Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anti-gay pundits fearful of being made accountable for ugly comments

Like clockwork, religious right pundits have already begun lying about GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project:

It's not a surprise because we knew that religious right pundits would falsely claim that GLAAD is trying to silence them. I'm sure as the days go by, we will be hearing more of the false "censorship" angle. I anticipate a full media campaign just like they attempted when SPLC called several of them hate groups.

And it means one thing. These liars are shaking in their boots. Don't let Sprigg's or Barber's false bravado fool you because it's all an act.

 They know that no one is trying to silence them and their whines about censorship is a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue. However, allow me to again post the statement from GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick in regards to the project:

"These activists have the right to recite their anti-LGBT talking points, but it is important to expose the questionable and often hostile rhetoric that passes as punditry when so-called 'experts' speak out against the lives of LGBT people on the air or in print. If networks are going to continue to invite those with incendiary anti-LGBT views on their programs, show runners should know the full picture of who these individuals really are so that critical context can be relayed to the audience."

It's not about censorship. It's about honest debate. If these so-called Christians can repeat some of the nastiest comments about the lgbtq community when amongst those who support them then they should have no problem being questioned on them by the media.

As you can tell,  I am extremely psyched about this project. In fact, I have been psyched about it all day. You need go to this page and do what you can to make the project a success. And here is a little incentive. The following are the folks whom GLAAD have called out for their lies. Click on the names to get more information:

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'Meet 100 people who would murder their gay child' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

100 Real Tweets from Homophobes Who Would Murder Their Gay Child - I can't even say I hope that is a joke because if it were, it would still be awful. And people whine that lgbts are "too sensitive." The tweets on this site are not for folks with sensitive natures.

GLAAD campaign demands better media accountability for anti-gay pundits - Yes I know I am repeating this but in light of the above news brief, it is important to understand why the media should not codify anti-gay pundits and make them seem normal. It allows mindsets like the above to take place.

And the 1st misplaced claim of #glaadcap silencing goes to…
- And already Matt Barber, who is on GLAAD's list is lying about GLAAD's project. No silence here. I personally want to hear Barber's explanation for the multitude of homophobic things he has said.

Ugandan LGBT Rights Group Sues Anti-Gay Evangelist Scott Lively - And I hope that they take EVERYTHING he owns. Sorry but they are due it all after what he did.

Utah Legislator Defends Abstinence-Only Bill: ‘Homosexuality Does Not Relate To Sexuality’ - Say what?

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GLAAD campaign demands better media accountability for anti-gay pundits

When it comes to discussing gay issues, the media  sometimes handles anti-gay pundits with kid gloves.

It's not because of any bias, really. I think that a lot of it has to do with these pundits having the ability to disguise their anti-gay animus.

When they speak on news programs, folks like Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, or Brian Brown are careful to dress their responses up as reasonable. They are even able to portray themselves as supposed defenders of traditional values, leaving the interviewer and audience unaware of the comments they make when not in front of the cameras; comments which reveal that their animus against the gay community have less to do with preserving traditional values and more to do with exploiting ignorance.

And at the rare times in which they are pressed about these comments, they play the victim by claiming that they are unfairly being labeled as bigots.

It's a very dishonest thing to do because it taints the debate over gay equality. And its not just me who has a problem with it.

Today, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation will launch the Commentator Accountability Project which seeks to educate the media on the wool pulled over its eyes by anti-gay pundits:

The GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP) aims to put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters. Journalists or producers who are on deadline often don't have the time to dig into the histories of a commentator. Audiences need to be aware that when they’re not talking to the mainstream media, these voices are comparing the LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence.

The Commentator Accountability Project is bringing all of these statements to light, while calling attention to the sentiments behind them. We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the "other side" of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.

GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project will include anti-gay pundits and certain statements they have made when not in front of the camera, such as:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

   - Says about gay people: “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful...pawns of the enemy.

- Says that gay young people “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict; homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.

- Despite what health experts have said, insists that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem.”

- The Family Research Council has distributed a pamphlet that erroneously depicts gay men and lesbians as physically and mentally ill pedophiles who can be “cured.”

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage

- Recently attempted, via his national newsletter, to raise a link between marriage equality and pedophilia: "Will pedophiles become "minor-attracted persons" in our culture? Will courts which endorse orientation as a protected class decide down the road that therefore laws which discriminate against "minor-attracted persons" must be narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest?”

- Has advocated for gay people to change their orientation. Said of a faith-based study on self-identified so-called "ex-gays": "Even those who disagree with us about gay marriage (or Christian sexual ethics) should feel good about this this scientific verification of the possibility of free will triumphing over desire. We are all more than our instincts, sexual or otherwise."

 - Encouraged parents to attend a Love Won Out so-called "ex-gay" conference, calling it a way to "prevent your child from embracing this destructive way of life."

Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage

- Referred to being gay as “a sexual disability preventing certain individuals from participating in the normal reproductive patterns of the human species.”

- Compared winning the fight to ban marriage for gay couples with the fall of communism and believes that if it is made legal, it will mean “losing American civilization.”

Said “I oppose extending anti-discrimination laws to gays.”

Bob Emmerich, Northeast Field Ambassador of the Family Research Council

- In 2009, while the debate over the so-called "Kill The Gays Bill" was being debated in Uganda and worldwide, Emrich -- who had just returned from the African nation -- sent an email to his supporters wherein he pushed an article that praised a "brilliant MP" for coming up "with a Bill against homosexuality." The referenced bill calls for the death penalty as punishment for being gay.

- Routinely proves that his advocacy goes beyond marriage and into "changing" gay people: "Those who want to redefine marriage want us to believe that we show love and support for homosexual family members by encouraging them to remain in their sin. Christian people will remember that true love and support helps people overcome, not surrender."

- Accuses his state's pro-equality lawmakers of mocking God: "It was the most shameful, most embarrassing thing for my state that I have seen.  I listened to Senator after Senator stand up and mock God, mock the word of God, mocking the people of God…I was so angry hearing the way they were speaking about my God."

And these are just a few of the anti-gay pundits GLAAD rightfully calls out for their dishonest rhetoric.

Now knowing religious right organizations, their spokespeople are going to whine that GLAAD is trying to silence them. This is a lie and GLAAD has made sure to make clear the goal of this project:

“Hate is not an expert opinion,” said GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick. “In most cases, news outlets invite reputable experts to speak on the subject at hand, but when talking about LGBT issues, open hostility and anti-LGBT bias seems to be all the credibility required. This project holds these so-called ‘pundits’ accountable for the extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric they continue to spread.”

"These activists have the right to recite their anti-LGBT talking points, but it is important to expose the questionable and often hostile rhetoric that passes as punditry when so-called 'experts' speak out against the lives of LGBT people on the air or in print," explained Graddick. "If networks are going to continue to invite those with incendiary anti-LGBT views on their programs, show runners should know the full picture of who these individuals really are so that critical context can be relayed to the audience."

In other words, this project is not about silencing anyone but having an honest debate. And you can't have an honest debate when one party is being deceptive in terms of their goals and their true feelings about the community they oppose.

It's a matter of laying all your cards on the table and it's high time that these so-called morality groups and their spokespeople did just that

GLAAD will utilize the resources of the Commentator Accountability Project in future meetings with editors, writers, network executives, producers, and guest bookers -- providing the mainstream media with a tool by which to hold commentators accountable.

GLAAD encourages individuals to alert the organization when these virulently anti-LGBT activists appear on local or national news. To report an incident visit:

View the Commentator Accountability Project here:

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #glaadcap

Talk with GLAAD about the project here:

Huge kudos to  Jeremy Hooper of Good As You for working as a consultant with GLAAD on this project.

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Family Research Council lies about Minnesota school district bullying settlement

 Editor's note - Stay tuned for a post coming about a MAJOR development against the war of anti-gay lies perpetrated by the religious right? Does it have the potential to be a game changer? I think so.

Sometimes I have to keep myself from getting furious, but it astounds me how much the Family Research Council, an organization which is supposed to be about morality and God, can willfully lie.

Take for example the recent case involving the Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota. FRC does not like the recent lawsuit settlement the school district agreed to and gives a very inaccurate rendition what led up to it:

If anyone deserves to be on the national "hate group" list, it's the organization that claims to be in charge of it! Anyone who had doubts about Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) credibility has been proven right after the group named a local parents group to its ridiculous catalog of "haters." According to SPLC, the Anoka-Hennepin Parents Action Team belongs in the same league as white supremacists because they asked a Minnesota school district to keep a policy of neutrality on homosexuality! During a long debate over Anoka-Hennepin's bullying policy, six students sued the district with SPLC's help, demanding that schools void the rule on homosexuality and move from impartiality to full acceptance. When the community opposed the decision, SPLC involved the U.S. Justice Department (which apparently has nothing better to do than team up with SPLC to harass a local school board).

Ultimately, the district capitulated and agreed to a five-year anti-bullying partnership with DOJ. Now, to punish parents--whose only request is that schools don't undermine the values they teach at home--SPLC is attempting to silence the group. Clearly, SPLC is not the independent arbiter that liberals make it out to be. On one hand, they advocate for homosexuality, and on the other, they try to stigmatize and marginalize the opposition. It's like giving SPLC the chance to referee and play in the same game!

What's even more disturbing is the DOJ's role in all of this. What authority does it have to barge in and exert pressure on a school district when there is no federal discrimination statute for sexual orientation?

That's the Family Research Council's spin of the lawsuit settlement and it's a spin which ignores several facts.