Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hate group leader Tony Perkins whines that people of faith will be 'beaten into submission' by Respect for Marriage Act

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council

Tuesday's 61-36 victory in the Senate for the Respect for Marriage Act has gotten many conservative groups and leaders all out of sorts.


But leave it to Tony Perkins, president of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council to win major awards for whining.

"Republicans clearly acknowledged by their support of the Lee, Lankford, and Rubio amendments that this legislation is a threat to the First Amendment freedo­­­­ms of individual Americans. And yet 12 of 12 Republicans still chose to vote for the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act. The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act makes people prime targets for government harassment, investigation, prosecution, even civil action. This bill is a club, with which the Left will attempt to beat people of orthodox faith--who believe in marriage as God designed it and history has defined--into submission to their destructive sexuality ideology.

 "My experience as a former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has shown me that religious freedom's greatest threat is not a military force that eradicates or suppresses religious freedom, although that has certainly occurred. The greatest threat are policies like the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. They are what curtails the exercise of religious freedom-- which leads not to a violent overthrow of this fundamental freedom, but to its systematic suppression and eventual loss. In other words, the government has declared open season on anyone who believes in marriage as it's always been, the union of a man and woman.

Am I the only who thinks that Tony's heart simply wasn't into making his statement. Even that nonsense in labeling the bill "The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act) comes across as more artificial than usual.

In truth, the Respect for Marriage Act has absolutely nothing to do with Perkins and company, no matter how many times he attempts to make it all about them. It's about LGBTQ people and our rights to make choices in our lives instead of having those choices forcefully being made for us.

'The gay man helping Tucker Carlson ramp up hatred against LGBTQ community ' & other Wed midday news briefs

Justin Wells, the gay man helping Tucker Carlson ramp up hatred against the LGBTQ community.

The powerful gay man behind Tucker Carlson's bloodcurdling hate​ - This right here is some "repugnant shit."  A gay man is behind Tucker Carlson's empire of hate. 

Senate Passes Respect for Marriage Act - Just in case you missed this wonderful news. 

These recently elected trans lawmakers say anti-LGBTQ bills inspired them to run - This is how you do it. You don't cower in the face of hate. You use it to inspire you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Marriage equality is about the LGBTQ right to make decisions about our own lives

As the Respect for Marriage Act makes it through the Senate, back to the House, and eventually on President Biden's desk to be signed into law, I want to address something which I have been thinking about for a long time.

Those who are followers of this blog probably think that I am going to be talking about the anti-LGBTQ industry and their tantrums about the Respect for Marriage Act. 

Not this time. 

Instead I want to remind folks what this is all about. Even as we attain the rights we are owed, there exist an argument within the LGBTQ community. Some in the community have accused others of attempting to copy heterosexuals, i.e. adjusting our lives to be just like that of heterosexuals. This mindset to some peoples includes dreams of a life as a Norman Rockwell painting with 2.5 kids, a nice home in the suburbs complete with a white picket fence, and other tokens of a stereotypical idea of the Leave It To Beaver television show. The only difference of course is it's Ward and Ward or June and June leading the family instead of Ward and June.

The folks against this image say that such aspirations are a slap in the face because they imply that LGBTQ people are okay so long as we act like heterosexuals. And this supposedly means a forgetting of our roots, when we were - and still are - the outcasts because of our inability to fit the supposed ideas of normalcy. What's the use of fighting for LGBTQ equality if you think that the goal is to act just like the heterosexuals?

And then there the accusation that the movers and the shakers of the LGBTQ community are wanting this Norman Rockwellian image so much that they sacrifice the push for equality in LGBTQ communities of color and particularly the transgender, bisexual, queer, and other communities which don't fall under the umbrella of "normal." The desire for marriage rights is in some ways seen as a cop-out or a desire to be like heterosexuals because internally there is some self-homophobia afoot.

Well I don't like getting into those discussions because often times, they result in ridiculous tangents in which people go so far in different directions that they end up being angry with each other over something said or the desire to get the last word in.

I'm a 51-year-old gay man. Over 25 years ago when I was coming to grips with my sexual orientation, what pained me to the point of so much misery was that other people, who didn't even care to know me, were making decisions about how my life would be. From the legislators like Jesse Helms or  Sam Nunn  trying to undermine my future through the legislative process , to preachers like Jerry Falwell telling all sorts of lies about me in the pulpit, to organizations like the Family Research Council pushing along bogus research papers and making speeches about my so-called radical agenda.

These folks never knew me but the things they said and did affected me in an extremely negative sense. Based upon their beliefs and false ideas of entitlement, they told this young gay man - me - that I have no rights to a future decided my wishes and desires. They were telling me that I don't get to pick my path. They, on the other hand, get to tell who I am, who I can love, how I can love, and what my future will be as decided by their parameters. I had no say on anything. Instead, they got to determine my future. They had the first, middle, and last about my life. And if I didn't like it, then too bad.

You see, that's what it's all about to me, whether it be the fight for marriage rights or any other rights in the LGBTQ community. It's not about wanting to be just like heterosexuals or forgetting where you came from. It's about the ability to make our own choices. I feel this way - if you are an LGBTQ person who wants that Norman Rockwellian dream, then you have a right to have it. If you are an LGBTQ person who wants something else, then you have that right to make choices.

You have that right to determine which direction your life will go, not some conservative legislator, preacher, or anyone else wanting to reduce your choices. They don't have that right. It doesn't belong to them. And no laws, ordinances, or religious books gives them that right either.

That's what the Respect for Marriage Act, marriage equality in general or any other LGBTQ right is to me - the power of self-determination.. Your power to make choices unencumbered by someone else's prejudice, religious beliefs, or ignorance. Marriage is not the only right LGBTQ people should have. It's one of many. And instead of arguing about it, we should get busy in yanking more rights out of the hands of those who falsely think they should have to power to dole them out to us.

'10 pastors wanted LGBTQ Pride Month displays at local libraries' & other Tue midday news briefs

10 pastors wanted LGBTQ Pride Month displays banned at local libraries​ - Uh uh. No way. Forget it.

Broadcast news failed to mention crucial context in coverage of Colorado Springs shooting at LGBTQ nightclub - The media is notoriously slack when it comes to covering LGBTQ issues. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

'Gays Against Groomers' founder has history of promoting white supremacist ideas and personalities

Jamie Michell, founder of 'Gays Against Groomers' has a documented history of promoting white supremacist ideas and personalities.

Editor's note - This revelation took place the day before Thanksgiving, which may explain how it went under the radar. But now that Thanksgiving has passed, I am hoping that it will receive more attention.

We all know about the hateful group Gays Against Groomers and how it is an outlet to funnel terrible lies against the LGBTQ community.  But here is something you may not know. According to The Wrap, an online publication covering the media and entertainment, the founder of Gays Against Groomers, Jamie Michell, has a history of promoting white ideas and personalities.

This revelation came as part of a larger story of how Michell appeared on Tucker Carlson's show to discuss the recent shooting at Club Q in Colorado which took five lives and left 25 others injured.  Michell - with no pushback from Carlson - blamed the victims of the crime for what happened. 

"It shouldn’t have to be said, but what is anti-LBGTQ that these people need to understand, and what is putting our community in great danger, it, you know, claiming that all of us support this and just associating all of us with this. You know, saying that ‘groomer’ is an anti-LGBTQ slur,” Michell said. “That is doing irreparable damage to us as a whole, and it’s putting a really large target on our backs. And unfortunately, the tragedy that happened in Colorado Springs the other night, you know, it was expected, predictable. We all within Gays Against Groomers saw this coming from a mile away, and sadly I don’t think it’s gonna stop until we end this evil agenda.”

Michell claims that her group is comprised of LGBTQ people who are trying to stop the so-called grooming of kids by the others in the community, particularly the trans community.  The Wrap points out how Gays Against Grooming was barred from Vemmo and PayPal for harassment campaigns against the trans community.

Then The Wrap dropped this little nugget about Michell, with "receipts" (and y'all know how much I love receipts). 

Michell identifies as Jewish and denies any affiliation with Nazism. But she has a long, documented history of association with white supremacist ideas. She is known to follow several openly white supremacists on Twitter, she has promoted the work of white supremacist Vincent James Foxx and she has openly called for political violence, among other things. 

 Old accounts owned by Michell on YouTube and Flickr contained explicit Nazi imagery, something Michell blames, variously, either on an ex-boyfriend or on being hacked, though she has never actually identified who her ex was. Read more about all that here.

I would love to hear Michell explain all of her conundrums. Of course we all know that she won't do that.  She'll most likely double down on her false narrative while claiming to be a victim. 

'Florida has genuine problem of child sex abuse in its foster care system' & other Mon midday news briefs

Innocence Sold: Florida’s foster system provides dangerous sex traffickers with easy access to vulnerable children - While accusing LGBTQ people and culture of trying to 'sexually groom' kids, Florida gov Ron DeSantis seems to be missing actual child trafficking in the state's foster care system. 

How the American anti-LGBTQ hate machine is posing a threat to Canadians - Now this madness is bleeding over into Canada.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Video - These people are fed up with the banning of books and attempts to erase LGBTQ people in public schools

 Those people attempting to ban books and erase LGBTQ people in public schools tend to get too much attention. So much so that the people who take a stand against such hatred are ignored. We rarely see them in the media or hear the words they say to school boards because I guess it's more lucrative to give the haters the lion's share of attention.

But those taking a stand against banning books and erasing LGBTQ people in public schools are very vocal and very eloquent. They may not have right-wing money fueling them, but the truth of their words will always win in the end.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Far right personalities justify Club Q shooting, demand 'armed response' to 'grooming'

 Editor's note - I've always believed that knowledge is power, no matter how distasteful it is. That's why I am posting this.

One would think that after the recent shooting at Club Q, certain personalities would engage in some sincere introspection about the many ways they have smeared LGBTQ people with false claims that we are "grooming," "sexualizing," and "mutilating" kids.

Think again. 

Apparently to these folks, sincere introspection is for losers and doubling down on the lies you tell is the way to go. 

Kurt Schlitcher is a writer at the conservative site Townhall (whose political editor is an openly gay conservative by the name of Guy Benson).  Schlitcher has over 454,000 Twitter followers:

Tim Pool is a podcaster with 1.4 million Twitter followers and 1.3 million Youtube subscribers. 

 Pool is referring to an all ages drag show which would have taken place the next day. Calling it a 'grooming' event is a straight-up lie.  Pool is yet another conservative who has weaponized the word "grooming" in order to stigmatize LGBTQ people and minimize our culture into one solely about sexual intercourse. It's an updated version of the Anita Bryant claim from the 70s that "gays have to recruit kids to replenish their ranks."

Steve Crowder is an Apple podcaster with over 1.9 million Twitter followers and 5.88 million Youtube subscribers.

You can probably tell by looking at Crowder that in spite of his talk about being "armed," if someone handed him a gun, he'd "make lemonade and fudge" in his pants.

Let's be clear about a few things:

Drag shows are not inherently sexual. 

Many drag shows are rather tame.

Children are not being sexually groomed by drag queens or Drag Queen Story Hour events. 

Healthcare for trans kids is not mutilation.  

And most importantly:

People aren't reacting violently because these things are happening. They are reacting violently because they are being led to believe these things are happening by Pool, Schlitcher and Crowder.  And I genuinely don't think that Pool, Schlitcher and Crowder actually believe what they are spewing. 

This is what the LGBTQ community - particularly the transgender community - have been trying to tell the so-called mainstream all along. We aren't dealing with people who have simple difference of opinion or a "sincerely held religious beliefs."  We're dealing with posers, clout chasers, and people who simply don't give a damn about who gets hurt by their lies. Just as long as they get what they want. 

Five people are dead and 25 others are wounded. And while the shooter's motives is not yet known, the manner in which these three bozos closed ranks, actually justifying the shooting, says a lot.

'Here are the five victims who were killed in Colorado gay nightclub shooting' & other Tue midday news briefs

Here are the five victims who were killed in Colorado gay nightclub shooting​ - So many innocent lives taken. Even only one is one too many. 

Club Q Patrons Pistol-Whipped and Pinned Gunman in Colorado Shooting - They whipped the BRAKES off of that fool. 

The Texas Legislature Is Preparing an All-Out War on Trans People’s Existence - Even in light of what happened at Club Q, some folks are still determined to undermine trans people. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

The right-wing media's hate campaign against the LGBTQ community has deadly consequences

From Media Matters:

At least five people are dead and 25 are injured after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Club Q had planned to host an “all ages drag brunch” on the morning after the shooting to celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual day of mourning for trans people whose lives were lost to violence.⁠ ⁠ Right-wing media have focused obsessively on drag shows in recent months, falsely portraying them as a threat not just to children, but to civilization as a whole.⁠

 Club Q has asked that people interested in donating to victims and the local community do so through a contribution to the Colorado Healing Fund, available at this link.

'GOP responses to Club Q shooting aren't making things better' & other Mon midday news briefs

Conservative gays exploiting Club Q shooting to blame entire LGBTQ community

Editor's note - I know some of you would ask why am I "elevating" such vermin?  I agonized about this post but I simply have to say something. Being quiet like this is like sour milk in my stomach.

What you are reading is how some right-wing gay folks are exploiting the Club Q shooting in order to denigrate the entire community.

Let's first talk about their gaslighting game. It's comprised of pointing fingers at people in our community, blaming them for bigoted rhetoric and hateful actions aimed at us:

"If only those gay people acted normal, heterosexuals would accept us instead of trying to harm us."

"Those transgender people are attaching themselves the gay community and are dragging the rest of us down."

Folks, I was a believer of that junk a long time ago. That is until I got older and wiser. I came to the realization that no matter what you do to please bigots and homophobes, they won't ever accept you.  They scapegoat LGBTQ people because of their own ignorance and hate. Not because of anything we do or say. 

All of that should go without saying, but here is a sad truth about this particular situation. These two tweets don't come from a place of basic ignorance and ill information. They come from a place of cynical manipulation in which people are capitalizing on the Club Q tragedy to gain attention and money for their brand.

"Gays Against Groomers" is a group capitalizing on the lie that LGBTQ people are "grooming" or "sexualizing" children. And being a group supposedly comprised of LGBTQ people themselves, it leverages credibility in far-right circles, while also asking for "donations" and spewing all sorts of lies, such as comparing gender affirming healthcare to Nazi experiments.

And the young man sending out the other tweet, David Leatherwood, is supposedly a "board member" of 'Gays Against Groomers' and a members other far-right LGBTQ groups (OutSpoken USA) whose sole aim is bending over backwards to either pretend that right-wing bigotry against the LGBTQ community doesn't exist or blaming LGBTQ people themselves for the bigotry.

The irony is that Leatherwood also claims to be a member of Turning Point USA, a group infamous for  embracing all sorts of bigotry from racism to homophobia.  

Earlier this year, according to Media Matters:

The host of Turning Point USA’s daily show Frontlines, Drew Hernandez, has spent the first half of June targeting the LGBTQ community and Pride Month, referring to it as “groomer month” and calling LGBTQ people “mentally ill.” Publishing videos to TPUSA’s half a million-plus YouTube subscribers, Hernandez has called for parents who bring their children to Pride events to be arrested.

In addition, the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has attacked the LGBTQ community with hysteria-driven claims including:

Gays want to corrupt children,

Trans people are to blame for inflation,

and the "trans movement" is trying to turn people into machines.

People like Leatherwood and Gays Against Groomers attempt to portray themselves as "normal" LGBTQ people outraged by the supposed excesses of the LGBTQ left-wing. But by the company they keep and the levels they stoop, it's apparent that their idea of 'normalcy" is stomping on other LGBTQ people for the almighty dollar and a little bit of clout.

And unfortunately, there are others out there with same goals in mind.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Did the smearing of LGBTQ people as 'groomers' lead to the Club Q shooting?


    While the motive for the recent shooting at Club Q is not known, Colorado Times Recorder writer Heidi Beedle posted a Twitter roll of articles showing how the demonization of LGBTQ people as "child groomers" could have easily played a role in getting us to this point of tragedy.

We had an AWFUL day today.

 I won't go into details because I think you already know about the shooting at the gay bar Club Q in Colorado which left 5 people dead and 25 injured. Some fool came in shooting and caused havoc before he was brought down by patrons who risked their lives to end his madness

And while the motive behind this creature's shooting spree isn't officially known, it doesn't take a palm reader to know that all of the sh!t we've had to deal with from Matt Walsh, Libs of Tik Tok, Christopher Rufo most likely got us to this point.

All of the lies, all demonizing and smearing us as child molesters who are trying to mutilate children seems to have done its work. From idiots screeching about 'grooming' at school board meetings, from wannabe influencers posting taken out of context footage of kids and drag queens, to fools lying about healthcare for trans kids and issuing bomb threats to children's hospitals, to idiotic Proud Boys screaming threats at our events, it all comes down to the same thing.

As the days go by, we will no doubt talk about this even more. But here is a portion I hope you don't forget. It wasn't all about national faces and voices like Walsh or Libs of Tik Tok. There were more involved.

Heidi Beedle, a writer at the Colorado Times Recorder took it upon herself to create a Twitter thread of articles, when put together, could have predicted the shooting which went on at Club Q. It's scary when you take into account the motivations and actions of those whose deliberate smears of LGBTQ people possibly led to this.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

GOP, conservatives, and religious right make halfhearted attack against Respect for Marriage Act with comically sad predictions

Conservative Republicans and the religious right are claiming that the Respect for Marriage Act will cause Christians to be persecuted in America. However, they have a bad track record when it comes to predicting how pro-LGBTQ legislation will harm Christians, such as when they falsely claimed that hate crimes legislation would cause pastors to get arrested in pulpits for preaching against homosexuality. Hate crimes legislation was passed and that claim didn't come true.

Wednesday's crucial vote of the Respect for Marriage Act has made conservatives, Republicans, and the religious right all lose their collective minds.  According to Peter Montgomery of  People for the American Way, they have been lobbing all sorts of hysterical claims about the act. But if you ask me, their hearts don't seem to be in the effort.

In spite of the historic support for the Respect for Marriage Act from the Mormon Church, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah dismissed the bill’s religious liberty provisions, telling the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that the legislation would lead to “the destruction of religious liberty in America.” 

 Sean Feucht, the missionary musician turned ​right-wing political activist, warned ​the church to “Prepare For Persecution!” and claimed that passage of the bill would signal “an attack on the church.”

 Liberty Counsel, a religious-right legal group that branched out into anti-vaccine conspiracy mongering during the COVID-19 ​pandemic, may take the cake ​for most desperate-to-get-clicks claim that “This Depraved Law Would Allow Pedophiles to Marry Children.” ​That claim was given a boost by the Pentecostal-oriented media outlet Charisma.

 Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center warned that the legislation “disrespects the religious liberties of millions of Americans who may face judicial assault if they refuse to oblige the left’s tyrannical narratives.”  The Freedom Center’s Ryan Helfenbein retweeted its claim, adding his own warning that “We are opening the door for massive religious persecution on a scale never seen before in America.” 

Concerned Women for America called it an “attack” on people “who affirm Biblical morality when it comes to marriage and sexuality.”

 Pundit Todd Starnes denounced the Republican senators who “just declared war on the church” by voting to allow the bill to move forward, and he claimed that the bill would “put a target on every Christian church in America.” 

 Under the utterly false headline, “Mitt Romney pushes Polygamy on all 50 states, ”religious-right activist and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt claimed that the bill would “legalize Polygamy, child-marriage, and Gay ‘Marriage’ in all 50 states.”

It all reminds me of Donald Trump's speeches,  i.e. repetitive nonsense which is at first shocking but then gets boring after a while. Montgomery points out that the right played the same game in 2009 about hate crimes legislation:

 Consider, for example, the frenzied opposition to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed Congress in 2009 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The legislation strengthened an existing federal hate crimes law by including crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. 

 If the apocalyptic warnings from far-right religious and political leaders during debate on the bill had any grounding in truth, the years since then would have brought about the criminalization of Christianity, prisons filled with pastors who preached against homosexuality, and conservative Christians piled into boxcars and sent to concentration camps. Influential Christian nationalist “historian” and serial liar David Barton told a California church that sponsors of the hate crimes law—which explicitly targets violent crimes—wanted to make it a federal crime for preachers to read Bible verses denouncing homosexuality. Religious-right leaders and far-right members of Congress falsely claimed, without the slightest evidence, that the law would create legal protections for bestiality and pedophilia. 

 More than a decade later, of course, none of that has happened. No preachers were dragged from their pulpits. Far-right Christian leaders are still quite free to rage against legal equality for LGBTQ people, and political operatives are free to run political campaigns that smear us with dishonest propaganda. Freedom has survived, and the campaign against the federal hate crimes law has been exposed as a lie.

'Here's What the Respect for Marriage Act Would Do' & other Wed midday news briefs

Here's What the Respect for Marriage Act Would Do​ - A lot of questions which deserve accurate answers.

Free speech ‘hero’ Ben Shapiro’s hissy fit over Disney exercising free speech is quite the sight - Guess what it's about? Benjamin simply can't handle the fact that he doesn't get to control LGBTQ people. 

LGBTQ: Trans woman hopes underwear line will aid safety - This is how we win. When we step up to help each other. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins thinks that protecting gay marriage means persecution

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council love portraying themselves as victims of persecution.

By now you've heard that the United States Senate advanced the Respect for Marriage Act, hopefully assuring its passage. The Act is supposed to give married gay couples a bit more protection should the Supreme Court try to overturn the Obergefell decision, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion on whether or not this bill adequately protects same-sex couples should it become law. But I want to focus on the negative response lodged by  Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council. Maybe I'm being petty here. FRC and Perkins are still in shock about last week's midterms in which Democrats managed to keep the Senate. They are definitely caught off guard by the Respect for Marriage Act. 

But not too off guard not to play the victim. Perkins posted a hysterically nonsensical piece claiming that this Act would mean the persecution of Christians. Ironically, he cited examples of alleged persecution from foreign countries. But he still managed to play the drama queen rather well with passages like such:

“We’ve all heard of people being cancelled, thrown off social media, even fired from jobs … But how many years before a Christian minister [who speaks] on marriage and sexual orientation is reported [to] a government anti-terrorism program?” For Reverend Dr. Bernard Randall, that time has already come. The chaplain of a Church of England School was suspended, fired for gross misconduct, and reported to child protective services simply for restating what the Church of England believes. If his story sounds like a distant outlier, it’s not. Randall’s nightmare will be every Christian’s nightmare if our Senate passes the Respect for Marriage Act. 

 “I was doing my job as per the job description,” Randall told a roomful of religious liberty advocates this July. Yet for being a Christian in a Christian school, he was painted “as a potential violent extremist [who] might draw others into violent extremism.” This, despite the U.K. Human Rights Act that declares, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (Article 9, 1998). How long is it going to take for this to happen in the United States, he asked? “Is it under Biden? Is it under a second term of Biden-Harris?” 

 If congressional Democrats get their way, it happens now.


Oh please. To paraphrase the words of Thelma Ritter from All About Eve:

"What a story. Everything but the hounds snapping at his rear end."

 Folks like Perkins are always claiming that there will be negative repercussions if LGBTQ people get any type of support. It's always something with them

In the 70s, they claimed that if gays got rights,  they would "sexually recruit" kids.

In the 80s, it was all about fear tactics undermining the fight against AIDS and HIV.

Then there was "gays want special rights" claim

After that came "we have to protect marriage from gays."

And of course there was "giving LGBTQ people rights will put the rights of Christians in danger. We need to protect religious liberty."

Now it's "we have to protect women and girls in locker rooms, bathrooms,  and in sports competitions from trans women and girls who are actually predators with an unfair advantage in sports."

And in the midst of this latest argument,  they've reverted back to the "we have to protect children from them" lie by combining hysterias to create a type of "Anita Bryant on steroids" narrative  that LGBTQ people want to sexually groom kids in schools and then subject them to dangerous "surgeries" in an attempt to change their gender.

People like Perkins have dragged the LGBTQ community through all of these lies because of  one thing. They have a religious belief that being an LGBTQ is a sin. The only reason why they've manufactured all of these bogus reasons against LGBTQ people throughout the decades is because they cannot admit to themselves that they have no right to force the rest of us to conform to their religious beliefs

It's perfectly fine for them to believe that LGBTQ people are living in sin. The problem lies with how they attempt to assert this belief in the creation of public policy. Laws in this country should never be made based upon the belief that certain people are living in sin and therefore deserve no legal protections.  That's why they've manufactured other "reasons" why LGBTQ rights should be undermined. 

In reality Perkins seems to think that not making people live their lives in accordance to his religious beliefs is persecution.

If Perkins wants to know what persecution actually is, he should have a talk with the families of trans kids who had to flee Texas when its governor declared war on them for simply being supportive and affirming of their kids.

Or the teachers who were fired because demagogues used the power of social media to falsely claim that they are "sexually grooming" children.

Or various children's hospitals across America having to deal with bomb threats because the same demagogues are trying to undermine trans kids receiving basic healthcare.

Or trans kids in various states having to defend their right to receive healthcare in the face of idiots spreading lies and lawmakers believing the lies instead of doing their damn jobs to protect these kids.

That is persecution. 

What Perkins is actually mourning is the death of his privilege. And he really should get over it because the privilege shouldn't have been his to begin with.

'U.S. soccer's training center in Qatar shows support for LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

U.S. soccer team’s training center in Qatar shows support for LGBTQ community - Good for them. 

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider to testify against trans youth health care ban​ - Thank you. We need more public trans voices speaking out against these attempted bans.

The Grammy nominations are here and queer: 6 honorees we’re most excited about - Not surprising. LGBTQ folks and our allies always rule at the Grammy awards.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

What's next for LGBTQ Americans after rainbow wave at 2022 midterms?

As we all know, last Tuesday's midterm elections was supposed to be a red wave, but ended up as a rainbow wave (a little confession - that wasn't an original thought by me. It's been repeated ad nauseum by other sources). A historic number - over 340 - LGBTQ candidates were elected to public offices.

So what happens next?

National Public Radio (NPR) published a good story on Monday which talks about this very subject. The entire article is worth a read, particularly three points it made. 

1. Generation Z is identifying as LGBTQ in high numbers and it could bode well for future elections. 

To reach equitable representation, the U.S. needs to elect more than 35,000 additional out LGBTQ people to office, according to Victory Fund. Meloy said that Millennials and especially Gen Z are identifying as LGBTQ at levels never seen before. He thinks that fact may mean some of the gap will naturally be filled as younger generations run for office. 


2.  When LGBTQ people win elections, it encourages more of us to run for office.

 When LGBTQ people win elections, more members of the community follow them, Meloy added. He hopes that the election of New Hampshire's James Roesener, who just became the first trans man ever elected to a state legislature, will inspire other trans men to run for office. He cited the uptick in trans women candidates after Virginia State Delegate Danica Roem won her race in 2017.


3. Attacks on the trans community don't always add up to wins at the polls 

Erin Reed, a content creator and queer legislature researcher who shares LGBTQ news, (Editor's note - And one of my sheroes) noted that not only were many LGBTQ candidates elected, but many voters rejected anti-trans sentiments. "The loss of anti-transgender candidates from the school board level up to the state level sends a clear message that basing your candidacy on hate does is not a winning strategy," 

Reed told NPR. "So many candidates thought they could rely on beating up on transgender people for an easy victory and they left election night disappointed." Reed said this won't stop attacks on transgender people. "I anticipate 2023 will be the worst year for anti-trans legislation ever," Reed said. "But it does send a clear message that voters are not moved by anti-trans laws."

'Senate to vote on marriage equality bill this week' & other Tue midday news briefs

Schumer: Senate Will Vote on Marriage Equality This Week​ - Keep your fingers crossed. It looks good. For now.

Zachary Quinto says there are still tons of gay male celebrities afraid to come out - Let them come out on their own time and in their own way. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Anti-LGBTQ $50 million midterm election gambit failed. This time.

Social conservatives in Michigan spent $50 million to get GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon (seen here) and other Republicans elected by in part scapegoating the transgender community. They failed big time.

One story of the 2022 midterms which needs more attention is how social conservatives used Michigan as a battleground for their war on transgender Americans. According to a November 7 article in Semafor, political writer Dave Weigel said that Michigan Republicans and social conservatives spent an enormous amount of money on attacking trans people in hopes of winning big in the state.

Republicans and conservative groups have spent at least $50 million this cycle on a topic that wasn’t a focus of their 2020 campaigns – transgender rights, and Democratic support for gender-affirming care for young people. 
In Michigan,(GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor) Dixon and attorney general candidate Matt DePerno have campaigned to stop sexually explicit materials in schools, while a campaign to beat a pro-abortion rights ballot measure has framed it as a plot to legalize “sterilization” — the amendment would codify a right to procedures like vasectomies — as a backdoor to gender surgeries for minors.

A September 18 article in MLive said that several other Republicans were also echoing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in an attempt to reach their base and fundraise. The article said that they were receiving a backlash from both Democrats and Republicans for their "playground taunts." Some questioned the tone of the rhetoric such as when Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock called openly gay Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg a “weak little girl ”on Twitter.

As we all know, this attempt by Dixon and other Republicans failed tremendously and it wasn't even close. 

Michigan Advance said the following:

Democrats in Michigan have made history for the first time in four decades by taking back control of both chambers of the state Legislature. Voters also reelected the entire Democratic ticket for governor, attorney general and secretary of state  . . .

In addition, conservatives who ran for local school boards in the state (exploiting bigoted sentiments pushed by Dixon) also did poorly.

And to top it off, some Republicans blamed Dixon the sweeping losses. Michigan Republican Party chief of staff Paul Cordes blasted Dixon on several points in a memo. One of the points  called her out for focusing on 'culture war' issues.

He also pointed to Dixon’s emphasis on culture wars, implying Dixon would’ve been better served concentrating on the economy. “There were more ads on transgender sports than inflation, gas prices and bread and butter issues that could have swayed independent voters,” Cordes wrote. “We did not have a turnout problem – middle-of-the-road voters simply didn’t like what Tudor was selling.”

The big story here is while the attempt to infuse anti-LGBTQ arguments into the midterm campaign failed, it doesn't mean the opponents of equality will stop.  There will be a next time. Any one person or any group willing to spend $50 million to undermine our rights and wreck our lives should never be taken lightly.

'Michigan LGBTQ community celebrate midterm victories but trouble arises in Tenn' & other Mon midday news briefs

Michigan’s LGBTQ+ Community Breaths a Sigh of Relief as Lesbian AG Dana Nessel, Allies Win Elections - Michigan was a focal point of all of the smears used against us in the midterm. The victory against that is a major deal.

Bills Introduced in Tenn. to Ban Drag Shows, Gender-Affirming Care - And that's simply because things are about to get a bit more rowdier.

Drag shows dragged to the political stage after shows canceled across East TN - The article underscores the harm of all of this anti-drag hatred and ignorance.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Anti-LGBTQ group's 'red wave' turns to pink from embarrassment after claiming victory before midterm votes were even tallied

Out all of the folks on the right eating crow due last week's midterms, the sweetest to watch are the anti-LGBTQ groups and personalities who attempted to exploit bigotry to get their favorites into office.

Ari Drennen and Media Matters for America pointed out how several personalities took it upon themselves rub our faces into our anticipated midterm losses.

There was Matt Walsh.

and Christopher Rufo.

Ms. Drennen pointed out something about Rufo which I found hilarious. He does have a tendency of bragging about his upcoming nefarious plans as if he were a James Bond. For that reason, I've nicknamed him "Little Blofeld." I don't think he appreciated that because he blocked me.

But the one group which takes the prize when it comes to embarrassing pre-celebrations of the midterms has to be the American Principles Project and its president, Terry Schilling. APP led the charge of far-right groups with a lot of cash and an aim of influencing the midterms by making people think that the Democrats are trying to turn their children transgender.

Their overall goal was to mingle in the predicted "red wave" and then use that success to grab more cash and more influence to spread more lies about the trans community.

 According to Media Matters, Schilling sent out the following tweets on Election Day last week before the votes were even tallied:

As it turns out, the ads are now kinda my favorites too. And I will tell you so before each one. I think you will figure out what I like them so much.

There was this ad they ran against Arizona Senator Mark Kelly. He was re-elected.

Then there was this ad against they ran against Maine Governor Janet Mills. She was re-elected by double digits.

There was this ad against Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto. She also won reelection. In fact, it was her victory which allowed Democrats to retain control of the United States Senate.

This ad was against Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. He also won re-election.

The group also supported Michigan GOP nominee Tudor Dixon and U.S. Rep nominee John Gibson in the Republican primary when they defeated their opponents. In the general election however, both Dixon and Gibson lost to the Democratic incumbents.

Of course Schilling had to brag about AAP's first victory - helping Glenn Youngkin defeat Terry McAuliffe in the race for VA gov, marking the occasion by designating McAuliffe's loss as the first "scalp" on a wall they are hoping to create.

And Schilling's bragging ends with the following.

But as we know, APP is not winning. The "red wave" the group was trying to attach itself to didn't materialize. And their attempt to transform transphobia into a winning midterm issue also failed.  So what has Schilling been tweeting now? A jumbled hodgepodge of blaming Mitch McConnell, blaming the entire GOP, claiming that the opponents his group supported weren't really that good, whining that a lot of people do not want to support 'culture war issues.'

Schilling is basically trying to distract from what a gigantic ass he and his group made of themselves. And that should tell us something. They may have lost huge this time but they won't be backing down. With their money and the influence they do have in far-right circles, I am sure we are going to deal with APP repeatedly in the future. It's sad, but it's also a fact.

But we have a victory over them. And with that victory, we know their routines and gimmicks. Schilling was so nice to give us a front row view of it all. Let's take advantage of his generosity.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Video - Fox News pundits choking on all of the 'red wave' crow they have to eat.

Not necessarily an LGBTQ-related post per se, but still I think you will enjoy this. One of the best things about how the supposed Republican red wave fizzled on Tuesday is how Fox News ended up eating a lot of crow.  Sean Hannity is now saying he isn't sure where the talk of the "red wave" came from. As you can see via this video, all he had to do was turn was to watch his own network. Watching this video is so delightful that it should be both fattening and a sin.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

LGBTQ candidates dominate the midterms in the approaching shadow of DeSantis

Well I am back from my day-long hiatus and apparently I missed a lot of good stuff. Maybe I should start taking hiatuses on more election nights. Aside from the big news that the GOP's expected "red wave" was mostly a pink trickle, there was other wonderful news from the midterms. While I am sure the mainstream media will conveniently omit it, the LGBTQ community had a history making  night.

Wait a minute. That's putting it too nicely. 

We kicked MAJOR ass!!!

From Metro Weekly:

For the third straight electoral cycle in a row, LGBTQ candidates for political office broke a previous record, with at least 340 out LGBTQ candidates winning races at various levels of government as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday. 

 While many races have not yet been called due to the heavy volume of mail-in ballots (one of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed voting behavior), the number of successful candidates eclipses the previous record, set in 2020, of 336 out elected candidates. In total, 1,065 out LGBTQ people ran for office in 2022, with 678 making it to the general election. 

With 340 of those 678 winning, even if no additional LGBTQ candidates were to win in yet-to-be-called races — which is highly unlikely — it means more than half, or 50.15%, of all LGBTQ candidates appearing on general election ballots were victorious.

Among the victories, we saw three states elect and re-elect openly gay people as governors. Former Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey became the first openly lesbian governor in the country. She didn't have to wait long for there to be a second one. Tina Kotek won the gubernatorial election in Oregon. In addition, openly gay Colorado governor Jared Polis won a second term.

According to USA Today, other victorious LGBTQ candidates include:

Democrat James Roesener, a bisexual transgender man, was elected to New Hampshire House of Representatives, District 22 Ward 8. He is the first openly transgender man to win in any state legislature election. 

 First out LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress  - Democrat Robert Garcia, who is gay, was elected in the race for California's 42nd congressional district. He is currently the mayor of Long Beach. According to his online bio, Garcia immigrated to the United States at age 5 and was raised in Southern California. 

Democrat Becca Balint was elected in Vermont to the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the first woman and openly gay person to represent the state in Congress. 

Democrat Patricia Contreras is one of the first out lesbian Latinas elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. 

 Democrat Liz Bennett, who identifies as a queer woman, was elected to the Iowa State Senate, District 39. She currently serves in the state House of Representatives.

According to The Hill:

 Democrats Zooey Zephyr of Montana and Leigh Finke of Minnesota each defeated their Republican opponents in landslide wins to become the first transgender women elected to the state legislature. 

 Minnesota voters also voted to elect Alicia Kozlowski to the state House as the legislature’s first nonbinary member. . . . 

Jennie Armstrong, Andrew Gray and Ashley Carrick — all Democrats — made history Tuesday evening, becoming the first openly LGBTQ lawmakers elected to the Alaska state legislature. All three will serve in the House. 

 Democrat Kameron Nelson also won his House race Tuesday in South Dakota, becoming the state legislature’s first openly gay member. Former state Rep. Angie Buhl, also a Democrat, came out as bisexual after being elected to her first term.

 But there is bitter with the sweet when it comes to one victory. According to LGBTQNation:

In a historic first for the country, two gay candidates ran against each other in a general election for Congress. George Santos – a Trump-loving Republican who has called himself “a walking, living, breathing contradiction” – beat out Democrat Robert Zimmerman to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District and become the first out LGBTQ member of Congress from Long Island, getting 54% of the vote with 93% of precincts reporting. While Zimmerman ran on a platform of LGBTQ equality, Santos has said abortion is as barbaric as slavery and has voiced support for Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

How Santos will handle himself promises to be interesting.

All in all, LGBTQ people had a wonderful midterm. Metro Weekly points out the irony of these victories in an environment in which our rights were under attack by Republicans in state legislatures from books about us to school officials who supported us to policies designed to protect trans students. It seemed that all of it was for naught because we rose to the occasion.

But there is a problem. A huge shadow on the horizon. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won re-election easily by a large margin. And by doing so, he has positioned himself as the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 election. DeSantis' success came in part with attacks on the LGBTQ  community via the infamous 'Don't Say Gay' law and now an attempt to outlaw gender-affirming treatment for transgender children.

Pink News rightfully called his re-election is a bad omen for LGBTQ Americans:

Editor and film critic Jon Negroni tweeted: “The real question is whether or not the guy’s politics translate to the rest of the country, and no one really knows that for sure, yet. “But I think it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that he’s a stronger presidential candidate than that other guy… The stakes here are extremely high. “A DeSantis presidency and republican congress in 2025 could bring about a rollback in rights for LGBTQ people that can’t be understated. We could be seeing federal bans on all gender affirming care, even for adults.”

I have a solution to the possibility of DeSantis using LGBTQ Americans as scapegoats much like he did in Florida. That solution is that we continue to do what we are doing. DeSantis's successes thrived in ignorance, whether it be ignorance of same-sex families, LGBTQ kids, or what gender-affirming care for trans youth actually entails in contrast to the ugly connotative images pushed by the anti-LGBTQ industry

Live openly, tell our stories. And above all, encourage more of us to run for office. These victories demonstrate that there is  place for us in America as we want it to be instead of what some try to determine for us. We need more people representing us and speaking for us. We need intelligent and rationale voices to articulate our lives and break the fever of fear and ignorance which is exploited to undermine our lives.

Let's celebrate what happened in the midterms, but let's also not be lazy. Let's not rest on our laurels. There is more work to do and, as the midterms show, the harvest promises to be plenty.

Editor's Note - I apologize for the victories I did not mention, as well as the losses. There were some of those too. However, I encourage everyone to read The Victory Fund's webpage and interactive map for more information about the LGBTQ candidates.