same time.

This countdown of the Top 10 ridiculous music videos of the 1980s is simply brutal but it is on point as it calls out the bad dancing, shoved down your throat symbolism, silly homoeroticism, and how an idea of using gay men as a bad big reveal was just stupid.

I will give you a hint about the number one video. I featured it on this blog years ago because it infamously ruined a musician's career.

Friday, April 27, 2018

'Bill allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gays and still get tax dollars passes in Oklahoma' & other Fri. midday news briefs

A bill allowing adoption agencies to get taxpayer monies while discriminating against gays on the grounds of  'religious liberty' has just passed in Oklahoma.

Bill making it legal to ban gays & lesbians from adopting passes in Oklahoma - That means the bill passed BOTH the House and Senate. Taxpayer money can now go to adoption agencies which discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Don't count on the courts too much if Trump has his way and puts as many conservatives (backed by groups pushing for these bills) as he can. Don't wait until the last minute and think that a street protest will take care of the situation. This is probably only the beginning. Pay attention and work to stop it now. And the real start begins in the mid-term elections.

49 senators accuse Mattis of bringing back 'don't ask, don't tell' - This is getting REAL. Those 49 Senators include one Republican. They don't like his stance against transgender troops and they want answers about his recommendations. 

GLSEN'S Day of Silence 2018 - remembering our LGBTQ children - Reposting last night's post to remind folks why we fight for equality. 

The Persecution Of Kim Davis, According To Kim Davis - I know folks are tired of hearing about Kim Davis but she isn't going away and she is also allowing herself to be used as a symbol. We already see in the first news brief what the "religious liberty" argument she is pushing leads to.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

GLSEN'S Day of Silence 2018 - remembering our LGBTQ children

Friday is the annual GLSEN's Day of Silence in which students in schools across the nation stand against the bullying and erasing of LGBTQ children

'Alliance Defending Freedom steadily working in state legislatures to undermine LGBTQ equality' & other Thur midday news briefs

The anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom is quietly undermining LGBTQ equality via state legislatures. 

GOP legislators intertwined with hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, on anti-LGBT efforts - At the same time the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom is pushing for the right for businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, it is also pushing to pre-empt anti-discrimination bills before they even have time to become law. This yet another reminder that while the LGBTQ community argues over things like RuPaul's Drag Race or are manipulated to turn against our allies for ALLEGED past comments, anti-LGBTQ hate groups are in state legislatures practically writing laws undermining our equality, which are then pushed by state legislators. And it is ALL legal. Ignoring these groups won't help. Wishing and hoping that members of these groups are secretly gay and will be caught in some public restroom chasing booty is futile. The solution is telling it all to as many people as possible, voting, running for office, demanding attention for the issue.

How LGBTQ+ People Are Successfully Fighting Against Conversion Therapy - This is the sort of thing which happens when the LGBTQ community gets our stuff together. 

Michael Arceneaux There is no black 'Love, Simon' because gay men of color are portrayed as our pathologies - THIS is something we should be discussing.

Linda Harvey: The Day Of Silence ‘Discriminates Against Christians’ - Every year, people like Linda Harvey attacks GLSEN's Day of Silence with the same lies. I guess this one - i.e. an offshoot of the "religious liberty" lie - is a new one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

All four service chiefs contradict Trump's reasoning for ban on transgender troops

Recently, something very crucial happened in the fight against Trump's ridiculous ban on transgender troops. People should be paying more attention to it, but they can't if they aren't informed about it:

According to Military Times:

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told Congress Tuesday he was not aware of any negative effects from transgender personnel serving, joining all three other service chiefs in a rare public split with President Donald Trump over the issue. 
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as she had with the top military leaders of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for their budget hearings, used the opportunity to question Goldfein as to whether he was aware of any “issues of unit cohesion, disciplinary problems or issues of morale resulting from open transgender service.” 
“In the last two weeks Gen. [Mark] Milley, Gen. [Robert] Neller, and Adm. [John] Richardson have told me that they have seen zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale as a result of open transgender service in their respective service branches,” Gillibrand said, referring to the chiefs of staff of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, respectively. 
Goldfein said he was not aware of any issues with transgender service members, but emphasized that each case is unique. Goldfein said among the transgender service members he had talked to, he had found a “commitment to serve by each of them.”

And just in case you need a video of it, the following is courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign:

So all four service chiefs contradict Trump when it comes to transgender troops. Just who is Trump listening to when it comes to his ridiculous trans ban?  I think we know and slowly as the truth comes out, the entire country will know.

'Teacher asks about anti-discrimination protection & gets branded as a 'radical homosexual activist'' & other Wed midday news briefs

LGBT rights debate heats up Mansfield school board meeting. And the winner is ... A suspended lesbian art teacher in a Texas elementary school is under fire. She has lots of supporters and will probably come out as the winner, but the entire situation underlines a huge problem. She didn't do anything that could be perceived as remotely eyebrow raising. All she did was to inquire about about anti-discrimination protections in her area's schools. That's right. Simply asking about anti-discrimination protections will get you accused of violating religious liberty, wanting girls to be attacked by "male predators" in the bathrooms (i.e. the transphobic horror story du jour) and being accused of attempting to indoctrinate students. It's about homophobia and prejudice, but folks won't admit it and why should they.  They can use the language created by the anti-LGBTQ industry. They will tell you that they don't hate gay people, they are just concerned about their children. That's the hidden danger of religious right anti-gay propaganda. They give people a seemingly justifiable reason to not only hate us but deny us equality. 

Joy Reid Doubles Down: Homophobic Posts ‘Hacked,’ ‘Fraudulent’ - I'm going to say this point blank. Folks need to pay attention to how outside interests are manipulating us to turn against our own. I'm on Reid's side here in this situation. Check out the scenario - we have someone doing good work to call out lies, someone goes digging into the person's past and finds negative things. She acknowledges these things and apologizes. Someone conveniently goes digging again and supposedly finds "new things." There is a time and a place for everything but folks need to recognize game, especially when the players of the game are familiar ones (i.e. that jerk Glenn Greenwald). Now is not the time to allow folks to exploit what they perceive is your weakness. If it happens in this case to Reid, count on other allies having things dug up on them and/or made up against them. I remind folks of how Strom Thurmond tried to use Bayard Rustin's past arrest for being caught having public gay sex in a car to undermine the 1963 March on Washington. Black folks were hip to the nonsense and didn't fall for it. Let's act the same. 

Massachusetts schools to give LGBT history and health lessons - Possibly one of the newest battlefields in our pursuit of equality and self-determination. 

Virginia GOP candidate freaks out after learning kids in California may learn LGBTQ people exist - My point of the above news brief better expressed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

(once again for the folks in the back) Your Religious Liberty Doesn’t Give You The Right To Steal My Gay Tax Dollars

Editor's note - I'm reposting this again because it's not being said loud enough and it's not being said by more people.

If your religion says you can’t accept me, that should include all of me, especially my tax dollars.

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.

'Trump's anti-gay pick Pompeo set to be Secretary of State' & other Tue midday news briefs

Mike Pompeo

The Senate is set to approve an anti-LGBTQ Secretary of State. People could die if they do. - Barring any fortunate change, Mr. "homosexuality is a perversion" Mike Pompeo will probably be Secretary of State. The only thing we can do is raise hell when he crosses up against the community, collect the receipts, and create a betting poll as to how long will he last before Trump fires him.

Gay teacher suffered harassment at his New Jersey school for being a foster parent: lawsuit - (In my best imitation of Eddie Murphy acting like someone telling her friend to sue for alimony after the divorce) - "That's right honey! Get as much as you can! Get it all! You deserve it! Take all of their money!" 

Religious right says CA legislation will outlaw the Bible, but didn't they claim the same thing about hate crimes legislation? - Reposting this from last night because why not.

Trans youth more likely to suffer from mental health issues - Because they constantly have to deal with transphobic nonsense and jerks. Those of us who are allies need to do more to let them know they are loved and perfect.

White House won’t comment on HHS proposal to nix rule for trans health - Stuff like this creates situations in the above news brief and it's not by happenstance. 

  Montevallo, Alabama OKs LGBT Protections - Things are not all bad. Again places in the Southern states prove stereotypes about the South wrong.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Religious right says CA legislation will outlaw the Bible, but didn't they claim the same thing about hate crimes legislation?

Religious right and conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council are quick to cry about persecution and make predictions about future persecution Christians like them will suffer if certain pro-LGBTQ bills become law.

The ease with which they do it would be funny if it weren't for the fact that they are able to repeatedly do it even when their dire predictions prove wrong.

For example, there is a bill in California which would outlaw marketing or selling the fraudulent practice of ex-gay therapy.  At first, religious conservatives were attempting to portray it as something called a "must stay gay" ban. However, sensing how inane that was, they moved to a familiar lie - claiming that the bill would ban  the Bible.

On several fronts, from the Family Research Council, to the American Family Association's fake news source One News Now, and to other areas, the religious right and conservatives portrayed California's bill as an attack on Christianity.

The claim is a basic lie. According to the fact-finding site Snopes:

In reality the legislation, which was introduced in February 2018 by San Jose-based Democrat Evan Low, enhances California’s already-existing prohibition on “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), commonly known as “gay conversion therapy.” In 2012, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 1172, which banned mental health professionals from performing SOCE on children under the age of 18.  
The law defines SOCE as: “any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” 
A.B. 2943, as it stood on 20 April 2018, would extend that earlier prohibition in the following ways: 
Prohibit SOCE from being performed on anyone, not only children under the age of 18
Prohibit the advertising or sale of SOCE as a service 
 . . . Anthony Samson, a Sacramento attorney and policy advisor told us by email that the bill would prohibit conversion therapy “as a commercial service in exchange for monetary compensation,” adding: It does not apply to the sale of books or any other kind of goods, and it does not prevent anyone from speaking or writing on the subject of conversion therapy in any forum. 

So again, the religious right pushes a horror story which they claim "could happen" if a pro-LGBTQ law is passed.

'Anti-LGBTQ groups, personalities weaponized religion to smear Sen. Booker' & other Mon midday news briefs

With ugly coordination, the religious right and their allies tried to smear Sen. Cory Booker (left) as anti-religious because he grilled Sec.of State nominee Mike Pompeo (left) on his history of homophobic statements.

Anatomy of a Smear: The Religious Right’s Dishonest Attack On Senator Cory Booker - The religious right weaponized religion in a smear attack on Sen. Cory Booker because Booker asked critical and appropriate questions about Sec. of State nominee Mike Pompeo. This will probably occur more - i.e. the religious right exploiting religion to play the persecution card when asked about their homophobic methods or how Trump is bending over backwards to fulfill their homophobic desires.

Republicans introduce a bill to make it legal for adoption agencies to discriminate - And watch how they weaponize religion to push for discrimination. This bill would allow adoption agencies which discriminate against our community to still receive tax dollars (which are paid in part by our community). 

Trump administration health announcement is latest blow to transgender Americans - The Trump administration is trying to roll back anti-discrimination protections in healthcare. Just another nasty attack on the LGBTQ community, particularly our transgender brothers and sisters.

HRC Calls on the Senate to Reject Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee Kyle Duncan - AND by making sure there are homophobes on the bench, the religious right hope to win cases without even having to prove their arguments. This always has a way of backfiring on them. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Daily Beast - Attempts to ban trans troops has been a disaster for Trump

Editor's note - On Thursday and Friday, there were no midday news briefs because of location difficulties. As far as I know, the situation has been taken care of. However, please bear with me if the problem continues.

According to The Daily Beast, Trump's attempt to ban trans troops has backfired.

According to columnist Samantha Allen in a recent edition of The Daily Beast, Donald Trump's sloppy method of banning transgender men and women from serving in the military has backfired on several levels. It has not only taken the attention mostly away from "bathroom bills," but overall it's causing the entire transgender community to gain public support:

Ever since July 2017, when Trump acceded to the religious right and tweeted a ban on transgender military service without consulting military leaders first, the administration has been dealt blow after blow, suffering two major defeats in the past week alone. 
. . . Indeed, by trying to hurt the transgender rights movement at a crucial and vulnerable moment, the Trump administration will only help speed it along 
It’s important to remember that the political discourse around transgender people was literally in the toilet before Trump tried to ban transgender military service. 
Restroom use was the transgender controversy of 2016 and early 2017—and public opinion was actually fairly divided on the bathroom question, with some polls like Gallup’s, showing narrow support for requiring transgender people to use restrooms according to their assigned gender at birth and others, like Pew’s, showing narrow support for allowing transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender. 
Fast forward to 2018 and not only are anti-transgender “bathroom bills” failing, but thanks to Trump, the battlefield has displaced the bathroom as the trans topic du jour.
Public opinion on transgender military service is not nearly as divided as it is on the bathroom question. The latest Economist/YouGov poll—published in March 2018—shows that only 34 percent of Americans oppose transgender military service, while 49 percent support it. 
To me, it's simply a matter of history repeating itself.  The enemies of LGBTQ equality haven't taken heed to the lessons their loss in the marriage equality fights should have taught them. In the long run, it doesn't matter how much money you have, resources you have to craft the narrative the way you want, or influence to spread your narrative. If your foundation is made up of lies and distortions, it will crash and fall on your head.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

HRC campaign exposes Mike Pence as a homophobic hot mess

The Human Rights Campaign has just launched a campaign to remind folks that while Trump is an incompetent disaster, his vice president Mike Pence is a homophobic disaster.

With Donald Trump mired in lurid scandals and investigations that threaten his presidency, Mike Pence has flown under the radar, amassing enormous power in an administration hobbled by clueless advisors, inexperienced staffers and a revolving cast of lawyers. Pence is exploiting that alarming leadership void by quietly spearheading a charge to radically undermine the rights of LGBTQ people and women, attack voting rights, undercut sound science, and enable the greatest assault on American institutions in modern history. 
“Mike Pence has made a career out of attacking the rights and equal dignity of LGBTQ people, women and other marginalized communities. Now as vice president, he poses one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With the world distracted by Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden White House, Mike Pence’s nefarious agenda has been allowed to fly under the radar for too long. He has become not only the most powerful vice president in American history, but also the least scrutinized. No more. With this comprehensive new report, HRC is exposing the extent of Pence’s extremism, the threat he poses to equality, and all that we’re doing to combat his hateful agenda.”
. . . HRC’s comprehensive report pulls back the curtain on Mike Pence and his inner circle to dispel the specious notion that Mike Pence is the “rational” voice in this unhinged administration. That narrative defies reality, ignoring the deeply troubling history of this deeply discriminatory politician and his aggressive agenda to advance an extremist ideology. 
HRC’s new report and microsite shine a spotlight on Pence’s inside-the-White House efforts to continue his decades-long crusade by leading the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called "conversion therapy"; his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jesse Lee Peterson or Uncle Ruckus - which homophobe dislikes black people more?

Jesse Lee Peterson (top) a homophobic black man who thanks God for slavery. Uncle Ruckus (bottom), also a homophobic black man who is appreciative of slavery.

How about before the next time the African-Americans and LGBTQs get caught up in another useless skirmish about comparisons, both communities pay attention to the fact that more often than not, they have the same enemies working and speaking against their rights. That way, we can do more vital things like call them out . . . or make fun of them.

Take Jesse Lee Peterson for example. He doesn't the queer community:

And thanks God for slavery:

Instead of arguing about comparing the African-American and queer civil rights movement, I would rather compare Peterson to Uncle Ruckus, a fictional character from the television series 'The Boondocks.'

After all, Uncle Ruckus has wacky views of the LGBTQ community:

And is also thankful for slavery:

Wouldn't that be more conducive to succeeding in our struggles for equality instead of another round of the "Oppression Olympics?"

At the very least, it's funny as hell.

'Community supports gay teacher who told students about his husband' & other Wed midday news briefs

Teacher Says School Reprimanded Him After His Husband Sent Flowers - Apparently to some folks, same-sex couples are supposed to think of our relationships as purely physical endeavors of carnality. God forbid we show the simple truth that our relationships involve more than sexual intercourse. It's good that this teacher was supported by the community. 

Parents took over a school board meeting to support a gay teacher & his husband - More about this situation. 

Jesse Lee Peterson: Gay Couples ‘Are Not Mentally Capable’ Of Raising Children - I'm going to say this and I don't care who disagrees. Not only do people conveniently forget the times when being black and being queer overlap, they also forget the similar indignities the two identities have to deal with. Whenever I hear about a crime, I sometimes wish under my breath that the perpetrator isn't black because I know that it will be further ammunition for those who generalize about how all of us are criminals. This news brief demonstrates the same for the queer community. A lesbian couple did something truly awful to their kids and here comes this fool to denigrate all gays and lesbians who are raising children. 

The Trump administration is paying Focus on the Family to stop the AIDS epidemic in South Africa - And they are pushing "purity pledges" on the young folks there. 

"Tiny Beautiful Moments": One Gay Couple's Turn to Fatherhood - Wonderful story!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Basic economics helping LGBTQ community defeat bills in state legislatures

Businesses fear the connotation of this message like it's the plague.

According to the Associated Press, despite the age of Trump and the evangelical right feeling motivated to undermine LGBTQ equality, bills devoted to that effort are being defeated in state legislatures. And the reason is a fear of economic backlashes:

In the thick of this year's legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.
A key factor in the shift: In the Republican-led states where these types of bills surface, moderate GOP lawmakers and business leaders are increasingly wary of losing conventions, sporting events and corporate headquarters. 
. . . . This year, certainly, conservatives have struggled to gain much traction at the state level on LGBT-related issues. Among the many bills that failed: 
—A Tennessee measure that would have required the state to defend schools in court if they were sued for limiting transgender students' access to bathrooms. 
—A South Dakota bill that would have required signs on some public restroom doors notifying users that a person of the opposite sex might be inside. 
—A "religious liberties" bill in Georgia that would have given legal protection to faith-based adoption agencies that decline to place children with same-sex couples. 
An ever-growing number of states — at least a dozen — have passed bills banning the practice of "gay conversion therapy" on minors. And voters in Anchorage, Alaska, rejected a ballot measure that would have restricted transgender people's access to public restrooms.  

And, according to the article, there will be a huge upcoming campaign devoted to showing the need for anti-discrimination laws. And in June, SCOTUS will decide a case which may or may not allow businesses refuse to service on the basis of religious objections.

'How anti-LGBTQ group convinced the IRS to call it a church' & other Tue midday news briefs

Here’s How Focus On The Family Convinced The IRS To Call It A Church - How the anti-gay group Focus on the Family convinced the IRS to call it a church should be a warning to us all. Focus on the Family presents itself as mainstream so much so that it generally flies under the radar and is not considered as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is very rare that I talk about it on this blog. But it is still nonetheless devoted to undermining LGBTQ equality and safety.

Debate Over Maine Conversion Therapy Ban Sees Lawmakers Shouting, Put In A Time Out - It got ugly, alright. And this fight is far from over even though we won the first round. 

‘Queer rights activist’ hosts ‘BGLTQ-accepting’ Bible reading at Harvard - This is a good idea. Too many folks are afraid to discuss the interpretation of Biblical verses. 

These Stunning Portraits Show What It’s Like To Be A Two-Spirit Native American Today - Fascinating. The more we know about our history . . . 

LGBT ‘Conversion Therapy’ Is Dying a Quick Death Across America. Good. - Yeah but it is kicking and screaming big time.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Pompeo no religious martyr but possibly a homophobic disaster just waiting to happen

Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State nominee, has ties with anti-LGBTQ hate group The Family Research Council.

On Friday during a confirmation hearing, Sen. Cory Booker heavily questioned Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State nominee, on his opposition to marriage equality and his past statement that homosexuality is a perversion. Since that time, various conservative groups and individuals have been sending out opinion pieces, tweets, etc in an attempt to cast Booker as a bully and Pompeo as a victim. They are whining that Pompeo supposedly treats everyone with respect and that Booker is imposing a "religious litmus test."

It's bull. I'm sure that several so-called news program - particularly on Fox - will feature these conservative talking heads to spin their story without any correction. But that's not going to happen in this blog. In a wonderful piece published by The Advocate, Zeke Stokes, vice president of programs at GLAAD broke  it down last week why Pompeo is not a victim, but rather a homophobic disaster just waiting to happen:

Mike Pompeo consulted with FRC during his time as CIA director and has earned its endorsement and praise throughout his career; he is even a regular guest on FRC president Tony Perkins’s anti-LGBTQ radio program. 
Make no mistake: These are the advisers who would follow Mike Pompeo to the State Department if he is confirmed — something that our nation cannot afford.

What messages would it send to the world to have our top diplomat hold such close ties to anti-LGBTQ extremism that runs counter to the State Department’s stated central goal of protecting human rights? 
Being gay is still criminalized in 72 countries. Transgender people face violence and death at home and abroad merely for living their truth. We cannot afford to move backwards on LGBTQ rights when so much is at stake. 
We are currently facing deeply troubling times with anti-LGBTQ state violence and discrimination. Authorities in Chechnya have detained and attacked over 100 LGBTQ citizens because of their perceived sexual orientation and 27 men have reportedly been killed by Chechen government officials. At least 141 people were arrested in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta during a May 2017 raid that was part of a county-wide anti-LGBTQ crackdown. In Azerbaijan, police carried out mass arrests of as many as 100 LGBTQ people. 
Similar crises are happening in Egypt, Russia, Ghana, Bangladesh, and beyond. In these deeply troubling times, our country needs a secretary of State who can address these human rights violations with good faith and credibility, two qualities Mike Pompeo has long since lost.

The entire piece is worth your time to read and Stokes is a guest worth booking on news shows when there are debates about Pompeo's credentials. It's not accidental that he probably won't be booked.

'Conservatives, evangelical right play defense for Trump nominee's anti-gay past' & other Mon midday news briefs

Conservatives and the evangelical right are angry at Sen. Cory Booker (right) for demanding answers from Sec of State nominee Mike Pompeo regarding his past anti-gay statements.

Conservatives defend Pompeo’s belief that homosexuality is a ‘perversion’ - Of course they will defend this mess by mischaracterizing the issue. They would get away with it but we won't let them. Case in point regarding the deliberate mischaracterization. HUGE lie on the part of the Family Research Council and Breitbart. There was no loyalty oath asked:

LGBTQ Parenting: How Different is It from Just ‘Parenting’ - An important subject which should get lots of attention - being queer and raising children.

Federal judge shuts down Trump’s ‘new’ transgender military ban - Surprising NO ONE, this happened on Friday evening. Now who was on Pence's ad-hoc committee which gave the recommendations for this nonsense. We all know who it was, but I would like to have confirmation.

‘No Longer Alone’: LGBT Voices from the Middle East, North Africa - Again, our struggle for equality and self-determination is universal.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Video: Britney Spears, Lena Waithe steal GLAAD awards with eloquent speeches about love & acceptance

The first half of the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards took place Thursday in Los Angeles and the show was wonderful. Congratulations to all of the recipients. LOGO network will be airing it on Wednesday at 8p.m.

But just in case you aren't able to see the telecast, enjoy these speeches from Lena Waithe, who received the award for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character) for Master of None‘s “Thanksgiving.” Waite was incredibly eloquent in her speech as she told the LGBTQ community to stick together and love each other. 

 And Britney Spears who received the Vanguard Award. Spears pretty much stole the show with her fantastic dress and awesome speech about being supported by the LGBTQ community:

 A full list of the award recipients (including my buddy Monica Roberts who became the first transgender person to receive the GLAAD award for 'Outstanding Blog') can be seen here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

'Dems seek answers from Mattis on trans ban recommendations' & other Fri midday news briefs

Democrats in Congress want to who recommended Mattis support trans ban and how decision was made.

Dems seek answers from Mattis on anti-trans military recommendations - Congressional Democrats want to know who supplied the information for Defense Secretary Mattis's recommendation to ban transgender troops. Everyone please remember this issue because it is in the backdrop and slowly simmering. If and when it explodes, it has the potential to do a lot of damage to the anti-LGBTQ industry. These are the questions they are asking:

1. Who was on the Panel of Experts?  
2. Who did the Panel consult with?  
3. Did the Panel consult with the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association or American Medical Association or any other medical professionals with expertise in gender dysphoria?
4. In your view, what are the substantial risks associated with the accessions and retention of transgender persons? Can you please provide any examples that since June 30, 2016 these issues have arisen within the military and describe how the DOD or services handled these situations?  
5. In your view, what are the specific issues that could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military? Can you please provide any examples that since June 30, 2016 these issues have arisen within the military and describe how the DOD or services handled these situations? 
 6. Were any government officials outside of DOD or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) involved in the Report or your Memorandum to the president? If so, who were these officials and what was the basis for their involvement?  

 Additionally, the letter requests “the specific medical and scientific data that supported the conclusions contained in your memorandum.” 

Army chief of staff pulls rug out from under transgender military ban - And the issue just got more interesting. We know where the anti-transgender troops recommendations probably came from - Pence and his ad-hoc committee of anti-LGBTQ spokespeople.

Evangelical Leaders Could Use Stormy Daniels To Get Even More From Trump - Thus demonstrating how calculating un-Christian these people are. 

High Court of Trinidad and Tobago Rules Code Criminalizing Same-Sex Activity is Unconstitutional - Wonderful! 

GLAAD Media Awards Honors ‘This Is Us’ As Outstanding Drama Series - Congratulations to all of the GLAAD award recipients, particularly my good friend Monica Roberts whose blog, TransGriot, received the award for 'Outstanding Blog.'

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Trump's Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo sidesteps an important question about being gay

On Thursday, Mike Pompeo, Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, answered questions in front of a Senate committee. Pompeo has a lot to answer for regarding his past Islamophobic statements and alliances as well as his anti-LGBTQ record. Naturally, this means that those on the right, particularly the religious right, support him. They claim that he will stand up for "religious liberty."

Pompeo was questioned on his past comments by Senator Corey Booker. To hear the Family Research Council tell it, Pompeo came out smelling like a rose:

Later, when Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tried to paint Pompeo as a hater or Islamophobe, Mike asked him to stop and consider the facts. "My record is exquisite in dealing with people of very different faiths... I've heard these critiques... I promise I will treat persons of other faith or no faith with the dignity they deserve." 
Booker's attack became more intense, suggesting that Christians who believe in the Bible's definition of sexuality had no business running a government agency. Mike replied simply, "When I was a politician, I had a very clear view that [a same-sex couple] should not be married. Senator, I continue to hold that view." When Booker interrupted and asked how he could lead the State Department with that belief, Pompeo reminded him that you can disagree with someone and still treat them with respect. "We have married gay couples at the CIA, you should know. My respect for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, is the same."

Bear in mind that this is the Family Research Council; a group which has been called out for lies and distortions time and time again by myself and so many others.

In this particular case, FRC chose to dance around an important part of the Booker/Pompeo exchange, i.e. the part where Booker asks Pompeo does he still think that being gay is a "perversion." The video below is timed to that exchange (1:40):


The fact that Pompeo refused to directly answer the question says much about why he is opposed. And FRC's attempt to use religion as a way to sidestep the exchange makes the situation even more problematic. Religious views have paved the way to anti-LGBTQ persecution in other countries.  And many of those views are the same as the one Pompeo earlier expressed. So where specifically would he stand on speaking out against this persecution. Evasive answers about treating people with respect isn't enough here. Would Pompeo speak out against international anti-LGBTQ persecution or will he  (to cite FRC president Tony Perkins's favorite word) give it a "mulligan" on the grounds of  "religious liberty?"

'Will Uganda reintroduce bill which could put gays in jails for life?' & other Thur midday news briefs

Ugandan MPs want to reintroduce anti-homosexuality law that could imprison gay people for life - And we are HERE again. Just in case you need a reminder, this monstrosity was originally unveiled thanks to American homophobes coming to Africa and scaring the heck out of people.

Related post - Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate - GLAAD Media Award nominee Box Turtle Bulletin was the first and only news source to give an entire break down on what happened in Uganda to cause this mess. 

Column: You’re not alone: LGBTQ students face dual stigma regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health - Whenever we get blase or jaded about fighting for equality and especially calling out the anti-LGBTQ industry, we need to remember that our kids are depending on us.

Extremists compare so-called ‘Must Stay Gay’ bans on conversion therapy to Jim Crow - OH HAIIIL NO! 

Mat Staver: Media Is Waging Satanic ‘Psychological Warfare’ Against Trump - Well dang! I thought we in the LGBTQ community was waging "Satanic Psychological Warfare."

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kissing or holding hands in public - video shows how complicated simple PDAs are for LGBTQ community

This video from BBC Scotland is a brilliant look at how and why displays of public affection from the LGBTQ community causes lots of discussion.

 From LGBTQ Nation:

 BBC Scotland‘s “The Social” touts itself as “comedy, lifestyle & more from fresh talent in Scotland,” but it’s newest video “Time for Love” is anything but funny. The video is quickly going viral as thousands of queer men and women see themselves in the spot and share it on social media. Instead of laughs, the piece is striking a deep chord for many in our community who see themselves, their lives and their fears expressed so eloquently and raw. Most LGBT people have said in numerous studies that they are uncomfortable holding hands or kissing their romantic partner in public. This is why.

It's already caused a lot of comments on the LGBTQ Nation webpage and for good reason. Displays of public affection in the our community causes lots of debate. In fact, I am willing to predict that someone, voicing an objection, will conflate simply hand holding or short kisses with slobbery French kisses, deliberately missing the point that we are talking about simple public displays of affection, not gay recreations of the movie In The Realm of the Senses.

'White House refuses to turn over emails which may prove it worked with anti-LGBTQ hate group on trans ban' & other Wed midday news briefs

Forget Hillary's emails. What about emails involving the Trump Administration and the Family Research Council?

White House refuses to turn over emails proving it works with hate group - I got my EYE on this situation with baited breath and sharpened claws in lovely anticipation. 

Gay Georgia Couple Can’t Be Prom King and King, School Says - This is what I was talking about last night when it comes to the media showing positive images for the sake of our LGBTQ kids. They get enough junk like this as it is. 

Georgia school refuses to let gay couple compete for prom court together - More about this issue. I know that to some folks, this may not seem like a big deal. BUT IT IS A BIG DEAL to our kids and those of us seeking to not allow a repeat of how we were brought up in second class status. 

Gay ‘Dreamer’ stuck in Mexico after green card application denied - Point blank. This simply ain't right.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

AT&T 'This is Me' commercial is a wonderful statement on being your queer self

This AT&T LGBTQ-inclusive commercial about being proud of yourself is easily one of the best things I've seen in a while. Now I know there are some concern trolls who will whine about having such commercials supposedly shoved in their faces.

 Get over it.

We got our LGBTQ children to think about and the more positive images they see of themselves, the better. Secondly, and maybe not of equal importance, but still important, if I can get over not being able to have a decent relationship in high school and college because of societal homophobia, you can get over a few LGBTQ-themed commercials.

'Family Research Council backs activist's claim that gays are trying to 'rape the minds' of children' & other Tue midday news briefs

This above tweet by the Family Research Council makes this sound like a noble effort. But look to the first article below to remind yourself of what it actually is - yet another version of the "gays want to recruit children" lie.

Activist Mommy claims LGBT groups ‘sneak into schools to rape the minds of our children’ - A way out there right-wing blogger called "Activist Mommy" is starting a movement attacking sex education in schools as well as the LGBTQ community. She claims that we are trying to "rape the minds of children." Now the Family Research Council and other anti-LGBTQ hate groups are piggybacking on her mess.  Notice the tactic here - they aren't that quick to outright accuse gays of trying to "recruit" children so they are piggybacking on someone else doing it while attempting to make her madness sound reasonable.  Don't laugh this off so quickly. It has the potential to damage our LGBTQ kids by preventing them from getting accurate sex education.

Brian Dodge Is on a Mission to Make America Understand Bisexuality - Much needed because bi-erasure and bi-stereotyping are real.

Sweet Home Alabama (and Georgia and Mississippi, Too) - Author and activist Khafre Abif helps young bi and gay black men address HIV in the Deep South — and in their own lives - Good because it's one of those issues which gets unconsciously swept away.

Pittsburgh blogger up for national GLAAD media award - Mega props to my friend Susan Kerr on her GLAAD Media Award nomination in the category of 'Outstanding Blog,' as well as the other nominees. All of them deserve to win.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Stormy Daniels controversy demonstrates how much Trump controls the religious right

The Stormy Daniels controversy probably will not cause a break between Trump and the religious right  because they fear losing the access he gives them.

According to a recent edition of NPR, evangelicals will be meeting with Trump in June and the controversy regarding his alleged payout to porn star Stormy Daniels may come up:

As allegations continue to swirl about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter, evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June, four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting tell NPR. 
"We're very concerned" about the allegations, said a leader of a faith-based ministry. The leader is involved in hosting the gathering, which organizers are aiming to take place June 19 at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The source said the combination of the Stormy Daniels sex-scandal allegations and Trump's continued reputation for divisive rhetoric could suppress evangelical turnout in the November midterm elections. 
"It is a concern of ours that 2018 could be very detrimental to some of the other issues that we hold dear," like preserving religious liberty and restricting abortion rights, the source noted. The source, like the others with knowledge of the event, spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity so as to not jeopardize the meeting.

However, those associated with the meeting are denying this. On Friday, Christianity Today reported:

 . . .  Johnnie Moore, who acts as convenor for the evangelical group, has denied the allegations in the report. He told Christian Today the June meeting was 'at a conceptual level only' at present and that there had been no serious discussion about the format of the event. He added that 'attaching the planning of the meeting to any past, personal accusations against the president is entirely farcical, that isn't the purpose and it has never been a point of discussion ... it would be about the issues'.

'Trump supporting black pastor attacks Black Lives Matter for having lesbians in leadership positions' & other Mon midday news briefs

Harry Jackson Says Black Lives Matter Can Never Achieve True Justice Because There Are ‘A Few Lesbians’ In Leadership Positions - Oh hell no! Harry Jackson, a black pastor who is bought and paid for by white religious right groups, is the last person to rag on anyone for any designations regarding black people, social movements, etc. Not only that but he is a proud supporter of Donald Trump. Look at pictures of Donald Trump with the pastors who support him regardless of his garbage. Jackson is one of the few black pastors there and smiling like a slave whose "master" let him live in the "big house." (And to answer a question hopefully not asked - those lesbians ARE black. It sounds stupid but you would be surprised how many folks would read the headline and assume that the lesbians are automatically white.)

Sex Education and LGBT groups 'rape the minds of children' says Activist Mommy Elizabeth Johnston - This right here is a stupid woman. But she has enough of a following to make Newsweek, unfortunately.

Is Ted Cruz in trouble from a pro-LGBT challenger? - That would be nice. 

Popular Gay Media Is Still Focusing On Straight Acceptance, Rather Than Celebrating Queer Difference - The eternal internal fight in our community. Where I stand is that both sides should be heard because of the diversity of our community. Some LGBTQs do seek so-called normalcy while others do want to embrace a queer identity. I think the important thing to remember is that no one has the patent on what we should be, even folks in our community.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Evangelical pastor calls Trump a strong leader. You can laugh now.

For one reason or another, enjoy the nonsense below of evangelical Christian pastor Robert Jeffress explain why folks like him will most likely still support Trump no matter what he does:

Simply a hot mess. Just one more reason why I hope their support of Trump will blow up in the face of the anti-LGBTQ right-wing evangelical community. Their explanations of why they supported him will be EPIC.

Friday, April 06, 2018

'Franklin Graham gets dragged on twitter for attack on progressives' & other Fri midday news briefs

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham goes on a twitter tear attacking progressives - And is getting dragged for it on twitter. 

10 tips for LGBTQ couples hoping to foster children - Yep! This is very needed!

Victory! Mississippi Supreme Court Rules That Lesbian Spouses Are Both Legal Parents to Their Marital Children - Complicated case with a good ruling. 

Parents face many challenges in discussing sex with LGBTQ children - THIS is a serious situation because it is part of the trepidation some parents have when their children come out. They need resources to help them. And there are a lot of entities just chomping at the bit to scare them with false information. 

AARP Survey: Many LGBT Elders Fear Long Term Care Facilities - Another very important issue we need to remember.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ activist angry at 'Love, Simon' for showing a positive image of gays

Peter LaBarbera is angry at 'Love, Simon' for showing a positive image of the gay community.

I haven't written about anti-LGBTQ activist 'Porno' Peter LaBarbera in a long time. I don't find him relevant anymore. The only reason why I'm posting about him today is because of the audacity he has to whine about the hit movie, "Love, Simon."

From Right Wing Watch:

Peter LaBarbera
Anti-LGBTQ activist Peter LaBarbera was, unsurprisingly, not a fan of the new gay teenage romance film “Love, Simon,” complaining to Religious Right radio host Janet Mefferd on Tuesday that the film fails to promote a “religious message” and does not warn audiences that gay people face a life of physical and mental illness “and of course the judgment of God.” 
LaBarbera joined Mefferd on Tuesday to weigh in on the release of “Love, Simon,” which is a romantic comedy film that features a 17-year-old boy who reveals his sexual orientation to his friends and family and falls in love with a classmate. LaBarbera, who has long been livid about the entertainment industry advancing LGBTQ causes, shared with Mefferd what he saw to be “three myths” promoted in the film. 
“Number one is that being homosexual—quote-unquote ‘gay’—is basically who you are, intrinsically who you are. You know, if that line just happens to be gay. That’s number one. Number two, that there’s a total mutual equivalence between homosexual romances and the gay lifestyle and normal, heterosexual living, so it’s presented as totally equal. 
Number three, that parental love, the way they love their son after he comes out and declares his homosexuality or they find out, the parents, is they just basically express regret they didn’t know earlier,” he said. “There’s no sorrow. There’s no religious message at all in the movie, Janet, and there’s nothing that says any disapproval.” 
LaBarbera said he believed the movie was “like a Disney gay movie” that was made for teenagers before complaining that “there’s no aftermath after this boy finds his quote-unquote ‘gay’ romance.”
“We’re never going to hear later about the diseases associated with homosexuality that he likely would get, mental illness, and of course the judgment of God,” LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera deserves to be mocked, but I still find him amusingly insulting. He seems to think he has the right to tell the LGBTQ community who we are. He thinks he knows us better than ourselves to the point where he gets to determine the stories we tell. We know the horror stories about our lives LaBarbera wants to tell - evil yarns about oversexed, unhappy, multi-diseased gays who waste away in pools of their own excesses.

Too bad for him. It's not our job to coddle his religious beliefs or buttress his hate. The way we tell our authentic stories is for us to decide, not someone who is ruled by delusion springing from internal things I would talk further about if I had any experience in psychology. LaBarbera is so indicative of the rest of the religious right who get angry at us for daring to tell our stories truthfully and away from the lies and stereotypes they generate about us. How dare we take control and not fall for the web of self-hatred they craft for us out of their twisted version of religion, cherry-picked and junk science, and plain hatred.  They have a right to believe whatever they want about us, but they don't have the right to make us believe  their lies. Nor do they have the right to control how we tell our own stories.

LaBarbera will just have to get over his anger at "Love, Simon.". If not, he knows where he can go.