Friday, March 29, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - 'THE GAYS ARE COMING TO GET YOU' documentaries

One thing the lgbt community has had to deal with over the years are homophobes with cameras, movie equipment and a vivid imagination. From Gay Rights, Special Rights to They Are Coming To Your Town, the religious right have made many a pretty penny and scared many an American with documentaries full of propaganda about a supposed gay conspiracy out to destroy America and harm children. The following trailer - The Criminalization of Christianity - is no different. Enjoy it if you can:


As you can no doubt tell, this trailer is filled with all sort of lies. However, I want to especially want to point one out because it involves a very good twitter buddy of mine, Chai Feldblum.

At 1:09, there is a huge photo Feldblum, head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with the following words next to the photo: "Gays Win, Christians Lose."

For a long time, the religious right accused her of making that statement, but she never said such a thing. Like so many other things they push, the controversy about that alleged statement is an ugly lie.

Right Wing Watch says the following about the trailer:

Faith 2 Action is out with a low-budget trailer for a new movie warning America that “time and freedom are running out” in the fight to stop the gay rights movement.

The ominous trailer claims gay rights advocates are “threatening marriage,” “threatening our children” and “threatening freedom” and makes references to the Jerry Sandusky abuse case and a Michael Swift article which Religious Right activists apparently don’t realize was satire.

“If homosexual activists achieve their goal,” the trailer warns, “it will be the criminalization of Christianity.”

The trailer’s credits say the film was written, of course, by F2A president Janet Porter, the author of The Criminalization of Christianity who in 2009 predicted that the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act would “send pastors to prison.”

But they are still looking for an executive producer and a costume designer, so dust off those résumés!

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

Anti-gay legislation rooted in lies, not Scripture

Dave Agema
For those who wonder why bloggers like me "pay attention" to the religious right and spotlight their lies, the following post is you: 

Michigan Republican Committeeman: Homosexuality ‘Usually Leads To Early Death’ - During the Supreme Court hearings this week on Prop 8 and DOMA, Michigan Republican Committeeman Dave Agema posted on his Facebook page something called Statistics on Homosexuality, a vicious anti-gay list of lies, including:

Many homosexual sexual encounters occur while drunk, high on drugs, or in an orgy setting.

Homosexuals live unhealthy lifestyles, and have historically accounted for the bulk of syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, the "gay bowel syndrome" (which attacks the intestinal tract), tuberculosis and cytomegalovirus .

 25-33% of homosexuals and lesbians are alcoholics .

 Of homosexuals questioned in one study reports that 43% admit to 500 or more partners in a lifetime, 28% admit to 1000 or more in a lifetime, and of these people, 79% say that half of those partners are total strangers, and 70% of those sexual contacts are one night stands (or, as one homosexual admits in the film "The Castro", one minute stands).

 Also, it is a favorite past-time of many homosexuals to go to "cruisy areas" and have anonymous sex.

 78% of homosexuals are affected by STDs. 50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals The median age of death of homosexuals is 42 (only 9% live past age 65). This drops to 39 if the cause of death is AIDS. The median age of death of a married heterosexual man is 75. The median age of death of lesbians is 45 (only 24% live past age 65). The median age of death of a married heterosexual woman is 79.

Homosexuals are 100 times more likely to be murdered (usually by another homosexual) than the average person, 25 times more likely to commit suicide, and 19 times more likely to die in a traffic accident. 

 It wasn't that long ago that "high-profile" religious right groups such as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, and Concerned Women for America peddled this information free and unashamed. They still do peddle these lies, but only covertly.

NOM upset over Piers Morgan segment on marriage equality

NOM is upset over this segment on Piers Morgan in which a member of the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson, was heavily outnumbered and outgunned by Piers Morgan and Suze Orman.

While NOM does have a minor point - at times it did get uncomfortable how Anderson was getting battered - for the organization to whine about unfair debates is totally hypocritical.

For the longest time, those debating on behalf of NOM - i.e. Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown - haven't necessarily behaved themselves during a debate.

 Part of me would think of that "we don't want to stoop to their level" argument. But then another part of me doesn't exactly feel all that bad that when knocked off of his talking points, Anderson couldn't rise to the challenge.  Perhaps the treatment he received stemmed from the fact that when asked questions, he repeated the same talking points in an unconvincing manner thereby giving Morgan, Orman, and the audience the impression that unless provoked a bit, he was going to duck and dodge.

But judge for yourself:



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Family Research Council exploits Matthew Shepard's murder to justify discrimination

I've read many reasons why same-sex couples shouldn't be married from religious right groups and all of them are either distortion-filled or just plain nasty. But the following from the Family Research Council's Robert Morrison goes beyond the boundaries of good taste. He exploits the murder of Matthew Shepard to somehow connect marriage equality to the problem of absent fathers:

When we see dozens of Democrats abandoning their previously held positions and a few Republicans also willing to betray the voters who put them in office, it would be easy to become cynical about everyone in politics. But we have to stand firm and push back. Marriage is a blessing to families. Three-quarters of the teen rapists in our prisons are fatherless young men, so are two-thirds of the teen murderers. Even gay martyr Matthew Shepherd [sic] was killed by two fatherless young men. Marriage bashes no one. Marriage benefits everyone. 

Barring some profane words which I have not used in years, I can sum up Morrison's passage in three descriptions: tacky, tasteless, and totally un-Christian.

Those two men who murdered Shepard didn't commit their crime because a father was absent in their households. They murdered Shepard partly because of the fact that they were hateful individuals. But I would wager what they may have heard in their homes regarding gays had more to do with their crime than a father possibly not being at home. And also in a society which taught them to look at lgbts as slugs not worthy of respect (no doubt aided and abetted by past words and actions of the Family Research Council and other anti-gay groups)

 At any rate, it doesn't make any difference. They were adults and made their choice to take this young man's life. There is no excuse for that. I also find it extremely distasteful that after years of besmirching Shepard's name, i.e. claiming that he was murdered in the case of a drug deal gone bad or claiming that he flirted with the men and caused his own death, someone from the religious right camp would actually have the temerity to exploit his murder via the result of physical homophobia to justify institutional homophobia.

Most of all, I don't like what I read in Morrison's description of Shepard. Folks will read what they want in his turn of phrase but I detect a sublime nastiness in how he termed Shepard as a "gay martyr." It's a ugly transference by Morrison because he implies that the lgbt community predatorily used Shepard's death to further our supposed "agenda." The only one with an agenda here is Morrison because he doesn't seem to care a whit that Shepard was an innocent child more than he is a talking point.

After all, why would he even cite Shepard in the first place.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.

''Christian' writer pens nasty post on Today show host and her family' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Concerned Women for America Upset Jenna Wolfe Is Having a Baby - There is a very good chance that the lgbt community will attain a victory out of both cases heard in front of the Supreme Court this week. In the case of Prop 8, if we win any victory, it will be because of the fact that we have proven that the CA law would harm our children. If that becomes the case, then we can expect more nasty attacks like this, not just our person but our families.  

Premature Celebration - A very good piece and food for thought by Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski Is ‘Evolving’ On Same-Sex Marriage - Second Republican Senator on our side? It could happen.  

Important DOMA reminder: The Family Research Council built that - Food for thought. The Family Research Council is the group responsible for DOMA. I almost forgot that.

30 of the most offensive things said about marriage equality

With the momentum supporting marriage equality, there is an effort by some to distinguish the difference between those who oppose it because of strict religious belief and those who oppose it because of homophobic animus.

 This is a smart idea because it furthers discussion, eases tensions, and undercuts a possible oncoming backlash against marriage equality.

However, let's not forget those have acted the fool in this argument.

Thanks to Media Matters, we won't. The organization has come up with the 30 Of The Most Offensive, Idiotic, And Bizarre Conservative Arguments Against Marriage Equality. They include:

While we should make the distinction between religious beliefs and homophobic animus, let's not be careful to forget those who have shown their animus. We would be making a huge mistake if we did.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scenes from the DOMA trial: It was a GOOD day

Just as I did yesterday with the Prop 8 trial, this post will look at different aspect of today's DOMA trial:

 Supreme Court DOMA Case: Justices Sounded Skeptical Of Law's Constitutionality, Purpose - Keep your fingers crossed.

  Brian Brown: Anti-Gay March Was What the Civil Rights Movement 'Must Have Felt Like' - Poor Brian Brown. He's faked persecution so long he thinks he can compare himself to those who had to overcome genuine persecution. When I'm less drained and more fired up, I intend to revisit this item and give Mr. Brown a piece of my mind. 

 14 Most Telling DOMA Moments at the Supreme Court - I love this piece.

 NOM: Here's A Great Anti-Gay Preacher - NOM makes a HUGE error here. Someone isn't earning their ill-gotten salary. 

 MSNBC’s Luke Russert Grills Evangelical Leader Tony Perkins Over His Defense Of DOMA - This was GOOOOOOOD! Russert even challenged Perkins' ridiculous notion about "children do best with a mom and a dad." Then Perkins pulled the discredited Regnerus study out of his bag. And Russert shot that down, too! Perkins looked like he stuck his hand in a hot oven and was trying to act cool about it. I love it when a journalist does his/her homework!! 

 Four Examples Of The Junk Science That’s Been Used To Defend DOMA In Court - I am CITED in this post!!! When Paul Clement, the lawyer defending DOMA, submitted his brief a while back, I broke the story that he was using junk science. 

 Barber: Children of Same-Sex Couples Live In 'Disordered and Dysfunctional Households' - Apparently when Barber read the verse in which Jesus said "suffer the little children," he misunderstood.  

NOM hopes to co-opt HRC's 'change your profile pic' success by denigrating single parents - NOM's trying to piggyback on HRC's campaign. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Marriage Equality Is Good For Many Reasons - Well heck, I could have told you that!

 The Moment When Justice Ginsburg Took Aim To Kill DOMA - Yeah, I know. Everyone is going to remember Justice Ginsberg's skim milk comparison.

 More Great Signs From The Supreme Court Marriage Equality Rallies - Because you liked the pro-marriage equality signs yesterday, here are more from today.

'Possible DOMA ruling looks good for lgbt community' and other Wednesday midday news briefs'

 Well I caught it just in time. The talk for now according to @SCOTUSblog is good. There is an 80% chance that DOMA will be struck down.  Justice Kennedy thinks it violates states' rights while four other justices see it as a case of lgbt rights. I will take that. Like I said yesterday with Prop 8, this news is EARLY, so no dances yet. Or at least no tootsie rolls or "dropping it like it's hot" until June! See @SCOTUSblog for more details.

  Bill O'Reilly: Gay Marriage Foes Can Only 'Thump The Bible' In Their Arguments (VIDEO) - Suddenly things get really spooky. Oh well, I guess not. It's rather a good thing when you can convince someone, no matter who it is, with your argument.

  Today's pro-discrimination march - Oh brother. NOM left. The Westboro Baptist Church stayed. 

Anti-Marriage Equality Bishop: ‘Sexual Abuse Does Not Happen’ In Straight Marriages - No offense to my brothers and sisters in heterosexual marriages but OH BROTHER!!

 Kansas bill calls for HIV positive people to be quarantined - What the @!$%?  

Five Lessons I’ve Learned as a Black Christian LGBT Ally - An exceptional piece from a good friend of mine, Minister Gerald Palmer.

  Tennessee “Don’t Say Gay” bill dies, again - And good riddance!

Stunning video from yesterday and a reminder of NOM's lies

Well day one is over. Now day two will feature how the Supreme Court handles DOMA. But let's take a video look back at day one. The following video from blogger Mark S. King on youtube is reminds us about the sights and scenes from yesterday's competing rallies:

One more thing. If you haven't already shared the following video pulled from twitter, please feel free. It's a reminder of how the National Organization for Marriage plays loose with the facts:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scenes from the Prop 8 trial - history through different eyes

So many things happened today during the historic Supreme Court trial on Prop 8, I thought I would simply post links and allow you to pick on what you wanted to focus:  

Megyn Kelly To Maggie Gallagher: How Is Prop 8 Different From A Ban On Interracial Marriage? - Okay you know it gets weird when Fox News challenges your homophobia

 Fox News Contributors Say Marriage Equality Would Criminalize Christianity - There we go! THAT's the Fox News I know and despise.  

NOM #marriagemarch suporter defines 'Real Men' - Jeremy Hooper attended NOM's ridiculous rally. Apparently he is more of a sadist than I am. Check out this nauseating bit and look for more on his blog.  

VIDEO: Conservatives At Anti-Gay Marriage Rally Undercut One Of Their Primary Talking Points - Feel free to enjoy. I don't have the strength. 

 Mike Huckabee Threatens GOP: Support Marriage Equality And Evangelicals Will Form Third Party - Feel free to destroy yourselves. As long as I get a front row seat.

  Op-ed: The 6 Most Absurd Prop. 8 Briefs - Yes, the homophobes went brief crazy. 

 Attorney Arguing For Prop 8 Admits His Argument Sucks, Basically - Yes he did.

 NOM's 'Historic' Fail - And NOM's march sucked also.

 The 60 Best Signs Against DOMA And Prop 8 At The Supreme Court - Let's end this post with a bit of frivolity.

'Consensus - Supreme Court ruling MAY BE partial victory for gays' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

What a morning at the Supreme Court! Transcripts will be ready soon (and unfortunately, I will still be at work) so allow me to break down the possible, too-early to tell but folks are talking anyway consensus. While not an embracing of full marriage equality for the entire nation by the judges, it is also believed that Prop 8 may just stay invalidated. Even though I don't live in California, I would take that and love it:

Supreme Court Proposition 8 Case Arguments Cast Doubt On Gay Marriage Ban - If Prop 8 stays overturned, it may come down to an argument which NOM tried so hard to omit from everyone's mind - children in same-sex families. 

 The Proposition 8 oral argument - And a more detailed view from SCOTUSblog .

  Republicans Admit Intention To Sugarcoat Their Opposition To LGBT Equality - Meanwhile, Republicans are clueless as what to do so they are waiting.  

Concerned Women for America: Starbucks Discriminates Against Straight People by Supporting Gay Rights - Oh good grief!

Today is the day. Let's not stop

What will happen today and tomorrow at the Supreme Court and at rallies around the nation?

I don't know. I am hopeful that we will prevail. I believe that we will prevail. I have certainly prayed over it a few times. Yes I prayed. No one group owns the patent on prayer and I suspect that I am not the first lgbt who has prayed over a decision which will affect his/her life.

 But this I do know.

We have come a long way and we ain't stopping now, regardless of what happens. We must never stop until full equality is ours.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why can't Maggie Gallagher stop lying about gay household studies?

Maggie Gallagher
Former National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher is the latest religious right figure to throw a distortion-filled hissy fit over the American Academy of Pediatricians’ recent support of marriage equality and same-sex households.

In a piece in today’s National Review, Gallagher repeats the lie that the AAP ignored scientific data in its statement:
There are at least four reviews or studies in peer-reviewed literature that contest the claim that children do equally well with same-sex parents. (Regnerus, Marks, Sirota, Allen). None of which are mentioned by the American Academy of Pediatricians in their endorsement of gay marriage. They cannot cite a single scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal showing children with gay parents are better off if their parents are considered legally married. None of this matters. How serious are we about children’s well-being in this country?
Gallagher is not telling the truth. Or to put it another way, she is lying through her teeth. The other studies she mentioned (Marks, Sirota, and Allen) are merely cocktail canape.

Loren Marks did not create a study of same-sex households but rather a review of studies looking at same-sex households. His piece was considered to be a companion piece to the Regnerus study.

Dr. Theodora Sirota actually complained about how her work was being distorted to make the case against same-sex families.

Douglas Allen is a Canadian economist and a professor of economics who actually supported Regnerus’ work.

The big prize here is the Regnerus study. And that is what Gallagher’s lie entails. The AAP did in fact look at Regnerus’ work and destroyed it. On pg. 1378 or pg 6 of the link, starting in the third column, the AAP lists four reasons why the Regnerus study cannot be considered credible in terms of looking at children raised in same-sex households.

Aside from Gallagher and Brian Brown of NOM, the Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family have also tried to push the lie that AAP ignored credible research on same-sex households. Maybe it’s just me but I detect a note of fear in regards to the immediacy of these claims.

And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why of all of the briefs or statements supporting marriage equality for tomorrow and Wednesday’s upcoming Supreme Court trials,  does there seem to be some fear regarding the AAP’s statement.

Whatever the case, the fear is hard to ignore. And that is good for us.

'The Advocate blisters NOM in huge expose' and other Monday midday news briefs

Dirty Money - The Advocate runs a HUGE and asskicking expose on NOM. Everyone repeat after me - "It's about time!"  

Will NOM condemn French “pro-family” violence, use of kids as human shields? - That's a good question but we all know the answer. Of course not. 

 Nevada State Senate Passes Trans-Inclusive Hate Crimes Bill - Who ever said this couldn't be done is a liar.  

Rob Portman's Gay Marriage Conversion Explained By His Son - Sen. Rob Portman's son, Will, talks about his father's change of heart on marriage equality and reminds us all about a father's love and concern for his son's well-being.  

My exchange with a NOM #marriagemarch speaker - A day in which Jeremy Hooper is not rhetorically tearing apart a NOM member or supporter is like a day without sunshine.

Focus on the Family talking head shows his ignorance, homophobia

Glenn T. Stanton
Religious right groups are continuing their sad attempts of calling out the American Academy of Pediatrics for formally supporting same-sex families.

 Last week, NOM, the Family Research Council, and the so-called American College of Pediatricians (a shell-group pushing anti-gay propaganda) spoke their piece. Recently, Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family had some negative words about the AAP. He really should have kept his mouth shut:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued what appears to be a politically motivated statement suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents do just fine. In fact, the AAP goes so far as to suggest that children are more affected by the health of the relationship between the people raising them than by whether they are being raised by their own mother and father.

Sadly, the report is not rooted in social science but instead in a spirit of radical social activism, causing the authors to come to a fantastical and wishful conclusion.  Regarding this issue, we must consider two important things that we do know.

1)    The current research on how children fare developmentally in lesbian homes (there is virtually no research on male-headed families) has so many serious methodological limitations and problems that it cannot be counted on to draw any kind of reliable conclusion. The AAP’s own journal Pediatrics published a study (see p. 3 of study) in 2010 on this topic which makes this very clear to anyone who examines the methodology employed in reaching the study’s findings. This study’s weaknesses are also clearly displayed in the published explanation (see p. 274-275) of the study’s purpose and methodology. The research base they are employing is a house of cards.

2)    There is an absolute wealth of very strong, consistent and diverse research demonstrating that when children are raised in a home other than with the child’s own married mother and father, that child is significantly more likely to experience a host of serious physical, psychological, educational, and behavioral disadvantages. And no data exists that this is not also true of same-sex homes. It should be noted that this body of data is so convincing that it compelled both the Clinton and Bush administrations to launch dynamic and sweeping initiatives to promote and increase greater fatherhood involvement in the lives of their children. Fathers matter greatly in the daily lives of their children.

Let's break this down - Stanton's first point is a claim that one study looking at lesbian homes has many "methodological limitations and problems." But that point is irrelevant.  Stanton lists one study which he claims has methodological problems. To reach its conclusion, the AAP looked at several studies on same-sex parenting.

In his second point, Stanton makes the claim about the many studies which prove his point, but where are they? He doesn't even list one. Then he tries to get extremely tricky by saying that no data exists that says children  in same-sex households don't have physical, psychological, or education disadvantages. The problem with Stanton's turn of phrase here is how he implies that same-sex households must prove that they are not harmful to children. That makes as much sense as racists telling African-Americans that they have to prove that they deserve the right to equality.

Seems to me that if any person or group implies that same-sex households are negative towards children, then the burden of proof must fall on them. Furthermore in his second point, Stanton falsely connects the problem of absent fathers in the household to same-sex families.  That correalation simply does not exist.

And, believe it or not, when Stanton questioned the credibility of the AAP in his first point, he opened himself up. What about his credibility? Stanton is not a pediatrician and has no expertise in pediatrics whatsoever. However, as a member of Focus on the Family, he has written many negative opinions on lgbts in general, some accusing the gay community of nonexistent diseases. In the piece Why Homosexuality Falls Short of the Ideal, Stanton said:

Diseases such as hepatitis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, anal carcinoma and rectal infections involving gonorrhea, herpes simplex, syphilis and human papillomavirus are disproportionately seen among homosexual men when compared to heterosexual men and women. These diseases are extremely rare among married, monogamous men and women. In addition, because of the extremely high rate of incidence among homosexuals, a group of rare intestinal diseases have been grouped together under the title "gay bowel syndrome. 

There is no such thing as "gay bowel syndrome."

In addition, he once called marriage equality "a lie of Satan."

The rest of Stanton's piece is highly suspect:

The AAP been openly advocating for homosexual parenting since 2001. But such advocacy comes from a small group within the AAP who focus primarily on gay and lesbian issues. At the start of this advocacy, the leader of these efforts reported in an email to select members that the Academy “received more messages — almost of all them CRITICAL — from the members about the recent Policy Statement on [same-sex parent adoption] than it has EVER received on any other topic. (emphasis in original). She reported significant withdrawals and threats of withdrawals of membership.

She then explained that “this is a serious problem, as it means it will become harder to continue the work we have been doing to use the AAP as vehicle for positive change.” (emphasis added)

 I hope Stanton will forgive my suspicions regarding his last claim.

Then again, I don't care if he doesn't. I think he is not telling the truth.

I also think that when Stanton was attacking the credibility of the AAP in his first point, he was simply playing a game of transference.  The AAP is a 600,000 member body with a huge amount of credibility.

Stanton is simply a hack with a cross emblazoned in his mind which most likely deludes him into thinking any lie he tells is okay as long as it is a lie told against gays.

Just who would you believe?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - The story of 3 minutes

The recent news that a professional wrestler was caught on camera screaming anti-gay slurs during a television taping neither shocked nor upset me because I chalked it up to a publicity stunt.

Those of us who watch pro wrestling are aware that for years, the lgbt community has served as fodder for storylines rich with stereotypes. I already covered two - The Exotic Adrian Street and the late Adorable Adrian Adonis.

However, the Story of 3 Minutes has to be the most offensively bizarre and bizarrely offensive gay storyline ever in the history of wrestling.  The Story of 3 Minutes began with an interrupted gay wedding, moved towards something called Hot Lesbian Action, and culminated with a man getting a massive rear jammed in his face.

It began with this World Wrestling Entertainment tag team, Chuck and Billy:

Via a storyline in 2002, the two wrestlers fell in love and decided to have a commitment ceremony live in television.  During the ceremony, the wrestlers admitted that it was merely a publicity stunt which wen too far. That's when the story really got strange. Allow the recap to tell the story:

Billy & Chuck with Stephanie McMahon vs... by Jokerwilds

So it all culminated with a match at a pay-per-view which featured Chuck and Billy vs. Three Minute Warning. If Chuck and Billy won, Eric Bischoff would have to kiss Stephanie McMahon's rear. If Three Minute Warning won, Stephanie would have to engage in HLA (hot lesbian action) with everyone in the arena and television watching. I won't show the match, but Chuck and Billy lost. What happened next? Well see for yourself:

Stephanie McMahon - 'Hot Lesbian Action... by dido67

One wonders what would have happened had the lgbt community had the power of the internet which we do now. 

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Man suing for custody because ex-wife has a gay friend' and other Friday midday news briefs

Husband Threatens Custody Suit After Ex-wife Befriends 'Known Homosexual' - THIS is a unmitigated mess. A man is threatening to sue for sole custody because his ex-wife has (wait for it) a gay man for her friend. That's it. Nothing more. 

 GOP Chairman Tries To Appeal To Gay Voters By Bragging About His ‘Great Marriage’ - Uh how about pushing for US to have great marriages. That could help.  

ENDA under review prior to April reintroduction - ENDA is coming. The question is are WE ready for it? 

This weekend: FRC promotes NOM's March for Marriage by telling congregants gays aren't going to heaven- It's junk like this which destroys people's faith in God. Don't fall for it. When someone throws the Good Book at you, ALWAYS consult the original author. He always tells you a different story.  

Why The ‘Ex-Gay’ Industry Is Going Under - Cause they are liars.

Religious right groups attempt to create 'new' truth about gays

Yesterday, the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics formally endorsed marriage equality and spoke up for same-sex families:

On the basis of this comprehensive review of the literature regarding the development and adjustment of children whose parents are the same gender, as well as the existing evidence for the legal, social, and health benefits of marriage to children, the AAP concludes that it is in the best interests of children that they be able to partake in the security of permanent nurturing and care that comes with the civil marriage of their parents,without regard to their parents’ gender or sexual orientation.

Marriage equality can help reduce social stigma faced by lesbian and gay parents and their children, thereby enhancing social stability, acceptance, and support. Children who are raised by married parents benefit from the social and legal status that civil marriage conveys to their parents.

The organization also took the time to denounce the infamous Mark Regnerus study. Naturally religious right groups are going out of their head to denounce AAP for this.

The National Organization for Marriage - which has no expertise in pediatrics - said the following:

The AAP has not conducted any new research to justify their preposterous conclusion, adding evidence that it is a political act, not a scientific one. Instead, they have reviewed a series of studies produced by gay children. As was reported by respected Louisiana State University researcher Loren Marks, virtually every study to date has involved small samples and hand-selected participants. None of them utilize large-sample, randomly selected participants — a key requirement to rigorous research.

One recent large-scale random sample study that has been produced by University of Texas researchers found that those raised in a same-sex household fared worse than those raised in intact heterosexual families on two-thirds of outcomes measured. Nowhere in the AAP statement do they address the confounding scientific evidence by Regnerus, Marks, Sirota and Allen — all published in peer-reviewed journals. The AAP simply ignores them.

But NOM is not being truthful. According to Think Progress, the AAP report not only cited studies but also debunked the Regnerus study:

The full report cites dozens of studies about same-sex parenting and even takes time to debunk the politically manipulated Regnerus study for not actually assessing data on committed same-sex couples raising children.

Now the Family Research Council, in complaining about the AAP statement, took a different road. The group not only cited the debunked Regnerus study, but  also another medical association who had an opposite opinion of the AAP. This medical association is the American College of Pediatricians and its statement said in part:

The College does not support the alteration of this time-honored and proven standard to conform to pressures from “politically correct” groups. No one concerned with the well-being of children can reasonably ignore the evidence for maintaining the current standard, nor can they or we ignore the equally strong evidence that harm to children can result if the current standards are rejected,” says Den Trumbull, MD, President of the American College of Pediatricians. “The AAP ignores generations of evidence of health risks to children in advocating for the legality and legitimacy of same-sex marriage and child-rearing.”

First of all, you should know that the American College of Pediatricians is not a legitimate medical association. It is actually a shell-group whose purpose is to give anti-gay distortions a degree of credibility. In fact, the report link in the words "evidence of health risks,  Homosexual Parenting: Is it Time for Change? is a piece I refuted years ago. The report contained outdated and cherry-picked studies. Editor's note - the report seems to have been updated, adding new information such as the Regnerus study, but seeing how the Regnerus study has been discredited, it changes nothing.

In addition, three years ago, the American College of Pediatricians attempted to introduce a brochure in several high schools which made wild, inaccurate accusations about the gay community, including:

1. Gay men are disease ridden sex animals who enjoy playing with feces,

2. Lesbians are equally diseased and irresponsible,

3. Homosexuality is just a changeable condition.

So no one, except the religious right and their supporters, actually takes the American College of Pediatricians seriously.

But it does illustrate one annoying point about the religious right. When the truth contradicts their claims, they simply attempt to create a new truth.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Combat the USA Today's love letter to the religious right

Today, an article in the USA Today sent me farther north than I would prefer to be.

The article, Gay marriage? These voices say 'No' and explain why, focused on those who oppose marriage equality, i.e. organizations such as the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage and folks like Brian Brown and Tony Perkins.

Nothing wrong with that. And though I was not happy about the slant of the article - i.e. Brown, Perkins and company are portrayed as  "defenders of traditional marriage" - I could have dealt with the slant if the writer, Richard Wolf, looked as if he actually wrote the article.

If you will forgive me for being blunt, the way this article was written looked as if Wolf handed a series of questions to these folks while telling them to write anything and he would "pretty it up" later.

In other words, this isn't an good article. It's an incomplete piece of nonsense which is highlighted by the fact that Wolf glossed over the tactics of these groups. He pretty much omits the fact that these groups and individuals have possessed a long-term animus against the gay community.

I am not kidding.  Wolf writes about Brown and NOM and William Owens and his group, the Coalition of African-American Pastors, without mentioning NOM's gay vs. black strategy. He doesn't even mention the fact that Owens is on NOM's payroll and CAAP was attempting to undermine Obama's support in the African-American community while NOM was supporting Romney.

Wolf talks about Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, making sure to note that awful shooting last year. But he omits comments by FRC staffers expressing the desire to deport gays and to criminalize homosexuality. He omits the lies, junk science, and cherry-picking of studies FRC routinely engages in to demonize the lgbt community. He doesn't even mention Perkins' comments comparing us to pedophiles and terrorists.

Basically, every organization and person spotlighted in Wolf's article has a history of defaming the gay community in the same manner racists defame African-Americans, but Wolf fails to mention these important details.

Wolf's article is sad but it is also totally indicative of what the lgbt community has to deal with when it generally comes to the mainstream media and their articles about religious right groups. Too often, the lies and tactics used against us - the comparisons to pedophilia, the studies taken out of context, the ugly omission of our families and children, and the reduction of the entirety of our lives to a sex act - are either glossed over or not referred to at all.

And religious right groups get a free pass to plead Christian ennui while they hide their true motives and actions.

I say this time, we don't allow this situation to pass without comment.  On the right side of the link to the article is a way to contact Wolf. I say that as many of us as possible write this man and tell him that his article omitted a huge amount.  Please go to this page and leave a comment about Wolf's article on the comments and clarifications section. The organizations he spotlighted are not groups attempting to "protect" so-called traditional marriage. They are, in fact, bigoted groups willing to hide their homophobia behind religious beliefs.

Be nice but make sure to include a copy of GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project so in the future, he knows who he is dealing with.

And maybe a copy of How They See Us wouldn't hurt.

'Meet the one gay man the religious right actually does like' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Far-right itching to turn Doug Mainwaring's solo act into an orchestra - Doug Mainwaring is ONE gay man who opposes marriage equality. If the religious right has their way, his single belief will trump the rights of thousands of same-sex couples who do want marriage equality. It doesn't make sense, but then again, we are talking about the religious right. THIS is the warning.  

Nation’s Largest Pediatrics Organization Supports Same-Sex Marriage, Criticizes Regnerus Study - The American Academy of Pediatrics becomes the latest medical group to vouch for same-sex parenting and destroy Mark Regnerus's bogus anti-gay parenting study. It's a bit long but worth the read. You know, sometimes I think I am sadistic for posting all of these rebukes of Regenerus's work. But then I realize that he started it and is only getting what he deserves.  

Republican Lawmaker Opposes Marriage Equality Because He Doesn’t Want To Marry A Man - Based upon this article, we have some pretty DUMB Republicans holding office. 

LaBarbera: Treat Gay Family Member Like a Drug Addict - 'Porno Pete' strikes again.

FRC's Peter Sprigg sets a new low for logical failure

Peter Sprigg
The Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg is a master at cherry-picking legitimate science to demonize the lgbt community. I know this well because I have caught him committing this offense on more than one occasion. I would like to think that it is my constant monitoring of him which led him into the following ridiculous convolution of logic.

 In a post on the FRC webpage, Sprigg was attempting to explain why discrimination against interracial marriage isn't the same as discrimination against marriage equality. To say that Sprigg fails miserably is an insult to all failures in the history of mankind.

I'm serious.

There has to be a new definition of failure invented to describe just how off-base Sprigg went. The following is the gist of his piece:

Laws against interracial marriage served only the purpose of preserving a social system of racial segregation. This was both an unworthy goal and one utterly irrelevant to the fundamental nature of marriage.

Bridging the divide of the sexes by uniting men and women, on the other hand, is both a worthy goal and a part of the fundamental purpose of marriage, common to all human civilizations.

Ironically, this means that in one key respect, it is the supporters of marriage redefinition who resemble the opponents of interracial marriage. Both merely exploited the institution of marriage to advance a social goal that has nothing to do with the purpose of marriage, which is to promote responsible procreation. Virtually everyone now opposes the goal of one (racial segregation), whereas society remains sharply divided on the other (the forced affirmation of homosexual relationships), but this is ultimately irrelevant. Neither of these goals is related to the public purposes of marriage. Allowing a black woman to marry a white man does not change the definition of marriage, which requires one man and one woman.  Allowing two men or two women to marry would change that fundamental definition.

That's some serious Cheech and Chong logic there. Allow me to break down the errors.

1. Just who decided that the purpose of marriage was procreation. To make this point omits children born to unmarried couples as well as married couples who don't have children.

2. Sprigg is implying that marriage equality would upset the social order and pollute marriage. His implication is ironic. Earlier this year, Howard University School of Law submitted a brief to the Supreme Court making the case that those who opposed interracial marriage and those who oppose marriage equality have made similar illogical arguments. Number one on their list was how the opposers of both marriage situations claimed that they (i.e. interracial marriage or marriage equality) would upset the social order.

3. And the largest refutation to Sprigg's argument is simple. He does not say just how allowing gay couple to marry would "redefine marriage." He does not say how allowing gay couples would damage the marriages of heterosexual couples.  That so-called fundamental purpose of uniting heterosexual couples Sprigg mentioned would still take place. No one, Sprigg included, has ever accurately spelled out just how would allowing gay couples to marry damage heterosexual couples. And I don't mean some hypothetical, metaphysical point thought up in a boardroom. I mean concrete evidence. And let's face it. Neither Sprigg nor his bunch have any.

This hot mess of a post by Sprigg reveals something more than a man literally talking out of his ass. It reveals that if one was to take away the religious right's tendency to rely on junk science and cherry-pick legitimate science, this disgrace of a column is all you have left of their arguments against the lgbt community.

It's nothing but hot air propelled by bigotry.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Michelle Shocked claims her anti-gay tirade was misunderstood

The Michelle Shocked controversy has dominated the week but I haven't really paid attention. The lgbt community is angry that the folk singer went full blown homophobic on stage at a concert and with good reason. Her outburst - heard below, starting at 4:37 has to be heard to believed.  She is now saying that she was misunderstood. Editor's note: Hat tip to John Becker for the audio.

However, while not excusing anything she said, it sounds like to me that she had a Michael Richards type meltdown. No matter what the reasons, her career is suffering big time because now her concert tour is canceled. However, if she can pull off the explanation of being "misunderstood," girlfriend deserves some type of award.


NOM's Morse wants you to forget that lgbts of color exist

In the years which I have observed the religious right, the thing which always disturbs me the most regarding their talking points and claims is how they always attempt to manipulate the world to suit their purposes. In other words, anyone who doesn't fit their narrative or refutes their narrative is omitted and excised as if they don't exist.

We've seen how organizations like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage are deliberately careful not to mention same-sex families and their children when speaking against marriage equality. This is because they don't want to admit that same-sex couples are just as good when it comes to being parents as the two-parent heterosexual dynamic they hoist on a pedestal.

But same-sex couples and their children aren't the only ones who receives this nasty treatment.
The following clip below courtesy of Equality Matters features Jennifer Morse of NOM's Ruth Institute speaking for the African-American community and proclaiming how black people in general get offended when lgbts supposedly compared the gay equality movement to the African-American civil rights movement:


Morse makes a small point. There are some African-Americans - ignorant African-Americans - who seem to think that the black civil rights movement and the gay civil rights movement aren't the same. However, please note that I said "some." There are others who see the similarities in both. And more importantly, Morse didn't mention the category of people whose existence unites both movements, lgbts of color, like the following:


No matter how neat Morse's divide and conquer strategy is, it will always fail when it runs into the brick wall called reality.

'Religious right groups produce weak, insipid brochure' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Anti-Gay Organizations Refuse To Address Questions About Same-Sex Families - This is BEYOND pitiful. The Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Heritage Foundation team up for a slick brochure explaining why marriage shouldn't be "redefined" and it's filled with hackneyed Maggie Gallagheresque talking points and points to only one study to boost its point - the refuted Regnerus study. And what's more, it deliberately ignores the existence of same-sex families and children. I'm almost insulted, but then I realize that probably the reason why this silly brochure contains no studies is probably due to the painstaking work of bloggers like myself who refuted the junk science and cherry-picked studies that the religious right included in past brochures.  

FRC, NOM, ADF, Heritage issue sleek new brochure; sleekness can't polish this discriminatory turd - Jeremy Hooper describes the brochure in another way.

 LGBT Teen To Senators: ‘I Am Not Broken, I Am Not Confused, I Do Not Need To Be Fixed’ (Video) - Preeeach!  

Farah: 'Dangerous and Totalitarian' Gays Seek 'the Active Recruitment of Children' - Folks, if gays could recruit, forget the children. We would recruit people with money, like Warren Buffet and (gasp) Donald Trump.

Coy Mathis, Colo. Transgender Child Banned From Using School Bathroom, Ignites Debate Over Anti-Discrimination Laws - This is ridiculous. A silly overreaction based upon fear and ignorance of the transgender community!

Editor's note - and finally, I am pleased to announce that my booklet How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America is the third most read political book (4-100 pgs) on Scribd this month! 'How They See Us' is also the 22nd most read political book (4 - 100 pgs) of all time on Scribd!  I am currently working on a Facebook page! Thank you to everyone for my booklet's continued success.

Anti-gay group angry at Madonna for speech at GLAAD awards

Madonna's appearance last weekend at the GLAAD Awards got many tongues wagging.

 She was there to present Anderson Cooper with an award, but practically stole the show by wearing a Boy Scout uniform and making very articulate speech regarding the Scout policy of not allowing gays to join.

Needless to say, the Family Research Council was not happy. In voicing its displeasure, the organization made it seem that Madonna came to the awards frothing at the mouth:

Maybe they call her the "Material Girl" because Madonna always gives the press something to write about. If so, she delivered this past weekend. Dressed head-to-toe in a Boy Scouts uniform, the controversial pop star appeared at the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Awards to lash out at the BSA in a profanity-laced tirade that tried to discredit the organization's 103-year track record of American service and character-building.

When she wasn't swearing, the singer (who said her idea of scouting is "scout[ing] for boys!") compared the group's beliefs to terrorists'. "[I]t's no different than a white Supremacist hanging a black man from a tree before the civil rights movement. OK? It's no different. It's no different than a member of the Taliban shooting a young girl in the head for writing a blog about the importance of [getting an] education... I don't know about you, but I can't take this [expletive] anymore." At one point, the same Madonna with song titles that couldn't be read aloud on network television, even invoked Christ. " [I]t's so absurd. What did Jesus teach? 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
It has always amazed me how people who have done everything possible to push God and His standard from our country feel free to invoke this passage of scripture. It only works when they insert their definition of "love" not the biblical definition of love  . . . In this conflict of values, Madonna is the face of the other side. As a mom or dad, whose moral compass would you want your kids to follow: a performer who strips on stage (when she isn't bashing the military) or an organization devoted to public service and character development?

Let the Boy Scouts know that Madonna doesn't speak for America. If you've already signed FRC's petition encouraging the Scouts to stand strong on their convictions, another way you can help is by completing the comment form that the BSA has distributed to its members. You can read the survey questions here. If you are a member of the Scouts, or have a son who is, please ask your local Scoutmaster to send you the survey if you have not yet received it. If you have friends who are in Scouting, make them aware of the need to complete the survey, too. When you send in your survey, be sure to write something like, "Homosexuality is incompatible with the tenets of Scouting and should not be introduced to the boys entrusted by their parents to Scout troops. Keep the current policy."

Just in case you are interested in viewing, here is Madonna's speech in its entirety.  Please note that it's not even close to the wild tirade FRC made it out to be:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Endorsers undermine the message of NOM's march

With the National Organization for Marriage's March for Marriage just around the corner, the group is quickly gathering up the endorsements.

However, NOM would do better than to not let certain people endorse its march because they contradict its false message of  simply "defending marriage" without malice towards the gay community.

 Let's look at the recent endorsement NOM received from Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery:

Pay no attention to Minnery's wilted delivery and inaccurate claim regarding how God endowed marriage to be one way since the beginning of civilization. For my money, I am drawn to the nonsense he says about children needing the best chance to have a mom and a dad.

One would think he wouldn't have the audacity to make such a statement regarding children and parents when one remembers how he got busted during a Congressional hearing by Sen. Al Franken in 2011 for attempting to distort a study in order to make a negative assumption about same-sex families:

And then there is former senator and now head of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint:

One has to give it to DeMint how he seems to have memorized NOM's talking points. I especially liked it when he said that all Americans have the right to live as they choose, but do not have the right to "redefine marriage." But not for the reasons that you think.

You see, DeMint doesn't actually believe that.  What he does believe - and he said this in 2004 and 2010 - is that gays and sexually active unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in schools

So why is this important? Because of how NOM attempts to claim that it and those who support the organization, who supposedly believe in so-called traditional marriage, are being bullied and unfairly labeled as bigots

But yesterday, we got a good look at the vile anti-gay animus which many NOM supporters embrace. And today, we see the same animus, albeit tapered down, by two prominent individuals who support NOM and its march.

It all leads to the simple conclusion that NOM's whinings of unfairly being labeled as bigots is just a dodge to gain sympathy.

In spite of all of its false claims, NOM doesn't shy from having an bigoted anti-gay animus. NOM embraces it. If it didn't NOM wouldn't have any follower or allies.

'NOM's march suffers ANOTHER embarrassment' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Pro-gay artist gets NOM 'March For Marriage' ad yanked on copyright grounds - If you ask me, Brian Brown's decision to belittle lgbt bloggers and not take us seriously is beginning to play Jaws on his tush. I am presently working on a post which will hopefully cast further shadows on NOM's credibility . . . that is if no one else beats me to it.  

ACLU Claims Sultana High School Administrators Bully LGBT Students - Receiving the right to marry is awesome, but don't let our pursuit of it make us forget our children who have to make it through the firewall of nonsense that is adolescence in order to get to the point where they can marry.  
 Claims That There Is No Research About The Effectiveness Of Ex-Gay Therapy Are True - Tolerance, schmolerance. If you don't have any proof that the science you espouse actually works then don't expect to be given any type of credibility for it.  

Anti-Gay Activists Attack Rob Portman's Son's 'Disorder' and 'Abhorrent Lifestyle' - Now this is just pathetic.

Newt Gingrich underscores NOM's hypocrisy, desperation

Newt Gingrich
As the National Organization gets ready for its march, the group can't stop tripping over itself with embarrassment.

 Today's example - Newt Gingrich.

NOM posted a video clip of Newt Gingrich speaking about Sen. Rob Portman. Portman, a conservative Republican senator, recently revealed that he now supports marriage equality because of his relationship with his gay son.

In a blog post, NOM celebrates the fact that Gingrich said marriage should be between a man and a woman.

However in Gingrich's case, that should be a man and three women. Remember, Gingrich divorced his first wife of 18 years after an affair with another woman. He subsequently married this woman but divorced her after 12 years and an affair with another woman whom he is now currently married to. NOM is using this guy to defend marriage? This guy? Seriously?

A commentator to NOM's blog put it better than I ever could:

It's difficult to underestimate the sheer bare-faced chutzpah of this man and the fawning reverence paid to him by NOM and others, the outright cognitive dissonance it takes to believe that marriage is between one and one woman FOR LIFE and then to say he is an exemplar and supporter of marriage. He isn't. He is a destroyer of families, the very core of NOM's arguments. I would have more respect if there was at least one word addressing this hypocrisy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Religious right activist makes poor case against marriage equality

Former Christian Coalition head and conservative activist Ralph Reed attempted to make the case against marriage equality to the Wall Street Journal. It was such a bad performance in his case. Feel free to pick him apart: 

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.

'Hilary Clinton comes out in favor of marriage equality' and other Monday midday news briefs

Hillary Clinton comes out for marriage equality - Way to go Mrs. Clinton! 

 Republican National Committee Plan: Oppose LGBT Rights More Quietly - Now you KNOW we aren't going to let you get away with that.  

At CPAC, The Marriage Fight Is Over - At a recent meeting of Republican activists and bigwigs - actual and wannabe - NOM and its allies got extremely embarrassed while gay Republicans were received with open arms.  

Like so many brave visionaries before him, Bryan Fischer pushes GOP to stand for discrimination - Meanwhile, some folks are spooked that Republicans could embrace marriage equality.

NOM can't hide its supporters' ugly homophobia

I am so sick of NOM's talking point that those who oppose marriage equality are unfairly branded as bigots.

Let me rephrase that and say it the way NOM and its supporters do:

"It is unfair that those who support the traditional definition of marriage being between a man and a woman are called 'bigots.'"

That phraseology is no different than when the Klan sought to retool its image by saying  "we aren't anti-black. We are just pro-white."

Make no mistake about it, there is a certain animus directed at the lgbt community by many of those who claim to be fighting for "traditional marriage" and this animus is easily proven by those folks themselves.

Thanks to NOManiacs, a site which goes the extra mile by monitoring the stuff which NOM supporters say, the following gives a perfect view of the people who support NOM and the organization are hoping to come to its upcoming march.

NOManiacs assembled a bunch of comments from NOM's facebook page and created a flyer spotlighting these comments.  This flyer is highly NSFW and will no doubt get folks angry. Do not contact anyone, except your friends and allies in order to show them the truth about NOM supporters:

To see this flyer in a more readable form, click here.

The irony, according to NOManiacs is that many voices speaking for marriage equality have been barred from posting on NOM's facebook site, but these voices still remain.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lgbts, African-Americans should pay attention to CPAC 2013

Know Your LGBT History has been postponed today so that I can feature on a point I wish to make:

Before any African-Americans or lgbts get roped again by outside groups (such as the National Organization for Marriage) in what I call the "Oppression Olympics, take a gander at these two videos from today's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Witness what happens when an African-American Republican tries to talk about minority outreach and how attendees react to the news that Republican Sen. Rob Portman (OH) now supports marriage equality due to his son coming out:


It puts it all in perspective. What's the use of  talking about who suffered the most or how much one movement for equality is not like the other if you fail to notice that the heel on both of your necks belong to the same people.

Hat tip to Think Progress.

'NOM digs its own hole with response to 'second best option' controversy' and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM chief responds to ‘second-best option’ remarks - Kudos to the Washington Blade for coming up in CPAC to ask that question. Excellent journalism preventing NOM from ignoring Eastman's comment.  

NOM Doubles Down On Anti-Adoption Argument Against Marriage Equality - Think Progress gives more detail and background on the entire "second best option" controversy.  

Bryan Fischer Compares Being Gay To Robbing A Bank - Bryan Fischer's tacky response to the news that Sen. Ron Portman now supports marriage equality due to his son coming out.  

FRC to Pastors: Now THIS is an Anti-Gay Sermon! - Simply VILE overkill! The inability to police its own rhetoric will be one of the reasons for the religious right downfall in America. 

 Musician featured in NOM's 'March for Marriage' ad supports marriage equality - NOM doesn't miss a trick, I swear!

 Dad Writes Heartwarming Letter To Son Struggling To Come Out - Probably the greatest coming out story you will EVER hear about. I swear, I get happy chills just reading the father's letter.

Video: Sen. Rob Portman explains his reversal on marriage equality

Conservative Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced yesterday that he now believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. This is a reverse of his original position on the issue. With this announcement, Portman becomes the first sitting Republican senator to support marriage equality.

Why did he change his opinion? It's simple:


While it is nice to see Sen. Portman make a welcomed change on the issue, the fact that he did not cut off contact with his son after the child came out to him is an even better thing to see.

This is what Christian values is all about.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eastman, NOM places status above love in families

By now, many of you reading this post have heard of the comments uttered by National Organization for Marriage chairman John Eastman regarding Justice John Roberts' adopted children and adoption in general. And no doubt there will be some claiming that we are making too much of Eastman's statement or that it was a simple gaffe which takes needed attention away from the important subject of marriage equality

But attention over Eastman's words are not a phony moral panic and to label his comment as a simple "gaffe" is trivializing its harm.

What Eastman did was to push a concept into the idea of family which has no business being there. Families should never be judged on a tier. They aren't baked goods at the state fair to be given ribbons marking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Nor should it be implied that families exist in a caste system where the designated "gold standard" grabs all of the attention while other families who are not that "standard" are either hardly mentioned or downgraded.

When it comes to families, there is no such thing as a "second-best option," except unfortunately in the head of Eastman and his organization which - I may point out - has never offered any new ideas of placing orphaned or foster children into any family households at all, including the two-parent heterosexual household it holds so dear.

Nor has NOM ever offered any solutions to the real problems facing families of all stripe such as poverty, unemployment, lack of decent health and education options, or lack of good housing.

Eastman and NOM are like charlatans from days of old who would roll into town after town masquerading as physicians while hawking a useless cure-all with flowery rhetoric and flashy bottles.

In this case, the cure-all seems to be keeping members from the gay community from getting married and keeping same-sex families in the background. And like those charlatans, Eastman and NOM talk a good game, but when you get past the rhetoric and the flash you realize that the cure-all cures nothing.

Keeping gays and lesbians from getting married and keeping same-sex families in the background has never improved the quality of life of any household. It has never saved a family's mortgage nor gotten a family's children into a decent college.

Keeping gays and lesbians from getting married and keeping same-sex families in the background has never paid overdue utility notices, rent, or medical bills.

What this rhetoric does is pits us against one another by fooling us into thinking that the love and support each family is capable of giving should be judged not by how much good it does but who is the giver.

The rhetoric places status above love, support, and the willingness to sacrifice - three qualities which all good families have in abundance.

Eastman and NOM's rhetoric is a game, i.e. a vulgar exercise in passive-aggressive homophobia which cushions some from accepting the simple fact that maybe their disagreement  with marriage equality has less to do with saving the family and more to do with their inability to deal with innate inaccuracies about the gay community and same-sex families.

And unfortunately, as Eastman's comments demonstrate, other families are becoming collateral damage in this passive-aggressive game.