Tuesday, October 21, 2014

'Idaho wedding chapel controversy is anti-gay contrived fraud' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Legal hitch at Hitching Post - According to this article, which I received by way of Joe Jervis, the controversy about the Idaho wedding chapel being penalized for not marrying a same-sex couple is looking more and more like a religious right contrived fraud. According to city officials, they have not received ANY formal complaint against the Knapps, the owners of the wedding chapel. And this being the case, the Knapps were never threatened with fines or jail time, in spite of religious right propaganda to the contrary. 

How San Francisco Is Forcing Its Gay Population Onto The Streets - Come on folks. This is NOT good.  

GOPer Doubles Down On Gays: 'These Creatures... Are So Destructive' - So a desperate Congressional candidate in my district is exploiting gays by calling us Gremlins to defeat Rep. Jim Clyburn. Well THIS gremlin votes, bitch. And while I have always voted for Clyburn, this time will be especially sweet. 

 A New York Times Columnist Spoke At A Fundraiser For A Group Working To Criminalize Gay Sex - One would think that a New York Times columnist would have better taste. Another myth shot to pieces.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How anti-gay groups created false story of anti-Christian persecution involving Idaho wedding chapel

There is a lot of controversy and questions about the Idaho for-profit wedding chapel which has supposedly gotten into trouble for not marrying same-sex couples.

Anti-gay groups are playing the case up big time by claiming it proves what they have been saying all along - that marriage equality will force Christian ministers to marry same-sex couples under the penalty of law.

Or in the words of the Family Research Council:

If homosexuals get their way, Pastor Donald Knapp won’t be behind the pulpit -- he’ll be behind bars. That’s the stunning development in Idaho, where the day liberals promised would never come is already here. Two ministers -- a husband and wife team -- have been told by their city government that refusing to “marry” a same-sex couple will send them straight to jail.

After 25 years of owning The Hitching Post wedding chapel, Donald and Evelyn are being faced with a situation neither of them thought possible: being imprisoned for their faith. Like the flood of state amendments steamrolled by activist judges, Idaho’s fell earlier this month. And with it, religious liberty. Fearing the worst, the Knapps reached out to Alliance Defending Freedom, concerned that their chapel would be targeted. Less than a week later, the battle was at their front door.

For Donald and Evelyn, there was never any question what the duo would do. Unapologetically Christian, the husband-and-wife team is overtly religious, marrying couples with faith-driven vows, and even offering marriage sermons on CD to newlyweds. That doesn’t matter to city officials, who had this marriage message for The Hitching Post: Conform or be punished. And not just any punishment, but 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for every day the ministers refuse to perform the ceremony.

However, once you get past the hysteria and the hyperbole generated by the Family Research Council, their cohorts at Fox News (particularly propaganda artist Todd Starnes), the Heritage Foundation,  and their vast connection of folks on twitter and right-wing blogs willing to push this story, you get a bit alarmed at the deception taking place here.

According to Zack Ford from Think Progress:

Back in May, when a federal judge first overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Hitching Post Chapel in Coeur d’Alene expressed concern about the possibility of having to marry same-sex couples. The wedding chapel located just across the street from the Kootenai County Courthouse recognized that it would be subject to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which requires that public accommodations (like businesses) offer service equally regardless of sexual orientation. Now that marriage equality is the law in Idaho, the Hitching Post owners Donald and Evelyn Knapp have filed a federal lawsuit for the right to discriminate.

At the time, Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson explained, “If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation.” Wilson clarified that religious entities are exempt under the city ordinance, but apparently told Mr. Knapp at the time that the Hitching Post was not exempt because it is a business, not a religious corporation like a church. As same-sex couples began marrying last week, the Hitching Post did apparently turn away a same-sex couple.

And just who was this same-sex couple? We don't know.

Advice for those attending a same-sex wedding . . .

I know that we are all in a serious battle over marriage equality and the anti-gay groups are pulling lies out of their collected asses, but let's take a moment for a little levity as to gay wedding advice from the comedy team of Key & Peele:

'Anti-gay right exploiting 'for-profit' ministers to create moral panic' & other Monday midday news briefs

Caught ya: Far-right's latest marriage 'victim' edited website to make more solid legal case - A false headline about ministers going to jail here, a crucial webpage change there, add a few more hyperbolic headlines and tweets and boom - you have a phony case of ministers (albeit for-profit, which the anti-gay right won't tell you) allegedly being threatened with jail time for not performing gay weddings. What's worse? The idea that the religious right are actually attempting to create this false moral panic or the fact that they are so sloppily transparent. Whatever to the good old days when villainy had a certain style and mystery?

President Obama Says There's A Constitutional Right to Nationwide Marriage Equality - Religious right major freak out in 5 . . 4 . . 3 . .  

Pelosi endorses openly trans military service - Good for her!

 Flip Benham Crashes Gay Weddings In North Carolina - I feel sorry for this fool if he ever tried to crash my wedding. The thought of what my mother alone would do to him scares the heck out of me.  

GOP Attorney General Says It Is ‘Unethical’ To Keep Fighting Marriage Equality In Court - Like I say, "give it up, turn it loose."

Family Research Council's attack on Politifact backfires

A week ago, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins had a terrible debate performance on Fox News. He was debating former Solicitor General Ted Olson and was reduced to repeating jaded talking points about how the "best place to raise a child is in a home with a mother and a father."

On that same day, Politifact rebuked Perkins for this claim, rating it as false.

Naturally, you really don't think that FRC would take that lying down? Recently, another FRC spokesman, Peter Sprigg posted a piece on the organization's webpage which supposedly calls into question Politifact's claim. In doing so, he cites a bunch of study which supposedly back up Perkins' claim:

Within hours, the “fact-checking” website PolitiFact posted an analysis of the statement—and rated it “False.”

Unfortunately, the PolitiFact article itself gets a failing grade.

That is, unless they think the non-partisan, non-profit research group Child Trends was also telling a “falsehood” when they reported, “An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

Sprigg is being deceptive about the Child Trends study, just as he was in 2011 when he cited it to make the same point. I know this for a fact because back then, I pointed out:

The Child Trends study - was published in 2002.  And it never even addressed same-sex households.

Sprigg cites a lot of other studies, but based on the deception he uses with regards to the Child Trends study, one has to wonder if those citations are accurate.

Then he really steps into the puddle of inaccuracy:

 . . . the New Family Structures Study spearheaded by sociologist Mark Regnerus resulted in dramatic (and statistically powerful) results demonstrating the strong advantage held by the “intact biological family” over numerous other family forms. However—as Regnerus made clear from the beginning—even his comparison with “gay fathers” or “lesbian mothers” was only based on the adult respondents having said that at some point between birth and age 18, their father or mother had a same-sex romantic relationship. It was not a comparison with children raised by same-sex couples living and raising the children together (of which very few could be found, even in Regnerus’ large sample).

A key illustration of how the PolitiFact article lacked objectivity is that its description of the Regnerus research sounds as though it were simply cut and pasted from the talking points of “gay” bloggers. It is true that his research was sharply criticized in a variety of quarters—that is to be expected, given that academia is now dominated by liberal elites who are unwilling to tolerate the slightest dissent from the pro-homosexual orthodoxy. It is also true that among his fellow sociologists who distanced themselves from the study were members of the sociology department at his own university, the University of Texas.

To put it more accurately than Sprigg, Regnerus' study was rebuked by over 200 researchers, the sociology department of his own university, and finally a Michigan federal judge, Bernard Friedman. Earlier this year, Friedman not only struck down a law barring marriage equality in Michigan, but he was especially brutal to Regnerus's study and to Regnerus himself:

"The Court finds Regnerus's testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 'study' was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it 'essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society' and which 'was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.' ... While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged."

If you ask me, Sprigg and FRC should have left well enough alone. Not only have they reminded folks of Perkins' sad debate performance, but their pathetic attempt to refute Politifact underscores just how they are willing to go to deceive . . . and all in the name of God.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Erasure of 'Gay' From Black History & the Black Community Must Stop

Editor's note - The following post was initially exclusive to The Huffington Post, where it received much support and attention. I am now posting it here:

Your blogmaster hard at work.
As a gay African-American, I've heard the argument about how "you can't compare the gay civil rights movement to the African-American civil rights movement" more times than I care to count.

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

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

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

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

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

And why is that?

There have been numerous debates, articles, columns, movies and documentaries about how the legacy of racism has had a negative effect on so many aspects of African-American community, from our families to the way we interact with each other. It stands to reason that the legacy of racism didn't leave LGBT people of color unscathed. But information about what LGBT people of color did during those awful times in our history or what effect it has had on us is practically nonexistent.

It is a subject hardly ever mentioned. No one talks about it in the black community and that includes leaders, intellectuals, journalists, authors or any other person with some type of platform.

And this leaves me feeling as if the events of black history, which are supposed to be a part of my heritage, are nothing more than hand-me-downs donated to me out of charity because there are very few, if any, events which are specific to me as an LGBT person of color.

Or at least that's what I am led to believe by the black community at large.

'Shoddy reporting from conservative media harming transgender youth' & other Friday midday news briefs

Breaking: Arizona makes 31 and there will be no stay:
For more details - Arizona Is Now A Marriage Equality State 

 In other news: 

 Purple Penguins: How Conservative Media Make It Harder For Schools To Protect Transgender Youth - False accusations, hysterical claims, not even bothering to get the side of the story from advocates for protecting transgender children, the list goes on and on. There is some relative desensitization about how the conservative media will distort stories and such but this isn't the time for that. This junk is hurting our transgender kids. 

 Second N.C. magistrate resigns: ‘I know what the Bible says’ - I respect you for standing up for your beliefs. Now, let the doorknob hit ya where the good Lord split ya.  

Anti-Gay Groups Turn Spirit Day Into 'Bring Your Bible To School Day' - That didn't work out as well as OUR Spirit Day events.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NOM denied HUGE reimbursement of legal fees, is exposed for anti-gay work in Russia

If I had as bad of a season as NOM & Brian Brown, I would cry too.

The National Organization for Marriage is having what has to be called an awful season.

In addition to the multitude of states who now allow marriage equality, the organization just suffered an huge monetary defeat.

From the blog The Slowly Boiled Frog (by way of Goodasyou):

United States Circuit Court Judge James Cacheris has denied reimbursement of legal fees to National Organization for Marriage for their lawsuit against the IRS. NOM claimed that they spent over $690,000 in legal expenses. Much of that went to NOM's chairman, John Eastman. That presupposes that the sums were actually disbursed and NOM has been known to fib from time to time and Eastman is a pathological liar.

Check out Goodasyou for the juicier bit of the transcripts.  And The Slowly Boiled Frog points out how this decision is especially embarrassing for NOM. The organization has initially won a $50,000 settlement in the case from the IRS.

Now while I know folks are tempted to dance in the spray of NOM's monetary humiliation, I would ask that they hold off for a brief second because this next item is practically a cherry on top of a sundae.

From Right Wing Watch:

Joe Jervis points us to a debate on C-SPAN this weekend between the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown and Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson, where things got a little contentious when Wolfson confronted Brown about his anti-gay activism in Russia. 

Right Wing Watch goes into more detail regarding what Brown evaded in the debate.

And if you are interested in finding out what exactly Brown calls "lies and slurs, check out The Export of Hate, a rather accurate view by the Human Rights Campaign of anti-gay leaders who have traveled throughout the world spreading anti-gay lies and propaganda (the part about Brown begins on pg. 17).

All in all, it's been a really crappy two weeks for NOM and it's been my pleasure in helping to bring it to you.

'Happy #SpiritDay!' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Going purple for GLAAD's #SpiritDay - Happy Spirit Day! Since I don't own anything purple, I'm wearing a deep blue shirt and "perpetrating." What exactly is Spirit Day? Check out the link or the video below: 

 In other news:

 Houston’s Pastor Subpoenas: A Meme Made for Fox News - After a myriad of false alarms, it looks like the religious right may actually have a case where anti-gay pastors are being unfairly attacked.  

No, The City Of Houston Isn't Bullying Anti-Gay Pastors - This Is Basic Lawyering - This the other side to the same issue. BOTH articles make excellent points. I will leave it up to the readers to make up their mind on this situation. 

Editor's note: The following two stories have just come out about the Houston situation and demonstrates how the anti-gay right just overreached and sabotage a situation in which they actually had a legitmate complaint.  If you gave the anti-gay right five minutes, they would have you rooting for Goliath and not David:

Why Houston’s Pastor Subpoenas Have Nothing To Do With Religious Liberty 

 Is Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Really Out to Get Conservative Preachers? 

 State employees must actually perform duties state pays them to perform; shocking, I know - You mean if you are paid tax dollars to perform a duty, you must actually perform said duty? Why that's "persecution" and ranks up there with forcing people to pay for the cable they order.  

High School Cancels Popular Play Over Allusion To Same-Sex Relationship - Oh come on guys!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lambda Legal suing South Carolina regarding 4th Circuit ruling on marriage equality

South Carolina couple Nichols Bleckley and Colleen Condon

The South Carolina lgbt community can almost taste marriage equality coming to our state. It's like tasting champagne and once you have tasted champagne you are supposed to receive, you don't necessarily feel like going back to that bitter water someone thinks that you deserve.

From Lambda Legal:

 Lambda Legal, in partnership with South Carolina Equality, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court of South Carolina  on Tuesday arguing that South Carolina is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry. Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson vowed to continue to apply the laws banning marriage for same-sex couples even after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down a similar ban in Virginia. Because South Carolina is also within the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit the decision in the Virginia case is binding on South Carolina.

 “The Fourth Circuit’s decision means that same-sex couples in South Carolina should be shopping for a caterer, not a lawyer. Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson cannot continue to ignore the rule of law. Fortunately, they have run out of cards to play—we’re urging the court to allow same-sex couples in South Carolina to marry without any further delay,” said Beth Littrell, Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. “The state doesn’t have any credible arguments for a court in South Carolina to entertain.”

 “The Governor and Attorney General are playing politics with our families and it’s shameful,” said South Carolina Equality lawyer Nekki Shutt, partner at Callison Tighe & Robinson. “Instead of celebrating and planning weddings, same-sex couples all over South Carolina are holding their collective breath—and they have been waiting long enough.”

Lambda Legal represents Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley who applied, and paid, for a marriage license in Charleston County last week before the Attorney General asked the South Carolina State Supreme Court to step in and put a halt to the issuances of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The South Carolina Supreme Court effectively stopped state court judges from issuing marriage licenses or weighing in on marriage equality pending an order from federal court. Another federal case, Bradacs v. Haley, remains pending - it involves couples already legally married seeking recognition in South Carolina of their marriage, while the Condon suit seeks the issuance of a marriage license.

 “We were excited after our application was accepted on Wednesday to realize we could really start planning our wedding. We could set a date and a location and start making deposits—all that came to a screeching halt when we couldn’t get our license on Thursday. It’s terrible that the officials who are supposed to look out for the interests of all South Carolinians are instead making a political point at the expense of my family and thousands of families across the state,” said Lambda Legal client Colleen Condon.

 Lambda Legal attorneys Beth Littrell and Greg Nevins are handling the case, joined by South Carolina Equality Coalition attorneys M. Malissa Burnette and Nekki Shutt of Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC., Thomas P. Gressette, Jr., of Pratt-Thomas Walker, P.A. and Vickie Eslinger, with Nexsen Pruett,LLC.

When it comes to lgbt equality issues, South Carolina catches a lot of flack. And the vast majority of it is somewhat deserved. But what folks don't seem to realize when they make ugly jokes about my state is that these statements of mirth causes them to miss the fact that we have a thriving and awesome lgbt community which fights tooth-and-nail for equality. That is the most important thing. Folks tend to forget that places which receives praise for being lgbt-friendly didn't necessarily start off that way.  Unheralded groups of determined folks plowed through the thick weeds of homophobia and created the clear paths of lgbt culture we hear about in places like New York or the Castro.

Instead of laughing at those of us who live places not necessarily seen as lgbt friendly, how about a little support and a little respect for the paths of equality we are attempting to create.

'Family Research Council don't know @!#& about basic civics' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

The above graphic proves that the Family Research Council either doesn't know or doesn't care about basic civics. For the record guys, people are able to challenge constitutionality of laws in courts no matter if said laws were passed by the legislature or via popular vote.

The irony is that if this wasn't the case, then no lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would be legal. And we KNOW how FRC just adores THOSE lawsuits.

More info from Jeremy Hoooper

In other news:

South Carolina’s Countdown to Same-Sex Marriage - South Carolina seems to be determined to delay the inevitable of marriage equality in the state for as long as it takes. If this keeps up, aliens will be coming from Mars and getting married in same-sex ceremonies before we are able to in this state. 

Transgender Mother Responds to Being Named 'Working Mother of the Year' - Big PROPS and congratulations to Meghan Stabler. 

 Thieves Allegedly Steal Teen's Phone, Text 'I'm Gay' To His Mom - Perfect response - "I knew that but I'm gonna whip your asses for stealing my baby's cell phone."  

Schlafly: Gay Marriage Will Ruin Western Civilization - Just because Phyllis Schafly doesn't think much of her gay son's happiness doesn't mean the rest of us should value her nonsense.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Anti-gay group leader Tony Perkins attempts to spin embarrassing Fox News debate into win

Tony Perkins
By now, you know of Sunday's debate on Fox News between former Solicitor General Ted Olson and Family Research Council Tony Perkins regarding the sudden court decisions for marriage equality.

To recap, Perkins got his clocked clean. He couldn't adequately answer the questions, particularly the one regarding how would gays being allow to marry harm his marriage. All he could manage was to revert to ridiculous talking points such as "social science proves that the best place for a child is a home with a mother and a father."

The irony of that talking point is that hours after the debate, Politifact rated Perkins' claim as false and skewered a post on FRC's webpage for having equally false talking points.

However, leave it to Perkins - and other conservatives - to manufacture a "win" out of his embarrassingly bad performance. The following is from an FRC email I received:

There was no shortage of strong opinions on last weekend's "Fox News Sunday" show, where I debated former Solicitor General Ted Olson on the fallout of redefining society's oldest institution. There was one question in particular that Ted had trouble answering -- and his non-response is getting an interesting amount of attention in places like the Washington Examiner, NRO, and CNSNews. Twice, I asked Ted what the purpose of marriage is, and twice, he dodged the question. Mona Charen, writing for the Examiner, thought this was especially interesting.
"Asked about where he would draw boundaries on who should be permitted to marry if it's 'only about love,' Olson changed the subject... 'There' no heterosexual couple, (he said), that is going to decide to get divorced or not to get married or not to raise children just because another couple next to them is treated equally and with respect and decency under our Constitution.' But it does affect the larger culture. If it didn't, there would be no need for debate. Homosexuals comprise a tiny fraction of the population (just over 2 percent according to the CDC). I wish them nothing but happiness and peace, but they are a side issue. Of course they deserve 'dignity' and 'respect,' but changing marriage is not the way to get there."

When Perkins says that Olson dodged the question, he is lying. Olson did answer the question:

"The purpose of marriage is what the Supreme Court has said 14 times," Olson replies. "It's a fundamental right that involves privacy, association, liberty, and being with the person you love and forming a part of the community and being treated equally with the rest of society."

When given this answer, Perkins claimed that it was not true. In other words, Olson did answer Perkins' question, but Perkins simply didn't like the answer.

And that's not Olson's fault.

Nor is it Olson's fault that Mona Charen is attempting to spin some seriously super fuckery.  In her piece, she claims that gays are irrelevant, but if you ask me, she is the one who is beyond irrelevant in this conversation.

She gets paid to spin and that's what she is doing.  And now that she has earned her think tank salary in this situation, she should step aside, scurry to the bank, and cash her check.

And that goes for the folks from NRO and CNSNews who, while probably not cashing their checks at the same bank as Charen, most likely are getting their monies from the same wingnut sources.

The bottom line is that Perkins went on Fox and demonstrated just why his side has been losing court cases. They have no argument against marriage equality. They never had one. All they had and continue to have are slick lies, sly talking points, and shameless ways to exploit religious beliefs and fears.

And that mess only goes so far. In a court of law, we've seen that it goes nowhere.


Linda Harvey doubles down on the anti-gay crazy. Thank you, Linda for all you do for lgbt equality

Linda Harvey
On her radio show today, anti-gay activist Linda Harvey doubled down on her crazy talk (that's right, I said it) against Ally Week.

This week  (October 13-17) is Ally Week, which is promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The purpose is for students to engage in a national conversation and action to become better allies to LGBT youth.

But "sister-girl" Harvey think its a plot by the lgbt community to recruit children. In this morning's post, I wrote about how she spewed a pageful of crazy against Ally Week on an anti-gay webpage.

Now here her doing the same thing on her radio show:

And she continues:

As much as it pains me to break Harvey's heart (oh please, I'm enjoying this), no matter what she says or does, Ally Week is happening, even as she weaves her mystical spell of crazy homophobia. If anything, Harvey's words demonstrate that we not only need an Ally Week for our lgbt children, but also lgbt adults who have to deal with folks like her in the world.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

'Bryan Fischer: Rainbow flag is the 'mark of the beast'' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

I think our victories for marriage equality has driven some members of the anti-gay right crazy.

Example 1:

See Jeremy Hooper for more details

Then there is Example 2 (and it's a DOOZY):

This confuses the heck out of me. So the rainbow flag is now the "mark of the beast" and it has been said that this mark is emblazoned on the forehead. Well I once knew a guy who had a rainbow flag on both of his butt cheeks and . . . never mind. This is a "family blog."

In other news:

Interview: Laverne Cox Presents New Hope for Trans Youth With Documentary The T Word - Something supporting our children, particularly our transgender children, is something we should all support. 

Fox News Entertains Discredited Notion That Same-Sex Marriage Is Causing A Decline In Heterosexual Marriage - Leave it to Fox News. I swear it's enough to make you sick.

What Happens When Your Mom Catches You Having Sex (VIDEO) - Check to see if the insurance policies are paid up. Either hers or yours will do cause she will either kill you or have a heart attack.

Oh Linda Harvey, Anita Bryant would like a word with you . . .

Linda Harvey
I get amazed at the homophobic horror stories that alleged "ad executive turned Christian" and hate group leader Linda Harvey (of Mission America) clings to in her zeal to supposedly expose the so-called "homosexual agenda."

This week  (October 13-17) is Ally Week, which is promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The purpose is for students to engage in a national conversation and action to become better allies to LGBT youth. 

Leave it to Harvey to claim that Ally Week is an insidious plot one can only read about in a juicy James Bond novel, i.e. a nefarious scheme by gays to "recruit" children. In the equally noxious anti-gay publication BarbWire, Harvey crafted a piece of hysterical paranoid ramble which has to be read to be believed. The following are the juicier parts:
The Ally Week message highlights sad experiences of very confused teens, but the purpose is never to expose the truth about these harmful behaviors and help kids overcome them, but to keep pushing sin on kids while demonizing all who try to point these students to a different standard.

 The effort originates with GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. So going along with this week’s message will mean children become activist endorsers of homosexuality and gender switching. And no responsible parent wants that.

 . . . the real goal is to point the finger at natural marriage, at Judeo-Christian sexual moral standards, and call them evil. “That’s bullying!” is the attitude of the student activists being trained by GLSEN in the “gay-straight alliances” (homosexual clubs) in high schools and middle schools. It’s also the attitude of some teacher activists as well.

 Are adolescents drawn to homosexuality always victims? Some are and I believe most school administrators are quick to punish vicious verbal or physical assaults no matter what the motive. But GLSEN wants to put schools on the defensive and teach children to be suspicious of those in authority (unless the authority is a teacher who’s an out and proud homosexual or has undergone a sex change). “Ally Week” indoctrinates your children to defend homosexuals and that means they are to defend their behaviors, desires and lifestyles.

. . . Most children want to be true friends. They want to help the underdog. And here’s the real trick of Satan—it’s especially children like yours and mine, raised as Christians, raised to want to be kind to others as God has been merciful to us, who are often vulnerable to this message, unless we teach them keen discernment along with that Christ-like compassion. 

Every time I hear or read one of Harvey's bizarre homophobic spiels (such as when she advised parents to not let "openly gay" doctors or nurses near their children or when she claimed that in actuality, gay people don't exist), I am reminded of the scene in the movie A Clockwork Orange, where the main character is tied down with his eyeballs taped open while images and music is flashed all around him.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Erick Erickson's 'fat lesbians' remark demonstrates lack of accountability in journalism & Christianity

Erick Erickson
Thanks to comments from obnoxiously vile news personality Erick Erickson, we were treated to what's wrong with both American journalism and Christianity.

From Salon:

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson knows just who’s to blame for the dearth of research funds devoted to combating Ebola: “fat lesbians.”
In a post for his RedState.com blog this morning, Erickson assails a new ad highlighting the GOP’s support for budget cuts that crippled the agencies charged with leading the response to Ebola. Over the weekend, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins told the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that 10 years of stagnant spending on the agency has “slowed down” critical research. As Stein reports, the NIH’s budget in fiscal year 2004 was $28.03 billion. In 2013, it was just $29.31 billion — “barely a change, even before adjusting for inflation,” Stein notes. A Democratic bill to boost the NIH’s budget to $46 billion by 2021 isn’t likely to advance anytime soon.
But Erickson pooh-poohs the budget cuts to agencies like the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control. All the evidence you need that the agencies have plenty of cash, he argues, is in some of the research items they’ve funded.

 Erickson’s post, titled “Fat Lesbians Got All the Ebola Dollars, But Blame the GOP,” cites an NIH-funded study examining why lesbians confront higher rates of obesity; the research is in line with other demographic studies examining public health challenges, but Erickson seized on the study to wage a demagogic attack on the agency for frivolously “studying the propensity of lesbians to be fat.” He also attacked CDC research on gun violence and smoking cessation.

No doubt some folks will be attempting to pick "sense" out of nonsense and accuse me of not focusing on the content of Erickson's argument instead of the words he uses.  I'm not going to argue the content of an argument fueled by nasty words and neither should anyone else. An intelligent debate doesn't begin with slurs.

But more to the point, where is the accountability here? I don't mean Erickson's employer, Fox News. If that den of propaganda began showing any accountability, Erickson would have to get in line when it comes to employees who should be reprimanded for ugly slurs.

I'm talking about from other journalists. Where is the outrage from folks who do care about this business and what image it presents?  There is none. Erickson will probably continue to be cited, quoted, and respected in some quarters as a legitimate journalist.

And even more than that, Erickson has on more than on occasion attacked the lgbt community on the belief that we are sinning against God.  He even spoke at the 2014 Values Voter Summit, the annual event put on by the Family Research Council, a group which claims to stand for Christian values. Naturally FRC, as well as other so-called morality Christian groups, are conveniently silent about Erickson's anti-lesbian slur.

In case the irony escapes you, that means Erickson believes homosexuality to be a sin, but slurring lgbts is cool with God.

All in all, any journalist or Christian who cares about integrity and credibility would be embarrassed to be associated with someone with no taste, no class, no dignity, and absolutely no sense of how hypocritical he is. One would think that they would bend over backwards to disassociate themselves from a  sexist, homophobic shithead who should thank God that he has more chances in the journalism business than the proverbial cat has lives.

But sadly, such aspirations of virtue are only a dream in many quarters of American journalism and Christianity.

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins exposed as bad debater, worse liar & other Monday midday news briefs

FRC's Tony Perkins
It's my great pleasure to announce that it's been a crappy two days for the Family Research Council and its president Tony Perkins:

Watch: Top Anti-Gay Bigot's Marriage Fibs Decimated By Conservative Lawyer–And Fox News Anchor - Not only was his arguments against marriage equality destroyed during a debate with Prop 8 lawyer and former Solicitor General Ted Olson.  

Tony Perkins: We 'know' from social science that children do best with a mom and a dad - But now Politifact has revealed that the statement he made regarding social science was false. And the condemnation was especially brutal because it included taking a look at anti-marriage equality arguments on FRC's webpage and refuting them all. 

In other news: 

 Vatican Proposes Dramatic Shift In Attitude Towards Gays, Same Sex Couples - I will believe it when I see it.

 School District Responds To Fox News' Misinformation About Transgender Student Recommendations - Sigh! I keep telling people that truth doesn't matter as long as the lie has more avenues to travel and more people to give it credence.  

GOP Civil War: Huckabee Demands Republicans "Grow A Spine" And Oppose Marriage Equality - Poor Huckabee. He is still talking bout fortifying the palace even though the bulldozers are knocking down the walls.

Anti-gay group blames other 'conservative' organizations for marriage equality victories

You can mark down Massachusetts hate group Mass Resistance as one of the many anti-gay groups furious over the pro-marriage equality developments of last week.

But that group is not blaming the lgbt community, but rather its fellow bloviators of anti-gay propaganda for the head-spinning degree of victory the lgbt community has been having:

As overwhelming as the “gay” blitzkrieg was, it would not have been successful without the terrible incompetence of the lawyers on our side. This included pro-family lawyers, state attorneys general, and even private lawyers hired to assist.

It's painful for us to discuss this. We are reluctant to sound unkind to the pro-family legal people who worked hard on these cases. But this is such a horrible outcome that something must be said.

  . . .  Many conservatives were furious at the nasty manner that Federal Judge Richard Posner slapped down the arguments from the lawyers of Wisconsin and Indiana. The pro-homosexual press certainly had a field day with it. But if you read the reports carefully, you can almost feel a bit of empathy for Posner having to listen to pathetic legal arguments that never went beyond “marriage is a tradition” or that “ it’s about the welfare of children.”

It’s especially frustrating to know that there are so many excellent and unassailable (albeit not “politically correct”) arguments and facts about homosexual behavior that were never used.
The pro-family lawyers refused to consider using the vast storehouse of medical dangers, diseases,  psychological problems, addictions, domestic violence rates, multiple partners, “gay pride” perversions, or suicidal behavior, etc. associated with homosexuality, as counter-arguments. They wouldn’t bring up natural law or morality. They certainly would not talk about the emotional trauma suffered by children growing up around homosexual behavior. Nor would they talk about the ex-gay movement (proof that homosexuality is not inborn) and the changes that come with healing.
Instead our side came up with only soft arguments like "every child needs a father and a mother," “marriage is about procreation, ” the need to respect “the long history of traditional marriage,” and similar blather. In fact, many lawyers on our side accepted civil unions as a reasonable alternative and had no argument against homosexual "parenting" — which made their "mother and father" argument impossible to defend.

 . . .  You can mark this down as historic. It's probably the first (and only) time I partly agree with Mass Resistance.

 The group wants the softer, kinder, and gentler Maggie Gallagherish talking points and marriage equality replaced with hard driving anti-gay talking points about alleged gay sex habits and diseases, talking points which was immensely popular in the 80s and 90s.

Propaganda like the following:

Poor Mass Resistance. The organization is oblivious to a fault. Granted, it was right on the first point that talking points and arguments used by those against marriage equality were useless arguments which couldn't move a leaf down the street.

But there is a reason why those arguments had to be used. All of that tripe about the so-called dangers of homosexuality. All of that mess about the diseases, multiple problems, diseases, mental problems, etc. is a huge lie. It doesn't exist.

It's a giant fib created by anti-gay groups over the past decades from a combination of junk science, cherry-picked legitimate science, urban legends taken as truth, and just basic out-and-out lies.

That's why it couldn't be used in the courts.

Anti-gay groups did use these lies in the marriage equality fights and that's how they won victory after victory when it came to public votes. However, in the courtroom, things became different. They couldn't use that crap in an arena where they would be questioned regarding its veracity.

And now you begin to see the hole these anti-gay groups dug for themselves.  It's a hole which continues to be filled with every court victory we receive.