Sunday, May 19, 2019

Family Research Council blasted on twitter for attack on children's show featuring same-sex wedding

Here is a pleasant piece of news as we begin the week. Recently, the PBS animated series Arthur featured a same-sex wedding when one of its characters, Mr. Ratburn, came out and got married.

Naturally, this has gotten the anti-LGBTQ industry angry, with many crying about the so-called "indoctrination" and "recruitment" of children into the "homosexual lifestyle."  One of these groups, the Family Research Council, took to twitter to say so:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

All of the times the LGBTQ community tried to destroy America before the Equality Act (sarcasm intended)

It is an attack on parental rights, women's sports, but to the millions of people of faith in this country, it is an egregious attack on the freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs. It would position the government to lord over churches and other faith-based institutions, dictating potentially who they hire, how their facilities are used and even punishing them for not falling in step with a view of human sexuality that directly contradicts orthodox biblical teaching. 
 No institution or person of faith, be it school, church, synagogues, mosque, business, or nonprofit will escape the Orwellian reach of the Equality Act. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will be committed to the "memory hole," and we will then experience a catastrophic loss of religious freedom in America. - Hate group leader Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) lying about the Equality  Act.

On Friday, the House of Representatives will vote on the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil rights legislation which already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, or natural origin. Interestingly enough, no one says that there should be a religious exemption for discrimination with regards to these latter categories. They feel differently about sexual orientation and gender. Tony Perkins and his group the Family Research Council (whose brand has encompassed attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community since its founding) and other anti-LGBTQ groups and supporters have been sounding the alarm like they always do when pro-LGBTQ laws or actions are considered.

Its their consistent modus operandi to attempt to scare other Americans that we are coming for them, their rights, their freedom, their religion, or their children.  Even though they know that if the House passes the Equality Act, it has very little chance even getting a vote in the Senate, Perkins and company still won't miss an opportunity to fundraise and scare people about the "dreaded homosexual horde." They've done it so many times in the past.

Whether it was about allowing the gays to serve openly in the Boy Scouts:

Hate crimes legislation (which they claimed would cause pastors to be arrested in the pulpit and the Bible to be declared "hate speech):

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Anti-LGBTQ leader says she isn't homophobic because she has a gay son

Kay Coles James
Kay Coles James is the president of the Heritage Foundation. According to Media Matters, this organization has a long history of anti-LGBTQ lobbying:

The group has railed against LGBTQ equality for decades, including by supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people under religious exemptions, supporting the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on LGBTQ scoutmasters, and opposing marriage equality. Just this year, the group has hosted five anti-trans panels that pushed misinformation about trans people in an attempt to sway public discourse about trans-inclusive policies like the Equality Act. Furthermore, Heritage employs several extreme anti-LGBTQ figures, including Ryan T. Anderson.

Media Matters also pointed out that James also served as vice president of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-designated hate group due to its constant attempt to undermine and denigrate the LGBTQ community via junk science, cherry-picked science, and out-and-out lies. Recently FRC accused PBS of attempting to targeting children simply because a children's show on the network, Arthur, showed a same-sex wedding. Days before that, the organization falsely implied that transgender children are predators out to harm other children in school bathrooms.

James was recently embroiled in a controversy involving Google. The company invited her to be a member of its Artificial Intelligence ethics board. However, her inclusion was protested so venomously by Google employees and other people that the company ended up disbanding the board. James was interviewed earlier this month by Shannon Bream of Fox News because of the Google controversy. She claimed that she wasn't homophobic because she has a gay son.

Homophobe? I don't think so. You know, I, I, I've never talked about it publicly, but I have a gay son whom I love beyond all measure. And he and his community have welcomed me, have helped me grow, have helped me to understand. There’s no hatred there. That’s my child you are talking about.

One has to ask what growth and understanding is she talking about, particularly when viewing tweets she has sent against the Equality Act.

The page James links to spins all sorts of lies and horror stories about what could happen (but of course won't) if the Equality Act becomes law. The prediction of mayhem if a pro-LGBTQ law is passed is an old, but effective talking point of the anti-LGBTQ industry. But as it pertains to James, for someone who claims to have been welcomed and embraced by the LGBTQ community, she seems to be tone deaf as to the problems we face when it comes to discrimination. It's even worse when one sees how she is passing along information designed to undermine efforts to combat this discrimination.

'Interfaith groups rally in support of Equality Act' & other Wed midday news briefs

Interfaith Groups Rally In Support Of Equality Act For LGBTQ Rights - Neither Franklin Graham nor the rest of the evangelical right is the end all and be all of religion in this country. They simply attempt to grab all of the attention.

Chick-fil-A is about to get thrown off another college campus for being anti-gay - Sweet! 

LDS Church comes out against Equality Act, saying LGBTQ rights bill doesn’t ensure religious freedom - They also opposed marriage equality. Who cares what they think. 

Debate over LGBTQ laws can fuel homophobic bullying, new study shows - Not surprising but these discussions have to happen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Discredited physician claims the Equality Act will end Christianity

Michelle Cretella
The hyperbole and false horror stories doesn't stop with the anti-LGBTQ industry when it comes to the upcoming Equality Act vote.

From Right Wing Watch:

Michelle Cretella, the executive director of an anti-LGBTQ pseudo-science organization, said that the Equality Act should actually be called the “Death to Christianity Act.” 
May 10 episode of Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, guest host Sarah Perry, FRC Action’s Director of Partnerships, and Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (a right-wing group not to be confused with the professional organization, American Academy of Pediatrics), shared their opposition to the Equality Act, which would seek to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity into existing anti-discrimination laws. The duo claimed that the proposed legislation would take children who believe they may be transgender and force doctors to “do harm to these kids.” 
“I think it’s really super important for all listeners to realize this law, if it passes, if this bill becomes law, it impacts everyone. And a better name for it is the ‘Death to Christianity Act.’ OK? That’s going to be the umbrella. … Christianity, it will cease to be publicly practiced. It’ll become against the law,” Cretella said.

Right Wing Watch goes to point out that Cretella's group, the American College of Pediatricians, is a SPLC-designated hate group due to how it pushes homophobic cherry-picked and junk science as legitimate research.

'Pat Robertson claims Equality Act will bring God's judgment on America' & other Tue midday news briefs

Poor Pat Robertson has been around for a long time and it shows. He comes across so sad and decrepit here. My comments are not mean to be snarky, but simply observing both right-wing evangelicalism and Pat Robertson seem to be hurtling headfirst down the road to irrelevancy and public shame simply due to a lack of honesty and integrity.

Family Research Council smears transgender children as predators - Post from last night. Someone should ask Robertson will God bring judgment on America for trying to be fair to all citizens or for doing things like falsely painting certain children as predators?

Chips Ahoy Cookies Brutally Mocks Snowflakes Triggered By Their Mother’s Day Video Featuring Drag Queen - Snowflakes.

Donald Trump comes out against LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections law - Surprise! Surprise! Donald Trump stabbed the LGBTQ community in the back again.

Texas House killed ‘Save Chick-fil-A’ bill, but the Senate just revived it - Well that sucks. 

This Bisexual Man Gave His Mom The Surprise Of Her Life On His Wedding Day - Awwww! This is sweet.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Family Research Council smears transgender children as predators

With the vote for the Equality Act coming in the House of Representatives possibly this week, it's no wonder that conservatives and members of the anti-LGBTQ industry have been firing up the propaganda cylinders to spin all sorts of horror stories about what would happen if it were passed.

And leave it to the hate group Family Research Council to really spin a most vile horror story via this tweet:

This is  vulgar lie on so many levels, particularly how it smears transgender children. As a matter of fact, a recent study has shown that it is  transgender children who are in danger of sexual assault when attending schools which attempt to force them to use bathrooms not aligned with their sexual identities.

'Don't let Trump hide anti-LGBTQ record behind 'religious freedom' rhetoric in 2020 race' & other Mon midday news briefs

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mike Pence promotes fake martyrdom during Liberty University commencement

On Saturday, VP Mike Pence spoke at the commencement of Liberty University.  In his address, Pence spoke with the same tone deaf self-righteous hypocrisy which has marked his political career:

“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” Pence said. “Be ready.” With his wife, Karen, sitting on stage as he spoke, Pence recounted the “harsh attacks” he said they endured when she returned this year to teaching art at a Christian elementary school where she’d worked when he’d served in Congress. Unlike her previous stint, this time Karen Pence faced scrutiny after news reports pointed out that the school bans gay students and teachers. 
“Throughout most of American history, it's been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence said. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible. But things are different now.”

I don't know why Pence continues to play the "I'm only trying to follow my faith" game. There is a long paper trail showing that his idea of "Christianity" is undermining LGBTQ equality and safety. Not to mention that his idea of folks, particularly the LGBTQ community, "showing tolerance" to those like him is to allow ourselves to be discriminated against.

But for the record, it never hurts to remind people:

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Family Research Council tries to protect Trump by lying about Mueller investigation

FRC head Tony Perkins 
I was wondering when hate group the Family Research Council would dip itself into the drama of Robert Mueller's report on the Russian interference in the 2016 election. For those not aware,  Mueller was investigating whether or not Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia  and did Trump attempt to obstruct the investigation

Using the same cherry-picking, sins of omission, and basic distortions it has over the years to denigrate the LGBTQ community, the Family Research Council is attempting to twist the outcome of Mueller's investigation in order to protect its cash cow of "access," Donald Trump. Apparently this requires more than a simple "mulligan."

FRC's distortions of Mueller's investigation is best shown in three paragraphs of a piece its president, Tony Perkins, wrote:

The spectacle at Wednesday's hearing wasn't lost on the liberal media either. While the rest of the country pleads with Democrats to move on from this humiliating ordeal, even commentators are saying they don't have the public's support to continue this charade. "The most straightforward procedural suggestion for addressing executive branch noncooperation is to subpoena documents and testimony and, if they aren't produced, hold the responsible individuals in contempt of Congress. This, it turns out, is not such a great idea," warns Suzanne Garment at NBC News
 For starters, Americans are tired of watching Democrats beat this dead horse of Russian collusion. Most of them want to know: when will this political circus end? Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) understands -- because he's one of them. I guess it ends, he told me on Wednesday's "Washington Watch," "when the Democrats a suffer at the ballot box because it doesn't look like anything short of that is gone to deter them. The Mueller report is out there for everybody to read. It's 448 pages. It finds that there was no conspiracy, there was no coordination, there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. And, and now Attorney General Barr has testified before multiple committees... And that's the end of it. And it's time now that the Democrats and moved on and we actually get to work with the business with the country." 
 But there's also the legal side of this, which is that Attorney General Barr cannot release grand jury material without being held personally responsible. There's intelligence information in that report, and there are matters of national security that prevent him from complying with the Democrats' request. House liberals know that -- and yet, they're trying to punish Barr for following the law (which, I might point out, is not why Eric Holder was held in contempt). And ironically, they don't need him to publicly release the unredacted report to read it. As members of Congress, they can go to a private, classified setting and access every word. Of course, there wouldn't be any television cameras in that room for Democrats to continue their theatrics.

There are so many lies in just these three paragraphs.

1. While the rest of the country pleads with Democrats to move on from this humiliating ordeal, even commentators are saying they don't have the public's support to continue this charade.

 Truth - Actually the view of the investigation is bit more split. According to a May 1 NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 48 percent of Americans want more investigations while 46 percent thinks they should end. In all honesty, impeachment hearings still remains to be an unpopular idea.

2. FRC cites a piece by Suzanne Garment to enhance the claim that the public doesn't support more investigations.

Truth - But her piece had nothing to do with public sentiment. It was about the different ways the Democratic party can obtain testimony and documents for the investigation which Trump refuses to release.

3. For starters, Americans are tired of watching Democrats beat this dead horse of Russian collusion.

Truth - FRC cites a February 15 poll from right-wing leaning Rasmussen which says only 29 percent of Americans favor investigation and only IF Mueller doesn't find anything.  This was before the Mueller report was even released. Again, a more recent poll found that 48 percent of Americans want investigations to continue.

4. FRC quotes GOP Senator Josh Hawley: "when the Democrats a suffer at the ballot box because it doesn't look like anything short of that is gone to deter them. The Mueller report is out there for everybody to read. It's 448 pages. It finds that there was no conspiracy, there was no coordination, there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. And, and now Attorney General Barr has testified before multiple committees... And that's the end of it. And it's time now that the Democrats and moved on and we actually get to work with the business with the country."

Truth -  The investigation did not find any conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia. However Mueller  found 10 instances of possible obstruction by Trump.  He said he couldn't fully exonerate Trump of obstruction. Over 800 former federal prosecutors and Department of Justice attorneys who worked for Democratic and Republican administrations signed a letter saying that if Trump wasn't president, he would face charges of obstruction.  Lastly, it has been reported that Trump himself is walking back from the claim of "no obstruction."

Truth - Attorney General Barr has testified only once about Mueller's report and that was to Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1. He refused to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

5.  But there's also the legal side of this, which is that Attorney General Barr cannot release grand jury material without being held personally responsible. There's intelligence information in that report, and there are matters of national security that prevent him from complying with the Democrats' request. House liberals know that -- and yet, they're trying to punish Barr for following the law (which, I might point out, is not why Eric Holder was held in contempt).

Truth - Zack Ford of watchdog group ThinkProgress said this:

The Mueller report redacted four kinds of content: grand jury material, classified intelligence, matters related to ongoing investigations, and private information about “peripheral third parties.” It’s true that members of Congress cannot see the grand jury material, but they have every right to see the content redacted in the other three categories, as well as all of the underlying evidence that accompanies the report’s claims. And that’s what the subpoena asks for. 
As for the grand jury material, Nadler explained that Democrats had asked Barr to work alongside them to petition a judge to turn over those documents to Congress in a closed setting, the only way the material can be released. The request therefore does not compel Barr to break the law.

'Study says trans teens in schools with bathroom restrictions at higher risk of sexual assault' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Hate group claims the Equality Act would force gays to be hired at places where children congregate

The American Family Association is telling more lies about the Equality Act

The Democrats in the House of Representatives are set to pass the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.

But hate group the American Family Association calls it a "religious liberty wrecking ball" (complete with the lovely graphic of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi channeling Miley Cyrus from the "Wrecking Ball" video) and gives the following reasons why:

Female business owners, customers, and employees would then be forced to share their privacy in restrooms and dressing rooms with men who claim to be women. 
Health care providers and professionals would be forced to perform gender transition procedures (sex changes) and provide medical services (hormone therapy) that would violate their moral and religious convictions. 
Amusement parks, recreation centers, skating rinks, and daycare centers, etc. will be forced to employ people whose values on sexuality deviates from those of the employer. 
Adoption and foster care agencies will be forced to place children into same sex households and into homes of individuals suffering from gender confusion. 
College and professional sports stadiums would be required to open its restrooms to either sex.

The usual inane lies about the transgender community (i.e. transgender predator nonsense)  and gaslighting that people would be "forced" to do their jobs is bad enough, but the following reason really caught my attention:

Amusement parks, recreation centers, skating rinks, and daycare centers, etc. will be forced to employ people whose values on sexuality deviates from those of the employer.

Bear in mind that the AFA tries to couch this objection with the notion that the employer may not want to hire members of the LGBTQ community "because of his/her values" but the question has to be why did AFA spotlight these particular professions.

Most likely it's because these are places where children congregate.

So basically the AFA is saying that if the employers of places where children congregate have a problem with hiring members of the LGBTQ community, the problem lies with a law which wouldn't allow them to discriminate instead of them  having such irrational prejudices (which they can hide behind religious beliefs) about members of the LGBTQ community being around children.

It's no doubt intended to be a sly way to hide the "gays are a danger to children" lie behind the veneer of "religious liberty." If you ask me though, it comes across as rather sloppy.

But that picture of Nancy Pelosi is rather cute.


'State Dept goes to court to take away birthright citizenship of gay couple's son' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Hate group leader Tony Perkins falsely blames gay soldiers for military sexual assaults

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council blames gays for military sexual assaults without having any proof.

Hate group leader Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council) claims to know who's to blame for a rise in sexual assaults in the military - gay soldiers.

From Pink News:

Perkins, who Trump appointed to sit on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, hit out at gay soldiers after a report found that reports of sexual assault in the military have risen by 38 percent since 2016. 
The data from the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office found that female troops ages 17 to 24 were at the highest risk of being assaulted. 
Female troops are six times more likely than men to be assaulted, and 96 percent of female respondents identified the alleged offenders as male. 
However, Perkins claims that the problems are the fault of President Barack Obama, for permitting gay troops into the armed forces after the 2012 repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 2012.

Interestingly enough, Perkins doesn't provide proof of his charges. He said the following:

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan said Thursday that these are "persistent challenges" for the Pentagon. "To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other. This is unacceptable." As much as military leaders are trying to crack down on the problem, the reality is, there's only so much they can do. Unfortunately, most of these men and women aren't just victims of assault -- but of the sexually-charged environment that's been forced on them. Jackie Speier can complain all she wants, but in the end, she's blaming the military for a problem her party helped create. She voted to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" too, so it's a little late to be grumbling about the consequences. 
Back then, Democrats like her shrugged off the possibility that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would have any impact on the ranks and are even now trying to resurrect Obama's Operation Transgender, which President Trump has moved to overturn. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to understand that when Congress introduced even more sexual tension into the troops, it put thousands of men and women in defenseless and compromising positions. To the relief of most Americans, President Trump has done everything he can to roll back the social engineering of the Obama years. We continue to be grateful that he had the backbone to roll back the gender confusion the last administration tried to inject into the military in 2016. But on some issues -- like this one -- it's tough to put the genie back in the bottle. 
The Left spent Barack Obama's entire presidency sexualizing the military, beginning with the repeal of DADT -- and continuing with the push for open transgenderism. Almost a decade later, I guess "we told you so" isn't a message his party wants to hear.

You will notice that for all of the gloating Perkins did, the one thing he did NOT do was to provide proof of his charges. The data he referenced didn't blame gay or transgender soldiers. I don't think Perkins cared though. Automatically blaming the LGBTQ community for sexual assaults in the military is an old distortion by  Perkins and FRC. The group made the accusation in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015And every time, these accusations were made without the courtesy of having any proof.

None of this makes any sense whatsoever, but since when did Perkins or FRC yield to sense and miss a chance to point a finger of blame at the LGBTQ community?

'TX businesses oppose 'license to discriminate' legislation' & other Tue midday news briefs

 TX businesses don't want this discriminatory mess.

Business Leaders Oppose 'License To Discriminate' Against LGBT Texans - Dang right!

Ellen’s interview with the Mormon valedictorian who came out at graduation left viewers in tears - This is wonderful. 

All The 2019 Met Gala Red Carpet Photos You Need To See - Frivolous, yes. But we all need a little frivolity now and then.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Hate group wants you to soothe Franklin Graham's wounded ego

The American Family Association wants you to soothe Franklin Grahams' wounded ego.

I think we can file this one under "Gee, guys. You aren't helping."

Recently, Franklin Graham faced a firestorm of criticism over he made about openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Much of the criticism pointed out the hypocrisy of Graham attacking Buttigieg's sexual orientation as being sinful while simultaneously heaping praises on Donald Trump, whose behavior as president hasn't been exactly Christian.

The criticism was so intense that it led Graham to meekly backtrack. But now the hate group known as the American Family Association has a petition online asking folks to support Graham and show him a little love:

Last week, Rev. Franklin Graham came under fire for his support of President Donald Trump. 
National Review writer David French has wrongly accused Franklin Graham of having a double standard by not being openly critical of President Trump's past while being public in his criticism of other politicians. 
French cites Graham's criticism of the moral failings of former President Bill Clinton and Presidential contender and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigie. In his biased brand of yellow journalism, French unjustly contends that by not holding President Trump to the same moral standard, Graham has lost his influence as an evangelical witness. 
Certainly, no one would agree that President Trump's past is a perfect model of morality, but French has attacked and mischaracterized Mr. Graham's integrity by unjustly comparing apples to oranges. Since our current president has taken the oath of public office, he has come nowhere near the glaring moral indecencies of Clinton while he served in office. Buttigieg is an open homosexual who claims God made him "gay" and is a better Christian because of it. 
Graham is unquestionably a godly man of impeccable integrity. His decades of faithfulness to the gospel and the Great Commission are what make him one of America’s most beloved men. 
This character assassination by David French is unconscionable and should not go unchallenged. 
I urge you to stand with us in showing our appreciation and love for Franklin Graham by signing our petition to this great man of God.

No doubt AFA will get lots signatures on this petition, but I'm all for it.

Graham got rightfully ratioed because of his hypocrisy. And with sentences like Since our current president has taken the oath of public office, he has come nowhere near the glaring moral indecencies of Clinton while he served in office, the AFA is merely show its own hypocrisy as well as the hypocrisy of anyone who signs this petition.

Unless, that is, you forget all of Trump's misdeeds. His over 1,000 lies, his obstruction of the Russia investigation, his refusal to release his tax returns, his callous behavior towards Puerto Rico after the hurricane, his lies and attacks on immigrants, his praising of dictators, etc, etc.

It doesn't matter how many people AFA gets to sign its petition because the petition is a lie. It's a piece of pandering crap designed to soothe Graham's wounded ego. But neither 100 nor one million signatures will remove the stain and stench of hypocrisy from Graham. It's something he rightfully earned.

Trump's HHS official Roger Severino has long history of anti-LGBTQ activism

This video was made last year, but it is very pertinent to events happening currently to the LGBTQ community. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump Administration announced what it called a "religious freedom" rule which would allow doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to opt out of providing services or procedures which they claim would violate their faith. This rule could negatively affect LGBTQ health, particularly those with HIV and the transgender community.

That's why the city of San Francisco is suing to block it, calling the rule extremely broad. The video above focuses HHS official Roger Severino, one of the people behind this rule. It shows that based upon his history of anti-LGBTQ activism before coming to HHS, our community probably does have a lot to fear from this "religious freedom" rule.

One more thing - at 6:12, that is the Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson with Severino. Anderson also has a very long history of anti-LGBTQ activism, including publishing a junk science book attacking the transgender community.

'Brunei won't enforce anti-gay death penalty' & other Mon midday news briefs

BREAKING: Sultan of Brunei says country will not enforce its anti-gay death penalty - A victory for us. For now. It shows the power of the boycott but will our people be safe?

Furman professor: Many LGBTQ students in SC are harassed. More must be done to protect them - Yep. So true.

Fox anchor Shannon Bream hosts another anti-LGBTQ group figure: Heritage's Kay Coles James - Bream strikes again. But this interview will haunt James. Trust me. She claims to have a gay son, but yet is employed by an organization which undermines LGBTQ equality. 

Pete Buttigieg Is Exposing Tensions In The LGBTQ Movement - They were already there. Now let's have a nice conversation.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Madonna honors LGBTQ community with emotional speech at 30th annual GLAAD awards

GLAAD held the second half of its 30th annual awards show Saturday night and though I didn't win 'Outstanding Blog,' I am happy that the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents (led by my good friend Susan Kerr) won. Other award recipients included Janelle Monae, Don Lemon, and the television show Pose.

But the big story was the stirring speech from Madonna, who received the 'Advocate for Change' award:

"Why have I always fought for change? That's a hard question to answer," she said. "It's like trying to explain the importance of reading, or the need to love. Growing up, I always felt like an outsider, like I didn't fit in. It wasn't because I didn't shave under my armpits -- I just didn't fit in, OK. 
"The first gay man I ever met was named Christopher Flynn. He was my ballet teacher in high school and he was the first person that believed in me, that made me feel special as a dancer, as an artist and as a human being. I know this sounds trivial and superficial, but he was the first man to tell me I was beautiful."

You can see another portion of what she said above. The entire speech itself (though not released) was incredible.

Go here for a complete list of 30th annual GLAAD Award recipients

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Trump's announced 'Conscience Rule' could threaten LGBTQ health

Trump just stabbed the LGBTQ community in the ribs yet again.

It seems that every time the National Day of Prayer rolls around, Trump uses it to gouge the LGBTQ community and thus get in good with right-wing evangelicals. This year is no different.

From The Advocate:

The Department of Health and Human Services today announced its final “conscience rule” excusing health care personnel from participating in procedures to which they have religious or moral objections. 
Activists have warned that the rule could jeopardize health care for LGBTQ people, such as those seeking gender-confirmation procedures or HIV treatment and prevention services, as well as women seeking contraception or abortion. 
A draft of the rule was released in January 2018 so that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights could receive comments from the public on it. Donald Trump announced the finalization of the rule during a Rose Garden speech this morning for the National Day of Prayer, and HHS published the final rule on its website. 
 . . . “This final rule replaces a 2011 rule that has proven inadequate, and ensures that HHS implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing the conscience protections passed by Congress,” says an HHS press release. “These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide. It also includes conscience protections with respect to advance directives.” Notably, the Office for Civil Rights is run by Roger Severino, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism. 
Civil rights advocates have feared that the new rule will allow even those marginally involved in providing health care to opt out because of religious objections, therefore making it more difficult for patients to receive care. This rule could severely affect LGBTQ people living in rural areas where there are few health care options. 
“In an attempt to justify more discrimination against transgender people, HHS minimizes the very real pain exemptions like these have caused transgender people,” Gillian Branstetter, media relations manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Advocate via email. 

Speaking of Severino, the official most behind this monstrosity, Buzzfeed had this to say:

When asked what patients without many health care options were supposed to do if their hospital or health care provider refused to perform the procedures they were seeking, Severino repeatedly avoided the question, instead saying that the US had many health care options, and that “patients want doctors who match their values.”

One more thing about Severino - it is important to note that while he pushes this nonsense, his wife is actively working with another organization to get judges appointed who will uphold it.

This is not meant to scare or depress anyone. Just letting you know where we stand. When we know where we stand, we can begin to fight this. And we will win.

'In Tenn, anti-trans bills moves forward, LGBTQ adoption ban stalls' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Equality Act approved by House Judiciary Committee

While overshadowed by other news coming out of DC, the following is still very significant.

From the Washington Blade:

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws.
The Equality Act, which U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March, passed the committee by a 22-10 vote margin with all Republican committee members voting against it. The openly gay Rhode Island Democrat in a statement after the vote said “fairness and equality are core American values.” 
“This bill affirms those values and ensures members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind,” said Cicilline.

. . . The Equality Act would specifically add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act. 
The bill has 240 co-sponsors in the House from both sides of the aisle. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has introduced the Equality Act in the U.S. Senate. 
It’s time for Congress to add explicit federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections to our nation’s civil rights laws,” said the Human Rights Campaign in a tweet. Advocates have urged the full House to approve the Equality Act.

How important would the Equality Act be? Let the following video show you.

'How right-wing propaganda industry spread smear against Pete Buttigieg' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Charlotte Observer: Franklin Graham is becoming 'irrelevant'

Franklin Graham
More negative fall out for Franklin Graham because of his criticism of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's sexual orientation. His hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer issued a blistering reprimand, calling him irrelevant and hypocritical. Part of it reads as follows:

Graham is not the Christian leader he once was. He’s a man whose organization does wonderful work, but he’s also one whose words have become increasingly and gloriously irrelevant. 
In part, that’s because Graham’s perspective on homosexuality has been pushed to the fringe, but it’s also because of how he has marginalized himself with his vocal support of Donald Trump. Like other supposed faith leaders, Graham has been caught in the trap of politically supporting a man with so many moral failings. How do you tell a gay candidate to repent but utter hardly a peep about the philandering, dishonest man who now holds the office? There’s only one way to get past that inconsistency, and that’s to pretend it doesn’t exist. So Graham has chosen to do something that even many Trump supporters won’t do — he calls the president’s affairs “alleged” and exalts him as a defender of the faith. 
And like Trump, Graham has abandoned any pretense of moderation.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

'Franklin Graham backtracks in face of firestorm over Pete Buttigieg comments' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, April 29, 2019

Randy Rainbow calls out Trump's AG in 'Barr!'

Randy Rainbow has something to sing about with regards to the recent release of the Mueller Report and Attorney General William Barr's attempt to minimize its findings in order to protect Trump. To say he's brutal would be an understatement. Via a musical take off of 'Belle' from the movie Beauty and the Beast,  our favorite musical satirist reads the principal guilty parties of this recent mess to filth.

'Hate group leader claims Equality Act will lead to pedophilia' & other Mon midday news briefs

Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver lies that the Equality Act will "open the door to pedophilia" - When all else fails, anti-LGBTQ hate groups always pull the "gays want to recruit children" card.

Minnesota moves toward banning 'conversion therapy' but it's still legal in many states - Can Minnesota do it? I hope so. 

Trump administration may allow doctors to refuse to treat transgender patients - Ugly mess. But it's not over by a long shot.

Husband/wife tandem working to ensure discriminatory, religiously biased regulations of Trump Administration - This is a blog post I published in January but it speaks to the above article. A vicious individual, Roger Severino, is behind the nonsense regulations of the above story. Meanwhile his wife, Carrie Severino, is working to help Trump install judges more inclined to uphold the regulations in court rulings. 

Dear Franklin Graham, LGBTQ Christians Don’t Need Your Blessing - Preach!!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Former 'ex-gay' counselor denounces the fraudulent ministries

 Twenty-one years after launching a disastrous million-dollar “ex-gay” ad campaign, where virtually every leader featured has since come out of the closet, the extreme right wing is unveiling a new effort to rebrand these failed “pray away the gay” programs. The new glitzy campaign to recycle these mentally abusive ministries is called the Changed Movement with the hash tag #OnceGay. 
In response, Truth Wins Out released a new online ad  . . .  featuring former Love in Action Director John Smid. He was the real life “ex-gay” counselor in the movie Boy Erased, played by Joel Edgerton as therapist Victor Sykes. Smid had counseled hundreds of men to rid them of their homosexuality. Now out of the closet and living with a his partner, Smid says in TWO’s ad, “If you are strongly attracted to someone of the same gender that will not change. I’ve never seen a real success story of anyone who has changed from homosexual to heterosexual.” 
“The ‘ex-gay’ myth is an experiment that has unequivocally failed and it takes a lot of chutzpah to try to rebrand the snake oil,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The right wing must think that Americans have amnesia and no longer recall that one ‘ex-gay’ leader after another, who loudly proclaimed change, are now living happily as openly LGBT people. These programs are dangerous and cause lasting psychological scars.”

More at

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Franklin Graham subject of brutal twitter ratio after condemning Pete Buttigieg's sexual orientation

Editor's note - No news briefs on Friday because of a personal issue.

I hate the fact that the Huffington Post beat me to the punch on this because I witnessed the occurrence as it took place. Still, it's nice to point out.

Anti-LGBTQ pastor and Donald Trump supporter Franklin Graham took it upon himself to scold presidential candidate Pete Buttigief about his sexual orientation in a series of posts like so:

Usually when Franklin tweets something, particularly about current events (and taking an anti-LGBTQ point of view), the retweets are mostly "amens" and sycophantic agreements. Not this time. Franklin got twitter spanked so badly that he was reduced to meekly posting other Biblical verses. Some of the responses he received from the Buttigieg tweets are as follows:

Needless to say that others were, shall we say, less polite. But you can click on Graham's tweet and read the responses for yourself. 

Documentary spotlights transgender soldiers harmed by Trump's ridiculous ban' & other Thur midday news briefs

Trump's military ban on transgender troops is back in effect -  But the fight isn't over - It's never going to be over until we win.

Major Corporations Release Letter Opposing Anti-LGBTQ “Slate of Hate” in Tennessee - And if Tennessee doesn't get the message, then the state must pay the price for bigotry. 

Trump poised to roll back transgender health protections - Trump's war on the transgender community isn't being looked at by the mainstream as something which should be taken seriously, but be patient. It's NOT supposed to be easy. 

Report: Eight LGBTI Nicaraguans killed during anti-government protests - The struggle is real and it is worldwide.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Pro-Trump TV channel OANN tries conservative comedy, bombs spectacularly

My apologies for this not being LGBTQ-centric and to those of us in the community who may have a conservative leaning. But in my defense, this is so awful that it becomes hilarious.

When not trafficking conspiracy theories which causes international incidents, such as the Obama Administration spying on the Trump campaign with the help of England, slightly right of Atilla the Hun "tv channel" One America News Network is trying its hand at creating a comedy show.

This clip is only 51 seconds but it's so painful that it becomes funny, while simultaneously proving that the conservative outrage industry can amplify lies but can't do shyte with comedy. I can safely say that this is probably the most hilariously sad or sadly hilarious thing you will see in a while.

In the first clip tweeted out by Herring on Tuesday, host Drew Berquist—a former BlazeTV host and counterterrorism officer—took aim at the right’s favorite bogeywoman as of late: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The result, of course, is Mike Huckabee-style hokey “comedy” tailor-made for people who apparently love painfully flat humor. Riffing on a nearly three-week-old story of Ocasio-Cortez supposedly appropriating a forced “black accent” during a speech addressing an African-American audience, Berquist’s punchline is him just imitating AOC, but with an even more stereotypical accent. The show’s laugh track loved it though!

Hat tip to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.

'Lesbian teacher wins Hesperia lawsuit' & other Wed midday news briefs

Lesbian teacher wins Hesperia lawsuit, says she was fired for helping gay students - Give it up, turn it loose. You were wrong so now you gonna pay.

Jane Castor Is Elected First Lesbian Mayor of Tampa - This just happens and should get more attention.

After Smearing of Obama, Democrats Should Know How to Defend Ilhan Omar - One would think . . . 

 ‘To Wong Foo’ is being rereleased with new footage. Will it be a hit in 2019 like it was in 1995? - If you didn't get at least a little teary at the end, then you have no soul.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Mueller Report responses prove Trump evangelicals replacing Jesus with 'p-**y-grabbing messiah'

The anti-LGBTQ and evangelical right distort Mueller Report findings to praise Trump.

To the anti-LGBTQ and evangelical right, Trump represents the power to force their agenda on America. That's why so many of them discarded or recalibrated their tirades about values and morality to feature him in the center. And in many cases, replacing Jesus.

Their responses to the recent Mueller Report sadly cements this fact.

From American history professor John Fea:

Donald Trump is a liar who clearly obstructed justice. He has forced others to lie to the American people on his behalf. Some, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a self-professed evangelical Christian, lied for the president on multiple occasions. (That is a lot of slips of the tongue). Others refused to lie for him. The Mueller report reveals that Trump’s presidency lacks a moral center. He should be impeached. 
And what about the court evangelicals and all of those other white evangelicals who still support Trump? They will double down in their support for the president. He is God’s chosen instrument and his evangelical supporters will invoke biblical examples of how God’s anointed instruments will always suffer persecution. They will claim that the Mueller Report is biased (except, of course, the parts that say there was no collusion). They will continue to stoke the “witch hunt” metaphor. They will continue to take their marching orders from Fox News and claim that the report proves that Trump did not commit a crime. They will argue that the country should simply move forward as if nothing happened. They will ignore the parts of the report that show Trump’s immorality and lies. Court evangelicalism blinds one to the truth. For example 
Americans must demand that “no collusion, no obstruction” means NO MORE HARASSMENT of President @realDonaldTrump! — Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) April 18, 2019 
The attacks on @PressSec Sarah Sanders are disgraceful and pure politics. She does an outstanding job as WH Press Secretary and is a woman of character & integrity. — Ralph Reed (@ralphreed) April 19, 2019  
The #MuellerReport on whether President @realDonaldTrump colluded w/the Russians in the 2016 election is out. The answer is still NO. 1/2 — Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 18, 2019 
 . . .  AG Barr was masterful in his press conf. The lie of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice has been completely refuted. But the left won’t stop. They are addicted to the lie.#MullerReport #BarrPressConference #Barr #MAGA — Gary L Bauer (@GaryLBauer) April 18, 2019

The irony is these folks seem to forget that Trump isn't going to stay in office forever. How ever and whenever he goes,  if these Trump evangelicals think that they will be able to slide back into their unearned positions as self-designated arbiters of cultural morality, they need to make other plans.

No one is going to forget their behavior during the Trump years. Some of us are even taking notes.