Saturday, June 30, 2018

Franklin Graham pushes 'gay recruitment' hysteria over anti-bullying videos

Witness the following tweet Franklin Graham just sent:

Graham is so typical of the self-righteous homophobia which permeates conservative  right-wing evangelical circles. He sees the words "LGBT"  and  automatically thinks of sex or "recruitment." Apparently to Graham, adherence to what he thinks is God's word is more important than reading comprehension.  If he had taken the time to read the article he retweeted, he would have seen that the videos in question were about bullying:

 Videos played by the Gay-Straight Alliance Club during Emmaus High School's morning announcements back in April are now in the spotlight. 
At a school board meeting earlier this month several parents, community members and the president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania voiced their concerns, saying the entire student body was exposed to homosexual and transgender ideals. 
. . . Emmaus High School student Aidan Levinson says the idea that the videos forced the gay lifestyle onto heterosexual students couldn't be further from the truth. 
"It was more of an anti-bullying effort more than anything else," Levinson said. Levinson is not a member of the LGBTQ community, but spoke at the school board meeting Monday -- expressing his support for showing the videos. 
 . . .The superintendent of the East Penn School District says he was not aware of the videos before they played but has seen them since. 
In a statement to 69 News he says, "I did view the videos at a later date and found them to be appropriate and related to the mission of eliminating bullying and promoting sensitivity and understanding of our LGBT population."

First of all, nothing in the article says that parents aren't allowed to see the videos. Aside from Graham's ignorance, this incident gives a view of the game which is played to stigmatize our community. A so-called pro-family group brands anything having to do with the LGBTQ community as scandalous, no matter how non-threatening it may be and then spooks parents into raising a fuss about it. It creates a situation which implies that we are attempting to "recruit" children behind the backs of their parents. The very idea is inane enough, but it gets downright insulting when one factors in that these concerned parents don't give a damn  that LGBTQ students AND same-sex household with children exist and should have a say in the matter as much as them.

But speaking of Graham, I tend to think that him reading the article wouldn't have changed his mind about the situation. In 2015, he praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for how he was persecuting the gay community there, claiming that Putin was keeping children safe. So perhaps the idea that Graham is angry that the school district is attempting to keep LGBTQ kids safe from bullying isn't that farfetched to contemplate.

Friday, June 29, 2018

'Anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins already 'picking out drapes' for America' & other Fri midday news briefs

FRC's Tony Perkins don't know how my community can use our 'receipts.' He will learn.

Tony Perkins: We Can Do For Gay Rights What We’ve Done To Abortion Rights - So Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is already picking out drapes to go with his version of America that he thinks Trump's pick for Kennedy will bring. We are deep into the second stage of what happens when the anti-LGBTQ right get a huge victory - them planning victory parties before the battle has even started. They learned nothing from their behavior and what it led to in 2004 after Bush was re-elected and they won several anti-marriage equality referendums in the same election. Or more to the point - if one of the largest anti-gay hate groups in America with a list of documented offenses a mile long - including relying on the work of a discredited researcher who once claimed that gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums - THINK it is easily going to take away our equality without a long, bruising fight in which folks like myself are now scouting where we can lay the deepest blows on its overall integrity, then it has some serious surprises coming. I do not say this to advocate violence and I am certainly not talking about violence. I simply mean certain "Christian" groups are damaging their brands even as I speak with their behavior. And all we have to do is deepen the holes they are poking into their own credibility. 

DISCRIMINATION IN S.C.: Legislature Sends Appropriations Bill with Anti-LGBTQ Provision to Governor - And just like that, my backyard has fallen victim of one of those "let the adoption agencies smear gays while taking their tax money" bills. There will be a resolution to this and it will go in our favor.

The Day My Dad Kicked Me Out For Being Gay Changed My Life Forever - By deliberate design, anti-LGBTQ groups dehumanize us as a mindless horde out to force issues on people and destroy America if we don't get what we want. This man's story is the reality.

‘Queer Eye’ Stars Have Different Takes On Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner - One of them makes a wonderful point. Why should we give people like that cakeshop owner a piece of OUR platform under the illusion of being "civil." 

Conservatives hope an ampersand will help defeat marriage equality - A dumb campaign.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

We should never forget what Fox News did to President Obama . . . and we should never forgive either

This isn't an LGBTQ issue per se. But then again maybe it is. Being an African-American, I was very ecstatic when Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States. And I was also disgusted by the ways in which Fox News chipped away at him throughout his eight years in office by constantly labeling him as hating America and defining even the smallest of his actions as attempts to harm the country. It was deliberate. And it probably helped foster the vile attitudes among voters which led to Trump winning the Oval Office and all of the horrors coming with it, including a possible erosion of LGBTQ rights by whomever he selects to fill Kennedy's seat on SCOTUS.

History will NOT be kind to Fox News. And neither should any freedom-loving American.

'Groups giddy about Kennedy retirement, while bigot 'educates' about 'male butt sex'' & other Thur midday news briefs

Before diving in the news briefs, check out this video for a wonderful laugh. Anti-LGBTQ activist Dave Daubenmire resurrects the language and tone abandoned by "respectable" anti-LGBT groups, i.e. he melts down talking about "male butt sex." 

Ecstatic’ Religious Right Sees Kennedy Resignation As Chance To Overturn Roe, Obergefell - Meanwhile, the rest of the religious and evangelical right are having a public orgasm over the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

5 reasons why Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is a major blow for LGBTQ rights - What we may lose because Kennedy is retiring. 

Here’s why the GOP going after Roe v. Wade, LGBT and civil rights is a really bad idea for them - This opinion piece does bring up a good point which no one talks about - the religious and evangelical right are eager to undermine LGBTQ equality but probably fear the idea of a nation of pissed-off gay folks. It's no joke. There is an element of fear there which they hide quite expertly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

'Civility' is the best friend of anti-gay hate group Alliance Defending Freedom

In "honor" of the retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, one thing I intend on doing is to double down on exposing the anti-LGBTQ hate groups which are trying to undermine LGBTQ equality under the guise of freedom and religious liberty.  Make no mistake about it  no matter what they say, the goal of the ao-called pro-family and morality groups is the destruction of LGBTQ equality and safety.

One group which I haven't actually focused on thoroughly is the Alliance Defending Freedom. That group is a bunch of trained right-wing lawyers working behind the scenes to craft arguments against LGBTQ equality.  They don't get as much public attention as groups like the Family Research Council or the American Family Association, but they are very good at what they do.

According to Media Matters, ADF has its hooks in many attempts to curtail LGBTQ equality from undermining the rights of transgender students, to attempting to keep gays from adopting children, to pushing Trump's anti-transgender troop ban.  It's a juggernaut of quiet, but carefully planned, highly skilled  homophobia and bigotry.

 Media Matters also said ADF has been active in countries like Jamaica and Belize to keep homosexuality criminalized. And it gets worse. Journalist Sarah Posner pointed out that the organization has infiltrated the American judiciary via its alumni members. Because of all these things, the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared ADF to be a hate group with a long history.

However, the organization continues to get away unscathed, even racking up recent victories arguing in front of the Supreme Court. How does ADF get away with it?

'Defenders of 'civility' disappear as homphobes protest the Red Hen' & other Wed midday news briefs

Can Jared Polis win in November?

WATCH: Anti-Gay Opponents of The Red Hen Protest With Signs Reading ‘Let God Burn Them (LGBT)’ - When the Red Hen restaurant refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, we got all sorts of lectures about "civility." Then the lecturers went away when this crap happened with homophobes protesting the Red Hen. The irony is that the LGBTQ community has dealt with protests like this and being called ugly names long before the Red Hen incident and NO ONE then talked about "civility." 

Ohio conservatives consider ‘license to abuse’ bill for parents of transgender kids - Expose our transgender children to extreme danger. Just as long as you do it while observing "civility."

Jared Polis could become America’s first openly gay elected governor - Polis won the Democratic primary in Colorado last night. And I hope he wins in November. One of the MAIN ways the LGBTQ community can hold our own and work towards equality in spite of the Trump era is when we run for and win elected office. Polis's victory would be wonderful for a number of reasons.

Sharon Brackett Becomes First Transgender Woman Elected To Public Office In Maryland - Meanwhile, Sharon Brackett also makes history.

Almost Half Of LGBTQ Employees Are Closeted At Work, Report Finds - A sad situation which many of us are more familiar with than we would like to be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Even on its best day, the Family Research Council spins distortion about transgender troop training

The Family Research Council spins a bad distortion about the Army and transgender troop training/


Even on a day in which SCOTUS gives a part of their agenda (against women's health and right to abortions) a nod, the evangelical right has to push a distortion about the LGBTQ community.

According to a Washington Update from The Family Research Council, the United States Army is supposedly abandoning training about transgender troops:

Finally, the military is announcing a kind of transitioning we can support! For the first time since President Trump overturned Obama’s transgender military policy, the Army is shifting away from the focus on politically-correct topics like gender and back to the issues it should be concerned about -- like combat. 
In a message no one could mistake, the memo makes it clear: “Transgender training is complete across the total Army.” From now on, sensitivity classes and lessons on gender transitions will be 100 percent optional. “The move, Army leaders argue, is designed to relieve stress on the overburdened troop training regimen and refocus on soldiers’ ability to fight in combat.” In a nod to the hundreds of wasted hours spent on ridiculous topics like “male pregnancies” and “off-duty drag” the chief of the Army’s training program explained, “It was all the other [training] requirements that we levied on ourselves, or we had levied from other places” that took away from military readiness. 
Like a lot of commanders, he told the Washington Times that the trainings Obama handed down as part of the integration of people who identify as transgender “served as barriers to maximizing time… to build readiness and lethality.” Of course, this is the argument that experts like FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin had been making all along. The military is a fighting force, not a gender clinic. “Talk to any service member today and you will find that a majority of them will express great frustration with the amount of time that they spend in these lectures at the expense of preparing for war,” he argues. “They spent all their training time in classrooms listening to lectures on diversity, tolerance, and inclusion instead of the Military Code of Conduct.” 
That’s time our military can never get back. Every hour (and dollar) our troops waste on the social engineering of the last administration is time they could have been on the range or practicing combat maneuvers. “When do you train for battle when you’re bogged down with these politically-correct mandates?” General Boykin asked. “You don’t. You go out and crash ships or get captured by Iranians, because you were never prepared for war.” 
Fortunately, the Army is putting an end to two years of this P.C. nonsense. “One of the things this [change has done] is reinforce to commanders out in the field that you have the authority and responsibility to ensure your units are as highly trained as humanly possible” to carry out combat operations,” Colonel John O’Grady said. And sexual politics aren’t the only thing getting the boot. Branch leaders are also paring down on other non-essential trainings. It’s about time, say most troops, who were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea anyway. With the growing number of global threats, we need our servicemen and women focused on what matters: making America safe again.

Hold your anger, shock, or disappointment for just a second. It should be no surprise to anyone who knows the modus operandi of the Family Research Council or has followed how this blog has called the group out for multiple distortions over the years that the entire story hasn't been told.

FRC took an article from The Washington Times and embellished many details to suit its lies against transgender troops.  First of all, making something optional isn't the same as abandoning it, yet that is the title of FRC's Washington Update - Army Gives Trans Training the Boot.

The Top 10 LGBT Anthems (do you agree or disagree?)

Anthems are a call to order and a way to unite folks behind a message. I present this video with caveats. It was created in 2015 and some may disagree with the songs on the list, whether because they never heard of them, disliked them, or really hated the video. Still, I'm posting the video to create discussion and to send the message that no matter how bleak things look, a community united (even a little bit) can never be defeated.

We survived worse than Trump. We will survive Trump and the entourage from hell which clings to him.

How the LGBTQ community can watch its own back and even win in the Trump era

On this third anniversary of the day marriage equality became legal, I have one message for the LGBTQ community. We need to watch our backs. It's an entirely new environment and after what happened today at SCOTUS, we need not leave anything to chance.

 A court which will justify a prejudiced ban created by religious xenophobia and will allow health centers to deliberately give women inaccurate health information under the guise of "free speech" can curtail marriage equality and LGBTQ equality in general if given the chance. Unlike the cases involving the Muslim ban and false pregnancy centers, we came out of our bout with SCOTUS with our freedom barely intact (i.e. the Masterpiece case). It was like a one-handed Hail Mary touchdown catch  with one foot inside the field of play in the last seconds of the Superbowl. But those who want to take away what is ours are empowered and will continue to be.

What I suggest is simple. Empower yourselves and each other. If you aren't a transgender man or woman, educate yourself on the community. Listen to what is being said before talking. If you are not bisexual, do the same regarding that community. Whoever you aren't in the LGBTQ and ally community, educate yourself on them. Listen to what they have to say. Learn about their struggles, their hopes, their dreams, and their fears.  Understand before passing judgement. Take in mentally before reacting verbally. Build trust with each other.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Hate group leader who treated gays without any civility is suddenly concerned about civility

FRC head Tony Perkins has no room to lecture anyone on civility.

The Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins, today regarding the controversy about Sarah Huckabee and the Red Hen:

At a restaurant in rural Virginia, liberals are ordering something to go: conservatives! For members of the Trump leadership team, there's no such thing as eating out in peace -- or, in the case of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, eating at all. After a week of escalating tensions over immigration, the face of the White House's PR became the latest victim of the Left's "tolerance." 
Her table had barely touched their cheese boards when the owner approached Sanders and asked to speak with her privately. They walked out to the patio where Sarah was informed that she wasn't welcome at the Red Hen restaurant. "I'd like to ask you to leave," Stephanie Wilkerson told Sanders. Everyone else at the table would be welcome to stay, she was told. Without hesitating, Sarah said simply, "That's fine. I'll go." Unfortunately for Sanders, who's endured more than her share of harassment on the job, this is the treatment she and other members of the administration come to expect. In the end, she tweeted, Wilkerson's actions, "say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so." 
A few days earlier, Americans watched in amazement as protestors screamed at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen at a restaurant in D.C. (This was after her home had already been surrounded by a mob of angry Trump opponents shouting "No justice, no sleep!") White House advisor Stephen Miller was another target, accosted by a group of unhinged liberals yelling, "Facist!" while he tried to eat. Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi, who isn't even an administration official, had to rush away from a movie screening when a confrontation outside got too heated. The threat of real violence is something every conservative is starting to take seriously. 
House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) watched in astonishment as Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) tried to stoke the fire. "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere," she said to the horror of even her own party. Worried that things could escalate, Scalise spokesman Lauren Fine reminded America what happens when debates turn vicious. "Whip Scalise knows firsthand the dangerous consequences that can result from making political differences personal and vitriolic," she said. "Harassment is never an acceptable method of disagreement."

You have admire his attempt to frame the situation. Perkins didn't want to chance being called a hypocrite by labeling Sanders being a victim of discrimination seeing that she (and he) fully supports the idea of "religious liberty," which is defined nowadays as businesses being able to discriminate against potential customers if they are gay. Also, if you blinked, you missed his attempt to make Sanders look polite in the situation. Perkins conveniently omitted that she later used her official twitter address as the White House Press Secretary to relate the story - a possible legal no-no.

'There is nothing wrong with Drag Queen Story Hour so get over your conservative selves' & other Mon midday news briefs

Josh Bernstein: Drag Queen Story Hour Is ‘Borderline Pedophilia’ - Yes, let's get this mess way out in the open because it has been simmering for a long time. So some drag queens are reading stories to children (with their parents' permission) and some members of the religious and conservative right are exploiting it to attack the LGBTQ community. Big deal. You know where I heard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt (what the heck is that anyway)? In my first grade class because my teacher read us her Bible. Even before then, I knew the story of Little Red Riding Hood (with the ending where the wolf eats everybody), Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk before I got out of kindergarten. DO NOT even get me started on the Bible? No offense but there are parts of the Old Testament that's like a Quentin Tarantino movie. You want to talk about something odd? How about being taught a Sunday School lesson at age 12 or 13 about the massacre of idol worshippers by a general ordained by God to do so. It was a very fun class THAT day as I recall. I would take a drag queen reading a nice story to kids above all of that. Give me a break! Seriously! 

Sorry Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Liars Are Not A Protected Class - Michelangelo Signorile brings up an excellent point in this extensively covered controversy.

Conservatives falsely compare refusing Sarah Sanders service to ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’- Wonderful take on this situation.

Justices won’t hear case of anti-gay marriage florist in Washington - Don't flip out. We haven't lost this case. 

What Happened When A Lesbian Sexual Assault Survivor Went To Work For Donald Trump - Complex article, but still has a bitter conclusion nonetheless.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Huckabee Sanders gets the 'Masterpiece' treatment in accordance to religious liberty

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
The argument about "religious liberty," or as the evangelical right defines it, the right to refuse service to the LGBTQ community on the grounds of "deeply held beliefs" may have exploded into a big brush fire today.

And all because of an incident involving Trump's White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

According to CBS News:

A restaurant owner in Lexington, Virginia kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her party out of his restaurant ... on moral grounds. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was told to leave a Lexington, Va., restaurant Friday night, she said on Twitter Saturday morning. Sanders said the owner of the Red Hen in the Shenandoah Valley asked her to leave because she works for President Trump.

"Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so," Sanders tweeted Saturday morning.  
 . . .  Someone who claimed to be Sanders' server seemed to have posted earlier on social media about the incident. That post was tweeted out by Brennan Gilmore, the executive director of environmental group Clean Virginia. . 
@PressSec got kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va tonight. Apparently the owner didn’t want to serve her and her party out of moral conviction. — Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) June 23, 2018

Personally, I don't agree with what was done to Sanders, but I am hard pressed to feel sorry for her. As many readers know, there is an idea being pushed in right-wing and conservative evangelical circles that business should have the religious or moral right to refuse potential customers; most specifically gay customers.

Friday, June 22, 2018

'Anti-LGBTQ right trying to return to SCOTUS with another 'religious liberty' case & other Fri midday news briefs

Oh my heart bleeds for these two. Presently, there are several folks and organizations who care claiming that this case is similar to the Masterpiece case SCOTUS ruled on weeks ago in favor of the baker instead of the gay couple he discriminated against. Uh no. See below:

Court Upholds Damages in Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case - The fact-finding site Snopes broke the case down a while ago, including : 

The lengthy ruling described incidents wherein the Kleins’ promotion of their plight resulted in negative attention and threats to the Bowman-Cryers, including Klein’s publication of court documents to Facebook that included the couple’s home address. Contrary to many descriptions of the issue, no “gag order” was put in place that prohibited the Kleins from publicizing or talking about their case; however, the Kleins were ordered to cease proclaiming or offering any public suggestion that they intended to refuse service to same-sex couples in the future  . . . 

 In other news: 

We Can Already See The Damage From The Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling - But that is not to say the Masterpiece case didn't cause the LGBTQ community some problems. 

Federal Courts Are Standing Up for the Sanctity of Transgender Lives - Yes they are. It's good to see wonderful things happen in spite of the bozo in the Oval Office and the stain he has put across America. 

Billy Elliot forced to scrap dates in Budapest following press hate campaign claiming it will turn kids gay - With all of the things out there supposedly turning people gay, it's depressing to think that I still don't have a man.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Anti-gay activist has furious meltdown over criticism of Trump's anti-immigration policy

Earlier this week, Rachel Maddow cried on the air due to how Trump's separation policy was negative affecting immigrant children, particularly infants.

In contrast, anti-LGBTQ activist Dave Daubenmire just melted down because people was criticizing Trump's policy. The man has a certain degree of talent. He managed to work in slams against abortion and the LGBTQ community in his rant.

And then:

Later in the webcast, one of the participants asserted that those who are crossing the border are not even real families but are “gang members” are are trying to sneak into the country, while pastor Dale Sochia of King Jesus Ministries on Louisiana misrepresented a statement from a border patrol agent to claim that undocumented parents are giving their underage daughters birth control and Plan B pills so that they can “use their children as sex to pay to get them into America.”

Hat tip to People for the American Way.

'Prominent magazine duped by anti-trans nonsense masquerading as an article' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trump's incompetence on immigration putting LGBTQ asylym seekers at risk

Let's not forget how Trump's anti-immigration policies endangers those seeking asylum, such as Robel Hailu,

Hailu is an Ethiopian who cannot go back to his country simply because he is gay. If he goes back, he faces imprisonment and even worse. It simply goes to show that all this bullshit about  "open borders" and so-called lazy immigrants stealing jobs (Yeah, I know. That's a contradiction, but appeals to fear don't need to make sense) is fueled by people who want to blame people of color for their problems and inadequacies.

 Meanwhile, those who need help are pushed to the wayside and face terror simply for existing. Not all of those wanting to come over (even those who do it illegally and especially those seeking asylum) are wanting to cause harm. They merely want a better life. You cannot tell me that there isn't a solution to this which addresses kindness and discards hysteria. But not while a certain orange boob pollutes the Oval Office. He feeds off of fear and resentment. He probably doesn't even know how the spell the phrase "solution-oriented," much less know what it means.

 America can't have it both ways. We are either great because we believe in freedom and liberty or this country is a putrid concoction of lies, egos, and incompetent unfulfilled entitlement.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Conservative evangelical Todd Starnes defends Trump's immigrant policy - the president is 'not gassing children'

Todd Starnes
If I were the evangelical right, I would show some degree of decency and call Trump out for his awful policy of snatching immigrant children from their parents. And for a number of reasons.

1. For all of their talk about morality and values, their muted/silence response are making them look like power-grubbing hypocrites willing to support anyone who can take them to the seat of power (in this case, Trump).

2. Others besides myself are beginning to notice, as this wonderful article in the Huffington Post proves.

3. Most importantly, other evangelical leaders and figures are speaking and they ain't exactly the voices which help. For example, take Todd Starnes.

Starnes has made quite a name for himself being one of the religious right's most viciously homophobic and best purveyor of anti-Christian moral panics (even at the point of playing fast and loose with the facts.)

Via People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch is a clip of Starnes defending Trump's separation of immigrant families. According to Starnes, it's not a bad policy because Trump's "not gassing children."  Starnes even took the time to label those of us against the policy as traitors. Love the evangelical Christian sentiment:

'World Health Organization no longer classifies being transgender as a mental disorder' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, June 18, 2018

Conservative evangelical groups & leaders care more about their fantasies than immigrant children

Evangelicals like Tony Perkins (top) & Franklin Graham (bottom) could do more to help the immigrant children the Trump Administration snatched from their parents. But they probably won't.

Religious groups and evangelical public figures have taken time out of their busy schedules of dehumanizing transgender people and spinning religious liberty panics in order to weigh in on who they feel is the real victim during this awful crisis of the Trump Administration's seizing of immigrant children from their parents

Donald Trump.

By either blaming the so-called liberal media, telling lies about "progressives" and "open borders," claiming that these children are in better circumstances, or even blaming the parents, groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and people like Franklin Graham are clearly showing where their loyalties and values lie.

And all of them give off the same inference - "it's terrible, it's a shame, but let's pray for a solution because that's all we can do." These are the same groups and people who orchestrated national panics on the so-called idea of "religious liberty" which made it to the Supreme Court. The same folks who initiated a huge boycott of Target over the lie that men were invading women's bathrooms and got over one million signatures for a petition about it in hardly any time at all.

Franklin Graham has been known to issue Facebook statements on current issues and within a day, he would have over 100,00 comments from mostly cloying followers either echoing his sentiments or praising him.

You cannot tell me that these groups and people can't do anything about this issue. It's simply that they don't care. Just like they didn't care about Trump's language, his less than Christian behavior, the fact that he has on more than one occasion cheated on his wife, his basic incompetence  etc etc. They don't care about what psychological damage  Trump's policy will do to those little brown boys and girls or their families. They don't care how many future terrorists Trump may be creating. Their weak tea statements and defiant lies were less about the children and more about keeping themselves in Trump's good graces, while simultaneously tricking the rest of us into believing  that they are actually concerned for those families and their children.They only care about access, being invited to White House meetings, being allowed to put their imprint on national policy, and thus being able to craft the country in the image of their version of Christianity, which we are now seeing has nothing to do with humility, or love, or basic decency.

'How Trump's attack on immigrant children is connected with homophobia, racism, and Islamophobia' & other Mon midday news briefs.

Anti-LGBT, anti-Islam, anti-immigrant rhetoric featured alongside racist dog-whistles and Trump cabinet officials at WCS 2018 - As the Southern Poverty Law Center clearly shows, do not think that the xenophobia which fueled Trump's snatching of immigrant children away from their parents, the homophobia which tries to deny the LGBTQ community equality, the Islamophobia which dehumanizes Muslims, and the racism which causes black men and women to lose their lives because of corrupt policemen aren't all connected. Earlier this month, the purveyors of all of this junk converged at the Western Conservative Summit. They were all there, including Jeff Sessions.

Pope Francis: Gay Couples Cannot Make a Family - We need to stop praise dancing every time the Pope or the Catholic Church gives us a little positive whatever. In truth, this is what they think of us and our families. And we need to be firmly against anyone or any institution that seeks to disrespect us and our families.

Kathy Griffin: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community - Kathy Griffin points out a central fact about the LGBTQ community. If you show us love, we will support you through thick and thin. She is simply the latest to learn this. 

Thousands of Ukrainian riot police swarmed Kiev Pride & arrested dozens - BUT guess who got arrested. You will be pleasantly pleased with this article. 

A record number of LGBTQ candidates are running for office. Here's why. - THIS is a way the LGBTQ community can begin to change the world for the better.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Top 10 Coming Out of the Closet scenes & a complaint

I'm beginning to like my "Sunday ease-ins," as I call my practice of posting frivolously funny or insightful things Sunday night.  The purpose is to get everyone ready for the weekly nonsense we have to deal with via the Trump Administration. Tonight is slightly serious because it comes with a small complaint:

Besides the fact that I would like to see coming out scenes involving the bisexual and transgender community, why does television portray young folks coming out as cute, whispy, or basically attractive. They tend to be "too pretty" for me.

 A lot of us who come out aren't exactly considered as "models of beauty." Hell, when I was young, I had bad skin and bad hair, to say nothing about a unusually skinny frame and eyeglasses so big that they could double as a helmet. And I haven't even begun to talk about my dark skin tone, which was looked at as a negative. I would love to see television shows rely on  normal, awkward folks coming out rather than folks who look so pretty, you have a hard time believing that they sit on toilets.

Friday, June 15, 2018

'Jeff Sessions creating havoc for immigrants, their children, & LGBTQ asylum seekers, but bends over backwards for 'religious liberty'' & other Friday midday news briefs

Jeff Sessions
Jeff Sessions just signed the death warrant for LGBTQ asylum seekers - It's not just the policy Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions is pushing separating immigrant children from their parents that's causing problems. This other policy about no longer giving asylum for victims of domestic or gang violence is also causing havoc. And to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, it's practically a death sentence.

Jeff Sessions: Trump administration will fight with faith groups on their discrimination claims - I hate to push this juxtaposition but here it is because here it is. At the same time, Sessions is ready to fight for houses of worship seeking building permits. Take these two news briefs as you will.  What's more important to God? Expanding churches and discrimination under the guise of 'religious liberty' or the safety and well-being of men, women, and children? You tell me.

ADF defends Indiana teacher who rejected his district’s transgender-inclusive policy - Of course this hate group will. Sorry but your so-called religious liberty does not rank higher than the health and well-bring of our LGBTQ kids. 

6 Homeless LGBTQ Youths Share Their Stories - Stories which NEED to be amplified.

EXCLUSIVE: LGBTQ Federal Employees Confronted Betsy DeVos Last Year - She obviously didn't listen.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Video: When faced with discrimination, elderly LGBTQ Americans can't simply 'go somewhere else'

This video by Movement Advancement Project emphasizes the fact that sometimes when faced with discrimination, some of us simply can't "go somewhere else."

If you can handle discrimination by doing that, remember that there are many who can't, such as elderly LGBTQ Americans:

This new ad illustrates the housing discrimination LGBT Americans can face in the absence of nondiscrimination protections. Nursing Home depicts an older gay man arriving to move into an assisted living facility. But when the facility director learns that the new resident is gay, he refuses to allow him to move in and tells him and his family to leave.

'Gay students rally to defense of teacher driven to the brink by homophobic bullying' & other Thur midday news briefs

After teacher comes forward about bullying, gay students in Rocklin share similar stories - This is why it is so important for the LGBTQ community to first defend our own before we look to others to defend us. A California lesbian teacher was put on mental health leave after students bullied her. The school did nothing about it. And the parents? Well they backed up their kids with the usual religious right lies by talking about the teacher "pushing her lifestyle" on students. We've all heard that explanation before and in this case, it's more infuriating because the teacher didn't mention her sexual orientation or relationships status in class. The little brats found  photos online. Well now, other gay students in the school have come forward to have the back of the teacher AND to tell their own stories of bullying. Good for them!

As trans high school athletes win state titles, parents petition to ban them - Instead of trying to keep them from competing, maybe your children need to work harder so they can compete against the trans athletes. 

Senator Hatch’s pro-LGBTQ floor speech rings hollow - Thank for Sen. Orrin Hatch for speaking up for our LGBTQ kids on the US Senate floor. However, Zack Ford makes a wonderful point here. Talk is cheap in the face of positive action. 

Athens GOP leader goes on anti-gay rant on Pulse anniversary - Trash is as trash does.

Meet the amazing gay single dad-of-3 whose husband died before their twins were born - Sad but awesome story of love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Anti-gay groups using Pulse tragedy survivor to create more harm for the LGBTQ community

Anti-gay groups are exploiting a survivor of the Pulse tragedy to fight against a pro-gay bill in California.

There is a bill in CA, AB2943, which would outlaw marketing or selling the fraudulent practice of ex-gay therapy.  The religious right have been fighting like mad to create a narrative which would allow them to fight the bill. First, they tried to portray it as something called a "must stay gay" ban. That didn't resonate. Then they falsely claimed that the bill would ban the Bible. That narrative failed.  The two attempts to falsely portray the bill failed because its supporters consistently pointed out that it has to do with financial practices and transactions rather than personal beliefs.

So now from the religious right comes this new direction which is simply downright vile - exploiting a survivor of the Pulse tragedy to wreck the bill.

From the Family Research Council:

It's been two full years since it happened. People were still dancing at a nightclub on the south side of Orlando, when a gunman walked through the doors and brutally ended the lives of 49 people. India Goodman says she can still feel the body slumped against her in the dark, shielding her from bullets. She's just one of the survivors who says their story changed forever. 
Luis Javier Ruiz is another. Like so many others in the Pulse nightclub that night, Luis thinks a lot about what could have happened. He looks back on his struggles then, identifying as a gay man, and believes -- without a doubt -- that it was the lowest point of his life. "I should have been number 50," he posted after the tragedy. An emotional Ruiz talked about how difficult things had been, even before the horror that June night.  
"Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse, I remember my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV. My struggles were real! The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ... I've grown to know His love in a deeper level. Two out of the 49 were my close friends and are no longer with us. They lost their life that night. I should have been number 50, but now... I know who I am and I am not defined with who the enemy says I use to be -- but who Christ Jesus says I am."  
Luis went public with his story, joining the Freedom March in early May with other people who've walked away from a lifestyle that brought nothing but pain. "It's not a gay-to-straight thing," he tells reporters, "but a lost to save[d] thing." During his recovery, he remembers, members of a local church came in and prayed with him. They shared portions of Scripture and told him about the love of God. Through that, he says, "I was able to not only just be free of the lifestyle but be free of me in general -- from every type of sin."

'South Carolina pro-Confederate flag, anti-LGBTQ candidate in runoff for Congressional seat' & other Wed midday news briefs

This guy right here, former SC state senator Lee Bright, who in 2015 (seen in the above video)  interrupted a vote to remove the Confederate flag from atop the State House to rant insanely about marriage equality, was one of the candidates who won enough votes last night to participate in a run-off for a U.S. Congressional seat. Bright will be competing against present SC state senator William Timmons. Bright, who by the way opposed removing the Confederate flag, pushed an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2016 which failed and subsequently cost him his seat in the SC Legislature.

 In other news:

More than 100 youth activists played dead on the Capitol lawn to raise awareness for gun violence - An issue very pertinent to the LGBTQ community.

Who Are LGBTQ Americans? Here’s A Major Poll On Life, Sex, and Politics. - Fascinating. We are all so quick to talk about "the community," yet we know very little about each other.

This Pastor Disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour: ‘There’s No Such Thing as Transgenders’ - What an absolute dumbass.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trump/Golden Girls mashup featuring Putin, Pence, & Kim Jong Un is kinda spooky now

When I posted this a long while back, it was simply funny and campy. But based upon what we now know about Russia's involvement in the 2016 election which got Trump in the White House and after Trump's recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, we probably should ask can something be campy and spooky at the same time.

News brief special - Two years after Pulse, LGBTQ community will continue to combat physical & spiritual violence

The Stories of the Victims of the Pulse Gay Nightclub Massacre in Orlando - Never forget.

No, We Cannot Weep Together - An appropriate post written two days later.

Jim Obergefell, Marriage Equality Plaintiff: Religion Is Being Weaponized Against Us - Meanwhile, the fight for our dignity and rights continue. Those who try to take away what is ours don't always use physical violence. Spiritual violence is just as bad.

Why Are Antigay Ads Running Before LGBT Videos on YouTube? - See commentary on news brief above . . .

22 Incredible Photos Of LGBTQ Pride Celebrations Over The Decades - But we will not lose. As we commemorate and weep and fight, we are still here. We will continue to be here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Franklin Graham would rather rail on the trans community than comment on Jeff Sessions asylum block

So today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that there will be no asylum for people from foreign countries attempting to escape domestic or gang violence. One would think that the evangelical community would be up in arms about it. After all, they are so into exact interpretations of the Bible, which contains many verses admonishing folks to care for strangers.

Think again. Better yet, allow me to focus on one prominent evangelical leader, Franklin Graham. Do you think he has anything to say about this? Sometimes, simple tweets tell a sad, but pertinent message:

Hours later, no such luck:

'Andrew Garfield's Tony Awards speech takes on gay cake debate' & other Mon midday news briefs

Andrew Garfield’s Tony Awards Speech Takes On Gay Cake Debate - Of course the religious right would rather throw attention to Robert DeNiro's words about Trump, Andrew Garfield's words are a bit more appropriate to this blog, seeing that the Masterpiece decision is officially a week old.

  Adoption, Foster Care Agencies That Shun LGBTQ People Get Millions From Taxpayers - "You ain't nothing but a nasty dirty sinner. God doesn't love you and you're going to hell. Now gimme your money, bitch." - That line isn't in the article, but that's what the article makes me feel like what these "religious" adoption & foster care agencies are saying to me.

Patrisse Cullors On The ‘Legacy Of Queer Black Women’ This Pride Month - PREACH!! 

Indiana GOP scraps proposal to move away from Pence-era marriage equality opposition - All of that nasty symbolism. In spite of it all, we worked hard to gain the right to marry and we aims to keep it.

‘Shame Is A Good Thing’: Dave Daubenmire And Crew Will Be Protesting A Mosque, An Abortion Clinic, And A Pride Parade This Weekend - At the same time?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Beware of the homosexuals . . .

Just a little comedy to get us ready for the week, courtesy of filmmaker and photographer Ivan Bellaroba from 2014. Did you know there is no vaccine for homosexuality and . . . it's rather easy to catch.

 According to the bio on youtube, this video was inspired by certain 1950s "educational" films on homosexuality, as well as events taking place in Russia, Nigeria, and Uganda with regards to the persecution of the LGBTQ community there.

Friday, June 08, 2018

'Did SCOTUS give the anti-LGBTQ right a dreaded 'white elephant' gift in Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling' & other Fri midday news briefs

As of now (things could change), it's looking more and more like SCOTUS handed the anti-LGBTQ right a "white elephant" when it gave them the victory with its 'Masterpiece cakeshop' ruling. 

Let me explain - there is a legend about a certain king of Siam who would give a white elephant as a gift. The reason for the gift was to show his displeasure because the upkeep of the white elephant would eventually bankrupt the person he gave it to. 

It seems to me that SCOTUS gave the anti-LGBTQ right a win in Masterpiece solely on a technicality. As to the general question of using "religious liberty" as an excuse to engage in anti-LGBTQ discrimination, though the court did not touch that subject, Justice Kennedy specifically affirmed the rights of same-sex couples and the LGBTQ community. This had a serious effect on a ruling in Arizona right after Masterpiece. So while SCOTUS handed the anti-LGBTQ right a victory, the win has thus far undermined their eventual goal - the right to use "religious liberty" as an excuse to allow anti-LGBTQ discrimination by secular entities. SCOTUS is very secretive regarding its rulings and such but maybe the Masterpiece ruling was Kennedy's way of saying to the anti-LGBTQ right - "We see you! You ain't slick!"

My point:

Fury and despair over the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling are misplaced 

Masterpiece case used by AZ court to reject anti-LGBTQ discrimination

‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ just totally blew up in the face of the hate group that argued it

Wedding Invitation Business Can’t Shun Same-Sex Couples, Arizona Court Rules

 In other news:

Iowa judge overturns state’s ban on Medicaid covering transgender medical procedures - Wonderful!

Why Some Gay Men Hate Pride Parades — And Ourselves - A controversial but needed debate.

Trump Finally Has An LGBTQ Judicial Nominee - And with no catch! I know. Get up off the floor.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Maryland ad becomes first in the country to show political candidate kiss same-sex partner

After seeing this bold ad, I sincerely hope Maryland state senator Rich Madaleno does win the gubernatorial election. Alas, however, he is polling in fourth place for the Democratic nomination.. But even if he doesn't win, he's already made history in a positive way.  Something like this goes way beyond politics because it sends a message of openness and pride - something which is wonderful for our LGBTQ children to see.

 From The Huffington Post:

 Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D) wants two things: to be elected governor of his state and to irritate President Donald Trump. The gubernatorial candidate’s most recent TV ad begins by listing accomplishments, including sponsoring legislation to support Planned Parenthood and a measure to ban assault weapons, which he says “infuriate” the president and his conservative allies. “Take that, Trump,” Madaleno’s supporters, including several children, chime after each item. For the kicker, Madaleno turns to husband Mark Hodge for a kiss. 
 . .The ad is the first in the United States to show a political candidate kiss a same-sex partner, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Madaleno’s campaign.

'Closed CrossFit gym, fired executive, & transphobic Congressional candidate learn the wages of bigotry' & other Thur midday news briefs

 Jazmina Saavedra (top picture) and Russell Berger (bottom picture) both learned that people don't like hate, no matter  if it's hidden behind supposed concerns for safety or religious beliefs

Indy gym closes, CrossFit exec fired after Pride event canceled - In the recent controversy involving the CrossFit gym chain, it wasn't just the high level official who lost his job. The franchise which began the homophobic mess by attacking Pride and disrespecting its gay customers has closed. Well that solves it all. If you think Pride and homosexuality is sinful, you no longer have the option to take our money.

A Republican who filmed herself harassing a trans woman lost her election. By a lot. - On that note, a certain wannabe elected official who had the nerve to film a transgender woman attempting to use the restroom lost her primary. And it wasn't even close. 

Shop Owner Who Posted “No Gays Allowed” Sign Celebrates Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision - Okay. Even though he is wrong with his thinking that the decision allows him to do that, go right ahead and prove our point. We can always count on the religious right and their supporters to prove their point when they go overboard and show their proverbial asses. 

When 'religious liberty' breeds homophobic entitlement - Reposting this post is very appropriate. It's like I said in it - "When someone calls the LGBTQ community sinners and then tries to play the victim by accusing us of being intolerant when we call them out, it's the equivalent of an abusive relationship where your partner blames you for him giving you a black-eye, a busted lip, and assorted bruises." 

Bermuda’s repeal of marriage equality lasted less than a week - Hehehehe!!!

LGBTQ Russians Are Fleeing To NYC, But They Still Face Hostility - It's been a good day on my news briefs. But don't celebrate so much that you forget that we still struggle worldwide.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

When 'religious liberty' breeds homophobic entitlement

An ugly incident involving homophobia at a national gym chain gives a sad, but needed lesson in the false entitlement which comes with today's definition of "religious liberty."

From Buzzfeed:

A high-ranking CrossFit employee told BuzzFeed News that he has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence after tweeting his support for a CrossFit gym’s cancellation of a Pride event, citing his belief that celebrating LGBT pride is a “sin.”  
 Russell Berger, the mega-successful fitness company’s chief knowledge officer and often its de facto spokesperson, said he does not know how long his leave of absence will last. But his work — including his writing for the Russells, a blog about scientific misconduct that he maintains with colleague Russell Greene — has been put on hold at least temporarily, he told BuzzFeed News. 
Berger got into hot water Wednesday afternoon when he tweeted about a CrossFit gym in Indianapolis, Indiana, where owners canceled a workout in honor of Pride Month. Many of the coaches and employees quit in protest, raising the possibility that the gym could shut down, according to WTTV TV in Indianapolis.

Before he was put on unpaid leave, Berger taunted folks who voiced their disapproval in now deleted tweets. He played the victim, claiming that the LGBTQ community and its allies were being "intolerant" of his religious views:

'We have entered the stupid phase of the war on LGBTQ rights.' & other Wed midday news briefs

Most Americans Oppose Businesses Refusing To Serve LGBTQ People, Poll Finds - We still have the public mostly on our side. Build on that. Tell our stories. Show our faces. 

Masterpiece Cakeshop was just the beginning. ADF is pushing several other license-to-discriminate cases through the courts. - Because the opposition isn't going to let up. 

The Christian Right’s bizarre plan to destroy civil rights laws by trolling - And it seems their new tactic will be "trolling" to create incidents of "anti-religious hostility."

Masterpiece: A (dangerous) nothingburger that will change nothing (and maybe everything) - Jeremy Hooper ( comes out of hiatus to talk about Monday's Masterpiece ruling and drops probably the best analysis of the entire situation. His perspective is one which we sorely need - from a person who has tracked the anti-LGBTQ industry and knows their language (yes, I know I do that but Hooper is much better than me.)

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Is Not As Limited As Some Might Think - And a warning for the future.

As a teen, Zach Wahls once spoke out for marriage equality. He could now become one of Iowa's youngest state lawmakers - A young man who gained fame for speaking boldly for same-sex families, including his own, Mr. Wahls would a fine addition to any Congressional body. He won his primary last night. Good luck in the election. 

The US has an HIV epidemic – and its victims are gay black men - And unfortunately, it's being kicked aside.

An Indiana Teacher Says It’s Against His Religion to Call Trans Students By Their Names - The teacher feels emboldened by Monday's ruling, but his explanation is junk. Using the "homosexuality and transgenderism are dangerous lifestyles" will derail his mess should he try to push it further.