Friday, July 21, 2017

'Couple suing Kim Davis awarded over $200,000' & other Fri midday news briefs

Kim Davis (before losing $200,000 in a court case.)

Judge awards couples who sued Kim Davis more than $200,000 in fees - GOOD! Maybe Mike Huckabee and all of those other folks cheering Davis will chip in the coins.

Taxpayers will pay for Kim Davis' stand: Judge orders Rowan County to pay attorneys' fees to same-sex couples who sued clerk - More details. Give it up! Turn it loose! 

LGBT groups and allies hold press conference in rotunda while Senate committee hears anti-trans bills - Big day of drama in Texas. 

Conservatives propose anti-trans ‘bathroom’ initiative in Alaska’s biggest city - Like cooking oatmeal. Always lumps you have to beat down. 

Donald Trump to Nominate Another Anti-LGBTQ Secretary to the Army - Donny didn't learn his lesson from the last time. 

Anti-LGBTQ Group Spokesperson Pulls The ‘Fake News’ Card - I have been driving folks crazy by posting this Huffington Post article twice  as well as tweeting it but trust me when I say that it is necessary. Everyone is paying attention to Trump, etc but some of us are fighting small skirmishes like this one. The anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom has been on a media blitz bashing SPLC for designating them as a hate group. In the midst of it all, the spokesperson for the group claimed that allegations regarding her group's attempts to support the criminalization of gays in foreign countries is fake news. HOWEVER Media Matters has "the receipts" (i.e. the footage, pictures, verbatim speeches) which prove her to be a liar. I caught this and have been trying to make the situation go viral. And thanks to you all, it is amongst the top stories in the Huffington Post Queer Voices section. But please help me more. Read it if you haven't already. Please share it in every way possible. This is US on the offensive instead of the defensive, for a change. And we shouldn't spare the enemies of equality any mercy.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Family Research Council pleads with Jesus about those 'wicked' transgender soldiers protecting its freedoms

A supposedly Christian organization sends out a public prayer to God. What do you think the prayer would be about?

Safety? Peace? Decent healthcare? Protection against the ills of the world:

Those choices would probably be high on the list if one were talking about a legitimate Christian organization. However, since it's the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, the issue de jour is one which the group has been exploiting to spook its supporters and drive up the donations

Transgender men and women in the military:

“Heavenly Father, it is time for you to act, for your law is being broken! This policy must be rejected: it brazenly defies You, God our Creator, and Your fixed, eternal moral laws. We defied your definition of marriage, now we defy the very apex of your created order, mankind created in your own image, male and female. Please forgive us, extend Your mercy to us, and grant us repentance. You who bless nations that obey You, and curse nations that disobey you; You who promise battleground victory to those who obey you, but defeat to all who disobey, have mercy! Grant repentance to President Trump and Secretary Mattis for even considering to keep this wicked policy in place. Grant them understanding, courage, and willpower to stand up to the forces of darkness that gave birth to it and wholly to repeal it. Save our young men and women who are already living under this tyranny. Save our children from the predictable impact of this policy. May Your people not only pray, but rise and use every tool they possess as American citizens to preempt this policy. Please correct the members of Congress who used their votes to enable and fund it. We appeal to You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Some things are so silly, so contradictory and downright bizarre that they render me speechless.

'Lawsuit against congressman claims LGBTQ rainbow flag akin to religious display' & other Thur midday news briefs

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (pictured) is being sued for this pride flag display

Man files suit against Long Beach congressman, claiming gay rights flag amounts to religious display - I wish this was a joke. Some homophobic grandstanding thunderhead (he has filed other lawsuits) is suing three members of Congress for displaying the rainbow pride flags outside their offices. He claims that the flags amount to religious displays. Somehow, I think the religious right will be avoiding this situation for a number of reasons. Just take your pick.

FRC Is Outraged That Obama ‘Refuses To Sit On The Sidelines’ - Hate groups gotta raise those "coins."

Anti-LGBTQ group spokesperson pulls the ‘fake news’ card - My recent post condensed and in The Huffington Post. Please show your love by liking and/or retreating.One of the reasons why anti-LGBTQ hate groups get away with what they do is because people are too blase about them. That's why their spokespeople have no problem with telling bad lies in a public forum. They feel that it will go unnoticed. 

UNAIDS Report Reveals Continued Progress in Global HIV Fight - Good news, mostly. But there is still more work to do. 

HBCU leaders focus on LGBT inclusion during summit with advocacy group - Wonderful news!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Racist webpage joins Family Research Council's effort to smear SPLC

'White nationalist', i.e. racist website VDARE is joining FRC's anti-SPLC smear

The Family Research Council and other organizations attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating them as hate groups just got some assistance in their quest.

But I doubt it's the kind of help they want or need.

 According to Media Matters:, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has described as a “white nationalist” and “anti-immigration hate website,” has joined other hate groups in an official smear campaign against SPLC launched by anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council (FRC). 
FRC and other organizations that SPLC has labeled hate groups launched a campaign on July 17 accusing SPLC of “fueling hate, killing free speech and even encouraging terrorist-style attacks on those it doesn’t agree with,” as the Washington Examiner described it. The campaign included a “planned Monday tweetstorm” and the suggestion that its supporters use the hashtag “#SPLCexposed.” 
White nationalist hate website VDARE joined FRC’s campaign on July 18, tweeting the #SPLCexposed hashtag alongside an accompanying article from the site that called SPLC the “Southern Poverty Lie … Center” and touted the #SPLCexposed Twitter campaign. The article also attempted to cast doubt on the reasoning behind SPLC’s designation of anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). 
 . . . According to SPLC, VDARE, founded in 1999 by English immigrant Peter Brimelow, is an “anti-immigration hate website” with a “white nationalist ideology” that frequently publishes articles advocating for a white America and filled with anti-Semitic tropes. One article asserted that “America was defined — almost explicitly, sometimes very explicitly — as a white nation, for white people.” Another claimed that Jewish people’s “objective has been control of economic resources and political power.” Yet another article lamented that “whites are doing something no other people have ever done in human history” by welcoming “replacement by aliens” and sacrificing “our interests to those of favored minorities.” 
SPLC noted that the website also posts stories by prominent anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald and that even Brimelow acknowledges that VDARE “hosts ‘white nationalists’” but argues that they merely “aim to defend the interests of American whites”

I guess the adage of "when you lay down with dogs, you end up with fleas" is highly appropriate here. And the fact that I can direct it to both FRC and VDARE is delicious icing on the cake.\

All jokes aside, FRC would do best to publicly distance itself from VDARE. And soon.

After all, what would people think?

'State Dept dodging questions about silence over anti-LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya' & other Wed midday news briefs

Secretary of State Tillerson
State Dept. dodges question about Tillerson’s silence on Chechnya - Secretary of State Tillerson needs to speak out against LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya. No excuses. 

 The Religious Left is getting under right-wing media’s skin - For those who are wondering on the absence of the "religious left" while the religious right bogarts the conversation about culture, values, and morality. Not necessarily an LGBTQ issue per se. But then again, yes it is. 

Salvation Army among New York City drug clinics rejecting transgender people - Okay, I know the Salvation Army does good work with the bell ringers at Christmas, but this here is NOT right. The organization should NOT get a pass for this.

A Texas-Sized Special Session Is Underway Solely To Attack Transgender People - A mean spirited, nasty hot mess. And this nastiness includes attacks on transgender children.

Mormon University Professor Fired After Pro-LGBT Facebook Post - So much for "religious liberty."

Alliance Defending Freedom spokesperson cries 'fake news' while omitting her group's paper trail of homophobia - Just in case you missed my post from last night.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alliance Defending Freedom spokesperson cries 'fake news' while omitting her group's paper trail of homophobia

ADF's Kerri Kupec made a faux pas in defending her group.
Apparently all of the attention focused on the homophobic deeds of the Alliance Defending Freedom and SPLC naming them and other religious right organizations as hate groups has exploded into a huge controversy.

Granted, this controversy is overshadowed by the GOP continuously Keystone Kops-like efforts to repeal Obamacare and the firestorm over Trump's alleged Russia connections during last year's election.

Nevertheless, it is huge ado because now ADF is dragging ABC News into the storm.

From One News Now:

A leading Christian law firm is pushing back against an ABC News story that labels them a "hate group," describing it as "journalistic malpractice." Alliance Defending Freedom invited Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a conference on religious freedom last week. In an apparent attempt to link President Trump's attorney general to some scandal, ABC News – reporting on the AG's participation in the conference – trotted out an accusation that ADF was an "anti-gay hate group." ADF's director of communications, Kerri Kupec, says the phraseology was an old trope made up by the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center.

One News Now's article was a biased, one-sided interview with Kupec whining about how supposedly SPLC is intolerant to ADF's seemingly innocent goals of "protecting religious liberty." Usually, I would be crying foul, but not this time.

Kupec, you see, proceeded to put ADF in a hole with the following claim:

In its report, ABC says ADF (according to SPLC) "specializes in supporting the criminalization of homosexuality abroad." To which, Kupec responds: "I have no idea where that came from. That's fake news, for sure."

So is Kupec saying that her organization doesn't support the criminalizing of homosexuality in foreign countries? Or if we were to parse her words to exact phrasing, is she saying she doesn't know where that idea came from?

If the latter is the case, one wonders if Kupec is lying or has she not checked the history of her employer?

'TX business groups stand against anti-trans 'bathroom bill' & other Tue midday news briefs

Will TX Gov Greg Abbott get his 'bathroom bill' passed? Hopefully not.

Business groups tell Texas lawmakers: Reject ‘bathroom bill’ - Get with the program, Texas. Or face the consequences. I doubt the religious right will be donating funds to bail you out.

How The Religious Right’s Love For ‘Lion Of Christianity’ Putin Is Helping To Shield Trump - Unfortunately, this is another example how religion and tyranny goes hand-in-hand. 

Every LGBTQ Rights Group You’ve Ever Heard Of Opposes Two Of Trump’s Judicial Picks - Hoo boy! And they may get confirmed. Well another mountain to climb, another river to cross. 

How the Congressional Assault on Trans Service Members Was Beaten Back - But, as this item shows, having to climb mountains and cross rivers don't necessarily mean the end result is defeat for equality.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Research Council leads silly hashtag tantrum against SPLC

Today, the Family Research Council and a few other organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center have rightfully deemed as hate groups attacked the organization under the hashtag #SPLCexposed.

I should tell you though that other than small contributions from other like minded groups, the hashtag consisted mostly of FRC sending ridiculous tweets attacking SPLC:

I don't think SPLC even cared to address FRC's tantrum because it stands by its accurate work. I, on the other hand, had to have a little fun with the situation:

'GOP trying to ban existing federal civil rights laws from protecting trans people' & other Mon midday news briefs

GOP Bill Banning Existing Federal Civil Rights Laws From Protecting Transgender People Advances to Subcommittee - Remember my post this morning? One transphobic bill is defeated and some of the same characters pushing out another one. Not impossible to defeat. It's just a matter of keeping your eyes open, your nails sharpened, your twitter finger on the ready, and your mouth running.

Do You Understand Me? Black Gay Men Are More Than What You See on Television - I hope so. We are portrayed as too sweet, too harsh, hardly ever intellectual, and never leaders.

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education - LGBTQ inclusive sex education is a must and I'm glad some folks are beginning to realize it.

 Eliminate Hate Campaign: News outlets that properly label hate groups should never apologize - Damn right.

  Fox News comes to hate group’s defense over ‘hate group’ label - Speaking of which . . . bring it on, bitches!

Sticking together and standing firm are keys to LGBTQ victories in Trump era

The LGBTQ community enjoyed a stunning victory last week when GOP efforts to deny transgender soldiers their necessary medical care lost in a close vote. And like every victory against those who would deny us our right to equality, this particular one demonstrates a path to the LGBTQ community should follow if we want to make such victories the normality instead of the rarity.

Michelangelo Signorile breaks it down in The Huffington Post:

. . . Since the 2016 election, we’ve heard ad nauseum from a subset of Democratic activists, pundits, and strategists that one reason Trump won is because Democrats are too focused on “identity politics,” or what Columbia University professor Mark Lilla, in a New York Times piece, derogatorily called a “fixation on diversity” and “identity drama.” In an op-ed two weeks ago in the Times, headlined, “Back to the Center, Democrats,” Mark Penn and Andrew Stein warned that Democrats had become “mired” in “transgender bathroom issues,” among other things, ignoring white “working class voters” who “feel abandoned.” It’s the same old mantra, which amounts to a call for pandering to bigotry.  
. . . But what happened this week proved, once again, that that kind of thinking isn’t just offensive; it’s bad political strategy. The Democrats stuck together, standing up for what’s right but also for their base ― which is a diverse and large coalition ― and it was the Republicans who went on the run. In the face of the danger of a rollback not just on rights for queer people but for all minorities under attack in the Trump era, this showed that standing firm, energizing activists in the base and resisting ― rather than pandering and caving in ― is the way to win.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sorry, Family Research Council & Alliance Defending Freedom, but you are both hate groups. Own it

The Family Research Council is angry about the controversy with Jeff Sessions and has taken to bashing the Southern Poverty Law Center over the hate group designation it and other religious right groups have been given.  It's all a bunch of tripe, but take a look at this last sentence from FRC's whine fest:

After eight years of an all-out war against men and women of faith -- led in part by Obama’s Justice Department -- the attorney general’s willingness to talk openly about issues like religious freedom is refreshing. As ADF and Trump’s DOJ have made clear: “We all condemn manifestations of true hate.” But believing what the Bible says about marriage, sexuality, and gender isn’t hate -- no matter what SPLC’s apologists say.

No matter how many times SPLC has made it clear that it does not give out "hate group" designations because of religious beliefs, the Family Research Council will continuously claim that this is the reason why it is being called a hate group. That in itself is a lie. Let's go over this again, because I love doing it.

SPLC has said:

 . . .  The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident LGBT rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and "convert" them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging "facts" about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the "bestial" black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.

SPLC has also said:

Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

'GOP ripping necessary medical care away from transgender soldiers' & other Thur midday news briefs


GOP Poised To Strip Medically Necessary Care For Transgender Troops - Seriously, what the hell! This is not the way to treat people fighting for our freedoms. 

 US Rep. Joe Kennedy III slams proposed defense spending bill amendment as 'anti-transgender'- And this is NOT going without a fight 

 A Reminder That Russia Is An Authoritarian State That Terrorizes LGBTQ People - It would seem that a lot of folks are forgetting this lately.

Attorney General Sessions refuses to release transcript of his speech to anti-LGBTQ hate group - Reiterating my post from last night. When the United States Attorney General has a secret meeting with a group behind almost every anti-LGBTQ bill in America and pushing the cause of criminalizing the LGBTQ community worldwide and will NOT release the transcript of his speech to them, we got problems. BIG PROBLEMS.  

Here's What Parental Leave Is Like For LGBT Families - Keep telling these important stories.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Attorney General Sessions refuses to release transcript of his speech to anti-LGBTQ hate group

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

UPDATE - Sessions's speech has been posted and it's not that controversial (for now). Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed breaks it down

From Mediaite:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a much deserved record of both casual racism and outright attacks on civil rights, but his latest actions reveal he’s hardly concerned about his reputation for bigotry. Sessions opted to speak to members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “anti-LGBT hate group” in 2016, at an event closed off to reporters on Tuesday night, and now, Sessions is refusing to release his remarks to the group to the public. ABC News reports that the Department of Justice confirmed that Sessions spoke to the group on Tuesday, but didn’t respond to multiple requests for Sessions’ remarks to the group. Instead, the department released transcripts of Sessions’ remarks from speeches made in Dallas and Las Vegas this week. A spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom told ABC News the group was “working through channels” to release his remarks, but did not specify when they would be released, nor did the group comment on the nature of its relationship with Sessions.

According to SPLC:

Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally. Despite its regular defamation of LGBT people, the group has managed to win special advisory status at the United Nations, in the European Union, and with the Organization of American States.

. . . The ADF has several initiatives that help train conservative Christians. These include a variety of programs designed for young lawyers, including the Young Lawyers Academy, which schools new U.S. attorneys and provides opportunities to “engage the culture and join a network of Christian attorneys around the globe,” and the AretΓ© Academy, which “launches highly accomplished university students and recent graduates on a path to future leadership in law, government, business, and public policy.”

The ADF Academy is a training program that purports to equip participants to “effectively advocate for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” The ADF claims more than 1,800 lawyers have participated. The organization also offers the secretive Blackstone Legal Fellowship, through which Christian law students study under prominent scholars, participate in internships, and prepare for life and leadership in the legal profession. Since 2000 (the year of Blackstone’s inception), the ADF claims it has trained over 1,600 law students from 225 law schools in 21 different countries.

Media Matters pointed out how ADF uses these resources to create a homophobic octopus whose tentacles stretch not only across America, but several foreign countries

'Emerging alliance between Putin, American religious right very troubling' & other Wed midday news briefs

Franklin Graham vocally supported Putin's persecution of Russia's LGBTQ community.

The emerging alliance between Putin and Trump’s God squad - Though not as nefarious as what Trump and his cohorts may have done, but just as unprincipled and deadly to the interests of LGBTQs worldwide. I wish this was a conspiracy theory, but it's not. Putin created an image of himself being the protector of values and morality and the American religious right have been steadily and willfully falling for this lie .

July 12th: Join the Internet-Wide Day of Action to save Net Neutrality - Via GLAAD, an important post on how changes in net neutrality could harm those of us in the digital media who seek to empower and educate the LGBTQ community. Another thing to call Trump out for.

Hate Group Leader: "I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology ..." - SWEET take down of religious right junk scientist.  

 Gay man wins Supreme Court case on equal pension rights - It may have happened it Britain but any victory anywhere for our community is a victory worth celebrating.  

Why We Need Trans Actors Playing Everyday Roles - Yes we do. Point blank. 

 This Couple Want To Prove You Can Be Gay And Muslim With Their Wedding - Mad props and many happy wishes to this couple.

 19 Things Asexual People Need You To Understand About Asexuality - This is fascinating and very educational. I got a lot of stuff wrong.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Evangelical right hates to be reminded by the LGBTQ community that they don't own God

Based upon this ridiculous poll courtesy of the American Family Association's false news site, One News Now, the evangelical right can't stand it when the LGBTQ community don't play along with their "Gays vs. Christianity" narrative:

 And what's the number one answer?

They just can't stand it when we remind them that they don't own God or the Christian religion. We should do it as often as possible.

'Conservatives launching ugly campaign against America's transgender troops' & other Tue midday news briefs

Conservatives Launch Full-Scale Campaign to Reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for Transgender Troops - Using the same tactics they used in the early 90s after Bill Clinton's election to keep gay and lesbian soldiers from serving openly. It's a nasty degree of coordination which is to be expected between the right-wing media, the religious right, and other ridiculous folks. It's insulting to the the transgender soldiers who are already serving proudly in the military. I guess we will hear all sorts of nonsense about showers, close quarters, and, in this case, transgender male soldiers wanting to get pregnant.

Pregnant Transgender Male Soldiers - A religious right fear tactic coming soon! - Speaking of which, a post I wrote last month. Don't be surprised if this talking point comes at us.

LGBTQ Rights Group Launches Massive Anti-Trump Effort For 2018 - Support NOW. Bitch at the Human Rights Campaign LATER. 

 Church Of England Condemns Conversion Therapy, Reaches Out To Transgender Community - Watch how quickly the "defenders of religious liberty" forget that they are supposed to defend religious liberty for all. 

Moonlight' Director Barry Jenkins to Adapt James Baldwin Novel for Next Movie - This is gonna be good!

Fighting for L.G.B.T. Rights in Retirement Communities - We sometimes forget about our elderly LGBTQs. We shouldn't.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Americans should fear theology calling for believers to seize control of country

It is ironic to me how some in the religious right falsely accuse the LGBTQ community or the Muslim community of attempting a take over of America when some of them embrace a theology which actually seeks to seize control over the country.

Perhaps you have heard of it. It's called dominionism and while it's been around for quite a while, according to David Brockman of the Texas Observer, it's gaining influence in political circles:

Dominionism fundamentally opposes America’s venerable tradition of church-state separation — in fact, dominionists deny the Founders ever intended that separation in the first place. According to Frederick Clarkson, senior fellow for religious liberty at the non-profit social justice think tank Political Research Associates, dominionists believe that Christians “have a biblical mandate to control all earthly institutions — including government — until the second coming of Jesus.” And that should worry all Texans — Christians and non-Christians alike. 
 Dominionism comes in “soft” and “hard” varieties. “Hard” dominionism (sometimes called Christian Reconstructionism), as Clarkson describes it, explicitly seeks to replace secular government, and the U.S. Constitution, with a system based on Old Testament law. The father of hard dominionism, the late Presbyterian theologian R.J. Rushdoony, called for his followers to “take back government … and put it in the hands of Christians.”

It sounds like a conspiracy theory and I wish it were. But it's real, particularly in Texas:

Perhaps the most powerful dominionist in Texas politics is Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. In a 2012 sermon and again at the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, he said that the United States was founded on the Bible. Patrick has also made it clear he believes the Bible should determine public policy. In 2014, Patrick said that elected officials must look to Scripture when they make policy, “because every problem we have in America has a solution in the Bible.” (Where the Bible addresses problems like greenhouse gas emissions or cybersecurity, I’m at a loss to explain, even with 20 years of biblical study behind me.) His call for a “biblically-based” policy mindset “doesn’t mean we want a theocracy,” he insisted. “But it does mean we can’t walk away from what we believe.” For Patrick, not “walking away” seems to mean basing policy on his own religious beliefs — as he showed when he opposed same-sex marriage on biblical grounds. (Patrick also did not respond to my request for comment.)  
 Another dominionist active in Texas politics is conservative firebrand-slash-medical-doctor Steven Hotze. Hotze is linked to Gary DeMar, a dominionist writer and lecturer. DeMar has called for the United States to be governed by Old Testament law, including instituting the death penalty for gay/lesbian sex. As recently as 2013, Hotze was an officer of DeMar’s dominionist think tank American Vision; its mission is “to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation.”

For those who don't remember, Hotze is the leader of  anti-LGBTQ hate group American Vision. In 2015, he testified at a state hearing on marriage equality.  In his testimony, Hotze compared LGBTQs to pedophiles, murderers, and alcoholics.

'Trumpcare ( ACA repeal ) would devastate LGBTQ community' & other Mon. midday news briefs

The Senate Health Care Bill Would Be Devastating for LGBTQ People - From The Center for American Progress comes yet another very GOOD reason to oppose Trumpcare. The loss of coverage coming from this awful bill and the scaling back of Medicaid is bad enough for the general population at large. But it would be like a tsunami of destruction for LGBTQ health. 

 All the Ways Donald Trump Broke His Promises to LGBTQ People - As longtime readers of this blog already know, I am a sucker for good documentation and this article is a wonderful way we can remind certain people about ALL of the ways Trump did dirty to the LGBTQ community. General anger at an elected official is a good thing, but PRECISE anger is deadly. 

Washington anti-transgender campaign fails for second year in a row - Don't lose your focus. You know these folks will try again.  

It’s Now Undeniable That LGBTQ Rights Are In Danger Of Being Rolled Back - One group which continues to support Trump in large numbers is the religious right because of madness like this. Get ready. It sounds like we are merely in the prelude stage.

  Just 11 Rainbow Photos That Will Make You Feel Good About The World - Simply because why not?

Texas father defends his transgender son in front of state legislature

Recently, the state of Texas has been a hotbed of homophobia and transphobia as legislators there have been carrying on a war against the LGBTQ community from issues such as marriage equality to transgender rights. In the midst of all of the nonsense are ordinary taxpayers who have stood up against the madness, like this man in the video.

 From LGBTQ Nation:

 Ken Ballard of Little Elm, Texas, spoke before the Texas legislature earlier this year about his transgender son. Equality Texas re-posted the video this week, and it has become an internet hit. Ken talks about how his son Ash attempted suicide twice while in the process of accepting that he was transgender, which was when Ken found out that his son was only playing the role of being his daughter and couldn’t keep it up. “Am I going to be his bully?” Ken asked himself. He instead became his son’s advocate. The Texas legislature has been trying to pass a bathroom bill this past year. The Republican speaker of the Texas house recently said that he opposed the bill because he didn’t want “a suicide on my hands.”

Friday, July 07, 2017

'Chechnya has restarted its persecution of the LGBTQ community' & other Fri midday news briefs

Activists Say Chechnya Has Restarted Its Crackdown Against LGBT People - And odds are that Trumpenstein won't say a word about it during his meeting today with Putin. If he does, color me shocked. 

This is what anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination looks like - Discrimination is always subtle, but it's always there.  

Chick-fil-A is still bankrolling anti-LGBTQ causes - The thing about the anti-lgbtq industry which I cannot control. I can call them out, cause behind the scenes chaos, but I can't touch where they can get their money. I don't think anyone can. 

 The homophobic baker case is about more than just cake - YES this case again. Because we simply have to drill the facts into people's heads. This about more than just a cake. 

Photo taken from here.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Religious right exploiting Charlie Gard controversy to fundraise & demonize LGBTQ community

Get a grip on your stomachs because the religious right has a new cause celebre.

In Britain, there is a sad situation involving a terminally ill infant, Charlie Gard.  His parents have been fighting to keep him on life support and try treatments even though they have been told that it could further harm him. Officials at the hospital where Gard is being housed, Great Ormond Street Hospital, won a court order to take the child off of life support and do what they can to make him comfortable as possible before the sad inevitable takes place.

Just like the situation with Terri Schiavo, it's case in which my heart goes to both sides of the argument.

But nothing but my contempt goes out to folks exploiting this tragedy for their own purposes. And almost at the top of the list is the Family Research Council, who have actually set up a webpage:

In a case that's caught the world's attention, Chris and Connie have fought the hospital all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled last week that the hospital is within its rights to "withdraw life-saving treatment" because "it was likely that Charlie would suffer significant harm if his present suffering was prolonged without any realistic prospect of improvement, and the experimental therapy would be of no effective benefit." Like most parents, Chris and Connie are beside themselves -- especially since more than $1.68 million has been raised to bring Charlie to the U.S. for an experimental new treatment. All they're asking for is the right to decide what's best for their own child. Speaking for pro-lifers, FRC's Arina Grossu called on "the British government, the courts, and the hospital to release Charlie. You are holding him hostage. This is a case about parental rights coming into conflict with socialized medicine. Who should decide what's in the best interest of Charlie? His parents. Not the courts. Not the hospital. Not the government." Hearing their desperate plea for help, both Pope Francis and President Trump have offered to intervene. In a statement on the crisis, the Pope said the parents' rights to treat their son "until the end" should be respected. "To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all." The White House also stepped in the gap, contacting the family to see what can be done. As Donald Trump tweeted, "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so." Even 37 members of the European Parliament have demanded the hospital step back. This decision, they write, "infringes [on] Europe's most fundamental values, particularly the right to life, the right to human dignity, and personal integrity."

It's odd that FRC is interjecting itself in the Charlie Gard situation while saying almost nothing about the possible appeal of Obamacare, which would eliminate healthcare in this country for millions, as well as negatively affect women's health in immeasurable ways. Ironically, when FRC does talk about the Senate bill to repeal of Obamacare, its hope is that Planned Parenthood's government funding gets completely eliminated because of the continuously refuted belief  that Planned Parenthood is a so-called abortion factory. In truth, the elimination of funding to Planned Parenthood would be even more detrimental to the women's health..

 It's very hypocritical to talk about preserving the sanctity of life in Britain when you are rooting for policies which would wreck the sanctity of life in your own country.

But believe it or not, the most disgusting exploitation of the Charlie Gard tragedy comes from former NOM president and now head of the International Organization for the Family, Brian Brown.

He decided to use the tragedy to fundraise while railing against the LGBTQ community:

The Charlie Gard case is unbelievably tragic, but it's reflective of what happens when the natural family is pushed aside and government social engineers are given control. When that happens, children are trapped in unsafe, failing schools with no parental choices; kids as young as pre-school are indoctrinated into a radical LGBT agenda with no parental opt out; young girls can obtain an abortion with no notification to a parent; the understanding of marriage as a life-long, exclusive, conjugal union of man and woman is abandoned and children are told they do not need the love of a mother and father; kids are fed lies that they can change their gender according to their desires, and that it's perfectly normal to have three or more moms and no dad; and the elderly ill are subtly encouraged to kill themselves rather than be a "burden" on society.

Seriously, what the hell? Words escape me.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

'Marriage equality may soon be jeopardy' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Don't think the religious right won't try to overturn our right to marry.

Marriage Equality May Soon Be in Peril - Yes, marriage equality could be in danger very soon. The religious right doesn't have a decent argument against marriage equality. They never did and that is why they lost the battle. But who needs a decent argument against marriage equality when you have a long range goal of undermining it and possibly some Supreme Court justices who you know will rule your way even before hearing the case. The LGBTQ community and our allies shouldn't take this warning lightly in any regard. Don't let this crap happen in front of our very eyes.
One in three LGBT+ people have been harassed or bullied in the workplace - Even in the United Kingdom, the fight is still on.

GOP lawmakers rail against trans military service in committee - They tell so many lies and conveniently ignore the fact that transgender men and women are already serving proudly.

Why can't anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council stop distorting science? - My post from last night. In a poorly written article which was easy to refute, the Family Research Council makes a sad attempt to prove that the anti-transgender legislation that it supports couldn't lead to suicides in that community. What FRC actually does is prove yet again that it has no place in debates and discussions regarding the LGBTQ community without some type of disclaimer of danger not unlike the one on cigarette packages.

LGBTQ Leader Calls On Trump To Address Anti-Gay Chechnya Crisis With Putin - Hate to sound cynical here, but I'm betting that Trump won't.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Why can't anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council stop distorting science?

Old habits do indeed die hard. Particularly if one of those habits happen to be distorting scientific work to lie about the LGBTQ community. It's been quite a while since the Family Research Council has done this, so my guess is the group is attempting to make up for lost time.

FRC is angry at Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus for speaking the truth about the anti-transgender bill some in that state are eager to pass.  Straus recently said he was disgusted by the debate and implied that the bill could lead to the suicides of transgender men, women, and children.

Naturally, FRC posted a push back filled with distortions:

Lt. Governor Patrick, who’s led the charge for privacy, hopes Straus’s comments were misreported. “Obviously, no one wants to see harm to anyone as a result of any legislation that is passed,” his office responded. Of course, as FRC’s Peter Sprigg points out, the most harmful position may be the House speaker’s. Suggesting that protecting women and children would lead to suicide is a ridiculously false and disingenuous statement. Even the Left cites studies by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Ann Haas, who says, “Years and years of research has taught us that the overwhelming number of people who die by suicide had a diagnosable mental disorder at the time of their death.” In other words, people do not commit suicide because of the passage of legislation, or even because of “bullying,” but because of mental illness (which gender dysphoria, according to the APA, is!). There’s absolutely no evidence that which bathroom someone uses will cause them to commit suicide.

In an older article of the journal Pediatrics, the authors wrote: “….suicide attempts were not explained by experiences with discrimination, violence, loss of friendship, or current personal attitudes towards homosexuality.” A 2005 analysis of this article, by conservative scholar Neil Whitehead, Ph.D., is still available online. “So these last two points,” Peter points out, “that public hysteria about LGBT suicides may actually contribute to them, and that early self-labeling also increases them -- suggest that Straus’s own comments (reflecting fear of transgender suicides, and implicitly supporting self-labeling even by schoolchildren) might do more to cause suicides than passing the Privacy Act would!

Then, of course, there’s the important 2011 Swedish study, which showed that even AFTER having gender reassignment surgery, people who identify as transgender had a suicide rate 19 times higher than the general population. This undermines any suggestion that simply giving those who identify as transgender everything they ask for will do anything to reduce their suicide rate.

The American College of Pediatricians calls agendas like Straus’s child abuse. This week’s Daily Signal highlights one such pediatrician, who says that this ideology has infiltrated her field and offered a deeply-flawed narrative. Read why here. As for Texas, let’s hope leaders like the House speaker can set aside their own prejudices long enough to do what’s in the best interest of the state -- which research shows is not a gender-free existence!

There is just so many lies pushed here. Allow me to break them down:

'Texas Speaker of the House trashes anti-transgender bill' & other Wed midday news briefs

Texas Speaker: ‘I don’t want a suicide on my hands’ over bathroom bill - Good for him! 

 Conservatives celebrate delay of transgender military enlistment - They are giddy about a six month delay of implementation. However, it will still happen.

What happens to America if Justice Kennedy retires - EVERYONE will be screwed. We need to plan about this. Kennedy now is the only thing holding the religious right back from causing complete chaos. And he is not going to be there forever.  

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Being An Ally To Parents Of Trans Kids - Pay attention . . .  

Texas’ Bizarre Anti-Equality Ruling - Gotten through threats on the Texas judiciary.

Christian baker merely a pawn in international game of homophobia

From The Huffington Post:

 A baker at the center of a discrimination lawsuit headed to the Supreme Court believes he’s got Jesus in his corner. Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, appeared on “The View” with his attorney to discuss his refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, in 2012. “I serve everybody all the time but I don’t make every cake for every event that’s required,” Phillips told the hosts of “The View” late last week. “It’s a difficult thing to be in my position and know that somebody is requesting something that I can’t in good conscience do.”

 Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? That's the problem. Phillips's assertions are not reasonable nor are they legitimate. In fact, while he may consider himself as an innocent symbol of anti-Christian oppression, Phillips is nothing more than a pawn in a larger game. However, he is useful in that his visibility obscures the game. While Phillips portrays himself as a simple baker in battle against a so-called army with a sinister agenda (the LGBTQ community), no one is talking about the organization backing him - The Alliance Defending Freedom.

 You see, this situation about Phillips and his bakery is not a case of "religious freedom."  In looking a the actions of the ADF, one realizes that it's merely another avenue in a widespread attempt to either hinder or undermine LGBTQ equality. And not just in the United States.

 Here is a couple of facts you need to know:

The Alliance Defending Freedom is considered an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And the reason for this has to do with several other facts uncovered by the group Media Matters, including:

ADF Has Expanded Its Anti-Choice, Anti-LGBTQ Extemism Internationally. While ADF has largely run out of options for promoting the criminalization of homosexuality in America, the group has taken its anti-sodomy agenda overseas. ADF has actively worked to promote and defend anti-sodomy laws that criminalize gay sex in Jamaica, Belize and India. In 2010, the United Nations granted special consultant status to ADF, allowing the group to help shape international human rights policy and treaties. More recently, the group has become involved in the Organization of American States, where ADF’s mission has been battling “abortion and radical sexual agendas.”  
 ADF Is Behind The National Push For Anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” Laws. Since 2013, ADF has led the national push for so-called “religious freedom” laws (RFRAs) that seek to enshrine a legal right to discriminate against LGBTQ people. ADF was behind Arizona’s failed 2014 RFRA, Indiana’s controversial 2015 RFRA, and similar bills that were eventually killed in Colorado, Georgia, and Arkansas.  
 ADF Is Leading The National Campaign For “Bathroom Bills” Targeting Transgender Youth. In 2014, ADF launched a national campaign to eliminate nondiscrimination protections for transgender students and instead enshrine its own legislation that would prevent transgender students from accessing facilities consistent with their gender identity. ADF has influenced discriminatory state and local school district policies across the country with so-called “bathroom bills,” like North Carolina’s infamous HB 2, that borrow language from ADF’s model legislation.  
 ADF Believes In A “Homosexual Agenda” Dedicated To Destroying Christianity. ADF founder Alan Sears literally wrote the book on the alleged “homosexual agenda” -- his 2003 book The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today compared the gay "propaganda" movement to what "Hitler did so masterfully in Nazi Germany, to get the American public on their side." As SPLC noted, ADF “has also promoted the idea of a ‘homosexual agenda’ -- a nefarious scheme to destroy Christianity and, eventually, civilization.”  
 ADF Claims Non-Discrimination Protections For Transgender Students Pose A "Public Safety Risk... To Woman And To Children." ADF claims that allowing transgender students to access facilities that correspond with their gender identity would "seriously endanger students' privacy and safety," and that laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity create a "significantly increased public safety risk primarily to women and to children."

Bottom line - behind this false story of an innocent baker beset by a supposed evil group attempting to make him compromise his religious beliefs is a powerhouse organization pushing the same thing that these so-called cultural battle issues have always been about:

Making life as difficult as hell for the LGBTQ community.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Is the Liberty Counsel a Christian group or a Hate group? You tell me

By its attacks on Guidestar and the Southern Poverty Law Center, anti-LGBTQ group  the Liberty Council claims that it is being "targeted" for its "Christian" views on homosexuality (see here if you aren't aware of the full story).

Fair enough. Let's put this to the test.

The Southern Poverty Law have called "traditional values" organizations such as the Liberty Counsel hate groups because of how they attack and vilify the LGBTQ community:

 For Christian Right leaders, the LGBT rights movement and its so-called "homosexual agenda" are the prime culprits in the destruction of American society and culture. In the words of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the battle against LGBT rights is essentially a "second civil war" to put control of the U.S. government in the right hands, meaning those who reject LGBT rights. 
 The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident LGBT rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and "convert" them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging "facts" about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the "bestial" black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.

Let's look at the comments Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver has said about the LGBTQ community compared to his claim that his group is being attacked:

Friday, June 30, 2017

'TX Supreme Court forced to rule married gay couples have no rights to spousal benefits' & other Fri midday news briefs

If you don't think threats from government officials like Lt. Gov. Patrick (left) and AG Paxton (right) didn't have a hand in today's ruling, you are naive.
Texas Supreme Court: No inherent right to gay marriage benefits - Your eyes aren't deceiving you. The Texas Supreme Court just ruled that same-sex couples having a legal right to marry doesn't mean that they have a legal right to government sponsored spousal benefits. And just in case you are wondering what the hell just happened. Check out this passage in the article: 
Two taxpayers, including Christian pastor Jack Pidgeon, next turned to the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, which initially rejected their appeal in September, with only one member, Justice John Devine, dissenting. A campaign by social and religious conservatives produced a barrage of emails asking the eight other justices to reconsider or risk a backlash in the next GOP primary. Leading Republicans — including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton — joined the call, and in January the court issued a rarely granted motion to rehear the case and set oral arguments for March 1. 

Yep. A fix was in via the fact that judges in TX are ELECTED. If you think for one instant that this isn't the first part of an attempt to roll back the SCOTUS ruling for marriage equality, you have been asleep. The religious right don't care about rules or fairness. When the rules don't go their way they try to change the rules. They think God gives them the play for their every move, no matter how dirty, unprincipled, or unscrupulous it may be.  

The Texas Supreme Court just gave a big, fat middle finger to same-sex couples - More details.

North Carolina Magistrates Can Go Right On Refusing To Perform Gay Marriages - Be careful of a false "the momentum is now against marriage equality" talking point this may bring. The court didn't rule on the merits of the case. They simply said the plaintiffs didn't have standing to challenge.  

Gloria Carter, Jay-Z’s Mom, Comes Out As Lesbian In New Duet On Rapper’s ‘4:44’ Album - WOW!

The Trump Administration Has Been a Disaster for LGBT Americans - Ya think? 

photo taken from Progress Texas.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Best 'Heterosexual Pride Day' tweets

Apparently Thursday, June 29 is Heterosexual Pride Day.

I don't know if this is a huge snark coming from our community or the product of envious heterosexuals who are resenting all of the gay pride events which occurred this month. 

It really doesn't matter because if this wasn't the product of LGBTQ snark, it is now. On Twitter, we have totally taken over and using the day to educate, show awareness, or simply be downright bitchy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Anti-LGBTQ hate group suing Guidestar for calling it an anti-LGBTQ hate group

A recent controversy between the charity  database webpage Guidestar and several groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups continues to rage because one of those groups is now suing Guidestar.

Florida-based legal advocacy organization is suing over a "hate group" label that it and other nonprofits received on a website that maintains a database of information about U.S. charities. Liberty Counsel Inc. filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against GuideStar USA Inc. in Newport News, Virginia. GuideStar flagged 46 nonprofits, including Liberty Counsel, for being labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Liberty Counsel's suit claims that label is slanderous and has damaged its reputation. GuideStar announced last Friday that it would remove the labels after threats directed at its staff. Liberty Counsel bills itself as a legal defense organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom and preserving family values from a "Christian and Biblical perspective." The law center has called it an "anti-LGBT hate group."

From its webpage, the Liberty Counsel said the following:

“GuideStar and its political ally, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), are intent on destroying pro-family organizations. The ‘hate group’ label is false and dangerous,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “GuideStar’s CEO, Jacob Harold, is using GuideStar as a weapon to defame, harm, and promote his liberal agenda by using the SPLC to falsely label good nonprofit organizations as ‘hate groups.’ The only purpose of providing the SPLC false and dangerous ‘hate group’ label is to inflict reputational and financial harm to Liberty Counsel. GuideStar has lost all credibility. GuideStar will now have to answer for its reckless, defamatory, and harmful political labeling,” said Staver.

Personally, I think the Liberty Counsel is walking into the mouth of a hungry tiger.  It's a possibility that Guidestar may not want to get into a lengthy battle and therefore will work to settle this lawsuit. I sincerely hope not. It's my hope that Guidestar refuses to back down because truth is on its side. Based on a paper trail a mile long, it shouldn't be impossible for the webpage to disprove the Liberty Counsel's charges.

For its part, SPLC said the following:

"We stand ready to support our designation of Liberty Counsel as a hate group. "Liberty Counsel is a group that has consistently called LGBT people 'immoral, unnatural and self-destructive.' It has a track record of attempting to criminalize homosexual conduct and to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community. "There is nothing 'pro-family' about dehumanizing LGBT people. This lawsuit and other recent attacks against GuideStar are simply attempts to distract the public from Liberty Counsel’s hateful agenda."

Should Guidestar not back down, distraction will be the name of the game via conservative, right-wing, and anti-LGBTQ propaganda groups and phony news services. The Liberty Counsel will probably have a lot of defenders, but none of them, whether Todd Starnes, The Daily Signal, World Net Daily, The Federalist, Breitbart, One News Now, Fox News, etc. will mention why the Liberty Counsel is considered a hate group. The narrative they push will most likely be how "the left" is "targeting" the Liberty Counsel simply because they disagree with its 'Christian values.'

Trump's anti-LGBTQ lawyer facing trouble for alleged steering of $60 million in donations

Jay Sekulow
One of Donald Trump's lawyers, Jay Sekulow, has been the media's eye repeatedly. A lot of folks aren't aware of exactly who he is. However, I am because I used to watch his appearances on The 700 Club in the late 80s and early 90s.

Sekulow has an extensive history of being one the religious right's hardcore weapons against the LGBTQ community.

According to The Advocate:

Jay Sekulow, who joined Trump’s team this month, is chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a far-right legal group founded by no less than Pat Robertson and based at Robertson’s Regent University in Virginia. Sekulow holds a Ph.D. from Regent and is a professor at its law school. His law degree is from another university that claims to promote “Judeo-Christian” values, Georgia’s Mercer University. He’s a frequent commentator on Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and Fox News Channel. 
The ACLJ has represented many anti-LGBT and antichoice clients and causes. “ACLJ’s materials are often explicitly homophobic, and their fundraising emails signed by Sekulow have warned that the homosexual agenda is ‘bent on destroying our communities’ and ‘the family as we know it,’” the Human Rights Campaign reported in a 2014 press release. 

And it gets worse, according to Right Wing Watch:

Sekulow and the ACLJ have been active in the U.S. and overseas in opposing legal equality for LGBTQ people. Sekulow has said that the state has a “compelling interest to ban the act of homosexuality” and the ACLJ argued on behalf of state laws criminalizing gay sex that were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003. Sekulow said the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act meant that “we’re now living in a monarchy.” The ACLJ and its international affiliates engage in anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice culture wars in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Russia. In Africa, it worked to shape constitutional language in Zimbabwe, where it has fought to maintain criminalization of homosexuality, and Kenya, where it lobbied to eliminate an exemption to an abortion ban to save a woman’s life. Both the European Center for Jaw and Justice and the Slavic Center for Law and Justice supported Russia’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” law, which has been used against journalists and gay rights activists.

You know I'm leading to a delicious finish and here it is:

'Taboo Sex, Racism, and Gay Men: A conversation' & other Wed midday news briefs

Taboo Sex, Racism, and Gay Men: A Chat in Black and White - A small change of pace today. A good friend of mine, Mark S. King, has a conversation with Charles Stephens, founder of the Counter Narrative Project in Atlanta, about taboo sex, racism, and gay men. And it is good!!!! It is a conversation which needs to be had (especially from my perspective, seeing that I have been turned down from men who were expecting Mandingo and found that they ended up with the sepia Woody Allen.) 

Trump pretends to care in National HIV Testing Day statement, while cutting funding for treatment - Does this surprise anyone? Sad.

Here’s How Germany Could Approve Same-Sex Marriage Within Days - Well this is a wonderful development. 

 Democratic Senators Slam Betsy DeVos For Civil Rights Enforcement Cuts - Good! Take Ms. DeVos to school! 

 13 Same-Sex Weddings That Prove Happily-Ever-Afters Exist, And OMG I'm Crying - Admit it. You know you like seeing things like this.