Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The video Bobby Jindal probably doesn't want you to see before his prayer rally

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is planning a prayer rally next month in what some say is an attempt to play up to the religious right because he intends to run for president in 2016.

Already there is much controversy regarding who Jindal's office's is partnering with.  Students and faculty members of Louisiana State University, where this prayer will be held, are already up in arms about it. According to The New Orleans Advocate:

LSU students, faculty and other activists have come out against the event, called “The Response,” largely because it’s being paid for by the American Family Association, a controversial conservative religious group that opposes gay marriage and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights efforts. A protest has been planned in response to The Response, and a petition has gained hundreds of signatures in just a matter of days.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the Tupelo, Mississippi-based AFA as “some of the most hateful anti-gay voices in America” and has classified the organization as a hate group.

 Right Wing Watch has also pointed that the rally will have other controversial participants, including:

Jennifer LeClaire - LeClaire is the editor of Charisma magazine, where she routinely warns that Halloween is demonically evil and that gay superheroes are corrupting your children's souls. She has repeatedly told gay athletes to stay in the closet and repent and warned that the fight for gay marriage is a Satanic plot to send people to Hell.

 EW Jackson - a Religious Right activist and former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia who has asserted that the push for gay rights has killed more black men than the KKK and said that gay men and women are "perverted," "degenerate," and "frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally." He has warned that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and said that there is a "direct connection" between homosexuality and pedophilia. The definition of marriage can never change, Jackson has declared, because "America was ordained by Almighty God." 

Jindal, who earlier called this prayer rally  “a time of prayer, fasting, repentance and celebration.” and a way to turn the nation back to God, seems to be sidestepping all questions about his partnership with the AFA.

'Religious freedom crowd cheer Russia's persecution of gays' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Pat Robertson: Gays 'Will Die Out Because They Don't Reproduce' - Doesn't Pat Robertson know that we reproduce by the power of Madonna and Cher albums?  

Texas Gets 1st Openly Gay Federal Judge Thanks to Anti-Gay GOP Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz - I never thought I would live to see the day when I thanked those two bozos for anything.  

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges - In between wringing their hands over the false notion that gays will deny evangelical Christians their freedom in America, the anti-gay right takes time out to praise Vladimir Putin for denial of freedom for gays in Russia.  

How a sheltered housewife became the foremost in-your-face challenger of Christian homophobia - A profile of an awesome facebook friend of mine and one of the best allies for the lgbt community, Kathy Baldock.

Will Michigan's controversial 'religious freedom' bill die in legislative session?

It is a strong possibility - at least for now - that the controversial Michigan "religious freedom" bill may die in the state Senate.

According to Buzzfeed:

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville expects a religious freedom bill, which would allow people the right to refuse service based on their faith, to die in the legislature without a vote, according to his spokesperson.

“He does not expect the bill to come up for a vote in the senate before the end of the term,” said Richardville’s spokesperson, Amber McCann.

The state’s GOP-controlled house of representatives passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) along party lines on Dec. 4. The bill is now in the state senate, where Richardville, a Republican, sets the agenda. Michigan’s legislature session adjourns this month.

“He does not feel the need to rush any bill through for a vote,” McCann told BuzzFeed News. “RFRA is not a priority for Senator Richardville.”

Critics have dubbed the measure the “right-to-discriminate bill,” arguing it would grant people sweeping discretion to discriminate against any sect of society they choose on religious grounds.

Critics, particularly lgbt bloggers have pointed out that the bill is so broad that it can also protect pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for medication to fight HIV or hospitals refusing to admit lgbt patients.

Rana Elmir, deputy director at ACLU of Michigan, told Buzzfeed that thousands of Michigan residents have been contacting lawmakers in protest. She claimed that public opinion is against the bill.

Elmir has a point. Yesterday, according to The New Civil Rights Movement, there was a protest at the state capitol against the bill.

Above picture courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

'Gays are the greatest threat to American liberty? REALLY? & other Tuesday midday news briefs

The greatest threat to American liberty? Gay rights? Sometimes I like to pretend that Bryan Fischer is just saying these things because he has a very sick relative and he needs the money given to him for these outrageous commentaries. It's either that explanation or simply the man is a homophobic sleazeball. Whatever the case may be, I don't feel angry. I feel the need to buy a one piece white suit and a Persian cat which I will then stroke gently while speaking in a faux European accent while commanding a bunch of fearful subordinates.  

An Open Letter to Mainstream LGBT Organizations That Have Remained Silent on Black Lives Mattering - Excellent point AND it underlines the intersection of the lgbt and African-American communities.  

How the anti-gay bill affected Uganda’s tourism - Thanks to folks like Martin Ssempa, Uganda can now 'eat da poo poo.' 

 Marriage Equality Arrives In Scotland - Not bad. Not bad at all!  

Philly Anti-Gay Hate Attack Suspects Determined To Fight Charges In Court - Bring it on!  

Religious Right Group Defends Bogus Ex-Gay Billboard - Of course they do and in the attempt, they underline the point I made about anti-gay distortions of science:

 Greg Quinlan, PFOX’s conspiratorial and extremist spokesman, defended the billboard in an interview today with the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily, insisting that that his group just wants gay people to know that “the truth that homosexuality is destructive to someone.” 
 “The billboard speaks to the scientific fact that to quote the American Psychiatric Association, ‘there still remains no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality,’” Quinlan told WND. “There is zero evidence that a person is born a homosexual. In fact, Dr. Francis Collins of the human genome project with the National Institute of Health, who was appointed by President Clinton to do the project said homosexuality was “not hard-wired.’” 

 But THAT is not true. In 2008 and 2010, Collins has gone on record saying that he didn't make that statement. And Quinlan knows this because during the 2008 situation,  HE WAS MADE AWARE OF WHAT COLLINS SAID.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Research Council spokesman gives lukewarm response to proposal that gays be put to death

I don't know what's scarier about the following audio clip - that this caller actually proposes executing lgbts or the lukewarm way the Family Research Council's Craig James addresses the man's proposal.

In all honesty, I don't blame the caller for what he said. I blame people like James, Tony Perkins, and the rest of the anti-gay right (especially Fox News' Todd Starnes) for consistently ginning up the lie that gays want to harm Christians. What do you expect when you conjure up visions of gays recreating the Holocaust on evangelical Christians? When you are constantly feeding people fear, what the heck do you expect the outcome will be?

Anti-gay billboard the latest in a long line of scientific lies by the religious right

PFOX's inaccurate billboard highlights the organization's willingness to lie.

Last week, the anti-gay group PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) suffered a huge embarrassment because of a billboard it put up on a Virginia interstate:

 The billboard appeared recently beside I-95 in Richmond, Virginia, according to NBC affiliate WWBT. The sign depicts two males, one dressed in a suit and the other in a white T-shirt, and says: "Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twin research studies show nobody is born gay."

As it turned out, the two males featured in the billboard sign was only one man, Kyle Roux, who happens to be openly gay.  This slip provided a delicious degree of schadenfreude
for the lgbt community.

However, in the midst of the laughter and derision, the lgbt community seem to be missing the larger picture which can be potentially beneficial to the community.

The way PFOX cited twin studies is inaccurate, according to lgbt activist and Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen:

“PFOX’s billboard underscores the groups scientific illiteracy and shows that ‘ex-gay’ activism is about demagoguery and marketing, rather that truth and results,” said Besen. “In reality, twin studies prove that there is a genetic link to sexual orientation. It is stunning that PFOX would pay for a billboard to showcase its ignorance and incompetence.”

A Truth Wins Out press release accused PFOX and other anti-gay groups of continuously distorting science:

 . . . anti-gay activists consistently distort research. They point to twin studies and say, “if homosexuality was truly genetic, the concordance rate for identical twins would be 100-percent.” Scientists say that this is a gross misunderstanding of the research. According to Dr. Eric Vilain, Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology at UCLA, and the Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics:
“All sorts of traits that are clearly genetic do not show 100% concordance [in twins]. I’ll give you examples, if people look at obesity. Or autism, looking at twins. There is undeniably, no one will even challenge that there is a genetic cause for both obesity and autism.
The twin studies do not show that it is 100% genetic. They just demonstrate that there is a genetic influence. There could be other influences on sexual orientation. Some of them might be environmental. For instance, the older brother effect [studies showing the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay] is an environmental influence. That’s what has happened in the past, in the same womb seems to influence the sexual orientation of future pregnancies. So, it is certainly not an all or nothing phenomenon.”

Truth Wins Out's  press release also quoted  Dr. Marc Breedlove, Michigan State University, Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience and Dr. Simon LeVay, author of Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. They both went into detail about what was omitted by the simplicity of PFOX's billboard.

PFOX's  billboard is the latest in a long history of scientific inaccuracies and distortions undertaken by various anti-gay groups to bolster their negative claims against the lgbt community.

'Horses, marriage equality & ex-gay billboards' & other Monday midday news briefs

No One Is Born Gay? Hundreds Join In Protest Of 'Ex-Gay' Billboard - Nothing like an idiotic anti-gay happening to get the folks stoked up. I hope they stay stoked up.

  Mississippi Pastor Edward James Protests Gay Marriage With Horse In Wedding Dress - Somehow I don't think he successfully made his point. What I want to know is how did he get the dress on the horse.

No, My 10-Year-Old Son Isn't Looking for a Girlfriend. He Likes Boys. - I read this piece over the weekend and I think it should have a wider audience. THIS is what parental support looks like. 

 Scott Lively claims homosexuality worse than mass murder 'from God's perspective' - Because apparently God speaks His word through a two-bit homophobic #@!% who exploited homophobia and fear in foreign countries to further the persecution of lgbts. Who knew? 

 Bobby Jindal Is Predictably Partnering With Anti-Gay Radicals For His Prayer Rally - Bobby, Bobby, Bobby! The key to pandering is to not make it look so obvious.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gasp! Proctor & Gamble enlists Tide in pushing the 'gay agenda!' Oh horrors!!

My only regret about this commercial is that it from Canada. One can only imagine how our very creatively enterprising opponents would spin this.

I can just hear them now. - How DARE Tide run a commercial showing a gay couple doing normal things like bickering over laundry when it is a well-known fact that gays all congregate in huge board rooms and discuss the overthrow of America, the indoctrination of children, and the imprisoning of heterosexual Christians.:

Hat tip to Towleroad.

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Ex-gay group contradicts its own message via billboard model' & other Friday midday news briefs

'Ex-Gay' Group Erects Billboard Saying 'Nobody Is Born Gay' - A couple of days ago, the anti-gay group, PFOX causes a huge controversy by a billboard it put up along a major interstate highway in Virginia. However, we now know that this is ONLY part of the story. 

HILARIOUS: Model from 'ex-gay' twins billboard is 'out, proud gay man,' not a twin - HERE is the other part of the story. Because of its cheap budget and exploitation of stock footage, PFOX made a MAJOR Freudian goof. 

 Barber And Staver: The Fight Against Gay Marriage Is 'The Next Civil Rights Movement' - This of course is absolutely the most ridiculous, stupid, ignorant thing I have heard today, but it bothers me. As much as some heterosexual African-Americans carry on when they think that lgbts are appropriating the Civil Rights Movement, I wish they weren't so silent when anti-gay white folks do it.

 The Duggars Just Made It Easier To Discriminate Against LGBT People. Will TLC React? - Unfortunately, probably not. At least not now. But let's give the Duggar family time and room to dig their own hole a little deeper.  

Alabama recalls vanity license plate with gay slur - I guess I'm SUPPOSED to be happy over this. Why was the slur approved in the first place?

The Family Research Council isn't held accountable for its homophobia, anti-gay lies

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

According to GLAAD, FRC president Tony Perkins has made several outrageous comments about the lgbt community, including accusing us of being "pawns" of Satan, claiming that we want to put Christians in boxcars and cart them away, comparing us to terrorists, and - of course - claiming that we want to recruit children.

Substitute the African-American or Jewish community for lgbt community in terms of who FRC and Perkins denigrates and do you honestly think that the following montage of Perkins being called upon to comment as a "Christian leader" on Fox News would happen:

The problem here isn't solely the fact that Perkins and FRC continuously lie about and denigrate the lgbt community. Part of the problem is that the media doesn't hold them accountable for these actions.

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper for the montage.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Will the right consider pushing an anti-transgender constitutional amendment?' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Editor's note - Due to prior commitments, today's news briefs have been moved up

School Athletic Officials Debunk Horror Stories About Transgender Student Athletes - Courtesy of Equality Matters, a new crop of anti-transgender horror stories, this time involving student athletes, have been debunked.

FRC Spox Proposes Constitutional Amendment To Ban Recognition Of Gender Reassignment - However, that doesn't keep the Family Research Council from talking about a constitutional amendment to ban recognition of gender reassignment. Oh vey!!

FDA Panel Endorses Lifetime Ban on Gay Blood Donation, Suggests Gay Men Are Diseased Liars - Speaking of FRC, I can just hear Tony Perkins crowing over this already.

NOM's bald-face lies about the 2014 midterms - What doesn't NOM not lie about?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Exposing the mind of a 'paid-in-full' homophobe

LaBarbera doesn't like to be asked about his tactics.
First of all, I should let you all know that this post is a rehash of one from my early days of this blog. I am reposting it because I think it's highly important,

In 2008, before I was "well-known" enough for Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth to block me on twitter and avoid my email questions, he and I had an interesting email debate.

If you ask me, this debate is probably the singular reason why LaBarbera bends over backwards to avoid me.  The email debate, at the time served as a blueprint of a basic belief I have when it comes to anti-gay spokespeople, groups, and propaganda. For too long, lgbts have been put on the defensive about our lives and our families. In spite of the fact that the courts, science, and the arena of public opinion are on our side, we constantly take the bait when anti-gay groups and spokespeople begin questioning our lives, as if we constantly need to refute them or justify our existence.

And all of this happens in front of a backdrop of distortions, lies, junk science, and cherry-picked science disguised as Christian beliefs. This decades-old backdrop has been, for the most part, unquestioned by the mainstream media and even our media. I say it's time for lgbts to stop being on the defensive because we have proven ourselves continuously. It's time for anti-gay groups and their spokespeople to explain themselves, explain their claims, and most of all explain their most un-Christian tactics to deny our equality.

That was the subject of the debate between LaBarbera and I.  And as you can see, LaBarbera wasn't used to being questioned

Beginning of  2008 post :

On his webpage, our friend Peter publishes his "response" to an email allegedly sent to him from a person from Michigan regarding his recent publishing of x-rated pictures from a San Francisco street fair.

Peter does not publish the person's letter but says the following:

The following is adapted from my response to a letter from a Michigan pro-homosexual activist who wrote AFTAH, making the usual obnoxious charges: that I am a “pornographer” (for exposing San Francisco’s government-tolerated public street depravities) — and, of course, that I am a secret homosexual (”You are gay and part of you knows it and HATES it”). It’s all par for the course when you cover the loving and tolerant GLBT community.
By not showing the alleged "obnoxious" letter but publishing his response, Peter tries to make himself look intelligent and noble.

Don't be fooled.

You see, Peter and I had an email exchange last week and based on that exchange, Peter does not come across as an intelligent or noble person. Nor does he come across as a particularly moral person.

Judge for yourself as I reveal a snippet of our email conversation. In it, I was able to question Peter point blank about his tactics as well as the tactics of other members of the anti-gay industry:

From: Peter L.
Sent: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:42 am

Spare me. Talk about consumed? You are beholden to your "gay" ideology, so much so that you are actually comparing ex-gays to that? Skin color is immutable. MANY people have left homosexuality behind. Just because YOU don't believe that -- or you explain it away thru your various arguments doesn't make it not so.

Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:29 AM

well you can always ask wade richards or michael johnston. to me though sexual orienation is fluid. science may never find the reasons behind sexual orientation. but it leans to it not being able to be chosen.

but you miss the point, peter.

Your beliefs about homosexuality is on what you call a solid foundation (i.e. the Bible). Every time you and those on your side distort legitimate studies, every time you all use bad studies (i.e. Paul Cameron, John R. Diggs), every time you go to one of those subcultural events and attack lgbts there without saying a word about the heterosexuals who attend the events, you weaken that foundation.

The house you seem to think you are building on a rock will start to have a foundation of sand. And that house will crumble.

Look around you. It's crumbling now.

'Religious right 'Christians' defend acts of torture' & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Christian right’s vile PR sham: Why their bizarre films are backfiring on them - Well it could be that they are pretentious trash. But this explanation goes into good detail.

Accurate representation isn't 'indoctrination' - Bar none, the best thing Jeremy Hooper has ever written (and his daughter is soooo cute!):

 . . .that's what these anti-LGBT activists fail to acknowledge. They refuse to see that we exist, now and already. They won't even give the slightest credence to the fact that we do have kids and they too attend school. Instead they act like our families are some sort of a collective theory whose very existence is up for debate. They pretend that our lives are rumors that will only exist if people with agendas (i.e. LGBT humans) tell our supposed lies (i.e. our literal truths) long enough. That's why they so easily play the "indoctrination" card when it comes to the fair and accurate depictions of our existences: because it's easy to dismiss that which you don't want to and don't care to—and in fact refuse to—see. And since they know that their exclusionary agenda is one that is most likely to take hold if it starts young and goes on unchallenged, they are most threatened when we talk to children about childishly simply notions like love and family.  

Fischer: Release Of Torture Report Shows That Democrats Are 'Juvenile Delinquents'

Sandy Rios Defends CIA Torture: 'It's Not Like We Beheaded Them'  - Isn't this lovely. When they are not whining about being "persecuted" by gays for their supposed Christian beliefs, religious right spokespeople are defending acts of torture. What would Jesus do indeed? I can tell you what he wouldn't do. He wouldn't defend acts like sleep deprivation and other acts I just cannot mention here.  

Jamaican priest washes the feet of lesbians and calls for ‘respect’ for human rights - In contradiction to the briefs above . . .

 ‘No Homo’ Personalized License Plate Issued By Alabama - When do we get the "HOT MESS" license plates issued next?

Arkansas victory exposes hypocritical nature of the Duggar family's version of Christianity

Yesterday, the lgbt community suffered a nasty defeat in Fayetteville, Arkansas. According to LGBTQNation:

Voters in Fayetteville, Ark., on Tuesday repealed a controversial LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance approved by the city council in August.

KFSM-TV reports that 52 percent of voters cast ballots to repeal the ordinance, compared to 48 percent who voted to retain the measure — a difference of fewer than 500 votes, with turnout less than 30 percent of registered voters.The ordinance, approved by the city council in a 6-2 vote on August 20, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.

LGBTQNation points out how this vote got nationwide attention due to the inclusion of the reality television stars, the Duggar family:

Opposition to the ordinance gained national attention due in part to the efforts of the Duggar family of TLC’s reality series “19 Kids and Counting.” In August, Duggar matriarch Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall urging residents to pressure council members to oppose the measure, claiming it would lead to women going topless at public swimming pools, men using women’s restrooms, and allow pedophiles and sexual predators to abuse people. As of October 31, the Duggars had donated $10,000 toward the city council campaigns of the ordinance’s three most outspoken critics, two of whom were listed as contacts on a press release for the repeal effort.

In fact, when vote was announced, Josh Duggar, who spoke against the ordinance and is also employed by the anti-gay Family Research Council, sent out the following mindboggling tweet:

One good thing about this setback - however minor - is that it exposes the hypocritical nature of the Duggar family.

Folks who were angry at how the Duggars were spreading inaccurate information about the ordinance signed a petition demanding that their show be canceled. Other lgbt activists used the controversy to raise a large amount of money for an Arkansas charity, Lucie's Place, devoted to helping homeless lgbt youth.

The Duggars themselves and their allies claimed that they were under a so-called "malicious attack" by "radical homosexual activists" who attacked them because of their faith and sought to deny them their "religious liberty."

However, this victory in Fayetteville contradicts the "religious liberty" card played by the Duggars.

You can't exploit your fame as reality tv stars to bear false witness against the lgbt community and deny us equality while simultaneously claiming victimhood status when we react to your actions.

The sad thing is that I think the Duggars family actually think they can get away with this subterfuge.

The good thing is that in reality, they can't. And they won't.