This newest tripe, I mean action alert by the Family Research Council has gotten me a bit angry. The organization is pushing a bill which could allow adoption agencies and foster care providers to engage in anti-gay discrimination under the guise of religious freedom (see the bill here):


In California, Massachusetts, Illinois, and D.C. religious adoption and foster care providers have had their government funding pulled and have been forced to end services, simply because they continue to believe in the importance of a child having a mom and a dad. It's a sad sign of the times that some states have preferred to sever longstanding partnerships with faith-based providers rather than allow them to continue caring for and placing children informed by traditional moral beliefs about the family. This important legislation sponsored by Congressman Mike Kelly in the House and Senator Mike Enzi in the Senate will ensure that the interests of children are placed ahead of political correctness.
Specifically, this bill will prohibit discrimination against faith-based child welfare service providers by the federal government and by states receiving federal funds for adoption and foster care services. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act will prohibit such discrimination against faith-based child welfare service providers and will threaten states continuing such discrimination with a loss of federal funding. This important legislation will ensure that the maximum number of child welfare service providers can continue to advocate for children and will ensure that many adoptive families can continue to work with a provider which shares their core beliefs.


For the record, adoption agencies, religious based or otherwise, are allowed to place children in homes with mothers and fathers. What this proposed monstrosity could do is to allow religious based adoption agencies and foster care providers to discriminate against gay  households while using our tax dollars.

No doubt, FRC and other supporters of this bill will attempt to paint the lgbt community as selfish if we raise any objections about this bill. It's definitely by intention that the organization uses vague code words and phrases about "core beliefs," children doing better with a mother and a father,"  "traditional moral beliefs" and all of the other board room talking points which are usually voiced by those seeking to deny the existence of same-sex households with children.

I don't think it's wrong or selfish for the lgbt community to assert our rights and dignity as taxpaying American citizens here. And I definitely refuse to believe that in doing so, we are hurting children.

It's been proven in study after study (the most recent being earlier this month)  that we can raise children just as well as two-parent heterosexual households. This view has also been validated numerous times by the courts, including the Supreme Court when it overturned DOMA last year. . Therefore, in the case of adoption agencies and foster care providers who want to discriminate against gay couples, we are talking about organizations who want to assert their personal religious preference instead of what's best for the child.

If religious-based adoption agencies  and foster care providers don't think that gay  households are suitable enough to raise children then they shouldn't be so eager to have their hands out in order to receive gay tax dollars.

It's bad enough when it is asserted that we are not good enough to raise and nurture children. Having to pay for that non-privilege  further reduces the gay community to the level of slaves in a masochistic relationship with our government . . . and all under the guise of "religious freedom."

One of the most transparent tactics opponents of marriage equality will attempt is to claim that supporters of marriage equality are intolerant of their opinion.

It's not only a transparent tactic but highly cynical. And apparently it's the tactic that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is attempting:
 
While Rubio has consistently held conservative positions on abortion and gay marriage, his current emphasis appears to be an effort to appeal to social conservatives who have yet to settle on a favored candidate for 2016. "Even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as someone who is a hater or a bigot," Rubio said.

  .. . In his remarks, Rubio acknowledged the United States has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians. But he said he could not support such unions despite a quick-moving shift in public opinion in support of allowing same-sex couples to marry. "There is a growing intolerance on this issue," Rubio said of those who back same-sex marriages. He then urged his opponents to show civility: "Tolerance is also a two-way street."


No doubt, the folks at Fox News and members of the media who care more about attaining "access" than getting the story correct will fall for Rubio's junk.

But I agree with him that there needs to be civility on the issue. And let's start with addressing the following:

Staver: Gay Marriage Is 'A Direct Attack On Who God Is' 

 Klingenschmitt: Jesus Will Overrule The Supreme Court And Toss Gays Into Hell 

 Ben Carson Explains How Gay Marriage Is A Marxist Plot To Impose The 'New World Order'  
Barber: Gay Marriage Is 'The Brainchild' Of Satan 

 Renew America Pundit Warns Gay Marriage Will Turn Us Into Marxist Slaves 


If Sen. Rubio was honest with his cry for "tolerance," he would address those on his side of the argument with as much vigor as he attempts to place onus on us.

After all, we aren't the ones conjuring up images of Marxism, Satanism, or slavery.

No one has ever claimed that the Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber has ever observed simple rules of good taste and decorum in his attacks on lgbt equality. However, it is extremely safe to say that the image below, accompanying his post on The Coming Christian Revolt goes way beyond anything – a rainbow flag superimposed behind a photo of African-American protestors being sprayed with water hoses during the Civil Rights Movement.

It's not only a personal insult to me as an lgbt but also an African-American that Barber would exploit what I consider sacred images in order to make a false point.

There will be no "coming Christian revolt," Mr. Barber because no Christian in this country is being discriminated against. Being told to treat everyone the same is not discrimination.  Providing goods and services to people whose taxes pay for the safety of your business is not discrimination.

Your disagreement with the fact that lgbts should have the same rights as heterosexuals is just that - YOUR disagreement. You have a right to believe that, but you don't have a right to codify it into law, particularly if your codification involves junk science, cherry-picked science, or out-and-out lies.

You are not entitled to anything, Mr. Barber. If you are, please educate me. And by all means, please tell me how the elimination of your entitlements ranks next to being denied the right to vote, segregation, lynching, being called "boy" or "gal" as a deliberate sign of disrespect. And if that's too difficult for you, then answer me this:

Where the hell do you get off exploiting the images and legacy of Americans who suffered for simple freedoms to justify the fact that you don't want to get off that pedestal of yours; a pedestal which you created based upon your concept of being a Christian.

Peep this, Mr. Barber and everyone else who thinks like you. Calling yourself a Christian does not give you special privileges in this country. Calling yourself a Christian does not make you a better American than me. And calling yourself a Christian does not absolve you from rights and responsibilities that all Americans have. This is not nor has it ever been a Christian nation and the rest of us who don't practice your beliefs do not exist here for your will and pleasure.

You are nothing but petulant spoiled child who mistakes the circles he runs  with and the access he has as evidence of his own intellect and God's love for him when in fact its a strong possibility that these are evidence of God's love for the rest of us.

Sometimes giving a petulant child the very thing he wants is the best way to show the world  just how much of a vulgar individual he really is.

And right now, Mr. Barber, you aren't looking pretty.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.

As we begin another week in the midst of all this drama regarding the so-called culture war, I thought I would talk about something near and dear to my heart.

For over a year, I have driven you all crazy and I appreciate your patience and support but now we are almost at the end of one part of a journey.

My online booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America is less than 4,000 hits from reaching 1,000,000. It’s a remarkable achievement fueled by all of the support I received from the netroots. And it’s very timely. Things have changed tremendously since January of last year when I published this booklet. Thanks to the recent Hobby Lobby decision, the anti-gay religious right is gaining traction with their bogus “religious freedom” argument.

Granted, we can still count on them to accuse lgbts of attempting to “recruit children” or being “oversexed all-around public health menaces. However,  just like the Klan tried to retool its reputation by claiming they are not “anti-black,” just “pro-white,” the anti-gay religious right is cleverly retooling their arguments by saying they aren’t anti-gay, just “pro-traditional marriage.” They also claim that they are unfairly being targeted for not “celebrating” the so-called “gay lifestyle.”

Of course we know the truth.

Their “religious freedom”  or “religious liberty” argument is another tactic in a long line of tactics and arguments going back decades And the goal has always been the demonization and stigmatization of lgbt individuals in order to deny the lgbt community our God-granted right to equality.

They will never own up to what they have been doing.  They won’t bring up any of the anti-gay lies, homophobic language, or willful scientific distortions they have been guilty of throughout the years.  And  let’s be honest about something –  neither will the media, particularly the Washington Beltway media.

If the lgbt community is waiting for a latter-day Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite to swoop in and save us by exposing the religious right, we are going to be waiting for a pretty long time.

That job belongs to us, i.e. the recipients of all of their anti-gay vitriol. And that is the purpose of How They See Us.

If you haven’t already, check out How They See Us. It is short, but graphics intensive booklet, which I consider a definitive history on anti-gay propaganda. Download it, and above all, PLEASE share it. Our desire for full equality is noble and true, but we have to deal with crafty enemies who hide their homophobic animus behind Scripture and the claim of “deeply held religious beliefs.”  It’s a lie and using their own words and images, How They See Us proves it.

You can read an embedded copy of How They See Us directly on the Scribd site or go to this second site where you can download an adobe acrobat copy.

If you desire to fight back against homophobic lies, then realize that knowledge is the first key. Passing along this knowledge is the second one.

(And just to clear things up, this booklet is free. I don’t get a dime for it. I created it because I am tired of talking about lgbt equality on the terms of the religious right. I'm tired of not having a good resource on hand to call out anti-gay propaganda. The lgbt community – particularly lgbt youth – should have something like this. We all should have had something like this a long time ago.)

Arch-homophobe and wannabe mogul of an online “Christian publication” (BarbWire, which can be best described as an extension of his vile psyche) Matt Barber has a column out predicting that churches in America will soon be forced to marry gay couples.

Never mind reading the entire thing because its his usual psycho wannabe John The Baptist babble. However, the first sentence caught my attention and should catch yours:

Churches in Denmark are now compelled, by law, to host same-sex “weddings.”

Even on a technical basis, Barber is wrong. I recognized that sentence from an earlier article I posted in my news briefs. At the time, it was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association spinning this lie:

According to the London Telegraph, a new law passed by the Danish parliament “make(s) it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.” No options, no exceptions, no choice. Homosexuals are to be married wherever they want, regardless of whose conscience is trampled and whose sanctuary is defiled in the process.

Sarah Jones for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State refuted Fischer:

 While it is certainly true that in Denmark, same-sex couples have a legal right to be married in a church in some cases, Fischer neglects to mention the reason why that is so: Denmark has a state church. The law applies quite specifically to that state church.

“With the legalization of gay marriage, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark [which is the state church], is required to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches,” the Pew Research Center notes in a 2013 explainer on same-sex marriage laws around the world.It’s hardly a blanket rule: Pew goes on to state that other religious groups are exempt from the law.

Catholic churches, for example, aren’t required to host same-sex marriage ceremonies, a fact the Vatican noted just this week. “For the moment we [the Catholic Church] are not worried,” Niels Messerschmidt, a representative of the Catholic Diocese of Copenhagen, told Vatican Radio.

Fischer omitted this crucial fact in his fear mongering, as did Matt Barber.

And how much do you want to bet that if any speaker at the National Organization for Marriage’s silly march later this week brings up this law (because they probably will), the truth behind the meme they will spin about “churches are being forced to marry gay couples in Denmark will magically elude them?

The sad part about the entire lie is that in the comments section of One News Now where Barber’s mess is published, the true story is pointed out. However it still doesn’t dissuade the notion from some folks that gays are plotting to force churches to marry them.

On that note, the entire blame for this lie can’t be shouldered by Fischer or Barber.

When you have people so willing to scared in spite of being told that their fears are groundless,  who can blame Barber, Fischer, or any anti-gay spokesperson for taking advantage of their stupidity?

Mat Staver of the right-wing Liberty University has been testifying this week on Capitol Hill on the supposed state of "religious liberty" in America and thus far it has been a huge embarrassment to folks on his side of the spectrum. And it has gotten worse. The online publication Raw Story is now asking did he tell the Congressional committee a lie:

On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States” to study the rise of “religious freedom” laws in some U.S. states, under which people of faith cannot be compelled to perform their jobs or provide goods and services if to do so would conflict with their personal beliefs.

Critics of these laws argue that they mimic the crop of antigay laws that have been passed in countries like Russia, Uganda and Nigeria, laws that criminalize same-sex relationships and outlaw the positive portrayal of anything other than heterosexual, monogamous relationships.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) asked Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel, “There are certain antigay laws they have in Russia. You, I believe, have advocated for something similar to that, have you not? Do you support the Russian antigay laws?”

Staver replied, ”What I am concerned about is having people of Christian, uh, Judeo-Christian beliefs be forced to participate in a ceremony or an event that celebrates something that is contrary to their religious beliefs.”

“Okay,” said Cohen, “so you’re not in favor of the Russian antigay laws and what I read was wrong?”

“I don’t know what you read,” Staver said. “I haven’t spoken on the Russian laws.”

However, Right Wing Watch reported in January that Staver and the Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber both voiced their support for anti-LGBT laws like those in Russia, Uganda and Nigeria during an edition of their “Faith and Freedom” radio show.

The transcript of this particular show is as follows:

Staver: President Obama has been going in a direction to really deconstruct this and to create this idea of same-sex marriage, which is really an oxymoron. But, at the same time, the rest of the world seems to be going exactly opposite of the president and some of the states.

Barber: Yeah, and it’s encouraging to see what’s happening around the world. I think many nations, you think of Russia, you think of some of the African nations around the world, are looking to a liberalized Europe and are looking to the United States under this Obama Administration and they’re rejecting this notion that you can take the institution of marriage and radically redefine it by sanctifying what every major world religion and thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology have long held: that homosexual behavior and conduct is both immoral, unnatural and self-destructive to the individuals engaged in the behavior and that you don’t have a marriage built upon this immoral behavior. …

Staver: Well, it seems as though, if people are having AIDS and most of that, as the CDC comes down and says, it is transmitted by male homosexuality, by and large, what are you going to do? Are you going to say, are you going to elevate that to a preferred status and say, well yeah, men ought to be able to marry men? That’s an oxymoron. What Nigeria has done by reaffirming marriage as between one man and one woman is what a number of countries are doing around the world. They’re reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman. Russia is one of those countries recently that did that. Latin American countries have reaffirmed marriage as one man and one woman. Then other countries around the world are reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman and rejecting this radicalized homosexual agenda. …

Barber: This is a very dangerous lifestyle that countries like Russia are, in addition to reestablishing and saying no, marriage is what it’s always been, they’re saying additionally we are going to stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.

An article in the Huffington Post published after this show confirmed that Staver was in fact defending Russia’s anti-gay laws.

I am not aware of any concrete penalties Staver would suffer for perjury but he definitely deserves a COLOSSAL round of scorn in the court of public opinion because during the Congressional hearing, he was clearly lying his toches off.

In case you have been living in a cave under a rock with your fingers in your ears, you now know that Oregon became the 18th state to legalize marriage equality.

Mazel tov!

Now let's get serious for a bit. On election night less than two years ago, many Americans got caught by surprise when President Obama was reelected to a second term. Fox News, just about all of the conservative media and bloggers, and their gut had told them that Mitt Romney would either win in a close vote or a landslide.

As it turned out, what they probably felt in their gut was a brief case of happy gas.  However, when it came to all of the other prognosticators, it was genuinely agreed that these seers, these so-called correct predictors of the election day mood, was taking their audience for a ride. Prominent conservatives and republicans like David Frum and Joe Scarborough had it so correct when they read the riot act to folks like Fox News commentator Dick Morris and talking heads Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin for leading fellow conservatives down a primrose path of destruction fueled by a conservative bubble which shut all reality out of an assured Obama victory.

By that same token, someone needs to yank all of these folks who voted for these statewide anti-marriage equality amendments and give them a good figurative slap. And I'm not talking about a wimpy one. I'm talking one of those infamous Joan Crawford type smacks where you really get your hand in the cheek, leaving a loud noise and a lasting sting.

Someone needs to sit these folks down and say "look guys, you have been victimized, bamboozled, played for fools, treated like dopes, and basically sold a bill of goods worse than a car lot full of lemons. In other words, these so-called traditional values and morality groups have been using you."

You see, in spite of the fact that in the past these laws were passed by overwhelming majorities, they still  had to be defended in courts of law if there is a question of whether or not they were constitutional. And no spin about "activist judges" or the "will of the people" will change that. It's standard practice in this country that laws are challenged and have to be proven to be constitutional.

And when this happens, someone has to defend these laws. And when it came to marriage equality laws, things changed bizarrely. Those defending the laws either offered off-the-wall defenses, no defenses at all, or defenses comprised of discredited studies so blatantly inaccurate that at times, I found myself feeling pitiful for the authors of these studies rather than dancing in glee at their obviously painful audacity.

Meanwhile, the amen corners which got folks all riled against marriage equality were pretty much nowhere in sight. I tend to think that was intentional.

In other words, it's easy sending out mass emails (that would be you, Family Research Council and American Family Association), running television commercials (that would be you, National Organization for Marriage), preaching in the pulpits ( that would be you, various pastors) or leading one-sided interviews on your fake news channels (that would be you, Fox News) spinning stories of gays wanting to recruit children, pushing discredited or cherry-picked studies, or  telling false anecdotal stories about "evil homosexuals."

But, as a very smart lawyer once said, the witness stand is a lonely place to lie

Scaring people enough to vote a certain way and proving that said vote was constitutional are two entirely different things.

And there, as they say, lies the rub.  For all of the talking emanating from Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council or Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, or Frank Schubert of the National Organization for Marriage or all of their cohorts, just how many volunteered to testify in a court of law as to the validity of the anti-marriage equality laws they were pushing?

Where were theses so-called defenders of morality during the DOMA court case? The Prop 8 court case? How about the state cases? Hell, where were they during the Oregon court case which was just decided. If any time they were needed, that would have been it then because Oregon's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, wouldn't defend the law.

Of course that's not altogether fair for me to make such a judgement. I hear that NOM did request to defend the law but was turned down by the courts. Then again, knowing NOM like I do, I suspect the organization was making a deliberately futile gesture.

In common street language, these anti-marriage equality groups and their cohorts used a lot of spooky language, made a lot of false claims, but they wouldn't back it up in the place where it counts, i.e. the courts. Instead, they turned tail and ran. Now when their side loses, they always return claiming that the system is biased so as to distract their supporters from the basic unavoidable point that all of their past fearmongering was (oh how can I say this) basically full of shit.

So true to form, FRC, NOM, various pastors, and other anti-gay groups are probably going to read the riot act, making predictions about how "America is on a precipice of destruction by God" or how "homosexuals are using marriage equality to force acceptance," or, my favorite, "unelected activist judges are attempting the destroy this country's so-called Judeo-Christian foundation."
All I ask those who oppose marriage equality is to ignore those bombastic words for a second and count how many times these folks will be asking you for money.

At the most, don't give them any more money because their track record is beginning to stink like five -day old fish.

At the very least, please recognize that you have been sold a bad bill of goods,  i.e. lies told in the name of God, Jesus, and "traditional morality." And all lies, even those told in the name of God,can NEVER carry the day.

Wednesday night, I fell into an awful, soul-numbing depression.

Two very mild tranquilizers and a short nap later, I can finally articulate why. It's simple really.

The lgbt community is fighting Godzilla with a slinky toy.

 I know I get either blissed out or whispered about due to what some may claim is my obsession with anti-gay propaganda, but my concerns about stories spread about the lgbt community by organizations such as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association or people like Bryan Fischer or Todd Starnes are sincere and should not be ignored.

Consider this: In over three decades, anti-gay groups have built a powerful apparatus of lies via junk science, horror anecdotes and cherry-picked science (mostly by the Centers of Disease Control) which have painted the lgbt community as diseased, overly aggressive zombies who want to destroy Christianity while recruiting children. They don't even have to create new stories. They can go back to that old framework continuously. It's like a virus which recreates itself every time its destroyed.

They have relied and continue to rely on the junk of discredited researchers (i.e. Paul Cameron) who claim, amongst other things, that gay men either wallow around in feces or stuff gerbils up their rectums.  On top of that, since 2012, there have been at least 12 incidents of legitimate researchers, physicians, or Ph.Ds who have complained publicly that their work has been either misconstrued or deliberately finagled the wrong way in by these anti-gay groups under the veneer of "religious liberty."

And how many of these offenses have made it to mainstream knowledge? How many of these actions by these groups who claim to be working for Christ have made it to news magazines, network news programs, or even mentions in places other than blogs like mine? Has there ever been any type of deconstruction of just how these groups operate when spinning these awful lies?  And this INCLUDES at places such as lgbt publications and news programs.

In comparison, Fox News's Todd Starnes, who has a known reputation for manufacturing panics about anti-Christian persecution, tells another one of his fibs and his junk gets featured more times than Meryl Streep receives Oscar nominations.

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council get soft interviews with several news sources and they are building up a "library of information" even as we speak. And by all means, let's not forget Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, i.e. he who links gays to Hitler. Congressional leaders flock to this man's radio show as if he is a kingmaker.

All of this allows them to define the argument.

Meanwhile, the intellectuals in our community go at each other's throats like Roman gladiators armed with the latest popular terms in "Queer Theology." If we aren't criticizing "mansplaining," we are raising hell over "slut shaming."  The TERFS and the cisgenders are fighting one another. Or are they on the same side. I don't know. I can't keep up.

At the bottom of this mess is the regular lgbt folks who want to be empowered by seeing someone in the media stick up for them, who want to learn how they can speak to their legislative leaders, who want to be educated about the the latest anti-gay lies and distortions but aren't getting the means to do any of this. Instead, they are reduced to voicing mindless vulgarities in the comment section of anti-gay articles or verbalizing their wishful thinking that the latest fool to spout homophobic trash in the name of God would one day be caught in a dirty bathroom with his pants down to his ankles and both of his hands (and mouth) full of things he is not supposed to be partaking of.

Lastly, don't get me started about celebrity-adoring in our community except for the fact that sometimes, I don't care to raise hell at a celebrity for putting his or her foot in their mouths.

And then there is our need to christen certain elements of our community as "Gay Inc."

This is not to say that the anger which goes with christening certain elements and groups as "Gay,Inc." isn't legitimate. But I'm really not impressed. In 2008 after the Prop 8 loss, a lot of us were saying "No More Mr. Nice Gay."  Then when we got mad at the Democratic National Committee, we proclaimed that the "Gay T.M. is closed." In the midst of all of those slogans, some nut decided to come up with the ultra ridiculous slogan that "Gay is the New Black."

But every now and then, we take a break from all of this to complain about how the media isn't giving us a fair shake or how the media is giving a platform to anti-gay groups. Why should the media care about our concerns in matters such as these when, except for those brief moments of griping, we don't seem to care ourselves to address these things on the level that we would address  irrelevant issues such as the relationship between Dustin Lance Black and Tom Dailey.

Maybe I'm rambling but here is where I stand. I'm a 43-year-old black man from Columbia, SC. I have no desire to move to what is considered as large gay metropolitan areas such as New York or California. I will not be driven from where I was born.  But I remember how hard it was coming out when I was bombarded by negative comments via radio, television, and news magazine articles about the evils of being a homosexual. I remember how it was to feel like I was alone even though I was in a large crowd simply because I was the only gay person there. Or worse yet, knowing that there was another gay person in the group and not being able to express a simple commonality for fear of being "discovered."

And a lot of this stemmed from the image created by what was put out there by these anti-gay groups and what they convinced others to believe.I won't forget those awful feelings nor will I blind myself to the knowledge that no matter how many court victories we win, how many pro-lgbt laws are passed, or how lgbt-positive television shows or celebrities are out there, there are still some of us who are falling victim to the same sadness I fell victim to.

If there is one thing which should convince us to combat anti-gay propaganda head-on, it should be that knowledge.

All I'm trying to say is our community needs to get a little more on the ball. That's not to say that we haven't made tremendous progress, because we have.

But we got some problems with focus. Maybe I'm wrong but I still stand by what I am going to say. There are many times in which we unnecessarily pussyfoot around and we seem to be deliberately underestimating the power of anti-gay groups. In doing so,  we allow them  to define us and the argument regarding lgbt equality. We seem to be constantly on the defensive and I don't understand why.

We aren't the liars. We aren't the ones who used discredited science. And we shouldn't be the ones to have to justify our existence.

I would like to see anti-gay groups be in the position to justify their actions for a change.  But this won't ever happen unless we take apart the lie that they are acting on their religious liberty.

A good army doesn't fight each other. They zero in on the enemy who is keeping them outside the gate. And right now, the lgbt community isn't acting like the good army we need to be.

A short while back, South Dakota legislator and pastor Steve Hickey  wrote a long letter to the editor about anal sex in response to a lesbian couple challenging his state’s anti-marriage equality law?

Well his comments during a Monday video chat with the Arcus Leader newspaper defies all description and decency.  According to Talking Points Memo, Hickey defended his original letter by talking about bowel movements in response to criticism he received from a local doctor,  Kevin Weiland:

“And here’s what I’d like to ask Dr. Weiland. Do you tell your patients to wash their hands before they eat? Why? Because you touch a doorknob and you don’t want to get it inside your body. I hesitate to get crude again, but Dr. Weiland, is it OK for, you know, eight of your friends that you’re in love with to take a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long?”

And it gets worse (or better for those who have a fiendish sense of humor). David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement watched the entire interview. According to him:

Hickey also claims that doctors tell him gay men “have higher rates of colostomy bags” and “a 20-year less lifespan.” Hickey claims an article in the Journal of Sex Research says “the mean number of sex partners for homosexual males is 251.” Hickey goes on to claim that he has a report that “talks about the dangers of both lesbian and male sex.”

That comment about gay men having a higher rates of colostomy bags is just unreal, particularly because it contradicts an earlier claim he made in his original letter that doctors are supposedly “discouraged from telling the truth” about anal sex.” And those who read this blog know that the claim of gays having a 20-year less lifespan come from either two sources – the discredited research of Paul Cameron or a cherry-picked 1997 study. The authors of the latter study complained in 2001 about how their work was being distorted. Regarding the article in the Journal of Sex Research, Badash said The New Civil Rights Movement asked the Journal of Sex Research about its veracity and has not received an answer at press time.

Badash also said:

Rep. Hickey also, pointing to a paper on a table, claimed that “homosexual is 14 times worse” when it comes to sexually-transmitted diseases. That claim, Hickey said, comes from Dr. John R. Diggs. John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D., wrote “The Health Risks of Gay Sex” which was published online by the Catholic Education Resource Center in 2002. It quotes studies from 1978 and 1982, and 1984 — the height of the AIDS epidemic when little was known about HIV/AIDS.

Diggs’ study also contained numerous errors and falsehoods, which you can read about here.

Feel free to read about or see the rest of Hickey’s interview, but after the above tidbits, I’m done. Except for giving you two reasons why we shouldn’t ignore Hickey or his comments.

For one, he is a lawmaker and thus has a hand in making laws. And a lawmaker armed with bad research about the lgbt community will always be a problem.

But more importantly, he is a pastor and therefore can pull the “I am only speaking according to my faith” card which Michigan Republican Dave Agema and North Carolina pastor Patrick Wooden did when they also made outrageously false remarks about alleged gay sex habits.

And that’s when we allow the argument to get away from us. Many times when folks like Hickey pull the “religious liberty” argument to justify their nasty comments, we give up that ground to them. Instead of calling question to the hypocrisy of a so-called religious person telling lies in the name of God,  many of us attack the religion itself.

In doing so, we help create the false argument that lgbts have a problem with religion in general rather than the lies told in the name of the religion. Meanwhile, folks like Hickey are able to play the martyr. They don’t have to defend their exact words.  Instead they can simply claim that they are being persecuted for being a Christian even though there is nothing in the Bible which speaks of gays and colostomy bags or bowel movements.

Hickey is merely a small portion of a larger industry which exploits religion – particularly the Christian religion – to demonize the lgbt community via lies and horror stories. The more we focus on the exploitation of the religion instead of attacking the religion itself, the closer we come in creating a welcome change in this so-called culture war.

Robert Knight, formerly of the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, wrote an interesting piece about the Southern Poverty Law Center. It's the usual " SPLC is unfairly picking on Christian groups" meme that we have been hearing ever since the organization declared several anti-gay groups - including FRC - to be hate groups:
 
If you want to know where the left is taking the country, a quick trip to the Southern Poverty Law Center's website is instructive. There you will find a "hate map," on which the precise locations of reputable Christian organizations are listed, along with skinheads, Nazis and other actually disreputable groups. Above the map is a photo of what appear to be storm troopers, none of whom resembles Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, but that's beside the point. On Aug. 15, 2012, the hate map was used by would-be mass murderer Floyd Lee Corkins II, who walked into the Family Research Council lobby in Washington, DC, with a loaded gun and a backpack full of 80 more rounds of ammo and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Convicted on Feb. 6, 2013, under the District's domestic terrorism law and sentenced to 25 years in prison, Corkins told investigators that he was inspired by the SPLC hate map to target the Family Research Council, and that he had planned to murder as many people as possible and stuff chicken sandwiches into their faces. Chick-fil-A's owners and the Family Research Council support natural marriage. 

First of all, Knight is lying. It's something he does quite well. SPLC's map does not contain "precise locations" of the organizations they designate as hate groups. The map only shows the states where they are located.

And with regards to Corkins, he did not say that SPLC's map inspired him to do anything. It was  determined that Corkins was already mentally ill and had been thinking about a way to carry out his plan for years.

But that's not the subject of my post. The subject is Knight's audacity in attacking SPLC . As I indicated before and Knight does in his column, he used to work for the Family Research Council.

And during his time there, it was Knight who pushed a lot of the junk science and lies (such as connecting homosexuality to pedophilia) about the lgbt community which eventually led SPLC to designate the Family Research Council to be a hate group. The following is from SPLC's webpage:
 

Robert Knight, a longtime conservative writer and journalist and major anti-gay propagandist, served as the FRC’s director of cultural affairs from 1992 until 2002, when he went to Concerned Women for America (CWA). Knight later moved on to be a senior writer at Coral Ridge Ministries, now Truth in Action Ministries. He is currently a senior fellow at the right-wing American Civil Rights Union. During his years at the FRC, Knight penned anti-gay tracts that used the research of thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, head of the Colorado-based hate group the Family Research Institute.

 Knight authored numerous anti-gay papers, and even used Cameron’s infamous “gay obituary” study in testimony he offered before Congress to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 1994. In his prepared statement on that topic, he said, “A study of more than 6,400 obituaries in homosexual publications reveals that homosexuals typically have far shorter life spans than the general population.” Cameron’s study has been thoroughly discredited for several reasons, one of which is its deeply flawed methodology. When asked in 2004 about using Cameron’s work, Knight, by then with CWA, responded, “Yes, we have used his research. So what?”
 
While at the FRC, Knight also co-wrote (with Robert York, a former editor at Focus on the Family) a 1999 booklet with the attention-getting title of Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia. Among its more remarkable claims was the baseless assertion that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.” The same publication argued that the “homosexual rights movement has tried to distance itself from pedophilia, but only for public relations purposes.” The booklet has since disappeared from the FRC’s website, but the organization has not withdrawn the claims it made.


For the sake of disclosure, I happen to know that Knight did freely admit to using the discredited information of Paul Cameron via that 2004 incident.  I was the person to whom he gave the flippant response during a visit he made to the University of South Carolina. And I repeatedly talked about the incident on this blog and in my first book on anti-gay propaganda.

Basically, if it weren't for Knight's influence in FRC information gathering, perhaps the organization wouldn't be attempting to live down the "hate group" designation.

No doubt, unfortunately, this irony will escape Knight and especially FRC.