Friday, May 29, 2015

'Gay hotelier lied about his meeting with anti-gay Sen. Ted Cruz' & other Friday midday news briefs.

Sen. Ted Cruz
Gay Hotelier Ian Reisner Lied About Cutting Check for Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign - The controversy involving gay hotelier Ian Reisner and anti-gay senator Ted Cruz, i.e. the one in which Reisner said that he was being attacked for merely wanting to establish a dialogue with Cruz and that no money was given during the meeting. The controversy which led to an internal conversation regarding the so-called "intolerance" of gays. Well the narrative was all wrong. Reisner conveniently didn't mention the check he gave Cruz, which puts an entirely new dynamic on the situation. It also proves that sometimes the lgbt community need to stick to our guns rather than being bamboozled into concern trolling ourselves. 

North Carolina Governor Vetoes ‘License To Discriminate’ Bill - This took place yesterday and had the lgbt community reeling . . . in a positive way.  

Pat Robertson: Gay Men Are Pedophiles Who Want To Recruit Your Sons (Video) - Part 35,0000. Seeing that Sen. Marco Rubio chose Pat Robertson's show to whine about anti-Christian persecution, I would love to hear his take on this.  

Let Love Define Family Series Looks At 'Religious Freedom' Bills - This NEEDS to be noted.  

Transgender People Talk About Coming Out #TransStories - These are wonderful stories.

Comedy site 'Funny or Die' nails The Duggars with a biting satire

The site Funny or Die puts its spin on the Duggars controversy and actually gets to heart of the matter in a biting satire:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Family Research Council spokesman defends countries which persecute gays

FRC's Peter Sprigg defends countries persecuting gays.

This morning, I wrote about how the Family Research Council exploited actual cases of anti-Christian persecution in the Middle East in order to showcase phony anecdotes of anti-Christian persecution in this country.

In an irony which would be funny if it weren't so vile, FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg yesterday actually criticized the Obama Administration for its work against countries which persecute gays.

According to Right Wing Watch:

 . . . on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg — who once called for the U.S. to “export homosexuals” — criticized Randy Berry, the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for reportedly traveling to travel to Uganda and Jamaica, where homosexuality is also criminalized. Sprigg said that Berry and the Obama administration are trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” such as Uganda, “which is one of the countries which has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”

For the record, Sprigg is actually defending anti-gay persecution in Jamaica where, according to a Human Rights Watch report entitled Not Safe at Home:

LGBT citizens in Jamaica are often driven from their communities by neighbors and sometimes even family. Some health professionals stigmatize them by casting judgment on their sexuality when they seek care. Police protection against bias and physical attacks is generally poor.

And in Uganda, where laws and persecution against gays have been the subject of international unrest for a number of years.

But to Sprigg and the Family Research Council, gays and the Obama Administration are at fault for attempting to put an end to this persecution.

I guess that makes one thing clear -  we know that the Family Research Council supports the persecution of gays in foreign countries, but its obvious that the group doesn't care about anti-Christian persecution in foreign countries, that is unless it can exploit the cases for its own benefit.

'Fox News tiptoed around the Duggar scandal' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Fox News Devoted Less Than Two Minutes To The Duggar Controversy - It's not that I want Fox News to go buckwild on the Duggars scandal, but we all know that if this situation involved a prominent lgbt activist, the network would have probably devoted several shows and a prime time special to it. 

Rick Santorum's 5 Worst Smears: Attacking Gay Rights, Working Women & Church-State Separation - Like some sentient fungus, Rick Santorum just won't go away. He is taking another chance at running for president. Just in case he tries to "retool" his image, let's not forget his past positions, particularly on lgbt equality. 

Family Research Council exploits true victims of religious persecution to fundraise - A reminder of this morning's post. The Family Research Council is so sleazy, it would blame Job's calamities on the lgbt community in order to make a little money.  

Divisive anti-gay marriage bill falls in Texas Legislature - And another one bites the dust. The problem is that there are so many others in waiting.  

Why The Assault On LGBT Rights In The Texas Legislature Failed - The Texas legislature in general was seriously "jonesing" to kick lgbt equality square in the teeth. But it looks like the anti-gay bills all failed, leaving the Texas lgbt community feeling like Buster Keaton in that movie where the house fell on him, but left him unharmed because he stood in the path of an open window.

Family Research Council exploits true victims of religious persecution to fundraise

Leave it to the Family Research Council to sink to a new low in order to fundraise. I received the following email from FRC president Tony Perkins:

Please Take a Stand for Persecuted Christians In America . . . and Everywhere!

When I testified before U.S. Senators about religious persecution, I wore it.

When I testified before the United Nations about religious persecution, I wore it.

When I travel around the country wearing it, people ask me what it stands for—and it helps open their hearts to Christ and His people.

"It" is a simple lapel pin.

The pin features the Arabic letter "N" (which looks like a "U" with a dot above it).

ISIS uses this, "N" when wanting to identify Nasrani, or Nazarene, followers of Christ.
In the Middle East today . . . it means persecution and death for your fellow Christians.
But I'm asking you today to let me send you a Nasrani Pin to show you stand with persecuted Christians overseas . . . to show you stand for Jesus and His people anywhere . . . and to show you stand with FRC against the growing persecution here as well.

When ISIS terrorists—Islamic jihadist radicals—enter towns in northern Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, they find out where the Christians live and work.

The terrorists issue a three-way ultimatum: Convert to Islam . . . or pay a crushing religious tax that many can't afford . . . or be brutally executed.

And if the Christians won't renounce their faith?

Their home or business is marked with the "N." They are marked as Nasrani: followers of Jesus of Nazareth. And they pay a heavy price.

Christian children, moms, dads, the elderly are being massacred. Some are crucified. Some are beheaded. Some are shot. Some are bled to death by having their throats cut as they are held still. Some are tortured before enduring any of these deaths.

They are the Nasrani martyrs.

They will not renounce their Lord.

Will you stand with them today? Will you claim the same Nasrani mark? Will you stand with FRC's efforts to wake up the slumbering U.S. government and United Nations to their plight . . . even as FRC also stands against persecution of Christians in America?

When you support FRC's efforts to stand for religious freedom—in other words, to stand for persecuted Christians in the United States as well as overseas—I will send you a Nasrani Pin as my thank you.
So far so good. I don't believe anyone should be physically attacked, murdered, or terrorized simply because of their faith. I actually commend FRC for bringing attention to this. BUT then the letter adds the following:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Clemson coach disassociates himself from anti-gay group after backlash from SC lgbts, allies

Dabo Swinney
In terms of lgbt activism, states like New York and California or the cities therein seem to grab all of the attention.

It's easy to forget that other states have lgbt activists who fight the good fight and generally win.

Take South Carolina for example, where folks got together and convinced Clemson's football coach Dabo Swinney not to attend an event held by an anti-gay group:

After protests over Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney's scheduled attendance at an event for a conservative group that opposes gay marriage, Swinney said Wednesday he is not taking part.
"After much thought, in order to avoid a distraction for the team and the entire football program, I've decided it is in the best interests of all involved that I not attend the event on June 2," he told The Huffington Post in a statement.

 . . . Swinney was scheduled to be honored June 2 at a fundraiser in Columbia, South Carolina, by the council, which says its "vision is to transform the culture in South Carolina by promoting the values and virtues of marriage, the traditional family model, and sexual purity."

GLAAD Vice President of Programs Zeke Stokes said in a statement: "Coach Swinney has an obligation to the players he leads and all students who attend Clemson to use his considerable profile to promote causes that bring us together, not tear us apart. The Palmetto Family Council's values are out of line with the values of love and acceptance for all people, and I hope the Coach will reconsider the message that his alignment with them sends."

Earlier, LGBT supporters, led by student William Ta'oma, launched a petition calling for Swinney to reconsider the invitation 

Even a state legislator, Todd Rutherford, called for Swinney to turn down the invite:

“I find it highly inappropriate that Coach Swinney would appear at a fundraiser for an organization that is so openly discriminatory and politically motivated,” the House Minority Leader said in a statement published by The State. “I cannot fathom why Coach Swinney or anyone else would knowingly assist a group whose mission is to fight against equal rights and equal treatment of others.”

Jeffy Ayers, interim director of SC Equality, praised Swinney's decision to withdraw.  “We commend Coach Swinney for having the courage to stand up and show this respect for diversity," he said. “Clemson students, alumni, faculty, and staff come from all walks of life, and we rely on role models like Coach Swinney to show the world that South Carolina’s community leaders will not stand for intolerance and hate.”

So this is somewhat of a victory, but I have a caveat.

The Palmetto Family Council goes way beyond opposing marriage equality. It also pushes totally inaccurate information about lgbts. On the portion of its webpage talking about "sexuality," PFC links to a Family Research Council brochure entitled The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage. This brochure is filled with errors, including distortions of legitimate scientific work and studies deliberately taken out of context.

In addition, PFC also links to the discredited organization NARTH, or the  National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. This group promotes the unproven idea that people can change their sexual orientation. This theory has been condemned by many legitimate scientific groups, such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Those protesting against Swinney's appearance at the PFC event actually did him a favor. He would have been helping to promote the above mess by his appearance.

And what message would that send to lgbt football players he could potentially coach?

'Ireland vote for marriage equality affirms religious beliefs' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Why Thousands Of Catholics Voted For Marriage Equality In Ireland - Marriage equality being passed via a referendum in Ireland was not a repudiation of the Catholic Church but an affirmation of the Catholic religion. Discuss.  

Ireland Gay Marriage Vote Is A 'Defeat For Humanity,' Vatican Official Says - Speaking of the Catholic Church, they aren't exactly pouring champagne over the passage of marriage equality in Ireland. 

Don't fall for Marco Rubio's phony fear of so-called 'intolerant' gays - Repeating my post from last night because it just sticks in my craw that Marco Rubio can get away with labeling gays as intolerant on a program owned by a man who falsely blamed gays for 9/11 (Pat Robertson) and NO ONE in the media notes the irony. 

 Audio: Will you please stop 'attacking' NOM president for saying your sexual orientation, family are 'disordered'? - Yeah, cause that sort of thing is . . . "intolerant" . . . I guess. 

 More Advertisers Drop '19 Kids And Counting' In Wake Of Child Molestation Scandal - Cash. Rules. Everything.  

Roy Moore: Impeach Ruth Bader Ginsburg Over Gay Marriage Case - And in similar news, I want that hot movie writer and producer Mike White to come knocking on my door with wedding ring in hand. Doesn't mean it's going to happen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Don't fall for Marco Rubio's phony fear of so-called 'intolerant' gays

Sen. Rubio exploits his faith to obscure bigotry.

"Claiming that gays are intolerant on a television show owned by the man who falsely blamed gays for the worst terrorist attack on American soil strikes me as something an actual Christian couldn't do with a straight face.But Rubio did with not only a straight face but also with a figurative fake halo over his head."

There is no polite way to put this so I am just going to come out and say it.

Senator Marco Rubio is a liar. He is a charlatan. He is a fraud who is no different than so many so-called Bible-believing Republicans who exploit religion and "their faith" in an effort to provide cover for their homophobia.

Today, he was given a friendly interview on Pat Robertson's 700 Club in which he played "the game" pretty good. Amongst other things, he said:

“We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” he explained, “because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. So what’s the next step after that, after they’re done going after individuals? The next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. That’s a real and present danger.”

The "game" I speak of  has been played on many occasions and by many people from one-note politicians to two-bit media hacks with badly researched books to sell. It's the claim that gays are actually the intolerant ones and that we are automatically labeling "Christians" as haters and bigots if we don't agree with their speech or beliefs.

It's a deliberate tactic used by those against marriage equality  and it is designed to take attention away from the actual folks we should be concerned about, i.e. same-sex families and their children.

And the tactic also has a much more nefarious purpose. It also takes attention away from a crucial part of the battle over marriage equality and lgbt equality in general. Rubio and those on his side can take about their "faith" continuously, but note that while they do this, they never talk about their tactics.

Tactics like deliberately playing the African-American and gay community against one another,

or implying that marriage equality will corrupt and indoctrinate children, even while one of their leaders said that this idea was a deliberate lie,

or attempting to deceive the Supreme Court with a phony study speaking about the so-called negative effects of same-sex households.

Even if you didn't talk about these things, one shouldn't forget whose program on which Rubio chose to espouse his faith. The 700 Club, owned by Pat Roberston, i.e. the same man who (along with the late Jerry Falwell) blamed 9/11 partly on gays.

Claiming that gays are intolerant on a television show owned by the man who falsely blamed gays for the worst terrorist attack on American soil strikes me as something an actual Christian couldn't do with a straight face.

But Rubio did with not only a straight face but also with a figurative fake halo over his head.

And even if one ignored all of those things, Rubio still has some explaining to do regarding the host of one of his fundraisers who has ties to an African dictator who endorsed gay beheadings.

Naturally, Rubio won't mention these offenses committed by those on his side of the argument or himself.  He will just drone on and on about his faith and how he feels that his beliefs are in danger of being labeled as "intolerant." Meanwhile, people will ignore the tactics those on his side commit, which are the reasons why they are referred to as bigots or homophobes.

It's not Rubio's beliefs which are the problem. It's what he may be deliberately omitting that's the problem. That is crux of the matter. That is the reason why Rubio is such a fake Christian  in a congregation of evangelical and ecclesiastical liars. He is the epitome of what religious right conservatives are in contrast to what they claim to be.

Don't be deceived by people like Rubio. Their eyes may be looking towards heaven, but you can't mistake the smell of brimstone on their bodies.

'Conservatives, religious right learn NOTHING from Josh Duggar scandal' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Video of a pro-marriage equality landslide vote in Ireland!

 Last week, Ireland became the first country ever to pass marriage equality through a public referendum and the vote wasn't even a nailbiter. A huge majority of voters (over 60 percent) showed  that they were in favor of marriage equality. Enjoy the video of a nation of happy lgbt couples and their supporters.

And ask yourself, why are some people so afraid of this.

Friday, May 22, 2015

'Fans rush to defend Josh Duggar' & other Friday midday news briefs

‘Boys are curious': Meet the Duggar defenders using religion to excuse fondling your sleeping sisters - Even in the midst of the scandal, Josh Duggar and his family has their defenders . . . 

‘Here are 6 of the most horrifying examples of the Duggars’ homophobia  - . . . who seem to not only justify what Duggars did but also miss the big point of hypocrisy.  
Montel Williams Goes Off on ‘Scumbag’ Josh Duggar: ‘Gay People Are the Danger to Kids?’ - Montel Williams gets the point, though.

The Family Research Council’s Strange Statement On Josh Duggar’s Child Molestation Confession - Meanwhile, Duggar's former employer, the Family Research Council is left in a stupor because a central point it makes, i.e. gays are harmful to children, just got blown up in its face.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Josh Duggar resigns from the Family Research Council after incidents of past molestations resurface

Josh Duggar
This is NOT meant to be celebratory news. Just an observation regarding anti-gay lies and people who live in glass houses:

Josh Duggar, the eldest son of conservative icons Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame, has announced that he is resigning from his position at the Family Research Council following revelations that he molested several young girls, including some of his sisters according to TMZ, when he was a teenager.

In Touch magazine first published details from the 2006 police report that showed that when Duggar was 14 he confessed to his father that he had sexually molesting five young girls. But Jim Bob waited more than a year before alerting the police and his since tried to keep the felony investigation out of the public eye.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” the now 27-year-old Josh Duggar told People magazine in a statement Thursday. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” 

Duggars, as well as other members of his family were vocal regarding their stance against lgbt equality, particularly marriage equality.  According to the Huffington Post:

 The Duggar family has found themselves in the midst of several controversies surrounding LGBT issues. In August, Michelle Duggar narrated a robocall asking voters to oppose a bill aimed at strengthening protections for transgender residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas. And in November, the family allegedly removed photos of a same-sex couple kissing from their Facebook page.

Last year, Duggar led a rally against marriage equality in Arkansas when he said the following:

“Arkansans should not face the threat of fines or being sued for living out the deeply-held convictions of their faith. We have the First Amendment in this nation, and we have the right to live out our faith. The rally will send a strong reminder to Arkansas Supreme Court Justices that an overwhelming majority of voters, 75 percent, voted to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman,”

Right Wing Watch points out that in December of last year, he led a campaign to defeat a non-discrimination ordinance in Arkansas, claiming that it would threatened the safety of children.

I'm sure that there will be plenty of words. But as I said before, this is nothing to celebrate. Just a reminder that those who become so high and mighty that they see nothing wrong with scapegoating  others would be best served to remember what is hiding in their own dark closets before pointing the finger.

Sen Ted Cruz thinks gay marriages will become 'mandatory'

Editor's note - Due to computer problems,  today's news briefs were canceled.

Along with the vile allegiance to anti-gay discrimination, Sen. Ted Cruz turns a strange phrase in this video. Starting at .20, he mentions something about "mandatory gay marriages." It was not a mistake by Cruz but a deliberate talking point. According to Salon:

"Mandatory same-sex marriage” and “mandatory gay marriage” are actual terms that Ted Cruz has been running around warning the masses about. It is a staple of his talking points on the issue."

MSNBC  also noted that Cruz has been using the phrase "mandatory gay marriage" on numerous occasions.

Anti-gay groups, their spokespeople, and supporters are uniquely skilled in repeating phrases, memes, and claims designed to sway the public in their favor, but I don't see it happening here with Cruz's insistence on using the talking point of "mandatory gay marriages."

It's an idiotic phrase which does nothing to turn the public against marriage equality. I think it puts people in the opposite mindset because it implies that the opposition to marriage equality is getting hysterically paranoid.

You won't find many people who believe that pro-marriage equality laws will force people to enter same-sex marriages.  But you will find them questioning the intelligence of those who do.

Bryan Fischer enters drama queen territory and begins making space

As we get nearer to the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is getting more shriller with her his calls to alarm.

Sorry for the punctuation error there, but Fischer has totally entered "drama queen" territory and is now making space for himself:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Anti-gay groups own the patent on scientific distortions

The sad fact that a pro-gay study has turned out to be fraudulent would only be made worse should, when discussing this situation, folks forget that anti-gay groups have practically wrote the book on distorting science.

FOF's Tom Minnery distorted science in 2011.
By now, I am sure many of you have heard about this monstrosity of a situation:

A study claiming that gay people advocating same-sex marriage can change voters’ minds has been retracted due to fraud. . . . The study was published last December in Science, and received lots of media attention (including from BuzzFeed News). It found that a 20-minute, one-on-one conversation with a gay political canvasser could steer voters in favor of same-sex marriage. Not only that, but these changed opinions lasted for at least a year and influenced other people in the voter’s household, the study found.

Donald Green, the senior author on the study, retracted it on Tuesday shortly after learning that his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, had faked the results. Science posted an official “editorial expression of concern” — a very big deal in the science world — on Wednesday afternoon.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, said in his retraction letter to the journal, as posted on the Retraction Watch blog.

I am personally furious for the obvious reasons that a pro-gay study turned out to be fraudulent, but also I can just imagine how anti-gay groups and spokespeople will attempt to spin this.  If they are smart, they would be wise to remain in their glass houses.

'Jindal enforcing anti-gay discrimination via executive order?' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Bobby Jindal Vows To Enforce Religious Freedom Measure Through Executive Order - Good news - the Louisiana legislature killed that awful anti-gay "religious liberty" bill. BAD NEWS - Gov. Bobby Jindal is pushing it through via an executive order. Oh yeah, Bobby. THAT will get you to the White House. 

Jindal: Protecting LGBT Rights Will Hurt Businesses In The Long Run - And naturally after he does that awful act, Jindal runs to the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council for cover. This post is specifically for those who underestimate the power of anti-gay groups and say the lgbt community shouldn't "give them any attention." 

 Backlash, Bullies, and Victory Blindness - Wonderful piece by my new friend Richard J. Rosendall on how conservatives (some who are gay) are attempting to undercut lgbt equality victories.  

Ted Cruz, Cornered Again on Gay Rights, Says ISIS is Worse Than He Is - But YOU were the one who said that marriage equality was the greatest threat to "religious freedom" and also implied something about "mandatory gay marriages." Don't deflect about ISIS when you can't stand the heat of the fire you started. 

 Host Of Rubio Fundraiser Was Foreign Agent For Dictator Who Endorses Gay Beheadings - Something to remember the next time Marco Rubio whines about being "labeled as a bigot." 

 Data Faked In Study About Gay People Changing Voters’ Minds - What the @%!$! There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this type of behavior, especially from those who are supposed to be our allies. The only good thing which can come out of this is if and when the anti-gay right trumpet this situation, we can remind folks of the many, many times they have distorted science to demonize gays, INCLUDING a certain $850,000+ fraudulent study on gay parenting which blew up in their faces in time for the DOMA case at the Supreme Court. In fact, one can almost expect a stand alone post from me on these distortions so we can have a level playing field when it comes to just WHO likes to distort science.

'The New Black' explores relationship between black community & lgbt equality

After the 2008 Prop 8 vote, the African-American community shouldered the blame (whether unfairly or not) for that loss. Four years later, it was the African-American community which played a pivotal role in marriage equality coming to Maryland.

What changed over four year's time? If you ask me, it was less assumptions by lgbt community and more dialogue between that community and the African-American community as well as the basic acknowledgement of lgbts of color.

A wonderful film, The New Black, examines what happened in Maryland against the backdrop of the struggle of lgbt equality in the black community. Here is the trailer:

From The Huffington Post:

 The film is now enjoying a new life as part of an initiative to get students at historically black colleges and universities to talk about a longtime taboo in the African-American community — sexual identity and the church. The initiative is a project of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocate of LGBT equality, and Promised Land Films, the producers of the film. HRC designated $4,000 in grants to bring “The New Black” to so-called HBCUs. To date it has been shown at about a half-dozen schools, including Spelman College, Howard University and Tennessee State University. Chris Smith, an outreach coordinator for HRC, said the grant money covers the screenings and follow-up discussions.