Friday, November 30, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - World AIDS Day

One of these days, we are going to beat AIDS, but until that time, let's not forget the talented souls we lost and also those who continue to be affected by it.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Hate group leader Tony Perkins lied about support of Ugandan anti-gay bill' and other Friday midday news briefs

FRC denies it ever supported Uganda bill; so here, again, is now-scrubbed audio of Tony Perkins saying bill 'uphold[s] moral conduct'- How did I miss this while writing my morning post about Perkins and the Family Research Council? Jeremy Hooper has proof that what Perkins said about not supporting that awful Ugandan bill was a LIE. He has the original audio of Perkins voicing support of the bill

In other news:

 Jackie Speier Introduces 'Stop Harming Our Kids' Resolution, Hits 'Ex-Gay' Conversion 'Quackery' - And slowly, the noose of truth closes around the neck of that awful practice of "ex-gay" therapy.

  Fox News Has A Meltdown Over Gender-Neutral Marriage Licenses In WA - The existence of Fox News will be one of those moments when our children and grandchildren look at us and ask "how could you have let IT happen?"

 Man fights to clear gay criminal record from 1950s - This story is incredible. All this man did was BE in a gay relationship.  

Religious Right Groups Work to Defeat Treaty on Rights of People with Disabilities, Falsely Claim it Sanctions Abortion - First they came for the gays . . .

Hate group exploits Ugandan anti-gay bill to attack press, liberals

Recently, the Family Research Council came under fire because its president, Tony Perkins, sent out the following tweet:

Many of us took it to mean that Perkins was supporting Uganda's anti-gay bill, a bill which has generated a lot of negative press.

Yesterday, Perkins attempted make the claim that folks were overreacting and thus mistaking his tweet:

 With fewer journalists able to separate the news from their personal politics, groups like FRC are no longer fighting bias--but outright deception. If you read Monday's Update or follow me on Twitter, then you know that FRC was highly complimentary of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who took the bold step of leading his country in a public prayer of confession for a multitude of sins Uganda committed over the last 50 years, including the genocide of Idi Amin. "We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice..." Not surprisingly, the U.S. media wasn't nearly as impressed by this gesture as FRC--a fact I alluded to in a tweet that same day. "American liberals are upset that Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentance--afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God?"

Fair enough for Perkins. However, there are two things wrong with this:

1. Why did Perkins wait so long to give an explanation about the tweet?
2. Most importantly, the tweet itself was inaccurate. Many of us "American liberals" were not aware of Museveni's prayer. So how could we have gotten upset over it? The controversy itself speaks to that.  If we had knowledge of Museveni's prayer, how could we have mistaken Perkins' support of it as support for that dreadful bill?

But leave it to Perkins to milk the situation:

 . . . as we learned two years ago, if you want to get the press's attention, just say the word "Uganda" and wait for the firestorm. For years, the African nation has been condemned for its severe laws criminalizing homosexuality. Despite allegations to the contrary, FRC has never supported that policy--or any policy that imposes the death penalty on homosexuals. What we do oppose is the suggestion that gay and lesbian acts are universal human rights. So when Congress introduced a resolution in 2010 denouncing Uganda's punishment for homosexuality, FRC fought--at the request of some Members--to strike the pro-homosexual "human rights" language from the final measure. Several liberals, including David Weigel at the Washington Post, chose to misrepresent our involvement as an indication that we opposed the entire bill! "Family Research Council Lobbied against Resolution Condemning Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law," Weigel's headline read. It was a convenient storyline for extremists like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) who resort to demonizing FRC when they can't compete with us ideologically. Although Weigel later posted a retraction, the damage had already been done. Now, more than two years later, the lies about FRC's position have resurfaced. After Monday's story, HRC had the audacity to post that by applauding President Museveni, FRC was "praising the 'kill the gays' bill." I challenge anyone with a half a brain to read my tweet or Update story and conclude that FRC is any way supporting the death penalty of homosexuals. But gay activists have their hooks so deeply in the mainstream media that reporters no longer bother to check their facts.

As Right-Wing Watch points out, Perkins is obviously misrepresenting FRC's position on the bill:

 . . . in 2009 the FRC admits to having spent thousands of dollars lobbying for Congress trying to revise and muddy the resolution condemning the bill because they said it would entail “pro-homosexual promotion.” “We didn’t necessarily lobby against or for the resolution but tried to work with offices to make the language more neutral on homosexuality,” FRC’s Tom McClusky said at the time, “the original language was incorrect on what Uganda was doing as well.”  

And there are two things wrong with Perkins's present explanation:

1. The current legislation still contains the provision about the death penalty for gays.
2. And regardless of that provision, Perkins didn't say a word about the other awful provisions of that bill, including the portion which makes homosexuality itself a crime for which Ugandans can receive life in prison.

Lastly, Perkins really takes the cake with the following statement:

Americans need to understand that this cozy relationship between the liberal media and unreliable sources like HRC is fostering a culture of hatred and violence--that same culture that led to the attempted mass murder of the entire FRC office. 

 The sad irony is that if Perkins was not so invested in exploiting that near tragic situation, he would have more of an understanding as to how real cultures of violence and hatred are fostered, such as how the idea for that awful bill in Uganda came to being via American religious right activists.

As it is now, Perkins either has no idea or simply do not care.