Monday, March 19, 2018

'John Oliver trolls Mike Pence's homophobia' & other Mon midday news briefs

John Oliver rips homophobe Mike Pence — and does something amazing with his pet rabbit Marlon Bundo - Comedian John Oliver trolling our homophobic vice president is the cure for the Monday blahs. 

Savannah Georgia ruined Mike Pence’s St. Patrick’s Day in the best way possible - Speaking of Pence . . . 

Before 'Love, Simon': Coming Out And Coming-Of-Age At The Movies - 'Love, Simon' is already being declared a hit by the LGBTQ community. I haven't seen it yet, but as this article points out, the movie is historic.

Billie Lee On Why It’s So Important To Have Transgender Visibility On Reality Television - I despise reality television so I post this with a divided opinion. 

Longtime AIDS researcher may be Trump’s pick to lead the CDC - We'll see how this works out. This is of utmost interest to me due to my work of refuting religious right propaganda.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Philly stops two agencies from placing foster children because they discriminate against gays

Batten down the hatches because things just went off in Philadelphia with regards to "religious liberty" vs. anti-gay discrimination.

According to Philly News:

The city announced Thursday that it had stopped two faith-based agencies from placing foster children after learning the organizations discriminate against LGBTQ people.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services has ceased foster-care intake with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, pending an investigation by the Commission on Human Relations. 
The restriction follows an Inquirer and Daily News report that the city-funded agencies will not work with LGBTQ people or same-sex couples interested in becoming foster parents, a stance that likely violates city contract rules. The organizations do work with LGBTQ youth.

That first news story also revealed that the two foster agencies, Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services, were both reimbursed over $1 million in tax dollars for operating foster care homes. 

All of this began when a lesbian couple, Magan Paszko and her wife, went to an orientation meeting with one of the agencies and was told that they shouldn't waste their time.

 "The trainer approached us, and she was really nice, but she told us, ‘I just want to be upfront. This organization has never placed a child with a same-sex couple,” Paszko told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “She told us she didn’t want to waste two hours of our time."

This situation is the latest salvo in the argument over "religious liberty" or the belief that personal religious beliefs should give individuals and groups a free card to discriminate.  I personally think that such a belief is wrong, especially when those wanting to discriminate also want to help themselves to our tax monies.

Friday, March 16, 2018

'Anti-gay judge loses three years of pay for serious misconduct' & other Fri midday news briefs

Oregon judge who refused to marry same-sex couples found guilty of ‘exceptionally serious misconduct’ — and a cover-up - I know of a certain judge who won't be portrayed by the religious right as a "martyr."

Anti-gay discrimination just cost this judge 3 years of pay - More about the situation from ThinkProgress. 

 Two groups stand against LGBTQ rights. One is dangerous and the other is simply gross - My post from last night because I feel that it is one of the most important things I've written in recent memory:
 1. The Dodgers - The Dodgers consist of groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, people like Franklin Graham and Todd Starnes. The best way to describe them is to compare them to David Duke when he attempted to clean up his image by claiming to be "pro-white" rather than "anti-black.
 . . . 2. The Ick Factor Fanciers - These folks are simply consumed with talking about gay sex. They are anti-LGBTQ activists and groups such as Mike Huckabee, Mass Resistance, Brian Camenker, Matt Barber, and (of course) "Porno Peter LaBarbera who have at least once openly espoused talking about gay sex because they feel such talk would nauseate people against LGBTQ equality. Almost every conversation and debate about LGBTQ equality - whether it be about adoption rights, marriage, anti-discrimination ordinances - is broken down to talking about things such as "sodomy." "the thinness of the rectum" or "spilled semen." 

  Irish Lawmaker Proposes Ban On ‘Harmful, Deceptive’ Conversion Therapy - An international ban on this madness would be lovely. 

  LGBTQ advocates see Pompeo as 'reckless choice' for top diplomat - Needs to be repeated continuously.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two groups stand against LGBTQ rights. One is dangerous and the other is simply gross

In terms of homophobic personalities and groups in American society, I've broken them down into two entities - One group is sly because they practice passive-aggressive tactics. The other group is simply gross because they attempt to make almost every LGBTQ debate one about gay sex.

1. The Dodgers - The Dodgers consist of groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, people like Franklin Graham and Todd Starnes. The best way to describe them is to compare them to David Duke when he attempted to clean up his image by claiming to be "pro-white" rather than "anti-black."

In that same mind frame, the Dodgers claim that they aren't anti-gay, but are "pro-family." This is done so that they can appeal to so-called common Americans while publishing columns, giving interviews, or appearing on news programs. Their goal isn't to scare without saying the word "Boo!"

They generally attempt to make the narrative about how the Christian community is supposedly in danger because of the so-called "gay agenda." They use and distort anecdotes portraying people on their side with the highest degree of innocence. A woman who refuses to serve gays in her flower shop is made over into a "Christian grandmother being driven out of business by a homosexual couple who targeted her." A government employee who undermines a gay couple attempting to get their wedding license is transformed into "a Christian woman who is thrown in jail because she won't  compromise her faith."

 The Dodgers never speak specifically about LGBTQs, unless they are trying to label us as angry and threatening. They categorize us as a nameless, faceless, raging horde. They never speak about gay children nor same-sex households. They never acknowledge us going through the day-by-day paces of life. And don't even talk about admitting that some of us are religious.  To them, it's all about erasing our humanity and putting us in opposition to people of faith.

'Two foster agencies in Philly reimbursed millions in tax dollars, but won't place kids with LGBTQ people' & other Thur midday news briefs

Two foster agencies in Philly won't place kids with LGBTQ people - I'm sorry but I have a serious problem with agencies getting LGBTQ tax money and having the ability to discriminate against gays. And this sort of things does a great harm to LGBTQ youth in foster care.

 Last year, Bethany Christian Services was reimbursed $1.3 million for operating foster homes for 170 children, representing 1.5 percent of the department’s payments to foster care providers. Catholic Social Services was reimbursed $1.7 million in the same year for 266 children, representing 1.9 percent of the amount paid. Joe DiBenedetto, a spokesman for Bethany, said the organization places children with married couples made up of two parents of the opposite sex, or in some cases individuals. He said the organization does not believe it is in violation of any city ordinances. “This has been our practice throughout our nearly 75 years of operation and is based on our adherence to what we believe to be foundational Biblical principles,” he said. Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said Catholic Social Services wasn’t aware of any recent inquiries from same-sex couples but confirmed that the organization would not work with interested LGBTQ people if approached. 
Both organizations work with LGBTQ youth. That can send a mixed message to children and teens in their care, said Currey Cook, an attorney who heads Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-home Care Project. “How do you pretend you can simultaneously say we serve all youth and do a good job serving all youth while at the same time you’re saying same-sex couples are not real parents, are not good parents?” Cook said. “LGBT youth who have faced so much isolation, stigma, prejudice in the system are left wondering, ‘What’s going to happen if I come out, and I’m being served by parents or an agency that basically says trans parents, LGBT people, aren’t good parents?'”  

Media banned from Mike Pence’s meeting with gay Irish PM Leo Varadkar - I'm curious as to why.

Retiring Texas Republicans blast anti-trans bill on their way out the door - Not that it matters because they are retiring. Meanwhile, the bill will be coming back in 2019.

Companies With LGBTQ-Inclusive Ads Can Increase Sales By 40%, And Here's Why - Pay attention folks. Inclusion sells.

Protests break out over judge who overturned charges for man who admitted pushing trans woman to death - You damn right! What the hell . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just two repulsive men pushing the stereotype of the unattractive lesbian . . .

Granted, we are talking about two backbench conspiracy theorists here in the video with Gavin McInnes and Alex Jones, but the things they say about lesbians in this video are simply vulgar. Especially when one sees that neither one are exactly prom night dates themselves. While they both exploit one stereotype, they definitely prove another one to be true. What's the deal with ugly, nasty men attacking lesbians for supposedly being unattractive?

Editor's note - I would say a couple of more things about the two, but I'm trying to be progressive and polite.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trump evangelical Tony Perkins practically giddy that Pompeo may turn blind eye to anti-LGBTQ persecution

Editor's note - There will be no Wednesday mid-day news briefs.

"Those Trump evangelicals!"
When I heard that Trump's pick for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has a long record of opposing LGBTQ equality, I practically predicted the following Washington Update by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins praising him:

When Rex Tillerson was first announced as the president's pick for Secretary of State, I communicated my concern privately and publicly. I said that the State Department needed a strong change agent like Trump, and there was no way based upon Tillerson's record that he would do enough to roll back the harmful cultural imperialism which had been pushed in the State Department during the Obama administration, and to restore our promotion of international religious freedom to where it should be. And under Tillerson's leadership, not much did change in these areas. Religious freedom and human rights for all continues to take a backseat to the LGBT agenda as LGBT-promoting acting ambassadors remain in place around the world and our tax dollars still go to non-government organizations (NGOs) aligned with groups like George Soros' Open Society and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 
Now that Tillerson is on his way out, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been tapped to take the helm, there is hope for the United States to once again lead the world toward the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of human rights. I believe Mike Pompeo is the agent of change the State Department needs, and he has the president's ear. He cares about religious freedom, and about restoring the United States to its historically-esteemed role of human rights defender -- not cultural imperialist. And with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Brownback also in place, the United States is perhaps better poised than any other time in recent memory to significantly make inroads in promoting religious freedom worldwide.

As usual, Perkins lying. There was no prioritizing of LGBTQ rights over anything else in the Obama Administration. Those of us who are aware of the history of Perkins and FRC know that his definition of giving LGBTQ rights priority means acknowledging that these rights exist in the first place.

Trump pick Mike Pompeo has a long history opposing LGBTQ equality' & other Tue midday news briefs

Mike Pompeo
In case you have been living under a rock, Trump just fired his present Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and appointed former CIA head Mike Pompeo. Everyone is talking about how much of an idiotic bonehead move this is, except for the Trump evangelicals (such as the Family Research Council), who, let's face it, would find a positive thing to say about Trump if he had an intestinal distress in the middle of a speech. Missing in firestorm is the simple, and very unfortunate fact, that Pompeo is extremely anti-LGBTQ.

GLAAD has compiled a list of his homophobic statements and actions. It's not pretty and it will definitely play against our community on the international stage. Whereas the Obama Administration stood up for LGBTQ equality in the world, I somehow doubt Pompeo will be as engaging

According to GLAAD, Pompeo has:

Opposed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, suggesting that "when you enter the army you give up a few of your rights." Also said of DADT repeal, "we cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of our nation." 
Decried the US Supreme Court's 2015 ruling granting marriage equality to all fifty states as "a shocking abuse of power" that "flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution." 
Has vowed to continue his fight abortion, marriage equality, and related matters "each and every day": "As a Kansan, I hold a deep reverence for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of family, and the solemnity of marriage. I will continue the fight to uphold these fundamental ideals each and every day. I am, and always will be, pro-life and will defend life from conception to natural death. I will continue to oppose any taxpayer funding for abortion. I also fully support the traditional institution of marriage. Strong families are the most important building block of our Republic, and we must preserve them for the sake of our community and our culture." 
Co-sponsored two bills, the State Marriage Defense Act and the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, both designed to undermine the effects of court rulings on marriage equality. 
Denounced the Supreme Court rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 as "both sad and counter to the most profound tradition of our great nation."

In other news:

The ‘Gays for Trump’ guy is running for office &  he’s dangerous to trans people - It is possible for someone to be repulsive and a joke at the same time.

Vietnamese Singer Wins International Transgender Beauty Pageant - Good for her!

Linda Harvey Prays That Gay Conservative Commentator Guy Benson ‘Loses [His] Platform To Mislead People’ - I'm rooting against both. Linda Harvey is so homophobic, I bet she doesn't like to say the word "gay" in the song "Deck the Halls." On the other hand, Guy Benson is an entitled creep. He works against his own people and has done nothing to earn the position he has except be a novelty.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Trump evangelicals like to dish out moral criticisms, but can't take any.

Trump evangelicals moved their loyalty from the man on the right to the man on the left and are getting angry for being dragged about it. They had better get used to it because the dragging will be going on for a long time.

The Family Research Council, a group which supports Donald Trump in spite of his incompetence and immense moral failings, is angry at  a writer at The Atlantic for calling out their hypocrisy.

In a just published Washington Update, FRC president Tony Perkins verbally went after Michael Gerson for his recently published, and very astute, criticism of white evangelical support of Trump. In his piece, The Last Temptation,  Gerson doesn't pull any punches in dragging Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins and other conservative evangelical figures and groups.

And Perkins is "ever so pissed" about it:

CBS's "Face the Nation," which, like most liberal outlets, is quite content beating this dead horse, invited Gerson on the show yesterday to elaborate, without, I should add, a countering perspective. Like other partisans masquerading as "journalists," he insists evangelicals are hypocrites for not demanding a national recall of the president over 10-year-old allegations of infidelity. The host reminds Gerson that evangelicals' support isn't without cause. After all, the president has spent the year delivering on a long list of promises to his base. No matter, Gerson waves her off. "They are acting like, you know, slimy political operatives, not moral leaders. They are essentially saying, in order to get these benefits... they are willing to wink at Stormy Daniels and wink at misogyny and wink at nativism." 
Evangelicals, he goes on, "have not provided that moral judgment that I think leavens our politics or should leaven our politics." I'm curious what kind of "moral judgment" Gerson thinks Christian leaders should be offering. This is, after all, behavior that happened in the past. Does Gerson think that Christians should continue piling on judgment for actions that, to our knowledge, no longer continue? No one is rationalizing or excusing his failings. But Americans -- evangelicals included -- elected Donald Trump with almost full knowledge of Trump's past. As I've explained numerous times, it came down to him or Hillary Clinton, so Americans gave him a chance despite his past. Now that he's earned their support with his actions as president, it's our job to hold Donald Trump accountable for what he does in office. We can't do anything about the past. If any immoral behavior were taking place on the president's part today, Michael Gerson would be writing a very different story about the estrangement of Trump and his evangelical base. 
For now, our support for the policies of this president is hardly the great mystery that liberal lackeys like Gerson claim it to be. This isn't blind allegiance on the part of evangelicals or "slimy" opportunism. This is reasoned support for a political leader who has made and kept his campaign promises. If you want to know the real reason Gerson's crowd is unhappy with evangelicals, it's not because we're hypocrites. It's because we stand in the way of the Left's designs, with the same ability to affect government that they've had for almost a decade. Their goal is to try and shame evangelicals into disengaging from the policies and elections that govern our lives and our ability to live according to our Christian faith.

Damn, what exactly did Gerson say Perkins riled up?

'Psychiatrist found guilty of trying to 'cure' his gay clients with gay sex' & other Mon midday news briefs

Psychiatrist found guilty of trying to 'cure' his gay clients with gay sex - A situation from Canada for us to keep in mind when we fight against forcing kids to go through "conversion therapy."

Texas Teacher Suspended After Seeking to Add LGBT Protections to School District’s Policy -THIS is a mess!

What Trump’s Judicial Nominees Have in Common: They Really Don’t Want LGBTQ People to Have Rights - Yep, yep, a million times yep!

Anti-gay pageant answer comes back to haunt attorney general candidate - We got you, girlfriend. The queer community doesn't forget a thing. 

 Amid a sea of voices, Vox’s Carlos Maza breaks through - A gay journalist is breaking through the mad cacophony of voices and is making a definite mark.