Thursday, February 27, 2020

'Congressional hearing spotlights weaponizing of religion against LGBTQ people' & other Fri midday news briefs

Congressional hearing spotlights use of religious liberty against LGBTQ people - This was an outstanding hearing and more attention should have been given to it by those in our community. We are SERIOUSLY dropping the ball here by missing these opportunities. If the other side had a Congressional hearing, folks would have known about it before, during, AND after!!

Photo of Beshear with drag queens at LGBTQ event used to rally GOP in Eastern KY - Kentucky governor takes a picture with drag queens at an LGBTQ event and the GOP tells blatant lies about it. I had to read this mess, twice.

Idaho Moves Closer To Ban On Transgender Women In Athletics - For Pete's sake! Anything to rile up their base. 

 A third of Poland has declared itself “LGBTQ-free zones” - What the heck is this!!

GLAAD warns the LGBTQ community against sitting out the election by reminding us who will be voting

GLAAD just came out two short but stunning reasons why the LGBTQ community shouldn't sit out the 2020 election.

The incident above is from last year of Tennessee Republican Warren Hurst voicing his anger during a county council meeting about Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign. The one below, also from last yea,r is of West Virginia Republican Eric Porterfield doubling down during an interview on his earlier comments that the LGBTQ community is the modern day version of the Klan.

GLAAD makes an excellent point.

 People like Hurst and Porterfield will be voting in the upcoming election and it's a small guess who or what they will be voting for. We also have a vote and we need to use it. Or suffer the consequences for not using it.

 See GLAAD's Don't Sit This One Out for more information.

'LGBTQ students, advocates suing to change archaic South Carolina law' & other Thur midday news briefs

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Trump puts man who enabled Indiana HIV outbreak in charge of coronavirus task force

VP Mike Pence
Way to go, Donald Trump. And in case you can't tell, I'm being extremely sarcastic.

From my friends at Raw Story:

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the task force to combat the coronavirus pandemic, touting him as a former governor experienced with health care.In reality, though, Pence’s record on health care policy is extremely checkered — and his fitness to lead up such a task force is questionable. 
When Pence was governor of Indiana, he oversaw an entirely preventable AIDS disaster in Scott County. Pence dragged his feet on implementing a recommended needle exchange program, out of a religiously motivated belief that doing so would make him a party to intravenous drug use — even though studies show clean-needle programs do not increase drug use. By the time Pence finally relented and let the program go forward, over 200 people had contracted HIV – in a county of less than 24,000 people.

The Huffington Post went into detail about the missteps taken by Pence, showing a timeline which it said " reads like a roadmap of what to do if you want to create a public health crisis."

The question is will these missteps be replicated. Raw Story had this to say:

Since Pence became vice president, he has been one of the administration’s foremost architects of health care policy. Several staffers and advisers from his Indiana days came with him to the Department of Health and Human Services, like Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Medicaid and Medicare Administrator Seema Verma — and they have spent a great deal of energy imposing their ideological beliefs against the interests of public health. Verma, for example, spearheaded a push for states to require Medicaid recipients to provide proof of employment to keep their coverage, a policy which led to tens of thousands of people being kicked off the program in Arkansas alone.

Let's hope that Pence doesn't screw this one up. Granted, the gloating from the right-wing will be enormous if he doesn't, but I fear the alternative.

Missouri lawmaker resurrects already failed attempt to undermine LGBTQ issues in schools

A Missouri bill demonstrates the dual sad and comical mindset of those who think that it's dangerous for children to even know that the LGBTQ community exists.

From KMBC News in Kansas City:

State law could be changed to require that Missouri public school districts tell parents if class material, guest speakers or displays in school mention sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a report from MissouriNet. 
The Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee is debating state Rep. Chuck Basye’s bill that would let parents have their kids removed from class if they do not approve. Basye, R-Rocheport, said the bill is in response to a Columbia middle school Gay/Straight Alliance Club putting posters up without parents knowing. “I think the parents have a right to know what is in front of their children in public schools,” Basye told MissouriNet. “That’s the intent of the bill, nothing more, nothing less.” 
Under the legislation, Missouri schools could be sued for violating the terms. Basye, the chairman of the committee, says parents' concerns “tend to fall on deaf ears.” 
“A lot of people, a lot of parents feel that they’re not listened to, by whether it’s the school board, the administration, or what have you. That’s the design of the last part of this bill is to give this a little bit of teeth so parents can take action if they feel that they’re not being listened to or their child is subjected to something they don’t agree with,” Basye told MissouriNet. Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, says the measure treads on dangerous ground. She has served as a schoolteacher and counselor in public and charter schools in Missouri and elsewhere. 
“I would argue there’s no better place for information or a learning place than a school setting,” Proudie told MissouriNet. “I don’t see any like nude pictures or questionable words as far of obscenities on here. So, I’m not really clear what the issue was with this. If I put ‘Jesus Saves’ up, though, I could certainly see how my Jewish student would have an issue with that. I don’t take offense to your wanting to be involved in your child or your children’s education and the education of your community. But, I do insist that we’re not just talking about sex and sexuality but the actual worthiness and personhood of a group of individuals.”

Let's be clear. This bill is nothing more than a way to target the LGBTQ community. And that's because some folks are insistent on pigeonholing our lives as nothing more than their ideas of how we have sex. Furthermore, they are not satisfied until they make communities - and us - affirm their prejudices.

Not only that, but we've been down this road before. And it took us to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

'Suspended gay teacher wins big settlement' & other Wed midday news briefs

Family Research Council again attacks trans children. This time by targeting an innocent reading program

It's so obvious that wanton attacks on the gay community (i.e. claiming that gay men are most likely to be pedophiles, focusing on the alleged sexual habits of gay men, etc) doesn't seem to be as lucrative or attention grabbing for the anti-LGBTQ industry.

Hence their shift to attacking the transgender community. All of the tactics (which is mainly claiming that the group being scapegoated are unhappy, disease-ridden outsiders out to recruit children) they used to demonize gay men have been converted or retooled to stigmatize trans people.

And of course the Family Research Council is leading the charge. Last year FRC demonstrated that it had no problem labeling trans children as predators. Now the group demonstrates that it has no problem denigrating a wonderful program geared to supporting trans children and those who began it.

It started as just one rogue Wisconsin school, showing their LGBT pride. Now, five years later, it's a national public-school movement -- and most parents have no idea it's happening. 
Do you want your child to be psychologically manipulated at school on Thursday? Most moms and dads would say no. But this week, February 27, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and their pals at the powerful National Education Association are teaming up to promote "Jazz and Friends National Day of School & Community Readings." "We want the listeners to know," FRC's Meg Kilgannon told me on "Washington Watch," "this could be happening in your school. Your children could be hearing a book on Thursday... [that] can be very disturbing to young children. 
The book I Am Jazz is a favorite of transgender activists. It's based on the real-life story of "Jazz," a boy who was convinced that he was born in the wrong body. "As a child he was injected with hormones to block his normal sexual development, and recently, he had radical surgery to complete his 'transition' to another sex. Which, of course, is impossible." Now, LGBT groups are pushing schools to make the reading of the book an annual event. The day will be used, Cathy goes on, "to promote gender deviance and LGBT politics to vulnerable children. Not all schools are doing it. Yet. But some are."
In one Arlington, Virginia school, administrators enlisted "mystery readers" to come read to the children. "The school has not revealed to parents who they are and what they will read," Cathy warns. And based on what we know about the drag queen story hour movement, that could mean anyone. To counterpunch, the Arlington Parents Coalition is urging parents to keep their kids home. 
"We want all children to be treated with respect and dignity as children of God," Meg agreed. "That's a basic tenet of the Christian faith of many faiths that everyone should be should have dignity. [But] that doesn't mean that we need to reinforce these controversial ideas... that are untrue, biologically, and impossible. A boy cannot become a girl. A girl cannot become a boy." But unfortunately, she warned, this kind of activity isn't necessarily going to make it on the school calendar. "It's just something that's going to happen -- and then, once it's over, it's too late."

Monday, February 24, 2020

'Franklin Graham suing event venue for treating him the same way he thinks gays should be treated' & other Tue midday news briefs

Franklin Graham 

Franklin Graham is suing an event venue for refusing to let him spread anti-LGBTQ rhetoric - So he WILL be suing. This is delicious. Mr "Christians don't have to serve gay people as potential customers" continues to find the taste of his own medicine extra bitter.

Christian Bigot Calls Pete Buttigieg a “Recruiting Machine” for Homosexuality - Hateful Bryan Fischer is angry that Pete Buttigieg gave advice to a young boy about coming out. Good. Let him stay mad. And hopefully many of us who are older will mentor young LGBTQs like Buttigieg did. 

The Supreme Court Will Consider Whether Adoption Agencies That Get Tax Money Can Turn Away Same-Sex Couples - Just in case you haven't heard . . . 

Meet The Transgender Dancer Who Is Shattering Brazilian Carnival Taboos - THIS is bravery.

SCOTUS case is about telling the LGBTQ community that they are second class citizens

Daily Beast writer Jay Michaelson accurately breaks down Monday's announcement that the Supreme Court will hear a case which could potentially allow religiously based adoption agencies to receive tax dollars while turning away same-sex couples wanting to be parents.

Michaelson said the case is less about religious liberty and more about sending an ugly message to same-sex couples and the LGBTQ community in general:

The case it took today, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, is straightforward on its facts. In March,2018, the city of Philadelphia stopped working with Catholic Social Services (CSS) because of that organization’s refusal to place foster children with qualified same-sex couples.

 . . .  the real power behind the case is Becket, formerly known as The Becket Fund, a hard-right activist group that has spearheaded several “religious liberty” cases, including Hobby Lobby, which eventually enabled corporations to deny contraceptive coverage to employees if doing so violated the company’s religious beliefs.
. . .With Fulton, the Supreme Court is poised to require cities and states to provide such waivers as well, effectively forcing all localities in the country to fund anti-gay discrimination with taxpayer dollars. 
You read that right. Five years ago, it was dubious whether cities or states could allow anti-gay discrimination. Now, the Court may say that that they must allow it.
What’s more, none of this supposed conflict between religious freedom and LGBTQ rights is even necessary. 
First, of course, religious CWAs could simply decline to take taxpayer money. That’s what happened in Massachusetts in 2004, when Catholic Charities withdrew from providing adoption and foster programs in Massachusetts rather than place children with same-sex couples. The world survived: Massachusetts contracted with non-discriminatory agencies, and Catholic Charities simply stopped taking public money.

Or, of course, religious CWAs could obey the secular law, as Jesus required. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) In other words, obey the same laws as everyone else. 
 . . . But of course, Becket and organizations like it aren’t really fighting for religious liberty. They’re fighting for religious hegemony; they want LGBTQ and women’s rights to be less equal than, say, civil rights. (No one is arguing that taxpayers should fund an agency that discriminates on the basis of race, after all—although conservatives argued exactly that in the '70s.) 
They want a world in which my husband and I may be legally married but still not equal to legally married straight couples. A world in which we can be denied service, denied rights, and denied equality. A world in which we are second-class citizens.

There is absolutely no conceivable way that SCOTUS should rule against the city of Philadelphia. But, as Michaelson broke down in his column, the parties hoping for a ruling against the city have worked hard to bring it to this point. Not because of any logic, but because of their desire to enshrine homophobia and right-wing evangelical supremacy into law.

But mark my words. A ruling that religious-based entities have a "right" to LGBTQ tax dollars while discriminating against LGBTQ people would be one of the biggest travesties in the history of the American judicial system.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

'Disney announces first official LGBTQ character in an animated feature' & other Mon midday news briefs

Disney's first LGBTQ character in an animated feature will be the cyclops on the right.

Disney announces first official LGBTQ character in an animated feature - The religious right is going to go ballistic. Ain't it lovely?

Transgender athletes seek to become defendants in lawsuit - I hate this issue regarding transgender athletes because while everyone wants to give opinions, very few want to learn any facts beforehand. It's just what the anti-LGBTQ industry wished would happen.

Federal Appeals Courts Agree: Trans People Belong in Schools - You can't win without fighting.

HuffPost Her Stories: This Truck Driver Transformed Her Town’s LGBTQ Biases - One person can always make a difference.

Buttigieg's presidential run has a positive effect on LGBTQ children

The LGBTQ community shouldn't forget the positive effect Buttigieg's presidential run could have on our children.

In 2008 while America celebrated the historical fact of a black man winning the office of president, the LGBTQ community was sadly reminded that the road to equality can still be rocky as the largest state in the nation, California, voted against marriage equality. It was an upset brought about mostly by how opponents of marriage equality scared voters with lies concerning what it could to children. That's why a recent event which happened with openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg should be seen as monumental in itself.

From Instinct:

While Buttigieg was campaigning in Colorado this Saturday, the presidential candidate was approached by a nine-year-old boy, according to Bloomberg News. The young Buttigieg supporter, named Zachary Ro, then asked Pete an adorable and meaningful question. 
“Would you help me tell the world I’m gay too,” the boy wrote in a pre-submitted question to Buttigieg. “I want to be brave like you." 
Buttigieg, who is openly gay and married to junior high school teacher Chasten Buttigieg, shared that he was already impressed with the Ro’s courage. Buttigieg didn’t come out as gay until he’d reached his 30s in 2015. At the time, he was serving his first term as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The mayor then got engaged to Chasten in 2017. 
“Well, I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me,” Buttigieg told Zachary. “You seem pretty strong to me. It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay.”

To me, this is no different than little black boys and girls meeting President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Scratch that. It is different probably because of one thing.  I doubt that many African-American adults, while noting the moment, took up precious time detailing what they disliked about the Obamas or how they aren't working for black people.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

'Residents of Minnesota town threaten lawsuit over school LGBTQ pride flag' & other Fri midday news briefs

Marshall residents threaten to sue over school's LGBTQ pride flag - Oh come on! It's just a flag! In reality, the article underscores what we have to deal with when it comes to people's fears and how the anti-LGBTQ industry exploits these fears.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Makes History By Attending LGBTQ Rally At Capitol - THIS is big.

Students thought their Mormon university was OK with gay people for a second. Oops. - Don't give up. Keep pushing and you will change the world for the better. 

Indonesian bill calls for LGBTI people to report for “rehabilitation” - Oh good grief!

Trump wants to give religious conservative groups the ability to steal tax dollars while not being truthful to taxpayers

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (left) and Donald Trump (middle) think religious liberty means receiving federal funds while discriminating against taxpayers and then not showing common courtesy to those they are taking the money from.

If you want yet another example of how religious right groups distort and weaponize religion as a tool for discrimination, look no further than yet another Trump Administration proposal geared to reward conservative evangelicals for their support at the expense of other Americans.

But allow me to take a different approach. First, I am going to post what the Family Research Council's president Tony Perkins says about it:

Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) must really miss the days of Barack Obama, when faith-based groups were treated like second-class citizens when it came to government programs. Every time a member of the president's team rolls back a rule and levels the playing field, the northwest Democrats kick and scream. For people who talk about equality so much, Senate liberals sure don't understand it.

Nothing really sums up the Left better than the first line of their protest letter to Secretary Alex Azar. "We write to strongly oppose the Department of Health and Human Services' proposed rule, 'Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations." In other words, what they support is the unequal treatment of faith-based organizations -- something the last administration had become quite good at. The pair of senators tries to argue that Trump's policy reinstating religious freedom is actually a secret attack on it -- a suggestion that would be funny if it weren't so outrageous. 
"The proposed rule -- developed under the guise of religious liberty -- is actually... yet another step taken by President Trump to greenlight federally-funded discrimination," their letter claims. No one is quite sure how, since the whole point of the regulation is to make sure every organization -- religious or not -- is treated the same. What Obama's team liked to do was burden religious groups with special reporting or referral requirements, creating ridiculous hoops that no secular organization had to jump through. Of course, the idea was to persuade faith-based groups it was too much trouble -- or worse, too steep a compromise, to comply. 
The new rule, just posted last month, guarantees that every qualified government organization has a seat at the table -- no matter what they believe. It appears by the words of Murray and Wyden not everyone believes in that kind of neutrality. They want religious groups to be disqualified from any government interaction before it starts! "We demand the Department put the American people first and withdraw the proposed rule," they write. But putting the American people first means engaging all of the diverse options for health care, education, adoption, and disaster relief. If the Trump administration listened to those on the Left, it would be jeopardizing billions of dollars in social services.

It's interesting how Perkins is deliberately vague about this rule. I doubt this is accidental.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

'Parents suing school district over policy protecting trans children' & other Thur midday news briefs

Christian parents sue their school district to force it to out trans kids - I do not support this at all. There is no telling how much danger the child could be exposed to because some parents could get violent. That's just reality.

Criticized for being too gay and not gay enough, Buttigieg has unique burden -It's a mess and it's really not his fault.

U.S. medical schools boost LGBTQ students, doctor training - Excellent idea. 

States across U.S. still cling to outdated gay marriage bans - They are trying so hard to be "extra."

Gay Trump ally set to be rewarded for 'kissing up beyond the call of duty'

Richard Grenell

You know, it's rather cute how so many of us in the LGBTQ community are going back and forth with regards to Pete Buttigieg, with some of us determined to wreck him for being a supposed Republican in "sheep's clothing." However, our intense discussions about Buttigieg simply underscores how yet again we ignore those in our "family" who truly deserve our venom.

From Raw Story:

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump intends to tap Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence. Grenell, who currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and would be the first openly gay man to serve in Trump’s cabinet, is a hard-right partisan and a loyalist to the president — a sharp contrast from Dan Coats, who was ousted from ODNI last year over disagreements with Trump.

In his current role, he caused an uproar in Germany after he threatened to use his office to help far-right political parties win elections in Europe — a flagrant departure from the apolitical conduct U.S. ambassadors are generally expected to follow abroad.

Aside from that, Grenell has been seen by many as an awful diplomat, even to the point of German officials suggesting that he be expelled after he expressed support for right-wing groups. News of his possible appointment have already garnered shock and disappointment. Grenell is seen as an extreme Trump loyalist, even to the point of accusing presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg of lying when Buttigieg called out VP Mike Pence's many instance of homophobia.

Grenell has also led the Trump Administration's announced endeavor of  decriminalizing homosexuality on a worldwide scale. I say "announced" because as far as it is known, nothing has been accomplished.  As a matter of fact, the day after the plan was announced, Trump seemed not to know anything about it.

But regardless of all of this, I'm sure Grenell is patting himself on the back due to his success. And  counting on the rest of us to focus more on our tug of war regarding Buttigieg while he climbs the ladder of butt-kissing success. Rung by rung.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

'Virginia moves closer to banning 'ex-gay therapy' for minors' & other Wed midday news briefs

Stop lying, Family Research Council. Gays had nothing to do with the Boy Scouts declaring bankruptcy.

The Boy Scouts of America have declared bankruptcy and the Family Research Council wants to blame gays for it.

On Tuesday morning, when I read that the Boy Scouts had declared bankruptcy, I knew it would be a short matter of time before a religious right group would attempt to blame gays. I should have placed a bet on it, including the name of the group who would probably be first with the nonsense - The Family Research Council:

It's one of the saddest, most predictable "I-told-you-so" moments of our generation. The Boy Scouts, where future moon walkers and presidents learned the virtues and value of leadership, has finally collapsed. Turns out, the decade of compromise hasn't been kind to the Scouts, who turned in their moral compass seven years ago to chase the approval of critics it could never win. Now, deep into the BSA's self-imposed identity crisis, the group is filing for bankruptcy -- an unhappy ending we all warned was coming. 
For those who knew the Scouts through their proud and honorable days, the demise has been slow and painful. But this is what comes of throwing up your hands on a century of conviction: irrelevance and, ultimately, insolvency. For 103 of its 110 years, the Boy Scouts were a pillar of principle -- not that it was easy. As most of us know, the fight to live out your beliefs in this world can be an exhausting one. The Scouts spent years in court just for the freedom to stick to their moral code. They won -- but to the organization's dismay -- the battle didn't end. Waves of LGBT activists kept coming. The pressure built and built until finally, in 2013, under the leadership of Rex Tillerson, headquarters gave into the lie that compromise would be their salvation. Seven years later, the irony is: there's nothing left to save. 
More than a half-decade into this radical experiment, the group that counted Martin Luther King, Jr., George W. Bush, and Buzz Aldrin as members is barely recognizable. A handful of local councils have managed to squeak by on solid reputations, but after the organization opened its arms to kids and leaders who identify as gay or transgender, membership became anemic. Then in a failed effort to fill the ranks they began recruiting girls, which not only angered its base -- but pitted the organization in a legal war with Girl Scouts USA. Now, a program that used to be America's finest, is knee-deep in Chapter 11. 
If you're wondering where raising a white flag on core values leads, this is it. The Scouts are a case study in moral compromise -- the story of anyone who exchanges the truth for cowardly conformism. Leaders at the BSA dropped their moral mandate to accommodate what they don't believe. In the current climate, that's called "inclusion." To everyone else, it's considered betrayal.

Like so many other times when FRC and its president Tony Perkins choose to make comments about social issues - particularly regarding the LGBTQ community - they are telling a pack of lies.

 Or in this case, one huge lie.

The Boy Scouts are not declaring bankruptcy because of any "attempt to compromise its values." Nor is the organization declaring bankruptcy because of the 2013 decision to allow gays to openly join or allowing girls to join.

The Boy Scouts declared bankruptcy because of a multitude of lawsuits regarding child sex abuse allegations which go back decades to the 1940s and maybe even before then. And of course, none of this has anything to do with women or the LGBTQ community.

Monday, February 17, 2020

'NJ lawmaker still throwing tantrum over LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum' & other Tue midday news briefs

Some people want to pretend that the LGBTQ community made no historical contributions.

N.J. should pay for kids to switch schools over ‘harmful’ curriculum, lawmaker says - Get over yourself my friend. The curriculum is not harmful.

Buttigieg Responds To Limbaugh’s Homophobic Remarks: ‘I’m Proud Of My Marriage’ - Good for Buttigieg for taking the high road against Limbaugh. 

Conservative proposes adding sexual orientation to marriage licenses & punishing liars - Some lawmakers seem to think that it's their job to think of new ways to screw with the LGBTQ community. 

Trump health official defends relying on faith groups to fight HIV/AIDS - Definitely depends on the faith groups.

NBC article spotlights unfairness of Tenn anti-LGBTQ adoption law

An recent NBC article looked at Tennessee's recently passed bill which would allow private adoption and foster care agencies to receive taxpayer dollars while discriminating against the LBTQ community.

It's probably the most thorough look at the law and efforts to pass laws like it in other states. One thing it does is call out misconceptions about how such bills created to ensure that children are placed into good homes:

LGBTQ advocates argue that adoption laws like the one Tennessee just passed are part of a larger conservative movement to roll back hard-won protections for the community. Those who champion such laws say they protect the first amendment rights of faith-based organizations and individuals, and prevent them from being forced to shut their doors rather than violate their beliefs. 
In fact, Catholic Charities USA, which operates foster and adoption agencies across the United States, ceased adoption services in San Francisco, Washington, Boston and Buffalo, New York, rather than abide by their state and local antidiscrimination laws, and in 2011, it lost a contract with Illinois over the organization’s policy of refusing to place kids with same-sex couples.

. . .While some organizations, like Catholic Charities, have stopped foster and adoption services rather than comply with state and local antidiscrimination laws, other agencies have taken over services in those places. An amicus brief filed by 17 states and the District of Columbia in support of prohibiting discrimination in the foster care system cited data that found Boston and D.C. saw no decrease in adoption and foster placements as a result of Catholic Charities ending its services in those cities.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Video: There is NO 'gay agenda' to destroy the black family. So stop saying that nonsense!

 I keep hearing the tired complaint by some progressives and liberals about a fear of the LGBTQ community being "whitewashed," or "assimilated" into society. Personally, I think it's a load of bullshit, but I have an idea for those complaining. Why not elevate diverse LGBTQ voices into the mainstream.Such as the voices in the above video.  These are nine gay men of color shattering the myths that being gay is somehow in conflict to being black and that there is a so-called agenda by gays to destroy the black family. This should be required viewing for many LGBTQs who aren't people of color. And on that same note, it should be required viewing for many African-Americans who aren't LGBTQ. Rarely do we get our turn to speak when it comes to black issues. Our voices are either ignored or deliberately stifled by other black folks.

'Facing reelection, Trump expands his anti-LGBTQ agenda' & other Thur midday news briefs

Facing Reelection, Trump Expands His Anti-LGBTQ Agenda -  Gee, if only some of us could act against this with as much fervor as we act against one of our own for "not being the right type." Just saying.

Unprecedented progress, incredible backlash for LGBTQ equality over last decade: report - Yep. No struggle, no progress. 

Canada's first dedicated LGBTQ gym to close after being targeted by far-right group - well this sucks! 

Lesbian files discrimination complaint against DC Burger King - Another reason why we must be protected by anti-discrimination laws at our places of employment.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hate group leader Tony Perkins distorts Billy Porter's words to condemn his appearance on Sesame Street

Billy Porter wearing 'the dress.'

The news that openly gay actor Billy Porter will be making an appearance on Sesame Street has inflamed a few members of the religious right. The fact that the Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-award winning star will also be wearing the gown he stopped traffic with at last year's Oscar telecast provides an added bitter taste in their mouths.

So naturally, hate group the Family Research Council and its president Tony Perkins has weighed in with a sad attempt to both demonize the transgender community and distort Porter's words about the situation:

 In the transgender debate, even Bert and Ernie are puppets for the Left! Incredibly, "Sesame Street," the once-beloved kids' show, is making the best case for defunding PBS yet: inviting drag queen Billy Porter on to teach kids the virtues of gender confusion.
Wearing a "tuxedo dress," Porter, the star of Kinky Boots, has already been tweeting about the appearance. 
"I was tickled to meet Elmo and the gang," he posted. Parents, on the other hand, aren't nearly so thrilled. More than 55,000 have signed a LifeSite petition calling on the network to drop the episode. "By contributing to this social contagion, ‘Sesame Street' is forcing children to deal with adult concepts and notions about sexuality which are beyond their level of maturity, and which can leave psychological scars. Many jurisdictions define this kind of behavior as abuse... We are demanding the producers of 'Sesame Street' stop this attack on children and their innocence." 
When word of the backlash made its way to Porter, he hit back at parents. "Stay out of my bedroom, and you'll be fine. That is none of your business." Leave the bedroom out of our children's shows, and it won't be our business. That's what moms and dads object to. It wasn't that long ago that LGBT activists were trying to get the government out of their private lives. Now they want to throw their private lives into our faces, our children's faces, and every classroom in between. Personally, I don't want to know what Billy Porter -- or anyone else -- does in private. I do, however, care if it's flaunted in front of my kids. 
Like most activists, Porter could care less. "I'm a part of the first generation of gay men, ever, who gets to be out loud and proud in the world," he said. "My generation is the first. B**ches are scared. And they should be." 
For PBS, though, this is all par for its liberal course. Taxpayers have fought for years to stop the government's broadcasting arm from sexualizing kids on everything from the Muppets to "Sesame Street." When Donald Trump became president, one of the first things his budget proposed slashing was the $445 million for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. His latest version, just released this week, tries again. 
Liberals always plead with Republicans to lay off Burt and Ernie, but what they really mean is -- don't stop funding the Left's free microphone! For years, NPR and PBS have taken advantage of the airwaves to spout their radical agenda. And in the end, taxpayers are the ones who've been played. But now that PBS has shown that it can't be trusted, it's time for Big Bird's liberal friends to feather their own nest!

It's so pathetic how Perkins and FRC attempts to connect this non-controversy with their fake outrage du jour - the transgender community.  It's equally pathetic how he distorts Porter's response to the so-called outrage in an attempt to appeal to the tired homophobic tropes about us  "sexualizing children" and "throwing out private lives in people's faces."

This is the part of Porter's response which Perkins omitted:

“If you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” adding that he thinks it’s odd that people would even make the mental leap from his dress to “perverted demon sex.” 
“Like, what about me singing with a penguin [on the show] has anything to do with what I’m doing in my bedroom?” the “Pose” star posed to us at L’Avenue at Saks, where he was hosting a party for the restaurant’s first anniversary. 
“The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people — the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex.”
He added, “Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine — that is none of your business.”

Plainly speaking, Perkins and his supporters can dredge up illicit sexual fantasies in their minds about the LGBTQ community any time they want. But they don't have the right to make us conform to their false ideas of who we are.

And they don't have the right to erase our rights, safety, families, humanity or dignity.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

'More high schoolers coming out, but more acceptance is needed' & other Wed midday news briefs

More high school students than ever are coming out, but their despair remains acute - As more children are coming out, they are being met with the reality of a homophobic world. That's one of the main reasons why we cannot sit back and despair when things happens to our community. Those children are watching us and when they see us raising hell over homophobia and refuse to be disrespected, they get empowered. Remember that whenever you feel complacent. It's not just about you.

Missouri Officer Told To ‘Tone Down Gayness’ Settles Suit For $10.25 Million - Y'all meet my new husband. . . lol 

Virginia Democrats walk out as GOP-invited pastor denigrates gay people on House floor - Virginia Republicans are still bitter over their election loss, so they invited this bozo to do a prayer on the House floor.

12 New Jersey schools roll out LGBTQ curriculum pilot program - Good for them!

NBA star Dwyane Wade talks candidly about accepting and empowering his trans child

It bothers me tremendously when people generalize about the African-American community when it comes homophobia and such. Forget the lazy idea expressed by some folks that black people are more homophobic than other groups because it's simply not true. That's not to say that homophobia doesn't exist in the black community. There is nuances and intricacies. But one thing is clear -  family is always important.

From Out:
With everything else going on in the world, it feels nothing short of amazing to watch Dwyane Wade, noted NBA star, talk about how he and his wife Gabrielle Union are not only supporting but also empowering their teenaged child Zaya. 
“First of all me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well,” Wade said in a new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The spot was to promote a new ESPN documentary based on the basketball player, called D Wade: Life Unexpected. “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So, when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.” 
In December, Wade did an interview where he referred to the 12-year-old with she/her pronouns. Now, Wade has revealed that one day the child came home and sat Wade and Union down and asked not only to be referred to with those pronouns, but to also be called Zaya, as she comes into her identity.

With all of the lies propagated against trans children by the anti-LGBTQ industry, it's awesome to see a public figure telling his family's personal experience and steamrolling over all of the fear tactics and distortions.

Monday, February 10, 2020

'Trump Administration sending gay refugees into dangerous environment' & other Tue midday news briefs

Trump now exposing gay refugees to danger by sending them to homophobic environments.

A gay refugee is suing the Trump administration for sending him to Guatemala - I hope he wins. It's completely insane what the Trump Administration is doing to refugees in general. It is especially harming LGBTQ refugees.

Two Gay Immigrants Left Everything For Safety In The US. Instead, They Were Sent To Guatemala. - More detail about this awful situation. 

Janelle MonĂ¡e Is 'Proud' to Open Oscars as a 'Black Queer Artist' - Janelle Monae and Billy Porter singing at the Oscars. What more do you need? 

Medina split over LGBTQ protections - Meanwhile, our struggle goes on around the nation.

South Dakota anti-trans health bill is dead

Wonderful news out of South Dakota. From NBC News:

The South Dakota Legislature on Monday effectively killed House Bill 1057, which sought to block physicians in the state from providing puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery to transgender children under 16. 
By a 5-2 vote, the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee sent the bill “to the 41st day,” which means a bill has been effectively killed because the state’s part-time Legislature has only 40 working days. 
"It's gone," Quinncy Parke, 17, who is transgender and testified against the bill, told The Associated Press. “I don’t have to worry about it until next year.” The ACLU of South Dakota, which had led the fight against the bill, cheered its apparent demise. 
“Though supporters claimed House Bill 1057 was aimed at protecting vulnerable youth, it was clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender South Dakotans,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the group. “It’s time we stop these attacks and the very real harm they cause to transgender youth across our state. Let this be a signal to the South Dakota Legislature that discrimination against a marginalized group is a distraction from the needs of the state and hurts us all.”

What killed it?

Sunday, February 09, 2020

'Billy Porter 'reads' Trump, brings hope during the LGBTQ State of the Union address' & other Mon midday news briefs

Billy Porter reads Trump, but also gives us hope, in LGBTQ State of the Union address - This happened last week and I missed it. However, it is a must view. The "mainstream" media has pretty much ignored Trump's war on our rights and safety, so it's up to us to bring it public and take our stand. Billy pushes us a step in the right direction.

Kevin Hart Reflects On Oscars Hosting Gig Controversy: ‘I Did F**k Up’ - No kidding! Our lives are not jokes, Kevin.Nor is the safety of LGBTQ children.

U.S. corporate giants condemn anti-LGBT laws as economic 'risk' - That's right. You had BETTER believe it.

Md. House committee holds hearing on name change bill - State by state, our fight for equality rages on.

We're Queer, We're Here! We're Black! That's a Fact!

I've posted these two videos several times in the past and I am going to keep posting them to remind folks of the diversity of the LGBTQ community in the past and present. There is so much of our history omitted because the image of LGBTQ seems to always be the same. In reality, we come in all cultures, ethnicities, all regions, all ages, all political persuasions, etc. It is fitting that we remember this during Black History Month. It would be more fitting and appropriate to not wait until Black History Month to keep it in mind.

All of the folks in these videos have been verified, except for George Washington Carver. His life has been a mystery.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

'Fox News: Rush Limbaugh getting Medal of Freedom is same as when Ellen Degeneres received it' & other Fri midday news briefs

Ellen Degeneres
Fox News Contributor: Trump Giving Rush Limbaugh Medal Of Freedom Is Same as Obama Giving It to Ellen Degeneres - Laaawd! If that's the story you idiots wanna tell .. .

Laura Ingraham lies that affirming trans students is “child abuse,” will lead to lower age of consent - I weep when I think of the people who have their own shows to spew lies and propaganda.

Pinelands Regional parents get first look at new LGBTQ lessons their kids will learn - This is the proper route. Let parents see the lessons and become informed. That would cut down on how the anti-LGBTQ industry attempts to inspire fear. 

Christian couple rejected as foster parents because they’d send a gay kid to conversion therapy - I'm sorry but this is necessary. The couple later said that they are willing to foster heterosexual children, but you see, that's not good enough. What about the LGBTQ children who are afraid to come out. What would they do if a child they fostered came out? Would they send the child to that awful therapy?

Franklin Graham gets a deserved taste of his own medicine and it is delightfully bitter

Franklin "Christian businesses shouldn't be forced to service the LGBTQ community"  Graham just got a taste of what it's like to be refused service and he doesn't like it. In fact, he is talking about suing.

 From the awful right-wing Charisma News by way of JoeMyGod:

After facing discrimination in the U.K. because of his biblical beliefs, a spokesman for Franklin Graham tells CBN News that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has have decided to fight in court for its religious rights there. 
 "Since the original venues have broken our legal contract with them, we are pursuing appropriate actions based on grounds of religious discrimination and freedom of speech. The gospel always faces opposition, so we will prayerfully and boldly continue to press forward so that the Good News of God's love and forgiveness will be proclaimed in all of the cities we have planned to visit," the BGEA spokesman told CBN News. 
 The statement comes after another city in the U.K. has rejected an appearance by Graham to preach the gospel because of his views on homosexuality. However, this has not deterred the evangelist, who's still looking forward to his eight-city tour of the country.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

'Georgia bill could let adoption agencies bar LGBTQ foster parents' & other Thur midday news briefs

Bill could let Georgia adoption agencies bar LGBTQ foster parents - While using LGBTQ tax dollars. I keep telling people to look for the folks behind these bills, not the lawmakers pushing them.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow recommended conversion therapy to combat the supposed “perversion” of being LGBTQ - Trash is as trash does. 

Newsom pardons civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, convicted of gay sex in ’50s - Excellent news out of California. 

Ralph Northam reiterates support for Va. nondiscrimination bill - Then get it passed, already!

Pray for Rush Limbaugh. But never forget that he's lower than whale sh!t

This week, talk show host Rush Limbaugh announced that he is suffering from lung cancer.

We all know Limbaugh. He has spent an entire career attacking minorities, telling lies, smearing his opponents, and gloating over his success (complete with pictures of huge cigars dangling from his lips) in the name of "American exceptionalism."

Some of his activities included referring to Obama as a "man-child" (boy) and pushing birther lies about him, making a multitude of racist comments, spending several days describing different ways how college student Sandra Fluke is a "slut" simply because she spoke out about the need for birth control, claiming that actor Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson's Disease, and last but not least:

Making fun of people afflicted with and dying from AIDS by playing the Dionne Warwick song, "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again."

Since his announcement, there has been an outpouring of well-wishers eager to express their support of him during his crisis.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

'Republican suggests pulling funding from Sesame Street because of Billy Porter and his gown' & other Wed midday news briefs

Billy Porter

Republican wants to pull funding from Sesame Street because Billy Porter will appear in a glamorous tuxedo gown - I wonder how he feels about Bugs Bunny crossdressing. It is ridiculous how some folks are making a fuss about this. The children will see it, then go on to something else.

Advocates tracking over 200 active state bills targeting LGBTQ Americans - 200? Boy are we popular . . . or not.

U.S. bans Tanzanian official who launched anti-gay crackdown - What's the catch? 

Kristin Chenoweth Brilliantly Sums Up What It Means To Be Christian And An LGBTQ Advocate - She's right.

Family Research Council traffics a horror story about trans children to support homophobic SD bill

The Family Research Council exploits yet another horror anecdote about gays and children to drum up support for homophobic South Dakota bill.

"It's an absolute nightmare for a mother to live through." Elaine Davidson's voice shook as she talked. "I found out about the surgeries after the fact," she says haltingly. It was social media, she explained, where she first saw the photo of her daughter's chest -- bloody bandages covering the places where her breasts had been cut off. Elaine's daughter was 17. She had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy without her parents ever knowing -- and without a single psychologist signing off. 
 . . . She watched, helplessly, as her daughter changed the course of her life forever. And she is determined that no parent should ever have to suffer that agony without a say again. She joined the Kelsey Coalition, a movement of parents from all across the political spectrum, who are pleading with schools, lawmakers, and doctors to stop pushing children into a lifestyle they can never escape. "I'm speaking out because I love my daughter... She has been a victim of 'gender affirming' medical procedures, and I was powerless to stop doctors from harming her."

This vulgar tale from an alleged mother of a trans child is designed to scare people. That's why it emphasized the stuff about "bloody bandages and de-emphasizes telling the the actual story of the situation. It's a key part of the anti-LGBTQ right's attack on the trans community.

If you think the tactic sounds familiar, then you would be right. Personal stories with very little details but graphic depictions designed to speak to people's stereotypes and fears about the LGBTQ community have been the modus operandi of groups like the Family Research Council (on whose site this article is featured).  In this particular case, FRC is attempting to drum up support for a South Dakota bill which would undermine the care of transgender children, among other things.

Personal stories are a very important part of the war against LGBTQ rights and safety.

When the anti-LGBTQ industry used a personal story to promote the  "ex-gay" movement, the person spotlit  generally claimed that child molestation triggered his or her homosexuality. Then there would be a segue into how he or she had a lot of sex, or did a lot of drugs, and/or found no fulfillment because their relationships were shallow, transitory, or devoid of commitment.

When the anti-LGBTQ industry used a personal story to attack marriage equality or same-sex families, the designated teller  would claim to have been brought up with a gay parent who had lots of sex, did lots of drugs, and/or engaged in extremely irresponsible behavior which left the child warped for life.

In all three examples, the goal is the same - to play up negative stereotypes about the LGBTQ community, to scare people, and to take attention away from positive personal stories from members of the LGBTQ community. When you are bombarded with anecdotes from people who tell biased renditions  or from people who blame their sexual orientation for their own bad choices, you have less time to hear actual facts and stories. And when it comes to trans children, there is plenty of information and positive stories which don't involve lurid and false information.

And there are other considerations.

In this particular case, the Family Research Council won't tell you that the woman in the story belongs to a group, the Kelsey Coalition, which pushes fraudulent data and lies about the trans community. Nor did FRC  mention that the South Dakota bill would not only harm care for trans children, but seek to eliminate other rights of the LGBTQ community, including marriage (which we already won fairly) and attempts to create anti-discrimination laws.

FRC figures that as long as you are distracted by images of bloody bandages and so-called body mutilations, truth is not necessary.

Monday, February 03, 2020

'Was Superbowl LIV the 'gayest sporting event' thus far?' & other Tue midday news briefs

Super Bowl LIV: LGBTQ advocates applaud event's 'rainbow wave' - Well things have definitely changed.

Jersey City Muslim and Coptic Christian parents angry over state-mandated LGBT curriculum - Just a matter of people assuming that their lives and their families are the only ones which matter. They claim they have no problem with LGBTQs, but then they throw words around like "indoctrination."

graphic taken from Outtake.

Franklin Graham rises from the depths of Trump's butt to condemn 'indecent' Superbowl halftime show

Sit down, Frankie.
I personally think that after the many times he has defended or made excuses for Trump's behavior, Franklin Graham has lost all privileges to condemn so-called lascivious behavior.

But apparently irony is lost on him:

I didn't watch the Superbowl halftime show put on by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. But I am disgustingly familiar with  Franklin's opportunistic outrage. Don't get me wrong because I think it's good that he's shining a spotlight on the exploitation of women. Of course it doesn't help matters when one realizes that he supports a president who has been accused by 25 (make that 26) women of sexual misconduct, including rape. And it equally doesn't help matters that he has bent over backwards to either make excuses for Trump's awful behavior or told out-and-out lies while defending him.

And then there's the abnormally loving praise he has heaped on Trump as a so-called defender of Christianity:

Graham seems to have forgotten that moral decency belongs in the White House as much as he thinks it belongs on prime time television.