Sunday, June 30, 2019

Trump Administration delays anti-LGBTQ conscience rule because of various lawsuits

A bit of good news is being obscured while everyone is barking about the first Democratic primary debate or noting Trump's latest general insanity.

From The Hill:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is delaying the implementation of its “conscience protection” rule until November to give the administration more time to deal with a lawsuit over the policy. 
HHS announced in a court filing Saturday that the rule, which was originally scheduled to take effect July 22, would not be implemented until Nov. 22 at the earliest.
A coalition of Democratic-led states filed a lawsuit against the administration in May saying the policy, which would allow health care providers to refuse to provide services on the basis of their religious beliefs, is unconstitutional. 
 . . . Another coalition, which includes Lambda Legal, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Center for Reproductive Rights, filed a suit with Santa Clara County, arguing that the rule will result in “mass confusion among health care providers and is completely infeasible to implement” and could lead to health care facilities scrapping their reproductive and LGBTQ services altogether.

The Advocate had this to say:

Many fear the new rule will not only engender confusion but encourage conservative doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals to deny contraception services, transition-related care for transgender people, and even drugs like PrEP, an HIV prevention regimen. The situation could be incredibly dire for women and LGBTQ people in rural areas, where there are much fewer service providers than in urban areas.

“In the Obama administration, we were focused on expanding access to health care through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the full and balanced enforcement of anti-discrimination and provider conscience laws,” Jocelyn Samuels, Executive Director of UCLA's Williams Institute, a think tank on LGBTQ issues, said in a statement in May.

“By contrast, this administration is simultaneously trying to restrict universal access to care through attacks on the ACA and expand the authorization for denials of care by religious providers. These actions stand to undermine the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities, including LGBT people.”

Friday, June 28, 2019

Former 'ex-gay' leaders call for national ban on dangerous conversion therapy

This is awesome. Good for them. Granted, it is probably going to take a while, but something like this is worth fighting for.

Hat tip to

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Drag Queen Story Hour is harmless. See for yourself.

I've noticed that a lot of people who rage about Drag Queen Story Hour have probably never attended the event. That's why I am featuring these two videos. Granted, I know that a lot of those who have raised a ruckus over the event aren't interested in seeing these videos. But I think putting them out there would do some good because they clear up a lot of misconceptions.

The opponents of Drag Queen Story Hour rely on  inferences and ugly stereotypes about  gays supposedly "sexualizing" or "recruiting" children. That's a lie. Nothing is done secretly or sneakily.  It has nothing to do with harming children in any way, shape, or form. Drag Queen Story Hour is comedy, a farce, no different than a clown show or children being read to by adults dressed up like superheroes. No one has ever accused someone reading to children while dressed as Superman of tricking them into thinking they could fly.

''Straight pride' parade moves a step closer to becoming a reality' & other Thur midday news briefs

NOT the official Straight Pride flag, but would it surprise you if it were?

Boston Approves Application For ‘Straight Pride Parade’ - I have no problem with straight people. I just wish they stop "promoting that lifestyle" in public with their hand-holding, walking as couples with their children, going to movies and such together. Keep it in the bedroom. Yeah, I am a sarcastic bitch.

LGBTQ+ History Should be Mandatory in Schools - Inclusion with other facets of history, yes.

Trump observes marriage equality anniversary by speaking to anti-LGBT crowd - Because he is a jerk. 

Out soccer star Megan Rapinoe says she’s ‘not going to the f–king White House’ after World Cup - This sister don't play. I like her.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Homophobes have organized tantrum denouncing legalization of marriage equality

 'Porno' Pete LaBarbera and his merry band of bigots held a rally in front of the United States Supreme Court to protest the fourth anniversary of the Obergefell decision, which legalized marriage equality. They've done it before and it is always sparsely attended, except for hecklers, curious onlookers, and the intrepid monitors from groups like People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.

As a matter of fact, Pete Montgomery, Senior Fellow from People for the American Way, are responsible for the tweets and pictures (except for the one I include. When you see it, you will know):

The attendees of today's sour grapes rally via Peter Montgomery, none of which are deserving of identification, but I think you can recognize one or two.

Let me give 'Porno' Pete a compliment. He seems to have lost weight since the last time he attended one of these "rallies."  He used to give new definition to the phrase "baby got back!"

(Editor's note - I am only playing, folks. I am not "fat-shaming." I think his tushy is rather adorable.) 

But I digress. As you can see, Wednesday's rally was filled with the same "gays are immoral, evil hedonists want to recruit children, silence Christians, rebel against God and destroy American society while engaging in all sorts of disgustingly wild, and passionate sex" rhetoric we have come to expect from LaBarbera and his type:

'Fox News has a problem with the LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

Shannon Bream
Fox guest says that drag queens and LGBTQ people are grooming youth “into their unhealthy lifestyle” that includes “HIV and AIDS"

Fox News anchor Shannon Bream serially misgenders trans folks 

We got a problem with Fox News. It claims to have debates about LGBTQ equality, yet its personalities control the debates in such a way that anti-LGBTQ industry voices are elevated while our voices are omitted. And I have a feeling that this is deliberate.

Paul Watkins worked for a hate group – and now he’s in charge of Consumer Protection - Meanwhile, we got other problems. 

Trump administration gives away public land so they won’t have to fly a rainbow flag for LGBTQ pride - Simply petty. 

Private Catholic School That Fired Gay Teacher Received Over $1 Million In Public Money - Stealing our tax dollars.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Family Research Council wants the government to be hypocritical with your tax dollars because of Jesus

The gay wedding in the PBS animated series 'Arthur' continues to give the anti-LGBTQ industry fits.

The Family Research Council is now saying that PBS should have its tax dollars taken away because it featured a gay wedding in the animated series 'Arthur.'

Even if you ignored FRC's chutzpah to think that it speaks for all conservatives and Christians (some conservatives and Christians actually support marriage equality), you still have to give the group style points.  FRC has been a vocal supporter of  religiously based foster care and adoptions agencies receiving tax dollars while discriminating against the LGBTQ community.  It's an almost enviable skill to speak out of both sides of your mouth while implying that you are doing it in the name of God.

'114 times Trump threw the LGBTQ community under the bus' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, June 24, 2019

It's 2019 and some people still believe that gay men eat poop

Openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg continues to be targeted by a nutty Baptist preacher from Indiana.

Baptist preacher and former Indiana legislator Don Boys continues to obsess over presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and gay sex. Last month, Boys invoked all sorts of ugly refuted lies about gay sex habits in his attack on Buttigieg.

Friday, he outdid himself in complaining that there certain questions journalists won't ask Buttigieg:

Since a “gay” Indiana mayor is running for president, journalists should ask him some questions that bear on that office; however, their cowardice and fear of being politically incorrect will keep them from asking these very legitimate questions of Pete Buttigieg.
Pete needs to say if it is possible to believe that homosexuality is a diseased, dangerous, even deadly lifestyle without being a hater? If it is true, as experts have concluded, that homosexuality is dangerous, then is it not true that Pete’s critics are showing love not hate? 
 . . . Since homosexuals are seven times more likely to use illegal drugs, will Pete repudiate their illegal drug use to heighten sexual pleasure, and will he demand prosecution for those who use illegal drugs? 
Since many homosexuals have a urine and feces fetish bringing them into contact with numerous lethal bugs, will Pete repudiate that unhealthy practice to save lives? And possibly save the health care system from bankruptcy? 
Advocates for perversion refuse to accept the current stats that refute their narrative but they can hardly say homosexuality is normal. It is abnormal to get pleasure from contact with body waste and in spades when that involves another person. Homosexuals use human organs in an abnormal way so no one should be surprised when the results are tragic. They insist on trying to get out of life what God never intended to be there, thus contracting many more diseases. Usually, the taxpayers are expected to pay their medical bills.

Yes, it's 2019 and people still believe that gay men do all sorts of nasty things such as eat poop. This stuff have been refuted constantly, but people like Boys continue to spew it. And quite recently, another idiot promoted this mess on Fox News.

As a black man in America, I have to deal with people who, no matter how many times it's been shown to be false, think I am lazy, unintelligent, or downright criminal. And as a gay man, I have to deal with folks like Boys who think that I am a diseased predator who probably tortures small animals when I'm not plotting to recruit children or planning some extremely gross sexual encounter.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if both the LGBTQ and African-American communities can come together in some sort of confab to discuss their unfortunately mutual role as scapegoats? Of course if this happened I can just picture Don Boys telling African-Americans to not eat the food and infamous racist David Duke telling the LGBTQ community to count their silverware.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Franklin Graham chooses to attack trans children instead of speaking up for migrant children

Franklin Graham 
During this weekend in which we are hearing all sorts of awful stories about the bad treatment of migrant children in border facilities and the illnesses they are suffering because of it, one would think some who have designated themselves as the nation's religious leaders would speak out.

Not so with prominent right-wing pastor Franklin Graham. He is too busy forwarding the probably soon-to-be newest religious right attack against the transgender community, ie. the false belief that transgender girl athletes have an unfair advantage over other girls in sports:

I am aware that it is easy for folks to get distracted and go off on a tangent about transgender athletes. And I am sure we are going to be hearing more about it. I would suggest that people educate themselves on this matter before allowing themselves to get sidetracked. There is information out there.

And basically, the issue itself regarding transgender athletes isn't the point. This is the point:

1. Four toddlers were so severely ill and neglected at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, that lawyers forced the government to hospitalize them last week. The children, all under age 3 with teenage mothers or guardians, were feverish, coughing, vomiting and had diarrhea, immigration attorneys told HuffPost on Friday. Some of the toddlers and infants were refusing to eat or drink. One 2-year-old’s eyes were rolled back in her head, and she was “completely unresponsive” and limp, according to Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney.
2. A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.

Graham's voice was and still is needed here. Throughout history from Martin Luther King, Jr to Oscar Romero to Bishop Desmond Tutu, prominent religious leaders have used their platforms and risked their very lives to give voice to those abused by the system. But Graham hasn't.  Not at this time in which his voice would be so vital. And I don't understand why.

Why did he chose to bully other children instead of speaking out for migrant children. Speaking out for these children wouldn't have cost him anything, except maybe  to lose favor from Donald Trump.  And here I thought Graham sought the approval of a higher power than Donald Trump. Obviously not.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Family Research Council picks the wrong day to gloat about Trump's trans military ban

On the day that Donald Trump has been accused of rape

The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights. I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.

 we nearly got into a war with Iran because of his incompetence

Questions are being asked about outside influence on Donald Trump after the US president called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute. Having initially said he believed Iran made an error when it shot down a US drone on Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, the president nonetheless reportedly approved military strikes against the Islamic Republic later that day. The operation to hit targets such as radars and missile batteries was in its initial stages, the New York Times reported, and planes were in the air and ships had been moved into position. But before any missiles were fired the operation was cancelled.

and articles are released relating that immigrant children are becoming ill in border camps with  no decent food, water or sanitation:

1. Four toddlers were so severely ill and neglected at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, that lawyers forced the government to hospitalize them last week. The children, all under age 3 with teenage mothers or guardians, were feverish, coughing, vomiting and had diarrhea, immigration attorneys told HuffPost on Friday. Some of the toddlers and infants were refusing to eat or drink. One 2-year-old’s eyes were rolled back in her head, and she was “completely unresponsive” and limp, according to Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney.
2. A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.

the so-called Christian group the Family Research Council has decided to gloat about Trump keeping transgender men and women out of the military:

Ah yes. Priorities.

'College makes library take down Lady Gaga pro-LGBTQ sign' & other Fri midday news briefs

A pro-LGBTQ quote from Lady Gaga on a sign has a college running scared.

A college found this Lady Gaga quote so dangerous the library had to take it down - Too late! The kiddies are already ours MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!

California Joins States Raising Pride Flags At Their Capitols, Defying Trump - I love it!! 

Lawmakers form group to fight anti-LGBTI discrimination around the world - Lawmakers from two dozen countries, that is. It is sorely needed. 

LGBTQ Media Matters staff speak about representation in the media - I've admired members of this group for a long time. It's nice to see them in real form. Good video! 

Thousands of teens spared conversion therapy due to state bans, report finds - Something to cheer about.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Texas adoption agency wants LGBTQ tax dollars, just not LGBTQ potential parents

Religious-based adoption agencies want LGBTQ tax dollars and the right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

This is going to come to a head soon and I think it may be in our favor. At least I hope.

From Raw Story:

A Texas adoption agency that receives federal taxpayer funds is refusing to allow a lesbian couple to become foster parents, and they’re citing their religious beliefs to support their discriminatory decision. 
Bryn Esplin and Fatma Marouf, who are married and are both professors at Texas A&M University, were told by the agency because they’re a same-sex couple they don’t “mirror the holy family,” and thus would not allow them to foster some of the thousands of migrant and refugee children the federal government is detaining.

The women pressed, saying that surely some of the 700 children under the agency’s care were LGBT and would benefit from being placed with a married lesbian couple, as The Daily Beast reports. 
Catholic Charities told them not a single child, out of 700, were LGBT. Statistically, that’s impossible.
 . . .they decided to sue the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which runs the agency, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth. The couple just won an important initial victory. The court says they have standing. They are suing charging violations of their First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as Metro Weekly reports. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Anti-LGBTQ group claims rugby player sacked for condemning gays to hell is the victim

Isreal Folau
On Wednesday, the hate group Family Research Council claimed that the "religious liberty" of athletes should is under attack:

In today's hyper-politicized climate, it seems that nothing can escape the relentless black hole of "woke" political correctness, not even sports. In a Speaker Series event at FRC, Dr. Jennifer Bryson gave example after example of how the LGBT agenda has strong-armed its way into sports, particularly soccer, where rainbow flags are featured on the jerseys of the U.S. men's and women's national teams, on team captain armbands, on shoelaces, and even on the ground where players are required to walk.  
 Are the athletes who make sports possible allowed to object to their jobs and religious beliefs being co-opted by a political cause? Nope. Just ask Jaelene Hinkle, who faced immense harassment after declining to wear an LGBT-themed jersey for the U.S. national team. Or Josip Brekalo, who was required to wear a rainbow-themed arm band as a team captain, but declined to. Or Isreal Folau, who was sacked by both the Australian national rugby team and his professional team for expressing his religious beliefs on Instagram.

Let's focus on one of their examples - the case of Isreal Folau. Below is the Instagram post he sent which got him into trouble.

As FRC related, he was dismissed for not only this but other past incidents of him making homophobic remarks.  He is now not only suing Rugby Australia but continuing to make homophobic remarks, such as claiming that Satan is behind transgender children.

These reasons are why his case is a bit more problematic to defend. Folau is talking about people. This isn't a case where someone is encroaching on his beliefs to believe. It is rather someone taking him to task for attacking groups of people. The first two examples FRC listed involve possible encroaching on someone's personal space (we don't know the entire story regarding those examples and FRC does have a history of playing loose with the truth for the sake of its narratives) in order to send a message their religion does not condone.

But in the case of Folau, this is someone sending out a message targeting a group of people. No one was forcing him to make a statement or take a position contrary to his beliefs.  But yet FRC - while careful not to detail what he said - claims that he is a victim of anti-religious discrimination. Would FRC feel that way if he had posted something which said Jewish people, Muslims, or people of other ethnicities are going to hell.

Doubtful. In fact, I doubt anyone would be attempting to defend his comments as expressions of  "religious freedom."

Folau's case underscores questions we are not asking about the concept of "religious liberty" as pushed by the conservative right and anti-LGBTQ industry. Other than supposedly protecting religious businesses, should it be used to protect people from the consequences of abusive speech? And if so, should it pertain to solely homophobic speech or would racist or even anti-Semitic speech be included ? And if not, then why?

I don't think FRC or anyone else on their side of the issue are willing to answer the question.

'GOP advancing another anti-LGBTQ nominee as potential judge' & other Wed midday news briefs

How A Trans Woman Defied A Crime Family To Become Italy’s Leading LGBTQ Activist- Wow, this is an interesting story. 

Defending a Lie With More Lies Has Become Essential Doctrine - The blog The Slowly Boiled Frog has been doing some excellent work lately in calling out the anti-LGBTQ industry.

Joe Biden visits historic Stonewall Inn gay bar - Not bad, Mr. Biden.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Fox News omits LGBTQ voices while rolling out red carpet for anti-LGBTQ hate group.

Fox News personality Shannon Bream routinely misgenders transgender women while allowing her show to be a propaganda engine for the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom

When it comes to LGBTQ issues, Fox News Network doesn't seem to want to give us a voice. For all of the talk by its personalities of having a "debate," the network has always rolled out the red carpet for groups, such as hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom, working to undermine our equality while omitting our voices.

From Media Matters:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson hosted extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and its client Selina Soule, a high school athlete in Connecticut, during a segment in which ADF revealed that it has filed a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education on behalf of Soule and other students who object to competing against trans athletes. 
ADF’s decision to file a Title IX complaint is particularly troubling given that the organization has allies throughout the federal government, including within the Department of Education. The group’s former director of litigation projects, Thomas W. Stack, worked for ADF for two years before becoming a senior attorney at the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the office that “evaluates, investigates, and resolves complaints alleging sex discrimination.” Records indicate that Stack has previously been assigned to investigate complaints filed with OCR. 
Soule has been interviewed on both Fox & Friends and The Ingraham Angle last February, and she was highlighted on right-wing sites including The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal. Soule’s mother, Bianca Stanescu, also recently participated in a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation advocating against transgender athletes. Heritage has hosted several panels advocating against transgender rights this year. 
ADF has repeatedly used Fox News to promote its cases and policy positions; the Carlson interview was at least the sixth ADF appearance on Fox this year. The reality is that Fox is the perfect place for groups like ADF to introduce their anti-LGBTQ work, because its standards for LGBTQ coverage are out of step with standard journalistic practices. The network frequently hosts anti-LGBTQ guests who work for or are associated with extreme groups, including Heritage Foundation, MassResistance, and Liberty Counsel. Fox hosts allow these guests to push extreme rhetoric and sometimes mirror their language. “Straight news” host Shannon Bream has repeatedly misgendered trans people in coverage, recently calling a trans women a “biological male who now identifies as a woman,” and Fox reporter Greg Palkot misgendered Chelsea Manning. Additionally, reporter Carley Shimkus incorrectly identified Olympic champion Caster Semenya as trans, feeding into the network’s fearmonger tactics about trans athletes.

The entire article and video deserves a read and you can do that here. When the most watched cable news network deliberately works to shut out the voices of the LGBTQ community while elevating voices determined to make us second-class citizens, you know we got problems.

'Hate group leader Tony Perkins becomes chair of US Commission on International Religious Freedom' & other Tue midday news briefs

We see you, Tony Perkins. You can't sanitize your homophobia.

FRC’s Tony Perkins Becomes Chair of U.S. Commission on International Freedom -Oh yeah. THIS is a mistake. 

Tony Perkins's history of homophobia part 1

Tony Perkins's history of homophobia part 2

Supreme Court Sends Oregon Wedding Cake Case Back to State - A very good and detailed article about the latest "religious liberty" case  SCOTUS dealt with.

50 years after Stonewall, NC town declares first LGBTQ Pride Day. Not everyone’s happy. - Sometimes you gotta change things one step at a time.

How to spot Real vs. Fake corporate support for the LGBTQIA+ community - Mark it down.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Pete Buttigieg part of a gay plot to destroy women . . . or something like that

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg's run for the White House has really gotten the homophobes riled up all over America. And one of the best examples of that is the comments at the viciously far-right commentary and message board Free Republic.

Free Republic, a place so homophobic that I spray myself with a mixture of holy water and Lysol before going there, has more than once attacked Buttigieg for his sexual orientation and his "nerve" to run for president via the most awful and homophobic language regarding him his husband Chasten, parts of his anatomy, his bathroom habits, etc.

Buttigieg recently set the wolves off at Free Republic  this time via an article about how he and his husband would start a family at the White House should he get chosen as the Democratic nominee and win the election. I would caution folks (even those with strong stomachs) not to read the comments made about this, but one caught my eye because it simply had to be the wildest, simplest insane thing I have ever read. Just reading it made me dizzy:

What isn’t being stressed enough here, is the fact that homosexual men despise women & want to destroy them. They consider women’s vaginas & reproductive organs repugnant. They resent being characterized as effeminate, insisting that homosexual “love” is so hyper-masculine as to be beyond the comprehension of heterosexuals. (”Only a man knows how to make love to a man” yada yada.) 
Then in pretzel-logic, they are able to reconcile their revulsion for women with a bizarre insistence that they can BE women —even better women, in fact, than women— by mocking and mimicking women as they choose. 
Homosexual men feign friendships with extremely promiscuous women— in order to study & mimic them— yet are invariably hostile & conflicted toward their own mothers & mothers in general. 
This goes back to their hatred/envy of the woman’s life-giving ability. Transvestites & transsexuals are merely the extreme projection of these rationalizations.

As a woman, I find this personally insulting & even threatening, akin to fear of rape. My very sense of self & dignity is being taken from me and REDUCED, regarded as insignificant, not unique.

Damn, I want her drugs. Just not the dosage she is taking. Don't even try to make a logical argument out of this. This is not to say that misogyny doesn't exist in the gay community. It is yet another thing we need to combat.  But there is no logic in this mess. It's basically homophobia mixed with pseudoscience and bad theorizing. Or better yet,  "TERFs-on-acid" insanity.

 It just goes to show that whenever there is progress, someone is always attempting to impede it. We may scoff at this woman, but we should also remember that people like her vote. And enough people like her voting would put the LGBTQ community in a bad position.

Kind of like where we are now.

'Dads offer free hugs at Pride parade for kids rejected by their parents' & other Mon midday news briefs

Queer disability activist Andrew Gurza says a March of Dimes caregiver abused him in his own home - An important question needing to be asked. Are our disabled people being taken care of in a respectful manner? 

Homophobic Attack Victim Condemns Response To Photos Of Her - This is powerful. My heart goes out to these ladies for their bravery and decision to make a positive impact out of this ugly incident. 

17 Senate Dems demand answers from State Dept. on Pride flag ban - Voting counts. Getting people in who have your back means a lot.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A short history of homosexuality on film

Be forewarned that this video was created in 2015.

However, it is a short, but excellent look at  past LGBTQ images from the motion picture industry. All of the ways Hollywood slurred, smeared, or dodged our community in the past and it is very educational. Not to mention fun to watch. I rather enjoyed the clips of movies like Dracula's Daughter, The Maltese Falcon, and Rope (Even though the clip from Rope is just a bit disconcerting)

Generally speaking, we simply must do better as a community of learning and remembering all aspects of our history. If we try to forget where we came from, we won't know where we should go.

Friday, June 14, 2019

''Ex-gay' leader offers bizarre ways to avoid LGBTQ Pride month' & other Fri midday news briefs

Robert Oscar Lopez doesn't want you to enjoy LGBTQ Pride month.

‘Ex-gay’ leader offers bizarre ways to avoid ‘temptation’ during LGBTQ Pride month - The poor baby. Pray for him.

Puerto Rico governor tells lawmakers to withdraw religious freedom, conversion therapy bills - Both bills aren't exactly good things.

The lack of dedicated LGBTQ media is a disaster - This needs to be made a note of and shouted from the rooftops. My little corner of information can't help us overcome this by itself. 

Laura Ingraham dedicated a podcast episode to extreme anti-trans rhetoric and misinformation - An awful mess.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

'Porno' Pete LaBarbera protesting legalization of marriage equality with the help of a big lie

Peter LaBarbera
'Porno' Pete LaBarbera, an old adversary, whom I haven't written about in a long time because of his continued irrelevancy, is promoting an event which I decided to spotlight to show how the anti-LGBTQ industry freely lie in their attempts to undermine our equality.

On his Americans for Truth webpage, LaBarbera announced a rally in front of the US Supreme Court on June 26. This rally will be negatively commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Obergefell ruling, which legalized marriage equality in 2015:

Four years ago, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court arrogantly imposed homosexual “marriage” on the nation – overriding amendments and laws in more than 30 states protecting marriage as between a man and a woman. Join concerned citizens testifying to the tragedy of this evil ruling by 5 unelected Justices. Some of our speakers once considered themselves “gay” or “transgender”—and will discuss how Obergefell was based on a lie: that homosexuality, like race, is unchangeable. Come hear their powerful testimonies! 2019 is also the 50-year anniversary of the anti-cop “Stonewall Riots” that launched the destructive, in-your-face “gay” revolution in the USA. 

Like so many of his past rallies, attendance and attention will probably be sparse. But his attempt to recast the history of marriage equality needs to be called out.

LaBarbera is lying. He tends to do that a lot when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

In reality, The SCOTUS ruling for marriage equality had nothing to do with the belief of whether or not homosexuality is unchangeable  It was a question of whether or not there was a logical reason for gays to be denied the right to marry. And SCOTUS found that there wasn't.

From Politico:

The majority opinion, authored by Kennedy, was framed as a legal interpretation of the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. However, the decision appeared to reflect and ratify one of the most dramatic and rapid shifts in public opinion on a high-profile social issue in American history. 
Kennedy bluntly rejected arguments from same-sex marriage opponents that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would undermine and disrespect the marriages of heterosexual couples. 
“In forming a marital union, two people be­come something greater than once they were,“ Kennedy wrote. “As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.”

'Support for trans people is growing in spite of Trump's attacks on them' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

'Ex-gay' group tries to be sneaky, gets shut down by courts again

In 2015, ex-gay group JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing or Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality)  was found guilty of fraud under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act. The group was ordered to repay monies to clients and to also shut down. Unfortunately, it seems that JONAH didn't shut down. It was operating in secret. That is until Tuesday when a court shut it down again.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center (which initiated the original lawsuit):

Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr. issued a 47-page decision finding that the defendants have violated a 2015 injunction and settlement agreement involving the group formerly known as Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH). 
The court decision follows a motion the SPLC filed in March, asking a judge to find that JIFGA had violated the injunction to cease operations and should be sanctioned. That motion also asked the judge to find that the defendants have violated the settlement agreement that led to the injunction, and now owe additional attorney fees. 
In order to “deter and punish” the defendants, the court also barred them from serving as directors of any New Jersey nonprofit corporation, ordered that they pay attorney fees incurred in connection with the plaintiffs’ efforts to enforce the injunction, and pay the full amount owed under the settlement agreement.

“The court previously had ordered JONAH to shut its doors and stop promoting conversion therapy because a jury found that its program was fraudulent and unconscionable – in violation of New Jersey’s consumer fraud law,” said David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the SPLC. 
“The ruling this week – concluding that defendants have violated that court order – confirms that the court meant what it said,” Dinielli said. “Conversion therapy necessarily is fraudulent because it is based on the lie that LGBTQ people can and should be fixed. Along with our clients and other allies, we will not stop until we eradicate these dangerous practices in New Jersey and around the country.”

According to the blog The Slowly Boiled Frog, which  played a part in uncovering JONAH's new fraud:

On June 25, 2015 a New Jersey jury unanimously held that JONAH was guilty of consumer fraud. A settlement was reached requiring the principals to pay a small undisclosed portion of the legal fees contingent upon not offering any form of conversion therapy. They could now be required to pay the full amount which is approximately $3.5 million. 
The defendants would be Arthur and Jane Goldberg along with Theodore and Elaine Berk. Both couples had gay sons. Both couples still have gay sons. 
Arthur Abba Goldberg is a convicted swindler and felon. Goldberg's license as a certified financial counselor was revoked in 2011 because he lied on his application by failing to disclose his felony conviction. On information and belief Goldberg is operating as a counselor in violation of a lifetime ban. The pious and sanctimonious Goldberg has a continuing pattern of dishonesty.

'District attorney's homophobic ramblings causes investigation' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lawsuit will hopefully expose passive/aggressive homophobia behind 'right to refusal' rule

Wonderful news today via Raw Story:

The Trump administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is facing two separate lawsuits just filed by the ACLU and by Planned Parenthood. The filings seek to strike down a new policy that would give people of faith special religious rights to discriminate, especially against LGBT people and women.  
 The new policy, slated to go into effect July 22, would provide “conscience protections” to health care workers and professionals. Those protections would allow, say, a doctor to not perform an abortion, even to save the life of a mother. They would allow, for example, a physician or nurse practitioner to reject a gay man on the grounds his very being violates their religious beliefs. Courthouse News’ 
 Adam Klasfeld posted a portion of the lawsuit which says the Refusal of Care Rule would “allow almost any health care provider – including hospitals or individual workers in the health care setting … to refuse to provide, assist with, or refer for virtually any health service, based solely on a personal objection.” The rule would also make it legal to withhold information from patients, and without telling them.

While I'm not attempting to minimize the danger this rule would do to women's health, I think I should speak on what I am more knowledgeable about - how it endangers LGBTQ health.

'YouTube CEO apologizes for standing by homophobic videos' & other Tue midday news briefs

YouTube CEO Apologizes For Standing By Homophobic Videos - Talk is cheap. Do more than apologize.

A straight couple behaving badly caused the panicked stampede at DC’s Pride parade - You just can't take some people anywhere, y'all.

Youth-led protest demands UCP protect LGBTQ student rights - Our kids are leading the way internationally.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Silly, fake Christian group calls the LGBTQ community a '500-pound gorilla'

If you're going to smear the LGBTQ community, at least get our rainbow colors correct.

Well this is a new one for me. I've been slurred as a gorilla because of my racial heritage, but I've never been called one because of my sexual orientation.

According to Right Wing Watch, this image was included in a report by some group calling itself "Intercessors for America." Apparently to the group, "the gay lobby is like a 500-pound gorilla sitting on our religious freedoms."

A well-funded powerful movement is legalizing intimidation by attaching gender identity language to legislation and action—even those that should have nothing to do with this concept. Some say the gay lobby is like a 500-pound gorilla sitting on our religious freedoms. Powerful and well-funded. Loud and proud. Pushing to make sexual orientation/gender identity an issue in much of our civic lives, and in the end, a protected class of citizens.

Other than the image of a gorilla - tacky at beast - I fail to see what's the problem with making the LGBTQ community a protected class of citizens. This nonsense is generally par for the course as far as I'm concerned.  In this particularly case, no only does this group feel that we are like a gorilla but:  

For decades, the gay movement has been beating the drum of “born this way” to claim that they were born with the sexual attraction toward the same sex, contrary to the Bible. “It’s who we are made to be,” they would claim, adults choosing a lifestyle that is not God’s design. Eventually letters and lifestyles were added to L and G to include BTQ and a growing number of choices, identities, and preferences. It seems that the 2015 Obergefell decision, nationally and legally requiring same-sex marriage opened the floodgates for a rapid and exponential growth in sexual identity additions. 
What happened next many of us were unprepared for and are shocked by—grooming and instructing young children in sexual interests and choices, and the transgendering of our children—both emotionally and physically. We are here. It happened so fast that much of this has not even been on the radar of many Americans, and yet it is happening in every state, and in many schools and homes.

And just in case, the lie about gays wanting to "sexualize" and "recruit" children isn't hammered home, Intercessors for America" even included something about Satan and the transgender community. No matter how the anti-LGBTQ industry tries to recast itself as protectors of faith and morality, it always goes back to demonizing and dehumanizing our community.

I do one have complaint - the group could have at least been accurate about the rainbow flag colors.

'Franklin Graham claims LGBTQ rainbow flag is offensive to 'Christians'' & other Mon midday news briefs

Franklin Graham Claims ‘Gay Pride Flag Is Offensive To Christians’ - Franklin Graham kisses Donald Trump's butt again, in other words.

Some U.S. Embassies, Diplomats Defy Trump Policy Against Flying Rainbow Pride Flags - This is why Graham is praising Trump this time. But a lot of other folks have something different to say about it.

The GOP is about to stop a judicial nominee for once opposing religious liberty - Silly man. How dare he compare anti-LGBTQ discrimination to white supremacy. #snark

Ian McKellen has launched a program supporting older LGBTIQ+ people - Good for him!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Top 10 LGBTQ character cliches and tropes on movies and television

As we celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month 2019, let's also remember the things we are fighting against. Mistreatment and a debasement of our humanity is definitely at the top of the list. Let's not forget disrespect, particularly when it comes to visibility. With that in mind, let's look at the Top Ten Cliches and Tropes that we as a community have had to deal with in movies and television over the years. Between you and me, though, I rather like number 10. But I absolutely DESPISE number one.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman and her lawyers aren't being truthful about her case

Barronelle Stutzman

The argument about religious liberty vs. LGBTQ equality took another turn on Thursday.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

The Washington State Supreme Court has just handed down a unanimous ruling against Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's flowers, who refused to make arrangements for a longtime customer because he was marrying a man. 
The ruling upholds a lower court's decision that found Stutzman's case was not decided with animus toward her religious beliefs – an argument that did win in the case Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court. There is no suggestion the two cases are similar. 
KOMO and the AP report the State Supreme Court Thursday ruling means that "Stutzman's refusal to provide flowers to the same-sex couple constituted discrimination against sexual orientation."

According to a press release issued Thursday from the Office of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson - In 2013, Stutzman refused to sell flowers to a customer for his upcoming wedding to another man. She was sent a letter on March 28 that same year asking that she comply with Washington state law which prohibits discrimination by business of sexual orientation.  She refused. A lawsuit was filed by the office of the attorney general in April of that year. That lawsuit was later consolidated with the lawsuit filed by the couple Stutzman refused to sell flowers to.  In February 2015, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled against her. Stutzman appealed to the Washington Supreme Court and lost that case in 2017. In 2018, due to the Masterpiece ruling (in which the court ruled in favor of the baker because it felt that there was hostility shown against his religious beliefs), the Supreme Court vacated this ruling and sent it back to the the Washington Supreme Court for a second look.

Throughout the entire situation, Stutzman's lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing group which specializes in cases which could undermine LGBTQ equality,  and other religious right groups made her their poster child in their fight against LGBTQ equality. She has been consistently portrayed as an innocent Christian grandmother who stood to lose her business, livelihood, and savings because a supposed aggressive gay agenda.

The following tweet was sent out by then Alliance Defending Freedom spokesperson Kerri Kupec (who is now the spokesperson of the United States Justice Department) in 2016:

The Family Research Council said the following about Ms. Stutzman in 2018:

The Washington grandmother, who is being personally and professionally sued by the state, could lose everything in a suit brought by two men who accused her of "discrimination" when she turned down their custom wedding order.

In an article posted by right-wing One News Now on Thursday, Stutzman continued to push this angle:

"While I know this isn't the last word on the case, it pains me to see my own state continue to come after my flower shop, my home, and every penny I own – especially after the U.S. Supreme Court specifically instructed the state court to look at my case more seriously," Stutzman, 74, said in a media call today. "I risk losing everything just because I chose not to participate in a same-sex wedding of a long-time friend and customer."

But Stutzman's claims about being in danger of losing her flower shop, home, and every penny she owns simply isn't true. The following tweet from Washington State Attorney Ferguson, who defended the state's case against Stutzman, called out false statements made by her and her attorneys:

Some may say that the exaggeration pushed by Ms. Stutzman and her attorneys is a minor detail in the huge argument about religious liberty vs. LGBTQ equality and it's not worth bothering about. I disagree.  This, in fact, is a crucial detail because it invoked the connotation that the LGBTQ community was hellbent on destroying a grandmother's business and leaving her bankrupt and destitute simply because of her Christian beliefs. And this is the crux of the "religious liberty" argument pushed by  Stutzman, ADF, and those on the right - i.e. that the LGBTQ community is so strident in forcing people to accept us that we will destroy anyone who gets in our path to that acceptance. And if by doing this, we wreck Christianity, then that's double success for us.

The argument deliberately and falsely frames the LGBTQ community as wanton aggressors instead of who we actually are - people who simply want fairness for ourselves, our families, and our children.

Stutzman and her attorneys say that supposedly participating in a gay wedding - via allowing her flowers to be used - would have violated her personal and deeply held religious beliefs. It's a shame that they clearly didn't feel the same way about lying.