Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday afternoon news briefs

Carrie's unique take: An ongoing series - a humorous look at the entire controversy courtesy of Goodasyou.org

The religious right seem to be determined to try and write some ridiculous story of innocent Carrie triumphing against the big bad gay folks. From the moment when I heard that Trump would give the final decision, I knew that he was going to let her keep the crown. And I'm glad he did. Maybe finally the religious right will stop whining about how there is some conspiracy to silence them.

Of course who am I kidding. The truth is the majority of the lgbt community did not care how this controversy ended one way or the other. There was no organized attempt to make Prejean lose her title. Hell there wasn't even an unorganized attempt.

If anything, we found the entire thing comical. Comical as to how some folks were trying to make Perez Hilton the voice of the lgbt community. Comical as to how the religious right put Prejean on a pedestal and then stooped to logical gymnastics to explain away her moral shortcomings. Comical as to how NOM made a huge media gaffe again. Comical as to how Prejean worked the media and then pleaded ennui when she found herself a target because of too much exposure.

I don't know about the rest of you but I had a fun time with this story. If only all anti-gay controversies were this fun. But next time, can the controversy involve a cute guy? I've never been so tired of seeing one woman's breasts in my entire life.

Right Wing Follows Deceptive Script On Supreme Court - Take note. THIS is what secret plotting looks like.

Janet Porter Plays the Victim, Literally - Janet Porter claims to be the victim of a hate crime. I didn't know hate crimes legislation covered the socially ill.

Will Maryland Follow DC in Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages in Other States? - Meanwhile in the real world . . .

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Carrie Prejean story- the winners and losers

Miss California will keep title, Trump decides

Miss California Carrie Prejean, whose comments about gay marriage set off a firestorm, will keep her crown, Donald Trump announced today.

The controversy began nearly a month ago, when Prejean was asked about her views on same-sex marriage during the nationally televised Miss USA pageant. Although she said she believed people were entitled to do as they liked, she said marriage should only be recognized as an institution between a man and a woman.

Trump said he had no problem with Prejean's comments. "She gave a very honest answer when asked a tough question," he said at a New York press conference with Prejean sitting next to him. "It was the same answer the president of the United States gave... She has to be commended."

It's just as I figured and this is NOT something to freak out about.

I personally couldn't care less on whether or not she lost the crown but in assessing the situation, let's look at the winners and losers:

The Winners

Winner: Carrie Prejean - Sometimes any press can be considered as good press. Her controversy has overshadowed the winner of the pageant. She has become a cause celebre of the religious right.

Winner: Donald Trump - You just know that Donald Trump enjoyed the role of the "decider."

Winner : The Miss USA Pageant - Controversy creates attention and cash.

The Losers

Loser: Miss North Carolina - she is being overshadowed by the first runner up, big time.

Loser : Carrie Prejean - While she has garnered a lot of attention for her stance, she is not an untarnished figure. The semi-nude pictures and the breast implants came back to haunt her and will continue to do so. So while she travels the country talking about her "values" and how "Satan was trying to tempt her with the question," people are no doubt thinking, "didn't Satan already tempt you with those breast implants and semi-nude photos?" In the Scarlet Letter, character Hester Prynne had to wear a red "A" for adulteress. For a long time in some people's minds, Prejean will be wearing a red "H" for hypocrite.

BIG LOSER: Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage - The "Gathering Storm" debacle made them laughing stocks. This situation makes them look downright sleazy. The organization did make Prejean their spokesperson and then backtracked when the nude photo controversy began to come out. Add to that the tongue lashing Gallagher received from pageant official Shanna Moakler on Larry King Live and the revelation yesterday that she benefits greatly on a monetary basis from NOM.

Loser: Anti-gay marriage movement - A while back, it had James Dobson leading it. Look who is in charge now. If folks like Gallagher and NOM continue to make big mistakes like "Gathering Storm" and this situation with Prejean, it won't be long before I will be able to register my gifts at Bloomingdales.

Okay folks, the circus is over for now. Might I suggest we get to more pertinent issues.

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Religious right distortion techniques - a reposting

In the ongoing battle over hate crimes legislation, religious right organizations and their allies claimed that pedophiles are protected under the legislation. They continued to claim this irregardless of the fact that the assertion had been refuted.

This repetition of an inaccurate talking point is one of six distortion techniques that religious right groups use to stigmatize the lgbt community.

As the battle over lgbt rights get more intense, I thought it would be appropriate to repost all of the six distortion techniques that I outlined in my book Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

See how many of them you recognize from recent battles:

1. Using nonrepresentative or out-of-date studies to make generalizations, or distorting legitimate studies to give misleading conclusions

Example 1 - Anti-gay industry talking point - Same sex marriage and gay adoption are bad ideas because research shows that the best places to raise children are in homes with a mother and a father.

The truth - The research only looked at heterosexual two-parent households as opposed to single parent heterosexual households. Same-sex households were never included.

Point of fact - The following researchers, physicians, and Ph.D.s have complained about how the anti-gay industry has misused their work - A. Nicholas Groth, the six researchers of a Canadian study (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T. Schehter), Dr. Robert Garofalo, Lisa Waldner, Patrick Letellier, Dr. Kyle Pruett, Dr. Joanne Hall, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Carol Gilligan, Dr. Robert Spitzer, Dr. Francis Collins, Gary Remafedi, Professor Michael King, and Professor Lisa Diamond.

2. Repetition - Despite the fact that several physicians and researchers complain about the distortion of their work by the anti-gay industry, corrections are usually not made.

3. Conspiracy Theory - Claiming that gays and lesbians are consistently plotting to "erode traditional values"

Example - “The agenda of homosexual activists is basically to change America from what they perceive as looking down on homosexual behavior, to the affirmation of and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior. It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called After the Ball, where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior—in a decade-long time frame." - Craig Osten, Q&A: The Homosexual Agenda, Focus on the Family, July 25, 2003

4. Dire Consequences - Claiming that a pro-gay law or ordinance will lead to negative consequences without proof that the consequences will take place:

Example 1 - “Imagine, if you will, a 280 lb linebacker who likes to wear a dress and high heels and lipstick, you know comes to church wanting a job at the front desk as a receptionist and they turn him away because they don’t feel that that represents their values or the image that they’re trying to hold at that church, under ENDA they could be held accountable for
discrimination against that individual.” - Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America, 2007

Example 2 - “H.R. 254 elevates one group of Americans above others, creating a special class of victims. All things being equal, it means that if a 5-foot-2-inch grandmother is violently attacked on the street, she is less worthy of justice than the 6-foot-4-inch homosexual man who is attacked by the same assailant.” - Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America, 2007

5. Phony Experts - Creating their own "experts" on the gay and lesbian community.

6. Dehumanizing Semantics - Consistently using language (i.e. demonstrative verbs and adjectives) in their talking points, sound bites, and press releases to make gays and lesbians seem like impersonal, threatening outsiders

Example 1 - “But unfortunately, the evangelist observes, many Christians have been bullied into submission on the aggressive homosexual agenda in public schools.”—Evangelist Proposes to Combat Homosexual Agenda in Public Education, Agape Press, May 11, 2005

Example 2 - “Elsewhere in the battle against the homosexual agenda, the Broward County School Board in Florida has voted to allow a pro- homosexual group to indoctrinate its teachers on tolerance.”— Children Adopted by Homosexuals Suffer, Family Advocate Says, Agape Press, April 25, 2002

Example 3 - “The ACLU continues to use a law license to bully school districts and harass parents in order to brainwash their kids abut the ‘normalcy’ of homosexuality.”—Jan LaRue, ACLU Seeks Mandatory Homosexual Sensitivity Training, Concerned Women for America press release, July 14, 2005

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