Monday, September 30, 2019

Family Research Council uncovers nefarious plot to 'sexualize' America's children (not really)

Here we go again with THAT lie.

Old right-wing tropes about the LGBTQ community somehow "recruiting" children die hard. Or in the case of the Family Research Council, refuses to die at all. Taking time out from its shameless defense of  Trump during his latest scandal, the group is claiming that the LGBTQ community will be "forcing" school children to "celebrate sexual politics" at least 15 times this school year:

Powerful forces are pushing your child’s public school to celebrate sex politics this year—15 times! 
How many of these events have made it onto your school’s calendar? Find out today. 
For the 2019-2020 School Year:  
1. Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) – Includes books that have never been banned, but have been the subject of parental concern because of age-inappropriate sexual content. 
2. Ally Week (September 23-27, 2019) – Pressures students to declare themselves “allies” of students or teachers who identify as LGBT. 
3. Bisexual Awareness Week (September 16-23) 
4. LGBTQ History Month (Month of October 2019) – Labels historical figures as LGBT, even when they never identified as such. 
5. National Coming Out Day (October 11, 2019) 
6. International Pronouns Day (October 16, 2019) – Ignores the fact that forced declaration of one’s own pronouns, or false pronouns for others, violates free speech and religious freedom. 
7. Spirit Day (October 17, 2019) – Encourages students and teachers to wear purple, and highlights LGBT bullying (even polite dissent can be characterized as “bullying”). 
8. Transgender Awareness Week (November 12-19, 2019) 
9. Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20, 2019) 
10. No Name-Calling Week (January 20-27, 2020) 
11. Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31, 2020) 
12. Day of Silence (April 24, 2020) – Known as the “high holy day” of LGBT activism. 
13. International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (May 17, 2020) 
14. Harvey Milk Day (May 22, 2020) 
15. “LGBTQ” Pride Month (June 2020) 
Parents: You have the legal right to withhold and refuse consent for your child to participate in school events, assemblies, classes, or activities that violate your beliefs.
Your family’s faith and beliefs deserve respect. Demand it. 
Remember, LGBTQ lobbyists are getting their “high holy days” on the school calendar even while many school districts are scrubbing Christmas Break for “Winter Break,” Easter Break for “Spring Break,” and Columbus Day for “Indigenous People’s Day.”
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: The philosophy of the public school in one generation will be the philosophy of the culture in the next. 
Imagine what could happen if government schools just focused on providing an excellent education!

It's always amusing when FRC goes on this sort of tangent; creating the narrative of nameless, faceless homosexuals hordes with grasping claws out to yank children into dark closets where we supposedly transform them into sexual zombies and then send them out to snag us "new victims."

'National Trans Visibility March a huge success' & other Mon midday news briefs

Biden says he gets ‘more credit for marriage equality than I deserve’ - The humility act. Not bad.

Religious Adoption Agencies In Michigan Can Reject LGBTQ Couples, Judge Rules - This case is far from over but DO NOT get me started on how stupid this preliminary injunction is.

Three LGBTQ Cases Are Set to Put the Supreme Court's Conservative Principles on Trial - Next week. . . next week . . .

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Celebrate October with 31 LGBTQ Historical Icons

While a lot of other things are happening - ie impeachment, upcoming SCOTUS cases - let's not forget that October is LGBT History Month. The Equality Forum has come out with its annual list of LGBTQ historical icons. From government, to entertainers, to activism, to journalism, the LGBTQ community continues to make a positive mark on American history.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Evangelical right-wing groups show themselves to be hypocrites about impeachment

On Thursday, People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch pointed out the hypocrisy of  Family Research Council president Tony Perkins defending Trump against impeachment:

 . . . the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins declares that Americans do not support impeachment and Democrats should just drop it: “In poll after poll, the message from voters is the same: Enough already. If you want to remove Donald Trump from office, do it the old-fashioned way: win an election.” Perkins, of course, repeatedly called for President Obama to be impeached.

As you can see, Right Wing Watch found at least five times in which Perkins called for Obama's impeachment and one of the reasons was allowing transgender children to use school bathrooms which fit their gender identities.

On Thursday, Perkins continued with his call against Trump's impeachment:

The Ukrainian call may not be an open and closed case, but as far as Leader McCarthy is concerned, "...[N]othing in that transcript is impeachable." But, he warns, the Democrats "don't care about the facts." And either way, those facts are being lost in the noise of a relentless media, desperate to drive their anti-Trump agenda. They're throwing everything at the wall, hoping something -- anything -- will stick. Why? Because they'll do anything to distract the country from all the good this president has done. "We've made some fantastic deals..." Trump said. "We have the greatest economy we've ever had... and that doesn't get covered because you [the media] waste your time on nonsense. It's very sad what Democrats are doing to this country -- they're dividing, they're demeaning."

Such a different message from 2016 when raging about transgender children being able to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities:

“If the president chooses to go forward with this outrageous order – then congress should begin impeachment proceedings . . . .  Every parent, every school board in America should absolutely refuse to sacrifice the safety of their children for the threat of taking away nine federal pennies that make up every educational dollar."

This got me thinking about who else in the religious right defending Trump from impeachment did  the opposite when it came to Obama. It wasn't difficult to find another.

Recently another right-wing evangelical group, the Liberty Counsel, was circulating a petition defending Trump on its website and Facebook page:

But in 2014, the group had a very different belief with regards to impeachment when Obama was in the White House:

And the Liberty Counsel's reasoning for impeaching Obama? Via Right Wing Watch, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver said the following:

 We, the People of the United States of America, demand that the United States House of Representatives draft Articles of Impeachment against President Barack H. Obama for failure to adhere to the authority and rule of law, and for open oppression of our liberties, as defined by the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights. … In my nearly three decades of work in the legal field specializing in constitutional law, I have NEVER witnessed a more blatant and consistent disregard for the Constitution as we have seen from this President and his administration! As I have often said, today’s patriotic Americans are facing more oppression from civil government than did the colonial generation! … Together, we can stop this tyranny before President Obama and his “progressive” supporters succeed in remaking the United States of America into a godless, socialist nation! 

It doesn't make sense, but it's not supposed to. But it should serve as a reminder when it comes to the hypocrisy of the evangelical right. For FRC and the Liberty Counsel, impeachment seems to be less about preserving integrity and more about protecting their golden goose or punishing someone they perceive as the enemy.

'HRC president: Trump responsible for anti-trans violence' & other Thur midday news briefs

HRC president: Trump responsible for anti-trans violence - Yep. You don't have to physically act or tell someone to do something. You can manipulate them in the direction or inadvertently cause them to act by the message you send via your policies,

Protesters won’t give up fight against Pasco schools’ LGBTQ rules - Lies about our transgender kids again. '

A Doll For Everyone': Meet Mattel's Gender-Neutral Doll - Cue the right-wing freak out any moment now. 

12 things you should never say to your LGBTQ coworkers - Take notes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Family Research Council determined to defend its 'golden goose' Donald Trump

Tony Perkins (right) and his group, the Family Research Council is determined to defend Donald Trump (left) no matter how many scandals he creates.

I guess anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council answered my question.

Earlier, I wondered if the group was going to give Trump another "mulligan" for this latest controversy involving him asking the Ukraine government for dirt against Joe Biden.

No, FRC isn't going to give Trump a "mulligan." Instead, the group decided to create an alternate reality which not only attacks the Democrats for their impeachment inquiry (resulting from this scandal), but also makes light of Wednesday's latest devastating blow to Trump - the release of a "partial transcript" between him and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky  in which Trump does ask for dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, involving refuted and debunked charges:

This morning, the White House called Pelosi's bluff -- releasing the transcript of Trump's supposedly incriminating phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Pelosi, of course, insisted it was a smoking gun -- a "betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections." The president must not have thought so, moving quickly to declassify the information so the public could read it. During their talk, Trump brought up the rumor that Joe Biden may have intervened in the prosecution of his son, Hunter, in Ukraine. He asked Zelensky to "look into" it. If that's a crime, Marc Thiessen argued in the Washington Post, then where's the outcry over Senate Democrats, who asked Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on Donald Trump in 2018? 
The problem for Democrats isn't that this lacks allegation lacks teeth -- or facts -- it's that their obsession to destroy Trump is driving the entire party. Liberals are willing to do or say anything if it'll stop the president from accomplishing his agenda. When they finally do appeal to voters in 2020, it won't be on a record of House progress -- it will be on platform of blind hatred. And, after the embarrassment of the Robert Mueller probe -- a two-year, $32 million dollar witch hunt -- Pelosi will be making that pitch on even shakier ground. Americans were ready for liberals to move on then. Imagine how they feel now. Well, thanks to the latest polls, we don't have to imagine. U.S. voters have been quite clear how fed up they are with the Democrats' vendetta. In July, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey showed just 21 percent of Americans supported impeachment hearings against Trump. Since then, Breitbart points out, not much has changed. In poll after poll, the message from voters is the same: Enough already. If you want to remove Donald Trump from office, do it the old-fashioned way: win an election.

Even while gleaning right-wing sources (defender of torture and Trump defender Marc Thiessen and white nationalist enabling Breitbart), and attempting to undercut the Mueller Report (which did not exonerate Trump), FRC can't stop itself from lying.

From Dan Abrams at Mediate to legal analyst George Napolitano at Fox News, to several GOP senators, FRC's claim of the latest charge against Trump "lacking teeth" is simply wrong. All of these sources and others have vocally declared the entire controversy, particularly Wednesday's "partial transcript" release to be very detrimental to Trump.

In other words, the allegations have fangs. Big, sharp ones. All biting figurative chunks out of Trump's entitled ass.

What's more, I find it highly amusing how FRC is talking about popular opinion when this isn't a case of popular opinion. It's about the integrity of our country and not allowing our leaders to damage that integrity or smear their office by illegal and unethical acts.

This scandal involving Trump is about our ethics and morality - two concepts FRC never mind citing when its president, Tony Perkins, or spokespeople like Travis Weber or Peter Sprigg spin their latest lies and horror stories against the LGBTQ community.

Obviously, FRC thinks morality and ethics should be cited when treating LGBTQs like second class citizens and then ignored when it comes to getting rid of a disturbingly incompetent and dangerous leader.

Just as I pointed out with regards to Franklin Graham earlier this week, FRC doesn't care about the damage Trump does to America. It only cares about the access his Administration gives it and other right-wing evangelicals. The group should remember, just like Graham should, that Trump's game will collapse.

And no one who supported him should expect to come out of this smelling like a rose.

Picture courtesy of Media Matters.

'Students withdraw anti-transgender lawsuit' & other Wed midday news briefs

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Pelosi makes it official - Impeachment investigation of Donald Trump is going to happen

History was made on Tuesday (and someone probably won a bet about how soon this would happen) when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally announced an impeachment investigation against Donald Trump.

 According to Buzzfeed:

After months of tamping down calls for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she’s on board, a move that could upend Donald Trump’s presidency just barely a year out from the 2020 election. 
“Today I'm announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” the speaker told reporters after meeting with the Democratic caucus Tuesday afternoon. Pelosi said she will direct six House committees to investigate Trump “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.” 
While the Judiciary Committee has already begun an impeachment investigation, Pelosi announced that the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight, Ways and Means, and Financial Services committees will now formally join them in a broader inquiry. 
The committees’ investigation is just a first step toward impeachment — a majority of the full House would still need to vote on articles of impeachment in order to indict Trump. The Senate is then responsible for holding an impeachment trial, but Republicans are unlikely to pursue one. 
Pelosi’s announcement comes amid reports that Trump withheld aid from Ukraine and pressured its president to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s family ahead of the 2020 election.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, Trump's 2016 election opponent, had this to say:

Okay, Clinton didn't say this. But would you blame her if she did?

'Judge dismisses silly 'ex-gay therapy' lawsuit' & other Tue midday news briefs

Monday, September 23, 2019

Franklin Graham enjoys debasing himself and his faith in front of Donald Trump

No matter how this thing with Trump ends (and I am hoping for a loud, highly destructive crescendo for our Orange menace), I sincerely hope that no one forgets how the evangelical right bent over backwards to ignore or defend his many, many excesses. In fact, when the loud, highly destructive crescendo for Trump happens, I hope they are caught up in the middle of it.

 The tweet Franklin Graham sent out Monday underscore my hopes:

 So Graham is pushing this idea that Trump is being unfairly targeted. Well let's look at the claims he pushed aside in his tweet.

1. The accusations from 17 women accusing Trump of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and assault did not just come out of the woodwork. Trump has been accused of this long before he ran for president. And there is the infamous Hollywood Access tape - i.e. the "grab them by the pu##y" tape.

2. Then there was the Mueller report which found 10 possible incidents of obstruction in the Russia investigation perpetrated by Trump. The idea of "no collusion" is  a straw man argument created by Trump and his supporters, such as Graham. Mueller himself said he didn't "evaluate collusion."

3. So now we come to the latest. A whistleblower complaint about Trump's promise to the leader of a foreign country as well as "multiple acts" is turning out to look like Trump was exploiting the power of the White House. Why?  To get the Ukraine to investigate alleged wrong doing by Joe Biden in preparation for the 2020 election. While Trump and his allies are spinning, his Administration has refused to release the original complaint.

''Pose' star Angelica Ross leaves Twitter after abuse from Trump and Sanders supporters' & other Mon midday news briefs

Angelica Ross
Angelica Ross Leaves Twitter After Abuse by Trump, Sanders Supporters - This is a MESS and it needs to be addressed. 

The Highlights of The Advocate's Historic LGBTQ Presidential Forum - Worth mentioning and remembering.

Here’s the LGBTQ Supreme Court Case Laverne Cox Brought Up on the Emmys Red Carpet - Visibility matters. That's why Fox News makes sure not to talk to one of us when "reporting" on our issues.

Republicans are using an anti-LGBTQ playbook to squash cultural studies programs - Lies and fake calls for "balance" always work.

Last, but not least, HISTORY was made at the Emmys last night!

Billy Porter Is First Openly Gay Black Man To Win Emmy For Lead Actor In A Drama

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Attacks on Drag Queen Story Hour is homophobic hysteria with a side of fear

We all know that the claims about Drag Queen Story Hour being harmful to children is mere homophobic hysteria. And the two short videos above prove it. One looks at the event through the eyes of parents who attend with their children versus folks who protest. And the other video talks about conditions which are followed for people who want to participate in Reseda - i.e. audition and background checks.

There is a reason why none of the folks whining about harm to children - and especially right-wing media who exploit the event to scare people (particularly Fox News, The Federalist, The Blaze, etc) - will ever focus on this side of Drag Queen Story Hour. It's better to scare people with images rather than educate based on facts.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Anti-LGBTQ ministry loses lawsuit against SPLC over 'hate group' label

SPLC is 3-0 in lawsuits over its 'hate group' label

Members of the anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies probably won't mention this but they suffered a huge loss earlier this week against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

From The Advocate:

A Florida ministry that campaigned against same-sex marriage and "maligns the entire LGBT community" can be referred to as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a federal judge ruled this week. 
Florida-based Coral Ridge Ministries Media Inc., sued SPLC — a group advocating for the rights of marginalized people — in 2017 after it designated the ministry a "hate group." Coral Ridge also sued Amazon because the designation disqualified it from a program that allows customers of the online retailer to donate to nonprofits. 
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the SPLC has a free-speech right to the hate group claim, but the judge didn't weigh in on whether he believes the ministry is indeed a hate group. 
When Coral Ridge Ministries, which actively fought against the legalization of marriage equality, sued the SPLC two years ago, the civil rights organization defended its description of Coral Ridge. 
"We list the D. James Kennedy Ministries through which Coral Ridge does business as a hate group because it maligns the entire LGBT community, portraying it as perverted and a threat to the nation," SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement at the time. "The fact that Coral Ridge claims its statements about the LGBT community are biblically based doesn’t immunize it from criticism. We have a First Amendment right to express our opinions, just as Coral Ridge has a right to express its opinions."

It's the third victory SPLC has won regarding its 'hate group' labels. Earlier this week, a federal court tossed out a lawsuit lodged by the Center for Immigration Studies.  Last year, another federal court tossed out a lawsuit lodged by anti-LGBTQ group the Liberty Counsel.

If any of these lawsuits had succeeded, it would have probably opened up SPLC for a slew of other court actions, no doubt led by other organizations designated as hate groups,  such as the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom. My guess is that these groups, seen as more mainstream,  were waiting for a precedent to attack SPLC.

Looks like they are going to have to wait a little longer.

Related posts (Just a few pieces I've written over the years about the anti-LGBTQ industry's unsuccessful war against SPLC):

Conservative publication PJMedia digs a hole into the credibility of anti-LGBTQ hate groups

Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

Peter Sprigg is further proof of the Family Research Council's 'hate group' status

SPLC puts the Alliance Defending Freedom's long history of anti-LGBTQ bigotry on public blast

Anti-gay group Family Research Council continues silly vendetta against the Southern Poverty Law Center

Family Research Council ally against SPLC has odd history of 'attacking' anal sex

Family Research Council upset over being labeled a hate group, but won't address reason why

'Report claims HUD Secretary Ben Carson made ugly comments about trans people during SF visit' & other Fri midday news briefs

HUD Secretary Ben Carson
HUD Secretary Carson disparaged transgender people during SF visit, report says - I don't trust Ben Carson. I think he did it.

Remember those hugging toddlers from the viral video? One of them has 2 dads. - This is so wonderful. 

Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights - He wants to be Labor Secretary? He needs to come correctly when it comes to LGBTQ issues.

Merriam-Webster Adds Use Of ‘They’ As Gender Nonbinary Pronoun To Dictionary - This is big.

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.