Friday, April 28, 2017

Anti-lgbt activist melts down during word salad about gays, domination, sodomy, and children

I promise that this will probably be the wildest thing you have seen today.

Behind every coordinated anti-lgbt group and personality is a mindset like the woman on this video.

I think it goes without saying that everything this woman said is false. A lie. A delusion. A product of bad weed.

 But here is a little background courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

Earlier this month, the Texas chapter of the anti-LGBTQ hate group MassResistance hosted a “pro-family conference” featuring a variety of anti-LGBTQ activists like Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, Brian Camenker of MassResistance, and Robert Oscar Lopez, who runs the Texas chapter of Camenker’s group. 
Sharon Arkme, who claimed that she was a victim of anti-Christian persecution when she was denied certification in a master’s program she had enrolled in at Texas State University “because I would not agree with their LGBT agenda,” told attendees that LGBTQ advocates are warring against “Christ and Christians” and “brainwashing our children.” 
 “I did not realize the full agenda of the radical left,” Armke told the audience. “They are in a war with Christ and Christians, whether we realize it or not. They are not content with society and Christians treating them with outreach, courtesy and respect that should be given to any other human being just because they are human. They want us to approve their behavior. They will not stop until they dominate.” 
 “They intend, and they are very successful so far, in brainwashing our children to believe that sodomy is right and good,” she continued. “We are trying to show parents what is happening to our children and, excuse me if I say this, we should be screaming bloody murder in the streets. We should be screaming bloody murder in the street. This is not right! … Those teachers that do this, that teach sodomy to little children, many people call them child abusers and I agree.” 
 “I learned the hard way the true agenda of the radical left, it’s domination of our children and our culture,” Armke fumed, eventually growing so upset that she couldn’t even finish her remarks, simply declaring “may God have mercy on us” as she walked off the stage.

I couldn't find anymore information on this Armke except for on the Mass Resistance webpage which claimed her stance kept her from becoming a principal.

Sounds like we dodged a nuclear missile with THAT one.

'Bill pushing for a nationwide ban on 'ex-gay' therapy' & other Fri. midday news briefs

‘LGBTQ people were born perfect’: A new bill would ban conversion therapy nationwide - Probably has no chance of passing, but the vision of figurative exploding right-wing heads is so darn lovely. 

Fox Contributor: Gay Men In Bars Should Expect To Be Assaulted And Women Shouldn’t Breastfeed In Church - I'm not sure about the breastfeeding thing but saying gay men should expect to be assaulted if they make people "feel uncomfortable" is disgustingly intriguing. Does that mean I can slap this Fox contributor because the thought of him reproducing makes ME feel uncomfortable?

 Study confirms some men use anti-gay and sexist jokes to shore up their masculinity - Fascinating how this news brief is related to the one before it. 

 19 senators urge Trump’s HHS to restore LGBT questions to elder surveys - Damn right!

Harvard Transgender Rights Pamphlet Prompts Conservative Backlash Online - While not complaining about snowflakes, transphobic folk are acting like snowflakes.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

'Christian' right's kiss ass tribute to Donald Trump explained

The religious right's vision of Trump.
Donald Trump is a disaster as president, which we all knew he would be. His poll numbers are "historically low" his present and former subordinates - particularly Michael Flynn - are in a constantly growing scandal about Russia's influence on last year's election, and he is a generally uncoordinated laughing stock here and abroad.

Of course one wouldn't know this if one read the glowing tributes he is given by several religious right groups such as the Family Research Council and the American Family Association:

Trump Deals in Taxes Hold'em

Trump cabinet fellowships thru prayer, Bible study

 And let's not forget Franklin Graham's advice to that Trump not reveal his tax returns.

So why are these folks, who are so quick to talk about values and morality, are as easily quick to give Trump a pass on both? An article in Politico reveals what should be obvious:

The one group Trump has paid outsized attention to—and consistently delivered for—is the social conservative movement. He reinstated and even toughened the Mexico City Policy, which eliminates U.S. funding for international nongovernmental organizations that perform abortions. He rescinded President Barack Obama’s protections for transgender students to use preferred bathrooms in public schools. He signed legislation that routs federal money away from Planned Parenthood. He cut off funding to the U.N. Population Fund, which critics say has long supported coercive abortions in China and other countries. He stockpiled his administration with pro-life evangelical Christians in critical roles, including Tom Price as secretary of Health and Human Services, Betsy DeVos as education secretary and Mike Pence as vice president. And, most significantly, his Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, a conservative originalist in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, won confirmation. 
. . . “How ironic it is,” says Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, “that Donald Trump, of all people in the Republican Party, would become a champion for social conservatives.” 
 . . .After eight years in which conservatives—and particularly evangelical Christians—believed themselves to be under siege from secular forces in the federal government, the judiciary and popular culture, Trump’s presidency feels like a renaissance. Not only do they have a seat at the table again, as they did during the famously evangelical-friendly George W. Bush years; many of these activists say Trump has already surpassed the 43rd president as an ally and advocate. 
“The Bush administration didn’t come close to being this friendly to social conservatives,” says Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. (“Who knew?" she adds, laughing. “I can’t say I would have ever guessed that a billionaire playboy from Manhattan would wind up being the closest ally of Christian conservatives.”) ( Family Research Council president Tony) Perkins, for his part, tells me: “I’ve been at the White House for meetings more in the first four months of the Trump administration than I was during the entire Bush presidency.”

I should be disturbed by this, but to tell the truth, I'm not. Sometimes, it's a good thing for your opposition to get all that they want because they tend to reveal themselves to be exactly what you have said they are.

It's one thing to label a pig as a glutton. But dumping a pile of food in front it and pointing as the pig sloppily chows down sends a better message. In that same regard, Trump giving the religious right so much power isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just watch how quickly these groups and their personalities abandon their masks of propriety and show themselves to be what the lgbtq community has always said they were - gluttonous fanatics trying to maneuver the country to their direction.

We see this now in how much  religious right leaders are fawning  and lauding over Trump while he sinks lower and lower. With every revelation that Trump is a devil, here they come with another pair of plastic wings and slightly bent halo to take the glare off of the new debasement. And another spritz of goody-goody God spray to cover up the smell of Trump's sulfuric depravity and incompetence.

It was never about preserving values with these groups. It was always about control by any means necessary - a smartly cynical value but one unbecoming of those calling themselves Christians.

As much as I despise Trump, the one thing he is doing right is figuratively giving the religious right enough rope to hang themselves. And with the speed of the direction they are going, they won't wait for the chair to be kicked from under them.

They themselves will jump off.

'GOP Congressman tearfully begs God's forgiveness for abortion, marriage equality. Omits his party's attempt to gut healthcare' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Rep. Randy Weber Tearfully Begs God To Forgive America For The Sins Of Legal Abortion And Marriage Equality - So, at a religious right prayer event, a Republican Congressman weeps while begging God's forgiveness for allowing women to make healthcare decisions about their own bodies AND for marriage equality. Of course he didn't mention how his party is attempting to take healthcare away from millions of Americans. And of course this particular Congressman is virulently anti-lgbtq and has called Obama a "socialist dictator." Forgive my blasphemy, but I envision Jesus in Heaven telling God, "I don't care what the Bible said. I'm not coming back to these people. They scare even ME!" All jokes aside. Seriously. This bizarre juxtaposition is the epitome of what's wrong with the religious right.

 LGBT rights leaders flunk Trump on first 100 days - Well duuuuuh.

Houston Transgender Woman Files Lawsuit After Landlord Barricades Apartment Door!- I hope she wins, too.

 Troll This Politician And He Just Might Call Your Grandma — Literally - Oh snap! This is good!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How the Family Research Council brand transgender children as dangerous

One of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of the anti-lgbtq right is language. It's relatively easy to refute their lies when compared to demonstrating how religious right groups and personalities exploit semantics in their attempts to control the narrative of debates about the lgbtq community.

The following from the anti-lgbtq hate group Family Research Council advertising an anti-transgender event is a perfect example. Watch how the organization brands transgender children as dangerous outsiders and their parents as nonexistent without even directly saying those words:

There are so many dog whistles in this announcement, one wonders if the Family Research Council has a side business as a kennel.

Everything in this vile announcement practically paints transgender children as outsiders. So transgender children don't exist? They are an ideology instead of students? They are a lobby instead of children whose lives are hindered by fear and ignorance?

And what about the parents of transgender children? Apparently according to the Family Research Council, they don't exist either. The parents who will be supposedly "fighting back" are parents of so-called normal children. And let's not forget the taxpayers.  Parents of transgender children don't exist, so how on Earth can they be taxpayers?

The fact that the Family Research Council has invited no medical professionals to this meeting goes without saying. That fact is merely rancid icing on top of this stale cake of transphobia designed to scare people  rather than educate them about transgender children.

Demonizing children is a nasty game, but the Family Research Council seems to have no problem playng it.

'Trump's first 100 days have been ugly for LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

Donald Trump holds (an apparently fireproof, lightning proof) Bible.

Trump’s Record on LGBT Rights: Death by 1000 Cuts in the First 100 Days - From Lambda Legal comes an astute assertion about Trump's first 100 days. While he has claimed about being pro-lgbtq, people in his administration have quietly been either making or prodding him to make very anti-lgbtq appointment picks and policies.  

100 Days Of Trump: Delivering For The Extreme Religious Right - More info on this and other monstrosities of Trump's 100 days courtesy of People for the American Way. 

Trump Army Secretary Pick: ‘Liberal Left’ Is Making Me Seem Like An LGBTQ ‘Hater’ - Uh no, you dipstick. Your anti-lgbtq and very transphobic statements and actions make you seem like a hater.  

The Alabama Legislature Voted To Let Adoption Agencies Turn Away LGBT Parents - Because of Jesus?  

Gay man sues New York museum for anti-HIV discrimination - The stigma of HIV is unfortunately as prevalent today as it was so many years ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Anti-lgbtq right targeting lesbian high school teacher

This is flying under the radar (except for in religious right circles) but it is possibility that we will be hearing more about it:

From The Tampa Bay Times:

An Orlando-based religious liberties group has filed a complaint against a Hillsborough County high school teacher, accusing her of denying student rights to religious expression while promoting an LGBT agenda. 
In a letter to Hillsborough schools superintendent Jeff Eakins, the Liberty Counsel alleges that Riverview High math teacher Lora Jane Riedas barred at least three students from wearing Christian crosses on necklaces in her classroom, claiming they are "gang symbols." The organization also claims Riedas takes part in LGBT political activism in the classroom. "Ms. Riedas clearly seeks opportunities to engage in GLSEN-directed classroom activism, which has called on teachers to use its "Educator Guide" to promote GLSEN's views about homosexuality and gender confusion on "Day of Silence," and to do so this Friday, April 21, 2017," Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver wrote in his letter.

The school district is investigating the case and the principal has said she has not received any complaints from any parent or student.

Needless to say though, the anti-lgbt group American Family Association's phony new source, One News Now published a one-sided article about the situation, practically allowing  Staver of the Liberty Counsel to spin all sorts of charges against Riedas:

"What we have here are two lesbians that are promoting and indoctrinating the LGBT agenda in the classroom to their students," Staver tells OneNewsNow. "Punishing those that don't agree and targeting Christians because they won't accept her radical lesbianism."

And just in case you are not clear as to where One News Now's sympathies lie, the publication is also running a poll on the controversy:

So basically, the Liberty Counsel and One News Now is attempting to spin this situation into one in which an "intolerant radical lesbian teacher made Christian children remove their crosses while in her classroom."

That rendition tends to play better should Fox News's resident religious right liar - Todd Starnes, decides to push the story further, or the Liberty Counsel needs to exploit the incident for fnndraising, or GOP Congressional leaders need another "reason" in their quest to get Trump's signature on an anti-lgbtq "religious liberty" executive order.

But there are some who smell a rat in the entire situation. In the words of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch:

This story . . seems a lot like the phony tales of supposed anti-Christian persecution that Religious Right groups are always ginning up.

I couldn't agree more as the following, also courtesy of Ring Watch and Think Progress, prove:

How Many Myths Of Anti-Christian ‘Persecution’ Can Kelly Shackelford Cite In One Speech? At Least Three

No, This Air Force Sergeant Was Not Fired For Opposing Marriage Equality

'GOP pushing Trump for 'license to discriminate' against lgbtq community' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Say hello to the future if some Congressional leaders can persuade Trump.

Republicans in Congress push for religious liberty executive order - If the religious right were smart, they wouldn't be pushing so hard for it. It's beginning to look like to me that the wish for "religious liberty" as they want it is a classic case of "be careful what you wish for because you might just get it." Once the repercussions come for secular businesses having license to discriminate against lgbtqs, there will be some VERY unhappy folks. And Trump is no fool, at least for now. The protests against his immigration nonsense would pale compared to the hell this sort of thing would unleash. Cause you know when it comes to expressions of outrage, the lgbtq community don't play.

'In the name of Jesus' the religious right have become Trump apologists & bootlickers - My post from last night which shows how low the supposed Christian right will stoop to kiss up to Trump so that he can give them what they want. See the post above.

Study: Trans and Cisgender Kids Aren’t That Different - Not a surprise. Children who are given love and support generally turn out okay.

Gay Men Sound Off On Misconceptions About ‘Femme’ And ‘Masc’ Stereotypes - This is some fascinating stuff. We do need to talk about images in our community.

This Is What Happened To Gay People In The Military Before The Ban Was Lifted - One complaint I have about my lgbtq community is how we should do more to remember our history . . .

Monday, April 24, 2017

'In the name of Jesus' the religious right have become Trump apologists & bootlickers

It's not a secret that various religious groups and figures are eager for Trump to push their issues (i.e. anti-lgbtq religious liberty, conservative SCOTUS justices), but it's getting embarrassing to watch how some of these supposed purveyors of values stoop to justify Trump's failures and unethical missteps.

First, there is Franklin Graham, who out the following Facebook message encouraging Trump to not reveal his taxes:

Should President Donald J. Trump release his tax returns? A lot of liberals keep demanding it. The President hasn’t asked for my advice, but I would say—No way! Even if these were published, the average American—or the average politician, including Senator Chuck Schumer, for that matter—wouldn’t be able to understand them. President Trump is a billionaire with multiple businesses in multiple states, using our very complicated and corrupt tax code that Congress is responsible for writing—that should be scrapped. It would just be another huge distraction, and a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want. We don’t need distractions. We need to let President Trump focus on what America elected him to do. We need to get on with the business of solving the problems facing our nation—Forget the tax returns! We need a simple tax code that all Americans can understand

In spite of Graham's claims of the contrary, it's more than just "liberals" who want  Trump to release his taxes. According to an April 10 edition of  Money magazine:

A  new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll found 53% of voters say Trump should be forced to release his tax returns, and 51% say Trump’s taxes are either very or somewhat important to them. Additionally, 45% say Trump’s taxes are relevant to his job in the White House.

In addition, according to poll conducted by Global Strategy Group, 64 percent of Republicans also want Trump to release his taxes.

'An exhaustive list of all Trump's pro-LGBTQ wins' & other Mon midday news briefs

What has Trump accomplished for the LGBTQ community during his first 100 days?

First 100 days: An exhaustive list of all of Trump’s pro-LGBTQ ‘wins’- Regardless of how one feels about Trump, this list is 100 percent accurate . . . 

Media Matters' Erin Fitzgerald: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups Are Using The "Media As A Battleground" To Promote "Cloaked Discrimination" - Unfortunately, the media has been very derelict in this area. 

 I want you to know what it feels like to be a trans person in Trump’s America - Sad but needed commentary.  

Trump Transition Aide: Obama’s ‘Aggressive LGBT Agenda Will Be Unhinged’ Under Trump - Who else but Ken Blackwell from the anti-lgbt hate group The Family Research Council. 

 This Transgender Army Veteran Won’t be Silenced Under Trump - We have NOT forgotten about Trump's homophobic, transphobic pick for Army secretary.

LGBT organizations 'declaring war' on religious right lies, homophobic junk science

Late last week, the Human Rights Campaign announced a new project calling out the transphobic lies of infamous former Johns Hopkins professor Paul McHugh. McHugh has been a long-time opponent of the transgender community. His anti-transgender claims have been criticized for lack of veracity, but the religious right and their supporters still cite him.

According to HRC:

 . . .the HRC Foundation launched McHugh Exposed, a website that pulls back the curtain on the anti-LGBTQ myths and junk science being peddled by Dr. Paul McHugh, the go-to ‘expert’ for anti-equality extremists. The resource includes a detailed timeline of how McHugh’s hateful and damaging essays have been used to target and attack LGBTQ people and a new video featuring renowned LGBTQ health expert, Dr. Tonia Poteat. It can be found at McHugh’s false, non-scientific assertions have been used by anti-equality activists in state legislatures and courtrooms to defend discrimination against LGBTQ people. 
 . . . “Paul McHugh’s writings continue to dangerously undermine the safety, security and wellbeing of LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender youth, across the country,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Vice President for Research, Training, and Programs. “McHugh’s junk science is still being referenced in legislative and legal battles despite the fact that Paul McHugh has no academic expertise in either gender or sexual orientation, and actively avoids publishing any of his anti-LGBTQ pieces in peer-reviewed journals. Policy makers, informed citizens and parents deserve to know that this is junk science and personal opinion - not at all in the mainstream of current medical and academic research and not endorsed by Johns Hopkins regardless of how McHugh uses his title to suggest credibility or expertise.”

HRC also launched a wonderful video (seen above) which throws "shade" at religious right groups and their phony "policy experts," i.e. the spokespeople they employ to go on news programs and in front of state and federal legislative bodies to spread their homophobic talking points.

This overall project by HRC is the latest endeavor by progressive and lgbt organizations to expose conservative and religious right groups who push lies and junk science against the lgbt community behind the facade of "religious liberty."

Friday, April 21, 2017

'FL prayer breakfast to host anti-lgbt group leader' & other Fri midday news briefs

Trash like this put out by Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson is why the group has a homophobic reputation.

Fort Lauderdale Prayer Breakfast Angers LGBT Activists - This article came out last week, but the breakfast will be next Friday. The huge problem is that the featured speaker will be Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family doesn't have a reputation for being obnoxiously anti-lgbt like other religious right groups, but it's still spreads homophobic lies (as seen in the pictures above) via its supposed resources and the words of its founder, James Dobson.

Our Silence Will Not Protect Us: Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth - Amen!

 WATCH: Clinton Slams Trump on LGBT Rights in US and Persecution of Gay Men in Chechnya - Oh what COULD have been. The lady who SHOULD BE president even as I type this.

 There Are 18,000 Teachers To Carry On The Safe Schools Legacy When Funding Runs Out - Heroes.

These Beautiful Family Photos Prove There Is No One Way To Make A Family - Posts like this are needed. The idea of family does not exclude the lgbtq community.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Day of Silence - Supporting our LGBT children

One of the pleasures of having this blog is the ability to amplify the issues of those in our community who deserve as much visibility as I can give them.

Such as our kids. Friday marks the annual GLSEN's Day of Silence in which high school students across America take a vow of silence to bring attention to how lgbt students are bullied . To me, this year is more poignant because of who-shall-not-be-named being our president and how he turned his back on our transgender kids while the religious right are busy portraying them as predators.

And I am glad to hear that this year's Day of Silence will culminate in an effort to urge state governors to push for full lgbt inclusive policies with an emphasis on protecting transgender youth.

More than ever, our lgbt, especially our transgender youth, need ways to make their faces be seen, their voices be heard, and to know that we have their backs.

Related post - 4 Facts about Day of Silence

'Magic Johnson talks about accepting his gay son, comedian whines that gays want their own bathrooms,' & other Thur midday news briefs

Magic Johnson (top photo) accepts his gay son. Lavell Crawford (bottom photo) is an example of the ignorance uttered when lgbt of colors have little to no visibility in the black  community.

Topping today's news briefs is a look at lgbts in the African-American community, positive and negative:

Magic Johnson Opens Up About His Son EJ Coming Out as Gay - A father and mother who accepts their gay son is a wonderful thing.

Comedian Lavell Crawford Says His Father Is Gay, But It's Still 'F**king Weird' and Now 'They Trying to Get Their Own Bathrooms' - Meanwhile, Lavell Crawford is a big bowl of stupid. Look what the Gay Mafia did to Tracey Morgan? Sorry but joking about beating up your gay child doesn't strike folks as funny, gay or otherwise. I'm not even GOING to touch the line about us supposedly wanting our own bathrooms. 

So basically this is what needs to be learned. It's all about who is being heard and seen in the black AND lgbt community, just like other communities. While I think Crawford is an idiot, before anyone starts going on a tangent about the supposed homophobia in the black community, answer this question. How many high profile lgbts of color do you see or hear, if any, in both the black AND gay communities. They are there, but are you paying attention to them? Or better yet, is there ANY focus on them. Yeah, yeah yeah. RuPaul, etc. BUT who else? And is there a diversity in the black lgbt voices and faces you see and hear? Not all of us are entertainers or singers. Some of us are community organizers, intellectuals, etc.  Also, before you ask the dreaded "how can blacks be oppressive when they were oppressed themselves" question, let me ask you a question. Why do you fail to acknowledge the fact that some people are both black and gay? We aren't talking about separate communities. Unfortunately, we are talking about two communities which, either overtly or covertly, will not recognize the fact that lgbts of color exist.  As long as neither community will acknowledge their commonality, i.e. lgbts of color, ignorance like Crawford spewed will be prevalent in the black community because there will be very few to challenge it. An lgbt of color doing this would have more resonance and credibility in the black community. Instead, white lgbts will wring their hands and speak ugly about the black community without realizing such thoughts and words only add to the problem.

Be prepared: Same-sex married couples are healthier than opposite-sex ones - I kinda like this article, but another part of me doesn't like it very much. Couple compatibility and health between gay couples and heterosexual couples shouldn't be seen as a competition. But here we are . . .  

Kremlin denies reports of ‘gay concentration camps’ in Chechnya - Russia in general persecutes the lgbt community. It's not like its going to acknowledge what's happening in Chechnya. 

 Sports Have Been An Anchor For This Transgender Teenager - I love this profile. 

 This is how you win a campaign against transphobia - I would say this is common sense, but you would be surprise how, in some situations, the simplest most accurate thing to do escapes people.