Friday, April 17, 2015

Breaking - Judge hands Houston a huge victory & the religious right a huge kick in the butt

Mike Huckabee and a lot of other folks have a bunch of egg on their faces tonight.

Excellent news out of Houston which means that a trans-inclusive equality ordinance wins and the religious right suffers a huge embarrassment.

From The Houston Chronicle:

Opponents of Houston's non-discrimination ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum, a state district judge ruled Friday, validating city officials' decision to toss out the petition foes submitted last summer.

After separate rulings from both a jury and state District Judge Robert Schaffer, attorneys for both sides entered dueling counts of the valid signatures, adding and subtracting voters as Schaffer responded to motions. By early this week, the counts were closer together than ever before, fewer than 1,000 signatures apart.

Ultimately, Schaffer on Friday ruled the final count of valid signatures was 16,684, leaving opponents short of the threshold required in the city charter of 17,249 signatures, or 10 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election.

Last year,  the Houston City Council passed a transgender inclusive equality rights ordinance (HERO). Opponents of the ordinance rallied in August and claimed to have gathered more than enough signatures to force a referendum. However, according to city, the signatures contained many errors and taking this into account, a lot of them were disqualified, thereby meaning that HERO opponents had failed in their attempt.  In addition, there were accusations that they were engaging in underhanded tactics to gain signatures. 

Faced with this defeat, the HERO opponents sued the city of Houston, claiming that they did in fact get enough signatures.

'Why is the Family Research Council 'reediting' their public prayers to God?' & other Friday midday news briefs

WHOA: FRC 'reediting' all those heinous fasting-for-marriage prayers I've been showing you!! - I've never heard of such a thing. Taking the time to lodge public prayers to God to stop marriage equality and then "re-editing" them? What's the point? Obviously these prayers were not for God's consumption or the Family Research Council wouldn't care if they appeared too extreme or homophobic. 

Anti-Gay Activists Vow To Repeal Marriage Equality Laws Across The Country If They Win At SCOTUS - Well duh. They are going to try this even if they lose (and I hope they do lose). An interesting about this piece is that it shows the hypocrisy of the anti-marriage equality crowd. They will work to repeal marriage equality laws even if people in certain states voted FOR these laws. So much for "let the people vote" or "let the states decide."  

Ten Novel, Absurd, And Irrelevant Arguments Made In Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality - More false data, more junk science, more idiocy. The anti-marriage equality crowd is getting desperate.  

Anti-gay leader Mat Staver spins outrageous lie about gays costing government billions - Reiterating this morning's post because the media should pay as much attention to anti-gay lies as they do when anti-gay groups spin memes of "anti-Christian" persecution.

  C-Fam 'Mission' in Africa: Spreading Anti-Family Planning, Anti-Gay Gospel - And speaking of persecution . . .

Anti-gay leader Mat Staver spins outrageous lie about gays costing government billions

Mat Staver
One thing which is sad about this so-called cultural war is how anti-gay group leaders can say some of the most outrageous things about the lgbt community without them or anyone else batting an eye.

These folks, who are supposed to stand for morals and values, freely spin lies so outrageous that one can only wonder what values do they actually believe. Case in point is Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel claiming that homosexuality costs government billions of dollars:

“Same-sex marriage leads to the devaluation of both a mother and a father, who each provide a unique contribution to the family,” Staver said. “Studies estimate that over the course of 26 years, our government spent more than $225 billion that could be directly attributed to the breakdown of the family culture and its resulting social consequences.”

Of course Staver won't reveal just what these studies he alluded to are or where he found them because no one is going to bother to ask him about it. Just like no one bothered to confront him about the lie he told to a Congressional committee last year regarding his support of Russia's anti-gay laws.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#TBT (1960s) - Police officer lectures children on what happens if he 'catches' them 'being homosexual'

From time to time, I like to look at old negative footage regarding the lgbt community to give myself perspective. And to remind myself that progress happens, no matter how slow we think it is taking place.

I wish the above video was a joke, but it's not. It is a snippet of an actual lecture in the 1960s of a police officer threatening school children with jail if he finds out they are gay. It's a reminder of how far we have come.

Because I swear if I had a child and he or she came home and told me that a police officer did this, I would put a knot on that officer's head so tall, it would have snow growing at the top:

'Meet anti-gay powerhouse group behind 'religious freedom' law push' & other Thursday midday news briefs

How An Extreme Anti-LGBT Legal Powerhouse Is Working To Enact "Religious Freedom" Laws - The Alliance Defending Freedom is a $39 million a year organization working hard to enact statewide anti-gay "religious freedom" laws. It has deep connections with other anti-gay groups and deep connections with members of various state legislators. And that's not counting the receptive relationship it has cultivated with Fox News. Now in spite of all of this, the lgbt community can defeat its nefarious efforts but that ain't gonna happen with merely putting offensively funny statements on facebook, useless one-note "direct action" tactics, and ridiculous squabbles about "Gay, Inc." We defeat this group by educating the public about its immoral tactics and lies to the public. But first we need to educate ourselves. In The Art of War, Chinese general Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. . . .” So ask yourselves, just how much do you know about the enemies of lgbt equality other than simply labeling them as "bigots?"

Ted Cruz Asks Pastors To Preach And Pray Against Gay Marriage Ahead Of SCOTUS Arguments - Sorry, Teddy. I can assure you that MY pastor will be preaching about more important things. Not all Christians follow in lockstep of your nonsense.  

100 Prominent Catholics Place Full-Page Ad Asking Pope To Remove Anti-Gay San Francisco Archbishop - The point of my last news briefs emphasized in a good way.

Doubts Removed: The Day My Son's Breasts Were Surgically Taken Off - Wonderful story of how a mother supported her transgender son.  

Angie's List CEO Who Opposed Indiana 'Religious Freedom' Law Could Challenge Mike Pence - Religious right figures are spinning this to say their "boycott" of Angie's List drove him out. Think again, folks.

GLSEN's Day of Silence is Friday! Support our lgbt children

With all of the talk about anti-gay "religious freedom" bills, marriage equality, and presidential elections, it's easy to forget one of the most important reasons why we fight for lgbt equality - our lgbt children.

Tomorrow is GLSEN's Day of Silence, an annual event in which students across the country take a vow of silence in order to call attention to the "call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools."

Check out the above video and links to find out more about it.

Now usually, I would talk about how the opposition spins lies about "homosexual indoctrination" in order to undermine the event. This time, I won't.
Who cares about them. They don't matter. Our kids do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Was Marco Rubio lying about his non-support of federal anti-gay marriage amendment?

Sen. Marco Rubio
Dear Sen. Rubio,

For the remainder of your presidential run, perhaps it's best if you no longer speak. It would be safer that way:


Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters on Tuesday that he has never supported a national constitutional amendment banning gay marriage despite his general opposition to such unions, preferring to leave the issue to the states. But a 2010 voter guide from a leading social conservative group indicates he supported such an amendment as recently as 2010 and a spokeswoman for the organization told msnbc they stand by their account. 

“I’ve never supported a federal constitutional amendment on marriage,” Rubio told msnbc’s Kasie Hunt in an interview Tuesday.
But the Christian Coalition, a group that issues surveys to candidates and tracks their positions on a variety of issues, reported in their 2010 English and Spanish voter guides that Rubio supported a Federal Marriage Amendment. The guides are posted on the group’s website. The organization surveys candidates around the country and rates them, among other issues, on their specific stand on the issue of gay marriage.

Reached by msnbc for comment, a Christian Coalition spokeswoman confirmed that Rubio had filled out a candidate survey in 2010 when he was running for the Senate in Florida and attested to the voter guide’s accuracy, which she said was rigorously checked against candidate’s questionnaires, votes, and public statements. However, she said the group could not immediately produce a copy of Rubio’s survey without digging into their archives.

'Conservative groups regrouping on anti-gay 'religious freedom' bills & other Wednesday midday news briefs

Conservatives Regroup on Religious-Freedom Bills - This article proves the sentiments expressed by my friend Michelangelo Signorile (sue me for name-dropping) in his recently published book, It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality. No matter how many public disasters or losses they face in pushing anti-gay 'religious freedom' laws, the religious right will not stop pushing them. They merely regroup and charge again. In absence of truth and integrity, their goal seems to be simultaneously finding a way to get these laws passed and tiring us out with battle fatigue. 

BREAKING: Clinton urges Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality - Hardly a shock (if girlfriend knew what was good for her campaign), but still nice to hear.  

Here’s What Happened In Indiana As Soon As The Media Stopped Paying Attention - What happened in Indiana after the "religious liberty" law backlash abated demonstrates why the lgbt community has to be eternally vigilant. Watch, but never trust those who don't want to give you the equality you deserve.  

South Carolina argues to Supreme Court that it can discriminate against gays AND women - Oh lawd, South Carolina!!

How Christians Turned Against Gay Conversion Therapy - This is a really good article on the war against the fraudulent practice of "gay conversion therapy." 

And one more thing. Pardon the shameless self-advertising. Please download and retweet: 

Louisiana's anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill already starting trouble in state legislature

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan of making the passage of an anti-gay religious liberty bill a priority is running into some opposition from state legislators.

Speaker pro tempore of the state House of Representatives Walter "Walt" J. Leger III wrote an absolutely blistering column in Monday's Times Picayne. In the column, Leger stood firmly against passing such a bill:

 Moral and religious people do not discriminate. While overly broad and intentionally ambiguous, this so-called religious freedom bill provides protections for individuals who cite their personal religious beliefs to discriminate against people. It is bigotry enshrouded in religion. This is not what the proponents would have you believe, though. They claim the bill is meant to "safeguard religious freedom" and protect individuals from "adverse treatment by the state" in retaliation for actions stemming out of their personal beliefs. Federal and state laws already exist to protect religious liberty.
 . . .  Moral and religious principles aside, the proposed law threatens our nation's core tenets of freedom and equality. We should not and cannot cite religious freedom to allow businesses to deny service to people based on their skin color, religion or gender. So why would we allow discrimination based on sexual orientation? Would we have stores place "Heterosexuals Only" signs in their windows where "Whites Only" signs once hung?

Preventing a business from discriminating does not hinder the freedom of the business owner to hold his sincere religious beliefs in his heart and in his home. A business operating in the public sphere, relying on public infrastructure, is not at liberty to pick and choose who it will allow to be its customers. Either it is open for business or not.

Needless to say, Leger's words has some religious right groups seething. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council had this to say in an email:

Leger must have gone to President Obama's School of Religious Liberty, where the slogan is: believe what you want, but don't act on it outside the home. Like most liberals, he thinks that surrendering your beliefs is the price of doing business. On one point Leger is correct: "We must ensure that Louisiana lives up to the ideals of a life lived free of government-sanctioned discrimination." I agree. But the only way of ensuring that is by passing HB 707 and treating everyone's views with the respect the Left's already enjoy.

Of course Perkins' comments failed to speak about Leger's very good point regarding infrastructure. However, regardless of his comments,  Perkins would be highly inaccurate to lay opposition to the bill solely at Legers' feet. According to CBS News, other legislators aren't exactly happy with the bill either. Either they are hesitant to talk about the bill or think it's a waste of time in light of the fact that Louisiana has a $1.6 billion shortfall it must deal with. The bill wasn't even yet sent to committee. This keeps it from receiving a public hearing or any vote. According to CBS News, out of the hundreds of bills introduced, it was the only bill not sent to committee.

What happens next is anyone's guess. However, if you ask me, I would say that the same hell which met Indiana Gov. Mike Pence when he signed that state's "religious freedom" bill is waiting for Jindal.

And if Jindal continues to stroll eagerly into this hell, he deserves whatever negative backlash he is sure to receive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rand Paul's idea to settle marriage equality debate dehumanizes same-sex couples

 In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Rand Paul suggests an idea to settle the marriage equality debate. If you ask me, it's as bad as Romney's "self-deportation" idea. Seriously. Paul's idea of giving same-sex couples contracts dehumanizes our relationships,as we are entering a business partnership rather than a marriage.

Good luck with seeking that presidential nomination, Paul. You're gonna need it AND prayer.

'Jindal makes anti-gay RFRA bill a huge priority' & other Tuesday midday news briefs

Bobby Jindal
Jindal makes religious freedom bill a legislative priority - So LA Governor Bobby Jindal is making the passage of the state's anti-gay "religious freedom" bill a priority. No doubt, a serious bid to get some serious credibility for himself as THE presidential candidate the religious right is looking for. Frankly, a part of me hopes he succeeds. His success ensures that he will NEVER get anywhere near the White House. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby! Pandering shouldn't be so obvious. It demonstrates a serious lack of finesse.  

How Republican Presidential Hopefuls Are Justifying Anti-Gay Discrimination - Speaking of which, if the lgbt community ignores this upcoming 2016 election and we get one of these bozos, I'm coming after everyone with grandma's switch. 

Robin Roberts Celebrates Life On ‘AARP Magazine’ - Robn Roberts makes the cover of AARP magazine and gets interviewed! Sweet! And of course she discusses her life in the interview, including life with her partner of 10 years, licensed massage therapist Amber Laign.

 Same-Sex Attracted Men, 'Ex-Gay' Group Urge Supreme Court To Rule Against Marriage Equality - What I don't get is this - if these guys are happy with their lives, why won't they afford same-sex couples the same luxury? Here you see the fallacy with ex-gay groups and folks like these guys. They claim that the lgbt community won't let them lives as they please, but behind their false victimhood status, they are undermining OUR lives. They won't let US be comfortable with OUR lives.  

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's Approval Ratings Crash, Burn After 'Religious Freedom' Law Firestorm - And it couldn't have happened to a more appropriate guy (other than Bobby Jindal that is)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Texas legislator refuses to meet the gay constituent to discuss anti-gay bill

TX state rep. Molly White
One Texas state legislator seems to think that her "religious freedom" allows her to be rude to voters. Not only is she proposing anti-gay legislation, but she has also refused to meet with a gay constituent in order to discuss it.

According to Raw Story:

 State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) has proposed legislation that would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers on religious grounds. The first-year Republican lawmaker has also proposed legislation seeking to make the state’s ban on same-sex marriage immune from court rulings.

  . . .  But White’s staff has said trying to discuss the issues with her “would be a waste of time." The Temple Daily Telegram reported last week that White’s staff had initially greeted Frank Carlson of Equality Texas, before turning him away upon learning who he represented.

Her staff told Carlson, who works on behalf of the largest LGBT rights organization in Texas, to “drop off your literature and leave.” White’s staff informed Carlson that the lawmaker “is against anything LGBT.”

“I conveyed that the representative has stances on some issues and that she isn’t likely to change her mind on them,” White’s chief of staff Hannah Bell told the Temple Daily Telegram. “We try to be a transparent office and I told them that they needed to meet with individuals that shared their viewpoint.

'Marco Rubio's Top 10 Anti-Gay Statements' & other Monday midday news briefs

Sen. Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio's Top 10 Anti-Gay Statements - According to reports, Sen. Marco Rubio will soon announce that he is running for president. As if he is any different from Cruz or Santorum. Boy do I feel sorry for lgbt Republicans.  

David Barton Once Again Claims That The Bible Says There Will Never Be An AIDS Vaccine - Because fake historians who pass along lies about America are ALWAYS right. And (surprise, surprise), Barton is distorting research to conjure up THIS lie. 

FRC's sixth day of fasting-for-discrimination: Where to even begin with this one?! - Isn't this lovely? The Family Research Council is in the middle of a 21 day fast against marriage equality. Yeah. FRC spends a majority of its time and energy relying on junk science and cherry-picked studies to beat down the lgbt community. And suddenly it thinks if it fasts for 21 days, all of that shadiness will be forgotten. God don't like ugly, folks.  

Discovery Life's 'New Girls On The Block' Explores Transgender Identity - Fascinating!  

Bill Maher On Anti-Gay Christian Views: 'They Literally Believe This Stuff' - Yes, a lot of them do. And then there are some earning paychecks by exploiting these beliefs.

Anti-gay activist gives outrageous testimony in front of Texas legislators

From the Texas Freedom Network comes the words from an anti-gay activist which gives an indication why folks like him are losing the fight against marriage equality.  But as they are losing, their language is getting less guarded and more offensive:

Where to begin with Steven Hotze? The Houstonian and head of Conservative Republicans of Texas last made headlines a few weeks ago when he brought Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to the Texas Capitol for a rally in defense of this state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Hotze was back in Austin on Wednesday to appear before the Texas House Committee on State Affairs to speak in support of House Bill 4105 by state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia. HB 4105 would prohibit state or local funds from being used to issue a same-sex marriage license or acknowledge a same-sex marriage in any other way — regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the ban on those unions in Texas.

During his testimony, Hotze, one of the most vicious anti-gay activists in all of Texas, got into a lengthy exchange with state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston. Just in the four-minute clip you can hear above, Hotze:

  • Portrays the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples as morally equivalent to the Nazi’s mass murder of Jews
  • Argues that Texans should actively subvert any U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage
  • And, for the extremist cherry on top, equates gay people to alcoholics, murderers, adulterers, perverts, pornographers, rapists and embezzlers. In that order.

Friday, April 10, 2015

'Gays are waging a 'jihad?' Who knew?' & other Friday midday news briefs

Ted Cruz: Gay Community Waging 'Jihad' Against Religious Freedom - We are? I failed to get that memo. Well that's ONE anti-gay Republican candidate for president . . . 

Santorum Says He'll Be A Strong Leader Because He Backed Gay Sex Bans - And when Santorum declares that he is running (cause you know he will), that will be TWO anti-gay Republican candidates for president.

 What The Religious Right Envisions As An Endgame After Losing The Fight Against LGBT Equality - And they will be two of the many reasons why the lgbt community and our allies can't start celebrating any victory. Regardless of how SCOTUS rules on marriage equality, the fight for total LGBT equality will be far from over.

 In SCOTUS brief, Idaho's GOP gov. claims marriage equality brings 'long-term harms to same-sex couples, their children, and society' - Speaking of which, here is another faulty SCOTUS brief just chock full of discredited junk by the folks who don't want marriage equality to become legal. 

 The absolute and abject humiliation of anti-gay activist Paul Cameron - a lesson for all anti-gay activists - Repeating this morning's post. Hopefully this will be the ultimate fate of many an anti-lgbt activist (or am I being too mean for wishing this?)  

Florida House Overwhelmingly Passes Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Adoption Bill - And these folks aren't being the least bit shy as to why they passed this awful thing. Hopefully it will fail in the Senate.  

Obama applauds LGBT advocate during Jamaica speech - Go, President Obama!!

The absolute and abject humiliation of anti-gay activist Paul Cameron - a lesson for all anti-gay activists

In the 1980s, 90s, and even in the early years of this century, anti-gay activist Paul Cameron was the go-to guy for all sorts of anti-gay "research."

During that time, he was quoted in countless magazines, newspapers, and appeared on quite a few national programs such as Geraldo and Donahue. Even though organizations such as the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, probably knew that he had been discredited and exposed (by organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association) for his faulty research techniques and wild generalizations about the lgbt community, they still cited his research  or distorted other research in order to justify his negative theories about the lgbt community.

But these days, things are different.Cameron's long record of shoddy work and lies against the lgbt community have made him somewhat of a pariah and a laughing stock.

While "true believers" such as Bryan Fischer, Peter LaBarbera, or Gordon Klingenschmitt have no problem with interviewing him or citing him by name, the more sophisticated anti-gay groups, such as the National Organization for Marriage, avoid him like the proverbial plague that he is.

Not that Cameron minds in any way, shape, or form. He still goes on whatever show will have him while pushing the same nauseatingly homophobic generalizations which made him popular over 30 years ago.

And based upon the above clip above, I mean any show. It is from January of this year on a radio  talk show called The Doghouse with host JV and Elvis.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

'Mike Huckabee support group teaming up with anti-gay hate group for SCOTUS brief' & other Thursday midday news briefs

Mike Huckabee has questions to answer about a 'support group.'
In SCOTUS brief, Mike Huckabee support group insists homosexuality is 'significant public health risk' - The Family Research Institute is an SPLC-designated anti-gay hate group. This is mostly because its founder and head, Paul Cameron has been kicked out of or censured by several medical groups over the years, including the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association, for the blatantly hideous methodologies he uses to smear the lgbt community.  Among other things, Cameron claims that:
  • Lesbians are more likely to die in car wrecks,
  • Gay men molest children at a high rate and are more likely to be serial killers,
  • Gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums,
  • Gays and lesbians in the military are more likely to rape their heterosexual counterparts.
So why is a Mike Huckabee "support group" teaming up with this group to submit a brief  to SCOTUS against marriage equality?  It's definitely yet another thing to put on the list to ask Huckabee should he start again with the "intolerant, radical gay" lie. Or better yet, if he should run for president.

In other news:

Catholic students stage walkout to protest school’s refusal to hire gay teacher - I do LOVE the next generation.

White House supports bans on ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy - This was announced last night. Isn't it awesome? 

Why Don’t We Have a National Ban on ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy Yet? - Just in case you wondered . . . 

Sorry, GOP: Most Americans Support Gay People Over Businesses That Use Religion To Discriminate - And of course some people are trying to spin that poll another way.

 LGBT, Trans Organizations Call On News Networks To Improve Transgender Coverage - YES they should!

James Dobson, other anti-gay activists scared out of their skins about 50-state marriage equality

James Dobson
From People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch comes proof that the anti-gay right is panicking over the possibility of the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality later this year.

James Dobson, the founder of the Religious Right behemoth Focus on the Family, warned in a recent conference call with fellow anti-gay activists (Editor's note - according to Right Wing Watch, this call included Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, Rick Scarborough of Vision America and Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality) that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality could lead to a full-blown civil war. After Janet Porter, the creator of a new “documentary” about how the gay rights movement will outlaw Christianity, discussed her “restraining order” campaign to convince Congress to strip the Supreme Court of its authority to rule on marriage cases, Dobson said that his fellow activists “need to be realistic about what we’re up against here.”

It gets even better as Dobson goes through a one-man rambling, hand-wringing spiel, divulging all sorts of good information about the supposed fear of Congress to tackle the marriage equality issue and who is opposed to the idea of calling for a "constitutional convention" should marriage equality become legal via SCOTUS.

Basically what we are seeing here is a man who helped to orchestrate the 2004 backlash against marriage equality (a backlash which got Bush re-elected) bearing witness to the possible collapse of all of his efforts. It's sort of like that Greek play, Oedipus the King, in which the main character Oedipus realizes that the actions he took to prevent a situation actually caused the situation to take place

One wonders if Dobson has any shred of introspection to realize that his massive efforts to stamp out marriage equality in 2004 actually helped the issue to become more prominent and worth fighting for by the lgbt community.

I doubt it. Most anti-gay activists are totally incapable of introspection, They are so busy pointing out the faults of others or engaging in fear mongering that they don't have time to examine their own faults or fears.