Friday, February 12, 2016

'Franklin Graham thinks Christians should take over mayorships to stop lgbt equality' & other Friday midday news briefs

Franklin Graham thinks he speaks for all Christians

Franklin Graham: Christians Must Take Over Every Mayorship In The Country To Stop 'Evil' LGBT Rights - Graham has crossed the line to religious fanaticism a long time ago with his support of anti-gay persecution in Russia and homophobic lies, so this is part for the course. Not all Christians believe as he does. But mark my words - Graham is operating not from the word of God, but purely from ego. And one day, his egotism is going to take a huge chunk out of his behind. It happened with Eddie Long, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc., etc. Graham will merely be the latest.

SiriusXM shuts down its gay channel - Booooo! Not a good idea!  

Anti-LGBT Bullying Has Long-Term Mental Health Consequences, Study Finds - Not surprising. Nor will it be surprising that anti-gay spokespeople will probably cite this study as proof of the false idea of homosexuality being a "dangerous behavior" WITHOUT mentioning that it's their pronounced bigotry which is the problem and not sexual orientation. They've done it so many times before.  

Judge Clears Kim Davis, Approves Kentucky Marriage Licenses With Her Name Removed - And so it ends with a whimper and not a bang. I haven't heard any religious right groups talking about this at all.

Anti-Gay Texas Attorney General Faces Disbarment - Mentioning this because I want to end today's news briefs on a happy note. Pluck that turkey!!

SPLC report exposes the 'religious liberty' fraud and anti-gay groups behind it

For those of us looking to find information to expose and combat the trend of  "religious liberty" bills coming from the religious right and supporters in the wake of legal marriage equality, the Southern Poverty Law Center has come out with a kick ass report on the groups behind these bills (all of which should unfortunately be familiar to us lgbts) and their history of homophobia:

In recent years, the LGBT rights movement has witnessed a sea change in American attitudes toward the gay community and, along with it, a series of dramatic policy and legal victories — most notably marriage equality — that would have seemed unthinkable just a decade ago.

Yet, while the majority of Americans support LGBT rights, these gains have produced a strong backlash.The hardline religious-right groups that have long relied on the use of demonizing falsehoods to justify discrimination against LGBT people have not simply folded their tents and walked away.

Rather, they have used their large megaphone to create a dangerous new narrative that portrays Christians who object to homosexuality on biblical grounds as victims of religious persecution. This idea is particularly compelling to millions of evangelicals who see themselves and their values as being under siege in a rapidly changing society.

Across the country, these opponents of LGBT equality are working to persuade state legislatures to pass laws known as Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) — statutes that ostensibly allow individuals to deny goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of their religious beliefs.

 . . . . The new RFRAs are being championed by extreme religious-right groups that — as these profiles reveal — want to reverse the recent progress toward equal protection under the law for the LGBT community. If they had their way, the country would return to the era when gay people remained in the closet and the government claimed the right to say what could go on between consenting adults in their bedrooms.
These groups are clever — and cynical.

They know that, as Americans have grown more accepting of LGBT people, they can no longer rely on discredited stereotypes to stymie the march toward full equality. So they have wrapped their bigotry in the cloak of religious freedom.

The public should not be fooled.

Get the full report (and you can even download for later reading) here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

'IN Gov. Mike Pence can't answer simple question on lgbt equality' & other Thur. afternoon news briefs

Oh good grief, Gov. Mike Pence. How difficult is it to say either yes or no. It's one of those questions. 

In other news:

 Transphobic Bathroom Bill Dies in Washington State - Nice to see common sense prevailing. Unfortunately, you just know it's not over yet.  

West Virginia Lawmakers Pass Problematic ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill 72-26 - However, sanity didn't prevail everywhere.

 Georgia House passes ‘Pastor Protection Act - And it totally skipped Georgia. This is a needless bill. No pastor can ever be forced to perform a same-sex wedding.  

Gay teacher’s sex video stolen, posted to school site - And what happened to this teacher was wrong on all accounts.

Mrs. Ted Cruz's spooky vision of America

Heidi Cruz is as spooky as her husband, Ted.

While she doesn't mention the lgbt community, it doesn't take a palm reader to tell that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, doesn't necessarily have room for us being treated fairly in her husband's vision of America as evidenced by this religious tangent she went off on during an appearance on a South Carolina radio show.  Count how many times she mentions "Christian." We get it already!

From Right Wing Watch:

Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi, who has been campaigning for her husband full-time over the past several months, explained the role of faith in the Texas Republican’s presidential campaign yesterday, telling a South Carolina radio host that Cruz is running to “show this country the face of the God that we serve.”


 When I thought about doing it for our country, it became very clear to me that our family must be in this race. And it also became clear to me that we are at a cultural crossroads in our country and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve — this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country, our country was built on Judeo-Christian values, we are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence. And I think that’s something that this country really needs to be reminded of, is that Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people, but there is right and wrong, we have a country of law and order, there are consequences to actions and we must all live peaceably in our own faiths under the Constitution. And Ted is uniquely able to deliver on that combination of the law and religion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Open letter to GLAAD voices anger over elimination of award

After five years of honoring bloggers, GLAAD has decided to do away with the 'Outstanding Blog' category, forcing LGBT grassroots and independent media to compete with larger media sources. Many of us noted bloggers and activists (and more are forthcoming) have signed a letter detailing why we feel this is an egregious error.

This situation is about more than just an award or recognition. This is a terrible example of a larger organization deciding not to acknowledge grassroots activists and journalists who have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure fairness and equality for the lgbt community. And it sends an awful message to future activists and journalists.

An Open Letter to GLAAD Regarding the 2016 Media Awards

We, the undersigned, respectfully but strongly disagree with your decision to remove the category of ‘Outstanding Blog’ from the GLAAD Awards and with your rationalization behind this decision. 

LGBT blogs and independent media play a crucial role in relaying information, providing new and diverse voices, and bringing attention to LGBT issues that have been overlooked and omitted by the mainstream media. Bloggers are the last truly independent voices of lived LGBT experience, and those who undertake this task typically do so without pay or recognition. They don’t grace the cover of magazines. They don’t get book deals. They don’t win Oscars. What they accomplish through their sacrifice of time and energy is the proper dissemination of information which serves to make our community stronger and better educated. 

The ‘Outstanding Blog’ award bestowed by GLAAD was one of the few ways LGBT bloggers has been given their due. The idea that these voices will now have to compete with larger and more powerful news entities such as The New York Times, MSNBC and Buzzfeed is unfair and, frankly, humiliating. The elimination of the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category implies that unless one is a celebrity or affiliated with a publication with a high profile and finances to match, you are held without regard in the LGBT media landscape, or at least as GLAAD sees it. 

It is sadly ironic that GLAAD, an organization which prides itself on lifting up positive LGBT portrayals, has rendered grassroots LGBT voices invisible and unworthy of recognition. While an initial statement from GLAAD explained that bloggers are still welcome to compete with national outlets in other journalism categories, a simple fact speaks for itself: among the 2016 award nominees, there is not a single blog (or community-based LGBT outlet, for that matter) to be found anywhere on the list. The crucial voice of first-person LGBT voices has simply disappeared from the GLAAD Awards. This is a troubling message to send to the general public, to up-and-coming LGBT writers, and to the LGBT community itself. 

In the spirit of a community in which every voice is an asset in our march to full equality, we ask that the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category be fully reinstated immediately. Please conduct a nomination process at once so that this critical error might be rectified before your 2016 awards dinner.  Also, announcing the winner of this category from the stage, unlike in year’s past, would also be a nice touch.


Diane Anderson-Minshall
CEO of Retrograde Communications & Editor in Chief of Plus Magazine

Bil Browning
Founder of The Bilerico Project 
2011, 2012 GLAAD Award Nominee

JD Davids
Managing Editor,

Zack Ford
LGBT Editor,

Michael Hamar
Michael in Norfolk - Coming Out in Mid-Life

Rebecca Juro
Columnist, South Florida Gay News

Mark S. King
2015 GLAAD Award Nominee

Will Kohler

Alvin McEwen
Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
2014, 2015 GLAAD Award Nominee

Noah Michelson
HuffPost Queer Voices

Michael Rogers
Netroots Connect

Dana Rudolph
2012 GLAAD Media Award Winner

Michelangelo Signorile

Pam Spaulding
Pam’s House Blend

Joe Sudbay
Longtime Blogger

Berlin Sylvestre
Editor, OUT FRONT Magazine

Brynn Tannehill
Independent Writer

Daniel Villarreal
Editor in Chief, Unicorn Booty

Ashton P. Woods
Strength in Numbers

Sarah Toce
Founder/Publisher, The Seattle Lesbian

Dana Beyer
Weekly Columnist
Huffpost Queer Voices
Jim Burroway
Box Turtle Bulletin
2015 GLAAD Nominee for Outstanding Blog
2012 GLAAD Nominee for Outstanding Digital Journalism Article
2012 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Winner for Excellence in Online Journalism

Sue Kerr MSW
Founding Editor
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents

Andre Duque
Blogger, Blabbeando
2011 GLAAD Award Nominee

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Franklin Graham's bigotry should not be sugarcoated

Franklin Graham is what's wrong with Christianity

As you may or may not know, Franklin Graham is traveling around the country supposedly calling people to Christ. And the phony news site, One News Now, is giving him all sorts of wonderful press:

Evangelist Franklin Graham is on a bus this year going to all 50 state capitals to preach on the capitol steps. Dr. Ken Barun with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association describes the Decision America Tour.

"It is a campaign for God,” he says. “Franklin has said that right from the beginning. All these people will be out doing campaigns for different candidates, but in this case it's a campaign for God."

 . . . He explains that Graham isn't endorsing any candidates on this tour. "He has said many times he's lost confidence in both parties and there's no candidate who's going to change our country,” Barun explains. “It's going to be God." 

 In it's glowing tribute lovefest, One News Now conveniently omits the ugly comments and positions Graham has taken, including his verbal attacks and generalizations about the Muslim community, including calls to keep Muslim immigrants from out of the country.  And the sad thing is to justify his position, he cited a misleading study from a rabid Islamophobic group. 

And then there is his homophobia. Graham is the classic case of a homophobe who will use his opinion that homosexuality is a sin to justify any and every vicious comment he makes or position he takes about lgbts.

The main thing which sums up Graham's awful beliefs about lgbts is his 2014 verbal support of Russia's anti-gay laws, which serves to persecute lgbts in that country:

 "Putin is right … he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda,” 

According to Mark Joseph Stern of The Slate, this is what Graham is supporting:

The issue of violence against gays in Russia is, of course, nothing new. Before the passage of the new federal measure, several regional governments passed identical laws, stripping gay citizens of legal rights and human dignity. More than one-half of Russian gays reported psychological abuse, while 16 percent experienced physical assault, and 7 percent were raped. Yet 77 percent also reported complete distrust of the police, leaving most anti-gay crimes unreported.
Putin’s law has only darkened this already bleak picture. By putting the government’s stamp of approval on rampant Russian homophobia, Putin effectively declared open season on gay people. As the Harvard study notes, violence against gays in Russia isn’t considered violence at all; rather, it’s thought of as a way for young males to prove their own heterosexuality—while simultaneously cleansing society of an aberrant, pedophilic community.

So to surmise, Franklin Graham supports distorted generalizations about the Muslim community and countries which persecute lgbts through violence  And regardless of  that, he thinks he is worthy enough to lead people to embrace the religion of Jesus Christ, "the Prince of Peace," without any introspection of the ugly irony he is committing.

I don't know what's worse. Graham's gall or the fact that this country seems to desensitized or taken in that no one is crying foul.

'South Dakota House of Reps pass ugly anti-gay bill' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Monday, February 08, 2016

The sad, sad history of 'straight pride' parades

What you are seeing in the above picture is "history," so to speak. According to Unicorn Booty:

In 2015, Anthony Rebello promised to celebrate heterosexuality by holding a massive straight pride parade in Seattle. He invited thousands of people via Facebook, writing: “In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our right to be heterosexual, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality.”

 . . . The parade was held on July 25, 2015. Rebello clutched a bunch of black and white balloons and a “STRAiGhT Pride” sign made of a ragged chunk of cardboard. Proudly clad in the traditional heterosexual male garb of ill-fitting pants, a rumpled T-shirt and an unflattering hat, Rebello marched on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, alone, and we mean alone—literally no one else joined the parade.

Believe it or not, there have actually been six cases of heterosexuals attempting to initiate "straight" pride parades and flopping miserably. Unicorn Booty has catalogued them all in A Short, Stupid History of Straight Pride Parades.

'Some complain Superbowl halftime show 'promoted' homosexuality' & other Mon. midday news briefs

A Lot Of People Are Angry Thinking The Super Bowl Halftime Show Was 'Promoting Homosexuality' - Seriously, are you kidding me? Youtube has scores of videos featuring football players getting depantsed during plays (and they don't wear underwear), but its the rainbow during the Superbowl halftime show which gets people upset? Not even the basically see-through football pants, but the rainbow during the halftime show. 

 Maine’s Governor Takes A Nasty Swipe At Transgender Kids - Back off, LePage. You've got enough troubles as it is. 

 How Marco Rubio Crusades Against Gays and Women While Still Being Labeled 'Moderate' - Because he lies then plays the victim.

Rubio Faith Staffer Eric Teetsel: Marco Just As Extreme As Ted Cruz - Far be it from me to pile on . . . but I just plain don't like Marco Rubio.  

For gay Republican in N.H., Carly Fiorina ‘sealed the deal’ - Before asking this man "have you lost your ever loving mind," read the article. Carly isn't playing straight (oooh, bad pun) with voters. 

 A Principal Is Getting Praised After Standing Up For Trans Kids - We need more folks like this principal.

How Homophobia Sounds to Normal People

In tribute to all of the so-and so's who claimed that last night's Superbowl halftime show "promoted" homosexuality, I present this old, but very pertinent video called "How Homophobia Sounds to Normal People"

Friday, February 05, 2016

'SC high school transgender student suspended for using bathroom' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Transgender student suspended for using bathroom at SC high school - This ridiculous incident typifies the ignorance and willful fear people have about the transgender community. This young man did everything he was supposed to, but still got suspended. Warning - there are a lot of ignorant folks making comments below the article. 

Robert George does "Poor Us" about as proficiently as anyone - Robert George is not that widely known by our community, but he should be. He attempts to be the "author of our pain" with his many exploits, including co-founding NOM and getting funds for that fraudulent Regnerus study. 

Watch: In Total Flip-Flop, Trump Tells Reporter He Will Advance LGBT Rights. Reporter Is A Lesbian.- That wasn't a simple flip flop. That was a full body gymnastic move worthy of Olga Korbut.  

We Know All We Need To Know To End The HIV Epidemic. Here’s Why It Continues. - Because it's not over.

VIDEO - Being gay and in the military

Buzzfeed has come out with a fascinating video which I think many of us should watch. Sometimes we forget the lgbts who are in the military protecting our freedoms and what they have to deal with, before and after Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It's a wonderful view and as well as a good recollection of lgbt history:

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Flower company ad celebrates the diversity of love, including same-gender love

This commercial is from Telafora, a Los Angeles flower delivery company and it celebrates the diversity of love, including that between gay couples. I would make snarky comments about how it will anger members of the religious right, but to hell with them. Who cares what they think when it comes to matters of love:

'National anti-gay groups attacking transgender students' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Truth meme needs to be spread.

National Conservative Groups Descend On South Dakota To Help Advance Anti-LGBT Bills - Because apparently treating lgbts as second class citizens and preventing transgender children from safely using the bathroom are our new American values. 

Log Cabin leader: GOP aren’t as anti-gay as Dems say - Apparently this guy is taking some goooooood medication. 

 What the religious right is scared to tell you about gay marriage referendums . . . - A shout out for my new undertaking of using internet memes to refute religious right lies. 

 Black Trans Lives Matter, Too - Yes they do.

 Rick Santorum Leaves GOP Race But His Bigoted Legacy Will Remain - One homophobic nut leaves the GOP presidential race, but there are so many others left.