Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Early voting in Miami Beach is time consuming but pleasant

People at Miami Beach polls are extremely courteous and helpful (I chose to vote at City Hall on 17th Street). People on the line were well behaved and neighborly. I did not encounter any True the Vote crazies and I did not see or hear any voters being challenged by poll watchers. Yet, I am still accustomed to New York. In New York on election days there are long lines that move quickly. Actually voting means pulling mechanical levers on machines that have worked flawlessly for a half-century. There might be one or two ballot measures and the whole thing is done in a matter of minutes.

Frank Schubert letting it all hang out in Maine

Mainers on the National Organization for Marriage mailing list no longer receive emails from "Protect Marriage Maine." Rather they come from "," Frank Schubert's operation. Apparently, a defender of the faith gets a pass on that "bearing false witness" thing.

As we all know, if a few gays can get hitched, that will determine the future for our children and grandchildren. Doubtlessly, equal marriage will create juvenile delinquency and criminal activity. Children of gays will run amok like zombies in a George Romero opus. Frank would not say so were it not true:

Where, how and when do we draw the line on the Church?

Another contest is going on this election season that has little to do with marriage equality directly. It is one that infuriates me. I am referring to the effort to oust Iowa Supreme Court judge, David Wiggins. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa following the unanimous ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court in Varnum v. Brien on April 3, 2009. The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy was particularly displeased.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There's More to the Richard Cohen as Moonie Story

Richard Cohen is the Ex-Gay "therapy" crackpot who is, perhaps, best known for abusing furniture with a tennis racket. Warren Throckmorton came across video which links Cohen with the Unification church. On October 7, 2012, Moon’s son and president of the Unification Church Hyung Jin Moon held a town hall meeting at the Unification Bay Area Family Church. Moon says: "Richard Cohen is a member in our movement who has worked on this tremendously, the whole issue." Truth Wins Out picked up on this here.

There may be more to this story and it has a very sinister twist:

Regnerus CONFIRMS his sampling bias

I have a copy of an email from Mark Regnerus. The headers confirm its legitimacy. Therein, Dr. Regnerus states:
We oversampled respondents who said their mother or father had a same sex relationship (as well as kids who were adopted). Under sampled some other groups that occur more frequently in the population. Then weighted the data to account for this. Standard procedure in survey data collection and analysis.
This explains the anomaly that I observed. The "study" exaggerates findings that are being used by others to deprecate gay and lesbian parenting. The study never evaluated gay and lesbian parenting in the first place.

NOM misconstrues research to confuse

National Organization for Marriage claims that equal marriage advocates in Minnesota are confusing the facts about social science and medical research. NOM continues to demonstrate that they have no choice but to substitute incoherent arguments for their religious objections. NOM's advocacy is as a proxy for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. They are not opposed to marriage equality out of concern for children. They are opposed to marriage equality because of extreme religious fundamentalism.

Rather than engaging in a they-said/they-said discourse, let's consider some facts:

PBS' Independent Lens - Love Free or Die

PBS' Independent Lens broadcast Love Free or Die this evening. What was most remarkable, for me, is the perspective of seeing all of these supportive and loving Christians. We are so accustomed to the crackpots who seem obsessed with making our lives miserable that we forget all the good that is out there. We forget about all the good people, mostly heterosexual, who are just as devoutly Christian as our oppressors.

More information and clips are available on the Independent Lens website.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gallup: LGBT Vote Could Swing Election for Obama

Gay voters could possibly determine the outcome of the race for President.
According to a Gallup Report survey, the LGBT community’s strong support for President Barack Obama could help the president edge out a win in the popular vote. The report found that 71 percent of LGBT Americans who are registered voters support Obama. That's in contrast to the 22% who are supporters of Mitt Romney.

Redefining Intolerance

This is not a display of intolerance. This depicts the handiwork of some nitwit who decided to vandalize a "Protect Marriage Washington" sign.

Yet, according to the Family Policy Institute of Washington (which is really just another Christian decency league), this defaced sign, along with three others represents the "consequences" of same-sex marriage. It's part of what their Executive Director, Joseph Backholm, calls a photo montage of tolerance.

Allow me explain what real intolerance is.

Sears: Judges who redefine marriage will answer to "We the People"

Alan Sears, president of Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, has taken to the pages of the less than venerable Washington Times. His polemic on judicial restraint constitutes a rhetorical "threat" to the Justices of the Supreme Court on the day that the Court has redistributed the Prop 8 and DOMA cases for conference on November 20.

Washington Catholics Defy Bishops, Back Marriage Equality

Catholics for Marriage Equality held a prayer vigil on Sunday outside of Seattle's Saint James Cathedral in support of Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

NOM: Vote Against Equal Marriage Because You Might be Called a Bigot if You Vote Against Equal Marriage

NOM continues to claim traction from feigned victimization. According to National Organization for Marriage today, "Ceci Royals a Maryland resident talks about the intolerant language of proponents of Same-sex marriage activists." The theme of this Frank Schubert special is that proponents of marriage equality are intimidating opponents by labeling them "bigots," "cowards" and "sexual rednecks."

Prop 8 & DOMA Set for Nov 20 SCOTUS Conference

The Proposition 8 case has been redistributed to the Justices of the Supreme Court in preparation for conference on November 20. Should the justices choose not to hear the case, equal marriage would immediately go into effect in California. Otherwise, we can expect a decision over the summer.

Also conferenced for November 20 is Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the DOMA cases.

The matter was previously conferenced on September 24. The Justices did not take action on the case at that  time.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NOM needs a friggin map - or something

National Organization for Marriage
National Organization for Marriage is constantly telling us about some poor schmuck in Canada whom they claim was victimized by equal marriage.  At the risk of stating the obvious, we are not in Canada.
  • If we were in Canada our children would be protected by having married parents.

Friday, October 26, 2012

NY Times State Sen. Endorsements Likely to Enrage NOM

The New York Times does the right thing by suggesting that the two Republicans under attack deserve to win     this time. I am guessing that a New York Times endorsement carries more weight than National Organization for Marriage's rantings.

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 41 (parts of Dutchess and Putnam Counties) State Senator Stephen Saland, a Republican who has been in the Legislature for 32 years, distinguished himself by standing up against his party for the right of gay couples to marry. Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed Mr. Saland, saying his vote on that issue was a “test of character.” In this tight race a Conservative Party candidate, Neil Di Carlo, could draw votes from Senator Saland. The Democratic candidate, Terry Gipson, is a progressive businessman who shows promise. But we endorse Mr. Saland for his steadfastness when it counted.

If Regnerus would keep his mouth shut ...

Embattled professor Mark Regnerus refuses to be interviewed by the mainstream press. Yet he has recently given an interview to the Christian Post. Today he spoke with Karla Dial who writes for Focus on the Family's Citizen Link. I can only presume that Regnerus is afraid of questions that aren't soft balls.

What interests me is a couple of numbers that he gave Focus on the Family. These are new to me. Regnerus claims to have interviewed 3,000 people. We don't yet know how he obtained the initial 3,000. Of those, 248 claimed that one of their parents had a same-sex relationship. That's more than 8% which seems astonishingly high. I'm sure that some of these occurred after a spouse died or possibly after divorce. Nevertheless, that's just the 8% where a child was aware of the relationship which means that, to get to that number, the actual percentage of heterosexual parents who have a same-sex relationship had to be considerably higher. Is this something that is really that common?

ICYMI: The French Kiss

These two women are kissing in the midst of angry demonstrators opposed to marriage equality in France.  Some of these observers look extremely dismayed or shocked.

ADF: "The homosexual agenda clashes with religious freedom"

I keep posting this crap simply to demonstrate that the anti-gay Christian right keep citing the same debunked nonsense over, and over, and over again. In all the years that they have been fighting against equality, the best that they can cite are a handful of cases which fall apart on closer scrutiny. ADF engages in three bits of hyperbole:
  1. The "homosexual agenda."
  2. A quote from Chai Feldblum that is taken out of context and;
  3. The very tired Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association story.
These poor Christians are so persecuted!

Sprigg: "Opposing homosexual ‘marriage’ could cost you your job"

I would argue that no person is more responsible for Family Research Council being designated a "hate group" than Peter Sprigg. Among Sprigg's greatest hits, “I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”

NOM: Equal marriage is a slippery slope to polyamory

Dear Brian, Maggie, Robby and Tommy:

Please let me know when that's being considered by legislatures or voters.


Protect Marriage Maine joins in on the Parker BS

I just received an email from Protect Marriage Maine. Included therein:
The ad titled, "Local Schools" highlights the real-life story of David and Tonya [sic] Parker of Massachusetts whose son was taught about “same-sex” marriage in school without their permission.
That's a lie. Parker's kid got a "diversity book-bag" that included a book on different family structures including interracial parents, step-parents and same-sex parents (among others). Since the child was in kindergarten his parents would have to read the book to him. It was their choice.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NOMnuts - Brian Brown makes no sense

In the way of background, National Organization for Marriage is obsessed with unseating New York legislature Republicans who voted in favor of marriage equality. They have generally been unsuccessful and they are not scaring anyone in any other state. Their top target was State Senator Mark Grisanti. In spite of NOM, Grisanti won his primary race handily. Now NOM is backing Charles Swanick, a Democrat who is running on the Conservative line. Grisanti has a commanding lead. The most recent poll gives Grisanti 47% followed by the Dem with 23%. Swanick is polling at 17%. NOM is not pleased. This inspired a press release from NOM:

Right on Schedule: "Gay Marriage Will be Taught in School"

NOM's Minnesota franchise is now airing an advertisement that claims that gay marriage will be taught to children as young as second graders. The ad features professional victims, David and Tonia Parker. Before I get into the specifics, this theme was developed by NOM's outside campaign manager, Frank Schubert, during Prop 8. The implication is that, if gay marriage is taught in school your child might choose to be homosexual and that's a terrible thing.

It only works if we take the bait! If we get into a debate about whether or not gay marriage is taught in school we are essentially agreeing that ti would be a problem if it were taught in school. Then, we say it won't     they say it will     parents end up with "it might be."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NOMnuts: "Christian Farmer Not Exempt From New York's SSM Law"

"Christian farmer" my ass. Liberty Ridge is a full service catering and event venue. Do conservative Christians have some sort of learning disability over the idea of public accommodation?
From Blue Jeans to Bow Ties, Liberty Ridge Farm offers indoor and outdoor wedding venues with breathtaking views that dazzle and delight. The Gifford Barn,a Dutch style barn hosts 2400 sq. ft. of reception space decorated in an equestrian theme.
Remember how we were promised no one who did not want to be involved with same-sex weddings would be forced to?
 No. I do not remember! What I do recall is that in states like New York, clergy are not required to participate in any way.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When NOM and WND combine anti-gay hostility

NOM: UK B&B Couple Subject to Obscene Messages, Harassment In Addition to $6,000 Court Fine. National Organization for Marriage actually got this from a WND Exclusive. Oy veh. Here's how WND frames the issue:
A judge in the United Kingdom has ordered the owners of the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Berkshire to pay nearly $6,000 to two homosexuals for hurting their feelings by not allowing them to occupy a double bed.

MN For Marriage's Latest Bull Exhaust - “A Look at Consequences: KIDS"

Frank Schubert's marriage twinkie is out with a four minute "marriage minute" about the supposed horrors of allowing gays to marry. If you listen carefully, they are suggesting that heterosexual couples will not care for their children as well if gays can get legally married. Seriously. Somehow, gay marriage mysteriously makes heterosexuals bad parents. There is also a suggestion that heterosexual couples will be raising different children if gays can marry. It's nonsense! Evil homosexuals are not going to snatch children from the arms of their biological parents for nefarious reasons. But it gets worse.

Log Cabin GOPers are hopelessly clueless

Log Cabin has given Romney a "qualified endorsement" which means that they have endorsed Romney over Obama but will focus on congressional races. In doing so, they have endorsed a profoundly anti-gay candidate who would do, and say, anything to get a second term were he to win. Much as he has said just about anything in his attempt to please the Christian right in his effort to win a first term. This has included signing the odious NOM pledge.

Archbishop Cordileone ventured from his palace today

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is the Pope's point man on marriage inequality. His official title is Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. Indeed, Cordileone was one of the architects of Proposition 8. Some say that his elevation to Bishop of Oakland in March of 2009 was, at least in part, his reward for preventing same-sex marriage recognition in California. The Archbishop, by the way, is not only very conservative. He is very ambitious.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don Mendell is back - again

According to a breathless email from National Organization for marriage: School Counselor Targeted for Supporting Marriage!  Oh no! Not another victim. Not so fast. You might recall that Don Mendell is the guidance counselor who starred in a 2009 anti-equality commercial. The ending line of that advertisement was:
Vote yes on question one to prevent homosexual marriage from being pushed on Maine students.

Deceptive Video From NOM's Minnesota Franchise

In spite of being repeatedly debunked, National Organization for Marriage simply repeats the same lies assuming that the average voter won't bother to check. Campaign manager, Frank Schubert, who produces these videos (and makes a commission on the airtime), might be a fundamentalist Catholic. That doesn't seem to preclude him from being a pants-on-fire liar.

Frank Schubert assumes that the average voter is stupid!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mr. Romney's Pledge

Mitt Romney seemed to have little problem signing the pledge authored by the National Organization for Marriage. I take him at his word that he is going to do anything possible to thwart equal marriage.

What annoys me most about the pledge     what should have prevented Romney from signing it     is part four. It suggests that we are a threat to people who oppose marriage equality. It conveys NOM's contention that our right to criticize, say Chick-fil-A, is less equal than their right to enable denigration of, and discrimination against, LGBT citizens and taxpayers. When NOM claims that we are a threat to children, they are "defending marriage." When we fight back, we victimize National Organization for Marriage and its supporters. NOM has essentially said that the opinions of LGBT citizens are less equal than the opinions of those people who want to deny equal rights to gay people and Romney signed the damn thing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reasoned irrationality?

  1. Members of the majority are intolerant of a minority group.
  2. That same portion of the majority works tirelessly to deny the minority equal rights; Bigotry per se.
  3. The minority group is harshly critical of the bigots.
  4. Reacting to the criticism, members of the majority claim that the minority is intolerant of them.
When you lay it out like this it seems pretty silly. Yet, this is the up-is-down, left-is-right, black-is-white world that some of us live in. Conform the facts to meet the need?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dr. Paul Copan and NARTH

Dr. Paul Copan is a professor of philosophy and ethics, and the Pledger Family Chair (whatever that is) at Palm Beach Atlantic University.  Copan is also keynoting NARTH Conference 2012 along with Mat Staver. Were Copan a real ethicist he would never appear on the same stage as Staver. Judging from the keynote topics (see graphic below) it would appear that NARTH is claiming     wait for it     yes, it's victimization. Copan is a victim of either the photo to the left or the photo below. Given the circumstances, I think that I was rather polite in the following email:

More Dishonesty From NOM's Frank Schubert

Frank Schubert
Frank Schubert is a defender of the faith and reaper of vast sums for managing National Organization for Marriage's anti-gay campaigns. According to a new TV ad running in Maryland, Schubert claims that Angela McCaskill "is an official at Galluadet University" who was "suspended from her job." McCaskill is not just "an official." She is the chief diversity officer of the university. Moreover, she was suspended with pay and the university has already made an offer to reinstate Dr. McCaskill. An honest and legitimate question was asked of someone in a unique position of authority.

ThinkProgress Stands Up To Bullying For Spirit Day

    Read Zack Ford's commentary at ThinkProgress.

High Risk Children & Same-Sex Parenting

A report out in the October issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry finds that "high-risk" children adopted from foster care do just as well when matched with gay, lesbian or straight parents. Of the 82 foster children that psychologists at UCLA monitored for the study, 60 were placed with straight parents and 22 with gay or lesbian parents. After a two-year period of evaluation, the psychologists found little difference between the children's positive outcomes.

h/t Salon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking of victims ...

I abhor violence of any nature for any reason. I happen to be a victim of gun violence and my life hasn't been the same since I was shot. I am hyper-sensitive to anything involving any form of physical force. According to National Organization for Marriage:
King County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a 23-year-old Burien man suspected of tearing a “Reject R-74″ sign off a campaign volunteer’s car and calling her names, then shoving another woman who tried to help her.
NOM and their Washington franchise have been pumping this for a few days now. Assuming that it is true, the conduct of whoever did this is deplorable and inexcusable. It is also completely irrelevant to  whether or not voters should approve the state's same-sex marriage law.
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Victims Galore - Including a Gay Couple

National Organization for Marriage is increasingly obsessed with creating victims. None of this has anything to do with marriage equality but you cannot tell them that. In this case a gay couple was victimized. They were made to feel unequal and unwelcome:

NOM tells us that a gay couple has filed a human rights complaint against upstate New York farmers. Leave it to NOM to omit how this place markets their numerous wedding venues including:
From Blue Jeans to Bow Ties, Liberty Ridge Farm offers indoor and outdoor wedding venues with breathtaking views that dazzle and delight. The Gifford Barn,a Dutch style barn hosts 2400 sq. ft. of reception space decorated in an equestrian theme. 
Yahoo and, in other words, they are a public accommodation.

Mayor Mike Increases Equality Commitment

English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.
As the Advocate reports New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a super PAC with plans to spend between $10 million and $15 million this election cycle to advance causes including marriage equality and candidates who show a commitment to solving problems over partisanship.

Independence USA PAC will direct spending toward highly competitive local, state, and congressional races, and will “likely” invest in the campaigns to win marriage equality in Maine and Washington, according to The New York Times. The mayor, a registered independent and billionaire, recently donated $250,000 to the marriage referendum campaign in Maryland, and he contributed to the Republican state senators who backed the legislation in New York last year.

I wonder what NOM thinks of Mayor Bloomberg.

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How much crazier can AFA get?

American Family Association, seems to have an inexhaustible supply of bat guano. The hate group seems to be a magnet for the whack jobs that nobody else (except, perhaps, WND) would hire. Aside from being more than a tad crazy, these people are always pissed off!

Few things seem to get these people more tempestuous than pride parades. Add Home Depot to the mix and they work themselves into a froth-at-the-mouth, smoke-from-the-ears, head-exploding rage. That explains the email that I received titled: Home Depot: gay marriage and gay military.