Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meet Autumn Leva Courtesy of Ruth Institute

Jennifer Rohback Morse, while hawking her farkocktah "gala," wants you to know that Autumn Leva is 28 years of age and Director of Governmental Affairs and Communications for Minnesota for Marriage. It is always nice to know the people who promote marriage discrimination. You wanted some attention. Well here you go.

Accuracy in Media finds virtue with inaccuracy in quotes

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
The far right Accuracy in Media is not happy that a brand name athlete, Jason Collins, has come out. Rather than accepting tolerance and equality, AIM is directing their displeasure at those who criticized ESPN's Chris Broussard. During a Monday segment of ESPN’s "Outside the Lines," Broussard made a statement about Collins that just about any reasonable person would consider to be bigoted.

Accuracy in Media is singing the "intolerant liberals" chorus. It's a variant of "oh poor us Christians." It goes something like this (a capella):
  1. Someone says something that is bigoted.
  2. Said person is accused of being a bigot.
  3. Claim that the criticism of the bigot is intolerance while misstating what the original person said.

Bryan Fischer - Jason Collins proves that no one is “born that way”

American Family Association's Bryan Fischer should stick to anti-gay hate speech. He is no scientist. This screed is on AFA's blog:
Bryan Fischer
Jason Collins has an identical twin, Jaron, who was “astounded” to discover that his brother had entered into the homosexual lifestyle. He, despite sharing Jason’s identical DNA, is as straight as a laser beam. Identical twins share straits that are genetically determined: height, skin color, eye color, hair color and so forth. If homosexuality is a genetically-caused sexual preference, Jaron Collins should be as gay as his brother. He’s not.

Paul Cameron still trying to remain relevant through crackpottery

Paul CameronDr. Paul Cameron, now 74, is a professional anti-gay sophist. Cameron's Family Research Institute turns out hate works under the guise of legitimate scientific literature. Cameron's specialty is to torture the scientific method. He starts with a desired result (gay is bad) and then works backwards to find something that will seemingly (if one squints real hard) support the preordained result. Cameron's "research" is so flawed that he has spawned an army of debunkers waiting for the next gem. Today we get this:
We put "2012 Child Sexual Abuse" through Google News from Feb 8 thru March 8, 2013. Counting same-sex adult/child sex as homosexual; opposite-sex abuse as heterosexual, the homosexual fraction for the 210 US perpetrators in Google-linked stories was ...
Need I really explain why this is not a "eureka?"

New York Yankees offer surprising support for Jason Collins

New York Yankees
I have a love/hate relationship with the New York Yankees. I am a fan yet over the years I have been extremely critical of their non-existent LGBT outreach. They have steadfastly refused to make an "It Get Better" video. I blamed their manager, Joe Girardi, who is reportedly a very conservative Catholic. Girardi has had the anti-gay and controversial NFL coach, Tony Dungy in the locker room. I also took issue with the fact that when the Yankees had a minority business outreach conference, they did not include or solicit any prospective LGBT vendors or suppliers. I was surprised by tonight's press release titled Yankees applaud NBA's Collins for courage.

NOM recycles Masha Gessen mythology, manufactures interest and enthusiasm

Smells like bullshit
There are several variations to this scheme. In one version, Robert George writes something on a conservative Catholic blog. George's polemic uncritically rattles around on a number of other conservative Catholic blogs and websites. National Organization for Marriage repeats George's assertions spontaneously and then a couple of weeks later as if it is widely known outside of conservative Catholic circles.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rev. Al Sharpton Reaction to Jason Collins Coming Out as Gay

Al Sharpton
The announcement made by NBA center Jason Collins today about being a gay male marks the first time a professional athlete has openly confirmed his sexuality. This is a breakthrough moment in sports and another step towards tolerance and fairness in the African-American community. I salute the courage and candor of Mr. Collins and think he has made a great contribution to this country and I call on others in the civil rights community and the African-American leadership of all fields to embrace this development. We can’t be custodians of intolerance and freedom fighters at the same time. In order to fight for anyone’s civil rights and self expression we must fight for everyone’s civil rights. God Bless Jason Collins for helping to show us the way.

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Cardinal Dolan on Marriage: 'We are battling an entitlement culture'

Timothy Dolan
Last Saturday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan received the Wilberforce Award for 2013 from the (very far right) Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. According to Barton Gingerich, a research assistant at the (very far right) Institute on Religion and Democracy:
Regarding the battle for life, the Roman Catholic leader remarked, “The Gosnell hearings have pulled the rug out from abortionists.” The accepted silence of major news outlets on the grisly case met with a heartening “reaction.” “We seem to have to young people on our side,” Dolan observed. On the other hand, the redefinition of marriage has been more difficult since LGBT activists have adopted an argument from fairness. The “right to marriage” feels positive and uplifting, all the more so since advocates for marriage redefinition “have a lot of literati on their side.” He also observed, “We’ve also been battling an entitlement culture. The rights mentality is biblically grounded…but some things aren’t rights at all!”

BS: Letter from Archdiocese of San Francisco on misstatement could have been written by a Karl Rove staffer

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileonoe
On March 21, 2013 San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told a reporter from USA Today "Ask the good people of Ocean Grove Methodist camp in New Jersey that had part of its tax-exempt status rescinded because they don't allow same-sex civil union ceremonies on their grounds." If you Google that sentence, you will find that it has made the rounds of Catholic media and blogs. No surprise there given that Cordileone is the Church's point man on extending marriage discrimination.

The following day, I wrote to the Archbishop (respectfully) noting that what he said was misleading. You can skip the next paragraph if you already know the details.

LaBarbera: Mormon Church has been drifting in a pro-homosexual direction

I rarely write about Peter LaBarbera. From time to time I do so when the strident anti-gay warrior amuses me. Today, Peter is very displeased because the Mormons have endorsed the proposed resolution of the Boy Scouts of America that would allow gay Scouts. According to Peter:
They were intimidated by the homosexual hate directed at them following their support of Proposition 8 and other pro-marriage referenda ... This is part of the backtracking by the Mormon church. Unfortunately in this case, it endangers boys – innocent boys.
[ ... ]
Look, this is a church which is outside of Christendom ... Mormons can change their core beliefs and call it a divine transformation. They did it with polygamy; they did it with racism – and now I'm afraid, I'm very afraid, that they're going to do it with homosexuality.
I am reliably informed that LaBarbera is about to launch Americans for Truth About Mormonism or "AFTAM."
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Will the American Unity PAC make a difference in GOP attitudes?

People are talking about the American Unity PAC and its affiliated (501[c]3) American Unity Fund. These are the people who are taking on the National Organization for Marriage directly. To counter NOM's threats of retribution made to pro-equality GOPers, they are pumping in money to support these  Republicans. We can see their handiwork in places like Rhode Island and Illinois. They also helped to fund the successful campaigns last fall.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jennifer LeClaire: 'Why Are So Many Christians Practicing Witchcraft?'

Jennifer LeClaire
I don't know Jen but it's nice to see that your hobbies are not limited to gay bashing. It's news to me that "so many Christians are practicing witchcraft." Le Claire goes on to warn:
Make no mistake. The Spirit of God is against witchcraft in whatever form it takes, from divination to magic to rebellion to word curses—to works of the flesh. Paul explained that the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. What are the works of the flesh? Galatians 5:19-21 lists them: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stemberger claims that there is an evil conspiracy - "Something Rotten in the Boy Scouts"

John Stemberger
John Stemberger is head of the Christian extremist anti-gay group, Florida Family Policy Council. He has another group called "On My Honor" which opposes scouting for all. Suffice it to say     Stemberger has issues with gay people or, more likely, his own insecurities.

It seems increasingly probable that the Scouts are going to permit gay kids to be members. Even the LDS church supports the latest proposal which would permit gay members but not gay leaders. That doesn't sit well with Stemberger. Stemberger frequently conflates sexual orientation with having sex. As I said he has issues. Now, on his On My Honor website, he is accusing "the front office" of putting a thumb on the scale:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Maintenance - Comments - Fixed (Maybe)

Comments should might be working again. I am working on it.

John Helmberger: The Boy Scouts will be 'promoting' homosexuality in Scouting

John Helmberger
John Helmberger is the head of Christian fundamentalist Minnesota Family Council. In an email sent today, Mr. Helmberger makes the following claim:
Recently, the Boy Scouts released a resolution that if approved in a few weeks would change the organization's longstanding policy on open homosexuality. Advocates of cultural change are pressuring the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to promote homosexuality in Scouting. The outcome of this decision will affect the very future of Scouting, as a shift in the policy would undermine the very principles held by the BSA for over a century.
In a week of entertaining spectacular stupidity from many sources, this could be the most spectacularly stupid statement I have read (at least this week). Allowing there to be gay scouts is promoting a sexual orientation? How would you do that even if you wanted to?
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Backholm wants the right to legally discriminate

Joseph  Backholm
Discrimination is not a legitimate expression of "religious freedom!" Yet, Joseph Backholm, head of Family Policy Institute of Washington seems to think that it's a good idea to allow discrimination based on religious beliefs. Aside from the insult to the Establishment Clause that could mean, for example, that we could see "restricted" hotels again. How about a revival of segregation? Those were both based on so-called "religious freedom."

Brian Brown reminds us that he really is a dick

Brian S. Brown
No matter how preposterous the talking points, Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, repeats them as if they were heaven sent truths. True or false; Logical or absurd; It's all irrelevant to someone who believes that he is doing God's work. Keep in mind that Brown lives in a world where popes are infallible and one must be obedient to the teachings of bishops. The logic goes something like "I don't have to be correct or even truthful if I am doing what Jesus wants me to do." "False witness" seems to be a concept that applies to people who don't think that they are in concert with their lord. The power of selective observation.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Keeping it simple: FRC v SPLC

FRC head, Tony Perkins
I am going to make this short and simple. Once again, Tony Perkins is claiming that Family Research Council is being victimized by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • FRC is listed as an anti-gay hate group by SPLC because FRC meets a very specific criteria. There is nothing arbitrary about the classification.
  • FRC could easily and swiftly remove its hate group designation by ceasing certain actions (like claiming that gays have a propensity for being child molesters).
  • SPLC is under no obligation to modify their criteria for such listings. FRC is obligated to modify their behavior if they want SPLC to change their listing.
  • The real victims are the LGBT citizens who are subjected to a barrage of defamation coming from people at FRC.
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ICYMI: Shirtless Twinks in Pink OPPOSED to Marriage Equality in France

No. This is not part of a pride parade. These boys are activists with La Manif Pour Tous, France's leading anti-equality collection of religious extremists. Mon Dieu. Au moins, vous pouvez choisir une couleur plus appropriée. Exactly why these guys are dressed like this will remain a French mystery.

h/t The Advocate

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

BREAKING: Freedom to marry in Rhode Island is a done deal

More later

Minnesota Family Council pitching a fit over anti-bullying bill

Fundamentalist Christians do not like anti-bullying laws. Minnesota Family Council sent out a lengthy email titled Legislative Alert! Anti-bullying Bill - Contact Your Legislator. At the core of their  objections to Minnesota SF 783/HF 826 seems to be the following (emphasis is original formatting):

NOM links to Witherspoon polemic calling gays confused people who are prone to terrible diseases

Anthony Esolen, Providence College
So here you have it. This is what NOM and their conservative Catholic allies think of gay people     written, without reservation, for all to see. This is a hypothetical father/son conversation. It was written by Anthony Esolen, a professor of English at Providence (Catholic/Dominican) College in Rhode Island:
What about aberrations? When Luke asks about them, because of things he’s heard at school, the father says that certain people are confused, and do bad and unnatural things with their bodies. They become prone to terrible diseases. But when he catches Luke in a tiff calling another boy a sissy, he reprimands him severely. Since he would not complicate Luke’s passage to manhood, he grants other men’s sons the same courtesy, especially when those boys are walking a more difficult path.

Washington Times editorial claims that the Scouts' 'perversion files' prove that allowing gay Scouts is a threat to the BSA's 'ranks'

The Washington Times has become as credible as WingNutDaily. Actually there are times when WND makes more sense. Today's edition has an editorial titled Threatened Scouts. Therein is this bit of hyperbole:
The danger of homosexuality in its ranks is not theoretical. The risk is exposed in a number of lawsuits stemming from the release of the Scouts’ so-called “perversion files.” The most recent of these suits was filed earlier this month in King County, Wash., and the cases reveal that the Scouts for years kept detailed records on suspected child molesters in its ranks. The files were intended to eliminate molesters in the ranks and to make sure they stayed out of Scouting. Such efforts sometimes failed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

So where are the usual threats from Brian Brown as he finally condemns violence in France

Rhode Island is on the way to marriage equality. The entire Republican Senate Caucus endorsed the equality bill. Ordinarily, that would result in a snorting Brian Brown vowing to spend ridiculous amounts of money to "primary" the offenders from their right. Just three weeks ago we enjoyed this bellicosity in a "press release" that the press uniformly ignores:
"Any Republican in Illinois who betrays the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be held accountable to their constituents." —Brian Brown, NOM's president—
Brown went on to threaten to spend $250,000 to defeat GOPers who didn't toe the line on marriage discrimination.

NOM's willful stupidity

National Organization for Marriage will link to anything that they think serves their cause. The people at NOM who do this lack the intellectual curiosity to actually investigate the underlying issue. Such is the case with NOM's blog headline:

Media wars - Family Research Council v SPLC

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council
We don't know who "FRC Media Office" is. That is probably by design. To suggest that the Southern Policy Law Center has been "linked with  terrorism" is preposterous. The FRC cretin who wrote this is playing with semantics regarding the nitwit who shot a security guard at FRC's DC office. Perhaps FRC's constituency is just dumb enough to accept this at face value.

Family Research Council head, Tony Perkins, knows exactly what he has to do to remove its hate group designation. He chooses not to do so. Perhaps the more strident FRC is, the more donations that they receive.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jennifer Morse's pointless ego trip

Jennifer Roback Morse
Jennifer Roback Morse is not an officer of National Organization for Marriage. While she is fond of describing herself as the founder and president of Ruth Institute, Ruth Institute no longer exists as an entity. It filed a termination with the IRS in 2011. It is kind of hard to be President of something that does not exist.

NOM: 'See, we told ya that gay marriage would lead to [fill in the nonsensical blank]'

According to National Organization for Marriage:
Anti-Bullying Presentation Forces Middle School Girls to Ask for Same-Sex Kiss

BEFORE marriage is redefined, we're always told these things will never happen. Yet this seems to be what always happens.
That is patently absurd.

Anti-bulling programs have existed in New York for many years. What NOM is idiotically claiming is that either the presence of anti-bullying programs or the content of those programs was altered by marriage equality. Both of these notions are demonstrably false.

By the way, the source of this story is Christian News and even they balance the story (somewhat) with reactions from the principal and others. None of that appears in NOM's cut and paste.
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Thomas J. Tobin insists on a manufactured right to inflict his religion on everyone else

Someone needs to clue these bishops in. While they might live in palaces full of people who bow and scrape and while they might wear lots of silk and have chauffeured luxury cars     they are no more relevant to civil law than any other citizen who has the power to influence others.

Providence Bishop Tobin warns of 'grave risk.'

Stemberger: Scouting is for honor, not sex and politics

John Stemberger is head of the Christian extremist anti-gay group, Florida Family Policy Council. He is also head of a group called "On My Honor" which opposes scouting for all. Today, in the ever erudite Washington Times, Stemberger claims that he is trying to prevent the Scouts from "caving to [the] gay agenda. Doing so, he claims, "would trash its traditions."

Stemberger has issues.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Here's a shocker - AFA opposes the Boy Scouts' proposed resolution

AFA's Bryan Fischer and Randy Sharp
AFA's Bryan Fischer and Randy Sharp
Don't you just love it when American Family Association takes to their own website at onenewsnow.com and tries to suggest that it is an independent organization? Like:
A traditional values group isn’t happy with a proposed resolution that could permit homosexuals as members of the Boy Scouts. - See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/latest-headlines-from-american-family-news/2013/04/19/group-says-scouts-risk-devastation-if-policy-on-gays-changed#sthash.Hhoys5pd.dpuf
A traditional values group isn’t happy with a proposed resolution that could permit homosexuals as members of the Boy Scouts.
According to the hate group:

Friday, April 19, 2013

NOM's House Faggot: '... the aura of fairness and equity associated with the same-sex marriage movement will soon dissipate'

Doug Mainwaring is not terribly bright. His fifteen minutes are provided to him by National Organization for Marriage because he is a gay man who opposes equality. NOM keeps trotting Mainwaring out as Opus Dei's Witherspoon Institute provides him with space on their blog. Neither organization even accepts that gay people exist. We are people who sometimes experience same-sex attractions. Ugh!

Tuesday's piece on Witherspoon's blog is particularly remarkable for its astonishing lack of erudition. It is titled Same-Sex Marriage Fever: Prohibition Parallels. It goes downhill from there. The core of Mainwaring's argument seems to be:

What you need to know as the Scouts grudgingly move to acceptance

It is important to understand that the Boy Scouts of America is vary much a religious organization. A large percentage of councils are sponsored by either the Mormon or Roman Catholic church. The process of not ousting or rejecting gay Scouts is becoming more drawn out and complex than the repeal of DADT.

New Zealand bishop flails away at marriage equality

From his palace, Roman Catholic Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, New Zealand said:
John Dew
We find it bizarre that what has been discarded is an understanding of marriage that has its origin in human nature and is common to every culture.
Is that a royal "we?" These men are now completely adrift without the hierarchy's (utterly nonsensical) talking points. "Discarded?" What I find bizarre  is the unhealthy obsession over this issue by people who have no stake in the outcome.

The Catholic Church's authority on this matter is limited. The only decision that they get to make is whether or not they will recognize and solemnize such marriages. That's it. The sheer arrogance of these celibate men seems endless.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

If NOM keeps digging that hole they're in . . .

As a survivor of gun violence the last couple of days have been both time consuming and frustrating. More on that tomorrow. Sometimes National Organization for Marriage Seems to exist solely as a welcome source of sardonic amusement.

This particular "letter" goes on and on and on. After the drivelectomy what's left is the short piece that follows, send us money, gay marriage is not inevitable, we are victims of mean homosexuals and SEND US EVEN MORE MONEY. Uh, did we mention sending us money?


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Aww - Poor Leo Brent Bozell The Third

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told
The rabidly anti-gay and antisemitic L. Brent Bozell III doesn't like a play. From his Media Research Center site, Leo Brent Bozell The Third writes "Gay and Godless on the Public School Stage." This was originally posted on March 30 but MRC re-pushed it to their RSS feed today. And what was bothering Leo Brent Bozell The Third?
... the taxpayer-funded Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. The school is in South Hadley ... MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has a house there.

Smack dab in the middle of the Lenten season ... they scheduled performances of a play called “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” Make no mistake: This is a deliberate, and intentionally vicious attack on Christianity.

Schlock Scholarship: Robert P. George Does it - AGAIN!

The great Catholic thinker doesn't seem to do so very much.

Writing again for "First Things," George has penned: What Few Deny Gay Marriage Will Do. Robby's premise is:
... it is no longer uncommon for advocates of redefining marriage to acknowledge that the effect—for them an entirely desirable effect—of redefinition will be the radical transformation of the institution. The objective is not merely to expand the pool of people eligible to participate in it, as was long claimed. In conceding (and celebrating the fact) that redefining marriage will fundamentally alter the institution, transform its social role and meaning, and undermine its structuring norms of monogamy, exclusivity, etc.

NOM: 'Oklahoma Senate Approves Pro-Marriage Resolution'

Yes indeed, the Oklahoma legislature has passed a nonbinding resolution to send a message to those heathens in Washington that Oklahoma is persistently anti-gay.  No Hoh-Moh-sex-yoo-ahl marriages here. YeeHAW!

Funny thing though     and maybe the very Catholic National Organization for Marriage didn't notice     Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. In fact, it is more than double the rate of the equal marriage state of Massachusetts.

The good Christians of Oklahoma are busy protecting the many marriages that its citizens seem to have.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NOM's Roback Morse completely adrift on the economics of marriage equality

One can only imagine how and where National Organization for Marriage found Jennifer Roback Morse. Presumably, her primary attraction is that she is a Catholic zealot. For that reason alone Morse attempts to prove, in this video, that marriage equality will not result in substantial increases in spending and tax revenues for the state of Illinois.

This time the threat of violence in France comes from a Roman Catholic Cardinal

Yesterday I wrote of threats of violence from marriage discrimination activists in France. Today, the threat is coming from Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris,
This is the way a violent society develops. Society has lost its capacity of integration and especially its ability to blend differences in a common project.
Referring to recent protests against marriage equality, which took place while France's Senate was debating the issue, the Cardinal said the government was not listening to French citizens. He threatened that this could lead to more incidents of violence in reaction.

We have not forgotten - Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007

The stunning intellectual dishonesty of Robert P. George

The "great Catholic intellectual" resorts to the slippery slope.

Last night, Robby George posted his latest polemic titled Slate Writer Argues for Polygamy to Rusty Reno's "First Things" space. Therein he writes:
Robert P. George
“You are resorting to scare tactics!”

“No one is arguing for the legal recognition of polygamous or polyamorous relationships as marriages!”

“Recognizing same-sex partnerships does not open the door to changing fundamental marital norms. It will not change the nature of marriage as a monogamous and exclusive union—it will simply make marriage as we’ve always understood it available to more people.”

That was then; this is now. Have a look at the article by Jillian Keenan in the perfectly mainstream online magazine Slate:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Silence from NOM and the Church on threats of violence from marriage discrimination advocates in France

As Jeremy Hooper pointed out this morning, National Organization for Marriage is apparently part of a new organization     International Organization for Marriage. NOM's president, Brian Brown traveled to Paris and participated in a large demonstration against marriage equality.

Paris comedienne, Frigide Barjot, whose real name is Virginie Tellene, is a born-again Catholic zealot. Barjot is responsible for organizing the anti-equality organization, "Manif pour Tous" (Demonstration for All). Barjot seems to be threatening violence due to marriage equality in France which is, at this point, a foregone conclusion. Perhaps this explains why NOM referred to them as a "resistance." Indeed, a procedural vote that was originally scheduled for the end of May will now occur on Wednesday.

C-FAM's Austin Ruse feeds the right wing Catholic echo chamber on Regnerus

Austin Ruse
Austin Ruse is president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). His wife, Cathleen Cleaver, works for the hate group, Family Research Council. Ruse is a Knight in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and is a founding member of the Diplomatic Society of St. Gabriel. You get the picture.