Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grassley wants Trump to withdraw two judicial nominees (including the anti-LGBTQ one)

Jeff Mateer may not get to be a federal judge after all.

I think the GOP is starting to recognizing the severity of its problems under the Trump Administration - problems which will exacerbate to their worst should Roy Moore win the Alabama senatorial election this evening.

And a recent request from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to Trump gives further proof of this.

From The Hill:

Grassley told CNN that he urged Trump and the White House to rethink the nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley. 
"I've advised the White House they ought to reconsider," Grassley said to CNN. "I would advise the White House not to proceed." 
Mateer, whom Trump nominated to become a federal judge in Texas, has faced criticism for a series of 2015 speeches on religion and homosexuality. In those remarks, he described transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan,” compared homosexuality to bestiality and advocated for gay conversion therapy.

Critics called Mateer's September nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas "a gift to anti-LGBT activists." His nomination has yet to receive committee approval. 

'Alabama father protests Roy Moore in honor of deceased lesbian daughter' & other Tue midday news briefs


Why This Alabama Dad Is Protesting Roy Moore In Honor Of His Daughter - Easily the saddest and most poignant story of this Roy Moore mess. I don't care what your political persuasion may be or where you are from - no parent deserves to lose a child for any reason. And this reason is one we have unfortunately seen so many times. It's what we need to think about when we fight for every aspect of LGBTQ equality. We aren't just fighting for ourselves but also for our children, particularly what they see and hear and how it affects them. And please don't give any nonsense about not caring about an issue until it affects you personally because that's how change usually happens. My heart grieves with this man and I hope one day that he will find peace for himself and his late daughter.

Trump is fighting for his transgender military ban, despite multiple court setbacks - You lost this one, Trump. Deal with it.

Matt Barber & Gordon Klingenschmitt Launch ‘Aggressive’ New Anti-LGBTQ ‘Christian Civil Rights’ Group - Someone tell "Porno Pete" LaBarbera that his "sister in sodomy" has a new partner. I took a look at this new "group" and its webpage It's so nasty that we can use it for OUR OWN purposes in the future.

McCain and Cardin: Trump ‘largely silent’ on human rights abroad - And how many of us should be surprised? Trump is not only screwing up things for LGBTQs in America, but he is taking his shit-show worldwide.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Evangelical right gather to sing Trump's praises & surrender last of their integrity

Those who follow this blog know how much I am not a fan of the evangelical/religious/anti-LGBTQ right. The purpose of this blog from day one has been to expose how they smear my community via junk science and out-and-out lies. Also it has been my mission to expose just phony and unapologetically craven these groups and personalities are.

A wise man once said the best way to defeat your enemies is to give them what they want. When you do that, they generally rip off their masks to show the face that you've been telling everyone they have. That's the only way I can suitably explain the tweet below via White House reporter from Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs.

One would think that with all of the lies, malfeasance, incompetence, and investigations surrounding the Trump Administration, conservative evangelical leaders, who are so quick to complain about how the country's off-track and needs to 'back to God," would be the first in line to decry the madness.

Not so much when Trump is giving them influence and practically hand delivering them goody and goody.

Just disgusting, as the following demonstrates:

Gay characters on the Disney channel spotlight a plain reality



As you all know, a while back some people got angry at the Disney channel because a featured show, Andi Mack, recently had a coming out storyline. If you really want to get these folks' blood pressure running, show the above video. Apparently the Disney channel has a good history of showing the reality of the gay community. 

'Religious leaders speak against exploiting 'religious liberty' to create discrimination' & other Mon midday news briefs



Supreme Court’s Wedding Cake Case Isn’t About Faith, Religious Leaders Warn - So true. Regardless of this case turns out - and I hope it's a victory - I am very encouraged how people are speaking out and directing attention to the complexities of religion when it comes to the LGBTQ community and discrimination. And I am especially encouraged to see the spotlight on other religious leaders. Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, the Family Research Council, and the rest of that nauseating bunch have dominated the argument over religion and the LGBTQ community long enough. No one group or facet, no matter how many times you see them on television, no matter how much money or false influence they have, no matter luring their deceptive argument may be, owns the patent on faith, religion, morality, or God.

Sinclair is forcing local news stations across the country to air multiple false attacks on the Southern Poverty Law Center - Sinclair makes Fox News look like angels of truth. And the network, aside from forcing local stations to air biased, pro-Trump propaganda, is attacking the SPLC for its hate group designations.


Bermuda is set to be the first country to end marriage equality - A minor change to the law but should serve as a warning about complacency for folks here. DO NOT assume that the religious right isn't planning to take away what we fought for and earned.

A White Supremacist Group Posted Racist and Homophobic Fliers Around a Dallas University - It really doesn't matter if one can or can't compare the LGBTQ equality movement to the African-American civil rights movement because both groups tend to have the same enemies and had better get on the ball to acknowledge this.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

British pastors, MPs want Franklin Graham banned from entering England


His vocal support of Putin's crackdown on gays in Russia, which led to widespread anti-gay violence (first picture), is one of the reasons why some British pastors and MPs don't want Franklin Graham (second picture) to visit England in 2018.

Islamophobic comments and vocal support of Putin's persecution of the Russian gay community is now causing American pastor Franklin Graham much trouble. British pastors and politicians are undertaking an effort to keep him out of England.

From the Huffington Post:

Several British pastors and politicians are voicing concerns about a controversial American evangelist’s plans to preach in the U.K. next year. 
Franklin Graham, a prominent evangelical pastor who has made blatantly homophobic and Islamophobic statements in the past, is scheduled to headline the Lancashire Festival of Hope in Blackpool in September 2018. Graham’s three-day event — similar to the “crusades” once led by his famous father, Billy Graham — is reportedly taking place with the blessing of more than 300 church leaders and members in England.

But not all residents of the area are enthused about Graham coming to town. Some have urged the U.K.’s home secretary Amber Rudd to ban the preacher from entering the country altogether, the Guardian reports.

Nina Parker, the pastor of a church in Blackpool, told HuffPost in an email that she’s worried that Graham’s visit could embolden those who are prejudiced toward Muslims and queer people to express that hate.

In addition, according to the Huffington Post, Parker is involved with an online petition asking the home secretary to keep Graham away from England. Presently, the petition has over 6,000 signatures.

The Guardian also reports:

 Paul Maynard, a minister at the Department of Transport and a Blackpool MP, has written to Amber Rudd urging caution over Graham’s visit to the UK. 
Gordon Marsden, another Blackpool MP who has called on the home secretary to consider refusing Graham entry, said the evangelist may have broken UK legislation on hate speech. 
“I think frankly the evidence is piling up that his visit to the UK … would not be a good thing and not probably in my view a very Christian thing.” Graham’s statements were “incompatible with what Jesus said in the Bible”, he told BBC Radio Lancashire. 
Afzal Khan, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, said he was concerned about the prospect of Graham sowing division in the UK. “His views are not welcome, and I will make representation to the home secretary if it looks like he is intent on coming,” he told the Guardian.

Both The Guardian and Hufffington Post list past comments by Graham which are the basis for the concern over his visit.

The Guardian:

The evangelist, who backed Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election, has described Islam as “an evil and very wicked religion” and has equated the actions of extremist groups such as Isis with the faith. He claimed that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” and had allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the US government at the highest levels during his presidency. He also said the Obama administration was pushing “a gay and lesbian agenda”, and he has spoken out against LGBT rights, saying Satan is behind same-sex marriage.

The Huffington Post:

Graham proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in July 2015, months before Trump did the same. Graham has also suggested that allowing LGBTQ people into churches or Christian homes is allowing the “enemy,” or Satan, to “devour our homes.” Graham praised Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 for protecting Russian children from the “damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”

Photo of anti-gay violence in Russia taken from MotherJones.

Related post:

Franklin Graham Endorses Vladimir Putin’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

Friday, December 08, 2017

'By encouraging trans activist, Obama upstages Trump yet again' & other Fri midday news briefs

Obama
Barack Obama gave an inspiring reply to this transgender activist’s question - Even when he is as far away as India, Barack Obama reminds us AGAIN why he is a better president in his sleep than Donald Trump could ever be. And I'm not posting this just for folks to bellyache about how they miss Obama. Obama is not in the White House anymore, but we should still be inspired by his words and candor. We are still citizens of this country and we still have the power and means to fight. And that doesn't mean with desperation.

Anti-LGBTQ hate group fundraises for its UN work with swastika over a rainbow flag - Tacky, but not surprising from C-Fam 

Yesterday The Supreme Court Jolted LGBTQ People With A Frightening Reality - Even though I am hope that even if the baker wins the recently heard SCOTUS case, it won't be as far-reaching as feared to be, this piece my Michelangelo Signorile outlines the fears long after the case came to court. We need to stop being so quick to celebrate victories that we forget how they can come with caveats. This is a war over LGBTQ equality and every battle always leads to a new one. 

Trump seeks emergency court action to block transgender people from joining the military - Good luck with THAT one, fool!

America Needs Another 21,307 LGBT Elected Officials to Achieve True Equality - We only have 448 elected officials in this country. More is always better. It's a step towards success. Encouraging good LGBTQs to run for public office, then helping them to win.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Religious right Congressional ally Trent Franks resigns because of talk of surrogate motherhood

Trent Franks
On the same day that Democratic Senator Al Franken resigned over charges of sexual harassment (and I am so not happy about the entire situation),  the religious right and the GOP are now seeing an equal resignation:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday he is resigning from Congress next year. Several news outlets reported Franks’ impending departure from the House earlier Thursday. In a statement, Franks said the House Ethics Committee is investigating his “discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.” “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” he said. “In the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation.” Franks said he has informed House leadership he will resign effective Jan. 31. In a separate statement, the House Ethics Committee announced it will investigate Franks to determine whether he “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”

. . . The eight-term congressman is a social conservative and one of the most aggressive anti-abortion legislators in Congress. He has led the charge, year after year, to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide and to limit abortion in the District of Columbia. Residents of D.C. protested his efforts in 2012 by lining up outside the Arizona congressman’s office with plastic rats and photos of pot holes, suggesting that he try to fix more pressing problems in the city than women having abortions.

According to Franks's statement, the situation seems to have stemmed from him asking two female aides to be surrogates for him and his wife:

'Anderson Cooper uses the power of 'shade' during wild interview with Roy Moore's spokesperson' & other Thur midday news briefs


Watch Anderson Cooper challenge Roy Moore's spokesperson to defend his past comments about "radical homosexuals," 9/11, and Obama birtherism - It's the interview just about everyone on twitter, etc. has been talking about. Janet Porter, the extreme right-wing spokeswoman of even more extreme right-wing GOP Senate candidate from AL, Roy Moore is interviewed by Anderson Cooper and frankly there should have been admission charged. Cooper, remaining calm throughout the interview and apparently borrowing extra powers to throw shade from the rest of us gay men,  basically annihilated Porter. He peppered her with questions regarding Moore's outrageous past comments and positions, leaving her befuddled and practically speechless many times. Let me put it this way - when a charge that transgender girls are carrying camera phones in locker room showers seems to the least memorable part of an interview, we are in pretty wild territory. 

My favorite part:

Porter: "May I finish . . " 

Cooper: "No." 


Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote - By the way, THIS happened. Isn't it awesome! 

Gays, pedophiles, Nazis, and the Alliance Defending Freedom - My post from last night because as of this week, I have a special hatred of the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom and I intend to throw the truth out about this lying, bigoted group every chance I get. Every. Chance. I. Get.

Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies. - This affects us too. You can just imagine what these "schools" are teaching about the LGBTQ community.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Gays, pedophiles, Nazis, and the Alliance Defending Freedom

What do gays, pedophiles, and Nazis have in common?  The Alliance Defending Freedom has on occasion connected them all together. As I said in an earlier post, the organization of religious right lawyers  who on Tuesday defended a baker's supposed religious freedom to deny gay customers, have a history of  opposing LGBTQ equality so vicious that it's a wonder how it wasn't mentioned at SCOTUS as an example of possible .anti-gay animus.

If you have seen the video below (it's from last year and Alan Sears is no longer president of the ADF), see it again as a refresher course and send it to other friends and allies. I have a feeling that we are going need to remember what it contains:



Related article -Six key takeaways from The Nation's investigative report on Alliance Defending Freedom’s “legal army 

'Old enemy of LGBTQ community becomes more prominent in Trump era' & other Wed midday news briefs

ADF hides its anti-LGBTQ animus. It's our job to rip the cover away from it.

How This Anti-Trump Evangelical Is Quietly Taking Advantage of The Trump Presidency - My dear LGBTQ brothers and sisters, an old enemy is now taking a more prominent role in undermining our equality. The Alliance Defending Freedom has done a lot of damage to us behind the scenes, but with yesterday's SCOTUS case, the group is front and center. As this article by Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed points out, I think it's time for us to start thinking more strategically. This group is pushing a "kinder, gentler" form of homophobia, showcased by figureheads such as the baker in yesterday's case. And they are doing things that I have said for the longest that WE need to do. They are studying our community and methods. And they are taking advantage of our anger to make us look like we are attacking Christianity. Marching or screeching at this group online will only fuel its narrative.  This group is more skilled than the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and more methodical and patient. We can defeat its efforts but at the very least, we need to challenge our old ways of doing things. Emphasize more education about this group. Demand that the media not simply call it a group defending Christians. Demand that the true and ENTIRE story about ADF be told. And above all, tell the true and ENTIRE story yourselves. There is enough information out there and I've included a few links. ADF has skillfully hid its anti-LGBTQ animus. It's our job to rip the cover away from it.

It's not just Masterpiece Cakeshop: Alliance Defending Freedom is attacking nearly every aspect of LGBTQ equality - A reminder that ADF isn't simply about "defending Christians." That can be seen as a cover for the group to undermine LGBTQ equality. 

Alliance Defending Freedom profile from SPLC - The SPLC has called ADF a hate group but according to the Dominic Holden article from above, the organization struggled with giving ADF this label. That only goes to show how skilled ADF is in hiding it's true nature.

Ben Shapiro doesn't understand the facts of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case - I'm a bit more pessimistic about Shapiro. I believe he knows fully well but will spin it how he wants. 

Lawmaker Patted On Arm By Male Colleague Fears He Won’t Be Seen As Straight Anymore - Don't nobody want this fool. Lord! 

LGBT immigrants fear deportation as Congress debates whether to take up DACA - This is affects all of us.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

LGBTQ equality vs. 'Religious liberty' has its court date



The SCOTUS oral arguments about the Colorado baker attempting to use religion as an excuse to discriminate took place today and I have to tell you honestly:

Like they always do, people overemphasize  and underemphasize what the Justices said, what questions they asked, what points they made. People are looking for the smallest clue as to how they will rule. But I don't know what the ruling will be. Of course I also said that about marriage equality and probably have said that about every court case about LGBTQ equality even if I were sure. I do know that a lot of folks on our side freaked out - as they always do.

My advice is that we have a long time from now until the case is publicly decided - spring of 2018. Let's not flip out. That includes no constant insane speculation. But I will say that the best article I read on the case was from Chris Geidner and Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed.

I found it to be precised, not opinionated - which was very needed - and inclusive of many details other articles didn't contain, like the following:

Waggoner walked a fine line between saying she wanted a ruling for her client but not a decision that creates a slippery slope, thereby possibly eroding civil rights laws for other classes of people or protecting an endless type of service providers. And yet, she sought a decision open-ended enough that other creative businesses that sell wedding services could turn away same-sex couples. Waggoner drew this line by insisting she wasn't asking to protect tailors and chefs, for example, but rather the baker's cake, which is inherently a message. 
Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned why — even if there is a line to be drawn — the cake baker should be on the exempted side of the line. "The primary purpose of a food of any kind is to be eaten," she said. "There are sandwich artists," she said, but a sandwich-maker does't claim to create a First Amendment-protected lunch. 
Kagan synthesized the these scenarios into three "axes" of questioning, each one exploring how ruling for the baker opens further questions in a different direction. Many questions centered around which sort of business would be afforded the right to refuse service, and at what point their wares became a constitutionally protected form of expression. "A second axis is, well, why is this only about gay people?” she said, touching on questions about how a ruling could apply to racial discrimination, sex discrimination, or even, as raised at one point, disability discrimination. "Why isn't it about race?" Finally, she questioned how a decision could be confined solely to products for weddings. "What else counts?" Kagan asked — saying a funeral, bar mitzvah, or birthday could be affected. 
"So there are all three of these that suggest like, whoa, this doesn't seem like such a small thing," Kagan concluded.

Give it a read. It will calm your nerves. Also, remember that whatever the outcome, we will use it as an advantage. We will not give in to fear or despair if we lose or excessive giddiness if we win. Regardless of either outcome, this isn't over by a long shot. And when it is over, we will win because we will strive to win.