Thursday, September 19, 2019

Democratic candidates will try to engage LGBTQ voters during Friday night forum

On Friday evening, there is going to be a Democratic candidate forum focused solely on the LGBTQ community and our issues. The fact that openly gay candidate Pete Buttigieg will be there is a milestone in itself.

The event, however, will not be unprecedented. The last LGBTQ candidate forum was held in 2007. And as MSNBC points out, much has changed since then.

The last time such an event took place was in November 2007, with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among the participants. In the 12 years since, the country has undergone a revolution in terms of LGBTQ rights and acceptance. 
The mere presence on stage of the openly gay Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a symbol of all that has changed for Democrats since the last forum.
In 2007, the Defense of Marriage Act banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions like Buttigieg’s. Gay Navy officers like Buttigieg were banned from serving openly because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Only two states — Connecticut and Massachusetts — had legalized same-sex marriage, and many more had recently enacted constitutional bans against it. 
The front-runners in 2007 found that supporting same-sex marriage was too risky, and only two moonshot candidates — Dennis Kucinich, a congressman from Ohio, and Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska — endorsed it at the 2007 forum, which was presented by Logo TV and the Human Rights Campaign. Gravel criticized rivals for “playing it safe,” while Kucinich said, “When you understand what real equality is, you understand that people who love each other must have the opportunity to be able to express that in a way that's meaningful." 
Hillary Clinton’s message to the LGBTQ community about her opposition to same-sex marriage? “I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions,” Clinton, then a senator from New York, said at the time. 
Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, promised that as president he would ensure that existing legal rights “are recognized and enforced” for LGBTQ people. 
Clinton and Obama’s positions leading into the 2008 presidential race were shared by a majority of Americans. Even in 2009, just 37 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage, according to Pew. 
Today, public opinion has swung hard in the opposite direction. Now, a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to Pew, and nearly 70 percent back nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to the nonprofit research firm Public Religion Research Institute.

As MSNBC points out, marriage is not longer the big issue.

Most candidates — if not all — have publicly supported bans on conversion therapy for minors, ending the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service, and rolling back the spread of religious “refusal” rules that allow ostensibly religious businesses to decline to serve LGBTQ members of the public. Candidates have also spoken about the need for the Equality Act as a law that would prevent LGBTQ people from getting legally married one day, then fired the next, because of state laws that still do not protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.

No doubt, a majority of us will be watching with much interest at what Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson candidates propose to do for the LGBTQ community.

'Is a Consumer Protection exec secretly dismantling LGBTQ protections?' & other Thur midday news briefs

The LGBTQ community could be having a problem at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And guess what hate group may be knee deep in it. Like it's knee deep in all anti-LGBTQ drama we've recently seen.

Is a Consumer Protection Exec Quietly Dismantling LGBTQ Protections? - And we got a huge problem: 

A simmering battle over LGBTQ issues is reaching a boiling point at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the government agency partly established by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and tasked with safeguarding taxpayers. The situation comes nearly three months after The Advocate published an exclusive report in collaboration with Allied Progress detailing that the head of the Bureau’s Office of Innovation, Paul Watkins, attempted to hide the fact that he worked as senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a hate group seeking to criminalize LGBTQ people.

This Queer Veteran Is Running For Congress In California - More LGBTQ people in Congress? I love it!

It’s BiWeek. Here are some words you should know.- Happy BiWeek! 

Betsy DeVos To Promote School That Bans Transgender Students And Staff - Color me not shocked. Repulsed, but not shocked.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Arizona ruling show reluctance to label pro-LGBTQ ordinances as anti-religious discrimination

By now, many of us are aware of the ruling in the Arizona case of the studio,Brush & Nib Studios,  which sued to keep from making gay wedding invitations. We are also all aware of just how narrow the ruling was. It didn't overturn a pro-LGBTQ ordinance like the studio and its attorney was no doubt hoping.

 . . .  in the carefully worded decision, the justices refused to give blanket protection to all businesses — including Brush & Nib — to simply turn away customers because of their sexual orientation. Gould said it leaves open the question of whether the two women could be forced to produce other products, like place cards for receptions, which do not specifically celebrate the marriage.

We are all also painfully aware of how the studio's victory opens the door - even a little bit - to businesses being able to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. No doubt the anti-LGBTQ industry are planning on ways to exploit this decision.

However in the unfortunate great American tradition of going bonkers before processing all of the information, I think that many of us didn't study the details of how the justices reached the divided 4-3 decision because we were justifiably angry at the decision itself.

I am of the belief that lawyer for the studio (Jonathan Scruggs of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an SPLC designated hate group because of its attempts to undermine LGBTQ equality and safety via a court of law) may have hurt the studio's case because he was looking to either overturn the LGBTQ ordinance or get a blanket exemption What he did in pursuit of this and how the justices reacted may demonstrate why the ruling was so narrow.

From The Arizona Daily Star:

During legal arguments in January, attorney Eric Fraser, representing Phoenix, conceded the city could not force the women to produce custom invitations with obvious endorsements of same-sex marriage. But he told the justices that they could not refuse to produce all invitations based solely on the sexual orientation of the couple. 
Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for the alliance, sought a broader legal shield. 
He also introduced several samples of the kind of invitations that Brush & Nib produces. And that apparently paved the way for the justices to decide the issue on narrow grounds — and limit the scope of their ruling.

The Arizona Daily Star went on to say that one of the justices made it a point to say that the studio will not get a blanket exemption from the ordinance for all of its "business operations." Scruggs later claimed said that a broader ruling wasn't his extent.

Still, because he tried to make the case that ordinances protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination can be considered as anti-religious discrimination, the Arizona justices shot that argument down.

Again, this is not to say that this ruling will not be used against the LGBTQ community in the future because it probably will. But it does show that there seems to be a reluctance to declare  that pro-LGBTQ laws and ordinance are automatically anti- religious discrimination.

It's definitely what the ADF wants to happen, but the group is going to need a better way to weave that poisonous thread.

'Don't let Franklin Graham get away with his attacks on Pete Buttigieg' & Wed midday news briefs

Sign this petition if Franklin Graham does not speak for you - Something different as a news brief. Trump supporting hypocrite Franklin Graham is obviously targeting presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg because he is openly gay and has the nerve to talk about his own faith. Folks constantly wonder why Graham and his type seem to bogart the conversation about faith. It's probably because those of us on the left who have faith aren't noticed. Here is your chance, even if you aren't a person of faith. Sign this petition from Faithful America and let everyone know that people like Graham don't have own the patent on faith and religion.

Mormon Leader Reaffirms Church’s Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage - And now that same note, neither does the Mormon Church own the patent on faith and religion. This is their beliefs but who cares what they think. We won marriage fair and square. 

Shawnee Mission district adds LGBTQ protection despite majority speaking against it - Some of the things these folks were saying is just insane. It's not all about sexual intercourse. Luckily folks spoke in favor of it and the protection was passed unanimously.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union launch LGBTQ T-shirts after supporting 12-year-old son - I love this!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Nine Times 'The Golden Girls' Brought the LGBTQ Pride

I was never a big fan of  The Golden Girls. I tried and while I found some episodes enjoyable, I can't honestly say that I have a love for the series like some of my other LGBTQ brothers and sisters do.

Still, I can respect how The Golden Girls was ahead of its time when it came to addressing LGBTQ issues. I think this video, Nine Times The Golden Girls Brought the LGBTQ Pride, is a perfect summation of that fact. And like the video implies, you don't have to be insensitive to make people laugh. Too bad a certain Saturday Night Live almost cast member couldn't get that point.

'Arizona anti-LGBTQ ruling is very narrow, but still troubling' & other Tue midday news briefs

The Alliance Defending Freedom is attempting to create this future.

Arizona Supreme Court: Business doesn't have to make invitations for same-sex weddings - The Alliance Defending Freedom failed to get a pro-LGBTQ ordinance overturned even in victory. But it is still a dangerous precedent:

 But in the carefully worded ruling, the justices refused to give blanket protection to all businesses — including Brush & Nib — to simply turn away customers because of their sexual orientation. The decision is limited to the ability of this business and presumably others to refuse to produce wedding invitations and similar items that could be seen as celebrating a same-sex marriage. That leaves open the question of whether business owners could be forced under a city's anti-discrimination ordinance to produce other products for gay weddings, like place cards for receptions, which do not specifically celebrate the marriage.

Rwandan gospel singer who came out as gay says reaction has been ‘horrible’ - Say what you will, the brotha is brave.

New ‘SNL’ Cast Member Fired After Using Racist And Homophobic Slurs - the moral of the story is being vulgar just be to vulgar isn't funny. and it could bite you on the ass. 

‘Pose’ Actress Angelica Ross To Host Presidential Candidate Forum On LGBTQ Issues - Awesome.

Monday, September 16, 2019

'Former 'Ex-Gay' leaders apologize. The LGBTQ community should, at the very least, recognize.

This video by  Truth Wins Out features former leaders of the "ex-gay" movement who are apologizing for their past exploits against us.

I can predict what some of you are going to say. I can feel the anger rising in you and the bitter words forming in your mouths. That's why I posted the video. Your anger is justified. Keep that anger if you must. But at least listen to what these folks have to say and recognize.

Recognize that they are not the enemy. Their past exploits are examples of just what society and the anti-LGBTQ industry has done to us as a people. Recognize that the internalized homophobia which led some of them down their past roads is the same which plagues our community of so-called proud and out folks. How is the racism, transphobia, biphobia, etc that some of  us throw at our own any different from what these former "ex-gay" leaders once threw at us?

'Mike Pence fundraises with group which once called gay relationships 'diseased'' & other Mon midday news briefs

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Family Research Council isn't helping Mike Pence by defending his homophobic career

Mike Pence
In spite of a recent campaign against reality by his allies, we all know that Vice President Mike Pence is a homophobe who has made a political career off of stigmatizing the LGBTQ community behind the veneer of  simple religious beliefs.

A recent article by CNN only underscored this:

Vice President Mike Pence once argued that homosexuality was a choice during his fight in the early 1990s against local efforts in Indiana to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pence's opposition to LGBT equality has long drawn the scorn of gay rights activists and made him a champion of the Religious Right. 
But scrutiny of Pence's record on LGBT issues intensified recently when White House Deputy press secretary Judd Deere suggested last week in a tweet that the vice president wasn't anti-gay because he was having lunch with the Irish prime minister, who is gay, and his partner during a state visit. 
The little-explored episode in the 1990s, unearthed in local newspaper clippings during a deeper KFile review of Pence's record on LGBT issues, highlights an early window into the now-vice president's public activism and views in opposition of gay rights. Darin Miller, a spokesman for Pence, told CNN in a statement that the vice president "has always opposed discrimination in any form and defends the Constitution's protection of the rights of all Americans regardless of race, sex or religion." 
 Pence argued in the 1990s that, unlike protections for African Americans, homosexuals choose or learn to be gay and was part of a "grassroots-generated movement for recognition of homosexual rights" nationwide.

. . . The American Psychological Association said in 1992 that data did not support the view that homosexuality was a choice and studies at the time in the 1990s suggested homosexuality was biological and genetic. The arguments made in the 1990s by Pence would echo those he later emphasized when he ran for Congress in 2000 when his platform protested extending civil rights protections to gay Americans. But the 1990s comments show for the first time Pence calling homosexuality a choice and offer a clearer view into Pence's view on gay Americans at the time. 

Hoping to offer some type of defense to Pence, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council attempted to play down the revelations of the CNN article in a piece on FRC's webpage. It's a rather boring piece except for this part:

Most of the arguments Pence offered in 1993 are the same arguments that we at Family Research Council and other social conservatives make today in opposing radical LGBT rights legislation like the proposed federal Equality Act.   What would be news is if Mike Pence had ever taken any other position.

No, Peter. The news is that you freely admit that the position FRC takes against the LGBTQ community is old, antiquated, and totally against science. Not to mention rooted in fear stories and out-and-out lies, such as claiming that gays shouldn't be employed as school teachers.

Keep it up, Peter and FRC. Pretty soon folks like myself won't be needed with y'all telling on yourselves.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Gay conservative owes happiness to making LGBTQ community miserable

A prominent gay conservative got married recently and as you can tell by my retweet, I'm not necessarily ready to throw the rice:

Guy Benson is an openly gay conservative writer who contributes to Fox News network and is also political editor of the site Townhall.  He recently married his boyfriend, Adam Wise.

Let me repeat that last part. He is a contributor to Fox News - the network whose anchors have given anti-LGBTQ groups uncontested platform time via softball interviews.  That is when they aren't demonizing and misgendering the transgender community, lying about Trump's horrible anti-LGBTQ record, or helping to plant the idiotic notion that LGBTQs are attempting to "sexualize" or "groom" children.

And then there's Townhall, home of writers such as

Ben Shapiro: No, the gay rights movement and the broader American left celebrated the same-sex marriage decision in wild fashion because the decision established two fundamental notions: First, that government has replaced God in the moral pantheon of the United States; second, that the new god-government has the power to root out and destroy any God-based institutions, destroying the social capital and fabric that holds together the nation.
Dennis Prager: Virtually every week, there seems to be another issue that preoccupies the country. But while our attention is focused on President Donald Trump, Google, Charlottesville, Russia, impeachment, Jeffrey Epstein, the next elections, racism, a trade war with China, the #MeToo movement or something else, LGBTQ organizations are quietly going about their work dismantling ethical norms, making a mockery of education, ruining innocent people's lives and destroying children's innocence. 
and John HawkinsGay scoutmasters would be more likely to molest Boy Scouts: There's a lot of back and forth on whether gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals, but in the end, it really doesn't matter very much when it comes to the Scouts. Why is that? Because a teenager in the Boy Scouts shouldn't be spending a lot of alone time out in the woods with someone who could potentially be attracted to him. This is so basic we don't even think about it when teen girls are involved. If a thirty year old, strapping male P.E. teacher took a group of 15 year old cheerleaders out in the woods, their parents would GO INSANE. Incidentally, they'd be right to be upset. Similarly, a gay man has no business being in the woods with a bunch of teenage boys. In fact, if the Boy Scouts ever allowed gay Scoutmasters in their organization, it would kill them as dead as Disco because most parents don't want their child spending a lot of alone time with an adult who could be sexually attracted to him. In fact, that is so obvious it's clear that the people pushing this idea the hardest are primarily concerned with destroying the Boy Scouts, not enabling "gay rights."

These columns were published after Benson became editor. In the spirit of being a "conservative," he aided and abetted  this mess.  And in the spirit of "tolerance," the LGBTQ community is supposed to be silent. We are supposed to take this abuse like Celie in the The Color Purple before she found her sister's letters

Damn that.

Call me intolerant if you want, but I refuse to celebrate the wedding of a gay man who gets his coins by creating a platform for lies about gays  destroying religion, ruining lives, and recruiting children.

In a cushy interview with Buzzfeed after he came out, Benson said the following:

“Gay rights is not something that dominates my attentions — or my passions . . ."

No shit.  Benson doesn't have to worry about gay rights. He's upper-middle class, white, and male. He is insulated in a world which simultaneously kisses his ass and rewards him for simply existing.  We are all generally defined by our experiences in life. But in Benson's case, he is defined by his lack of experiences and not only that, is made to feel that his privilege is something he earned instead of being born into. It's a totally different reality than being a transgender woman being attacked while minding her own business or a young gay man or lesbian being bullied to the point of wanting to commit suicide.

Don't get me wrong. I don't wish Benson or his husband any ill will. They deserve happiness, as we all do. However no one should ignore that Benson owes his income to creating circumstances which undermines the ability of the rest of the LGBTQ community to be happy.

And that his marriage is due to the efforts of people who Benson gets a very nice paycheck for helping to disparage and smear.

'Must-See TV for LGBTQ Viewers in Fall 2019' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The 'Dangers' of Homosexuality in 1966

Call me sadomasochistic for it, but there are times in which I like to look read past articles or look at past videos which show the world when things weren't as positive towards the LGBTQ community. That's not to say that things are all okay for us at the present, but a look in the past adds perspective to where we are and where we need to be going.

And this video is a doozy. It's a clip from a PBS special (American Experience) about the Stonewall Uprising and it features a police office, John Sorenson, lecturing 8th graders on homosexuality in 1966. Needless to say Sorenson is not a fan of our community. During that time, homosexual acts were against the law in a wide majority of states. And Sorenson was determined get across these laws would be prosecuted to their fullest extent.


Detective John Sorenson, Dade County Morals & Juvenile Squad (Archival): There may be some in this auditorium. There may be some here today that will be homosexual in the future. There are a lot of kids here. There may be some girls here who will turn lesbian. We don't know. But it's serious, don't kid yourselves about it. They can be anywhere. They could be judges, lawyers. We ought to know, we've arrested all of them. So if any one of you, have let yourself become involved with an adult homosexual, or with another boy, and you're doing this on a regular basis, you better stop quick. Because one out of three of you will turn queer. And if we catch you, involved with a homosexual, your parents are going to know about it first. And you will be caught, don't think you won't be caught, because this is one thing you cannot get away with. This is one thing that if you don't get caught by us, you'll be caught by yourself. And the rest of your life will be a living hell. 
Virginia Apuzzo: I grew up with that. I grew up in a very Catholic household and the conflict of issues of redemption, of is it possible that if you are this thing called homosexual, is it possible to be redeemed? Is that conceivable? And that, that was a very haunting issue for me. I entered the convent at 26, to pursue that question and I was convinced that I would either stay until I got an answer, or if I didn't get an answer just stay.
There are people and groups who want to bring this horror back. If not via letter of the law then definitely by spiritual connotation. They want us to be so scared that we don't live our lives authentically for fear of repercussions which would serve to remind us of how supposedly undeserving we are. Psychological cages are just as awful as physical ones.

Don't fall for it. And don't let the fear stop you from being who you are and for fighting for us all. It says a lot that if someone like Sorenson made such a speech today, all hell would break loose. That's what our community did. His nonsense is what we have defeated time and time again. And will continue to defeat in all of its ugly forms.

'LGBTQ self-defense classes gaining worldwide popularity' & other Wed midday news briefs

LGBTQ self-defense classes are gaining popularity around the world - Yep. I totally approve of this. People are becoming stupider than before.

E.W. Jackson: ‘Homosexuality Is Not Normal and Normal People Find it Disgusting- Yet he can't stop talking about gay sex. 

Brazilian YouTuber Hands Out Free LGBTQ Books in Protest of Censorship - Try to hold us down and we find new ways to rise.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

On Tuesday, Jerry Falwell, Jr. learned the definition of the word 'receipts' . . . the hard way

Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Poor Jerry Falwell, Jr.

And when I say that, I am being extremely sarcastic. The truth is the recent controversy involving him and Liberty University couldn't have happened to two more deserving entities. I should say three entities because even though he is deceased, to see the moral collapse of the legacy that Jerry Falwell, Sr. built is delicious, seeing that he built this legacy partly on lies and homophobia.

On Monday, a blockbuster article came out in Politico detailing how Falwell, Jr. practically rules Liberty University - the Christian college his father created and built - not as a servant of God but as a personification of God.

This story had it all. Corruption, greed, intimidation, power-grabbing. Even sex:

Reuters reported in May that former Trump lawyer (and current federal prisoner) Michael Cohen had helped Falwell deal with the fallout from some scandalous photos. The Miami Herald confirmed in June that the photos existed, and that some of them featured his wife, Becki. And according to Politico, Liberty officials said Falwell showed or sent male friends and associates, including at least one Liberty employee, photos of Becki “in provocative and sexual poses.”

Needless to say that even though some feel that the article probably won't bring down Falwell, Jr. (sexism, homophobia, and racism combined are one hell of a drug, or in this case, aphrodisiac), it still has him attempting to apply scotch tape to his now tattered reputation. Of course if you ask me, his reputation began to develop creases the day he decided to become an ecclesiastical suppository for Trump.

'Don't harass trans women if you don't want to get arrested' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, September 09, 2019

Gaslighting by gay conservatives can't wipe away the homophobic slime from VP Pence's political career

In an act which really puts the "gas" into the word "gaslighting" conservatives are attempting to claim that VP Mike Pence is not homophobic. It's bad enough that this is happening, but as Media Matters for America points out, the fact that gay conservatives are participating in this fraud makes it worse:

Gregory T. Angelo is the former president of the Log Cabin Republicans and a vocal defender of Pence. And if an April article in The Daily Beast is to be believed, his defense of Pence is less about personal belief and more about personal desire for a career advancement in the Trump Administration:

“Log Cabin Republicans didn’t endorse Trump when [Angelo] was head of that organization, and now he’s trying to be relevant after a completely ineffective attempt at leading an organization to support LGBTQ issues and candidates,” a gay Republican former candidate for office told The Daily Beast. “With an administration, and a vice president, wanting to add some window-dressing of LGBTQ support while they advance policies that harm LGBTQ Americans, Gregory sees his chance to gain real access—for business or a job—not for making a difference in people’s lives. This is about him.”

It's rather sad, if you ask me. It's even sadder that the Log Cabin Republicans as a group has followed Angelo's lead via its unbelievable endorsement of Trump for the 2020 elections in spite of all of the chaos and hell his Administration has attempted to reap upon the LGBTQ community.

'Uber driver accused of kicking out lesbian couple for kissing' & other Mon midday news briefs

Religious Liberty and LGBTQ Families - It's deliberate how when some talk about "religious liberty," they omit talking about how it harms LGBTQ families. 

World’s first openly gay prince endured shock therapy to ‘cure’ his sexuality - The struggle is real, y'all. 

Unqualified And Ideological: A Guide To Trump’s Worst Judges - They won't beat us, regardless.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Trump Administration accused of inflating number of complaints to justify anti-LGBTQ religious exemption policy

You mean the Trump Administration may have lied again? Color me not shocked.

Sometimes when Trump acts like a colossal jackass, he takes attention away from issues which need media coverage. In this particular case, the week-long embarrassing controversy he initiated involving Hurricane Dorian and Alabama sucked up all of the air while a serious charge about one of his policies went unnoticed.

From Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump’s plan to let doctors and hospitals refuse services based on their religious beliefs or moral convictions should be scrapped without a trial or put on hold until litigation over the policy is resolved, a federal judge was told by states and cities that sued. 
Evidence produced since the lawsuit was filed in May shows that the administration, in seeking to justify the rule, vastly inflated the number of complaints filed by religious health-care providers who claimed they were discriminated against or forced to provide services that violate their personal beliefs, the almost two dozen states and cities said Thursday in a court filing. 
The government “falsely cites to evidence that it does not actually have,“ according to the group, which includes New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Chicago. 
The clash over the so-called conscience rule is emerging as a major test of Trump’s ability to broadly expand protections for religious businesses and employees who might be accused of discriminating against women, religious minorities and the LGBTQ community for refusing to provide services. 
In May of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new policy which would allow healthcare workers to refuse to treat patients or provide services if they voiced a religious objection.

According to LGBTQNation:

The rule would allow workers to refuse to provide basic health care like birth control, refuse to treat women who have had abortions, and discriminate against gay or lesbian individuals and their families, including their children. The change is part of the Trump administration’s push to give Christians a license to discriminate under the guise of “religious freedom.”

Conservative and religious right groups praised this new policy, which was supposed to be implemented in July.  But lawsuits filed by 16 healthcare groups and physicians, organizations such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State,  and several states forced the Trump Administration to delay implementation of the policy until November.

We will see what happens next, that is if Trump doesn't decide to pull another stunt to grab all of the media's attention.

Friday, September 06, 2019

'Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters celebrates 13 years, Drew Brees clarifies, & other Friday midday news briefs

It's that time again!!!!!

Thirteen years ago, I began this blog to expose how the anti-LGBTQ industry distorts and lies in order to demonize my brothers and sisters. It's been a wild ride which includes mentions in publications like The Daily Beast, the Advocate, The Washington Blade and a host of awards including a GLAAD Media Award (and four nominations). And the ride ain't over yet. It's not even close to being over. Thank you all of my friends and supporters for guiding me along the way, keeping me sane, and lifting me up.

Drew Brees: I Was Unaware of Focus on the Family's Views When I Shot Promo Video - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees teamed up with anti-LGBTQ group Focus on the Family for a "Bring Your Bible to School Day" event but claims not to know the group's history of lobbying against our rights and safety. I tend to believe him because, let's face it, a lot of folks aren't aware of how insidious some religious right groups are. You know how this country is about its football heroes, so some folks aren't going to be happy at us for pressing the issue. Let them. Our rights, community, and families are at stake. It's good that Brees clarified the situation.

Kristen Stewart’s experience is emblematic of LGBTQ people’s struggles in Hollywood - So true, unfortunately. 

These 48 Lawmakers Want to Legalize LGBTQ+ Discrimination - Don't forget. 

The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained - Wonderful article explaining the exploits of a bunch of awful individuals. I have ZERO respect for members of our community who will work with the anti-LGBTQ industry to destroy their own people. What makes these shortsighted folks think that the target won't be on them, next? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Religious right wants to steal LGBTQ tax dollars but are too cowardly to say so

The religious right wants our tax dollars while reminding us that we are not fit to raise children.

Read this article courtesy of the American Family Association's propaganda news source One News Now. See if you can point out the gaping hole of omission. It should be relatively easy:

Ten states and more than 40 members of Congress are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Fulton et al v City of Philadelphia, a case pitting religious beliefs against homosexual rights.

Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Bush are Philadelphia foster moms standing up for Catholic Social Services, a faith-based agency that's been operating for over 100 years.
In 2018, the City of Philadelphia barred Catholic Social Services from placing children in homes due to the agency's policy against placing children with same-sex couples.
"The city is currently in a foster care crisis," said attorney Nick Reaves of Becket, the law firm representing Fulton and Simms-Busch, in an interview on the "Washington Watch" radio program. 
"In about March 2018," he advised, "the city said they needed 300 new foster families to care for kids in need, but just a few days later the city turned around and said that they were going to close Catholic Social Services -- one of the most effective agencies in the city -- just because they disagree with their religious beliefs about marriage." 
Reaves added there are services in Philadelphia that serve LGBTQ households. 
"The city has supported those agencies but yet they're trying to close down agencies like Catholic Social Services," Reaves continued. "I think the reason you see so many lawmakers and states getting behind the Fulton petition is because it's a national issue."
Becket alone has multiple cases on this issue. 
"We have another case in Michigan on this issue," said Reaves. "There's also a case in South Carolina, (and) there is a case in Texas."

While lying about the LGBTQ community attempting to "punish" Christians (and children), One News Now left out the main issue of the controversy - the simple fact that these adoption agencies were receiving a large amount of tax dollars while practicing discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

According to Philly News in March 2018:

The city announced Thursday that it had stopped two faith-based agencies from placing foster children after learning the organizations discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Philadelphia Department of Human Services has ceased foster-care intake with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, pending an investigation by the Commission on Human Relations.

. . . A same-sex couple who approached Bethany Christian Services about becoming foster parents were turned away in October. Catholic Social Services told the Inquirer and Daily News it also does not work with LGBTQ people interested in being foster parents, though it knew of no inquiries from same-sex couples. Together the agencies have received about $3 million in foster care reimbursement funds from the city each year.

The Huffington Post was more specific about the reimbursement amounts. In 2017:

 . . . Philadelphia reimbursed Bethany to the tune of $1,314,562 in city, state and federal funds to operate foster homes and gave Catholic Social Services $1,667,745.

Also, in the One News Now article, cases in Michigan and South Carolina were mentioned. According to the same Huffington Post article:

Miracle Hill Ministries, a South Carolina Christian organization, stipulates on its website that foster parents must “have a lifestyle that is free of sexual sin” ― listing “pornographic materials, homosexuality, and extramarital relationships” as specific examples. The organization has already received more than $4.6 million in federal and state funding in the 2018 fiscal year, according to a South Carolina Department of Social Services spokeswoman . . .

Michigan paid St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a nonprofit in Lansing, Michigan, at least $10.6 million in federal and state funds for foster care payments alone over a two-year period that ended in September 2017, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data. But St. Vincent “cannot provide written recommendations and endorsements of unmarried or same-sex couples,” Melinda Skea, a spokeswoman for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is handling the organization’s media inquiries, told HuffPost in an email.

It's not by accident that One News Now conveniently omitted mentioning these facts in its article. And it's not the only religious right entity which will sidestep the issue of LGBTQ tax dollars going to entities which practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Last year, I had a discussion on Twitter with Kellie Fiedorek, an employee of the Alliance Defending Freedom.  For those not familiar, ADF has taken a lead position in pushing court cases seeking to undermine LGBTQ protections and safety. Its goal seems to be legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

During the discussion, Fiedorek defended an Oklahoma law which allows adoption agencies to discriminate against the LGBTQ community while receiving tax dollars.  Her answers to my question sounded rehearsed. But she couldn't answer whenever I asked about entities discriminating against the LGBTQ community receiving our tax dollars.

You see, folks like Fiedorek and groups like AFA and the Becket Fund don't want to have that discussion because it would steer away from the false picture they are painting. This issue of religious foster care and adoption agencies versus the LGBTQ community isn't about punishing folks for religious beliefs. At its heart, the issue is about religious entitlement and homophobia.  They want our hard earned money, but they don't want to acknowledge us as people capable of raising children. They want our tax dollars, but don't want to respect us as taxpayers who should be treated fairly.  They want the results of our labor, but want to also keep the rewards away from us.

And they think that "their faith" should give them that right.

'Kevin Hart tries and fails to gaslight Lil Nas X for coming out' & other Thur midday news briefs

Lil Nas X

Kevin Hart got upset that Lil Nas X came out & pretended like homophobia doesn’t exist - THIS mess right here is the reason for the blog post before this one.

Lil Nas X Gave a Masterclass on Dealing With the Gaslighting LGBTQ People Face Every Day - A more positive view of the incident. In case you can't tell, Kevin Hart had me snatching off my earrings.

3,000 expected to attend AIDS conference in D.C. this week - Wonderful!

Here’s How ‘Relish’ Could Raise The Bar For Transgender Teens In Film - Okay, this is interesting. 

African-American LGBTQ people exist. We made America great. Deal with it. - Speaking of the blog post I mentioned in the first news brief . . .

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

African-American LGBTQ people exist. We made America great. Deal with it.

I'm not here for any discussion or any debate. I don't give a damn right now about the differences between being black and LGBTQ. I don't want to discussion the minutia of similarities or differences.  I just have one thing to say.

 LGBTQ African-Americans are here. We exist. We will not make allowances for your disrespect, we will not remain in the background,  nor will we edit out portions of our lives to fit naive ideas of a homogeneous community or Ho-Tep fantasies of how black people should act. We're not here as your tokens or to amuse you. We aren't here to be pulled from one side to another. We are not here for you to make us supposedly choose which side of the aisle we stand on. Where we stand is where we have stood from the beginning and will always stand until the end of time. On our side.

Enjoy the videos:

Two things about this video. Every name is accurate, except possibly for George Washington Carver. His sexual orientation was never verified. People talked about his high pitched voice but there is a sad rumor about that which I won't go into.

The second thing is why the second video is necessary. This above video, made in 2013, failed to include our transgender brothers and sisters. The video below is a wonderful spotlight of transgender African-American historical figures, including my buddy from Transgriot, Monica Roberts:

'Tea party politician may go to jail for lie about gay sex scandal' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

12-year-old reminds us all that same-sex families will not be erased by the religious right

The question asked by Jak Guimbellot, the son of lesbian couple during a city council meeting in Olathe, Kansas highlights a huge portion of the American community which the anti-LGBTQ industry is trying to make invisible:

“I just don’t understand why if I’m with my mothers and we decide to go to a restaurant to eat, that we can be denied access and have to eat somewhere else,” Jak said. It’s a question his mother Kate Guimbellot said she’s never been able to answer. And it’s a question at the heart of a years-long debate throughout Johnson County and the Kansas City area, as the LGBTQ community pleads for cities to adopt ordinances protecting them against discrimination.

'Majority of young people think trans people should use whichever bathroom they choose' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, September 02, 2019

Fourteen times the religious right have been caught lying about science to denigrate the LGBTQ community

On Thursday, this blog reported about a study which said there is no one  single 'gay gene,' "but that a complex mix of genetics and environment affects whether a person has same-sex sexual partners."

At the time, I  said that the religious right (or as I like to call them - the anti-LGBTQ industry) will cherry-pick and distort the study to make  negative accusations about our community. And it turns out that I was right:

From LGBTQNation:
The right wing, especially the religious right, have struggled with the science around sexual orientation, especially genetics. Faced with the argument that people are born gay, the right has argued that the science was questionable, and in any case, it didn’t matter. 
“Studies have suggested a genetic link to alcoholism, to violence, and even to adultery,” Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s biggest boosters, has said. “But are we willing to excuse those behaviors on the basis of ‘my genes made me do it’? I don’t think so." 
But in light of a massive new study finding that the genetics behind orientation are complex and not defined by a single gene, the right is turning cartwheels. The study found that many genes play a role in determining someone’s orientation, as did social and environmental factors. Moreover, the study authors made a point of saying that being gay is “natural.” 
What the religious right heard was that genetics are a minor consideration, at best, and that they were right all along.

Aside from spinning horror stories  and anecdotes about gays wanting to "recruit" children or "imprison" Christians, groups such as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and other affiliated organizations and individuals have relied on either distorted or cherry-picked science over the decades to make the case that supposedly homosexuality is an "unhealthy lifestyle."

While the junk science generally comes from discredited groups groups, such as the American College of Pediatricians or Christian Medical and Dental Associations,  or discredited researchers and physicians (Paul McHugh or Paul Cameron), cherry-picked science comes from legitimate research. Inappropriately anointed "policy analysts" such as Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, take out portions of studies and skewer them to denigrate the LGBTQ community, regardless of the fact that in its original context the portions didn't speak negatively about the community.

This generally gets these religious right and "morality" groups in trouble because legitimate researchers and Ph.Ds (usually the authors of the studies in question) publicly complain that their work has been misused. The irony is when this happens, the groups either quietly cease citing the research or ignores the complaints while continuing to distort the work.

On at least 14 occasions, religious right groups and personalities have been called out for distorting science to denigrate the LGBTQ community.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Study says there is no one 'gay gene,' but thousands of genetic variants linked to homosexuality

Before the anti-LGBTQ industry has the opportunity to twist this study, we should get abreast of all the facts.

From Reuters:

A large scientific study into the biological basis of sexual behaviour has confirmed there is no single “gay gene” but that a complex mix of genetics and environment affects whether a person has same-sex sexual partners. 
The research, which analysed data on DNA and sexual experiences from almost half a million people, found there are thousands of genetic variants linked to same-sex sexual behaviour, most with very small effects. 
Five of the genetic markers were “significantly” associated with same-sex behaviour, the researchers said, but even these are far from being predictive of a person’s sexual preferences. 
“We scanned the entire human genome and found a handful - five to be precise - of locations that are clearly associated with whether a person reports in engaging in same-sex sexual behaviour,” said Andrea Ganna, a biologist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland who co-led the research. 
He said these have “a very small effect” and, combined, explain “considerably less than 1% of the variance in the self-reported same-sex sexual behaviour.” 
This means that non-genetic factors - such as environment, upbringing, personality, nurture - are far more significant in influencing a person’s choice of sexual partner, just as with most other personality, behavioural and physical human traits, the researchers said.

The study is significant because it helps to prove that homosexuality is not simply a "behavior" you can switch on and off like a light bulb. But if I know fake experts like the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg (and I've tracked them enough over years to have some knowledge of their tactics), their talking point will comprise of cherry-picking the study like so:

The study says there is no gay gene, ergo homosexuality is a "learned behavior" which can be "treated."

Of course this is not what the study said, but folks like Sprigg generally don't care.  It's not like this would be the first time Sprigg has cherry-picked science to denigrate us.  So now that you know about the possible deception of this study beforehand, you are prepared for when it comes.

'Former NFL player: There are gay, bisexual players on every team' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hate group accidentally makes the case for teaching concepts of sexuality, gender, and same-sex families to children

In an attempt to paint the LGBTQ community as negative and dangerous to children, One News Now, the propaganda site of hate group the American Family Association, showcased a video by Queerly Elementary.

From its webpage:

Queerly Elementary provides professional development, consulting, and classroom lessons to help school communities embrace and celebrate people of all genders and sexualities. Complex, dynamic, and occasionally heated topics are presented in a way that is accessible for all participants, regardless of their previous knowledge or personal views. Services are available for all levels from preschool through university. The founder of Queerly Elementary, Olivia Higgins, leads all workshops, class lessons and consulting. She will take the necessary time to learn about your particular questions, concerns, skills, and challenges, so she may tailor all services to best meet your unique needs.

One News Now showcased the video to accompany a ridiculous article which implies that teachers are being "coerced" to push the alleged "gay agenda" on elementary school children. However, all the video does is simply make a good case as to how the concepts of gender and sexuality - and especially the fact that same-sex families exist - can be taught to elementary school children.

I don't think AFA meant for this to happen, so I doubt anyone will hold it against me for not saying "thank you."

'Couple pushing lawsuit seems to be mostly interested in overturning pro-LGBTQ law' & other Wed midday news breifs

This couple is suing to overturn a civil rights law because they want to discriminate against gays - A "religious liberty" case explained and demonstrates why it's not just about a cake. The couple in question didn't do weddings. They only said they wanted to do weddings to put them in a position to overturn an anti-discrimination law.

Texas group advocates for LGBTI migrants - Wonderful because immigration is an LGBTQ issue.

High school students forced to change out of LGBTQ pride shirts: 'We don't promote that here' - Excuse me? I beg your pardon. 

Poland’s Populist Government Has Declared War on the LGBTQ Community - This is scary.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fighting in Drag with LGBTQ Pro Wrestlers

Due to how the raging nonsense of the Trump Administration and its attack on the LGBTQ community sometimes renders us drained, from time to time, I like to take a break from calling out the anti-LGBTQ industry and feature videos which focus on comedic or unusually educational aspects of our community. I usually do this on Sunday, but today I found this incredible video, courtesy of the Youtube channel VICE Identity  and I had to share it.

Simultaneously, pro wrestling has a history of homoeroticism and homophobia. Images of muscular men in tights staging theatrical fights mixed with angles featuring extremely flaming villains (Gorgeous George, Exotic Adrian Street, Adorable Adrian Adonis) designed to inflame audiences have been a hallmark of  the industry for as long as I can remember. However, a new troupe of pro wrestlers have decided to turn this dynamic on its head and I rather like it.

 From the video:

For these drag wrestlers, there’s more at stake in the ring than a championship belt. Many LGBTQ wrestlers such as Rick Cataldo (aka “The Boy Diva”) and Jason Dewhurst (“The Samoan Wrestling Diva”) faced bullying and ridicule early on, but at their drag wrestling shows, they get to bring queer visibility to the ring in a friendly showdown.

Vice Identity also has a impressive web page of videos focusing on crucial issues such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. You should check it out. 

'Gay man's neighbors show their support after he receives death threats' & other Mon midday news briefs

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hate group doubles down on falsely blaming trans community for heterosexual man's crime

The anti-LGBTQ industry tries so hard to make our community the villains in American society that they will blame us for crimes we had nothing to do with.

Hate group the American Family Association has been attacking Target for a number of years because of its policy of allowing customers to use bathrooms and restrooms which match their gender identity. By exploiting the "transgender bathroom predator" lie, AFA gained a lot of media attention, lots of signatures on a petition seeking to shame Target, and probably lots of donations.

But it would seem that all of those things are running dry for the group. Why else would it be sending folks the following email:

It happened again. Target's dangerous policy of allowing men to enter women's dressing rooms has resulted in possible sexual crimes against female customers – both women and underage girls. 
In May, Sean Anderson was allegedly arrested for taking pictures of undressed females after drilling holes in women's dressing rooms in several Target stores in Pennsylvania.
After his arrest, police searched through Anderson's phone and found 56 images of women, 12 of whom were without tops and one who was completely unclothed. They also found six images of young girls who were either partially or totally undressed, investigators said. 
Here's the rub. Anderson allegedly drilled the holes on a prior visit. Target knew the holes were in the dressing rooms and knew that these holes allowed for "Peeping Toms" to spy on women undressing. Rather than protecting female customers by prohibiting men from the area, Target merely plugged the holes and continued to let men enter without restriction. 
With something as simple as a ballpoint pen, Anderson returned and pushed the plugs out of the holes and used his phone’s camera to continue his disgusting crime of violating the privacy of Target's female customers over and over again. 
Target had the ability to completely prevent this type of crime, yet it didn't. Target still has the ability to prevent this type of crime 100% of the time, yet it won't. 
The bottom line is this: People who shop at Target and use its restrooms or dressing rooms are at risk for sexual exploitation.

AFA's rendition of the situation is mostly accurate, except for one huge and easily recognizable flaw. The situation had absolutely nothing to do with Target's policy or the transgender community at all.  The incident took place last week and almost instantaneously, AFA began exploiting it. LGBTQNation caught wind of the nonsense and said the following:

Most Target dressing rooms aren’t gendered already since they’re normally only for one person and Anderson did not enter a “women’s” dressing room by pretending to be a transgender person. What Anderson did is a crime and is being treated as such. But that crime had nothing to do with transgender people.  
 “As AFA has stated many times, our worries do not stem from fear of the transgender community, but rather from both the real and potential threat that predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the Target restroom policy to harm women and children — and there are plenty of incidents to show that they have,” Tim Wildmon, the group’s president, said in a statement sent to LGBTQ Nation.

Wildmon's statement is an inane cop-out because as LGBTQNation pointed out, Anderson didn't take advantage of Target's policy to commit his crime. He entered the dressing room as a heterosexual man and drilled holes. When Target employees noticed the holes in the changing room, they caulked them over. My guess is that no one from the store knew who created the holes but in caulking them, they recognized the danger they presented. It's rather shady that AFA tries to accuse the store of wrongdoing even about the detail regarding the holes.

But the main problem seems to be that when being called out for the ridiculous attack on the transgender community by LGBTQNation (and The Advocate), AFA chose to double down with its deception regarding Target's policy.

It's rather embarrassing enough to be proven a liar, but to double down on the lie after being shown to be wrong is simply tacky.  But if any group has rightfully earned this embarrassment, it's the American Family Association.