Monday, February 28, 2011

Christian foster parents will most likely be the new religious right cause celebre

Something happened today overseas which I know will play out in this country:

Mr and Mrs Johns said they could not tell a child homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle.

Eunice and Owen Johns, 62 and 65, of Derby, said the city council did not want them to look after children because of their traditional views.

They claim they were "doomed not to be approved" due to their opinions.

The Pentecostal Christian couple had applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers.

They withdrew their application after a social worker expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable.

At the High Court, they asked judges to rule that their faith should not be a bar to them becoming carers, and the law should protect their Christian values.

But Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation "should take precedence" over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.

They said that if children were placed with carers who objected to homosexuality and same-sex relationships, "there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to 'safeguard and promote the welfare' of looked-after children".

And while we know the religious right will be chomping at the bit over this (Lifesite News has already started), the situation to me is not as simple as folks will most likely make it.

While I have nothing against the couple, I do have a problem with their failure to acknowledge the plain possibility that one of the children they seek to foster may turn out to be an lgbt.

And then what will happen to that child in that environment?

This isn't a matter of the lgbt community trying to strong arm the law in our favor. It's a matter of a creating the best environment for a child to be nurtured.

 And  no matter how Christian and nurturing as the Johns family claims to be, the chance that an lgbt child may be placed in this unaccepting household is a chance that shouldn't be taken.

The words of Robert Pigott, BBC religious affairs correspondent, says it better than me:

The case is likely to be seen as a landmark decision, as senior judges ruled so decisively against any idea that attitudes might be justified purely because they were Christian in origin.

The court discriminated between kinds of Christianity, saying that Christians in general might well make good foster parents, while people with traditionalist Christian views like Mr and Mrs Johns might well not.

Such views, said the judges, might conflict with the welfare of children.



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Will the House of Representative defend DOMA with FRC lies? and other Monday midday news briefs

To Block A Gay-Straight Alliance, Texas High School Shuts Down All Extracurricular Clubs - Just unbelievable how some people will stoop. Was all of this really necessary?

John Boehner: I'd Be Very Surprised If The House Doesn't Decide To Defend DOMA - Given what I said in my post this morning, one has to wonder if the House does defend DOMA, will it adopt the Family Research Council's propaganda against the lgbt community.

Black, Gay & Elderly - A VERY important documentary which should have a wider audience.

Right-Wing Commentator Calls Marriage Equality "An Act of Societal Suicide" - They just can't help themselves with their rhetoric.

Hey CBN: Why not ask Peter Sprigg about 'exporting' or criminalizing certain humans? - If Peter Sprigg wants to "debate" then why does he keep running away from the debate?



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Family Research Council pulling the 'gay = promiscuous pedophiles' card to defend DOMA

Audacity is always rooted in what someone feels he or she can get away with.

In other words, if no one calls you out for lying then you are mostly likely going to do it again.

It's helpful to keep this in mind while perusing a Family Research Council's website directed solely at Defending DOMA.

One has to hand it to the organization for not letting a moment - in this case, the Justice Department saying that it will no longer defend DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in court cases - go by without using it as an opportunity to  fund raise.

But in attacking the decision not to defend DOMA - and gay marriage in general - FRC uses the page to push incredibly ridiculous arguments having nothing to do with gay marriage.

And when it does attack gay marriage head in, the organization uses tactics which led to its being called out several times in the past (most recently by the Southern Poverty Law Center) for deliberately passing along awful anti-gay propaganda and distorting legitimate science to quantify this propaganda.

Two sections of the webpage (Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex 'Marriage, and Q&A What's Wrong With Letting Same-Sex Couples Marry?) are rife with deception.

For today, let's look at Q&A: What's Wrong with Letting Same-Sex Couples Marry?

A following passage in this piece is a perfect example of the low road FRC has chosen to travel in order to defend DOMA:

Do homosexuals pose a threat to children?

Homosexual men are far more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexuals. The evidence for this lies in the findings that:

·  Almost all child sexual abuse is committed by men; and
·  Less than three percent of American men identify themselves as homosexual; yet
·  Nearly a third of all cases of child sexual abuse are homosexual in nature (that is, they involve men molesting boys). This is a rate of homosexual child abuse about ten times higher than one would expect based on the first two facts.

These figures are essentially undisputed. However, pro-homosexual activists seek to explain them away by claiming that men who molest boys are not usually homosexual in their adult sexual orientation. Yet a study of convicted child molesters, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that "86 percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual" (W. D. Erickson, M.D., et al., in Archives of Sexual Behavior 17:1, 1988).

This does not mean that all, or even most, homosexual men are child molesters--but it does prove that homosexuality is a significant risk factor for this horrible crime.

That's right. FRC is pulling the homosexuality = pedophilia lie and distorting legitimate work prove this point.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - Never Too Young To Die

Allow me to apologize in advance for this segment of Know Your LGBT History because I have a feeling that it will offend a lot of folks.

But today's clip is a good reason why I began these posts a while back. A lot of young folks know Glee, TransAmerica, Brokeback Mountain, and The Kids Are Alright. But many of them don't know the road that the lgbt community traveled to get positive portrayals of ourselves on television and in the movies. A lot of these young folks aren't aware of the controversy caused by that awful film Cruising in the early 80s or why The Killing of Sister George received an X rating when it came out in the 60s.

The lgbt community have fought very hard for our public dignity. And as recent incidents show (i.e. that awful SNL skit attacking the transgender community), we still have a long way to go. But still, it's a long way from where we were when the following came out:

Never Too Young To Die (1986) was a hideous movie with a terrible plot. All you need to know is that John Stamos is fighting to save the world from the evil mastermind who murdered his secret agent father.

And this criminal mastermind is Van Ragnar, an intersexed rock star-cum- showgirl out to poison the world's water supply.

Just awful. By the way, the female interest in this movie was played by former Prince protege Vanity (Denise Matthews). Matthews is now a Christian minister.

After a movie like this, I would have hands laid upon me too. The following clip features the "best" of Gene Simmons as Van Ragnar played to the song Ladies Room:



Past Know Your LGBT History Postings:

Why is Mike Huckabee declaring war on lgbt families?

Mike Huckabee has attacked lgbt families again. This is what he said recently on CNN:

"I believe that we're in denial about potential problems as we see more and more homosexual couples raising families. Essentially, these are experiments to see how well children will fare in such same-sex households. It will be years before we know whether or not our little guinea pigs turn out to be good at marriage and parenthood."

Personally, I think the only person dealing with denial problems is Huckabee. If he had any true questions regarding same-sex households, there are a plethora of studies out there which prove that same-sex households don't pose a danger to children.

But let's be honest there. Huckabee  has no interest in educating himself on same-sex households.

He just doesn't like same-sex households just as he has proven that he has a serious disdain for the lgbt community in general.  His comments are obviously carefully measured soundbites designed to bash same-sex households while simultaneously making himself sound like a reasonable person.

No matter how nice he tries to make them seem, they still add up to ignorant homophobia of the highest level (yes I know I am using an oxymoron but it best describes the depths that Huckabee stooped to in this attack). 

Huckabee comes across as a bully, not a presidential candidate.

And by the way, just in case you need to keep score, in the perfect world of Mike Huckabee, a same-sex household who takes in children, thereby giving them the love and support they need to get through life is wrong:


However, mingling with an anti-gay hate group who claim that lgbts are trying to sexualize children when we aren't pushing gay marriage to open the door for bestiality, that's right:


A bizarro world indeed.




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SPLC puts Cliff Kincaid's homophobia on centerstage

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media
The Southern Poverty Law Center has given a "much deserved" spotlight to another purveyor of  homophobic propaganda - Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media (AIM).

In the newest issue of its Intelligence Report, SPLC documents Kincaid's history of lies:

 Cliff Kincaid is one of the American far right’s most energetic and obsessive propagandists. For more than 30 years at Accuracy in Media (AIM), a right-wing outfit opposed to the “liberal” media, Kincaid has cranked out reams of material — rife with innuendo and speculation but light on facts —aimed at buttressing his far-right, xenophobic and homophobic views.

Regarding the lgbt community, SPLC had this to say about Kincaid:

He has blamed gays for corrupting the military and making America more vulnerable to terrorism. He says the “pro-homosexual media” has created the false perception of “overwhelming public support” for repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. “Establishment journalists,” he has written, “are aligned with academia” (“sexual perverts masquerading as scholars”) in supporting transgendered individuals — “a cruel hoax to undermine the already shaky foundation of the traditional family.” He can’t contain his rage at the Republicans for not expelling gays from their ranks, titling a recent article, “Is the GOP becoming the Gay Old Party?” And he has been one of the staunchest defenders of a draconian proposed law in Uganda that would impose the death penalty on large numbers of gay men — a proposal so radical that even many hard-line U.S. anti-gay groups have felt constrained to denounce it. To Kincaid, the proposed law seems merely “designed to send a message to … the foreign homosexual lobby to keep their hands off Uganda’s families and kids.”

Kincaid has taken his anti-gay message on the road recently, participating in an August conference put on by the hard-edged Americans for Truth about Homosexuality where he promised to expose “gay influence on the media” and “the homosexual drive for the ‘right’ to donate possibly infected and contaminated blood to the nation’s blood supply.”

Believe it or not, there is worse stuff in the article regarding Kincaid's "crusade" against the lgbt community, including his bad attempt at smearing Obama appointee Kevin Jennings as a pedophile; a crusade which backfired in his face.

The article sounds like there may very well soon be a new addition to SPLC's list of anti-gay hate groups.

And based on Kincaid's past behavior, it would be a welcomed addition.

Related posts:

One News Now and Cliff Kincaid demonstrate homophobia, ability to lie

Family Research Council distorts British article in attack on gay soldier


Anti-gay 'Truth Academy' on deck for this week


Cliff Kincaid's International Gay-Bashing

Cliff Kincaid: Outcry against Ugandan bill a conspiracy to save Kevin Jennings



From 'Fistgate' to 'NAMBLA-gate' - The attacks on Kevin Jennings get stranger and stranger


Cliff Kincaid: Outcry against Ugandan bill a conspiracy to save Kevin Jennings

Right-wing site removes post calling Kevin Jennings a pedophile





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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Homophobic Paul Cameron enabler gets smack downed in debate

From Bilerico comes this awesome video.

Remember Patrick Roth? He guest posted his testimony in front of the Indiana House committee debating a marriage discrimination amendment. His testimony was so powerful that the local Fox station invited Patrick to face off against local religious right fundie Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana. Patrick mops the floor with him. It is Teh Awesome.

Now before you watch the video, you need to know a little information on Micah Clark. In 2002, he bragged that during a hearing on domestic partnerships in Indianapolis, he not only cited the distorted data of Paul (gay men stuff gerbils of their rectums) Cameron, but sidestepped a councilmember who called him out for it:
“The author of the (domestic partner benefit) bill . . . tried to come at me for using a Paul Cameron study. I diverted that one pretty well by pointing out that I have spoken with Dr. Paul Cameron and her information was wrong. In any event, I said it was published in a well respected peer review journal and the research has not been disproved. I have been waiting for that one for years.” (Indianapolis Rejects Domestic Partner Benefits, Concerned Women for America, August 8, 2002)

 As the video shows, he doesn't do that well against someone - Patrick Roth - who has done his homework:

 



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For some homophobes, it's all about sex and other Thursday midday news briefs

Video: Pat Robertson vs. 'their way of doing sex' - For Pat Robertson, it's all about gay sex.

Proposed bill may quiet conversation on homosexuality - speaking of which, it's just insane that some folks think that talking about same-sex households automatically equals talking about sexual intercourse.

Hawaii’s Governor Abercrombie signs civil unions bill - Good news from Hawaii.

Fighting Prop 8: Lawyers Ask Court To Lift Stay On Gay Marriage Ban - That would be nice.



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Mike Huckabee uses DOMA decision to show contempt for the lgbt community

Possible presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (right) meeting with Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance at a right-wing conference in 2009. Mass Resistance was designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

As predicted, heads have figuratively exploded on the right over the decision by the Obama Administration to stop defending DOMA in the courts.

From the right, the reason is the usual nonsense about gay marriage assaulting the family.

But with possible presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the whine not only fails to make sense but also further shows just how little he cares about the lgbt community:

Huckabee noted that 33 states have affirmed, via ballot initiatives, that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

"When the voters are so overwhelmingly [supportive of DOMA] what does the president believe he knows that citizens in all these other states don't," Huckabee said.

Perhaps Huckabee should pose that question to United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt because in 2009, he declared DOMA unconstitutional.

This crap about the "will of the people" is a dodge. Huckabee no doubt knows law and the history of this country. He is aware of the fact that majority rules means nothing if that majority can't defend their nonsense in court.

But Huckabee's nonsense gets better:

Nonetheless, Huckabee opposes gay marriage on the grounds that, according to him, it destroys traditional families.

"There is a quantified impact of broken families," Huckabee said. "[There is a] $300 billion dad deficit in America every year...that's the amount of money that we spend as taxpayers to pick up the pieces because dads are derelict in their duties."

Huckabee doesn't even bother the explain the connection between gay marriage and broken families. Where the hell is the connection?

With Huckabee, there doesn't need to be a connection. He is that certain breed of politician whom the right can always count on to verbally bash the lgbt community, even while he is claiming to "love us" at the same time he is spewing his venom.

Huckabee has in the past:

  • aligned himself with Southern Poverty Law Center - identified hate group Mass Resistance whose leader Brian Camenker once made a claim in 2006 that "gays were trying to get legislation passed to allow sex with animals" in Massachusetts,
  • attacked lgbt families by comparing them to people raising puppies,
  • bent over backwards to assure Ann Coulter that he wasn't  "pro-gay" and "pro-sodomy."

    And lest we forget, Huckabee's poor attempt at defending the Family Research Council last year when the Southern Poverty Law Center called them out for their homophobic rhetoric and propaganda.

    If Huckabee gets anywhere near the White House, the lgbt community are going to have a hard time getting any progress. Hell, we may have to keep from going backwards.




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    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Yes Maggie Gallagher, you are bigoted and NOM is homophobic. Here's why.

    Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage
    These days, it's relatively easy to be a talking head on news programs.

    Just find some sucker with a lot of money willing to fund you,  created an organization with an important sounding name, give yourself an important sounding but meaningless title (senior fellow, research analyst, president, etc.), and they'll practically be beating at your door.

    An incident today on Fox News more than demonstrates that point. Not long after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama Administration would no longer defend DOMA, Fox News personality (you really don't think I'm going to call her a journalist, do you) Megyn Kelly had National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher on her show to whine about how evil this decision is for families.

    Of course Gallagher's definition of families never seems to include lgbt families, leaving a lot of people out.

    Nevertheless, Kelly allowed Gallagher to push her usual silly talking points, including one about how gays are inaccurately being compared to black people in terms of civil rights.

    I sincerely hope that in discussing the DOMA decision - and hopefully this piece - no one falls for the divide and conquer technique of this person - Gallagher - who cares as much about the black community as she does the lgbt community.

    And that level of care is zero.

    What Gallagher and Kelly did were evasive tactics, much like other tactics Gallagher seems to have mastered when talking about gay marriage. Give her five minutes and she will try to pivot the conversation from the same-sex households negatively affected by her activism to how she and others like her are supposedly unfairly called "bigots" for supposedly simply trying to "protect marriage."

    Okay, let go on that angle. Let's break down the acts of Gallagher and NOM and pose the question - are these the acts of a bigoted, homophobic organization or people simply trying to "defend marriage:"

    November 20, 2009 - Signer of Manhattan Declaration wanted to jail gays and lesbians - By signing an anti-gay document, The Manhattan Declaration, Gallagher and NOM affiliates themselves with folks who want to jail lgbts.

    February 1, 2010 - Maggie Gallagher commits 'sin of omission' to make case against marriage equality - Gallagher cites a study to bash gay marriage and gay parenting, even though the study had nothing to do with either concept.

    March 8, 2010 - TinyU-R-Gay: @NOMupdates limits gay lives to less than 140 characters/years - A NOM tweet actually pushing the lie that gays have a short life span.

    June 14, 2010 - National Organization for Marriage: Gays Were Never Hunted Down and Murdered Like 'Jews, Christians, and Blacks' - NOM is found to be affiliated with Louis J. Marinelli during its failed summer for marriage tour. Amongst other things, Marinelli claims that gays want to molest children. When Marinelli's words became public, NOM claimed that the organization had no affiliation with Marinelli. However certain links posted as an update to the story demonstrated that NOM did have an affiliation with Marinelli.

    June 28, 2010 - Message to Maggie Gallagher: associating with bigots does make you a bigot - NOM associates itself with another bigoted group, The Traditional Value Coalition. Amongst other things, TVC head Lou Sheldon has said that gays should be referred to as "sodomites."

    July 27, 2010 - National Organization for Marriage needs to disavow its 'zany' followers - NOM not only has a problem with the homophobia of those in its ranks, but also those who support the group, particularly the guy with the poster of the hangman's nooses.

    February 11, 2011 - PolitiFact catches anti-gay group NOM in a huge lie about gay marriage and children - Pultizer Prize-winning news site calls NOM out on a lie that gay marriage is being taught to kindergartners in Massachusetts.

    February 17, 2011 - National Organization for Marriage called out AGAIN for distortive tactics - NOM commissions a misleading poll claiming that the majority of folks in Maryland oppose gay marriage. They are called out on it by a local columnist.

    February 22, 2011 - National Organization for Marriage makes the case for being an anti-gay hate group - NOM pushes a piece written by syndicated columnist Mike McManus of the group Marriage Savers. The column has several distortions about gays, including the lie that gay men have a shorter life span than heterosexuals. NOM has not distanced itself from this piece.

    Again, I ask does this sound like a Christian defender of "the family" or a homophobic bigot exploiting fear and ignorance for a paycheck?



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    Obama Administration will no longer defend DOMA

    This just came in AFTER I posted my news briefs. Check them out in the post below this one. The following   piece is by  Jonathan Capeheart of The Washington Post:

    A well-placed and trusted source tells me that, any minute now, Attorney General Eric Holder will issue a statement announcing that it will no longer defend so-called Defense of Marriage Act lawsuits in court. The source believes DOJ had come to the conclusion that heightened scrutiny would apply, and that these cases cannot be defended in court. A 530d letter has been sent to Congress informing it that, if it wants to defend the statute, it is free to do so. A case is pending now that has a filing deadline of March 11.

    This is huge, folks. By definitively stating that gay men and lesbians deserve heightened scrutiny, the Obama administration is declaring that there is no government interest in perpetuating the discrimination aggrieved parties are trying to redress. 

    The following is a partial statement from the Office of Attorney General Eric Holder:

    The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department’s course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman:

    In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.

    Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.

    After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

    Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.

    Furthermore, pursuant to the President ’ s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.

    More here. Mass religious right head explosion expected SOON.



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    Newt Gingrich called out for anti-gay hypocrisy and other Wednesday midday news briefs

    The First Annual TransGriot African-American Trans History Quiz - When I published my recent lgbt black history month quiz, I made a huge goof in not including as many questions on the lgbt of color transgender community as I should have. Monica Roberts has rectified my error with an excellent quiz of her own.

    Newt Gingrich confronted over affair - Anti-gay hypocrite gets confronted for his own discretions? Love it!

    Game on in NC: marriage amendment bill filed in state Senate; would put it on 2012 ballot - Go get 'em Pam Spaulding!

    Kansas Drops Hate Bill - A disgusting bill gets dropped.

    Is Fox News the New CPAC? - Fox News gets called out for being too "pro-gay?" I'm not rooting for either side in this battle.


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    'Marriage saver' can't defend his homophobic argument

    Yesterday, I wrote a post about the National Organization for Marriage helping to peddle some hogwash written by syndicated columnist Michael McManus. The piece, Why One Should Oppose Gay Marriage, was full of the usual anti-gay distortions and misdirections.

    In one passage, McManus claimed that gay marriage was a bad idea because of the so-called promiscuity of gay men. To accomplish this, he compared two studies. However, the studies in question were decades apart (1978 and 1997) and talked about two different dynamics - i.e. single gay men vs. married heterosexual couples.

    And in another passage, he freely cited the bad research of one John R. Diggs, even going so far as pulling out the "gays have a short lifespan" lie.

    The point of my column was to show the duplicity of the National Organization for Marriage. At the same time the organization tries to pass itself off as a so-called "defender of marriage," it is openly pushing homophobic propaganda.

    However, as a sidebar, I took the liberty of emailing McManus. McManus, by the way, heads a group called Marriage Savers. The organization supposedly devises ways for heterosexual couples to have successful marriages.

    Let's hope McManus is more successful at this than he is at explaining his mess. The following is a short email exchange I had with him:

    Me - Dear Mr. McManus, I know that you think you are operating in the body of Christ, but lies and deception have no place in the body of Christ. See to yourself before you condemn members of the lgbt community. Editor's note - I also attached my entire post pointing out the errors in his piece.

    McManus - Dear Sir:

    I notice you did not question my data that homosexuals are really not interested in marriage. How do you explain the fact there have been only 5,000 gay marriages in Mass. after more than 5 years, many of which were from out-of-state gays, as I understand it. But even if all were from Mass. that is only about 10% of the gay population.

    Why should the nature of marriage, as practiced for 5,000 years, be changed for such a tiny sliver of people, who are not even interested in fidelity? Or marriage?

    Me - The reason why I didn't question your Massachusetts information is because your other citations were so flawed that I didn't bother. If you are citing other studies in an inaccurate manner, then how can anyone have any credibility in what you said regarding Massachusetts?

    That being the case, would you care to address the flaws which I found in your piece, particularly you making a comparison of married heterosexual couples vs. unmarried gay men from two different studies decades apart?

    Strangely enough, McManus didn't get back with me on this point.

    What's with these so-called "protect marriage" types anyway?  They seem to be always throwing  all sorts of erroneous arguments against gay marriage against the wall and expecting everyone to go for the one which may stick while ignoring their other inaccuracies; inaccuracies which always tends to refute their entire premise.

    It's almost as if these folks think that they not only have a divine right to choose who gets married, but also a divine right to have their distortions ignored.

    Sorry but no one has that right, especially those who are always implying that their beliefs places them on the right hand of God.


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    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    NOM gets really bad news and other Tuesday afternoon news briefs

    Compared To The Klan? That's Manna From Heaven! - You all have read my piece this morning regarding the Family Research Council. Now here is another, very excellent, more comical, and very detailed view of the situation by a fellow blogging buddy of mine.

    Bad News For NOM: Supreme Court Lets Stand WA Campaign Disclosure Rules
    - The National Organization for Marriage gets smacked down again. This is shaping up to be a nice week.

    Gay Belgian Couple to Reunite with Son Kept from Them for Two Years After Homophobic Surrogacy Nightmare - I love a happy ending.


    Montana Legislature Moves to Stop Towns from Covering Sexual Orientation and Gender in Anti-Discrimination Laws - In November 2010, we not only let the inmates out of the asylum, we elected them to public office.


    Duncan do nots: CA Rep. out to stop #DADT repeal, maintain T.Perkins appeal - Oh sure. Mess with the DADT repeal. It's not enough for the Republican party to get women really angry at them. They want the entire lgbt community in the mix. And we don't like them in the first place.



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    National Organization for Marriage makes the case for being an anti-gay hate group

    The constant refrain of the anti-gay group the National Organization for Marriage is that they are unfairly being called bigots and haters "simply" because of their opposition to gay marriage.

    But, just like when the Family Research Council makes this claim, NOM isn't telling the entire story. Their opposition to gay marriage only scratches the surface.

    Just like almost every organization claiming to stand up for morality and "Judeo-Christian" ethics, NOM is slyly pushing anti-lgbt propaganda which has been consistently refuted.

    Take for example, the following piece on its blog:

     If you followed the link provided by NOM's blog, you would find a piece written by Mike McManus published in the Daily Reporter.

    The information in his piece is highly flawed. Take this passage for example:

     . . . but one study reports 80% of men and 86% of women have been faithful to their spouses for life.

    By contrast, a 1978 study found that 75 percent of white, gay males claim to have had more than100 male sex partners. In fact 15 percent claimed over 500 partners and 28 percent said they have had more than 1,000!

    Is this an atmosphere in which children should be raised? I think not. The media portrays gay marriages with children as normal. They are not.

    Of course McManus is comparing two different studies - one involving married couple and the other involving gay couples who are not married. And he conveniently does not tell anyone the year of the study involving heterosexual couples. That's because it was published in 1997:

    A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.

    It would seem that McManus rounded off the numbers.

    Now let's talk the 1978 study he cited concerning gay men. As admitted by McManus, the study was published over 30 years ago. The study was a part of a book entitled Homosexualities which only looked a certain portion of the lgbt population (gay men in the city of San Francisco). It also did not look at same-sex households, so  McManus is inaccurate in using it to discredit same-sex households raising children.

    Family Research Council asks for money instead of answering charges of unethical behavior

    The Family Research Council has yet to give a "detailed response" to charges lodged by the Southern Poverty Law Center that it spreads untrue propaganda about the lgbt community by means of either junk science or distorted science.

    However, the group did take time out of its day to send out the following email requesting money. I took the liberty of zeroing in on the most pertinent part:

    As you may have heard, the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently declared Family Research Council and a few of our allies as "hate groups."

    How do you feel about you and FRC being lumped in with neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, racist skinheads, and other radical organizations?

    I am outraged. But more than that, I am concerned. Never before has FRC been slapped with such a false and malicious accusation by an organization claiming to be mainstream.

    Thankfully, we have hundreds of good friends who have stepped forward to denounce the SPLC in the strongest possible terms and to declare their support of FRC. The list includes national leaders who signed a Statement of Support.

    Now I urge you to show you won't be intimidated into silence. Please follow this link to take your place alongside these leaders and others in defense of FRC by making a tax-deductible donation to support our work.

    The SPLC is pressuring major news networks, magazines, newspapers, and online news and opinion outlets to not invite us on their programs, run our opinion pieces, or quote our views. It even hosted an event aimed solely at smearing FRC.

    Astonishing, isn't it?

    The SPLC is now attacking FRC and other groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

    By labeling its opponents "hate groups," the SPLC is saying: No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

    As usual FRC is playing the victim while evading the true story. SPLC said the following about FRC and several other so-called pro-family groups:

    . . . a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations. . . Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

    The falsehoods in question include the beliefs that:

    • Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals,
    • Same-sex parents harm children, and
    • Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

    For its part, SPLC has listed detailed reasons as to the inaccuracies of these claims.

    FRC, on the hand, has yet to fully answer SPLC's charges even though it said two months ago that it would give a "detailed response."

    FRC's entire campaign  of  "they are trying to silence us" has been a clever dodge, or a non-sequitir which only serves to cover up that SPLC is in fact pushing for the debate while FRC is avoiding it.

    Conveniently absent from FRC’s email - and its other statements - is suitable refutation to SPLC’s charges or any type of refutation at all.

    At the times in which FRC did try to address the charges head on, such as when FRC head Tony Perkins went on the news program Hardball or when an FRC employee recommended a piece written by Perkins,  the organization was called out for engaging in exactly the same tactics SPLC accused them of - distorting science to denigrate the lgbt community.

    No one wants to silence FRC.

    Not SPLC, nor do I, nor does any other person who sent emails to the organization asking for the "detailed response" to SPLC's charges, which FRC promised to give.

    All we want are answers. And we have yet to receive those answers.

    In the long run, FRC's plea for donations may be successful in terms of monetary benefits.

    But what about personal integrity?

    If the FRC considers itself a Christian organization, then it needs to act like one.

    And somehow I don't think that spreading untrue stories about the lgbt community and then playing the evasion game when called out on this behavior is a Christian virtue.

    Stating that you are a moral, Christian group doesn't necessarily make you one. Especially when your actions have been most un-Christian.

    Related posts:


    Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council just can't stop engaging in duplicitious tactics - Pay attention to this post. In an interview last week, FRC spokesperson Peter Sprigg criticized studies looking at same-sex households in part because the studies in question doesn't compare same-sex households to heterosexual households. However Sprigg's objection is ironic seeing that he freely cites studies that don't compare the two dynamics when he denigrates heterosexual households.

    Family Research Council's Tony Perkins pushes George Rekers flavored falsehoods on Hardball

    Write Chris Matthews and Hardball to complain about Tony Perkins's lies

    SUCCESS! Chris Matthews addresses distortion of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council

    Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

    Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

    Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?



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    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Carl Bean - I Was Born This Way

    I am very appreciative of Lady Gaga's advocacy for the lgbt community. But let's not forget that while her song "I Was Born This Way" will be a massive hit, it wasn't the first song to celebrate self-love, particularly in the lgbt community.

    The following is a 1977 song from former Motown recording artist and founding prelate of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement Carl Bean:




    The following is Bean in an interview talking about his autobiographical book of the same name:




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    An lgbt teen makes an excellent video about bullying and other Monday midday news briefs

    No Place For Hate - Excellent piece about a bullied teen.

    'I have no problem with homosexuality' FAIL - Sometimes I prefer outright hatred to insulting patronization.

    New Mexico Democrats kill anti-gay marriage bills - Good news from New Mexico from last week.

    A Military Job Is Not Economic Justice - A very interesting piece.



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    LGBT Black History - Answers the questions and see how much you know

    How many of these questions regarding lgbt Black History can you answer correctly? The answers will be posted at a later time:

    1. What female poet is known for the phrase “your silence will not protect you.”

    2. He was an aid to Dr. King and organized the 1963 March on Washington.

    3. In 1972, he was the first gay black man to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor in for the movie Sounder.

    4. She was the first lesbian of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where she electrified the country during Nixon’s impeachment hearings.

    5. He is the first openly gay African-American gospel singer.

    6. She won a Tony and an Emmy for the Broadway musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and was the star of her own situation comedy.

    7. This playwright wrote A Raisin in the Sun.

    8. This former employee of the Clinton Administration wrote One More River to Cross.

    9. This blues legend fronted the group “The Assassinators of the Blues.”

    10. This Tuskegee scientist is known more for his experiments with sweet potatoes and peanuts than his rumored relationship with lab assistant Austin Curtis, Jr.

    11. What early August Wilson play featured a relationship between a famous blues singer and her girlfriend?

    12. This documentary focused on the ball scene in New York during the late 80s.

    13. She is the author of the novel Push, which was made into the motion picture Precious.

    14. He is the first and only African-American gay man to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director.

    15. He wrote The Fire Next Time and Blues for Mister Charlie.

    16. This scholar was fired by then Governor of California Ronald Reagan due to her affiliation with the Communist Party.

    17. What leader of the Black Panther Party gave a speech of solidarity to the gay rights movement in 1970?

    18. He is presently a theologian at Harvard University’s Divinity School and authored The Good Book.

    19. She wrote the book Hiding My Candy.

    20. She has won three Olympic gold medals as well as three WNBA MVP awards.

    21. This singer has sung such hits as “Chance Are” and “Misty.”

    22. She has been called the “Empress of the Blues” and was the subject of a false story that she died because she was not admitted to a white hospital after a car crash.

    23. He authored such books as Invisible Life and This Too Shall Pass.

    24. She is considered a legend in France due to her mystique and dancing performances wearing nothing more than a skirt of artificial bananas.

    25. Her novel, The Color Purple, received the Pulitzer Prize and is the subject of a successful movie and Broadway play.

    26. This cultural movement took place in New York between 1920s and 30s and featured such artists as Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen.

    27. This legendary rock and roll singer’s hits include "Long Tall Sally" and "Tootie Fruitie."

    28. She is presently the only openly gay African-American federal judge. She serves in the Southern District of New York.

    29. She originally recorded the Elvis Presley hit, “Hound Dog.”

    30. She was a performer during the Harlem Renaissance who dressed in men’s clothing while performing.

    31. He was the first openly gay Major League Baseball player.

    32. This gospel singer was known as “Little Ax” and at the time of his death was discovered to be anatomically female.

    33. He was one of the first soldiers to have success challenging the then Armed Forces ban on lgbts.

    34. He was one of the defendants in the case Lawrence vs. Texas, which overturned the country’s anti-sodomy laws.

    35. He formed his own dance theatre in 1958 and helped to popularize modern dance.



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    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council just can't stop engaging in duplicitious tactics




    I caught this piece from TeachtheFacts, an excellent organization in Maryland.

    "Our friend," Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council was on a local Maryland Fox News program being interviewed recently about the marriage equality bill which just passed  and is now headed for a vote in the Senate. He was pitted against DC Metro PFLAG member David Fishback.

    Of course I am going to be accused by some folks of being biased, but Sprigg comes across as meandering and totally clueless on several points, especially when he talks about the "ideal" family environment for children. He says - and these are his words - "the ideal family form for children is to be raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another  in a lifetime marriage"

    That simply illustrates the emptiness of Sprigg's argument. Not all children are raised by "their own biological mother and father." Sprigg just omitted a plethora of families.

    And according to Teach the Facts, the steering of the argument into the direction of children in families didn't exactly work in Sprigg's direction:

    Peter launched into one of his famous "the research shows that" speeches. Luckily, the announcer, Laura Evans, had her notes in front of her . . .

    Evans comes back:
    Peter, there have actually been three decades of research on this matter, the American Psychological Association has found that there is no scientific evidence that parental effectiveness is related to sexual orientation. Lesbian and gay parents are as likely, they say, as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. What do you say to those studies, twenty-five years worth of studies?

    Peter responds by criticizing the scholarship of the research.
    Well, those studies, the studies that have focused specifically on gay parenting, have suffered from severe methodological difficulties, very small sample sizes, convenience sampling where they're not a truly random sample, and by not being compared with actual married biological mothers and fathers, in comparing them with for example single parents instead, so I think that we can draw very few firm conclusions from that body of research, and we should be looking instead to the much broader and much larger and much more reliable body of research on family structure in general.

    You got that? Sprigg says that the studies looking at same-sex households shouldn't be considered credible because - amongst other bad explanations brought up by him - the researcher didn't compare these households to heterosexual households.

    But he didn't have a problem Wednesday with using research that didn't compare the two dynamics when he published a piece in The Christian Post criticizing same-sex marriage.

    Not to worry, though. Fishback answers Sprigg back rather admirably, especially pointing out that the research looking at same-sex households was peer-reviewed, i.e. looked at by other researchers before being published.

    If stuff like this keeps up, I would suggest that the Family Research Council get a new "point man" to fight against marriage equality.

    It's bad enough that Sprigg seems to be losing the argument, but it's worse that he just unconsciously repeats talking points as if readng a grocery list, displaying absolutely no conviction in them.

    Worse for Sprigg and FRC,  but good for us.

    Related post:


    Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households


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    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Know Your LGBT History - All About Eve

    All About Eve (1950) is one of the greatest films of all time and THE movie to watch for all of us old-school gay men.

    The simple story, a Broadway actress by the name of Margo Channing (Bette Davis) who is nearly done in by an evil understudy, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) after her career and man, is legendary in gay circles for a myriad of reasons.

    1. The cast, led by gay icon Bette Davis is top notch. And the addition of another gay icon, Marilyn Monroe before she became a huge star, only made things better.

    2. The stories behind the making of this film could be a film in itself. The feud between cast members Bette Davis and Celeste Holmes, the fact that Davis was going through an ugly divorce in the middle of the film, the fact that she and co-star Gary Merrill ended up getting married after the film - after an embarrassing incident which led Merrill's wife to divorce him, Zsa Zsa Gabor coming on the set after her husband George Sanders, etc. etc.

    3. The writing was also amazing and it holds up even 50 years after this film was made.

    However just like another legendary gay favorite film I talked about a while back, i.e. The Women, the campy quality of All About Eve blinds us to a certain fact about one of the characters.

    There has been much written about the simple fact that the character of Eve Harrington was a lesbian. This was something which was hinted at throughout the entire movie in certain ways. Most specifically the fact that while Harrington slept with two men in the movie and tried to seduce a third, her character was only using them to advance her career.

    The only time in which she showed any affection was to her female roommate after the woman helps her in one of her escapades and in the ending where she takes in a stowaway (the open ending of the movie was hinting on the fact that the stowaway will backstab Eev like she did Channing).

    Then there is the scene in which Channing confronts Eve at a party and hints on the fact that maybe Eve would like to do more than simply be her helper.

    But for now, here is a scene in which Eve unsuccessfully tries to hit on Channing's boyfriend, Bill. See if you can see the subtlety in the words Bill uses when he rejects her advances:



    Past Know Your LGBT History Postings:

    GLAAD, Essence, and Ebony make black history and other Friday midday news briefs

    Guest column by Rev. Irene Monroe: GLAAD makes history with black media - This story should get more press. It's a remarkable achievement on the parts of GLAAD and Essence and Ebony magazines.
     
    VIDEO ROUND-UP: In NH, Opponents Claim Marriage Equality Would Facilitate ‘Sharia Law’ - Watch and read ONLY if you have a strong stomach and barf bag handy. The good news is that this mess totally destroys the Maggie Gallagher "stop calling us bigots because we simply want to 'protect marriage'" lie.

    Don't Filter Me!
    - That's right. Don't keep our lgbt children away for the online sources they need.


    Fischer: My Bigotry Is Absolutely Genuine - Well duuuuh!

    Wikileaks Posts Cables from US Embassy in Uganda Concerning Anti-Homosexuality Bill - Just sad.


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    Family Research Council's 'detailed response' to SPLC's charges leave much to be desired

    Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council
    Supposedly, the Family Research Council has finally given a "detailed response" to the Southern Poverty Law Center's charges that it uses distortive tactics to demonize the lgbt community.

    However, the group did not direct the answer to me or the SPLC, but allegedly to a reader of this blog. This is what the person wrote me:

    I asked them for a detailed response, and the reply I received was as follows:

    Dear C,

    Thank you for contacting Family Research Council.

    Please refer to Tony Perkins's op-ed, "Christian compassion requires the truth about harms of homosexuality" at http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=PV10J11 for an explanation of our motives behind opposing homosexuality.

    Sincerely,

    Your Friends at the Family Research Council

    If this is accurate, then the Family Research Council has a very warped idea of a "detailed response."

    The link is to a piece written by FRC head Tony Perkins entitled Christian compassion requires the truth about harms of homosexuality. It was published in October of last year in The Washington Post, causing a lot of consternation because it was published on National Coming Out Day AND it contained many distortions.

    In the piece, Perkins complained that "homosexual activists" were "exploiting" the recent suicides of lgbt teens. He tried to make the case that homophobia didn't lead to these suicides but that homosexuality itself was a "dangerous lifestyle:"


    There is an abundance of evidence that homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression. However, there is no empirical evidence to link this with society's general disapproval of homosexual conduct. In fact, evidence from the Netherlands would seem to suggest the opposite, because even in that most "gay-friendly" country on earth, research has shown homosexuals to have much higher mental health problems.

    However, Media Matters for America called him out for distortions:

    Perkins suggests that these tragedies are not caused by the homophobic attacks these individuals were subjected to, but rather because "homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression," and, according to Perkins, there's no "evidence to link this with society's general disapproval of homosexual conduct." Unfortunately for Perkins, the article he links to says no such thing.
     
    Perkins links to a February 2002 American Psychologist article, which reported on the "results of several breakthrough studies are offering new insights on gay men, lesbians and bisexuals." While Perkins is right, "Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals," he's totally wrong that these rates have nothing to do with discrimination. In fact, the article immediately goes on to report that "[d]iscrimination may help fuel these higher rates." The article reported: "In a study that examines possible root causes of mental disorders in LGB people, [Susan] Cochran [PhD] and psychologist Vickie M. Mays, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, explored whether ongoing discrimination fuels anxiety, depression and other stress-related mental health problems among LGB people. The authors found strong evidence of a relationship between the two." Several other studies back up this finding.

    Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin pointed out this error in Perkins's piece regarding his "evidence" from the Netherlands:

    While the study’s authors notes that the Netherlands is generally more tolerant, it doesn’t mean that LGBT people there are free from anti-gay bias and stress. After all, “more tolerant” is not the same as tolerant. And as for the study’s findings, the authors offered this explanation:
    The effects of social factors on the mental health status of homosexual men and women have been well documented in studies, which found a relationship between experiences of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination and mental health status. Furthermore, controlling for psychological predictors of present distress seems to eliminate differences in mental health status between heterosexual and homosexual adolescents.

    Someone should tell the Family Research Council that if you are accused of distorting legitimate science, it's probably not best to lodge a defense by citing a piece you wrote which was publicly called out for distorting legitimate science.

    It makes you look like a huge liar.

    Related posts:

    Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

    Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

    Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?




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    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    National Organization for Marriage called out AGAIN for distortive tactics

    Slowly but surely, people are beginning to get hip to the homophobic sideshow known as the National Organization for Marriage.

    Last week, NOM was called out by PolitiFact for spreading a false story that "gay marriage is being taught" to kindergartners in Massachusetts.

    This week, the organization has been called out by Erik Hartley from The Capital newspaper in Maryland for a distorted push poll it conducted.

    First, a part of NOM's press release about the results of the poll:

    NEW POLL: MAJORITY OF MARYLAND VOTERS BELIEVE MARRIAGE IS ONLY ONE MAN-ONE WOMAN

    By a 54-37 margin, Maryland voters believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, according to a new poll released today by Lawrence Research.

    The poll, commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), also found that 78% of the state’s voters believe the voters of Maryland, rather than the legislature (14%), should have the final word on the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage.

    The state legislature is currently considering legislation to change the legal definition of marriage in Maryland from “a man and a woman” to “any two adults.” Supporters of traditional marriage, including NOM, the Maryland Catholic Conference, and the Association of Maryland Families, have vowed to put this proposal before the voters via Maryland’s referendum process if passed by the General Assembly. The findings of the poll indicate strong voter support for a referendum on this issue.

    “The results of this poll strongly affirm that we are on the right side of Maryland voters,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “Not only do voters support marriage by a 17-point margin, but they reject the Legislature’s efforts to impose this without public input. We’ll continue to fight to block the current legislation push in the General Assembly, but this poll shows beyond any doubt that despite what the legislature does, the people will have the final say, and they will support marriage.”

    Apparently, NOM commissioned this poll after another in January showed that the folks in Maryland in fact supports gay marriage.

    NOM whined that the poll had a "misleading" question. So naturally the organization conducted some chicanery of its own. Hartley said the following:

    Say you're an interest group that wants to make it seem as if the public is on your side. Just commission a poll, ask the questions a certain way and voilĂ ! You have the poll result you wanted.

    That's what an anti-gay-marriage group has just done.

    After a recent Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies poll showed most Marylanders now support same-sex marriage, the National Organization for Marriage decided it wanted a different result.

    It complained that the Gonzales poll's question ("Would you favor or oppose a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, giving them the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as tax exemptions, inheritance and pension coverage?") was biased. A "strong, pro-gay marriage bias" was the exact wording.

    So NOM asked it this way: "As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman, or should it also be available to same-sex couples?"

    Hmm. Why the phrase "as far as you personally are concerned"? Perhaps to appeal to people's visceral discomfort with gay people? Note that the question does not ask about the proposed law; it asks about values -- "as far as you personally are concerned" -- and how you think the world "should" be.

    That's two weeks and two times that NOM's bullshit has been called out. The third time's a charm as far as I'm concerned.



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    Rick Santorum hates 'santorum' and other Thursday midday news briefs

    TWO Calls On Rick Santorum to Stop Whine-Fest Regarding Google Search Results - A bit vicious and a bit more coarse than I would have done, but it couldn't have happened to a MORE DESERVING guy.

    FRC Promises Referendum If Maryland Approves Gay Marriage - GREAT! More lies about lgbts indoctrinating children and "teaching kindergartners about gay marriage." Get yourselves together pro-equality forces in Maryland. You know what they are going to do.

    Iowa grandmother speaks in favor of marriage equality
    - Our biggest allies are always our family members.

    Hawaii lawmakers approve civil unions for gay couples
    - We're almost there in Hawaii!


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