Monday, May 22, 2017

Notre Dame graduates walk out own commencement ceremony in protest of VP Pence

On Sunday, several Notre Dame students walked out of their own graduation ceremony during VP Mike Pence's commencement speech.

 According to CNN:

 A group of Notre Dame graduates walked out of their graduation ceremony Sunday in protest against Vice President Mike Pence and his policies. Pence was delivering the commencement speech after receiving an honorary degree from the Catholic university, located in his home state of Indiana. Videos showed some students standing as Pence took the podium, then walking out of the ceremony and gathering outside Notre Dame Stadium, where they held a short alternative "graduation ceremony." The protest action was planned ahead of the ceremony, with activist group We Stand For saying Pence's policies as vice president and as former Indiana governor targeted marginalized people on the basis of their religion, skin color or sexual orientation. 

All I can say is "Good for them!"

 


Friday, May 19, 2017

Eight states now ban fraudulent 'ex-gay' therapy from being used on youth' & other Friday midday news briefs


Conversion Therapy Now Outlawed in 8 States - Eight down, 42 more to go.

  New study shines light on how to ‘make it better’ for queer youth - Wonderful study giving out common sense advice on how we can make things better for our lgbtq kids.

 Court: Transgender people can sue under ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) - I can just imagine how the religious right will spin this one. 

Despite Nigeria’s Laws, LGBTQ Acceptance Is On The Rise - A bit of good news from the Mother Continent.  

Chechen gay men hopeful of finding refuge in five countries- Really wonderful news. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Family Research Council's message on Trump's troubles fails to show reason, reeks of fear


Leave it to the Family Research Council to try to fake a reasonable analysis of  Donald Trump's self-inflicted problems:

With only an hour's notice, Deputy Attorney General of Justice Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller III as special counsel for the Russian investigation, given political blowback over President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein stated that his decision was not the result of any findings that crimes had been committed or any prosecution warranted, but rather due to the unique situation and that he felt that the public interest warranted a special prosecutor outside the normal FBI chain of command. The WSJ responded by calling it the "Special Counsel Mistake," arguing that Rosenstein caved to the political pressure from Democrats giving them the ability to "bedevil" the Trump administration possibly for the next four years.

President Donald Trump issued a short response late yesterday, saying: "There was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly." 
The explosion in the media, particularly the leftist "mainstream" media, should be no surprise, as talk of impeachment is already being bandied about -- even though not a shred of evidence that a crime was committed on the part of the embattled president has been produced. Congress, of course, continues to want Comey to testify in their ongoing investigations into Russia's influence on the election due to Michael Flynn's admission that he had lied to Vice President Pence about having had contact with Russians. 
While investigation into any wrongdoing must be taken seriously, jumping to conclusions as so many Democrats have over the firing of Comey (do they not remember that only a few months ago many of them called for Comey's ouster?) is entirely and purely political. Speaker Ryan offered the right approach to this situation. While welcoming Robert Mueller as special counsel, he urged that ongoing investigations should "follow the facts wherever they may lead," and reiterated his confidence in the president. It's entirely presumptuous to talk of impeachment, as even two House Republicans Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) did. Democrat leaders such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who is the lead Democrat on the House intelligence committee investigation and no friend to the administration -- ironically has called for Democrats not to "rush" to talk about impeachment. That had little effect on members like as Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who spoke on the House floor of the need to impeach the president. 
John Adams reminded us that facts are stubborn things, and a clear uncovering of facts in various investigations from the Clinton emails and server to Michael Flynn's admitted connections to Russia, and any effort to obstruct justice must be pursued and prosecuted, if that is what the facts demand. 
As House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) observed, we should always welcome examinations into facts and truth. Only those who don't want the truth have reason to fear such investigations. As Chairman Goodlatte also noted, perhaps the previous administration should have taken similar matters seriously enough to ensure they were independently investigated. 
Regardless of this special counsel appointment, I am confident that the Left will continue its apoplectic and irrational pursuit to undermine the president's pro-American agenda at any cost -- facts be damned. Robert Mueller is a respected former FBI director who served under President George W. Bush and even President Barack Obama. His challenge is daunting. Not only must he seek just the facts, he must ignore the political missiles being lobbed by anyone who doesn't like what the truth reveals about President Trump. He must also be thorough, but expeditious in completing the investigation so as not to become a tool of the Left to further hinder and hamper the change Americans demanded in November.

Nice try, but the stench of fear can't be hid. Poor FRC.  By hitching itself to such a corruptible, irresponsible choice for president and his administration, the organization has gained a front seat to the crash and thus the thwarting all of its plans to inflict its "morals" on America.

Did I say front seat? I actually mean a view of the coming disaster while strapped down in the cockpit.

Enjoy the view, guys. You've certainly earned it.

'Joe Biden - Americans must stand with worldwide lgbtq community' & other Thur midday news briefs

Former vice president Joe Biden stands up for lgbtq equality.

Joe Biden: Americans must stand with LGBT people around the world - I DEFINITELY miss Joe Biden as much as I miss Obama. 

Gay Russians Are Trying To Flee Kidnapping And Torture. The US Has Denied Them Visas. - And his column couldn't have come at a better time. 

 Activists Are "Really Scared" After Two Indonesian Men Were Sentenced To 85 Lashes For Having Sex - I mean seriously 

 Nevada outlaws anti-gay clinical therapy on children - SWEET!  

Pence faces walk-out at Notre Dame over his anti-LGBT views - This is a situation I almost missed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TX conservative leader wants God to punish lawmakers who support lgbtq equality & abortion

Steve Hotze
Please tell me again how religious right groups and spokespeople actually love the lgbtq community and our allies. Please tell me again how those who call themselves pro-life are actually concerned about preserving life.

But first read this prayer, courtesy of Steve Hotze of the Conservative Republicans of Texas:

 “Pray this imprecatory prayer for the wicked state legislators. In the Name of Jesus, I prophesy and declare: may all the individuals serving in the state legislature, and their staff, who support, promote and practice sodomy and other perverted, sexually deviant lifestyles, who support the killing of unborn babies, and who hate God’s Law and God’s Word, receive just retribution from God for their evil actions. May they receive what their unfaithful ways deserve. May they be consumed, collapse, rot and be blown away as dust from their current positions because of their wicked works, thoughts and deeds. May people scorn them and nations abhor them. May their punishment lead them to repentance and faith in Christ. May God’s will be done in their lives.” 

Lovely.

Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center named the Conservative Republicans of Texas as a hate group.  According to journalist John Wright, the group and Hotze has a long, sordid history of homophobia.


 Hat tip to both Right Wing Watch and the Texas Freedom Network who both brought this item to my attention.

'Lgbtq journalist calls out anti-gay pastors in new book' & other Wed midday news briefs

Clay Cane

Journalist Clay Cane Slams Antigay Preachers in New Book - Sweet! We need to call out those in our communities who treat us less than human rather than waiting for others to do it.  

Stunning Photos Debunk The Myth That Queerness Is ‘Un-African’ - THANK YOU for this. We need more visibility about lgbtqs of color. 

1st Man Prosecuted For Federal Hate Crime Targeting Transgender Victim Gets 49 Years - AWFUL situation, but justice is done. Trans lives matter. 

 Baltimore school’s GSA wins top honors from GLSEN - Just so you know that there are schools out there doing right by our lgbtq kids. 

 Gays Literally Yell Every. Single. Time. You Play These Songs - Okay, not usually my speed but sometimes you have to go "what the hell." This is a funny column.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mike Huckabee: gay marriage bad, sharing classified info with Russia good

Earlier today, I posted a video of  Mike Huckabee going on a ridiculous tangent about the SCOTUS decision which legalized marriage equality. He was completely on his high horse talking about how "God wouldn't be mocked" and how the ruling turned the country away from "holiness" and "righteousness." and how we supposedly don't have a nation of law:


It's sad that he doesn't feel the same way about a president (in this case Donald Trump) who shares classified information with Russia:



Let's recap that again in it's totality:

 Huckabee thinks that the lgbtq community winning marriage through the correct process in which our government functions reduces America to less than a country of laws. However he sees nothing wrong with defending a president who gives up classified information to a nation which, amongst other terrible acts, oppresses it's own people, thereby scaring the living crap out of our allies and possibly putting people in danger.

Huckabee has to win the award for self-righteous hypocrite of the year.

I wonder what Franklin Graham will say about this . . .

'Mike Huckabee still mad over SCOTUS marriage equality ruling' & other Tue. midday news briefs


Mike Huckabee: The Supreme Court Declared ‘We Are God’ In Obergefell Decision - Mike Huckabee recently participated in one of those dreary and annoying "God and Jesus said America belongs to right-wing Christians" documentaries where he continued to show anger over the SCOTUS decision to legalize marriage equality. Keep in mind this came out today while the Trump Administration (including Huckabee's daughter) and the GOP continues to bring this country to the lowest level of ineptness and derision. Huckabee hasn't been vocal about THAT situation, of course.  The juxtaposition of the two items gives Huckabee's words in this video regarding "righteousness" and morality a certain vile poignancy. It kinda makes me nostalgic for the times in the Bible when God personally interceded and knocked someone on his or her butt for getting a little too obliviously blasphemous.  

Matthew Shepard's Mother: Multimillion-Dollar Hate Groups Are Bullying LGBTQ Children - Lay it down, Mrs. Shepard!

 DNC hires first lesbian CEO, former head of EMILY’s List - Not bad! Every step forward helps.

 In Texas: 'It’s an all-out assault on LGBT people' - I'm beginning to think that Texas just don't flat like us.

 BuzzFeed Threw Its First Queer Prom And It Was Seriously Beautiful - Simply wonderful for our kids.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Is the Family Research Council trying to make Trump presidency look like Second Coming of Jesus?

How the Family Research Council sees Trump.
The weekly missteps of Trump as president is bad enough. But they are even more alarming when one takes into account how some right-wing evangelical organizations such as the Family Research Council are bending over backwards to either ignore Trump's missteps (such as his firing of FBI director James Comey or the mind boggling way he sabotaged his Administration's explanation for the firing) or making it seem that in spite of his numerous errors, Trump is as great as the Second Coming of Jesus.

The following from FRC will make you gag:

When President Trump chose the college to deliver his first commencement address, he couldn't have picked a better one than Liberty University. And I'm not just saying that as LU alum! The message he delivered with that decision was just as important as the one he delivered at the podium. Once again, Donald Trump showed how much he values the Christian community and how committed he is to standing with them for the change they voted for in November. But the improbability of his win isn't lost on the president either. With a wry smile, he told the crowd of 50,000, "It's been a little over a year since I've spoken on your beautiful campus and so much has changed. Right here, the class of 2017 dressed in cap and gown, graduating to a totally brilliant future. And here I am standing before you as President of the United States, so I'm guessing -- there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things, either one, would really require major help from God. Do we agree?" 
 And with that, President Trump kicked off a speech that could not have been better -- not just for the graduates, but for every American hungry to see true freedom restored to their nation after eight long years of Barack Obama. The president didn't shy away from those topics either. Throughout his talk, he touched on a number of issues close to evangelicals' hearts. "America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers," he said. "When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth they prayed. When the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times, because in America we don't worship government we worship God. That is why our elected officials put their hands on the Bible and say, 'So help me God,' as they take the oath of office. It is why our currency proudly declares, 'In God we trust,' and it's why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance."  
To loud applause he promised, "We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings." He wasn't just speaking to Liberty grads, but to his largest base of support: evangelicals -- who remain overwhelmingly supportive of the president. And his comments Saturday are a large reason why. "America is better when people put their faith into action. As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what's in your heart." And the administration is already taking steps to guarantee it. Not only is his rhetoric encouraging, but so is the record he's building to back it up. We've seen him tackle his pro-life agenda with a passion few expected. We've watched him make good on his vow to defend religious liberty. And we've seen him appoint principled men and women as leaders at every level of government and the courts.

Those paragraphs did everything except for raising Kate Smith from the grave carrying a flag and singing "Glory, Glory Hallelujah." And its flowery rendition of Trump's speech is the third time in a few days the Family Research Council has applauded him in what seems to be an attempt to shine whatever positive light on his disastrous decisions and policies.

On Thursday, by way of a "prayer," FRC backed Trump and the GOP's attempts to repeal Obamacare by focusing on how it could defund Planned Parenthood while issuing the following flippant statement directed towards who would lose healthcare if the repeal was successful:

And may Americans look to God as their healer and not government.

Friday, FRC sent out a generic press release congratulating one of its spokespeople, Ken Blackwell, for being appointed to Trump's Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.

FRC  didn't, and probably won't ever, mention that this "commission" is nothing more than a way for Trump to push his unproven belief of huge voter fraud. In fact, there are valid concerns that the commission could pave the way for voter suppression - something The Washington Post pointed out about Blackwell:

Another commissioner, Ken Blackwell, a Republican who served as Ohio secretary of state in 2004 — and co-chair of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in the state. Among other things, Blackwell first insisted that voters could not register unless they did so on super-thick 80-pound card stock, preventing thousands from signing up. Thousands more waited for up to 10 hours to vote. Democrats howled, with a Democratic congressional task force concluding that in “many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior” by Blackwell. He heatedly denied the Democrats’ charges.

The point I'm trying to make is what the Family Research Council is doing when it comes to Trump is downright embarrassing. I don't like FRC. I never did and I probably never will. But if the group has any small shred of integrity which I'm not aware of, it really needs to stop following after Trump like a lapdog and making his huge faux pas look like incredible reaches of good policy.

It's one thing to clean up poop. It's quite another to cover it with icing and birthday candles.

But as long as Trump continues to hand the Family Research Council little crumbs, like a weak executive order, expect FRC to treat it like filet mignon and Trump like he is the Second Coming.

Related post - The evangelical courtiers who kneel before the president’s feet



Franklin Graham accidentally shows he knows nothing about persecution

From my friends at Think Progress comes a sad obliviousness regarding actual anti-Christian persecution versus a wrecked sense of entitlement courtesy of Franklin Graham. For the record, the lgbtq community is not targeting so-called Christian businesses.




Think Progress added:

 Christians do, in fact, face persecution in many parts of the world, and militant groups such as ISIS have oppressed and murdered followers of Christ during terrorist attacks and in territories they occupy. But as the Religion News Service pointed out, it is unclear where Graham gets his staggering claim that 100,000 a year are killed because of their faith in Christ. By contrast, the Christian organization Open Doors — which tracks violence against Christians — reports a much smaller number: around 4,000. Regardless, this kind of persecution does not appear to be comparable to the American context, where the majority of citizens still identify as Christian according to Pew Research. To be sure, white evangelical Christians such as Graham have often claimed in polls that they face “discrimination,” sometimes by citing the debate over whether conservative Christians should be allowed to deny service to LGBTQ people. Yet most religious Americans don’t support “religious refusals”: according to a 2016 survey from PRRI, majorities of almost every major faith group in the country — including Mormons, Catholics, and white mainline Protestants — oppose allowing a small business to refuse LGBTQ people service by citing their faith. Only one group — white evangelical Protestants — expressed 50 percent support for the idea.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Family Research Council exploits Mother's Day to denigrate same-sex families

One would think that at least Mother's Day would be safe from being exploited against the lgbtq community. No such luck as long as anti-lgbtq group the Family Research Council is around.

 Check out this blurb from its president, Tony Perkins:


Just the sound of the word "mother" evokes a feeling of tenderness and reassurance in the minds of most. Even Jesus, when He was communicating His compassion for the people of Jerusalem used the metaphor of a hen gathering her chicks under her wing to protect and shelter them. (He saved the rooster for another occasion.) In the age of political correctness and gender confusion, suggesting that women and men have distinct, non-interchangeable roles is probably enough to get your picture posted in the nearest post office for crimes against the sensitive and easily offended! But while truth can be contradicted and denied, it cannot be changed.  
 To be emotionally and physically healthy, children need a mom and a dad. Not just parents that are present, but a mom and dad who are involved in their lives. On Sunday, we will celebrate motherhood. We will celebrate the women whose unconditional devotion to their children motivates them on a recurring basis to choose unparalleled self-sacrifice and causes them to remain devoted even in times of great suffering. Women like Christina Simoes, who may never walk again because of her devotion to her young son. When their apartment was engulfed in flames, the 23-year-old did the only thing that came naturally: she saved her son. Without thought to her own safety, she cradled him to her chest and jumped out the window. "I didn't think about it. All I was thinking about was getting him out of there. He mattered way more than I did," she said. Suffering from severe back injuries, she was interviewed a few years ago in the hospital. Knowing her little boy was safe was the greatest Mother's Day present she could imagine. Like so many mothers, she shrugged off her bravery. "I don't think that I'm any special hero at all. I'm just Cameron's mom," Christina said. It's that same kind of selfless sacrifice that defines moms around the globe. 
 I'm grateful for the love and compassion of a mother -- sometimes expressed in years past with a whack upside the head, but most often with a hug, a kiss and reassurance that things were going to be okay. I've had the privilege of not only have a great mother, but for the last 31 years being married to a woman who is a great mother to my children. To my mother and to my wife -- thank you and Happy Mother's Day.

Come on Tony. It would have been a nice piece if you didn't feel the need to add all of that ugly shade against same-sex families. Not only is it inaccurate (A large number of studies show that children thrive very well in same-sex households), and totally unnecessary, but it was also tacky.  Just plain tacky.

No holiday should ever be used to denigrate a group of people or exploited in an attempt to make them look and feel inferior. Particularly not  Mother's Day. Some children are being raised in a heterosexual mother/father household. Some are being raised by a single mother or a single father, grandparents, or any adult who has taken the responsibility. And a good many of these homes are led by members of the lgbtq community.

Really though, none of it should make a difference as long as the children in the household are given love, support, and are having their physical needs met. Parenthood is not a competition, nor should it be an excuse to create a caste system. One home environment should never be used to look down upon another.

The very fact that Perkins attempts to do this tells us that he obviously did not heed the lessons of love and compassion his mother attempted to instill in him.

Yeah. I said it.