Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ex-gay documentary packs a serious punch

From the release:

In the summer of 2005, Zach, a 16-year-old boy from Memphis, Tennessee wrote on his MySpace blog that he had told his parents he was gay. Within days of his coming out, his mother and father would send him to Love In Action (LIA), a fundamentalist Christian program that refers to homosexuality as an addictive behavior. The depressed and fearful teenager shared his feelings on his blog.

"This Is What Love In Action Looks Like" documents the widely controversial and inspirational story of what The New York Times referred to as "A modern day message in a bottle."

In the documentary, former Love In Action director John Smid as well as former adult and teenage clients share their hearts on these experiences. In addition, local bloggers, community activists and classmates of Zach tell their stories of becoming involved with what would become an international news story.

Concerned people around the world awaited news of how Zach was doing during his eight weeks in Refuge. By the time he emerged in late July 2005, there was a barrage of headlines in the international press, including Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Advocate among others.

In the years since it began, with all the media coverage and investigations, Zach had declined to tell his story. Until now. The teenager whose MySpace blogs began it all gives an exclusive interview for the documentary.

"This Is What Love In Action Looks Like," is directed by award winning filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox ("Blue Citrus Hearts," "OMG/HaHaHa").

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Arizona newspaper features same-sex couple with 12 children and other Tuesday midday news briefs

This video breaks marriage equality down to the matter of common sense. All of that stuff NOM spouts about marriage being about "two halves uniting to create children" is just junk. What would it really hurt allow couples such as this one to get married?

And in other news:

'Little popular support in RI,' says Maggie; 'Stop stealing my gig,' says Pinocchio - Maggie Gallagher tells a blatant lie about popular support for marriage equality in Rhode Island.

2 gay dads, 12 happy kids - Yes! We need more articles in the media like this one.

Peter LaBarbera Thought Matt Barber’s “Joke” Was Funny - Dumb asses of a feather flock together.

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Family Research Council clearly ducking debate over hate group charge

"The people who avoid a debate are the ones afraid of losing."

This statement by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins was meant to smear the lgbt community in regards to the recent debacle of the law firm King & Spalding's decision not to defend the DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) in court.

Of course this decision was a bit more complicated than the narrative of a bullying lgbt community, as this Huffington Post article clearly shows.

But I find that Perkins's statement about cowardice relating less to the lgbt community and more to his organization, the Family Research Council.

In November of last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center officially named FRC  - and several other religious right groups - as anti-gay hate groups because they

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.

In response, FRC  launched a huge "Start Debating, Stop Hating" campaign which claimed that SPLC's accusation was a plot to attack FRC's "Christian" stance on gay marriage and homosexuality:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents "hate groups." No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

Perkins said an interview with Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller:

“We’re not afraid to debate the issues,” Perkins said in a phone interview. “We are not running from the debate. We are confident on the issues we advocate for based on empirical, peer-reviewed research.”

The comment is highly ironic seeing that the last time Perkins did have a debate on the issue - on the news program Hardball with the SPLC's Mark Potok - he distorted data to make the inaccurate claim that pedophilia and homosexuality is connected. He also cited an organization, the American College of Pediatricians. It was later discovered that the ACP is not a legitimate medical organization but a sham group created to push religious right distortions about the lgbt community.

Hardball's host, Chris Matthews, was forced to give a clarifying statement regarding the ACP on a later broadcast.

Since that time, Perkins has pretty much avoided debates, appearing on "friendly" news programs such as  Fox and Friends.  Nor has he been directly addressing SPLC's charges.

Now in December of last year, FRC spokesperson Peter Sprigg said the following:

"We will be preparing a more detailed response to (the) charge that FRC spreads “falsehoods” in our well-documented research, which does show that certain harms are associated with homosexual conduct."

Sprigg referred readers to two pieces he wrote - Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality and The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality. However, both of those pieces contained serious problems with distorted data and studies taken out of context and included studies that FRC admitted removing from its web page because of outdated sources.