Thursday, February 25, 2021

Rand Paul's attack on HHS nominee Rachel Levine exposes how the religious right needs anti-LGBTQ junk science

Attacks on HHS nominee Rachel Levine reveal how the religious right distorts science against LGBTQ people.


Senator Rand Paul thought he was being cute during a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday. 

From Media Matters:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) promoted right-wing media lies about medical care for trans youth during the Senate confirmation hearing for Dr. Rachel Levine, who has been nominated to be the assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services. Paul lied that Levine supports the “genital mutilation” of trans kids, who do not undergo gender affirmation surgeries. 

 In reality, affirming the gender identity of trans youth is best practice health care and widely supported by medical professionals and research, and it yields long-term mental health benefits and can be lifesaving for young trans people. Furthermore, young trans and gender-diverse children are not undergoing surgery or irreversible treatments; rather, as social work professor Katherine Kuvalanka told The Washington Post, “The only interventions for young children is affirmation and acceptance for who they are.”
Despite these facts, Paul repeatedly and falsely suggested during Levine’s February 25 hearing that trans kids were undergoing “genital mutilation” and lied that Levine supports “surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.” As PinkNews has noted, these false claims are based on right-wing media lies attacking Levine’s nomination.

Media Matters pointed out that during his questioning, Paul cited bad sources and basic lies to compare confirming gender identity to genital mutilation. You can read the rest of the article here

Paul was widely condemned for his questioning, which is part of an obvious attempt by right-wing and the religious right to derail Dr. Levine's nomination. If she is confirmed, Dr. Levine would become the first openly confirmed transgender official confirmed by the Senate. Anti-LGBTQ groups such as the Family Research Council have already tweeted out the exchange between Paul and Levine, claiming that she dodged his questions. What Levine actually did was not take Paul's bait. She offered to have discussions with him about transgender issues.

As I said before, Paul was heavily condemned by a wide variety of individuals. Many took him to task for his harsh tone against Dr. Levine, while others called out his blatant lies about trans youth. But Paul's behavior spotlights a reality which is rarely mentioned. 

Behind the claims of wanting to adhere to morality or religious tradition,  many groups and personalities opposing LGBTQ rights rely heavily on false information about LGBTQ people.  No matter how tightly groups like the Family Research Council, people like Franklin Graham, or their allies like Sen Paul cling to the Bible and their interpretation of Scripture, they know that religious verses alone aren't enough to create  or pass laws.  So they have worked to demonize  and dehumanize LGBTQ people through a body of work comprised of cherry-picked studies, research taken out of context, junk science and basic lies. In doing so, they are able to control the narrative of this so-called culture war. Also, whenever their veneer is exposed, they are quick to claim that they are victims of religious persecution.

It doesn't matter who in the LGBTQ community is the target because the techniques are always the same. Paul's use of bad scientific sources to denigrate Dr, Levine and the trans community is no different than how the Family Research Council would take scientific information out of context or delete passages from pro-LGBTQ work it cited to give a false impression that homosexuality was somehow dangerous or that homosexuality and pedophilia are connected. No matter how many times it is are called out, FRC continues to repeat its distortions time and time again.

And that group is hardly alone. Since running this blog, I have kept a record of at least 14 times in which religious right groups and figures have passed along bad or cherry-picked science against LGBTQ people.

This is the reality of the opposition to LGBTQ rights and very few people are talking about it. Perhaps it's time to pierce that silence.

'Biden Administration withdraws Fed's support for anti-transgender lawsuit' & other Thur midday news briefs



Biden Admin Withdraws Feds' Support for Anti-Trans Lawsuit - Like I said before, voting matters.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

FRC's Tony Perkins explained why religious right & its allies opposes the Equality Act in 2011

On Thursday, the House of Representatives will be voting on the Equality Act and it looks good. If it passes the House, it will go to the Senate where I'm sure things will be a bit more, shall we say, boisterous.

The religious right, right-wing groups, and the anti-LGBTQ industry have been working overtime with their government allies dreaming up excuses and other assorted lies to derail the Equality Act. But at least for this one time, I'm not going to waste time refuting their nonsense.

 I think I've haven't been cutting to the chase. 

None of them oppose the Equality Act for the reasons they've mentioned. The Equality Act will not endanger women or girls, it won't ruin women's sports, it won't make females more susceptible to "predators" attempting to sneak into women's dressing rooms and locker rooms.  Whatever other reasons these folks dream up to oppose the Equality Act are also lies.  .

Truth be told, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins already told us in 2011 why his side opposes the Equality Act. It's relatively simple and we've all known the reason. We simply don't point it out enough:

 

 Did you get all of that? If not, allow me to paraphrase. 

According to Perkins, LGBTQ people are evil, sick sinners who pawns of the devil. And as such, we don't even deserve to get cheese on ham sandwiches, to say nothing of equal rights. 

 The problem is not so much that Perkins and company believe this. It's also about their reluctance to say it out in the open. They know that if they did, more folks would see that their opposition to our rights and safety is less about general concern and more about homophobic animus.

'Here's how the right-wing media will lie about the Equality Act' & other Wed midday news briefs

 

Here's how right-wing media will lie about the Equality Act - Very comprehensive and wonderful post by Media Matters. Folks need to read and share this. 


Lesbian opens up about pain of being shut out of her mother’s will because of her sexuality - Sometimes it's hard to deal with how people are so cruel to one another.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Anti-LGBTQ anecdotes about the Equality Act mimic false predictions about gay marriage

If you think that attacks against the Equality Act look familiar, it's not your imagination.

You can tell that the fight over the Equality Act is heating up when you read nonsense like this Family Research Council tweet:


Donohue and the rest of the religious right as well as their allies in government have been heavily pushing the false argument that the Equality Act, a comprehensive LGBTQ rights bill which President Biden fully supports, will lead to all sorts of nasty consequences such as an attack on Christians (as the expressed in the above tweet.)

In addition, they are heavily promoting the false idea that the bill will destroy female sports (i.e. a ridiculous notion that trans women will dominate in girl's and women's sports and that some men will claim to be trans in order to compete against women.) That nonsense is akin to the bathroom predator smear they also push against trans women.

Exploiting fears of the unknown via spooky predictions and anecdotes is a common religious right tactic. They either outright say or imply that if LGBTQ people get so much as a single acknowledgement that they deserve basic rights, the country will collapse, children will be harmed, and Christians will be rounded up and imprisoned. These predictions, which generally turn out to be false, would be amusing except for how often they are taken in good faith and become legitimate topics of discussion.  And no matter how many times these predictions are proven wrong, the religious right and their allies are always able to tailor them around a new issue and the cycle begins again with their credibility undeservedly intact.

Look at what they said about marriage equality (gay marriage) before and after it was legalized by SCOTUS:

2013 - Republicans Predict Fraud, Bestiality if Gay Marriage is Legalized:
 Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told a group of Tea Party supporters on a conference call that gay marriage would be a slippery slope to polygamy and bestiality. "When you say it's not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one woman or four women and one man?" Gohmert asked. "Or why not, you know, somebody has a love for an animal or-? There is no clear place to draw a line once you eliminate the traditional marriage."  

2014 - Apocalyse Now?
“This is something that I believe is the beginning of the end of Western Civilization,” (the Liberty Counsel's Mat) Staver told a conservative radio station in October. “You can’t simply redefine and pretend that ontological differences between men and women do not exist. This will have consequences.”  

 

2015 - Mike Huckabee in a conference call with the Family Research Council

“If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says ‘I can’t perform that wedding’ will now be breaking the law . . . It’s not just saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a preference.’ No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil for sure and possible criminal penalties for violating the law…. If you do practice biblical convictions and you carry them out and you do what you’ve been led by the spirit of God to do, your behavior will be criminal.” 

2015 - Rubio: Gay marriage proponents pose ‘danger’ to Christianity:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a decidedly conservative turn on same-sex marriage in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, warning that “there’s a real and present danger” that gay marriage proponents will cast the teachings of mainstream Christianity as “hate speech.” 

In any facet of the religious right's attack on LGBTQ equality, the question should never be "how long will they be able to get away this dishonesty." or "how long will they be able to scare people with these lies" because we already know the answer. As long as they can get away with it.

The only way this can be combatted is when the news media loudly and directly hold these religious right groups and their allies to a decent standard of credibility instead of giving them a free pass simply because they anoint themselves as defenders of faith and religion.

'Baptist church will be expelled for welcoming a gay couple to services' & other Tue midday news briefs

 


Baptist church will be expelled for welcoming a gay couple to services - Now you KNOW this is a dang shame. Simply an ugly thing to do.


When a Gay Person Resorts to Antigay Smears - Unfortunately, we've all been here. 

Ex-Mich. House Speaker Chatfield’s opposition to LGBTQ protections cost him a six-figure job - Don't run any sh!t to me about "cancel culture." LGBTQ people are buyers and consumers just like everyone else and we have a right to make noise. The religious right started this practice, but we made it better.

Monday, February 22, 2021

CPAC cancels anti-Semitic speaker but keeping the one who claims that gays want to have sex with children


Conservative conference CPAC cancelled an anti-Semitic speaker but will retain the one who posted this tweet.


This week, CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) will be hosting its annual conference and it promises to be boisterous as always. The group is already in trouble because of a now canceled speaker.

From Raw Story 

The theme of this year's event is "America uncanceled," which is ironic since the organization that runs CPAC, Matt Schlapp's American Conservative Union, just canceled one of its scheduled speakers. That speaker, Young Pharaoh, has made statements CPAC is now calling "reprehensible. "On Twitter Young Pharaoh repeatedly posts about pedophilia, including linking it to LGBTQ people, Christianity, and the Biden family. 

Some of his tweets appear to echo QAnon and other conspiracy theories. He's also linked "caucasians" to bestiality. Media Matters reports Young Pharaoh "has told followers that Judaism is a 'complete lie' and 'made up for political gain,' said that Jewish people are 'thieving fake Jews,' tweeted that 'all the censorship & pedophilia on social media is being done by Israeli Jews,' and claimed that 'all of these big tech [companies], media, & social media platforms are controlled by CCP & Israel through Jewish CEO & corrupt Democrats.'" 

So score one in the decency column for CPAC. Or maybe not. 

'Biden administration's support of LGBTQ rights is angering the religious right' & other Mon midday news briefs

 

President Biden's support of LGBTQ rights is angering the religious right. Whoop te do.

Conservative Catholics are now claiming that Joe Biden is “too obsessed” with LGBTQ people
- Oh heaven forfend! Just in time for the first battle over the Equality Act.


Federal judge dismisses discrimination lawsuit by transgender fire chief in Georgia - "U.S. District Court Judge Tilman E. Self III didn’t rule on the merits of Rachel Mosby’s discrimination claims. Instead, the judge decided Mosby had no legal standing to sue because of a technical flaw with the initial complaint she filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." Boooo! Appeal that sucker! 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Conservative evangelicals make pitiful attempt to whitewash Rush Limbaugh's evil

Last week, conservative radio talk show icon and all-around vile racist and homophobic human being Rush Limbaugh died from cancer. There is much debate about his impact on American politics, with some declaring him a hero while many others calling out his smears, nasty attacks, and bigoted rhetoric.

But according to the Christian evangelical (and actual hate) group the American Family Association via its 'news source' One News Now, there is no debate. According to One News Now, Limbaugh was a good Christian and a strong conservative, even if the publication has to omit several facts about his life to make this point.

The article it choose to publish, Hated by libs, adored by millions, Limbaugh leaves behind legacy, is a nauseating whitewash which paints Limbaugh as standing up for America  while wrecking "humorless liberals" with zingers which supposedly exposed their hypocrisy and hatred of American values.


Decades before President Donald Trump would blast the "fake news" intent on bringing him down, Limbaugh called CNN the “Clinton News Network” and knocked traditional news shows such as “Meet the Press,” which he mocked as “Meet the Depressed.” 

How is the national media reacting to Limbaugh’s death? According to Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center, the liberals who were mocked by Limbaugh for decades are reacting just as conservatives would expect. “It's the same stuff you heard at the beginning of his career. They're now doing it at the end,” he advises. “It really is a shabby way to treat someone who has just passed away but they're sort of picking out all of the things that they've criticized over the years. They're accusing him of things like racism, which wasn't true." 

 Conservatives arguably should not be surprised at Limbaugh’s treatment by humorless liberals after they witnessed him mock "Environmental Wackos" vowing to ban SUVs and "Femi-Nazis" who were vowing to never marry a man.

The article omits how Limbaugh made fun of people afflicted with AIDS, the many times he referred to President Obama as "a boy," how he made fun of actor Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease, the time he referred to 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton as a "dog" or the other times and people he smeared and dehumanized in the name of traditional values and American exceptionalism.

And don't even attempt to leave comments at One News Now calling out the badly written article or Limbaugh in general, as I learned after leaving mine:



As to be expected, the American Family Association is not the only one in the conservative evangelical movement attempting to paint Limbaugh as an American hero.





None of this should surprise anyone and this post really isn't about Limbaugh. No amount of whitewashing in the world will erase the truly nauseating legacy that this bloated, evil, lying waste spewed on this country.

This post is mostly about the lack of integrity which yet again conservative evangelicals openly show and unashamedly wave like a banner. Their "yessir, boss" behavior in the Trump era was embarrassing enough, but this new abandoning of the values they claim to uphold just so they can kiss the cold ass of Limbaugh's corpse is like a cherry on top of a huge sundae for me. It's simply more proof and more "receipts" showing just what they really are instead of what they pretend to be.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Rush Limbaugh was bad. Anita Bryant was worse

 Rush Limbaugh's death and the uncovering of his vile homophobia got me digging through the lives of other anti-LGBTQ personalities and led me to the above video. LGBTQ Americans of my generation the one before us remember Anita Bryant with nausea in the pit of our stomachs. 

She was already a national celebrity, being a former beauty queen and recording artist, when in 1977 she led a fight against a FL anti-discrimination ordinance. Her efforts garnered a win by a wide majority and technically began the fusion of anti-gay religious beliefs and homophobic propaganda for political purposes. You can see how she masterfully combines the two while oozing ignorant sincerity during the above short clip

While Bryant won that battle, she eventually "lost the war." Boycotts and bankruptcies destroyed her career while we have won battle after battle securing our rights.  However on the other hand,  LGBTQ Americans have had to deal with laws and bills created by the combined weaponization of religious beliefs and anti-gay propaganda for decades even as Bryant moved away from the public eye.

And yes, girlfriend is still alive (video from 2005):

'State anti-trans bills represent coordinated attack' & other Thur midday news briefs



State anti-transgender bills represent coordinated attack, advocates say - Yep. And I bet hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom wrote those bills. 

West Virginia may give parents $4600 to send their kid to an anti-LGBTQ religious school - Aside from this madness, private schools can say "no" to children attending. So what good is getting $4600 to send your children to a private school if the school says "no," which I think said schools may do to many black children. Just saying. 

Katy Faust's Baffling Bullshit - With Some Help From Another Extremist - More lies about marriage equality and children being raised in same-sex households. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rush Limbaugh's legacy lies with all of the times he called Obama 'a boy'

Rush Limbaugh died today.


Unless you've been in seclusion, you know that Rush Limbaugh, patron saint of disaffected white folks who can't deal with their privilege slipping away, lost his battle with cancer today. I don't believe in celebrating the death of any human being. But I also don't believe in sugarcoating the legacy of any prominent figure who has passed to the great beyond. And there will probably be a lot of sugarcoating of Limbaugh as is. To me, he was a creep. He was a racist, homophobic bloated windbag whose rhetoric had a double negative impact of me as a black gay man.

To  LGBTQ people, Limbaugh was the epitome of homophobia's hypocrisy. On one hand, he dehumanized us, made fun of how the AID/HIV crisis was ravaging our community, and asserted the standard lies about us supposedly "ramming our lifestyle down people's throats." And then on the other hand, claimed to not understand why we were so angry.

To African-American people, he was the epitome of racism's hypocrisy, claiming that we are being held back because we want to be victims, we are holding on to much to the past and we can succeed in life if we only try. But on the other hand, he was the main one sending up the alarm to his white listeners when any of us did achieve.

I don't see the need for a lot of discussion with regards to Limbaugh's legacy. One can break it down via  few articles:

Limbaugh repeatedly refers to Obama as a “boy” and a “man-child”




Limbaugh was never a friend of any Democratic president or contender,  but something about President Obama always set him off.  He not only felt the need to make fun of  Obama, his family, and his policies, but there was also a desire to peg Obama  an incompetent child.  Or a boy in a man's job who had no business in the White House, with the heavy emphasis on the word "boy." Forget Obama making it to Harvard, getting elected to the United States Senate or two terms as the first black president. To Limbaugh, he wasn't a man. He was a "boy" and will always be a "boy."

It wasn't by accident that Limbaugh made this point.  He, like so many of us, knew the racist history of white people referring to black men as boys as a way of stripping away our manhood and implying the false notion of no matter how hard we try, we will never be on the same level of competence as them.  And that somehow all of our success comes with stealing jobs and positions from them because of "white guilt" or "affirmative action."
.
 Media personalities attempting to play nice will no doubt marvel about his "connection" to his audience. I prefer to say that he articulated the anger and resentment from a lot of sad Americans who preferred to stew in their anger over the country becoming more colorful, diverse and competitive while they are becoming less prominent and desirable.

 And Limbaugh stirred that stew like a master chef. He did not "connect" with his audience. He exploited them. He fed them illusions designed to inflate all of their anger, their fear, their false sense of self-entitlement, and their prejudices. Then he sucked it out of their souls, making sure to convert the noxious mix into cash which he filled his bank account with over and over again. 

That's Rush Limbaugh's legacy.  And that's all which needs to be said.


' U. S. House to Vote on Equality Act Next Week' & other Wed midday news briefs



U.S. House to Vote on Equality Act Next Week, Majority Leader Says - Batten down the hatches and start the conversations with our fellow Americans. The anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies will be gumming up the works like mad.


Romney declares opposition to LGBTQ Equality Act - Well duuuh. You wanna shock me? Let me know when he does support it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Y'all, we need to pray for the Log Cabin Republicans after its vile 'Thank You President Donald J. Trump' tweet


I'm probably going to get blocked by the Log Cabin Republicans for this, so watch it while you can.  But I have to ask these folks:

What the HELL is wrong with y'all?


From LGBTQnation

 The Log Cabin Republicans released an awkward video to honor George Washington’s birthday by praising former President Donald Trump. The video is for “President’s Day,” giving them a way to shoehorn Trump in, but that isn’t actually a federal holiday. The video features several queer supporters decrying their adoration for the most viciously anti-LGBTQ President in the nation’s history. The usual suspects appear in the video, including the group’s spokesperson Charles Moran, journalist Chadwick Moore, and the blogger “Brokeback Patriot.”

Bear in mind that while in office, Trump waged war against the LGBTQ people. He opened up the White House to religious right groups who used their access in attempts to deny us our rights as Americans. 

This is the same Donald Trump whose administration (thank you, Human Rights Campaign for this partial list)

Appointed anti-LGBTQ judges: Trump has appointed anti-LGBTQ judges with alarming anti-LGBTQ records to appointments at every level of the judicial system, including anti-equality Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and federal nominees Kacsmaryk, Mateer, Bounds, Vitter. Menashi and others. 

Supported employment discrimination against LGBTQ people: The Trump administration submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people. 

Banned transgender service members from the military: Against the expert advice of military leadership, medical authorities, budget analysts, 70% of Americans and the armed forces of allied countries, Trump and Pence banned transgender people from serving in the military. 

Rolled back Obama-era non-discrimination protections: Trump’s Department of Justice upended previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act that protect transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination and ceased enforcing non-discrimination protections as well as taking a hostile stance to LGBTQ workers in court. 

Issued rule to license discrimination: Trump’s Department of Labor issued a regulation designed to allow federal contractors to claim a religious exemption to fire LGBTQ workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

'Michelangelo Signorile: The Equality Act is being blocked by an LGBTQ senator' & other Tue midday news briefs

 

Senator Kyrsten Sinema

The Equality Act can now become law. An LGBTQ senator is blocking it. - Houston, we have a problem. More like Arizona, we have a problem. The reason cannot be seen as totally negative but we do have to come to some sort of agreement on this. 


 An Ohio state legislator may have leaked a new set of anti-trans “principles” endorsed by three major anti-LGBT organizations. - This is how they are tying attacks against trans people to an overall attack on LGBTQ rights and safety.

LGBTQ+, Other Civil Rights Groups Enraged by Trump Acquittal - Can I be honest here? I don't give a crap. The votes weren't there to convict him, witnesses or not witnesses. We need to focus on the power we now have and the work we can do with it. THAT is a start when it comes to keeping that menace away from power.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Repost - The Erasure of ‘LGBT’ From Black History and the Black Community Must Stop


Editor's note - this is one of those evergreen columns (I originally wrote it in 2016) which I don't mind reposting. Folks unfortunately always need a reminder.

As a gay African-American, I’ve heard the argument about how “you can’t compare the gay civil rights movement to the African-American civil rights movement” more times than I care to count.

The constant so-called moral outrage of some African-American heterosexuals when the topic is mentioned has gotten me to the point where my mind automatically tunes out the monotonous drones of how supposed sinful homosexuals are “high jacking” the civil rights movement or how gays “can’t compare their sin with black skin.”

As such, I almost missed the epiphany which occurred two weeks ago.

I was vaguely scanning comments on a conservative site by an anonymous African-American female as she went on and on about how gays were never subjected to slavery, segregation or declared three fifths a person. While the logical side of my mind was gathering up the customary argument of how wrong it was for disadvantaged people of any stripe to play the “Oppression Olympics,” the emotional side of my mind struck immediately.

“This is the most ignorant crap I’ve ever heard,” I thought. “Just where in the hell does she think gay black people were during slavery and segregation? On a spaceship orbiting the Earth? “

I was instantly struck by oddity of what I had thought. Not that my outrage wasn’t coming from a place of truth, mind you, but how the simple fact never entered my mind that yes, gay people were subjected to slavery, segregation and racism because of our skin. Just as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people of color exist now, we existed back then. Then it suddenly struck me again that I’ve never recalled any acknowledgement of this fact during the myriad of discussions, I’ve read, listened to or seen regarding comparisons between the gay and civil rights movements.

And why is that?

Thursday, February 11, 2021

'The One You Never Forget' - short film reminds LGBTQ people about the sweet innocence of a first date

When I was in 11th grade, I rocked my entire high school by getting a date to the prom before most of my peers were even worried about Christmas gifts. If you saw what I looked like back then, you would understand why everyone was shocked. Seeing that it was 1988 though, my date was not with another guy. Granted, my prom date was a nice girl and we had a good time, but looking back, I often wonder how things would have been had I been able to ask a guy to my prom. 

That memory and the fact that Valentine's Day is Sunday put me in the mood to show the above video about a 14-year-boy on his first date. It's nice for an eight minute video. While not the usual call-out on anti-LGBTQ tactics, it's a reminder of who we truly are in spite of attempts of some to muddy our lives. And our souls.

'Fox's Tucker Carlson and guest spread medical misinformation about trans youth' & other Thur midday news briefs

 


Fox’s Tucker Carlson and guest Abigail Shrier spread medical misinformation about trans youth - Trash is as trash does. But this is very dangerous because Carlson has a large viewing audience. 



Governor says transgender athletes will 'destroy women's sports' - It's not about protecting women's sports, just like it was not about baking a cake or 'protecting marriage.'

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Trump-supporting evangelicals should share blame for January 6 insurrection

Editor's note - the video below contains graphically violent footage of the January 6 attempt to overturn Biden's presidential victory. I saw it and couldn't stop wincing. I considered not posting it, but after talking with friends on Facebook, I am convinced that a point has to be made.

 

 During the first day of Trump's impeachment trial, the Democrats played the above video montage linking his lie about a stolen election to his supporters storming the Capitol in DC. Justifiably, it shook a lot of people to their core by showing them - probably the first time for some - how serious and historically obscene the situation on January 6 was.

Some have said that the January 6 riot will be his legacy. But it shouldn't be his alone. Many have pointed to his enablers such as Sens Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani and so many others who either chose to remain silent or passive-aggressively pushed Trump forward through his presidency and sad attempt to seal the November election.

But one group is missing:










The religious right needs to answer for how they enabled Trump. They gave him "mulligans," made excuses for his immoral behaviors, and diverted attention away from his obvious lies, while embracing him as a great Christian leader even though they knew he was far from it.

For the sake of attaining a conservative judiciary and White House access, so-called Christian leaders such Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, etc surrendered the moral authority they claimed to have had and in doing so, chose Trump over America and, some would argue, God   And now as everything collapses under the weight of the consequences of Trump's dismal term, they have either chosen to downplay or ignore their once loudly touted connections to Trump. 

Or, even worse, doubling down on their support of Trump.

Not only should Trump be found guilty but every time people remember January 6, they should also remember the deliberately missed opportunities conservative evangelicals had to be the moral leaders they have claimed to be by attempting to reign him in.   

Or maybe they shouldn't have been considered moral leaders in the first place. 

'Anti- marriage equality group targeting trans community to fundraise' & other Wed midday news briefs

 

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM Has Gone All Anti-Trans All the Time - Revisiting Prop 8 - Loser anti-LGBTQ group changes tactics to raise the money. Bitches got bills I guess.


Is your home state LGBTQ friendly? See how your state measures up. - I live in South Carolina. Need I say more? 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Woman in high-profile same-sex custody case arrested after 10 years on the run

Lisa Miller (left) will now face the consequences for kidnapping her daughter instead of giving custody over to her other mother, Janet Jenkins (right) like she was ordered to by the courts.

Ten years ago, "ex-lesbian" Lisa Miller kidnapped her own daughter, Isabella, and ran away to Nicaragua rather than giving custody over to her former civil union partner Janet Jenkins. Custody was given to Jenkins after Miller refused to give her court ordered (and initially agreed upon by both parties)  visitation rights. It was alleged that anti-LGBTQ hate groups and figures helped Miller flee the country. But as of January of this year, Miller is back. She surrendered herself and was taken into custody. 

From the online site Heavy:

Lisa Miller, a former Vermont woman wanted for more than a decade in a high-profile same sex child custody case, has been arrested after turning herself in. She was wanted since 2010 when a warrant for her arrest was issued after she was accused of fleeing the country with the child she had during a since dissolved civil union. 

Miller fought to keep the child from her former domestic partner, Janet Jenkins, and when the courts eventually sided with Jenkins, she vanished. Her arrest was reported by The Associated Press and other news outlets. The case generated major news coverage at the time because it raised questions about the rights of same-sex couples, especially when different states offered different laws on civil unions. Miller said she had forsaken her homosexuality and was aligned with Christian causes, including Liberty Counsel, a legal group.

Isabella, who is now an 18-year-old, did not  return with Miller. According to the Associated Press:

Sarah Star, the Vermont attorney for Lisa Miller's former civil union partner Janet Jenkins, of Fair Haven, Vermont, said Jenkins is concerned that the child, Isabella, who is now an adult, did not return to the United States from Nicaragua. “I just want Isabella to know that I love her very much and that I have never stopped loving her,” Jenkins said in a news release issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been representing her in a civil lawsuit against the people they allege helped Miller and her daughter flee. “Isabella has a family and support system here who will always welcome her home with open arms.”

As of now, it is not publicly known why Miller decided to return, but I'm sure the reason will be given soon enough. At the time of the incident, she kidnapped Isabella because it was certain that she would lose her court case (which really was her own fault ). One wonders everything will play out now.

Editor's note - Heavy has a complete breakdown of the controversy, which I suggest folks read now before the religious right attempt to distort it as they did 10 years ago. A special hat tip goes out to VTDigger.

'Four LGBTQ-inclusive ads appeared during the Super Bowl' & other Tue midday news briefs

 

Monday, February 08, 2021

Bigoted activist Scott Lively attempts to 'explain' the origin of homosexuality. It's as comically bad as you would think.

 

Scott Lively


Based on 30 years of ministry fighting the LGBT agenda, I believe pederastic recruiting is the single greatest cause of male homosexual dysfunction – just as heterosexual male abuse of girls is the primary cause of lesbianism (both forms of predation being examples of dysfunctional male sexuality exacerbated by the societal abandonment of Judeo-Christian sexual ethics). That so many molested boys then embrace the "gay" identity without questioning its legitimacy only showcases the bird-like "imprint" power of sex-related brain chemistry in pubescent boys. In my view this is why God so harshly condemns male homosexuality from Genesis to Revelation, while discouraging lesbianism in just one verse (Romans 1:26). 

The moron behind this inanely humorous comment is long-time homophobe and failed anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively.  While many in the anti-LGBTQ industry have moved on from outright  and openly accusing gay men of "recruiting" children and other gross actions, Lively simply can't do without the "classics." I bet if you googled his name, you will also find him talking about all of the alleged intricacies of gay sex in a supposed disgusted manner.  

Not that I'm implying anything, mind you.

In this particular situation, Lively is exploiting a scandal with a Republican group, The Lincoln Project, to push the old and unfortunately more-undead-than-Jason Voorhees claim that us gay men simply live for hitting on young boys. Apparently we need them to "refreshen the ranks of our lifestyle."

I find it weird how people such as Lively get "gay agenda" memos but I have yet to get one since getting turned gay during that summer of 1983 when I viewed The Music Man on PBS three consecutive times.

Even though a few people still believe this drivel (as evidenced by the comments section under  Lively's post),  I don't feel the need to make an attempt to refute it. For one thing, one closeted gay guy making sad sexual solicitations to young guys does not mean you can draw a net of accusations on the entire community.

'Transgender activists in the South are battling homelessness with tiny homes and private shelters' & other Mon midday news briefs


Transgender activists in the South are battling homelessness with tiny homes and private shelters amid COVID-19 - The transgender community has been putting it down with a checkmark and is serving as a model for the rest of the LGBTQ community.


Dr. Fauci talks about his visits to gay bars & bathhouses (for scientific reasons) - A bit of history regarding Fauci and the AIDS crisis. 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Saturday Night Live demonstrates good comedy with devastatingly funny 'It Gets Better' sketch

This parody of the famous "It Gets Better" campaign by Saturday Night Live is an example of what I feel is a good joke about our community. There have been some criticism accusing LGBTQ people  - and a lot of it has come from within the community -  of not being able to take a joke. Some of us are supposedly a bit too sensitive and and "whine about being offended" too often. That's a bunch of nonsense. Good humor is not garnering cheap laughs by platforming nonsensical fears of the unknown. That's bullying. Good humor is nuanced observations and is not as difficult as folks like to pretend that it is.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Discredited pediatrician says adoption & foster care agencies should be allowed to discriminate (against LGBTQ people)

 

Michelle Cretella of the anti-LGBTQ hate group the American College of Pediatricians

Today's post reminds me of efforts racists made to repair their bad image by claiming that they weren't "anti-black," but strongly "pro-white."

Via its phony online news publication, One News Now, the American Family Association hosted a discredited pediatrician who made a subtle dig against same-sex households who are raising children:


With many thousands of children available for adoption and in the foster care system, Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians says their best hope is to be placed in a positive and loving environment. 

"These children, many of them have suffered some form of abuse or neglect in the past, and that's the bad news," Dr. Cretella begins. "But the good news is that the effects of trauma in children can truly be healed by a loving and stable adoptive family." She points to the social science data collected over decades to demonstrate that all children thrive best when they are reared by a married mother and father in a loving home.

 "We therefore support all adoption agencies, particularly those which are faith-based and … only adopt out to married mother-father homes," the pediatrician tells One News Now. "That is truly in line with science and in the best interests of children. It is not prejudicial discrimination." So she says adoption agencies should not be subject to state or local anti-discrimination laws for following their faith and the science in how they place children for adoption or foster care.

Cretella seems to be saying "I am not anti-anything. I am simply pro-children." But a few facts trip her up.

You will notice that while she claimed that there are decades of social science data backing her position, she did not to name one study or report. That wasn't accidental.  To the contrary of what she said, there is an abundance of work which makes the opposite conclusion. Study after study after study have all said the same thing - children raised in same-sex households suffer no adverse effects and these homes are just as good for them as the traditional mother/father  household. And this includes cases of adoption and foster care.

Also while Cretella never says a word about gay parents or same-sex households, her dog whistle about allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against households not fitting the two-parent mother/father dynamic rings louder than she would like it to.  Added this point is her history of attacking LGBTQ people.

The organization she is affiliated with, the American College of Pediatricians, is a small splinter group of physicians who broke off from the larger and more credible American Academy of Pediatrics due to AAP's support of gay adoption. The Southern Poverty Law Center says it's anti-LGBTQ hate group, accusing it of trafficking homophobic junk science beliefs under the veneer of genuine science. Homophobic junk science such as supporting reparative or "ex-gay therapy" and claiming that gay men "sexualize" poop.

Cretella herself was called out in 2017 by The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine  (SAHM) for a post she published against the transgender community. In a letter on its webpage, SAHM denounced Cretella's post and then proceeded to call out eight errors and distortions she made in the piece one-by-one.

It's worth mentioning that very few fell for the attempt by racists to repair their image.   It's a lesson Cretella would do well to remember should she attempt to fool herself into thinking that her subtle dig against same-sex households raising children went unnoticed. She isn't fooling anyone else with that "won't someone please think of the children" act she's putting on.

'Golden Globe awards catches praise, heat for nomination of LGBTQ performances' & other Thur midday news briefs

James Corden

The Many LGBTQ+ Golden Globes Nods Unfortunately Include James Corden
- Now don't be hard on James Corden. At least his character isn't sad and pathetic. And he lives at the end.


Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Religious right have no problems with implying that transgender children are predators


The next big cultural fight is landing smack dab in the middle of trans issues. Be prepared for a retread of lies the religious right pushed against gays to be repackaged against transgender Americans. 

 But as the following memes from the Family Research Council demonstrates there is a nauseating twist. Claiming that LGBTQ equality and by extension, LGBTQ people, will harm children is an old but highly successful tactic of the religious right, going way back to the 1970s and Anita Bryant. It's probably the single most effective scare tactic they have and they use it in almost every fight against the LGBTQ community. 

But when it comes to specifically attacking the transgender community, there is a slight change in how they push the "harm to children" trope. Groups like FRC are personalizing their attacks against transgender people by portraying them specifically as the other out to harm children. And they have no problem with smearing transgender children with this label, either as these recent memes prove.






In their past lies, the religious right have claimed that it was LGBTQ orientation fed to children as a viable concept which could hard them. Now they seem to be pinpointing transgender children as the specific danger. For groups who claim that they want to "protect children," the eagerness they show in demonizing transgender children sends an ugly message about that they think about these most vulnerable boys and girls.

''Ex-transgender' & 'ex-gay' GOP staffer fired after being busted at MAGA riot' & other Wed midday news briefs

 


“Ex-transgender” & “ex-gay” Republican staffer fired after being busted at MAGA riot - Soon he may be an ex-free man.


The 13 (Mostly Antigay) Senators Who Voted Against Sec. Pete Buttigieg - Our NEW Transportation Secretary made history. No thanks to these folks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Family Research Council continues to miscast anti-trans report it helped to write as legitimate Dept of Defense work

The Family Research Council helped to create a report which justified Trump's trans troops ban. Now they are attempting to pass it off as legitimate Department of Defense work.


With Biden's continued push for the rights of transgender Americans, the religious right is stepping up its game to spook the country via lies and distortions against the president's goals.

The latest comes from Family Research Council spokesman Peter Sprigg, who published a piece in the (very biased conservative online publication) The Federalist entitled  Biden's Transgender Military Order Is Based On Politics, Not Facts.

The title is ironic based upon the number of things in the piece Sprigg either omitted or got plain wrong. I want to point out a glaring (and deliberate) distortion and why it matters.

Sprigg said the following about Biden's recent executive order which overturned Trump's ban on transgender troops:

The Biden executive order appealed to “a meticulous, comprehensive study” issued in 2016 that asserted that allowing “transgender individuals to serve” would have “a minimal impact on military readiness and healthcare costs.” The “nonpartisan federally funded research center” that published this study was the RAND Corporation. On the other hand, said Biden, “the previous [Trump] administration relied on a review that resulted in a policy that set unnecessary barriers to military service.” Biden failed to explain this “review” was conducted by the Department of Defense. 

The findings were published in a March 2018 “Report and Recommendations.” A comparison of the RAND study with the Pentagon report helps to put the issue in perspective. Most importantly, the RAND study was speculative and released around the time the Obama policy was announced. Since transgender people had never been permitted to serve in the U.S. military, RAND could only make projections based on experiences in the private sector and in other countries. The Pentagon, on the other hand, provided actual data based on the 20 months or so of experience between when the Obama policy took effect and when the “Report and Recommendations” were issued, resulting in some interesting contrasts.

There is a reason why Sprigg attempts to trash the RAND Corporation.  It's all about credibility. The RAND Corporation has been around since 1948 and since then has provided research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. Its reputation is sterling.

By contrast, the March 2018 study supposedly done by the Department of Defense was in fact NOT done by the Department of Defense. In truth, it was done by an ad-hoc committee brought together by former VP Mike Pence. And the members of this committee were several anti-LGBTQ activists, including Tony Perkins. Perkins is the head of the Family Research Council and Sprigg's boss. In addition, Pence pushed hard for the ban, even to the point of overruling then Defense Secretary James Mattis who saw no problems with transgender men and women severing openly in the military:

According to a Zack Ford article in Think Progress on March 25, 2018:

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played “a leading role” in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed “Trump’s favorite think tank,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRC praised the report Friday. According to Stern’s reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence “effectively overruled” him.

 A separate source independently confirmed to ThinkProgress Saturday that Pence was involved, characterizing him as forming his own ad hoc “working group,” including Anderson and Perkins, separate from the panel of experts Mattis had assembled. Though it bears Mattis’ signature, the report released Friday appears to reflect the findings of Pence’s working group and not the committee report that Mattis submitted to Trump last month. Mattis’ original document was not currently publicly available at the time of the recommendation, but it was widely reported that Mattis favored an inclusive approach that resembled what had originally been proposed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter under President Obama in 2016. His February recommendation, also released Friday, jibes with the new report, contradicting reports at the time.

 Ford goes on to carve up the report bit by bit, revealing its continued reliance on junk science. But here is the problem I have with this entire situation. 

At my count, that's twice that the Family Research Council  has attempted to pass off a study it had a hand in creating as legitimate Department of Defense work. My guess is that they are going to do it again and will continue to do so because very few in the media seems to care enough to put them on blast. With so many overwhelming things going on, folks aren't paying attention to how the religious right is creating a false narrative with about Biden and trans right. The attempt to reconfigure how Trump's ban came into place, while ignoring how they helped to create it, is only part of their plan

They stand in front of a broad canvas slowly but surely painting in a vile masterpiece filled with vividly colorful lies about how Biden is "erasing women," ignoring science, and putting Americans - particularly children - in jeopardy in order to satisfy a tiny but very intolerant minority (that's supposed to be us) with an "agenda" aimed at destruction. 

If they are successful in this pursuit, LGBTQ Americans will be having some serious problems in the future.