Thursday, May 31, 2018

Anti-gay pastor Franklin Graham called out for 'praise the Lord and vote Republican' fakery

It's about time that someone not allow Franklin Graham to get away with the "praise the Lord and vote Republican" fakery he has been pulling in California. And the fact that it happened on Fox News - Donald Trump's propaganda arm - is a miracle in itself.

From Raw Story

Evangelist Franklin Graham thinks it is “sad” that Democrats and Republicans cannot be friends in today’s political climate. But Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt isn’t convinced that Graham is all that concerned with bipartisanship.  
 “That is a pretty remarkable contradiction,” Stirewalt said during a Thursday appearance on the network. “You have a guy that goes and out complains about how divided the country is politically, and then follows that up with don’t vote Democrat, whatever you do.” “It is so telling, so indicative of how bad — really — our politics have become. This is something that most Christian leaders would never have done even a decade ago.” 

Franklin wouldn't allow Stirewalt's comment to go unanswered.

' Anti-LGBTQ industry using the anti-abortion playbook to undermine marriage equality' & other Thur midday news briefs

In order to combat the undermining of marriage equality, we have to resurrect images of the past such as this one (from 1986) and connect them with the present to demonstrate how the anti-LGBTQ industry has engaged a decades long smear campaign designed to wreck our community's equality, safety, and dignity.

How Republicans Are Using The Anti-Abortion Playbook To Undermine Same-Sex Marriage - I sincerely hope people stop saying that if we ignore the anti-LGBTQ industry, they will go away. They have too much money, too much gall, and too much self-righteousness to go away. And now thanks to Buzzfeed, we see that they will be copying the anti-abortion playbook in order to undermine marriage equality. By focusing on ways to cause little roadblocks - i.e. "religious liberty" laws which will prevent us from adopting children as well as receiving other services and even protection from discrimination, they are stockpiling state laws designed to make our lives hell. BUT there is a solution. The article doesn't say the solution, but I am. If you are a fan of my blog, then you should know what the solution is. It is the same reason I began this blog over 11 years ago. 

This latest gambit of the anti-LGBTQ industry is no different than the last few (i.e."protecting marriage," "protecting children," "homosexuality is a deadly lifestyle like cigarette smoke," "homosexuals want special rights.") over several decades. It is the latest attempt to undermine the equality, the dignity, and the safety of the LGBTQ community by a group of people and organizations who have concentrated their contempt and hatred of us behind religious beliefs and a cynical rendering of talking points and laws. And these groups and organizations have manipulated certain segments of the public into thinking  that protecting our rights, children, and families present a danger. 

These groups and individuals been doing this for decades in one form or another.. That's how it's always been. From Anita Bryant to Gary Bauer to Lon Mabon to Scott Lively to Tony Perkins or Ryan T. Anderson. From 'Save the Children' to the Oregon Citizen Alliance to the National Organization for Marriage' to the Family Research Council and the Alliance for Defending Freedom. Different people, different groups, and different decades but it's all the same game. 

The anti-LGBTQ industry is like some bizarre cryptoid out of Greek mythology. When one head is  severed, another one springs up, spewing as much venom as the first.  It's time we open the doors of history and drag it all out. Drag out the junk science, the cherry-picked science, the lies, the false claims, the basic verbal disrespect, the attempts to reduce our lives to their stereotypical specifications.  It's never been about protecting children, religious beliefs, or anything else.  It's all been about homophobia, hatred, and animus. And if we do not make the rest of the country aware of this noxious history, the anti-LGBTQ industry will continue to control narrative and get away scott free with all of the things it has done.

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America - A beginning step would be educating ourselves more on the history of anti-LGBTQ propaganda. My free online booklet from 2013 is a small step in that direction. Please read and share. 

District Reverses Decision to Call Transgender Student by Birth Name at Graduation - When we raise hell for the right reasons, we cause positive change.

Betsy DeVos Meets Teen Wearing Trans Pride Flag During School Visit - Speaking out takes many forms.

It looks like Indonesia will not criminalize gay sex after all - Good for Indonesia!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Alliance Defending Freedom decries anti-Christian persecution in India but omits it supported the country's anti-gay law

The Alliance Defending Freedom is speaking out against the persecution of Christians in India. But in 2013, the group applauded India for recriminalizing gay sex. ADF obviously believes in a pecking order when it comes to fighting persecution.

Today, via the right-wing online publication The Daily Signal, an official with anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom sounded the alarm about anti-Christian persecution in India.

Meghan Fischer, legal counsel with ADF International, a branch of the Alliance Defending Freedom,  reported that in India, there are several requirements would make it difficult for people to convert from one religion to another (in this case, from Hinduism to Christianity). In addition, Christians are being attacked and arrested:

Some laws require potential converts to notify local government officials, while others even mandate advance permission, which often is not granted. This violates a fundamental principle of international human rights—that a person may believe whatever he or she chooses to believe, and that no one may force him or her to adopt or renounce a particular belief. 
Members of the lowest castes who convert away from Hinduism lose certain government benefits—an obvious attempt to keep them in their place. Conversely and unsurprisingly, if someone wants to convert to Hinduism, the majority religion, there are no hurdles. Mass Hindu conversion ceremonies take place with no consequences, even though some participants claim they are forced to take part. 
Recent arrests include 32 Catholic seminarians singing Christmas carols, chaperones for a Christian summer camp, and a Christian handing out pamphlets. Extremists attack Christians as they worship in their churches and homes under the pretense of preventing fraudulent conversions. Lawyers like Baskaran represent Christians who have been attacked, but it can take years for victims to receive reparations, if they receive any at all. 

To hear something like this is awful. People should have the right to be able to change religions without being prey to threats, violence, or requirements designed to undermine their desire. But at the same time, I really question the integrity of  any branch of ADF to call attention to this.

In 2013, ADF publicly supported recriminalizing gay sex in India.

'LGBTQ fight against false definition of 'religious liberty' will continue even after SCOTUS ruling' & other Wed midday news briefs

The video above from the Human Rights Campaign explains what's at stake in the upcoming SCOTUS decision about using the concept of "religious liberty" to discriminate. No matter what the decision is, this fight is far from over. That's why the video is needed. 

More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision - I repeat, no matter how the court rules, this will NOT be over. It will be a pitched and ugly battle. Give no inch and give no quarter. Don't back away from our right to be treated with fairness and dignity. 

Congressman Predicts More 'Displaced' Children if ACLU Wins Faith-Based Adoption Lawsuit - This will be one of the next issues.  Religious based adoption agencies can discriminate against gays in accordance to their faith all they want. But they should NOT be able to receive tax dollars for doing it.

Report says school violence on the rise against LGBT students - This is awful. We need to do better.

Wales Is Leading the Way in LGBT-Inclusive Sex Education - Too bad we have so many roadblocks from decent LGBT-inclusive sex education here in America.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Forget 'Roseanne.' Let's talk about 'Frasier'

I don't know about y'all but I've had my fill of Roseanne and her now-canceled sitcom. She makes it difficult to remember that not all sitcoms are negatively controversial. Some, in fact, are very funny without being preachy or losing their comedic integrity.

 Take Frasier for example.

My friend Matt Baume has created a video focusing on an episode of the sitcom, "The Matchmaker," which features a gay theme:

 It wasn’t easy to put gay characters on TV in the 1990s. But one show managed to be gayer than pretty much any other mainstream sitcom of the time. Frasier had two huge advantages when it came to LGBT inclusion: first, a ton of gay people worked on it, from the cast to the writers to directors. And second, its comedy hinges on misunderstandings, farce, and unspoken social taboos -- and unspoken taboos just so happen to be something queer people know a thing or two about. 

 What's really interesting about Frasier in general is not only the two openly gay cast members who worked on the show, David Hyde Pierce and Dan Butler, but also the fact that the actor portraying Frasier - Kelsey Grammar - is a conservative Republican.

 Definitely from another time and universe when compared to the bunch present nowadays.

'Hate group Alliance Defending Freedom pushes skilled propaganda in video' & other Tue midday news briefs

Chinese general Sun Tzu once said you must know your enemy. In that spirit, I present a video from the hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom. The video features Washington State florist Barronelle Stutzman. Hers is not the case in front of the Supreme Court right now, but the video bears watching so it can show how skilled ADF is in making anti-LGBTQ discrimination sound reasonable and not as far reaching at it truly is.  A key thing to think about - ADF and Stutzman claims the gay  couple could have easily gone somewhere else, but as you can read via another article in these news briefs, ADF is steadily working to eliminate the "somewhere elses" that LGBTQ people can go to when it come to many businesses besides florists.(BTW the "dislikes" of the video is far ahead of the "likes." Feel free to add your opinion.)

Washington Supreme Court rules against florist who discriminated against same-sex couple - And by the way, here is the true and complete story of Stutzman.

Six key takeaways from The Nation's investigative report on Alliance Defending Freedom’s “legal army - AND most importantly, let's talk about the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group propping Stutzman up, by way of summarizing a special report of its "activities" against the LGBTQ community.

 Turning Away Gay Homebuyers Isn’t Religious Liberty, It’s Discrimination - And this right here is why we must not be tricked by the narrative ADF is pushing. Last week, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher said homeowners should be allowed to turn away potential LGBTQ buyers. Michelangelo Signorile spells out what's dangerous about this and how it connects to Stutzman and the baker's case which will soon be decided by SCOTUS: 

 Last year a federal judge, in a first, ruled that LGBTQ people are in fact protected under the FHA. But if the Supreme Court rules that a baker may turn away a gay couple seeking a wedding cake ― and that seemed to be a very real possibility during oral arguments last fall ― all bets are off as to how the court might rule in other areas.  
 That’s because the arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case center on the baker’s “religious liberty,” something that Justice Neil Gorsuch broadly views as allowing for discrimination ― and which the Supreme Court previously allowed for in the Hobby Lobby decision. That ruling allows employers to opt out of offering contraception to women in their health care plans based on corporate owners’ religious beliefs. 
  But if “religious liberty” is reason for a baker who’s open to the general public to say he can’t make a wedding cake for a gay couple, why should it be any different for a landlord or a home seller or a bank, all serving the general public? If religious liberty is paramount, then, as Rohrabacher said, a homeowner “shouldn’t be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.” Rohrabacher’s comments expose the slippery slope the Supreme Court might put us on. They also underscore how deeply rooted bigotry against LGBTQ people is, and how religion is used to exempt it.

Gay, black and HIV positive: America's hidden epidemic – video - Sad but necessary video.

In Poland, a Nation of Catholics, a Gay Atheist Mayor is a Presidential Hopeful - I'll believe it when I see it.

Monday, May 28, 2018

An anti-LGBTQ hate group is about to get jerked out of the shadows very soon

The Supreme Court is set to rule on a case (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) which should decide on whether businesses can exploit religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against certain customers, particularly LGBTQ customers. I don't know how they are going to rule, but regardless whether it's a defeat or victory for us, people are going to want to know all about the  anti-LGBTQ hate group which pushed the case, the Alliance Defending Freedom.

I've posted this video before, but I have no problems with posting it again. It was created in 2016 and I don't think it covered the full attack on the LGBTQ community masterminded by the ADF. It certainly didn't cover how the group has undertaken many more attacks since 2016.

All of this includes fighting for the right to sterilize transgender men and women in foreign countries and fighting for laws imprisoning gays simply for their sexual orientation in foreign countries such as India, Jamaica, and Belize.

In America, ADF crafted those awful "bathroom bills" which targets transgender high school and elementary school students. It has worked to pass "religious freedom" laws which discriminate against gays in states like Mississippi. It advocated denying our transgender soldiers their necessary medical care. In addition, ADF is also behind the laws passed in Kansas and Oklahoma which undermines gay adoption in the grounds of "religious liberty."

No more hiding in the shadows for this group And no more lies about them simply trying to protect religious views. No matter how the SCOTUS case is decided, the behind-the-scenes status of ADF will be changed forever. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Let's remember LGBTQ veterans during Memorial Day weekend' & other Fri midday news briefs

 How's this for a novel idea - instead of attacking people who are kneeling in accordance to their First Amendment right to protest, why don't we remember those who fight for our freedoms this Memorial Day, especially the LGBTQ veterans.

No, Family Research Council. You don't get to to talk about patriotism after attacking transgender soldiers - And how about we speak out against those who disrespect them, like these SOBs right here.  

Democrats introduce bill to prevent use of religious exemptions to discriminate - This would be wonderful if it could get off the ground. 

Dana Rohrabacher says it’s okay to deny people housing because they’re gay - Just in case you didn't hear this mess. 

This conservative group advocates for LGBTQ rights. Can it make itself heard in today’s GOP? - I'll believe it when I see a black woman marry Rush Limbaugh.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

No, Family Research Council. You don't get to to talk about patriotism after attacking transgender soldiers

As long as the Family Research Council attacks trans soldiers, its words about patriotism don't mean a thing.

I've never believed that you should force people to show patriotism. Patriotic acts must be performed freely and from the heart. That way, they are genuine rather than for show.

Of course the National Football League doesn't believe such with their recently announced policy of forcing players and staff who are on the field during the playing of the national anthem to stand. While those not wishing so can remain in the locker room, we all know how such things work out when peer pressure from other players, the fans, and some of the media come for these players.

This ridiculous policy is mostly likely because of the ruckus Donald Trump raised last year when former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick began to kneel on one knee during the playing of the anthem. He did so to protest the problem of police brutality against black men and the rash of deaths it was causing. Other players in the NFL and other sports began to follow his lead.

Trump, who has never met an issue he wouldn't distort, made the issue one of disrespect of the nation's flag and anthem. And his further exploitation of the controversy is the reason why we are where we are today.

If the NFL thinks this issue is over, it is sadly mistaken. However, in Trump land (which is more mental than physical), right-wing and religious right groups such as the Family Research Council and its president, Tony Perkins,  are practically anointing Trump as the new savior of America akin to how Franklin Roosevelt guided us through World War 2. I will spare you the entire screed. A little should be enough to properly nauseate you:

President Trump, who scored the biggest victory in America's showdown with the $14 billion league, agreed that NFL owners did the right thing. But, like a lot us, doesn't think people should have to be prodded into showing their nation respect. "I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good," he said in an exclusive interview on Fox News. "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country." 
FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin, who knows plenty of soldiers who wished they could stand for anything again, said, "I think it's sad that any American today is not willing to stand in honor of the flag," but, he went on, "I'm glad to see the NFL addressing the issue." The American Legion, whose veterans served so that these players had the freedom to disrespect their country, applauded the NFL's move -- wishing, like most Americans, that it had never been necessary. "While the issues that led to the controversy remain and deserve continued national dialogue, we hope that all Americans would stand united as one under our national symbol. Our flag and anthem belong to all Americans. While our country is not perfect, it remains the world's greatest beacon of freedom. We all have to work together to resolve our differences." 
Whether the NFL has learned its lesson about wading into the culture wars remains to be seen. What it has learned is not to tangle with proud Americans -- and the man working to make their country great again, Donald Trump. "This is a notable win for conservatives," Axios insisted, one that will hopefully make businesses think twice about mocking our values. "Trump outsmarted the Resistance," the Federalist pointed out, "but that doesn't seem to take much work. The Resistance has framed the issue so cleverly that they are on one side and Trump is on the other -- along with the national anthem, the flag, and military veterans." That's a fight no smart entrepreneur wants to pick. 
Meanwhile, if there is a bright side to this controversy, it's that Americans reminded the corporate elite just how painful their extremist politics can be. In business -- as in elections -- your choices matter. There's no downside to speaking up -- or, in this case, standing up and tuning out. Even one person can make a powerful difference.

The irony coupled with the hypocrisy of the Family Research Council burns through so many levels that I'm practically salivating when I think of what to take on first.

'Support of marriage equality enjoys a significant growth' & other Thur midday news briefs

More Americans Than Ever Support Same-Sex Marriage - And in the midst of all of the insanity of the Trump Administration comes 67 percent support of marriage equality. BUT we still face obstacles so don't waste too much time celebrating this news. The folks on the other side of the argument are so nasty, they would pass laws keeping married gay couples from getting cheese on their sandwiches.

Increase: 4.5% Of Americans Now Identify As LGBT - With more visibility comes a stronger ability to control our destinies.

Federal judge hands transgender inmates an important legal victory - Good! 

These Basketball Players Gave Up Their Dreams To Fight For LGBT Rights - This is what a lot of it is all about. Giving of yourself for the greater good of our people.

Transgender Iranians still face discrimination - Again, the struggle is real and it is universal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump's religious liberty commission pick ran this comically bad anti-gay ad in 2012

Last week, it was announced that two prominent anti-LGBTQ activists, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer, were picked to be members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Naturally the news caused a good deal of anger because of both men's long history of denigrating the LGBTQ community via lies and junk science.

 However much of the attention was given to Perkins (who was chosen by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), while Bauer (picked by Trump) pretty much flew under the radar. I posted something about Bauer's attempt to undermine fighting the AIDS crisis when he worked in the Reagan Administration, but the newest item is a bit more current and captures Bauer's repulsive essence.

'Gay teen reported being bullied. Told she was going to hell' & other Wed midday news briefs

Gay teen says she went to school resource officer after getting bullied — and he told her she’s going to hell - Oh no! Now see, we need to get to the bottom of this shyte right here!

Connecticut Lawmakers Push Back Against Trump’s Attack on Transgender Inmates - First recruiting potential gay parents to adopt and now this. Go ahead, Connecticut!

Gavin Grimm won: Court says schools can’t discriminate against trans students - One more time for the chilluns in the back!

Caitlyn Jenner wouldn’t vote for Trump again, says she can ‘handle’ Pence - girlfriend, you are STILL being naive.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hate group calls the LGBTQ community 'spiteful and intolerant' because we won't accept unfair treatment

As to be expected, hate group the Family Research Council is nauseatingly pleased at the new law in Kansas which allows adoption agencies to discriminate against the LGBTQ community while still being able to receive tax dollars.

And the group has a message for those of us angry at such unfair action:

As we've seen in the wedding vendor debate, there are plenty of adoption agencies in Kansas who are willing to serve same-sex, unmarried, or single parents. There's absolutely no reason -- except spite and intolerance -- to force everyone else to chuck their beliefs as a condition of serving in the industry. For years, faith-based adoption and foster care ministries have helped take the burden off of the government's overextended, finally-strapped social service agencies. They recruit parents, provide ongoing support for families, and even focus on at-risk and special needs kids. This law guarantees that there's an option for every parent. No one -- not a ministry, employer, businessman, or nonprofit -- should be punished for exercising the faith our Constitution protects!

Nowhere in FRC's little message does it mention anything about the unfairness of LBGTQs being forced to hand over our tax dollars to agencies which will then use that money to discriminate against us. That's not by accident because organizations like FRC don't like to be reminded that we are taxpayers. They don't like to be reminded that we have families, are raising children, and some of us are in fact children. They don't like to be reminded that we have a personal stake other than their stereotypes of us being "the threatening other."

And that is the crux of our objections to these laws.

'Wisconsin taxpayers footed $1,000 to sent lawyer to anti-LGBTQ hate group conference' & other Tue midday news briefs

DOJ spent $1,000 to send attorney to ADF conference - Wisconsin taxpayers, including LGBTQ taxpayers, payed over $1,000 to send an attorney to a hate group's conference. That's the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for doing things such as defending European laws sterilizing transgender men and women, defending foreign laws imprisoning members of the LGBTQ community simply for their sexual orientation, creating all sorts of havoc against transgender children, and presently are at the crest of its greatest victory if it can convince the Supreme Court to allow businesses to discriminate against potential LGBTQ customers on the grounds of "religious liberty.

Journalist Sarah Posner: Alliance Defending Freedom is advancing an anti-LGBTQ agenda in courts, and its alumni are infiltrating agencies and the judiciary - Did I also mention that the group is supposedly training "Christian" lawyers who are infiltrating agencies, state law offices, and the judiciary. Oh the things going on behind our backs when we quibble over 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' 

Editor's note - the above two news briefs aren't meant to create depression or feelings of hopelessness. In spite of all of their money and influence, we have defeated groups like ADF repeatedly because truth is on our side. And our fighting spirit. The LGBTQ community knows how to win and win the hard way. And that's what we need to do. The first thing is to get political active, vote, get more of us to run for office, etc. This is OUR world, too.

CDC denies LGBT questions removed from federal health survey - We'll see . . . 

‘Alone In The Game’ Shows Biggest Hurdles For LGBTQ Athletes Exist Off The Field - Hard to watch but necessary documentary.

Maps are from Media Matters. The article referencing them was published last year. I'm sure that things are worse a year later.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Franklin Graham believes 'religious freedom' should be used to justify homophobia, but not LGBTQ acceptance

Franklin Graham exposes the lie of 'religious freedom

Conservative evangelicals are all about "religious freedom." That's the buzzword they use to give a gentler tone to their desire to businesses and agencies denying services to the LGBTQ community while in some cases still receiving tax dollars.  They claim that people and organizations shouldn't be made to sacrifice their "deeply held personal beliefs."

Don't be fooled. It's a lie. A spin. A cynical bit of dishonesty on their part.  Take Franklin Graham for example. He gone on and on several times about "religious freedom," even to the point claiming that Christians are under attack and being "persecuted" by the so-called LGBTQ agenda.  Franklin has even praised Trump as being a defender of "religious freedoms."

So imagine my surprise (or rather non-surprise) at reading the following on Graham's Facebook page today:

'Connecticut wants more LGBTQ families to adopt and foster children' & other Mon midday news briefs

Connecticut Wants More LGBT Families to Adopt and Foster Children - In response to laws allowing adoption agencies to take tax dollars while discriminating against the LGBTQ community, Connecticut just took a wonderful step forward.

Inside the Fight Against America’s Wave of Anti-LGBT Adoption Bills - You had better believe we are fighting against these dreadful bills. 

Defense bill amendment would protect open transgender military service - This would be wonderful if it happened, but I still want to know how much Pence and anti-LGBTQ leaders were involved in shaping that bad policy in the first place. THAT's the gold. 

Here’s why psychiatric hospitals are so bad at helping transgender patients - Definitely a needed article. 

Family Research Council is terrible, and its president Tony Perkins just got appointed to an international commission - Another article on how disgusting and deceptive Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council are. Why? Why not. There is no such thing as too many articles on that particular subject. But there is such thing is not enough attention paid to it.

To some bigots, gays simply breathing is 'promoting a homosexual agenda'

I want you to read the following article which was published by SPLC-designated hate group American Family Association's One News Now:

Texas parents are commending their local school board for suspending an elementary art teacher who repeatedly refused to stop promoting the LGBTQ lifestyle to her students.
Besides being suspended for pushing the LBGTQ agenda on students, Charlotte Anderson Elementary teacher Stacy Bailey was also pressuring administrators to modify the district's anti-discrimination policy to include LGBTQ language, according to Dallas News
Texas Values Policy Analyst Nicole Hudgens maintains that the mainstream media distorted the story to help further the homosexual agenda. 
"And the media took the story, totally twisted it and said she was fired for asking questions,” Hudgens explained. “And in reality, she was placed on paid leave because she was talking about issues that were inappropriate for elementary school students."
The conservative advocate also pointed out that at a recent board meeting, concerned parents outnumbered those who were there to push for adding sexual-orientation and gender-identity policies in the school district. 
"They were outnumbered by parents who said, 'We don't want this in our school district, nor do we believe that it's right that it's being talked about – that these issues are being discussed in our elementary school,'" Hudgens noted. 
The school board told those in attendance that any policy review would take place after the elections this month – and after new assignments to the review committee are in place.

The One News Now article was badly written and contained numerous errors. It claims that parents supported Bailey's dismissal but the link it included from the Dallas News  contained quotes from  many students and parents who actually supported Bailey. In fact the article featured a photo of them holding up signs of support.

Friday, May 18, 2018

'GOP candidate films herself harassing trans woman using the restroom, trying to fundraise from it' & other Fri midday news briefs

Jazmina Saavedra, who shall be known as 'a waste of space,' is trying to get to Congress by harassing trans women.

GOP House candidate live streams herself challenging transgender woman for using women's restroom - What kind of crap is this? I was reluctant to post something about this for fear it would scare my transgender sisters, but the story has gone viral. I just want my transgender sisters AND brothers to know that if an incident happened where I was on the scene, I would have YOUR back.

California Pro-Trump Candidate Is Fundraising Off Her Harassment Of A Transgender Woman - And she is trying to raise money off of it. There aren't enough words to express my anger over this.

CDC to roll back data collection on the health and well-being of LGBT people - THIS is dangerous to the LGBTQ community. It would eliminate a much needed resource to accurately gauge LGBTQ health and beat back anti-LGBTQ propaganda about our lives.

Religious right’s new battleground: Hurting kids to attack LGBT rights - They always have a nasty angle and they always lose. They are going to lose again.

GLAAD to Publish LGBTQ Children’s Book Series, Starting With ‘Prince & Knight’ (Exclusive) - Wonderful! I totally am for this.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Twitter explodes with anger over appointment of hate group leader Tony Perkins to religious freedom committee

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins

A lot of people on Twitter are NOT happy that Family Research Council's Tony Perkins was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Needless to say, they are being very vocal with their disapproval.

'Hate group leader Tony Perkins blistered in Daily Beast column' & other Thur midday news briefs

Trump Adviser Tony Perkins Just Got a Global License to Spread His Anti-LGBT Hate - One positive about members of the anti-LGBTQ industry getting more power under Trump is them also getting more attention. We tend to forget that a lot of folks don't know length of the venom they spew, so when mainstream publications focus on them, it is the first time many Americans are becoming knowledgeable about who they are. With that in mind, I wish more of them would get such blisteringly vicious introduction as FRC's Tony Perkins got in The Daily Beast yesterday. Brutal piece by Jay Michaelson, which makes for wonderful reading AND sharing.

Gay couple faces deportation after seeking immigration marriage waiver - OH HELL NO! 

Black Gay Men, We Must Treat Each Other Better - The first thing we need are conversations like this. Gay black men are face uniquely difficult struggles in terms of racism, homophobia (external and internal), and false ideas of masculinity in the black community. 

Beirut Pride Canceled After Organizer Is Detained By Authorities - The struggle is real and it is difficult. . . . 

Trans woman live-tweets her 86-year-old grandmother’s amazing response to her coming out - . . . but not impossible to win. It's always a blessing to see that those you love demonstrate how much they love you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LGBTQ 'Conversion Therapy' Survivor: 'They Got Some Weird Joy Out of Torturing Children'

 This riveting video serves as a reason why we must fight to outlaw the fraudulent practice of "ex-gay" or conversion therapy (especially for children) and not allow the religious right to divert the argument with the false concept of "religious liberty" or "religious freedom." Your religion does not give you the right to harm anyone, especially children.

 Hat tip to the Human Rights Campaign.

'Trump nominates homophobic extremist Gary Bauer to religious freedom committee' & other Wed midday news briefs

Gary Bauer
Trump nominates homophobic former Family Research Council chief to board of ‘religious freedom’ crusaders - It's bad enough that Tony Perkins was nominated to serve on this committee. The situation has just become worse because Trump has nominated Gary Bauer. Perkins may be a rabid homophobe, but Bauer is something worse. He was the first president of the Family Research Council, and was pivotal in trafficking all sorts of anti-LGBTQ propaganda. Before then, he worked in the Reagan Administration. And if we are to believe the words of the late C. Everett Koop, the Surgeon General at the time, Bauer deliberately undermined his efforts to educate Reagan about the AIDS crisis when it was first breaking out because he felt that it was God's punishment and people should die because of it. 

Gary Bauer - the anti-gay talking head who undermined the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Reagan Administration - My 2014 post on what Bauer did in the early 80s. 

Republican religious extremist who sponsored anti-gay First Amendment Defense Act loses primary - Ha! Ha! Too bad, so sad (okay, not to sad.)

Malcolm Kenyatta Makes History With State House Primary Victory - By becoming the first openly gay candidate of color ever to win a state House primary in Pennsylvania!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Remember when religious freedom panel appointee Tony Perkins called gays 'pawns of the enemy,' i.e. Satan?

Tony Perkins, one of the most prominent anti-LGBTQ activists in the country and leader of the SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council, was just appointed by Sen. Mitch McConnell to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Does it even matter what the committee is all about? It can't be positive if Perkins is on the committee. Now I could got into details about why the SPLC considers his organization a hate group and I could talk about the many times FRC and Perkins himself have deliberately relied on junk or cherry-picked science and outright lies to denigrate and smear the LGBTQ community.  But I will simply leave links to those moments.

Instead, I think the video below from 2011 of Perkins calling gays "pawns of the enemy," i.e. Satan is enough to show why putting this man on any religious committee is simply ridiculous.

'Trump's CDC pick once worked with group which claimed AIDS was 'God's judgement' against gays' & other Tue midday news briefs

Why Trump's new CDC director is an abysmal choice

 We need some type of clarification on Robert Redfield, Trump's pick to lead the Centers for Disease Control. He once worked with a group which claimed that AIDS was 'God's judgement' on gays.  Redfield also allegedly designed policies which harmed infected personnel in the military. We need to find out  what he now believes about HIV/AIDS and a multitude of other issues.  It has been CDC data which served as the steel wall against anti-LGBTQ industry junk science. I've used this data many times to refute anti-gay propaganda. So I am extremely bothered by anyone with a questionable background leading the group.

Lawmakers inquire about 'troubling' removal of SBA's LGBTQ resources - Don't let the Trump Administration get away with any attempt to erase the LGBTQ community. 

Fox contributor Pastor Robert Jeffress lies and claims people “manufactured” his bigoted comments - Fool, they got you on video and in writing. 

Cameroon police arrest 25 men for homosexuality because ‘Cameroon has laws to enforce’ - The struggle is universal.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ hate group employee defends anti-gay adoption law with skillful evasion

I had a very nice twitter conversation today with Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom regarding the recent law passed in Oklahoma which allow adoption agencies to receive taxpayer funding while discriminating against the LGBTQ community.

For those who don't know, the Alliance Defending Freedom has been called a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to its diligent attention to undermining LGBTQ rights on many levels. From writing anti-transgender student bills to defending discrimination against the LGBTQ community to helping efforts to put gays in jail simply for their sexual orientation in countries like Belize and Jamaica, ADF is a one-stop shop for attempts to put bigotry and homophobia into laws.

And (surprise, surprise) ADF also has a hand in crafting bills like the one just passed in Oklahoma.

Of course ADF doesn't actually come out of the box screaming about the "homosexual agenda" like other folks we know, such as Peter LaBarbera or Linda Harvey. Instead, ADF is very passive-aggressive, sort of like a racist organization which says that "it's not anti-black, just pro-white."

The sad thing is, as you will read in photocopied Twitter thread below, ADF employees come across nice. So nice in fact that you almost forget what the organization is actually about  (Editor's note - please pardon the spelling errors and the typos on my part) :

'Pence addresses LGBTQ-unfriendly college, credits Trump with supposedly more people believing in God' & other Mon midday news briefs

Mike Pence addresses one of the most LGBTQ-unfriendly colleges in the country - And that's not the most shocking thing about the situation. Check out the news brief below.

WATCH: Mike Pence says more Americans believe in God now because Donald Trump is president - This right here is the most shocking. And he is probably right if he is talking about the number of Americans who have sank to their knees crying "Oh God! Why is this fool in charge!" 

Anti-gay adoption bills mask messages of old bigotry with false appeals to religious freedom - My post from earlier this morning because if you haven't read it yet, you really should. 

LGBTQ Groups Call New Oklahoma Adoption Law Discriminatory - THIS is what I'm talking about in the above news brief. 

Scott Lively Wants To Be The Champion Of ‘Authentic Conservative Homosexual’ Voters - He means self-hating, closeted gay voters.

Anti-gay adoption bills mask messages of old bigotry with false appeals to religious freedom

When we attempt to take advantage of our fairly won marriage victory by going through the  rituals and routines it encompasses, that same religious horde conjures up the argument that innocent inquiries into wedding shops and bakeries or desires to simply start a family via foster care or adoption are actually strategic plots to undermine and destroy Christianity. And that people and industries whose so-called religious beliefs would never be "protected" if they were exploited to deny service because of race, religion, or gender suddenly need a blanket of protection against the gay community because we are acting as if we are normal Americans.

Don't be fooled by the lies folks say regarding the law in Oklahoma, the soon-to-become law in Kansas, and several other similar laws which allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against gays while receiving tax dollars.

The proponents of these contraptions masquerading as bills and laws will  claim that agencies doing a service shouldn't have to betray their "core beliefs." Then they will tell you exaggerated anecdotes and spin awful tales of how supposedly gays are targeting Christians for financial ruin and how that these laws are the only thing standing between having successful businesses and people losing their homes, livelihood, etc.

Their spin is so good that you tend to forget that behind it is a syndicate of religious zealots and organizations with lots of money, lots of media savvy, a lot of connections to government, and a self-righteous mindset which makes them immune to any type of self-examination that doesn't end with God coming down from Heaven and anointing them with crowns while  a host of angels sing their praises.

Let me speak for other side of the issue, i.e. the men, women, children, and families who are and will be damaged by these laws. No one is paying attention to us. No one seems to care about our core beliefs or our livelihoods while preening, precisely coiffed men and women ooze fake sincerity as they repeat rehearsed talking points about "religion being this nation's cornerstone," etc. etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

'Homer's Phobia' was a groundbreaking episode of 'The Simpsons'

Editor's note - Enjoy tonight's fun post. I am currently working on a little something which has been on my mind due to these bills and laws allowing adoption agencies to receive taxpayer funds while discriminating against the LGBTQ community. And I will be taking the unusual step posting it early tomorrow morning.

 In 1997, The Simpsons looked at homophobia in an Emmy-award winning episode entitled 'Homer's Phobia.' I'm guessing that a lot of folks reading this post saw the episode and found it as hilarious as I did. Over 20 years later, the episode still holds up as one of the funniest ones in television history. With the right level of comedy and education, it never comes across as trying too hard to be comedic or PC. In this video, my friend Matt Baume gives more details about how groundbreaking 'Homer's Phobia' was.

Friday, May 11, 2018

'Another anti-gay evangelical willing to ignore Stormy Daniels hush money payment' & other Fri midday news briefs

Matt Barber
Matt Barber Covers For Trump On Stormy Daniels, Says Hush Money Payment Was ‘Just The Regular Course Of Business’ - Late to the party, but just as hypocritical as those already present. Super Christian Matt "we need to start talking more an in graphic detail about gay sex to disgust people enough to not support gay equality" Barber claims that the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels was "ordinary legal settlement."

Editor's note - according to GLAAD, Barber just loves talking about the LGBTQ community in ugly tones. Maybe he would love us more if we started paying off heterosexual porn stars . . .

House Dems demand answers on LGBT removal from SBA website - As the Trump Administration eliminates mentions of the LGBTQ community from another government website, Congressional Democrats want answers. I want answers, too. Who specifically is behind this mess? 

A teacher claims he was fired for his sexuality in federal discrimination lawsuit - That's right! Sue and take all the money! 

Georgia Democrat ‘loves homosexuals,’ but not equality - Girlfriend, we need to have a SERIOUS talk . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Alex Jones, Infowars verbal attacks on lesbian community reveal sad inadequacies

I apologize for exposing you to this awful video. From Media Matters:

Anyone watching Infowars long enough would notice host Alex Jones’ remarkable obsession with a very specific subset of the global population: lesbians. Jones’ unhinged tirades about innumerable topics have rightfully made him a target for online mockery and the protagonist of numerous internet memes. But there’s something more sinister than funny in the way that Jones and some of his guest co-hosts depict, mock, and dissociate from lesbians to Infowars’ hundreds of thousands of viewers. ones’ guest co-hosts -- including Gavin McInnes, founder of the chauvinistic fraternal organization Proud Boys, Infowars contributor Owen Shroyer, and anti-feminist troll Milo Yiannopoulos -- mimic his hateful rhetoric. That treatment ranges from sexist, sophomoric mocking of lesbians for their supposed appearance to the dangerous perpetuation of the absurd idea that lesbians are depressed because they need a man or have turned to women after having a “bad experience with men in their life.”

This is disgusting, it's nasty, it's grotesque. But it is part of the mindset which has put this country in the state it's in today, i.e. being led by incompetent dumbass who is supported by a  right-wing media obsessed with gaining money and ratings, conservative evangelicals abandoning their supposed integrity in a quest for secular power, and online moronic trolls who don't care about anything else other than "triggering liberals."

On the other hand, a bunch of pathetic wannabe alpha males attacking the "dreaded other," in this case the lesbian community, to cover up for their own obvious inadequacies is probably the best definition of what's going on these days.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

NC GOP Congressional candidate Mark Harris has long history of opposing LGBT rights

Mark Harris
A primary win by a  pastor in North Carolina should catch the attention of the LGBTQ community.

According to Patheos:

Incumbents are typically favored in American elections, but that didn’t save GOP politician Rep. Robert Pittenger from his primary challenger, the anti-gay pastor Mark Harris last night. The surprise upset puts Harris, who helped lead the fight to ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina, against Democrat and Marine Corps veteran Dan McCready. It also puts a somewhat reliable Republican seat into a toss-up.

. . . Harris isn’t just a pastor; he is a fiercely anti-LGBTQ activist known for opposing civil rights and claiming that being gay is a choice. He is best known as a point man for a state amendment to ban same-sex marriages that was ultimately found unconstitutional. More recently, he led forces to repeal protections in Charlotte for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

And don't think for a second that marriage equality being legalized by SCOTUS will cause Harris to respect it should he get elected to Congress. On his campaign webpage, Harris said he would support conservative judges who would "revisit" the marriage equality ruling; the translation being he would support putting people on the bench whom he knows would strike down marriage equality before they were even sworn in.

A former blogging compadre of  mine, Jeremy Hooper, has a long file on Harris from when he covered the 2012 NC marriage equality vote. The following audio of Harris denigrating marriage equality and the LGBTQ community (in the name of religion, of course) is all you need to hear to know that if this man went to Congress, life for us would become more difficult. It's bad enough that the anti-LGBTQ industry already has much of Trump's attention and a hand in developing policies. Just think of how much more anti-gay havoc Harris would help them cause.

'LGBTQ community does well in primaries, now on to November' & other Wed midday news briefs

Primaries were held for last night and the winners will move on to November. For all of you "proper peoples" and concern trolls bellyaching about the LGBTQ community being in danger of being one issue voters, go straight to hell. While we should have a diverse desire when it comes to our voting choices, there is nothing wrong with us wanting to get our own elected or at the very least getting pro-LGBTQ candidates elected.  It's time we started being just a tad bit more selfish in that regard.

Antonio Wins Ohio Senate Primary; 10 LGBTQ Candidates Move on to November - LGBTQ candidates and allies were highly successful in Ohio. One of the winners, Rick Neal, has the potential to be Ohio's first gay Congressman. And Nickie Antonio just became the first LGBTQ to serve in the Ohio state senate.

Toxic Republican Loses in West Virginia, But Winner's Anti-LGBT - But in West Virginia . . . 

Family name helps Pence brother win GOP bid for House seat - That nauseating Mike Pence has a brother and he just won the GOP nomination for the Congressional seat which Pence once held.

A Gay Marriage Opponent Just Ousted A GOP Incumbent in North Carolina - And a pastor who wants to vote for judges who would overturn the marriage equality decision won the GOP nomination for Congress. The Democrats got a former Marine running against him.

And according to HRC, these pro-equality candidates won their primaries:

In other news: 

Grandma Smacks Down Son’s Anti-LGBT Nonsense With Perfect Comeback - Handle yo' bizness, grandma! 

Grenell admonishes Germany on Iran deal in first week as ambassador - Trump appoints a gay ambassador, which the religious right doesn't raise even a word of complaint about. This is why. It is also why he was opposed by various LGBTQ organizations. 

Trump’s Ambassador to Germany Stokes Furor Over Iran Just One Day Into Job - More about the above news brief.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Anti-LGBTQ activist again proves why GLSEN's Day of Silence is needed

Linda Harvey
Every year,  GLSEN puts on a successful Day of Silence, spotlighting the problems LGBTQ youth face in America's schools.And almost every year anti-LGBTQ activist Linda Harvey bellyaches and whines about "recruitment" and "sodomy."

So why should this year be any different?

A mom who writes a popular blog, Katy Faust, reported receiving a note from her daughter’s high-school principal encouraging participation in the upcoming “Day of Silence.” 
 Both this principal and the Florida teacher used GLSEN’s talking point language about how the purpose is to protest alleged discrimination and “erasure” of those involved in these deviant behaviors. What “erasure”? These troubled “LGBTQ” kids still show up at school, attend classes, get grades and increasingly help drive out any Christian influence. Is sodomy to be commonplace and normalized? Hopefully, that will never happen.  
But in what twisted scenario would these kids “disappear”? Only in their compromised imaginations, and their creator God would always know their names and would love for them to draw closer to Him. 
An elementary school in San Leandro, California, posted a general message on the school website, presumably from the administration, announcing the upcoming “Day of Silence,” which ALL students were to observe with “… a grade level appropriate classroom discussion and the opportunity to participate in a silent lunch period.” The purpose was to honor those who have been “persecuted for their differences.” What differences? The truth is missing here, possibly on purpose. Homosexually identifying people are not different humans and are hardly silenced.

Harvey is a twisted homophobic hot mess. If she would only listen to herself, she would realize that she is proof as to why GLSEN's Day of Silence is needed.