Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Family Research Council already weaponizing Jeff Sessions' 'religious liberty' task force to target SPLC

If you want to know why so many folks are alarmed with Jeff Sessions' so-called religious liberty task force, this tweet sent out today by the Family Research Council should clue you in. Folks on the right are already attempting to weaponize the task force to attack the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The article in question, which contained the following quote from FRC official Jerry Boykin, is nothing but drivel. It is yet another attack on SPLC for accurately designating organizations like the Family Research Council as anti-LGBT hate groups.  What makes this particular situation very problematic is how the article implies that the full weight of the United States Justice Department would fall on SPLC's head under the guise of "protecting religious liberty."

And the drama isn't even about religious liberty or religious beliefs.

Jeff Sessions' conservative evangelical supremacy task force . . . er . . . 'religious liberty' task force is very unpopular' & other Tue midday news briefs

Based on tweets like these, Jeff Sessions'  conservative evangelical supremacy  'religious liberty' task force is very unpopular.

Twitter Rains Hell On Jeff Sessions’ New Religious Liberty Task Force - This picks up my spirits big time. Jeff Sessions' conservative evangelical supremacy 'religious liberty' task force is highly unpopular because no one is fooled about its actual goals. And it has been dragged through twitter. I say we continue to drag it through twitter nonstop.

Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department Promotes Religious Right’s Take On Religious Liberty - Just in case you need more confirmation as to what Sessions and his cohorts in the religious right are attempting . . . 

Justice Department’s new “Religious Liberty Task Force” highlights the agency's troubling ties to Alliance Defending Freedom - Or the hate group helping to force it on America  . . . 

Trump administration says it’s time to stop punishment of anti-gay African countries - Or ways this task force and mess like it will probably harm LGBTQ safety . . . 

 Rude comment at 'Religious Liberty' Summit reveals ignorance & desire to erase LGBTQ taxpayers - Because those pushing this task force don't care about the LGBTQ community. They want to erase our children, our families, and our dignity as taxpayers. 

Our Tax Dollars Shouldn’t Fund an Anti-LGBTQ “Religious Freedom Task Force” - Basically hell yeah. But calling it a “religious privilege task force” is too nice. We need not pussyfoot about this monstrosity of a sham of a mess this task force actually it. It is a Conservative Evangelical Supremacy Task Force.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Rude comment at 'Religious Liberty' Summit reveals ignorance & desire to erase LGBTQ taxpayers

The Heritage Foundation's Emilie Kao's rude comment about gay couples demonstrates her ignorance of history

If you want to pinpoint just how mean spirited and callous the mindset behind the creation of a "religious liberty task force," look no further than comments by one of the speakers at the so-called "religious liberty summit" on Monday which was held to announce its creation:

From Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade:

. . . other speakers on the panel railed against efforts to uphold LGBT rights as they face compromise in the name of religious freedom, including Emilie Kao, director of the Richard & Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at the anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation. 
Kao was critical of litigation filed by the ACLU against the Michigan law enabling Catholic adoption agencies to refuse placement to LGBT families over religious objections. 
Asserting same-sex couples seeking to adopt face no problem in access to adoption, Kao said the plaintiff in the lawsuit drove past four other adoption agencies to reach St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities, which she said “still holds the belief that they should put every child with a mother and father.” 
“The lesbian couple says they were personally offended by St. Vincent’s not placing a child with them,” Kao said. “I think it’s important for us to recognize that throughout the history of our country and the Supreme Court’s cases, we have always protected the right of people to follow their religious beliefs, and we’ve never protected the right not to have your feelings hurt.”

Kao's callous words was merely another way to evade one of the actual issues of the Michigan case, which is St. Vincent and another adoption agency which discriminates against gay couples, is receiving taxpayer funds. Lots of taxpayer funds:

Documents provided by the ACLU show the state entered into a three-year contract with an option year with Bethany Christian Services for different amounts including up to $6.8 million and with St. Vincent up to for $4.1 million.

Also, I would like to point out just how not only rude, but highly inaccurate Kao's comments were. Perhaps she was attempting to project some false wit or cleverness. What she actually succeeded in doing was to show either her basic or deliberate ignorance of history.

Jeff Sessions, DOJ create task force to promote (anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian evangelical supremacy) . . . er . . . religious liberty

The reality Jeff Sessions and the religious right want to create. They will fail.

In case you haven't realized it, this means war.

The following just happened this morning:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice is creating a "religious liberty task force."

Sessions said the task force, co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams, will help the department fully implement the religious liberty guidance it issued last year. 
The guidance was a byproduct of President Trump’s executive order directing agencies to respect and protect religious liberty and political speech. Sessions said on Monday that the task force will “ensure all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.”

Do NOT be fooled.

Friday, July 27, 2018

'NBC spotlights GOP attack on LGBTQ families' & other Fri midday news briefs

As evidence supporting LGBTQ families mounts, legal hurdles loom - Thank you NBC for putting the spotlight on the GOP's "religious liberty" anti-gay adoption bill. I still have one problem with the coverage. I know it sounds cold, but I really do believe that how gay taxpayers are erased by this bill should be considered. Children need good families, no matter if they are LGBTQ families or heterosexual families. AND LGBTQ taxpayers shouldn't have to give our hard earned tax dollars to entities which discriminate against us. We are being told that we should pay for a service that we can't have because we are supposedly inferior. If my gay dollars is good enough for an entity to have, then giving me respect should also be a must.

Related post - You don't get to call me a sinner AND help yourself to my gay tax dollars

Why Trump's Putin Fixation Is an LGBT Problem - Trump's existence in the Oval Office itself is an LGBT problem. His Putin fixation only make things worse. 

British teen banned from doing drag in school talent show invited to perform with Drag Race queens - Wonderful! I love a happy ending!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Media Matters exposes the homophobia that hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is hiding

Reading and sharing information like this about hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is vital for the LGBTQ community to win this so-called culture war.

The LGBTQ community will never make any definitive steps in attaining equality unless we publicly acknowledge to that there is a deliberate effort to undermine our safety and dignity as American citizens. And this effort is being undertaken by several religious right groups with deep pockets and very little scruples for being honest.

Our battle is not with religious beliefs in general nor ordinary individuals. Our battles are with groups and personalities who work diligently undermine our equality. Enough pussyfooting. Enough nonsensical discussions about Gays vs. Christianity. That was never the argument.

It was always:

 Gays vs. The Family Research Council

Gays vs. the American Family Assocation

Gays vs. the Liberty Counsel.

Gays vs. the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Gays vs. every group, organization, paid personality, pundit, and talking head who claimS to be "pro-family," "pro-Christian," or "pro-morality."

For over 11 years, I have, via this blog, one failed self-published book, and one online booklet, tried to expose these folks myself in my own inimitable fashion AND get our community and our leadership to step up in calling these folks out.

I've succeeded a lot in the former more than I have in the latter. But I am also glad to note that I have not been alone. Other blogs, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and organizations such as Media Matters did a lot to focus on this situation. And granted, it may not be as popular as internal arguments, cute little academic terms and esoteric language, and other  ways some of us in the LGBTQ community have wasted time, this work is very necessary.

 And that's why I am thrilled at the new project published by Media Matters.

An interactive research book on the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom

“The extremism of anti-LGBTQ powerhouse Alliance Defending Freedom” is an interactive research book outlining the anti-LGBTQ positions of the influential legal powerhouse Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). These positions were identified through extensive review of public statements by ADF and its representatives, reports on the group's legal and political activities, and publicly available materials created by the group. Information regarding significant portions of ADF's legal and political advocacy work is not publicly available; the group may hold additional positions or engage in additional activity that it refrains from commenting on publicly.
Click here to download the interactive PDF version of this report.

The following below is a smaller facsimile of the report:

'Transgender students gain huge court victory, opposition to trans troop ban marks full year' & other Thur midday news briefs

Today marks a year since Trump announced his trans troop ban. It has been a disaster for him.

Full Page USA Today Ad Features Bipartisan Opposition To Trump’s Transgender Military Ban - It's been a full year since Trump announced his ridiculous ban of trans men and women from serving in the military. Since then, the announcement backfired on him to become one of the many embarrassing missteps of his administration. 

Judge's ruling supports Dallas School District's transgender policy - An Oregon school district policy which protects transgender students has been upheld by the courts. Sharing space with transgender students doesn't violate anyone's rights.

This bisexual Russian man could be killed if he’s deported — but an Oregon judge won’t let him stay - The struggle is real and it is worldwide, y'all.

Bryan Fischer’s Answer To Global AIDS Crisis: No Sex For Gay Men - Ah yes. The man who almost singularly got the American Family Association designated as a hate group. 

America’s most self-loathing homosexual blasts ‘the gaying of Fox News’ - Oh for crying out loud . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Moving from cakes to housing and adoption - 'religious liberty' is being weaponized to discriminate against gays

So many of us repeated the simple fact that "religious liberty" or "religious freedom" as defined by the anti-LGBTQ evangelical right was not simply about a cake or a bakery or participation at a same-sex wedding. Those trite things were merely the beginning of a plan to codify anti-LGBTQ discrimination by using religion as a weapon.

According to a recent events,  things have moved steadily from businesses supposedly not wanting to participate in same-sex weddings. We are now talking about senior living communities who don't want to house gay couples:

A St. Louis County senior community has denied housing to a married lesbian couple who have been together for nearly four decades because of the couple's sexual orientation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court. 
Mary Walsh, 72, and Bev Nance, 68, both of Shrewsbury, say the Friendship Village senior living community, which has locations in Sunset Hills and Chesterfield, denied occupancy to the couple to live at the Sunset Hills community in 2016 because their relationship violated its cohabitation policy that defines marriage as "the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible," according to the lawsuit.
The policy, the suit says, violates the Fair Housing Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act. It names Friendship Village and its parent company FV Services Inc. as defendants. The couple is represented by the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington D.C.-based firm Relman, Dane & Colfax. 
Walsh and Nance were married in Massachusetts in 2009 but have been together for 37 years, their suit says. They tried to move to Friendship Village in July 2016, got on a waiting list and paid a $2,000 deposit but were later told they couldn't because of the "longstanding policy." Friendship Village continues to enforce the "cohabitation policy" that has denied housing to other same-sex couples, the suit claims. 

And let's not forget the laws in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, as well as a bill moving through the House of  Representatives which contains an amendment that, under the grounds of "religious liberty," allows foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples while still being able to receive tax dollars.

Today, 40 Democratic Senators targeted the amendment:

In a letter to Senate appropriators, the senators slammed a House Republican proposal passed earlier this month that would shield taxpayer-funded adoption and child welfare agencies that refuse to provide services to children and parents on the basis of religion, LGBTQ status, or family structure. The senators urged the Senate Appropriations Committee not to include this dangerous proposal in the upcoming appropriations bill. 
“Allowing child welfare agencies to close the door to willing and fully qualified foster and adoptive parents due to a difference in religious belief opens the door to taxpayer-funded discrimination and deprives vulnerable children of safe and loving homes,” the senators wrote. “We strongly encourage you to reject this language and instead, support federal laws and regulations barring discrimination, and protect the rights of all qualified parents who answer the call to foster and adopt children in foster care.” 
The proposal would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold federal funding from states that prevent child welfare agencies from denying services to LGBTQ parents or children, penalizing states with existing nondiscrimination policies. Late last week, over 100 child advocacy organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing this proposal. 
Wyden was joined on the letter by Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.; Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Chris Coons, D-Del., Maggie Hassan D-N.H.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Dianne Feinstein D-Calif.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Tina Smith, D-Minn.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Angus King, I-Maine; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Michael Bennet D-Colo.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Robert P. Casey, Jr., D-Pa.; Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Mark R. Warner, D-Va.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

And I am certain that there will be more instances to come in which the anti-gay evangelical right will weaponize religious beliefs  against the LGBTQ community. You can count on that.

'Does the religious right want to criminalize gay sex again?' & other Wed midday news briefs

The Religious Right Appears Intent On Criminalizing Gay Sex Again - A recent column by Tony Perkins of hate group The Family Research Council has Michelangelo Signorile wondering are religious right groups wanting to bring back the sodomy laws. While it may seem hysterical, I say, from monitoring religious right groups for close to 12 years,  that nothing is for sure and one should never assume. When it comes to these groups, it's all about audacity. No matter how ridiculous the cause may seem, if they think they can succeed, they will put forth a huge effort and at the very least, we would have to deal with debating issues which we never thought we would. Personally, I feel that if these groups want to bring back the time in which they openly and freely cited discredited studies by charlatans who accused us of stuffing gerbils up our rectums, feel free.  We got receipts regarding all of the lies groups like FRC once told about us. And we haven't forgotten a single thing.

GLAAD calls for increased and accurate media coverage of transgender murders - Siiigh! Our transgenders sisters are being murdered across America and it's not being handled like it should. We need more press coverage and at the very least, can the media not misgender our sisters. 

Trump's Timeline of HATETrump has been screwing up everyone who isn't white and straight. Makes me wonder if this nonsense with tariffs is his way to not make THEM feel left out.

Oklahoma woman offers to be a stand-in mom at LGBTQ weddings - Awwwww! This is so sweet!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

National LGBT Bar Association want attorneys to repudiate anti-LGBT (hate) legal groups

No doubt this is sure to get the anti-LGBTQ right and their supporters whining about being persecuted, but to hell with them. Full speed ahead.

My only concern is that there is someone out there to push the narrative of what this is truly about.

The National LGBT Bar Association announces a new campaign that asks attorneys across the nation to COMMIT to INCLUSION by repudiating anti-LGBT legal groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Liberty Counsel and pledging never to support them through pro bono services.

“For more than 25 years, groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel have overseen an army of litigators and waged a systematic, insidious, and well-funded crusade to strip protections from LGBT people,” said LGBT Bar Association Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz. “With the recent Supreme Court decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the announced retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, and more and more court victories for those seeking a license to discriminate, fair-minded attorneys committed to diversity must push back. If we don’t take these threats seriously and act accordingly, we could face long term legal setbacks for LGBT people.”

The COMMIT to INCLUSION campaign includes a fact sheet detailing the history of these anti-LGBT legal groups, their enormous budgets, and a sample list of cases in which they have sought to harm LGBT people. It also includes a one-minute video featuring: National LGBT Bar Executive Director, D’Arcy Kemnitz; Chief Counsel, Freedom for All Americans Education Fund, Jon Davidson; and Cathy Sakimura, Family Law Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.  
The COMMIT to INCLUSION pledge reads in part: “We commit to inclusion by ensuring that our personal pro bono and volunteer capacity and personal financial resources will not be used to support the work of ADF and Liberty Counsel.” 
COMMIT to INCLUSION runs from July 24 through September 27.

''Religious freedom' refusals creating discrimination & endangering health' & other Tue midday news briefs

Same-sex couples are being refused service by wedding vendors - Since the Masterpiece ruling, which shouldn't even be allowing this mess, some folks have been going buck wild. And not just with regards to gay weddings: 

CVS fires pharmacist who denied hormone prescription to transgender woman 

Walgreens Pharmacist Refuses To Provide Drug For Ariz. Woman With Unviable Pregnancy 

In other news:

NAACP hosts ‘historic’ LGBT Town Hall - This was last week and I apologize for missing it. This event should have had more coverage. 

Teenager 'heartbroken' after school banned his talent show drag act - Drag is about performance. It was and to an extent still is a way for the LGBT community to take on the personalities of folks or entities they admire for their boldness and project that quality into their own lives. Too many people think it's about making fun or being sexually graphic. It's about skill, discipline, and self-empowerment.

Gay guys from around the globe talk sex and personal safety in Amsterdam - Very very necessary.

Delaware Just Banned Gay Conversion Therapy For LGBTQ Youth - Go Delaware! It's your birthday . . .!

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Federalist pits Democrats against children to justify the stealing of LGBT tax dollars

The LGBT community should not have to pay for the 'courtesy' of being discriminated against.

The right-wing publication The Federalist is attempting to justify using religion as a weapon for discrimination against the LGBT community. In a Monday piece published by the publication entitled  Democrats Prove Willing To Make Orphans Casualties In Their War Against Religion, authors Jon Schweppe and Paul Dupont manufacture a war on children to stifle the concerns of LGBTs as taxpayers and prospective parents.

First, a little background

GOP in Congress and  their allies on the right are pushing something they call The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. They claim bill would:

 protect faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers from state and local governments’ discrimination against their services solely because of their religious mission to place children in loving homes with both a mother and a father. The bill sought to counteract a growing trend of invidious discrimination on the basis of faith.

 That's nice way of saying that the bill would allow adoption agencies and foster care providers which discriminate against gays to still receive tax dollars. The bill also punishes LGBT states.

'Trump supporting lawmaker tricked into using racial slurs, showing bare (bear) ass on tv show in homophobic display' & other Mon midday news briefs

Or if you want get right to the booty shot:

Ga. lawmaker urged to resign after using racial slurs, dropping pants in TV show - Being tricked into using racial slurs and chasing someone with your bare (bear) ass pointed at them in a homophobic display to "fight terrorists." Or in other words, white folks are still having palpitations from having a black man in the Oval Office for eight years. Cute tushy though.

Michigan attorney general: Anti-LGBTQ discrimination is totally legal - He's running for governor. Surprise! Surprise! 

 Cuba Set To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Works for me!

CVS Apologizes After Pharmacist Harasses Trans Customer - Yes you had better. Pharmacists need to do their job or go into another profession.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Randy Rainbow destroys Trump's leadership skill 'credentials' in wonderful song parody

We are going to look back at this awful time in American history with Trump in the White House and be thankful for the seemingly little things which helped get us through.

Such as Randy Rainbow. Again, he destroys the nonsense which Fox News and the conservative media tries to shove down our throats about how Trump is a wonderful leader. And after last week with the Disaster in Helsinki (I'll think of a catchier name in the future), we all need a bit of laughter mixed with truth.

Friday, July 20, 2018

'Trump Administration erasing LGBTQ people from government websites again' & other Fri midday news briefs

The Trump Administration is messing with us again.

The Trump administration is erasing LGBTQ people from government websites again - I swear, you just can't turn your back on this administration. Makes you want to have a serious "discussion" with the Log Cabin Republicans and other gays who supported this guy. 

Hawaii extends federal Title IX protections to LGBTQ students - Way to go, Hawaii!!!! 

Family Research Council's newest attempt to connect homosexuality with pedophilia proves SPLC's 'hate group' argument - My post from last night.  It's gone viral but I want bigger. Let's make the Family Research Council respond to it by sharing it more. Wouldn't that be lovely? 

Here are 5 of the craziest Christian fundamentalist cults that feel empowered in the Trump era - Lawd, give us ALL strength to deal with this madness.

LGBT advocates outraged over Trump’s deference to Putin - You damn right.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Family Research Council's newest attempt to connect homosexuality with pedophilia proves SPLC's 'hate group' argument

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council can't stop trying to connect gays to pedophilia

Back in 2010 when the Southern Poverty Law Center named the Family Research Council as a hate group, the organization was quick to play the martyr by claiming that it was being targeted simply for its "Christian beliefs."

And it plays that hand repeatedly. On many occasions (too many to count), SPLC said that FRC deserved the "hate group" designation because of how it demonizes the LGBTQ community with lies, cherry-picked, and junk science. A serious bone of contention, which always seemed to be ignored by FRC and its defenders, is how the so-called Christian group falsely claims that gay men make a high number of pedophiles and there is a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality.

On Thursday, the Family Research Council published a Washington Update item proving SPLC's argument yet again.

First, a little background. According to a right-wing publication LifeSite News, a German medical student,Mirjam Heine, gave an online lecture in May supposedly advocating that pedophilia be seen as an unchangeable sexual orientation.

According to the medical student, pedophilia is just another “unchangeable sexual orientation just like, for example, heterosexuality.” Heine asked her audience to differentiate between sexual attraction to children, which she believes should be accepted and tolerated as involuntary “feelings,” and child sexual abuse, which she underscored was always wrong.

So what does that have to do with LGBTQs, particularly those of us in America? Not a damn thing. I would suspect that a lot of us never even heard of this woman or her lecture except for reading this post.. However, in the hands of the Family Research Council, a lecture by a German student about pedophilia  is very connected with the progress of LGBTQ equality in America simply because the organization can bullshit its way through a bizarre conspiracy theory-laden Washington Update post saying so.

The key words here is bullshit. No matter how intelligent or totally rational the Family Research Council pretends to be,  we are still dealing an organization which once claimed that Planned Parenthood and the transgender community are using the Girl Scouts,  gay youth commit suicide because they know they are "abnormal," and the LGBTQ community are infiltrating Star Wars video games

But folks can read the piece from FRC president Tony Perkins and be the judge (Editor's note -  you can read the full piece by clicking on the link):

To most people, July 19th is just another day. If you asked them what happened on this date 25 years ago, only a handful would probably know that President Bill Clinton made "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" the policy for America's military. Even fewer would know that the summer of 1993 help set into motion a quarter-century war on marriage and the family. 
Looking back on those days, most Americans are probably nostalgic for the days when sexuality wasn't something people broadcasted. Back then, even the most liberal activists just wanted to "get the government out of their bedroom." How far we've fallen. Now, two decades later, they want to take what happens in the bedroom and force Americans to celebrate it -- at work, church, school, even (and especially) in government. Who knew 25 years ago that Christians would long for the days when everyone just went about their lives?

'Did alleged Russian spy Maria Butina infiltrate the religious right?' & other Thur midday news briefs

Did alleged Russian spy Maria Butina infiltrate the religious right?

Y'all know how much I despise the religious right because of their deliberate actions to demonize and dehumanize the LGBTQ community through lies, cherry-picked and junk science. And how they attempt to strip us of our dignity and erase our families from the American mindset.

But while I present these two articles, I don't rejoice, nor do I encourage any conspiracy theories. I only hope that we will find out more because this is HUGE. And if something comes from this, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. The situation with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina who was arrested (and may have wooed several conservative groups including the NRA) last week is now causing questions to be asked about the religious right:

Alleged Russian Spy Was Working to Infiltrate Religious Right As Well As Gun Groups 

In 2016, according to a timeline compiled by the Washington Post, Butina emailed a Prayer Breakfast organizer to suggest that Putin might attend the following year. That didn’t happen, but she and Torshin attended. “A new relationship between two countries always begins better when it begins in faith,” Butina emailed an organizer afterward, thanking him for a gift and for the “very private meeting” after the breakfast. Butina was also part of a group that attempted to secure a meeting with the Trump campaign in May 2016 to talk about the persecution of Christians around the world, a topic of great interest to many American evangelicals. 
Earlier, in 2015, Butina and Erickson also appeared on the radio show of conservative evangelical superstar (and big-time Trump promoter) Eric Metaxas to discuss gun rights and religious freedom — topics that are strangely congruent in the conservative Christian circles in which all these birds flew. 
The affection with which many Christian right figures hold Russia and specifically the gay-bashing Putin is hardly a secret . . .

Mariia Butina’s Cozy Relationship With the Christian Right Makes Total Sense 

 Much of the Christian right views contemporary Russia with a surprising fondness, and it’s a coziness that predates the Trump administration. Christian conservatives including Pat Buchanan and Bryan Fischer have fawned over Putin in recent years.  
Along with having an instinctual affinity for authoritarian leadership, these men respect Putin’s yearslong rollback of gay rights and abortion access. Franklin Graham, for example, gave an interview to a Russian newspaper in 2015 in which he praised Putin for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda.” 
 Other cultural conservatives see Russia as “Christianity’s front line” against Islam. Presumably, then, it wasn’t hard for Butina, a friendly Russian gun-rights activist, to curry favor in these same Christian conservative circles. 

 In other news: 

At age 25, kids in the longest-running study of same-sex parenting are doing just fine - Yet the religious right are still attempting to erase these families. 

Scarlett Johansson’s Film Exit Puts Struggle For Trans Actors In Spotlight - The possible resolution of this situation can yield good things for transgender actors. More roles.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Trump's ridiculous transgender troops ban loses in the courts again

While Trump is deservedly dragged in social media and other pockets and circles in America due to his incompetence at Helsinki, his ridiculous ban on transgender troops in the military is being deservedly dragged in the courts.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied yet another attempt by the Trump Administration to implement its discriminatory plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. Today’s ruling in the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN and joined by the State of Washington denied the administration’s motion to stay the preliminary injunction a lower court granted in December 2017, and affirmed last month. The injunction blocks implementation of the ban and enables transgender people to continue enlisting in the military. 
“Seven courts across the country have considered this so-called plan, and seven courts have recognized that there is no defensible reason to bar transgender Americans from serving our nation,” Staff Sergeant Cathrine (Katie) Schmid said. “Being transgender has no impact on my ability to perform my duties. I’m grateful that the courts to date have recognized the value in our service, and I look forward to the day when we can put this argument behind us and focus on what's really important-- the accomplishment of our mission, and the welfare of our service members.” 
“The Ninth Circuit, much like the six other courts to have considered the proposed policy, has recognized it for what it is – blatant and impermissible discrimination. The court rejected the government’s attempt to ‘upend’ the status quo, as well as the lives of transgender people serving and seeking to serve our country.” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn. “It has been one year since President Trump announced via tweet his plan to bar transgender people from the military, and in that year four district courts and, now, three courts of appeal have blocked its implementation. What more evidence does the administration need before it abandons this discriminatory and harmful scheme to prevent brave and qualified transgender people from serving their country?”

It's simply not Trump's day. Good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Conservative evangelical leaders who support Trump - where y'all at?

Conservative evangelicals leaders and groups were quick to praise Trump when he was giving them a huge amount of access to the White House, participation in many meetings, and ways to shape public policy at the expense of the LGBTQ community and women's health.

They practically anointed him as the Second Coming and made many excuses for his public incompetence and un-Christian behavior by saying that he was a "baby Christian," not supposed to be "President Perfect," or that in the spirit of forgiveness, they were giving him a "mulligan."

Days after his epic and historically disastrous kowtowing to Putin in Helsinki, these same religious folks aren't being exactly all that vocal about supporting Trump. In fact, it would seem to be that they are taking advantage of the understandably loud backlash in order to hide themselves. That way, they are not forced into a choice in which both outcomes are equally calamitous:

1.Take a stand against Trump, thus potentially losing White House access.

2.Don't take a stand against him and reveal themselves to be frauds exploiting religious beliefs for political power.

No matter how long it takes, questions will come to folks like Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress about how they bent over backwards for Trump, even to the point of jeopardizing their so-called Christian integrity. Groups such as the Family Research Council will have to answer for the noxious co-dependency of their alliance with Trump.

And no one in that bunch should even attempt to minimize their relationship with Trump. That's the the danger of loud, effusive pandering of a questionable ally. Someone will always save the "receipts."

'No, girlfriend. The 'B' in LGBTQ does not stand for bestiality' & other Tue midday news briefs

Star Parker, another fraud used by conservatives.
Star Parker: The ‘B’ In LGBTQ Stands For Bestiality - This is why I generally DESPISE right-wing conservative black public figures. They have NO real power and tend to say the dumbest shit. In this case, this is Star Parker. She has NO function other than to collect wingnut welfare by being one of the go-to black people in the conservative horde when a quote is needed attacking Obama, affirmative action, the black community in general, LGBTQ community, etc etc. Apparently fear of the newest models, Candace Owens or Diamond and Silk, replacing her seems to have caused her to say wilder things.

Joking That Trump And Putin Are Gay Is Homophobia - Okay, I will concede that it is. . . sigh!!! Meanness can be seen as a suitable weapon . . . just kidding . . . I know. 

Mormon couple opens home, hearts to LGBTQ people - Wonderful story and a great reminder that we haven't all gone straight to hell no matter who is in charge. 

Cher Will Bless The World With An ABBA Cover Album - Frivolous as all-get-out but come on folks. When we are resting in between fighting for equality and kicking a certain Orange menace to psychological kingdom come, we do need proper rest music. 

Episcopalians will allow same-sex weddings in all churches without exception - True religious liberty is awesome.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Praising Russia's persecution of its LGBTQ community backfires on Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham
Poor Franklin Graham. To hear him and his religious right cohorts (such as the Family Research Council) tell it, he has become a "victim" of anti-Christian persecution.

Rev. Franklin Graham is headed to England in September -- but the British may be the last to know now that his ads have been pulled off area busses. Of course, nothing about the signs were offensive, unless you consider "hope" to be. And based on the response of local LGBT activists, they do. 
Blackpool Transport, the double-decker bus line that was slated to promote Franklin's event, pulled out of the deal after some members of the community complained. "The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback, which we aim to do at all time," said the company manager. Interestingly enough, nothing about the banners had anything to do with social issues or even overtly Christian. The message was simply this: "Time for Hope." 
Franklin, who's had a front-row seat for the censorship of religion in the U.S., wasn't surprised. On his Facebook page, he talked about his festival and the obvious need for it around the world. 
"I'm sorry that some see hope as offensive, but I can assure you that tens of thousands of people in Blackpool and across the United Kingdom are searching for hope. Sex, drugs, money, even religion -- none of these are the answer. I'm coming to share with everyone in Blackpool, Lancashire, and across North West England that there is One who can give you hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity. His name is Jesus Christ! Will you pray with me for this event in September and for God to work in a mighty way to transform hearts and lives across this region?" 

Poor baby. However, according to other sources, both Graham and FRC omitted some details.

'Federal judge rules against anti-gay adoption agency' & other Mon midday news briefs

Religious-based groups fulfilling whatever service have every right to believe that my sexual orientation is evil and makes me a sinner. But I'll be damned if I am going to freely hand them my tax money to endorse that belief.

Federal judge sides with Philadelphia against anti-gay adoption agency - You had better believe it! If the religious right wants to fight on the hill of justifying agencies which discriminate against LGBTQs getting gay tax dollars, I would be happy to accommodate them. It's like I said in another blog post - "Religious-based groups fulfilling whatever service have every right to believe that my sexual orientation is evil and makes me a sinner. But I'll be damned if I am going to freely hand them my tax money to endorse that belief." 

Democrats introduce a bill to ban the gay & trans panic defense - About time, too.

HRC trolls Trump in Helsinki before Putin meeting - We haven't forgotten about Chechnya. 

How the LGBTQ rights movement in India gained momentum - This is wonderful! More power to you, my brothers and sisters!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Online attempts to connect LGBT equality with pedophilia are vicious hoaxes

This flyer is part of a vicious lie
Lies created to denigrate groups of people never really go away. They become phrased differently and continuously repeated.  African-Americans have to deal with it concerning issues of crime and violence.

And the LGBT community has to deal with the awful lie that most of us are pedophiles. Over the years, we've repeatedly refuted this lie. Unfortunately we have to continue that fight even in 2018

 According to the site Resisting Hate:

It has come to our attention recently that a group of people are using social media to try and undermine the LGBT movement by claiming to be part of a wider “LGBTP” group. The P (they claim) stands for Paedophilia and the group put out messages campaigning for the ‘rights of paedophiles to find love with children’. They make inflammatory comments about paedophiles having the right to actualise their love and make ludicrous comparisons between paedophiles and homosexuals. 
This is of course absolute nonsense and has nothing to do with the genuine LGBT community who are certainly not campainging for the rights of paedophiles. No credible LGBT group of whom we know have any intention at all of adding a ‘P’ to promote paedophile rights. This is nothing more than an attempt to discredit the good work of pro LGBT activists who fight for equal rights and education for the gay and transgender communities. 
(There are some groups who use a ‘P’ to support the pansexual community. Pansexuals find love indiscriminative of gender or gender identity. They are nothing at all to do with paedophiles. Groups using the P for this purpose are perfectly legitimate).

The investigation site Snopes dug deeper and discovered that there seems to be a legitimate plan to connect the LGBT community with pedophilia, One attempt involved a fraudulent flyer/poster (see flyer/poster above):

 This fraudulent poster seems to be the work of a 4chan misinformation campaign that began with a 23 June 2016 thread about tricking LGBT activists into supporting pedophiles. These “PsyOps” campaigns are usually aimed at tricking (“redpilling”) people into seeing “reality.” Several users chimed in with their ideas of how to make and promote the poster, which originally included the tagline “Love Is Ageless

And apparently, this isn't the only subversive attempt to undermine the LGBTQ community by connecting us with pedophilia.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump supporter Franklin Graham condemns Jimmy Carter's support of LGBT community' & other Fri midday news briefs

Franklin Graham has no grounds to condemn gays
Pro-Trump evangelist Franklin Graham slams Jimmy Carter by saying God will punish gays with fire and death - So old big mouth fake-ass Franklin Graham slams a 2015 pro-gay comment by former president Jimmy Carter. And he did so by bring up Sodom and Gomorrah. Well let me put it this way. Jesus once said "how can you point out the speck in your neighbor's eye when you have a beam in yours." To the same point of fact, I ask Graham "How can you bring up the so-called sodomy of your neighbor when you haven't wiped off the orange stains on your lips which came from  kissing Trump's sinful ass?"

Essays-on-Religious-Exemptions - OMG! This is so awesome and needs more coverage. These are personal stories from Americans about the many ways the religious right ideas of "religious liberty," or using religion as a weapon to discriminate, have negatively affected their lives and put them in danger.

Brett Kavanaugh Doesn’t Have To Reverse Obergefell To Destroy LGBTQ Rights - Something to think about. 

Trans coach boosting visibility for girls’ baseball - Wonderful! 

Gay couple’s son denied Irish passport over DNA rules - This right here is some evil bullshit. 

You don't get to call me a sinner AND help yourself to my gay tax dollars - I'm trying to get this to trend big time because this will be a HUGE issue if it already isn't. Religious-based groups fulfilling whatever service have every right to believe that my sexual orientation is evil and makes me a sinner. But I'll be damned if I am going to freely hand them my tax money to endorse that belief.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

You don't get to call me a sinner AND help yourself to my gay tax dollars

For an organization which claims to be about truth, morality, and Christian values, the Family Research Council seems to use a lot of deception and misdirection to get its point across.

Case in point is the situation about a bill in Congress which would give tax dollars to adoption agencies which uses religion to discriminate against gays. The bill would also punish LGBT-friendly states if they tried to pass anti-discrimination laws.

The Family Research Council heavily supports the bill and, in that effort, pushed a heart-tugging story via the right-wing Daily Signal about a young expectant mother, Kelly Clemente,  who supposedly only wanted to give her baby to a family which shared her values.

The article and the video (courtesy of the Heritage Foundation, which also has a hand in creating copy for The Daily Signal. It's all connected, folks) is a definite tearjerker:

Now, 10 years later, she says that being able to handpick her son's family was the greatest comfort she had. So when a movement started to take away that right from moms like her, she couldn't help but speak out. When liberal activists started punishing adoption agencies for making sure kids were placed in homes with matching beliefs, Kelly was horrified. She watched as the dominos started to fall in places like Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and D.C. Suddenly, groups like Bethany and Catholic Charities were being given a choice: start putting children in homes that violate the morals of birth moms like Kelly, pay crushing fines, or shut your doors. 
"I would never tell a gay couple, 'Oh, because you two are in love with each other, and you're not a heterosexual couple, don't even think about adopting a child.' That's not what I'm saying," Kelly explains in Heritage's new video. "What I am saying is that birth mothers have a right to choose." Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee agreed, voting 29-23 to protect the freedom of moms like Kelly. Thanks to adoption champions Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), the new Labor-HHS spending bill now includes an amendment that says the federal government can't discriminate against faith-based groups if they decide not to provide services like adoption or foster care on religious grounds. The bill also says that if a state or local government is found in violation, HHS will withhold up to 15 percent of the federal child welfare funding from the areas responsible.

Just like the baker Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece cakeshop case, Clemente is allowing herself to be used as a pawn in order the cloud the issue. The issue is not who she picks to adopt her child or where she goes.

The issue is why should gay taxpayers have to give our hard earned money to groups which freely discriminate us. The Family Research Council avoids even bringing this up. The organization throws out another misdirection:

The Democrats, meanwhile, continued cranking out lies about what the amendment really does, insisting that it somehow stops same-sex couples from adopting. Hardly! The same adoption agencies that matched them with kids before this bill will still be matching them with kids after. That's because this debate has never been about banning LGBT adoption -- it's about letting everyone operate by their own set of beliefs.

Since using personal stories in order to control the narrative seems to be the order of the day for the anti-LGBTQ right, allow me to give mine.

Anti-gay groups celebrate & distort bill which weaponizes religion to degrade LGBT taxpayers

As to be expected, anti-LGBT organizations are either cheering

or deliberately distorting a bill which would allow adoption agencies which discriminate against gays to still receive tax dollars and would also punish states which protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

Bill protects adoption agencies that protect children

My post from last night gives more detail about the bill. Please read and share:

House GOP bill would legalize giving tax dollars to anti-LGBT adoption agencies & punish LGBT-friendly states 

But most importantly, the bill gives a clear view of the how the anti-LGBTQ right reduced religion into a weapon against LGBTQ equality and safety in two ways

1. The bill itself weaponizes religion, one particular religion - i.e. conservative evangelical Christianity - to create a legal right to discriminate against the LGBT community. 
2.  The bill deliberately degrades the LGBT community by erasing us as taxpaying American citizens and forces us to pay for services which are denied to us. 

These points need to be repeated not only about this bill but also the entire narrative of "religious liberty" as perverted by groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

House GOP bill would legalize giving tax dollars to anti-LGBT adoption agencies & punish LGBT-friendly states

If the House GOP gets its way, this will be the future and gays will be giving up  tax dollars to fund it.

From Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed comes news that House Republicans just advanced an amendment out of committee which would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against gays while still helping themselves to gay tax dollars under the guise of "religious liberty."

The House Appropriations Committee advanced the amendment, introduced by Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt, that says adoption agencies declining a child welfare service based on “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” could not be punished. 
Specifically, agencies that reject applicants, including gay couples and divorc√©es, based on religious objections, could not be denied federal funding. Nor could a state deny funding to agencies if it receives federal funding for child welfare services under the Social Security Act. 
Further, the measure would punish LGBT-friendly states. The Department of Health and Human Services would withhold 15% of its annual adoption dispersals from states that don’t meet the same standards for protecting religious adoption groups. States could lose federal adoption funds, for instance, if they ban anti-LGBT discrimination — thereby tilting federal adoption funding toward states that allow religious recusals.

According to Holden's article, the amendment goes in front of the entire House as a part of the federal budget where it could face opposition - or rather HAD BETTER face opposition - from Democrats and moderate Republicans.

Holden also pointed out that Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt, who introduced the amendment, sent out the following tweet:

Conveniently Aderholt failed to address the lack of fairness in making LGBT taxpayers give their hard-earned monies to groups which would freely discriminate against us.

You gotta love those Republicans. They won't do anything to reign in the disaster that is the Trump Administration. They won't do anything about gun control. And they certainly won't do a thing about how the Trump Administration is committing a human rights disaster by stealing migrant children from their parents.

But they will bend over backwards to screw with us.

Y'all probably know what I am going to say, but I will repeat myself anyway.

We told folks that this nonsense about "religious liberty" wasn't just about cakes or flowers at gay weddings.

It's about weaponizing religion, one particular religion - i.e. conservative evangelical Christianity  - to create a legal right to discriminate against the LGBT community.  I hope it makes you angry enough to raise hell to your representatives, friends, and neighbors, and especially to vote in November. 

'Trump Administration to pay for migrant children detention by siphoning funds from HIV/AIDS program' & other Wed midday news briefs

Trump Administration To Pay For Detention Of Migrant Children By Siphoning Funds From HIV/AIDS Program - THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T PLAY GAMES WHEN VOTING, PEOPLE! It's bad enough that they are detaining migrant children, but now they are causing potential problems for those who have HIV/AIDS to pay for it. A flippant policy by a shitty leader can have terrible repercussions. It reminds me when Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu banned contraception and would not test the blood supplies in that country for diseases. It didn't end happily for anyone, not the scores of Romanian children who became infected with HIV/AIDS and definitely not Ceausescu. 

The ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ Flag Appears to Be a Hoax to Connect LGBTQs with Pedophilia - Meanwhile, we got hoaxes left and right attempting to mess with our community. 

‘Out and Sober’ group helps LGBTQ people with substance abuse recovery - I can push happy news too. 

‘Feminists’ Who Exclude Trans Women Aren’t Feminists At All - If there one thing I HATE, it's LGBTQ people who will work with the anti-LGBTQ right to harm their own people. And I really despise TERFs for doing it.

Trumpvangelicals use Christianity to oppress minorities — the #SlaveholderReligion hashtag highlights how - So true. Say it again!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Philly Christian foster care agency agrees to work with gay couples, city stops suspension of its contract

While religious right groups still continue to distort the SCOTUS ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, I doubt they will have much to say about a situation in Philadelphia which proves how difficult it will be to justify discriminating against the LGBTQ community while taking gay tax dollars.

This took place late last month, but it is still wonderful news:

The City of Philadelphia resumed foster-care and adoption work  . . .  with Bethany Christian Services, whose contract had been suspended because of its policy that prevented staff from working with same-sex couples. 
Department of Human Services Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa said Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley had changed its policy to conform with the city’s antidiscrimination laws and partnered with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs to train staff on “cultural competency for serving individuals and same sex couples who are LGBTQ.” 
“Our faith calls us to work with vulnerable children and families and therefore, it is important that Christians remain in this space,” Bethany said in a statement. “To that end, while we will remain compliant with the law, we also remain committed to our Christian beliefs and core values.”

The announcement comes as a federal judge prepares to rule whether the city violated Catholic Social Services’ religious freedom by suspending its contract for the same reason. The city has said it was unaware of the discriminatory policies until a same-sex couple told the Inquirer and Daily News they were turned away from Bethany last year. Of Philadelphia’s 28 foster-care agencies, only Bethany and Catholic Social Services had policies against working with same-sex couples. The city suspended both contracts.

Like I said before, you can't justify discriminating against the LGBTQ community while taking our tax dollars. Of course regardless of this outcome, some will no doubt still try. Case in point is the related post below:

Related post:

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