Archive for July, 2010

Anti-Gay Conservatives and Teabaggers Agree: They are Oppressed Martyrs! (UPDATED)

Anti-Gay Conservatives and Teabaggers Agree: They are Oppressed Martyrs! (UPDATED)

UPDATE BELOW

You have to read this hysterical screed, just posted by Maggie Gallagher at the NOM blog, to believe it. It’s written by a NOM supporter named Dan Avila, the “Associate Director for Policy & Research of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference,” who went to the NOM rally in Providence. You will see now that he is a victimized martyr:

The idyllic feeling continued even as the first speakers delivered their remarks. Then a red-shirted army of chanting picketers suddenly emerged from around the western side of the State House and the time of white martyrdom began.

“Red-shirted army.” I’d hate to see how this guy reacts when he sees a bug with a stinger.

White martyrs are those who witness to truth and faith in ways short of dying. No one died at the marriage rally in Providence

Yes, everyone managed to get out alive.

but the uninvited demonstrators’ ensuing attempts to disrupt and silence were met with the power of quiet determination and the luminescence of common courage.

Their common luminescence outranked the protesters’ First Amendment rights, you see.

Dr. Morse was at the podium when the insurgents approached.

“Insurgents.” Because, to this dingus named Dan, the great majority of Americans who support full or partial equality for LGBT people are “insurgents.” Also insurgents in Dan’s world? Raindrops, the house settling at night, and people who experience joy.

That’s when several menacing individuals stormed the podium and thrust their faces into Brian’s, repeatedly shouting at him to shut up. Brian refused to get riled and continued his speech over the din. Before long our entire group was surrounded and the venomous cacophony continued. Many of the placards employed mockeries and vulgarities.

Menacing insurgents! Everything is World of Warcraft to these chairborne people, isn’t it? Also, I didn’t see any vulgarity on the signs. Correct me if I am wrong. Mockery, though, is completely appropriate. Look, dinguses, I am doing it right now! When you hold beliefs and support policies that are altogether worthy of ridicule, then you have to expect a certain amount of it.

The tension was stomach-squeezing.

And then Dan let go of that which was squeezing his stomach and let nature take its course. Strangely enough, the insurgents all sort of backed away at that point.

A man to my left spoke more in wonder than in any tone of disgust or contention, saying softly, “this is what hell must be like.” The picnic had become an inferno, and yet the picnickers did not succumb to the burning.

If that’s your idea of hell, dude, let’s just say I wish I had your milquetoast, stress-free life. Oh no! There are people who want to take away my right to hurt them! Anyway, I am glad that the picnickers did not get burned by the, um, reality in their midst. That’s sort of an indictment of their entire worldview, isn’t it? The forces of reality conspire every day to pop their blissfully ignorant bubbles, but they will go to their graves delusional, by god.

Brian closed out the rally by observing that the disruption of the peaceful gathering in Providence on a lazy summer afternoon was only a foretaste of what will occur if same-sex marriage is legalized.

Um, actually, no, because when (and yes, Dan Avila, it is a “when,” not an “if”) marriage equality is the law of the land, you’ll be delighted to find out that our sides probably won’t see each other anymore. You’ll stay out in your big box Wal-Mart land, and we’ll stick with areas that have culture and character. The only difference is that you won’t be able to ruin the lives of the gay kids your ilk continues to raise, and at least they’ll know that they’re growing up in a nation that treats them as full citizens.

It’s funny, in Maggie Gallagher’s intro to this piece, even she bristles a bit at the idea that the supporters of her hateful little cause are “martyrs,” but then again, she printed it, so she owns it.

On a related note, the new language of the bigots Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher tends to revolve around civil rights, or their transmogrified sense of civil rights. Indeed, the other day, Brian wrote a piece at the cesspit of stupid known as “The Corner,” which stated:

Gay-marriage advocates are wrong in what they are asking the federal courts to do. But they are right about one thing: The case is indeed about a fundamental civil right — but not the one they are asserting. It is about the right to vote to protect marriage.

On no planet conceivable is it a “civil right” to let the majority vote on the rights of the minority. Brian Brown is an allegedly heterosexual Catholic man. I, on the other hand, do not believe either in his god or in any other part of his undereducated, unreconstructed worldview. Yet, for whatever reason, I have no desire to take away Brian Brown’s right to live as ignorant a life as he pleases. Why? Because I’m an American, and I have some sense of what it means to be an American. Brian Brown doesn’t believe in the real America, though. He believes in a nation where white heterosexual Christian men are the authorities. I would suggest that he move to the Vatican, but he won’t find many heterosexuals there.

It is interesting, though, to watch aggressors co-opt the language of Civil Rights. The anti-gay bigots aren’t the only ones doing it, either. Right now, at least two hundred white people around the country are losing their collective shit over the fact that the NAACP called the Tea Party movement to account for the obvious racist elements who have found a home there. In response, Mark Williams, the grotesquely racist leader of the Tea Party Express (up until the other day), wrote what is perhaps the most racist, white supremacist thing I have ever read on the internet, which “satirically” suggested that blacks preferred things the way they were when they were slaves.

I bring this up because Mark Williams uses the language of Civil Rights as well, as he and his teabagger friends piss on the sites of actual Civil Rights struggles. Here’s Kathy of Birmingham commenting on a blog post from Mark Williams from a while back:

This is an overwhelmingly white movement whose express (excuse the pun) purpose is to de-legitimize the country’s first African-American president, and they were going to gather on the sacred space that served as a staging ground for the boycotts and protests of the civil rights movement. After a bit of thought, I figured it was a purposeful choice, one intended to co-opt the spirit of a struggle for equality that actually cost people their livelihoods — and their lives.

Turns out I was right. Tea party leader Mark Williams wrote about the location on his blog on Monday, noting

Could there be a better venue to celebrate our freedoms and rise to the defense of civil rights for all? I hope that the symbolism is not lost on people but what happened there today would have to make Dr. King and the victims of Bull Connor proud.

Williams includes, without a hint of irony, a picture of black protesters being sprayed with fire hoses in 1963 juxtaposed with a picture of Monday’s crowd — overwhelmingly white, enjoying the protection of the Birmingham police department, disrupted only by a tiny group of counter-protesters, and limited only by the ending time on their legal permit.

This all sounds clinically insane, because it is — those who hate gay people bitching about their “civil right” to discriminate and spread bigotry; those who hate black people and other minorities using the language of the Civil Rights Movement in their quest to paint the extremely politically moderate black President as a foreign socialist communist fascist gay traitor terrorist boogeyman, or whatever the hell they think he is. Why, though, do these bigots use the language of Civil Rights? Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog figured it out:

People like Mark Williams deeply, deeply resent the fact that those who fought this fight for fundamental civil rights had, and still have, the moral high ground. It appalls them that a movement that was black and that has long been affiliated with progressivism has that status, and they have no access to it. They’d love to find a way to trash the reputation of the civil rights movement the way they manage to trash everything else that’s progressive, but they can’t seem to do it, and it makes them crazy and hateful. So they want to expropriate the moral standing of the civil rights movement. And why not? They’re white, they’re not city slickers, and they’re not on the left; there isn’t anything good in this country they shouldn’t have first dibs on, right?

YES. Likewise, and if I may shamelessly riff off of that for a minute:

People like Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher similarly resent the fact that LGBT people and our growing numbers of allies have the true moral high ground here. They know, on some level, that history will remember them as putrid stains. They also know that the existence of healthy, happy gays and lesbians and our families indeed are exposing the ridiculous fallacy of their belief that religiously conservative bigots are the guardians of family values or morality. It pisses them off to no end that many of the greatest figures of the Civil Rights movement, right up to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s deceased wife Coretta, correctly understood the fight for LGBT equality to be deeply related to the movement they led for equality for African-Americans. They want to trash all of that, just like the teabaggers want to trash it for their own purposes, but they can’t. So they desperately wish people would look at them one day as the REAL crusaders for equality and civil rights.

But it ain’t gonna happen! Americans, especially those under forty, aren’t dumb enough to fall for NOM’s crap. Generations X and Y are savvy enough to recognize unbridled, unreasonable hatred and bigotry when they see it, and we’ll be a better nation for it in a few years when the demographics have shifted in our direction for good.

I do hope Maggie and Brian have a plan for what they’re going to do with their lives once equality is the full law of the land.  They don’t seem to have any marketable skills, so I worry.

UPDATE: As I said, the NOM people are co-opting the language of civil rights and equality in a weak attempt to turn the tables and paint advocates for equality and love as “the real haters.”  Case in point:  Timothy Kincaid caught this picture from today’s sparsely attended NOM hate-fest in Trenton, NJ, of a sign that says “Equality Is 1 Dad + 1 Mom.”  Timothy adds:

I see it as a cultural shift when they start acknowledging that equality is a concept worth adopting and then desperately try to come up with a way to claim the concept.

It’s a huge cultural shift. The moral high ground is something that the anti-gay bigots never truly had to begin with, but they’re losing their pedestal among respectable society, so they’re shamelessly and desperately trying to co-opt our language. This is a Good Thing. You may click the picture to embiggen it.

NOM-Trenton

Tags: Bigotry, Brian Brown, Daniel Avila, discrimination, hatred, Maggie Gallagher, Mark Williams, Massachusetts Catholic Conference, NAACP, National Organization for Marriage, nom, NOM Trenton, racism, tea party, teabaggers, Trenton

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Seven tips for managing the overwhelming to-do list

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No matter how much planning, preparation, and winnowing of your schedule you do, there are still times when responsibilities can wreak havoc on your to-do list. Whether at work or at home, there will be days or weeks when a lot of things just have to get done. How you face and perceive these challenges, though, will determine your stress and anxiety levels throughout this process.

  1. Maintain perspective. Now is the time to remind yourself of the big picture and of the temporary nature of this stress. Why are you taking on these responsibilities? What is the goal of all your hard work? Looking at the end result reinforces the temporary nature of your current condition.
  2. Don’t lose sight of the details. Be sure every vital to-do item is written on your list and methodically work your way through these items. If an important action is not on your list, you’ll worry about it unnecessarily. Also, remember the KISS principle and get the most important work done first.
  3. Embrace some of the stress. A little bit of stress (what is known as short-term, fight-or-flight stress) can be a good thing, especially if it helps to push you through your work. Use any stress you’re feeling to your advantage to give you a boost of energy to get many items checked off your list.
  4. Take breaks. Research shows that you’ll be more productive if you alternate between mindful and mindless work. You’re more likely to finish all of the items on your list if you take a short break for mindless work for at least five or 10 minutes every hour.
  5. Manage expectations. Regularly check in with the people who are waiting on the completion of your to-do items. The more they know about where you are in the process, the better they can anticipate and plan their to-do lists. How often and how detailed your updates need to be will be determined by the type of responsibilities you have.
  6. Don’t extend the stress. Now is not the time to take on a new project. Schedule appointments to talk about new opportunities for a few days or weeks down the line. You don’t have to say, “no,” you just need to say, “not right now.”
  7. Celebrate. When you’re finished with your massive to-do list, or at least the extremely weighty parts of it, take time to celebrate. You don’t need to go on a vacation (although, vacations are nice), but a reward of some kind is definitely in order. I’m quite fond of a walk to the ice cream shop.

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Entrapment in Palm Springs?

Entrapment in Palm Springs?

From Norm Kent’s excellent South Florida Gay News:

In a story that sounds reminiscent of the robotic toilet/anti-gay stings of Fort Lauderdale in 2007, The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Palm Springs police are currently embroiled in a controversy surrounding an anti-gay sting targeting men in a gay neighborhood last year.  24 men have been arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from cops, and are facing being put on the life-long sex offender’s list.

A Lawyer for the defendants tells The SFGate, “…a couple of cops, who were dressed in tank tops, would walk around grabbing their crotches and staring at the defendants’ crotches saying, ‘Show me what you got. Show me what you got.’

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PhoboQuotable – Peter LaBarbera

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“This is just a really bad idea. We do not want to incentivize people practicing homosexuality to come into the United States — it’s that simple. There are people waiting in line for years and years, normal families, to legally immigrate into the United States. The idea that we would recreate the family to now include two men or two women instead of a mom and a dad, all the while importing more practicing homosexuals into the United States, is absurd. And this is very radical legislation.” – Porno Pete LaBarbera, speaking the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow.

In the above-linked article, the AFA mischaracterizes the Uniting American Families Act as “designed to allow illegal immigrants with American family members to stay in the country.” The UAFA actually provides for legal residence for the “permanent partners of United States citizens and legal residents” and is only one part of the comprehensive immigration reform package now before Congress. Major evangelical groups have vowed to block immigration reform if it includes any mention of dirty queers.

Yesterday Politico noted that except for them damn homos, evangelicals are salivating at the prospect of millions of new converts (and their wallets). The president of the National Association of Evangelicals says, “When people migrate, they’re open to all kinds of change, including religious change.” LGBT immigration attorney Lavi Soloway tells Politico that he isn’t too worried about opposition from the religious right, adding, “We are a small issue. … I don’t think in the end we’re a deal breaker.” I’m not so optimistic.

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Montreal Promoter of ‘Ex-Gay’ Myth Peddles Fraud and Deceit

Montreal Promoter of ‘Ex-Gay’ Myth Peddles Fraud and Deceit

If you ever want to take a look at the underbelly of the “ex-gay” myth, look no further than a fraudulent website hosted by the Peoples’ Church of Montreal. It seems that this “church” is catering to ignorant people they hope to fool with fake statistics and outdated research. Is it Godly to peddle lies? This is a question the Peoples’ Church of Montreal must ask itself.

For example, the group’s website has a section called, “A Biblical Response to Homosexuality Today.” Inexcusably, It lists the infamous Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute as a key source. Are these so-called Christians comfortable with using the “research” of a man who was expelled from the American Psychological Association for lying about homosexuality? And, yes, it is lying, because information on Cameron is readily available:

In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.”

In August, 1996, the Canadian Psychological Association adopted the position that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality”.

Cameron’s credibility was also questioned outside of academia. In his written opinion in Baker v. Wade (1985), Judge Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court of Dallas referred to “Cameron’s sworn statement that ‘homosexuals abuse children at a proportionately greater incident than do heterosexuals,’” and concluded that “Dr. Paul Cameron…has himself made misrepresentations to this Court” and that “There has been no fraud or misrepresentations except by Dr. Cameron”.

It gets worse. The group cites Masters & Johnson:

William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, write in their work Homosexuality in Perspective: “Providing therapeutic support for the homosexually oriented man or woman who wishes to convert or revert to heterosexuality has been an integral part of the practice of psychotherapy for decades.”

Interestingly, this “church” failed to inform readers that the Masters & Johnson research has been debunked — by Virginia Masters herself. Check out the video.

The mendacious ministry from Montreal then embarrasses itself by quoting the discredited National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). This is an outfit that began 2010 with the infamous George “Lift My Luggage” Rekers — the doctor who got caught with a Rent Boy — on its board. The group’s board also had criminal mastermind Arthur Abba Goldberg, who served time in prison after he was convicted as a Wall Street con artist. Both men resigned under pressure.

Well, I guess this is what passes for fundamentalist morality these days. It’s kind of sad.

Tags: Arthur Abba Goldberg, Arthur Goldberg, Family Research Institute, JONAH, Masters & Johnson, Paul Cameron, Peoples' Church of Montreal

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