Friday, December 19, 2014

'Michigan's so-called 'religious freedom' bill dies in Senate' & other Friday midday news briefs

Good news from Michigan:
Transgender Student Files Federal Complaint Against School District For Banning Him From The Boys Restroom - If anything, this case points out the hysterical lunacy our transgender brothers and sisters face everyday. There wasn't a problem with him using the boys restroom until anti-gay groups got parents spooked.

Bigotry doesn’t pay: North Carolina anti-gay group $15,000 in debt - Oh the poor babies (extreme sarcasm alert).

 Anti-gay orgs continue to offend children of single parents, gay parents, more - Children DESERVE a family who will give them love and support and that does not come solely from the one man/one woman dynamic.

Richmond's Gay Community Strikes Back With 'We Are All Born To Love' Billboard - Now that the 'ex-gay' billboard has backfired spectacularly, let's throw some real love in the situation.

Good news for transgender community has anti-gay group spinning fear about children and churches

Excellent news for the transgender community. According to the Huffington Post:

The Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as protecting transgender government employees from discrimination, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday.
In a memo, Holder wrote that the "best reading of Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status." Holder said that while Congress "may not have had such claims in mind when it enacted Title VII, the Supreme Court has made clear that Title VII must be interpreted according to its plain text."
In a statement, Holder called the move an “important shift" that "will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status."

And leave it to the Family Research Council to distort Holder's statement and spin a little fear into the situation:

FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg released the following statement:
"Parents are deeply concerned that giving a special status to transgender persons will lead to troubling situations for their children, and religious leaders are left unsure how this arbitrary new rule will affect hiring within their ministries.  This is another example of the Obama administration circumventing the role of Congress in imposing its own radical re-interpretation of the law.  It seems safe to assert that not a single member of Congress in 1964 would have believed that they were granting special rights to people who want to reject or change their biological sex.

In other words:

Granted, the graphic above is by the Traditional Values Coalition but FRC is saying pretty much the same thing, albeit in muted terms.

It's still a vicious lie and an ugly stereotype.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bobby Jindal sidesteps controversy about rally by playing 'war on Christians' card

It is rather unbelievable the way Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is attempting to defend his upcoming controversial prayer rally.

According to Religious Right Watch, he actually sidestepped questions about how his rally is being funded by the anti-gay hate group the American Family Association and instead pulled the "war against Christians" card:

 Jindal has now been forced to personally address the issue, which he has predictably done by side-stepping criticism of the AFA's bigotry and instead accusing "the left" of attacking Christians:

"Let's be clear about what this is. This is an opportunity for people across denominational lines to come together to pray," Jindal said. "It's not a political event, it's a religious event." He said that while he respects the rights of protesters, religious groups have the right to express their beliefs and should not be barred from being able to hold the event on the LSU campus. A protest is planned while the event is taking place at the campus's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and critics are urging LSU not to allow the prayer rally to happen. "Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans. Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."

Doing so is a huge mistake by Jindal because it not only sullies him but Christians in general. His defiance gives the impression that the following statements by the AFA's Bryan Fischer (who will be attending and broadcasting the rally) is an example of Christian behavior:

Fischer has a long history of vicious rhetoric and all of it has been documented via video and on print. If Jindal considers himself a true public servant (and especially a Christian), he should address why he is teaming up with such voices of unbridled ignorance and hatred like Fischer and the AFA instead of attacking those who are merely pointing out his hypocrisies.

On second thought, maybe he shouldn't have teamed up with Fischer and the AFA in the first place.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The video Bobby Jindal probably doesn't want you to see before his prayer rally

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is planning a prayer rally next month in what some say is an attempt to play up to the religious right because he intends to run for president in 2016.

Already there is much controversy regarding who Jindal's office's is partnering with.  Students and faculty members of Louisiana State University, where this prayer will be held, are already up in arms about it. According to The New Orleans Advocate:

LSU students, faculty and other activists have come out against the event, called “The Response,” largely because it’s being paid for by the American Family Association, a controversial conservative religious group that opposes gay marriage and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights efforts. A protest has been planned in response to The Response, and a petition has gained hundreds of signatures in just a matter of days.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the Tupelo, Mississippi-based AFA as “some of the most hateful anti-gay voices in America” and has classified the organization as a hate group.

 Right Wing Watch has also pointed that the rally will have other controversial participants, including:

Jennifer LeClaire - LeClaire is the editor of Charisma magazine, where she routinely warns that Halloween is demonically evil and that gay superheroes are corrupting your children's souls. She has repeatedly told gay athletes to stay in the closet and repent and warned that the fight for gay marriage is a Satanic plot to send people to Hell.

 EW Jackson - a Religious Right activist and former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia who has asserted that the push for gay rights has killed more black men than the KKK and said that gay men and women are "perverted," "degenerate," and "frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally." He has warned that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and said that there is a "direct connection" between homosexuality and pedophilia. The definition of marriage can never change, Jackson has declared, because "America was ordained by Almighty God." 

Jindal, who earlier called this prayer rally  “a time of prayer, fasting, repentance and celebration.” and a way to turn the nation back to God, seems to be sidestepping all questions about his partnership with the AFA.

'Religious freedom crowd cheer Russia's persecution of gays' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Pat Robertson: Gays 'Will Die Out Because They Don't Reproduce' - Doesn't Pat Robertson know that we reproduce by the power of Madonna and Cher albums?  

Texas Gets 1st Openly Gay Federal Judge Thanks to Anti-Gay GOP Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz - I never thought I would live to see the day when I thanked those two bozos for anything.  

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges - In between wringing their hands over the false notion that gays will deny evangelical Christians their freedom in America, the anti-gay right takes time out to praise Vladimir Putin for denial of freedom for gays in Russia.  

How a sheltered housewife became the foremost in-your-face challenger of Christian homophobia - A profile of an awesome facebook friend of mine and one of the best allies for the lgbt community, Kathy Baldock.

Will Michigan's controversial 'religious freedom' bill die in legislative session?

It is a strong possibility - at least for now - that the controversial Michigan "religious freedom" bill may die in the state Senate.

According to Buzzfeed:

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville expects a religious freedom bill, which would allow people the right to refuse service based on their faith, to die in the legislature without a vote, according to his spokesperson.

“He does not expect the bill to come up for a vote in the senate before the end of the term,” said Richardville’s spokesperson, Amber McCann.

The state’s GOP-controlled house of representatives passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) along party lines on Dec. 4. The bill is now in the state senate, where Richardville, a Republican, sets the agenda. Michigan’s legislature session adjourns this month.

“He does not feel the need to rush any bill through for a vote,” McCann told BuzzFeed News. “RFRA is not a priority for Senator Richardville.”

Critics have dubbed the measure the “right-to-discriminate bill,” arguing it would grant people sweeping discretion to discriminate against any sect of society they choose on religious grounds.

Critics, particularly lgbt bloggers have pointed out that the bill is so broad that it can also protect pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for medication to fight HIV or hospitals refusing to admit lgbt patients.

Rana Elmir, deputy director at ACLU of Michigan, told Buzzfeed that thousands of Michigan residents have been contacting lawmakers in protest. She claimed that public opinion is against the bill.

Elmir has a point. Yesterday, according to The New Civil Rights Movement, there was a protest at the state capitol against the bill.

Above picture courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

'Gays are the greatest threat to American liberty? REALLY? & other Tuesday midday news briefs

The greatest threat to American liberty? Gay rights? Sometimes I like to pretend that Bryan Fischer is just saying these things because he has a very sick relative and he needs the money given to him for these outrageous commentaries. It's either that explanation or simply the man is a homophobic sleazeball. Whatever the case may be, I don't feel angry. I feel the need to buy a one piece white suit and a Persian cat which I will then stroke gently while speaking in a faux European accent while commanding a bunch of fearful subordinates.  

An Open Letter to Mainstream LGBT Organizations That Have Remained Silent on Black Lives Mattering - Excellent point AND it underlines the intersection of the lgbt and African-American communities.  

How the anti-gay bill affected Uganda’s tourism - Thanks to folks like Martin Ssempa, Uganda can now 'eat da poo poo.' 

 Marriage Equality Arrives In Scotland - Not bad. Not bad at all!  

Philly Anti-Gay Hate Attack Suspects Determined To Fight Charges In Court - Bring it on!  

Religious Right Group Defends Bogus Ex-Gay Billboard - Of course they do and in the attempt, they underline the point I made about anti-gay distortions of science:

 Greg Quinlan, PFOX’s conspiratorial and extremist spokesman, defended the billboard in an interview today with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily, insisting that that his group just wants gay people to know that “the truth that homosexuality is destructive to someone.” 
 “The billboard speaks to the scientific fact that to quote the American Psychiatric Association, ‘there still remains no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality,’” Quinlan told WND. “There is zero evidence that a person is born a homosexual. In fact, Dr. Francis Collins of the human genome project with the National Institute of Health, who was appointed by President Clinton to do the project said homosexuality was “not hard-wired.’” 

 But THAT is not true. In 2008 and 2010, Collins has gone on record saying that he didn't make that statement. And Quinlan knows this because during the 2008 situation,  HE WAS MADE AWARE OF WHAT COLLINS SAID.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Research Council spokesman gives lukewarm response to proposal that gays be put to death

I don't know what's scarier about the following audio clip - that this caller actually proposes executing lgbts or the lukewarm way the Family Research Council's Craig James addresses the man's proposal.

In all honesty, I don't blame the caller for what he said. I blame people like James, Tony Perkins, and the rest of the anti-gay right (especially Fox News' Todd Starnes) for consistently ginning up the lie that gays want to harm Christians. What do you expect when you conjure up visions of gays recreating the Holocaust on evangelical Christians? When you are constantly feeding people fear, what the heck do you expect the outcome will be?

Anti-gay billboard the latest in a long line of scientific lies by the religious right

PFOX's inaccurate billboard highlights the organization's willingness to lie.

Last week, the anti-gay group PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) suffered a huge embarrassment because of a billboard it put up on a Virginia interstate:

 The billboard appeared recently beside I-95 in Richmond, Virginia, according to NBC affiliate WWBT. The sign depicts two males, one dressed in a suit and the other in a white T-shirt, and says: "Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twin research studies show nobody is born gay."

As it turned out, the two males featured in the billboard sign was only one man, Kyle Roux, who happens to be openly gay.  This slip provided a delicious degree of schadenfreude
for the lgbt community.

However, in the midst of the laughter and derision, the lgbt community seem to be missing the larger picture which can be potentially beneficial to the community.

The way PFOX cited twin studies is inaccurate, according to lgbt activist and Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen:

“PFOX’s billboard underscores the groups scientific illiteracy and shows that ‘ex-gay’ activism is about demagoguery and marketing, rather that truth and results,” said Besen. “In reality, twin studies prove that there is a genetic link to sexual orientation. It is stunning that PFOX would pay for a billboard to showcase its ignorance and incompetence.”

A Truth Wins Out press release accused PFOX and other anti-gay groups of continuously distorting science:

 . . . anti-gay activists consistently distort research. They point to twin studies and say, “if homosexuality was truly genetic, the concordance rate for identical twins would be 100-percent.” Scientists say that this is a gross misunderstanding of the research. According to Dr. Eric Vilain, Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology at UCLA, and the Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics:
“All sorts of traits that are clearly genetic do not show 100% concordance [in twins]. I’ll give you examples, if people look at obesity. Or autism, looking at twins. There is undeniably, no one will even challenge that there is a genetic cause for both obesity and autism.
The twin studies do not show that it is 100% genetic. They just demonstrate that there is a genetic influence. There could be other influences on sexual orientation. Some of them might be environmental. For instance, the older brother effect [studies showing the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay] is an environmental influence. That’s what has happened in the past, in the same womb seems to influence the sexual orientation of future pregnancies. So, it is certainly not an all or nothing phenomenon.”

Truth Wins Out's  press release also quoted  Dr. Marc Breedlove, Michigan State University, Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience and Dr. Simon LeVay, author of Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. They both went into detail about what was omitted by the simplicity of PFOX's billboard.

PFOX's  billboard is the latest in a long history of scientific inaccuracies and distortions undertaken by various anti-gay groups to bolster their negative claims against the lgbt community.

'Horses, marriage equality & ex-gay billboards' & other Monday midday news briefs

No One Is Born Gay? Hundreds Join In Protest Of 'Ex-Gay' Billboard - Nothing like an idiotic anti-gay happening to get the folks stoked up. I hope they stay stoked up.

  Mississippi Pastor Edward James Protests Gay Marriage With Horse In Wedding Dress - Somehow I don't think he successfully made his point. What I want to know is how did he get the dress on the horse.

No, My 10-Year-Old Son Isn't Looking for a Girlfriend. He Likes Boys. - I read this piece over the weekend and I think it should have a wider audience. THIS is what parental support looks like. 

 Scott Lively claims homosexuality worse than mass murder 'from God's perspective' - Because apparently God speaks His word through a two-bit homophobic #@!% who exploited homophobia and fear in foreign countries to further the persecution of lgbts. Who knew? 

 Bobby Jindal Is Predictably Partnering With Anti-Gay Radicals For His Prayer Rally - Bobby, Bobby, Bobby! The key to pandering is to not make it look so obvious.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gasp! Proctor & Gamble enlists Tide in pushing the 'gay agenda!' Oh horrors!!

My only regret about this commercial is that it from Canada. One can only imagine how our very creatively enterprising opponents would spin this.

I can just hear them now. - How DARE Tide run a commercial showing a gay couple doing normal things like bickering over laundry when it is a well-known fact that gays all congregate in huge board rooms and discuss the overthrow of America, the indoctrination of children, and the imprisoning of heterosexual Christians.:

Hat tip to Towleroad.

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Ex-gay group contradicts its own message via billboard model' & other Friday midday news briefs

'Ex-Gay' Group Erects Billboard Saying 'Nobody Is Born Gay' - A couple of days ago, the anti-gay group, PFOX causes a huge controversy by a billboard it put up along a major interstate highway in Virginia. However, we now know that this is ONLY part of the story. 

HILARIOUS: Model from 'ex-gay' twins billboard is 'out, proud gay man,' not a twin - HERE is the other part of the story. Because of its cheap budget and exploitation of stock footage, PFOX made a MAJOR Freudian goof. 

 Barber And Staver: The Fight Against Gay Marriage Is 'The Next Civil Rights Movement' - This of course is absolutely the most ridiculous, stupid, ignorant thing I have heard today, but it bothers me. As much as some heterosexual African-Americans carry on when they think that lgbts are appropriating the Civil Rights Movement, I wish they weren't so silent when anti-gay white folks do it.

 The Duggars Just Made It Easier To Discriminate Against LGBT People. Will TLC React? - Unfortunately, probably not. At least not now. But let's give the Duggar family time and room to dig their own hole a little deeper.  

Alabama recalls vanity license plate with gay slur - I guess I'm SUPPOSED to be happy over this. Why was the slur approved in the first place?

The Family Research Council isn't held accountable for its homophobia, anti-gay lies

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

According to GLAAD, FRC president Tony Perkins has made several outrageous comments about the lgbt community, including accusing us of being "pawns" of Satan, claiming that we want to put Christians in boxcars and cart them away, comparing us to terrorists, and - of course - claiming that we want to recruit children.

Substitute the African-American or Jewish community for lgbt community in terms of who FRC and Perkins denigrates and do you honestly think that the following montage of Perkins being called upon to comment as a "Christian leader" on Fox News would happen:

The problem here isn't solely the fact that Perkins and FRC continuously lie about and denigrate the lgbt community. Part of the problem is that the media doesn't hold them accountable for these actions.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper for the montage.