Friday, March 24, 2017

The Bishops Have Authored a Marriage Discrimination "Study Guide"

Apparently the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has concluded its “Made for the Common Good” series. Their denouement is a 28 page Study Guide replete with sufficient footnotes to make the incurious set accept this as something that is authoritative. It is not authoritative unless you are inclined to believe that contributors like Robert Oscar Lopez and Katy Faust are somehow intellectually relevant (or even sane).

Study: Does Religion Make People Stupid?

There is a new study of religion and scholastic achievement from psychologists at Leeds Beckett University in England and the University of Missouri. The research ranked 82 countries by their religiosity and the gauged student achievement in math and science.

It revealed that the more religious a country is, the lower its students performed in those two key areas. The study shows that there is a negative correlation between the amount of time children spent on religious activities and their educational attainment.

NOMday Thursday and Another Dishonest Anti-Trans Money-Grub

Brian S. Brown
Brian S. Brown, Mr. Reverse-Midas himself, apparently had a press conference that no press attended. Then at about 4:00 PM Thursday Brown (on behalf of National Organization for Marriage) sent out an email urging people to sign a petition. It's basically the faithful aligning themselves with the moronic eunuchs at the Vatican to ignorantly proclaim that transgender people don't really exist.

Then at 5:17 PM I received a missive titled: “HELP! Bus vandalized in NYC.” The bus was graffitied. Before I go any further, sophomoric pranks like this are just dumb. They only give these self-righteous clowns a chance to claim that they were victimized. Sure. These schmucks piss me off too but we already won. NOM is insolvent; marriage equality is the law of the land; and no matter what the Catholic Church says about trans folks it is contrary to the overwhelming consensus of medical science. So Mr. Brown is just pissing into the wind. He shouldn't get any help from us to shield himself from the back-splash.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hate Group Leader's Money-Grub for the Hate Bus Tour

International Organization for the Family
In an email to supporters, Brian S. Brown, leader of International Organization of Families (AKA World Congress of Families AKA The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society), has his hand out. Whatever you call this organization it is an anti-LGBT hate group. Brown is now actively competing with his other outfit, National Organization for Marriage, for donations to support the hate bus tour.

According to the email:

AFA's Continuing War With Snopes.com - UPDATED

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain
Anti-LGBT hate group, American Family Association, continues to try to convince people that their inane boycott of Target stores had a material effect on fourth quarter earnings. I originally wrote about this last Thursday when AFA challenged some fact checking by Snopes.com. Since then they have sent out two emails on the subject. Tuesday evening they trotted the issue out again on their “news” blog with a post titled: “AFA fact-checks a fact checker.”

Snopes.com reached about the same conclusion that I did on March 1. Simply stated, operations like Amazon.com are kicking the crap out of brick and mortar retailers. Furthermore, the decline in revenues was mostly attributable to the sale of their pharmacy division to CVS. The big negative was not revenues but profitability.

Three Years in Prison for Conspirator in International Isabella Miller Kidnapping

Philip Zodhiates
Philip Zodhiates after conviction in Sept., 2016
Wednesday Philip Zodhiates was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in helping Lisa Miller kidnap her daughter to Nicaragua in defiance of a federal court ruling that would have likely ceded custody to Miller's former partner, Janet Jenkins. Lisa Miller claimed that she was no longer a Lesbian and became a conservative Christian.

Zodhiates, who owns a Virginia Christian mailing list company, drove Lisa (disguised as a missionary) and Isabella across the boarder to Canada in 2009. From there they eventually made their way to Nicaragua. They have since disappeared into a conservative Christian underground network. There is an outstanding arrest warrant for Lisa Miller.

School District Responds to Student's Lawsuit Challenging Transgender Accommodations

On Wednesday the Boyertown Area School District responded to a suit filed by a student, identified in legal documents as Joel Doe, who claimed that he was traumatized by a transgender boy using the boys' locker room. Doe claims that the school district violated his right by not restricting facilities to natal males or females.

In a statement (probably written by the school district's lawyers) Dr. Richard H. Faidley took notice of the unprofessional and misleading conduct of Alliance Defending Freedom:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Hate Bus - One More Diatribe from Brian Brown for Good Measure

Brian S. Brown, leader of National Organization for Marriage, has provided another email missive about his anti-trans mobile bigotry-billboard promoting the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Vatican has decided that transgender people don't really exist. Their presence is terribly inconvenient. By the way, Mr. Brown, what does any of this have to do with marriage?

Brown writes:
I have an important announcement: NOM has joined with the International Organization for the Family (IOF) and CitizenGO, a community of active citizens who promote life, family and liberty, to sponsor a #FreeSpeechBus tour promoting the truth of gender. Starting today, our bus will make appearances at the United Nations, Trump Tower, Yale University and other locations with the message that gender is determined by biology rather than by emotions and feelings, and to call on all Americans to respect the free speech rights of citizens to debate these issues without fear of being demeaned, harassed, or threatened with retaliation.

HS Student Sues PA School District - Traumatized by Trans Access

On Tuesday “Joel Doe,” a high school junior in Boyertown, PA (pop. circa 4,000), sued his school district because a transgender boy is using the boys' locker room. Boyertown is a 98% white area in Berks County about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia with a per capita income of $21,194.

Presumably Joel is about 16 years of age. He is seemingly old enough to understand that a transgender boy poses no threat to him. Yet I understand how he might be uncomfortable sharing a locker room with a transitioning trans boy. He seems to have an irrational fear of trans people (I'll get to that) but the solution is to have him use an alternate facility for changing. Problem solved.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Austin Ruse, Brian Brown and the Usual Suspects Have a UN Declaration

Just what the nation needed. Another anti-LGBT anti-choice conservative Catholic organization. This one is called Civil Society for the Family. Its primary organizers seem to be Austin Ruse's C-Fam and Brian Brown's National Organization for Marriage. C-Fam is a designated hate group. NOM is working on it. The new group consists of a website (it is not a non-profit entity). They have authored an official platform for U.N. consumption.

Cannibals!

GOPers seem to be eating their own. I just received this missive:
The American Action Network (AAN) has announced that it's spending $500,000 on TV ads in the districts of 30 conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus.

This group is backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and is attacking House conservatives for refusing to back RyanCare, which fails to repeal Obamacare as Republicans promised.

Some of the members being attacked include principled leaders like Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Dave Brat (R-VA).

The ads claim that RyanCare eliminates Obamacare's mandates and will lower costs. Neither are true.

We believe that House conservatives are doing the right thing to oppose Speaker Ryan's health care plan, and we're taking steps now to support them against these bogus attacks.

‘No Promo Homo’ Law Repealed by Utah Legislature

Welcome to Utah
On Monday, Utah's Governor, Gary Herbert signed Senate Bill 196. It is a victory but it is not all milk and Oreos. What this bill does is to strike homosexuality from prohibited discussions and substitute premarital sex:
the advocacy of [homosexuality;] premarital or extramarital sexual activity;
Schools across the state interpreted the prohibition of advocating homosexuality (which was never defined in the law) as an embargo on any discussion of anything related to LGBT people. Also prohibited by law is any discussion in schools of:
the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior; and;
the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices;

More From NOM on the Trans Hate Bus

Brian S. Brown
NOM seems to be transitioning — to a full-blown anti-LGBT hate group. As I wrote about Monday, National Organization for Marriage has a new toy. It is a bus that serves as mobile signage promoting the Catholic Church's teaching regarding transgender people. We have some additional information from NOM Tuesday via a post promoting Brian S. Brown's “press conference” on behalf of NOM, International Organization for the Family and CitizenGO. CitizenGo is a Madrid organization with close ties to the Church. Brown is on the organization's board.

Outrage Alert: Hate Group Leader Staver Waiting to Implode

Mat Staver
On Monday a U.S. District Court in Vermont permitted a lawsuit to proceed against Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, Liberty Counsel the hate group's leader, Mat Staver and lawyer Rena Lindevaldsen.

This involves the Lisa Miller debacle. Miller and her partner, Janet Jenkins were jointly raising their daughter, Isabella. In the early 2000s, Miller got religion, became an evangelical Christian and claimed that she prayed away the gay. She them moved to Virginia with Isabella. Jenkins had court-ordered visitation privileges which Miller managed to frustrate. In 2009, when it appeared that Miller would lose primary custody of Isabella, she kidnapped Isabella and unlawfully fled to Nicaragua. Miller and Isabella have since disappeared.

Time to Write to Your Senators Regarding Gorsuch

If you have not already done so, now would be a good time to write to your U.S. Senator to oppose the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Neither faxes nor email have the same effect as a one-page letter with a full return address on the envelope. A conservative can also value the lives of LGBT citizens. Exhibit A is Ted Olson, former solicitor general under George W. Bush. Olson was considered a potential nominee to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor. I am not suggesting that Olson is a viable candidate; only that a far-right conservative need not be anti-LGBT.

A sample follows. It went to Nelson and Rubio. I also sent this (slightly revised) to Feinstein as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hate Group Leader Has a Bus to Promote Trans-Hate on behalf of the Church

There is a new hate bus visiting the United Nations on behalf of the Catholic Church. The bus is a mobile sign-board protesting the existence of trans people. The sponsors of the bus are Ignacio Arsuaga, President of CitizenGO, and Brian S. Brown, President of the International Organization for the Family (aka World Congress of Families — a designated hate group). Brown is on the board of CitizenGO, a Catholic advocacy organization located in Madrid, Spain.

The bus is astonishingly called #FreeSpeechBus and according to the press release:

The Federalist Publishes an Anti-Trans Piece From an Anonymous Author

Bigotry from an anonymous source should be unacceptable — even for The Federalist. We can easily dismiss the content as not credible. However, many of the readers of this outlet are willing to accept anti-LGBT material with little consideration for its authorship. The anonymous post in question is titled: “Trans Conference Celebrates Getting People Fired For Not Calling Men Women.” I will assume — simply for the sake of simplicity — that anonymous is female.

Anonymous projected her bigotry in the headline. She insists that a trans woman should be considered to be, and addressed as, a man which is deliberately offensive to that trans woman. Presumably anonymous is yet another Christian who doesn't believe that transgender people exist. She seems to think that her approval or disapproval of trans people is somehow relevant to their lives.

Beauty and the Beast protesters look even dumber than they are

Beauty and the Beast
Disney's Beauty and the Beast was deemed a tool of the Homosexual Agenda©. Brooke Poston of Baton Rouge Louisiana authored a post to her blog titled: “Disney’s LGBT agenda forced me to cancel our Disney World Vacation - Boycott Disney.” Franklin Graham was livid. LifeSiteNews had a boycott Disney petition as did American Family Association. A drive-in theater in Alabama noisily proclaimed that it would not show the film. Mind you that all of this opprobrium for Disney occurred prior to the film's release.

Wait 'til you see who Biblical Bob finds credible

Bob Eschliman
Rabid homophobe, Bob Eschliman, has a new post up at Charisma titled: “Report: Government Spied on President Trump 'For Years.'” And just where did that “report” come from? Alex Jones' InfoWars, of course.

But it gets worse.

InfoWars relies on information from Jerome Corsi who was a dishonest player in both the Swift Boat and Birther conspiracy theories at WND.

But it gets even worse.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

An update on some advocacy

Hoping that some of you will follow suit with the young voter project

I am involved in various forms of advocacy at the municipal, state and federal levels. Among all of that excites me the most is the prospect of getting high school students registered to vote upon turning 18. I have received very enthusiastic support from both my state senator and representative. While I missed the current session (I should have acted more quickly) my rep is looking at the possibility of an amendment.

Most Young Americans See Trump as an Illegitimate President

Donald Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers.

"You can't be saying that (if) you're the president," says Anderson, a 21-year-old student from Coconut Creek, Florida.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pseudo-Scientist Glenn Stanton on "Gender Theory"

A portal icon for Portal:Transgender, based on...
Early in his papacy Pope Francis expressed his displeasure with what he called “gender theory” — something that he now calls gender ideology. We never did learn what theory he was referring to and the utterly meaningless (and thus idiotic) phrase has been uncritically parroted by various conservative Christians. Saturday Glenn Stanton writes “5 Fatal Flaws of Gender Theory” for the National Catholic Register. Like the pope, Stanton fails to identify the theory that he is referring to.

It turns out that Stanton (an official with Focus on the Family) doesn't like something about transgender people. The basis for his antipathy is religious dogma. Therefore, Stanton is effectively attacking science with religion which is kind of like trying to extinguish a house fire with lighter fluid. Critical thinkers will usually accept the science.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Washington Times: "Transgendered child abuse"

Meet the owners of the Washington Times
The Unification Church (or “Moonies”) often coalesces with the Christian right
Kelly Riddell at the Washington Times is a poseur. She would presume to be an expert on pediatric sexuality by relying on the likes of Dr. Paul McHugh and the anti-LGBT hate group, the American College of Pediatricians.

The headline of Riddell's polemic reads: “Transgendered child abuse” while the title (what shows up on your browser's bar) is “Transgender issue indoctrinating the public.” The subtitle reads:

Hate group leader thinks that kids need parental permission to join a GSA

Mat Staver
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel calls it a gross parental rights violation to allow students to join a gay-straight alliance without the permission of their parents. Apparently this was a sinister conspiracy. In one of LC's idiotic press releases:
A school administrator was caught colluding with community activists to recruit students of the Forrest M. Bird Charter School [grades 6-12] to join a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), while intentionally hiding this information from their parents. Principal Mary Jensen admitted the secrecy under which school staff and others had operated. Some of the same adults had even facilitated kids meeting off-campus at a local library under the supervision of “supportive” third parties. Jensen stated that they wanted to be “a progressive school on that sort of thing, but we did not want to be 'in-your-face',” so parents could not prevent their children from attending. She states “we're keeping it kind of on the down low,” because “this is North Idaho,” and “kids who wanted to participate in the club did not necessarily want their parents to know.”

Here we go again: The radical religious right claiming that LGBs are at odds with the Ts

Michael Cook
The ultra-orthodox Catholic conspiracy theorists at LifeSiteNews.com have a new prediction: “LGB vs. T: A crackup is looming in the LGBT community.” This bit of wishful thinking comes from Australian crackpot, Michael Cook. I will get back to Mr. Cook but first I must express my pride in the LGBT community. Gay people vastly outnumber transgender people but our community strives for fairness and equality for all sexual minorities. It is a place that you get to quickly if you think about the plight of trans kids in public school. We are unified and we are committed.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Disgraced Oklahoma state senator was a Christian missionary in Uganda

Ralph Shortey
Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey is facing child prostitution charges involving a 17-year-old boy. He has surrendered to authorities in Cleveland County on Thursday where he was booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center. His bond was set at $100,000. I just thought that we should have a look at his senate bio:
A member of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Tribe, Senator Ralph Shortey was born in Casper, Wyoming. He spent part of his childhood on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in Grass Mountain, South Dakota before moving to Oklahoma City where he attended Moore Public Schools. Shortey graduated from West Moore High School in 2000, and following graduation he attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City in preparation for mission work in Uganda. In 2002, Ralph married his high school sweetheart, Jennifer and continues to make his home in south Oklahoma City with their two children, Kaitlyn and Elena. With a growing family, Shortey decided against pursuing mission work and instead entered the oil and gas industry, working as a production consultant. In 2010 Shortey, a long-time political volunteer, decided to run for the Senate District 44 seat. In addition to serving in the Oklahoma State Senate, he is currently pursuing a degree in finance and economics. Senator Shortey’ s priorities in the Legislature include personal liberty, fighting illegal immigration and strengthening public safety in Oklahoma.

John Stonestreet will take his daughters to see Beauty and the Beast - but ...

John Stonestreet
John Stonestreet is a fellow at the far-right Colson Center. Stonestreet writes lots of really stupid stuff. His take on Disney and Beauty and the Beast is no exception. Writing at the Colson Center's Breakpoint blog:
If you have daughters like I do, you can’t not know about the upcoming release of Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

And like me, you probably groaned at the “big news” that the film will contain Disney’s first-ever openly gay moment.

Now, my first reaction was, “Really? In a kid’s movie?” But of course. That’s the point.

Hate group leader is all sorts of displeased over Target Stores

Tim Wildmon
At the beginning of March I explained that Target's fourth quarter earnings miss had nothing to do with American Family Association's silly boycott over bathrooms and dressing rooms. Snopes.com seems to have reached a similar conclusion and that is most upsetting to the hate group's leader, Tim Wildmon. I'll get to him — bear with me.

Snopes' aim was to challenge a story in Breitbart which claimed (among other thnings):
Company officials indirectly acknowledged the consumer boycott. “Our fourth-quarter results reflect the impact of rapidly changing consumer behavior, which drove very strong digital growth but unexpected softness in our stores,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a company statement. The company also admitted that it would likely continue to experience losses through the year.

Breitbart.com, February 28, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Anti-LGBT insanity visited upon an innocent child - by mommy

Disney World
Brooke Poston of Baton Rouge Louisiana has authored a post to her blog titled: “Disney’s LGBT agenda forced me to cancel our Disney World Vacation- Boycott Disney.” That's right. This insane woman is punishing her own daughter by canceling a Disney World Vacation in order to punish Disney for including a brief gay moment in Beauty and the Beast. She hasn't seen the film of course — and never will. Apparently the very existence of a gay character poses a threat to her and her daughter.

According to the film's director, Bill Condon, Gaston’s sidekick LeFou has “confused” feelings for his friend. Condon called one scene a “nice” “gay moment” in the film. It all sounds so terribly sinister. At some point Poston's daughter is probably going to get a job. Chances are pretty good that she will have gay co-workers. She might even have a gay boss. How is she supposed to deal with that?

Science and gender identity leave ADF's bloggers angry and utterly confused

Jared Dobbs
The anti-LGBT hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom, confers upon employees some rather special titles. Jared Dobbs is their “Communication Integrity Specialist.” Which “communication” (singular) would that be I wonder? But I digress. On Wednesday Mr. Dobbs authors “The Demands of Gender Theory” at ADF's blog.

The phrase “gender theory” was brought to prominence by Pope Francis. It was idiotic from him and it is idiotic from Dobbs. Those gentlemen haven't the vaguest clue about what constitutes gender (or theory, for that matter). They simply lack the training and applicable experience. I am not sure how a theory makes “demands.” Furthermore, as long as we are tossing words like salad, let us understand what they mean in science:

Another "bring Tinkerbell back to life" from NOM

Tinkerbell
The latest from National Organization for Marriage is an email titled: “Momentum Builds for Religious Liberty” with a graphic of a folded American Flag. The email is signed, of course, by Brian S. Brown and it is a rehash of a Tinkerbell campaign — If everyone claps Tinkerbell will come back to life.
NOM's powerful video urging President Trump to keep his campaign promise to protect and defend religious liberty by signing a pending Executive Order is gaining momentum. Already, thousands of Americans have watched our video and shared it with their friends and contacts. And now other major groups have joined the battle by issuing their own call to action.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The odious SB 149 is now South Dakota law

(L-R) South Dakota State Senator Alan Solano and
Representative Steven G. Haugaard
No child-placement agency may be required to provide any service that conflicts with, or provide any service under circumstances that conflict with any sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the child-placement agency.”

Presumably the driver behind this bigotry are three Christian adoption agencies: Bethany Christian Services, Lutheran Social Services and New Horizons Adoption Agency. Catholic Charities does not seem to service South Dakota. Based on SB 149 these agencies could probably lawfully decline to place children with Jewish couples and still receive state funds.

Lorie Smith and 303 Creative: Six months later

Lorie Smith
Lorie Smith — 303 Creative
On September 20, 2016 Alliance Defending Freedom filed a pre-enforcement challenge in federal court on behalf of Lorie Smith and 303 Creative, a Colorado graphic and website designer. Smith claims that she wants to enter the wedding business but cannot do so because then, under Colorado law, she would have to provide her services to same-sex couples which would violate her sincerely held religious beliefs. Oh, the poor dear.

Did she want to enter the wedding business before, or after, she met with lawyers from ADF? Over five years in business and she has never done anything for a wedding. Marriage equality only came to Colorado in October, 2014.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hate group leader: There's Moore to the story

Mat Staver and Roy Moore
Monday, if you believe Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel his client, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is on the brink of financial ruin. Staver took the unusual step of canceling oral arguments in Roy Moore's appeal of his suspension for the remainder of his term. According to a press release from Liberty Counsel, this move is intended to expedite the appeal.
Already, this politically-motivated punishment has stripped Justice Moore of all income and benefits since September 30, 2019.<sic> Even through this hardship, he has continued his appeal for more than five months. The “suspension” imposed against the Chief Justice is the longest suspension in the history of this court. The Court of the Judiciary (COJ) illegally removed him de facto from the bench because political opponents disagreed with his legally accurate analysis. Lacking the 9-0 vote that COJ Rule 16 requires for removal, the COJ “suspended” the Chief for the remainder of his term until 2019, which is a suspension for life since the Chief Justice would reach the age of retirement at that time. In other words, the COJ violated Rule 16.

Once again the bishops attack gay people, their parenting and their marriages

On Saturday the Catholic bishops use their Marriage Unique for a Reason site to again attack gay people. I suppose that the men who comprise the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops think that there is a subtlety to all of this. However, the message is clear. Gay couples are inept parents and, therefore, should not be permitted to marry.

What remains unclear is the purpose for this message which is intended for a Catholic audience. Are they trying to arm the faithful with arguments for what is a settled issue? Are they trying to convince gay Catholics not to marry? Or, perhaps, do they simply have too much time on their hands and need a hobby?

I must have missed the anti-trans temper tantrum

A Texas mom with her transgender child
Surely the usual douche-bags had a fit over episode two of the current season of Vice which aired on March 3 (I caught up via Roku Sunday night). The episode is titled Trans Youth and it is very informative. If you are not an HBO subscriber perhaps you can find a video. You might also be able to get a free trial subscription to HBO-Now which can be streamed through a variety of devices. It is worth the effort in order to get a better understanding of transgender young people.

Overall the parents are just terrific. One mom of a six-year-old transgender girl is (or was) a right wing Republican Christian conservative who lives in Texas. Her entire family are right wing Republican Christian conservatives and she has lost her relationship without about 90% of them. Apparently those “medical experts” think that all the kid needs is some stern discipline. She tried that and regrets every harsh word that she directed at her daughter. The school superintendent in her community is that very special kind of despicable schmuck.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Mature 'Beauty and the Beast' robs kids' innocence"

Dog Whistle
If you think that headline was written by a hate group leader like Tony Perkins or perhaps Tim Wildmon, you would be on the right track. After all, the idea that gays pose a threat to children is a paradigm of anti-gay bigotry. The polemic in question ran as a commentary in the Orlando Sentinel. The full title answers part of the question: “Gay attorney to Disney: Mature 'Beauty and the Beast' robs kids' innocence.” That gay lawyer would be Joseph R. Murray II.

The last time I wrote about the self-absorbed, self-promoting Mr. Murray, he had posited at Breitbart that North Carolina's HB2 is beneficial to LGBT people. Uh-huh. Mr. Murray seeks constant attention. He achieves that in part by assuming idiotic anti-gay positions. We do not know if this superficial wannabe really cares about what Disney does or not. It's the attention that is important.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

There is a certain amusement value: LaBarbera quoting Quinlan at LifeSite

LifeSiteNews, home to out-there conspiracy theorists and ultra-orthodox Catholic crackpots, is also the host for hate group leader Peter LaBarbera on a regular basis. LaBarbera's diatribe published Friday is titled: “DeVos meets with gay and transgender activists. Now pro-family groups want equal time.” I am just certain that Sec. DeVos wants to meet with Porno Pete and other anti-LGBT religious nuts. LaBarbera should devote his energies to having the tax-exempt status of his Americans for Truth About Homosexuality restored. It was revoked as of May 15, 2015.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Don't Say Gay sponsor has strange ideas about family values

Joey Hensley
Republican Tennessee State Senator Joey Hensley is in a heap of trouble (aside from a grownup in his sixties calling himself “Joey”). Hensley, you see, is also a physician in the small town of Hohenwald (pop. 3,703). Things in Mayberry are not always idyllic because the 61-yeaar-old Hensley had an affair with his younger 48-year-old married nurse, Lori, who is also a pain-pill popping patient and his second cousin.

Things got rather messy when Hensley's ex-wife tipped off the nurse's current husband (Don Barber) who is the vice mayor of Hohenwald. Meanwhile the Barbers (Don and Lori) are getting divorced. Hensley was supposed to testify last week at a divorce hearing and never showed up. He claimed medical and legislative privilege while asserting that his testimony wouldn't have made any difference.

Obfuscating Robert Osborne's sexual orientation was at the request of his partner

Friday, the venerable New York Times explains the circumstances surrounding the odd obituary of Robert Osborne.

Robert Osborne, the genial host of Turner Classic Movies, died on Monday. According to his obituary in The New York Times: “David Staller, a longtime friend, confirmed the death.” Towards the end is this carefully crafted sentence: “Mr. Osborne left no immediate family survivors.” I, among others, took issue directly with the public editor of The Times. It was reminiscent of obituaries of gay people decades ago. It seemed offensive. The Times responds:

What if ADF manufactured a plaintiff?

We would love to chat as long as you are heterosexual
On Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal in Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix. This is in response to losing their case in Arizona Superior Court. It is the usual bullshit. A Christian business that designs wedding invitations simply cannot do so for gay couples due to their ♫ sincerely held religious beliefs. ♫ The owners are Joanna E. Duka and Breanna K. Koski who live in Phoenix and Glendale respectively:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

NOM has a new idea that they hope will make them relevant

Brian S. Brown, leader of National Organization for Marriage has yet another plan to make NOM relevant. It is modestly called The First Freedom Initiative and they have released the first video which I will get to but first some relevant history.

It became obvious in 2012 that NOM was headed to oblivion when ballot measures succeeded in making Maine, Maryland and Washington marriage equality states. In Minnesota that year, voters rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. NOM also failed to oust some Iowa judges that year despite their meddling in judicial retention elections.

Trends: Conservative Christians seek oddities to compare to transgender people

Straw Man - Straw Men
Apparently some Christian conservatives have stopped trying to formulate rational arguments regarding opposition to transgender folks. It was always a futile enterprise because opposition to accommodating trans folks is as irrational as opposing the production of left-handed kitchen gadgets. Little shame seems to attach to those who are practitioners of intellectual dishonesty.
  • Earlier this month I wrote about Mark Narankevicius, Jr. His idiotic polemic in The Federalist is titled: “Transgender People Need As Much Help As The ‘Human Ken Doll’ Does.” He goes on to explain how Rodrigo Alves has had more than 50 surgeries in order to look like a Ken doll. 
  • Today's great “gotcha” comes from Christian News Network. It is titled: “California Man on Quest to Transition Into ‘Genderless’ Alien Says He Might Adopt Children Someday.” 
  • And who can forget the headline from Charisma (and other outlets) last December titled: “The Father of 7 Who Believes He's a 6-Year-Old Girl?”

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ADF has found a new photographer who wants to discriminate

Amy Lynn Photography
Alliance Defending Freedom has a new client who wants a license to discriminate against gay people. Amy Lawson owns Amy Lynn Photography Studio which she started in 2015 in Madison Wisconsin. Amy's half-assed website has no telephone number and no address so I have to question the seriousness of this business. Amy is a confused conservative Christian. Lawyers are supposed to help people make sense of what seems to them to be confusing. ADF tends to further confuse the already confused which is kinda confusing.

Conservative Christians continue to make excuses for Trump

Gary Bauer
Gary Bauer in his natural environment
This time it is the rabidly homophobic Gary Bauer. Bauer, who was one of the founders of the hate group Family Research Council, who is offering conspiracy theories in support of Trump. Bauer is paraphrased at American Family Association's blog:
A pro-family leader says there is plenty of evidence that the Trump campaign was monitored by the Obama administration last year, as the media reported on former President Barack Obama wiretapping Trump before the president tweeted his accusation about spying.
Bauer goes on to quote various media sources including conspiracy theorist Mark Levin who references other media. In other words, this is an echo-fuck:

Ruth Neely gets another 15 minutes from the Wyoming Supreme Court

Ruth Neely
Controversial Wyoming magistrate Ruth Neely became a Christian celebrity
In 2014 Neely said, preemptively, that due to religious objections, she would not perform same-sex marriages. This prompted the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics to begin an investigation. The Commission recommended to the Wyoming Supreme Court that Neely be removed from the bench.

Neely became a client of — you probably guessed correctly — the anti-gay hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom.

The simplistics and complexities of health insurance

The only criticism that GOPers seem to be able to voice about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is that some people have experienced premium increases. The real problem, of course is that it was President Obama's program and they want to write the African-American out of history.

Some of those premium increases are real. Some of them are the result of people who had coverage limited to a medical catastrophe and the ACA required them to obtain real health insurance. It is worth noting that catastrophic insurance is a terrible value and for good reasons. The carriers know that policyholders will not acquire basic preventative care and are more susceptible to grave conditions. People without comprehensive coverage often use the emergency room as their primary care. The ER is the most expensive care available and the bills are often unpaid, a cost to hospitals that is passed along to all of us.

Richard Grenell

Richard Grenell
The subtitle of a piece on PinkNews reads: “President Trump is set to appoint an openly gay official to one of the biggest jobs in his administration.” They are referring to Richard Grenell who seems to be Trump's pick for ambassador to NATO. I do not think that this ambassadorship qualifies as one of the biggest jobs in the administration. Nor am I sure that Grenell is qualified given that his foreign service experience has been limited to being a spokesman for people like John Bolton. The one thing that I am sure of is that Grenell is gay.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Strange legislative doings in Utah re LGBT youth

Rep. Elizabeth Weight
Rep. Elizabeth Weight
The words strange and Utah seem to go together. Perhaps because Utah might be our least secular state. It seems that legislation permitting motorcycle rider to travel between lanes had bipartisan support. Holding parents of LGBT children accountable and responsible if they throw their offspring out of the house — not so much.

House Bill 271 was sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City Weight said that she introduced the plan after learning from a Utah Division of Child and Family Services worker about the problem of LGBT youths in Utah getting kicked out of their homes.  Republicans in committee claimed that the bill was not necessary and that it was intrusive. It is generally understood that LGBT kids constitute about 5% of the youth population and 40% of the homeless youth population. That should be instructive.

A common trait of hate groups is the need to manufacture victims

Victims are good for business and so is the associated hyperbole, at least for hate groups. Tuesday, at the blog of Alliance Defending Freedom Bob Trent, the group's media relations director, writes: “The Human Cost of the Attack on Religious Liberty.” According to Trent's appeal:
What if the government told you that you had to create a film, documentary, or radio program that directly conflicted with your core beliefs or face fines that could put you out of business?
That's hardly the case. Later on:
Carl Larsen is a filmmaker in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He and his wife Angel feel a particular passion for marriage – for what it means, for what it was designed to be, for the impact it can have not only on a man and a woman but on those around them.