Anti-gay bigot Linda Harvey wants to go clubbing

Linda Harvey of Mission America spoke to BarbWire columnist Gina Miller on her radio show this weekend, where the two reprised their attacks on LGBT rights as a demonic, destructive force.

Reflecting on a campaign to push for LGBT rights in Southern states, Harvey said anti-gay activists should have the same “kind of boldness” and go to pride parades and “places that are homosexual” like San Francisco, Provincetown and Key West.

Miller, however, cautioned that “a lot of the homosexual radicals are radical and they’re violent and vicious,” adding: “These people are vicious and we’re not. That’s the thing. We’re not vicious but we know the truth and the truth is on our side.”

I didn’t know that San Francisco was a “homosexual place”.  I mean, I knew that teh ebil gays like the city, but I didn’t realize that every person there was LGBT.  Same with Provincetown and Key West. You would think the LGBT community would have noticed this and said something years ago.

Or maybe she’s talking about going clubbing with us.  I’m not sure how this tactic is supposed to work, bc generally speaking when I go clubbing I’m looking to have fun, and with an attitude like hers, I don’t foresee much fun.  I think there might be some tension.

In the interview, Harvey also dismisses harassment faced by LGBT youth:

Harvey and Miller then dismissed a Human Rights Campaign survey on harassment of LGBT youth in states like Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama, which they claimed — without any evidence to substantiate their claims — was a complete sham.

Miller said: “No I don’t believe it, while there may be some element of bullying — of course bullying happens all the time for various reasons in our schools, that’s the way kids are — but no, I don’t buy it and further they can easily make up these statistics…They’re using these kinds of statements whether they’re true or not to create a false image, a false impression that homosexuals are bullied and where is this rampant epidemic of homosexual kids?”

I guess in her world, all you have to do is believe really, really, really hard and reality bends to your wishes.  Oh, wait. I forgot she’s religious. She does think that’s how reality works.

Anti-gay bigot Linda Harvey wants to go clubbing
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Daniel’s Coming Out Video

Trigger Warning:  homophobia, asshole parents

Recently, I wrote about the details of my coming out.  It wasn’t easy, and the response from my parents was far from ideal.  One thing they didn’t do though-they never kicked me out of the house.  They never beat me.  They never emotionally abused me.  They never disowned me.  Their reactions, homophobic though they were, never rose to the level of treating me as if they didn’t love me.  Would that that were the case for other LGB people.  By now, the Internet is abuzz with the story of Daniel Ashley Pierce, a young gay man who recently came out to his family (and recorded it), only to face the kind of rejection that fills me with sorrow for his plight, and near blinding rage at the homophobia and utter lack of compassion demonstrated by his family.   Here is some of what was said by his family:

“You can deny it all you want to,” the woman continues, “but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way,” Daniel’s mother tells him. “It’s a path that you have chosen to choose.”

Daniel, who is 20, talks about his biology and psychology classes. He tells his family he believes that “scientific proof trumps the word of God.”

“You go by all the scientific stuff you want to,” she responds. “I’m going by the word of God.”

The woman then says, “we will not support you any longer.”

“You will need to move out, and find wherever you can to live,” she adds. “Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do.”

As the exchange heats up, there sounds like a slap, the camera is jarred, and Daniel says, “You’re not going to fucking hit me.”

Someone else says, “Son of a bitch,” and it sounds like a physical altercation is underway.

Daniel is called “a damn queer,” “a disgrace,” and “a little piece of shit.”

Someone, likely a woman, says, “I’ll beat you…” 

Religion poisons everything.  I believe it was the late Christopher Hitchens who coined that phrase, and it is so true.  When you strip away the blind, unthinking, unquestioning obeisance given to religion and religious beliefs…when you look at the effects religious beliefs have on people around the world…that smack in the face should be enough for people to reject religion asap.  Religious belief poisons the discourse on the rights of women. Religious belief poisons the treatment of rape victims.  Religious belief poisons the attempts to seek justice for the victims of the priestly sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.  Religious belief poisons the discourse on gun control in the US.  Religious beliefs poison the discourse on corporal punishment as well as capital punishment.  I could go on at length, but I’ll add one more:  religious beliefs are one of the biggest obstacles to equality for LGB individuals across the planet.

Religious beliefs teach that we’re immoral.  They teach that we’re bound for hell. They teach that we’re in defiance of god’s rules.  They teach that we’re sinful.  They teach that we’re to be killed.  They teach that LGB people are no better than thieves, rapists, or murderers.  These beliefs can be found in religious texts in many cases.  In other cases, they’re beliefs instilled in people by their preachers, pastors, and ministers, regardless of their presence (or lack thereof) in religious texts.

These beliefs lead far too many people to reject us  for being LGB.   We are still rejected by our families and friends.  We are still kicked out of our homes.  We still live in fear of our parents or friends finding out and disowning us, or worse, killing us.  All for the “crime” of being gay.   All because someone’s religious text is interpreted as saying “the gays are icky, immoral, bestiality-loving, child molesters“.   I’ve written before that there is no moral component to being LGB, and there isn’t.  This isn’t an issue of morality, yet so many people view homosexuality in that light because they’ve been taught that in church.  There is no connection between being LGB and bestiality.  What intolerant, hate-filled bigots cannot seem to realize is that being LGB is about finding ourselves attracted-physically, psychologically, and emotionally-to people of the same sex.   When we seek relationship, we seek consensual relationships with other human beings.  When we fight for marriage equality, we’re seeking to marry another consenting adult.  We’re not seeking to fuck animals. We’re not trying to molest children.  Every. Single. Time. I’ve heard these lies, they’ve been spewed by fundamentalist religious assholes (of the Santorum, Bachmann, Dobson, or Coulter vein), with not a shred of proof to back their assertions up.  But when you’re talking about religious beliefs, proof is rarely in the picture.  Which is one of my many problems with religious beliefs.  People have them, and far too often, they don’t care whether there is evidence to support their belief.  All that matters is that this is what their deity believes, and that’s what they have to follow.

The family of Daniel Pierce chose to adhere to the antiquated, barbaric rules of their religious text rather than love their child.  They put their affection and love of a fucking book, and an imaginary man in the sky above their own child.  I cannot stress how much I despise shit like that, especially since I’m an atheist.  I see no saving grace in religion.  All the good stuff can be had in secular form.  All the bad stuff needs to be consigned to the dustbins of history.  I believe that people ought to ditch their religious beliefs and form opinions and beliefs based on the real world.  One of the things you’ll find if you pay attention to empirical evidence is that homosexuality is a normal and positive expression of human sexuality (so says the American Psychological Association).

But even IF one is religious, one need not be so narrow minded and bigoted.  I know plenty of people who are religious and who love their LGB friends and family.  They manage to rationalize their beliefs-and let’s face it, most believers rationalize their beliefs, bc I don’t know a damn person who follows all the tenets of their religious belief system-such that they don’t reject their friends and family if they come out of the closet.  They choose to continue loving that person, because to them, that is more important. They choose love.  The parents of Daniel, sadly, chose hate and fear.  I hope for their sake (and, depending on what he wishes, Daniels’ sake) that they realize at some point in the future how wrong they were and grovel before him and beg forgiveness. 

There is a bright spot to Daniel’s story.  A lot of people have become aware of it.  

Daniel’s boyfriend 
posted the video to Reddit. A friend of Daniel’s posted it to YouTube, and Dan Savage posted it on his blog, followed by Joe.My.God. and The New Civil Rights Movement. Soon after other sites, including the Backlot and The Advocate, had published it as well.

As a result, when Daniel’s boyfriend set up a GoFundMe Page, the money came pouring in.  As of this writing, more than $90,000 has been donated to Daniel.  Despite being kicked out of his home, at least he’ll have money to find a place to live on his own.  I don’t know what his feelings on his family are, so I won’t speculate if even that amount of money is worth what he’s endured (my gut says no), but at least it makes things a little less difficult for him.  


If you’re the parent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual child, I implore you:  don’t kick them out.  Do not physically or emotionally abuse them.  Being LGB in society is hard enough as it is.  We need the love and support that every child should have from their parents.  Being LGB is not immoral, I don’t care what your archaic religious text-written at a time before people even had the word ‘sexuality’ (let alone understood its meaning)-has to say.  If you’re going to place your religious beliefs above the love for your child, you’re an abominable human being.  You’ve utterly failed at being a baseline decent human being.

Please remember, if you are an LGBT child or teen in need of help, the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUNAWAY can help you. The Ali Forney Center has a local and national LGBT youth online resource guide. In the Atlanta, Georgia area Lost-n-Found Youth serves LGBT homeless youth. They’re also on Facebook.

(via TheNewCivilRightsMovement

Daniel’s Coming Out Video

Daniel's Coming Out Video

Trigger Warning:  homophobia, asshole parents

Recently, I wrote about the details of my coming out.  It wasn’t easy, and the response from my parents was far from ideal.  One thing they didn’t do though-they never kicked me out of the house.  They never beat me.  They never emotionally abused me.  They never disowned me.  Their reactions, homophobic though they were, never rose to the level of treating me as if they didn’t love me.  Would that that were the case for other LGB people.  By now, the Internet is abuzz with the story of Daniel Ashley Pierce, a young gay man who recently came out to his family (and recorded it), only to face the kind of rejection that fills me with sorrow for his plight, and near blinding rage at the homophobia and utter lack of compassion demonstrated by his family.   Here is some of what was said by his family:

“You can deny it all you want to,” the woman continues, “but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way,” Daniel’s mother tells him. “It’s a path that you have chosen to choose.”

Daniel, who is 20, talks about his biology and psychology classes. He tells his family he believes that “scientific proof trumps the word of God.”

“You go by all the scientific stuff you want to,” she responds. “I’m going by the word of God.”

The woman then says, “we will not support you any longer.”

“You will need to move out, and find wherever you can to live,” she adds. “Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do.”

As the exchange heats up, there sounds like a slap, the camera is jarred, and Daniel says, “You’re not going to fucking hit me.”

Someone else says, “Son of a bitch,” and it sounds like a physical altercation is underway.

Daniel is called “a damn queer,” “a disgrace,” and “a little piece of shit.”

Someone, likely a woman, says, “I’ll beat you…” 

Religion poisons everything.  I believe it was the late Christopher Hitchens who coined that phrase, and it is so true.  When you strip away the blind, unthinking, unquestioning obeisance given to religion and religious beliefs…when you look at the effects religious beliefs have on people around the world…that smack in the face should be enough for people to reject religion asap.  Religious belief poisons the discourse on the rights of women. Religious belief poisons the treatment of rape victims.  Religious belief poisons the attempts to seek justice for the victims of the priestly sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.  Religious belief poisons the discourse on gun control in the US.  Religious beliefs poison the discourse on corporal punishment as well as capital punishment.  I could go on at length, but I’ll add one more:  religious beliefs are one of the biggest obstacles to equality for LGB individuals across the planet.

Religious beliefs teach that we’re immoral.  They teach that we’re bound for hell. They teach that we’re in defiance of god’s rules.  They teach that we’re sinful.  They teach that we’re to be killed.  They teach that LGB people are no better than thieves, rapists, or murderers.  These beliefs can be found in religious texts in many cases.  In other cases, they’re beliefs instilled in people by their preachers, pastors, and ministers, regardless of their presence (or lack thereof) in religious texts.

These beliefs lead far too many people to reject us  for being LGB.   We are still rejected by our families and friends.  We are still kicked out of our homes.  We still live in fear of our parents or friends finding out and disowning us, or worse, killing us.  All for the “crime” of being gay.   All because someone’s religious text is interpreted as saying “the gays are icky, immoral, bestiality-loving, child molesters“.   I’ve written before that there is no moral component to being LGB, and there isn’t.  This isn’t an issue of morality, yet so many people view homosexuality in that light because they’ve been taught that in church.  There is no connection between being LGB and bestiality.  What intolerant, hate-filled bigots cannot seem to realize is that being LGB is about finding ourselves attracted-physically, psychologically, and emotionally-to people of the same sex.   When we seek relationship, we seek consensual relationships with other human beings.  When we fight for marriage equality, we’re seeking to marry another consenting adult.  We’re not seeking to fuck animals. We’re not trying to molest children.  Every. Single. Time. I’ve heard these lies, they’ve been spewed by fundamentalist religious assholes (of the Santorum, Bachmann, Dobson, or Coulter vein), with not a shred of proof to back their assertions up.  But when you’re talking about religious beliefs, proof is rarely in the picture.  Which is one of my many problems with religious beliefs.  People have them, and far too often, they don’t care whether there is evidence to support their belief.  All that matters is that this is what their deity believes, and that’s what they have to follow.

The family of Daniel Pierce chose to adhere to the antiquated, barbaric rules of their religious text rather than love their child.  They put their affection and love of a fucking book, and an imaginary man in the sky above their own child.  I cannot stress how much I despise shit like that, especially since I’m an atheist.  I see no saving grace in religion.  All the good stuff can be had in secular form.  All the bad stuff needs to be consigned to the dustbins of history.  I believe that people ought to ditch their religious beliefs and form opinions and beliefs based on the real world.  One of the things you’ll find if you pay attention to empirical evidence is that homosexuality is a normal and positive expression of human sexuality (so says the American Psychological Association).

But even IF one is religious, one need not be so narrow minded and bigoted.  I know plenty of people who are religious and who love their LGB friends and family.  They manage to rationalize their beliefs-and let’s face it, most believers rationalize their beliefs, bc I don’t know a damn person who follows all the tenets of their religious belief system-such that they don’t reject their friends and family if they come out of the closet.  They choose to continue loving that person, because to them, that is more important. They choose love.  The parents of Daniel, sadly, chose hate and fear.  I hope for their sake (and, depending on what he wishes, Daniels’ sake) that they realize at some point in the future how wrong they were and grovel before him and beg forgiveness. 

There is a bright spot to Daniel’s story.  A lot of people have become aware of it.  

Daniel’s boyfriend 
posted the video to Reddit. A friend of Daniel’s posted it to YouTube, and Dan Savage posted it on his blog, followed by Joe.My.God. and The New Civil Rights Movement. Soon after other sites, including the Backlot and The Advocate, had published it as well.

As a result, when Daniel’s boyfriend set up a GoFundMe Page, the money came pouring in.  As of this writing, more than $90,000 has been donated to Daniel.  Despite being kicked out of his home, at least he’ll have money to find a place to live on his own.  I don’t know what his feelings on his family are, so I won’t speculate if even that amount of money is worth what he’s endured (my gut says no), but at least it makes things a little less difficult for him.  


If you’re the parent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual child, I implore you:  don’t kick them out.  Do not physically or emotionally abuse them.  Being LGB in society is hard enough as it is.  We need the love and support that every child should have from their parents.  Being LGB is not immoral, I don’t care what your archaic religious text-written at a time before people even had the word ‘sexuality’ (let alone understood its meaning)-has to say.  If you’re going to place your religious beliefs above the love for your child, you’re an abominable human being.  You’ve utterly failed at being a baseline decent human being.

Please remember, if you are an LGBT child or teen in need of help, the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUNAWAY can help you. The Ali Forney Center has a local and national LGBT youth online resource guide. In the Atlanta, Georgia area Lost-n-Found Youth serves LGBT homeless youth. They’re also on Facebook.

(via TheNewCivilRightsMovement

Daniel's Coming Out Video

Anti-gay bigotry

The World Congress of Families, an anti-equality group, is mad that Australian venues keep cancelling on them:

The World Congress of Families is a purveyor of ideologies so right-wing they weren’t even popular a century ago. A certified anti-gay hate group,  the WCF exists to “affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society.” They say their “purpose” is to “defend the family and to guide public policy and cultural norms” on all of these issues: “divorce, devaluation of parenting, declining family time, morally relativistic public education, confusions over sexual identity, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, poverty, human trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, isolation of the elderly, excessive taxation and below-replacement fertility.”

Clearly, they’re very busy people.

In short, they’re an Illinois based anti-gay, anti-women hate group that recently has applauded Vladimir Putin’s war on gay people.

One of their international conferences starts this weekend, and the WCF’s leaders are even busier than usual. 

On top of finding solutions to “confusions over sexual identity” and other “problems,” they are now scrambling to find a venue in Australia that won’t cancel on them. 

Three already have.

“After two venue changes so far, the Conference is now scheduled to happen at Brunswick’s Aurora Receptions,” Same Same reports.

And, unfortunately for the World Congress of Families, Brunswick’s Aurora Receptions just canceled on them too.

Oh dear, the World Congress of Families-an Illinois based misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, anti-education, reality challenged organization-is mad that venues in Australia don’t want their bigoted asses around. Whatever shall I do?

Oh I know.

Woo Hoo!

Jumping for joy.

Applause!

I mean, that’s the response *I* have when bigots are denied a venue to spout their bigotry. They’re not happy with the cancellations.  In an open letter to the people of Australia, they state:

In the name of fairness, and in response to unremitting and grossly misleading attacks
on an August 30 conference in Melbourne, the undersigned pro-family leaders
worldwide wish to bring the following to your attention:

 The Life, Family and Freedom Conference is sponsored by Endeavour Forum, an
Australian organization supporting life and the natural family, and has been
designated a World Congress of Families Regional Event.

 Since 1997, World Congress of Families has held seven Congresses, in Prague,
Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Madrid and our last in Sydney in
2013. These Congresses are gatherings of distinguished scholars, elected officials,
prominent religious figures and leaders and activists concerned with the health of
the natural family.

 Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne
conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the
positions of the World Congress of Families.

 Specifically, it is alleged that advocacy of the natural (or normative) family is
somehow unfair to other families and that we “shame” single-parent families,
homosexual “couples” and the divorced.

 Yet social science data shows clearly and unequivocally that children do best in
families with a mother and father.

 It’s equally true that divorce harms children and society. This is not to say that we
shouldn’t have compassion for divorcees or children growing up in single-parent
households.

 Similarly, the observation that marriage is a social good is not meant to stigmatize
or shame unmarried adults.

 The natural-family philosophy was set forth in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which observes that “men
and women of full age… have the right to marry and found a family” and that the
family is “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and, as such, is
“entitled to protection by society and the state.” This language is repeated in the
constitutions of more than 100 nations.

 Despite the repeated attempts of certain misguided governments, the definition of
“family” contained in the UDHR has never been changed.

 For the past 3,000 years, in every culture, this definition of the family (a man and
women united by faith and tradition, raising their children in a loving
environment) has been considered beyond dispute. Only in the past few decades
have competing “models” of the family been offered as the new norm. The
natural family is also affirmed by every major religion.

 Attacks on the Melbourne conference and the international pro-family movement
generally are an attempt at intimidation – a weapon used to stigmatize family
advocates, stifle dissent and foreclose a debate.

 The goal of sexual radicals is to deconstruct marriage and marginalize the family,
and thus to transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past.
Like all social experiments that attempt to create a “new man,” these are doomed
to failure.

 Rather than accepting the charges against us at face value, we hope you’ll take the
time to learn about the international pro-family movement at
www.worldcongress.org, or on the websites of any of the signers

 

I really don’t need to check out that website to dislike this organization.  This letter contains all that’s needed to condemn this group.  They tell outright lies and spread misinformation, just like all anti-equality groups.  Oh, and they support Putin’s actions with regard to homosexuality in Russia.  That’s all I need to know.  Of course, they got a few of Americas greatest bigots to sign their open letter, including:

Former GOP Governor of Arkansas and Fox News host Mike Huckabee.

Also, National Organization For Marriage President Brian Brown.

Barbwire founder Matt Barber.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, of the anti-gay hate group, Liberty Counsel.

Tom Delay, former Republican Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives. 

 

(for more on this story, see BuzzFeed)


I love that this group has received such a backlash to their presence.  Their views are harmful and abhorrent, and it’s a sign of the times changing that they’re having a hard time finding a place that will host their conference.  The latest venue to cancel on the World Congress of Families is Brunswick’s Aurora Rec
eptions
.  They were scheduled to host their conference on Saturday, August 30.  A series of protests was scheduled for that day*:

A protest by the Coalition to Beat Back The Right will begin at 8am on Saturday morning (find details here), the marriage equality crusaders ofEqual Love will take over at 11am, and a light-hearted rainbow family-friendly event called the Block Party Against Hate will happen outside the Conference venue from 12:30pm.

 

*this awesome image can be found at the link:


Does the US governments Common Core program “turn students gay”?  According to the Tea Party of Louisiana, the answer is yes, but that’s because they took a satirical article on the website brokenworldnews.com for really realz.  

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R) is beginning to look like an oracle, as his warnings about Common Core standardized testing are proving to be true.  Thousands of children across the nation who participated in Common Core during the past school year are coming out as bright young homosexuals.

Earlier this year, Van Zant told the Operation Education Conference in Orlando that Common Core was promoting a gay lifestyle to the nation’s children.  But nobody listened.

“People said I was a quack,” Van Zant says, “They called me a right wing nut job.  Who’s laughing now?  Hollywood and Barney Frank, that’s who.”

Initial estimates suggest that as many as 60% of students who participated in Common Core have gone gay, many overnight.  But experts fear that some are just transitioning a little slower.

“Some kids are a little more decisive than others,” says Raymond Johnson of Biblical Concepts Ministries, “Choosing one’s sexual orientation can be a difficult decision.  I know it was for me.  But the materials in Common Core are coercing students in the direction of homosexuality.”

Johnson says the difficulty of the Common Core tests is the primary culprit in promoting the gay agenda, calling it “common knowledge that the smartest kids in school are usually the gay kids.”  Johnson believes the increased studying time students must devote in order to pass the Common Core standards is leading them down a lifelong path of debauchery.

“The Common Core standards are tough,” says Johnson, “Tough enough to turn a straight kid gay.  The next thing you know, we’re going to see gay kids playing football.”

 

Yeah, I can completely see how a right wing group of fuckwits would look at the above and think it was serious.   We already know they don’t understand sexuality (hint:  schools aren’t trying to turn people gay, and you can’t “teach people to be gay”, but you can teach people how to be understanding of gay people-bet they oppose that), so it’s no surprise they would be freaked out by this.  Seriously though, do they not know how to vet information before they go on to make hair-brained statements like this:

(via thenewcivilrightsmovement)

The image is from Google cache because when Louisiana Tea Party found out their “source” was a satirical website, they were understandably embarrassed and had to scrub their original article.  Hey, I’ve been there. I was once fooled by an article from the Onion about a right wing group doing something horrible.  Of course, right wing groups actually DO a lot of horrible things, which is why it wasn’t a stretch to believe the article. Contrast that with the purpose of the Common Core:

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce.

Anyone who takes the time to Google ‘Common Core’ will find that it has no goal of turning heterosexuals into homosexuals.  I guess educating themselves on the topic they’re going to discuss is a bit too much for the Louisiana Tea Party. 



10 years hard labor for being gay?

That’s the proposed constitutional amendment from the conservative Christian Pastor Michael V. Williams.  David Edward of Raw Story reports:

“Whereas homosexuality used to be a felony in every state — referred to as sodomy — it has now been decriminalized, and homosexuality is allowed to be openly expressed in public,” he notes. “While Christians are becoming increasingly tolerant of homosexuals, homosexuals are becoming increasingly intolerant of us.”

“It’s time for Christians to resume obeying God and his word, and to re-criminalize homosexuality, outlaw it again,” the pastor continues. “The only way to do this and keep it beyond the reach of activist judges and unaccountable bureaucrats is to create a constitutional amendment.”

Once again, a douchebag right wing Christian fundamentalist wants the United States to become a Christian theocracy where all citizens are bound by biblical rules (I’m sure no ‘picking & choosing’ of the laws would occur).  This is one of the things that makes me so sad about religious belief.  It can make a mess of one’s ability to use logic and reason to reach an informed opinion.  Aside from the ridiculousness of using the Bible as a justification for morality (kill your child, rape all the virgins, drown the planet–that’s a deity to admire), there also the teensy, tiny fact that as I’ve said before there is no moral component to homosexuality.  Morals enter the picture when we’re discussing the interactions between people.  Homosexuality is about the sexual orientation of an individual and has nothing to do with interacting with others.  There is no “is this good” or “is this bad” to being lesbian, bisexual, or gay*. It’s about who one is sexually, psychologically, and emotionally attracted to.

* while the reaction of others with regard to those who are LGB can have a moral component, the act of being gay, lesbian, or bisexual does not impact others and is
not, in itself, an issue of morality.  


Northern Territory* politician Dave Tollner has resigned after using anti-gay slurs:

The senior Northern Territory MP under fire after calling the gay son of fellow Country Liberals Party politician a “pillow biter” and “shirt lifter”, has resigned his position and now heads to his party’s backbench.

Deputy Chief Minister Dave Tollner had apologised to Gary Higgins’ son for the comments, which were condemned by Chief Minister Adam Giles as “inappropriate” and “not acceptable.” He later defended himself saying he had no problem with gay people, adding that his own mother had come out as gay.

The NT News now reports that Giles has accepted Tollner’s resignation.

“This issue got at levels where public confidence was being eroded in this area,” Giles explained in a press conference yesterday.

“Perceptions become reality in politics and I want to make sure that Territorians know they have a Government who stands for all, and will provide leadership on what those community expectations are.”

 

Can we please import this attitude to the states?  Far too many politicians revel in their homophobia (and that’s not the only issue they piss all over), and still keep their jobs.  


 

 


 

 

Coming out after 40

(excerpt)

Coming out later in life has its consequences. All those years of rejecting and hiding mean that the psyche may not accept, deep down, the person they are now presenting as. This can lead to a degree of self-loathing and the formation of an adaptive self rather than the authentic self. Knowing who you are and accepting it is a much safer place to be in your psyche.

I don’t think the 40+ guys are alone with this damaged psyche stuff and many of us who have been out for so many years that we can’t remember anything else, are still a little damaged and lack about total acceptance, if we are truly honest.

So what can be done to improve your acceptance of yourself? Start with a bit of self-appreciation in accepting the man inside who has been struggling to come out for years. Give him a big hug and congratulate him for finally making the move to come out. Writing it all down will do wonders for the psyche.

The next stage is telling people you can trust. By not telling anyone, the psyche is still in denial. The more people you tell who accept your sexuality, the more likely you too will accept it as normal as well. Self-stigmatisation by not telling people or still denying your true sexuality is very damaging. You will be surprised how many people always knew and were waiting for you to say something… and then there are the others who are so busy with their lives that they don’t care in the least.

 

Coming out of the closet-telling people around you-can often be a scary thing.  Whether it’s socio-cultural pushback, religious pushback, adherence to tradition, or straight up homophobia borne of having not met a gay person (or, more accurately, thinking you’ve never met a gay person-we’re everywhere), LGB individuals wrestle with the decision to reveal to the world their sexuality.  It’s a difficult decision for many of us (my hat is off to those for whom it is not so hard), and some people never choose to exist the closet (which is their choice, and it pisses me off when anyone make demands of others to come out of the closet-not your life, not your choice).  The decision to come out of the closet was rough for me.  The first time I realized I had gay thoughts was in 1987.  I came out gradually over the course of my high school years, telling my heterosexual best friend Sean (I wish I knew how to contact him), my GM at my first job, Wendy, and later on my parents (they were last).  I held off telling my parents until last because they were the ones I was most horrified of telling.  

 

See that last sentence there?  No child should fear rejection from their parents for revealing an important facet of who they are.

It’s not like I said “Hi mom/dad. I like to dissect cats and dogs while they’re still alive”

or

“Hey, parental units, I just wanted to tell you I was planning to embark on a career as a bank robber.”

But the reaction they both gave was pretty much what I dreaded. I felt rejected, and unloved.  Here I was baring my soul, and telling them something that was so fundamental to me…something I never chose…something I didn’t want, but couldn’t deny any longer.  It was simply who I was.  Being gay is not about having sex.  You can still have children if you’re gay.  Being gay-for me-is about having a psychological, sexual, and emotional attraction to members of the same sex.  I just don’t have the same attraction to women (but I love me some women; most of my best friends have been and continue to be women).  That’s nothing to be sorry about.  That’s nothing to regret.  That’s not something to make me feel guilty of.  Following my parents rejection (I’d already told my sister, and she was loving and accepting), for a very short period of time I was suicidal.  I remember driving my truck and thinking I could just end my pain by driving straight into a telephone poll.  I was hurting that much.  I pulled myself out of that by thinking of how my death would affect others around me, especially my sister (to this day, I credit her with saving my life).  

I don’t say any of this because I’m angry at my parents. In fact, I’m not.  Yes, I was hurt.  For years. Relations between my mother and I warmed in the years after I came out, but it took longer for my father and I to patch things up.  It also took time for me to realize that my parents, like all other people in our culture, were raised in a society that’s swimming in homophobia (along with sexism, transphobia, misogyny, and so many other social problems).  It took time for them to get past the prejudices and biases one develops as a result of being raised in a culture such as the US, but the point is-they did overcome those biases and prejudices.  I forgave them long ago (and I hope they forgave themselves). Today, my parents love me and I love them*.  They accept who I am.  They realize this is my life and the decisions I make with regard to whom I choose to be in a relationship with are borne out of uncontrollable attractions that are part of who I am.  To deny that I’m gay would be like trying to deny that I’m black.  It is that fundamental. 

I can’t imagine what it would be like to come out of the closet after 40.  Especially if I had a wife and kids.  It’s likely a different sort of difficult than what I had to deal with.  I only hope that for those who choose to come out, whether it is someone in their 40s, or a 19 year old kid just out of high school, that they’ll be accepted and loved by their family and friends.  

*these days, in my opinion, my relationship with my parents is the best it has been in my adult life, and quite possibly even most of my teen years.  That’s in no small part due to me growing up and maturing and coming to understand many of the lessons they tried to impart on me (that I was far too pig headed to listen to when I was younger).  I feel that even though they’re my parents, I can interact with them as near equals-peers if you will (not literally, as there will always be a parent-chi
ld dynamic there, but overall my point should be clear).


 

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In case anyone is wondering, just because I live in the United States doesn’t mean everything I talk about will be US-centric. There are other countries in the world where important stuff happens too

Anti-gay bigotry

Roundup of GOP stupidity

A GOP candidate from Maryland, Michael Peroutka, thinks evolution is un-American.   He’s also the same nitwit who donated a dinosaur skeleton to the Creation “Museum” earlier this year.  He’s another in a long line of people who have no idea what evolution is (it’s a scientific theory that is the best explanation for the diversification of life on the planet and it is backed with mounds of evidence), who associates the US with christianity (despite the fact that christianity is the dominant religion of the US, this country is not a christian nation, nor was it founded as such).  I really wish politicians like him were not in office.  Their position in office grants them a false air of credibility on the subjects the talk about and unfortunately a great many people will believe whatever falls out of the mouths of politicians without questioning them.

 

Conservatives also helped kill plans by a charity to open a facility to house 12-17 year children who are part of the wave of immigrants fleeing the violence in Central American countries.  Why would anyone do that, one might ask?  After all, these are children fleeing their countries for the safety of the United States.  We’re such a great nation, and these kids are simply trying to, y’know stay alive.  What problem do conservatives have with this?  They think the kids were going to be living in luxury on American taxpayers’ dime:

Conservative media have mostly ignored BCFS’ statement that the facility was going to be renovated and have used marketing images of the Palm Aire Hotel to leave the impression that the children would be housed in luxury conditions.

It is no secret that conservatives don’t like these children.  They think they are bringing diseases to the United States, that they’re a front for gang activity, and that they’re getting a free pass to stay in the country (the children are given health screenings and they’re vaccinated at the border, they’re fleeing gangs and gang violence, and minors have to appear in court for deportation proceedings).  Conservatives are positively foaming at the mouth over the arrival of tens of thousands of refugee children who are trying to escape dying by fleeing to the safety of the United States (over a thousand miles away).  Once again, their assertions fly in the face of reality.  It boggles the mind how these xenophobic assholes are incapable of googling information to determine if their fears and biases are true.  But just as their fears about the refugees are completely unfounded, so too were their fears of the facility proposed by the BCFS Health and Human Services:

The charity, BCFS Health and Human Services, received a federal contract to house the children at the current site of the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites in Weslaco, Texas. In  an interview with local TV station KRGV, BCFS officials said the facility would undergo a renovation to create a dormitory-style atmosphere at the facility.

The plans for the new facility had called  for 600 beds for children between the ages of 12 and 17. BCFS would have taken the children from Border Patrol custody and housed them for an average of 15 days. The group also  operates a facility in Harlingen, Texas, and a  temporary facility at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

BCFS withdrew its plans for the facility after the negative backlash from conservative circles.  To which I ask:  why?  Did the welfare of the children somehow become less important because conservative fuckwads are xenophobic?  That’s precisely the wrong reasons to abandon plans to help these children. The interior of the facility would have looked similar to this:

 The exterior would have looked like this:

 Neither is the “lap of luxury” FOX News pundits would lead viewers to believe.  

 

Finally, a GOP candidate for the House of Representatives in Minnesota shames women for having sex:

Sheila Kihne hopes to unseat state Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie), who she claims is insufficiently conservative to represent the district. “People want a choice,” Kihne told Minnesota Public Radio. “I was at a point where I felt like I couldn’t vote for [Loon].”

On a blog she discontinued in 2009, she wrote that President Barack Obama was leadingthe one-world-order communists and demanded that single mothers be denied formal wedding ceremonies.

“Don’t you think that if you’re having a baby — and you’re not married — that you should forego the shower?” she asked. “I also think that if you get married — and are knocked up — you should get married quietly. At a courthouse, at a private home.”

No, I don’t think that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women having sex. Nor do I think there’s anything wrong with women getting pregnant without being married.  Your archaic, anti-feminist views are offensive and outdated.

 

Roundup of GOP stupidity

The ever evasive Gov. Rick Scott

Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, is gaining a reputation for evasiveness.  He has made his way onto Anderson Cooper’s Ridiculist after failing to answer questions about why public employees were participating in one of his campaign activities:

Scott recently appeared at a campaign stop in Tampa with police officers in uniform lined up behind him. However, it is illegal for public employees to participate in campaign activities while on duty or in uniform. A police union official has filed a state complaint against Scott, accusing him of coercing on-duty officers to attend his event.

It was just a “bite-sized brouhaha,” Cooper said, but Scott’s refusal to answer questions about the incident was what landed him on Tuesday night’s “RidicuList.” Instead of actually answering the questions, Scott repeatedly said that he is “proud” that 40 sheriffs have endorsed him and that he is “appreciative” of the support from law enforcement.

Florida law states

{…} it’s a first-degree misdemeanor for a public official to “directly or indirectly coerce” any employee to engage in political activity, and employees are prohibited from doing so while working.

So yes, why was he accompanied by on-duty officers?  What’s his answer?  His campaign spokesperson didn’t address the issue:

“This is just another sad distraction from Charlie Crist’s numerous ethical problems, including his broken promise to be transparent by releasing tax returns for both himself and his spouse,”{…}

The Governor is facing a complaint issued by a police union official over the matter.  

The complaint was filed by Jeff Marano of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, a union supporting Scott’s leading Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist. Marano is president of the PBA’s Broward County chapter.

The members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office who attended the campaign event claim they didn’t know it was a campaign event:

“We obviously didn’t know we were going to a campaign event,” said Hillsborough Col. Jim Previtera. “Had we known it was a campaign event, we wouldn’t have been there.”

Strangely enough, another Scott supporter, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri  has stated that he knew this was a political event:

“It was unequivocally clear to me that this was purely a political event,” Gualtieri said. “I knew what I was going into … Where the communication broke down, I don’t know, but it didn’t break down with me.”

Gualtieri said Scott’s campaign even asked him for his private email address to avoid using a government email account for political purposes.

As an elected official, Gualtieri is exempt from the ban on public employees attending campaign events during working hours.

If Gualtieri knew this was a political event, it seems questionable that Previtara did not know. At this point, Governor Scott’s campaign has not addressed this issue. Hence his place on the Ridiculist.

Added to that, his reluctance to address the issue of climate change, answering only that he’s “not a scientist”.   Well, I’ve got a simple solution to that:  listen to what the scientists tell you, and they are trying to talk to you:

“We note you have been asked several times about how, as governor, you will handle the issue of climate change,” the scientists wrote in a two-page letter to Scott. “You responded that you are ‘not a scientist.’ We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.”

Scott initially denied the impact of human-induced global warming when he first ran for office in 2010, saying he has “not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change.” He has since been reluctant to engage on the issue, answering only, “I’m not a scientist,” when asked about it.

I’m not a scientist.  When it comes to a subject like climate change, I do have to trust that the individuals who have logged countless hours studying this subject know what the fuck they’re talking about and have the evidence to back it up.  

Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards according to a UN report, which concludes that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable.
“It doesn’t cost the world to save the planet,” said economist Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, who led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) team.

The cheapest and least risky route to dealing with global warming is to abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, the report found. Gas – including that from the global fracking boom – could be important during the transition, Edenhofer said, but only if it replaced coal burning.

The authoritative report, produced by 1,250 international experts and approved by 194 governments, dismisses fears that slashing carbon emissions would wreck the world economy. It is the final part of a trilogy that has already shown that climate change is “unequivocally” caused by humans and that, unchecked, it poses a grave threat to people and could lead to wars and mass migration.

 

If you listen to the authorities on the subject (and you should; this is not an example of the logical fallacy known as the appeal to authority because these are the authorities in the relevant field of climate science), it is clear that climate change is real, and a humans bear a great deal of responsibility for the effects of climate change.  Governor Scott has not wanted to listen to scientists though.  He has sought to evade the matter.  A group of scientists from University of Miami, Florida State, Florida International, and Eckerd College would like the opportunity to convince the Governor:


“Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern,” the scientists wrote. “This is not a hypothetical. Thousands of scientists have studied the issue from a variety of angles and disciplines over many decades.

“Those of us signing this letter have spent hundreds of years combined studying this problem, not from any partisan political perspective, but as scientists — seekers of evidence and explanations.”

{…}

Jeff Chanton, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, hand-delivered the letter to Scott’s Capitol office.

“This is not a ‘save the earth’ message,” he said. “This is about the continued comfort and amiability of civilization, or human beings.”

“I just want him to understand what the situation is — and put it in a historical, million-year context, about what the greenhouse gas history is,” Chanton said.

He explained that ice core records offer a multimillion-year history of the Earth’s CO2 levels. During the Ice Age, temperatures went through vast extremes but the CO2 levels didn’t vary more than 100 parts per million — between 180 ppm to 280 ppm.

“When the CO2 l
evels rose, the temperatures rose” and water that was stored as ice melted to raise the level of the oceans, he said. “Today, CO2 levels are up to 400 — might we be concerned about the temperature changes?

“It’s not rocket science,” Chanton said. “I can explain it. Give me half an hour.”

The letter was also signed by: Andrew Bakun and Kenny Broad, professors of marine ecosystems and society at the University of Miami; David Hastings, professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College; Ben Kirtman, professor of physical sciences and engineering at the University of Miami; Thomas J. Morgan, assistant in medicine, College of Medicine, Florida State University; John Parker, professor of environmental science and chemistry at Florida International University; Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami; John Van Leer, professor of ocean sciences at the University of Miami, and Harold Wanless, professor of geological sciences at the University of Miami.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

 

 

The ever evasive Gov. Rick Scott