Saturday, September 29, 2007

Final Saturday Male Beauty

Daddy Dobson Wears Prada

This post from Ex-Gay Watch ( too funny - I guess probably because I just watched The Devil Wears Prada yet again last night. While Mike Airhart has done a great job of satire on Dobson, I suspect that much of the premise is true. Everything Daddy Dobson does in the ex-gay field is calculated and with political PR in mind. Without maintaining the "choice" myth, the Christianists are faced with sexual orientation being an immutable characteristic which makes non-discrimination and hate crimes protection all too appropriate. Here are a few highlight, but you should read the entire post:

If James Dobson ruled the ex-gay movement with an iron fist, and if the opening scene of The Devil Wears Prada were to peek inside a political empire instead of a fashion magazine, then what might Dobson’s morning arrival at Focus on the Family look like?

Elevator doors open onto the executive floor. James Dobson dons his glasses, steps from the elevator, and barks orders at his female personal assistant, who takes notes.]

Tell Alan I’m not going to approve that young man that he sent me for the youth layout. I asked for sexy, serious, and ripped; he sent me chaste, smiling and bleached. And RSVP yes to Peter LaBarbera’s party, I want the driver to drop me off at 9:30 and pick me up at 9:45, sharp.

[Dobson rounds a corner of the corridor to his office, his assistant stumbling behind in high heels and a long skirt.]

Then call Warren at Grove City and tell him no, for the 40th time, no, I don’t want “sexual identity guidelines,” I want “the road to godly masculinity through baseball.” Then call Newt’s ex-wife and remind her to stay out of the limelight. Then call Newt’s ex-ex-wife. Ask her to please be “out of the country” before Thompson’s next gig with that show that Russert hosts.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Kucinich 'seriously thinking' about forcing vote on Cheney impeachment

While this measure may well not pass, it would nonetheless be nice to see sharp focus placed on the misdeeds of Vice President "Darth Vader" Cheney. Particularly before he convinces Chimperator Bush that he should order an attack on Iran. Here are portions of a RawStory article (

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he is so concerned about what he sees as the Bush administration's push for a war with Iran that he is considering using a parliamentary measure to force the House of Representatives to vote on impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney.

"We're preparing for another war, and they're going to destroy America," the Ohio Democrat said Thursday on the Ed Schultz show. "We have a government in place right now that has to be challenged. I'm seriously thinking about calling a privileged resolution on impeachment of the vice president and forcing a vote on the floor of the House."

privileged resolution would force the full House to debate about whether to proceed with impeachment, but it remains unclear precisely how, when or whether Kucinich would be able to introduce such a resolution. Privileged measures "may be called up on the floor whenever another measure is not already pending" and the House agrees to consider it, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Saturday Male Beauty

I'm Here, President Ahmadinejad

This is an interesting and brave story in today's Washington Post ( told by a 25 year old gay Iranian, further adding to Ahmadinejad's ridiculous claim that there are no gays in Iran. The writer wisely is identified only by his first name, Amir. Here are some highlights:
I'm one of those people Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says don't exist. I'm a 25-year-old Iranian, and I'm gay. I live in Tehran with my parents and younger brother and am studying to be a computer software engineer. I've known that I was different from my brother and other boys for as long as I can remember.

I was born in 1982, two years after the start of the Iran-Iraq War, and when I was growing up, most boys loved to play with toy guns, pretending to be soldiers in the war. I liked painting, and playing with dolls. My brother preferred to play with the other boys, so most of the time I was lonely.

I was 16 when I first realized that I was sexually attracted to some of the boys in my high school classes. I had no idea what I could do with that feeling. All I knew about homosexuals were the jokes and negative stories that people told about them. I thought a homosexual was someone who sexually abused children -- until I saw the word "homosexual" for the first time in an English encyclopedia, and found a definition of myself.

Around that time [2000], Iranian society became more open under President Mohammad Khatami's reformist government. The Internet became common, and everybody started talking about issues they couldn't even have thought about before. Until then, the gay world had been underground and secret. Under the Islamic Republic, gays could face the death penalty; they could also lose their jobs and family support. Meetings and parties took place only in the most trusted private homes. Heterosexuals were almost never seen at these gatherings. Even fellow gays were only slowly accepted. It could take years for a homosexual to become known and trusted. Most older gays were married and even had children, and their family and friends had no idea of their sexuality.

There was a handful of gathering places for outcast homosexuals in Tehran, people who couldn't hide their sexuality and had lost their jobs, or people whose families had disowned them, and who had turned to selling sex for money. Those places were always being attacked by the paramilitaries.

My generation was the first to start the coming-out process. I decided to come out when I was 20. I thought that if I just talked to my parents about it, they would accept my reasoning. I was totally wrong. Their reaction was horrible. They started to restrict me -- I couldn't use the phone or invite any of my friends over, and they cut back on financial support. Part of their reaction was religious; part was their concern that I couldn't survive as a homosexual in Iran. They were also ashamed to tell the rest of our family and wanted to see me married to a woman. We argued constantly; they insisted that I wasn't gay, that I only thought I was. It took me years to calm them down, but over time, they lost any hope of changing me, and they started to change themselves. Now they accept that I'm gay, but they're not happy about it.

But we weren't surprised by Ahmadinejad's comments about gays at Columbia University. What else could he say? We stone homosexuals in Iran because that's what God wants? It was a joke, but he gave the only answer he could. I wish our president could learn to respect gays instead of denying us. But I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, my only response to his remarks is this: Whatever he says, Ahmadinejad can't change the fact that we exist.

Amir is an activist in Tehran whose name is being withheld for his safety.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Final Friday Male Beauty

Obama Urges Bush to Sign Hate Crimes Bill

Barack Obama made this statement yesterday urging President Bush to sign the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act:

This vote was about who we are as Americans and whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality. Those who commit hate crimes should be punished no matter whether those crimes are committed on account of race, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Today’s vote is a victory for all of us in upholding basic rights and protections in this country. I urge the President to reconsider his veto threat and support this legislation. Passing this bill will help us live up to the principle that in this country, we treat all of our citizens with dignity and respect.


GOP's crucial '08 base divided

This is an interesting article from the Washington Times (which I read from time to time to see what the opposition is thinking) that looks at the infighting and fragmentation in the Christianist Right. Hopefully, the trend continues (

Catholics and Protestant evangelicals on the right account for about a third of the Republican Party's electoral coalition, and it's difficult for a Republican to win without them. "The problem is that there isn't someone seen as a titular head of the evangelicals who provides guidance on what and who they should be supporting," said Merrill Matthews, an evangelical and resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas.

Most leaders of major social conservative organizations don't like to talk outside their own circles about the movement's splintering. Few are eager to be quoted about internecine antagonisms developing, in part because they fear it will undermine the movement's political clout and the eventual Republican nominee's chances of winning the Oval Office.

But religious-right leaders consider national political leadership a moral trust, and after several secret summits, these leaders are deeply, sometimes acrimoniously, at odds. Focus on the Family President James Dobson twice said publicly that former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is not a Christian. American Values founder Gary Bauer told The Washington Times that Mr. Dobson, once Mr. Bauer's mentor, "hurt the whole conservative Christian movement" by so labeling Mr. Thompson. "Come on, Dobson can't even come up with a biblical basis for saying something like that."
"I understand the frustration we all feel, but for me the two nightmares are a Giuliani-versus-Hillary race, and Hillary taking the oath of office," said Mr. Bauer, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. "We should be very careful not to slice up candidates we may turn to and ask our voter to get behind."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said there are disagreements but not schisms, and that "the majority of social conservatives will be together as long as there is a pro-life, pro-family candidate on the ballot." Mr. Giuliani is the only Republican hopeful who is not pro-life. But the gap between the front-runners and social conservatives widened at a Sept. 17 "values summit" in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attended by almost 1,000 leaders of traditional family organizations across the country. Mr. Thompson, Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Mr. Giuliani "dissed" the event by turning down speaking invitations.

More Friday Male Beauty

GOP Congressman owned home with another man, took DC tax deduction while voting in NC

More trouble for Congressman Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC), who earlier this year had his campaign staffer, Michael Aaron Lay, indicted on charges of voter fraud for registering at the McHenry home in North Carolina illegally (while Lay was being paid by McHenry's campaign at a Tennessee residence, he registered at McHenry's Requa Drive home in Cherryville). In addition, other individuals were registered at McHenry's home around the time of his various election races. In addition to Lay, Neil Everett Capano, Matthew Allen Hamilton, and Jason Jent Deans were all listed on the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Now, it appears at the same time McHenry co-owned a home in Washington with another male and both claimed it as their principal residence in order to secure a significant tax break. Here is part of the PageOneQ story (

Congressman Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC), right, purchased a residence in Washington, DC's Capital Hill neighborhood with another man, PageOneQ has learned. While he owned the home, McHenry and co-owner Scott G. Stewart claimed eligibility for the District of Columbia's Homestead Tax Deduction, a tax reduction program to encourage homeownership and residence in DC. At the same time McHenry was registered to vote, and did so, in Gaston County, North Carolina.

DC Recorder of Deeds told PageOneQ that McHenry and Stewart received a $60,000 deduction off the property's assessed value for tax reduction purposes in the second half of 2001. In order to receive the tax reduction, homeowners are required to certify that the property is "occupied by the owner/applicant." The eligibility guidelines state that the "property must be the principal residence (domicile) of the owner/applicant."

At the same time he owned the home and claimed the deduction in DC, North Carolina Board of Elections records show that McHenry voted in Gaston County, NC. McHenry first cast a ballot in Gaston in November 1993. Subsequently, he voted in twenty different elections up through the November 7, 2006 General Election.

Friday Male Beauty

Gay homework assignment - Research the ‘pro-family’ groups for an eye-opening look at their strategies.

From time to time some readers ask me why I allow the Christianist far Right elements to cause me to show "anger." They suggest that I basically ignore them. This column in the Washington Blade ( suggests not only why it is appropriate to get angry, but also why LGBT citizens need to "know their enemy." A regular perusal of their web sites reveals a concerted, deliberate campaign of hate and disinformation that, unfortunately, too many of their readers are fooled into believing is the truth. It is one thing to argue a point of view on the basis of one's religious belief. It is something else entirely to knowingly and deliberately disseminate lies and false information. Particularly while professing to be a follower of Christ. Here are some column highlights:

Then I remind myself that I am a second-class citizen. I’m not quite like all the other parents who waved goodbye to their kids this morning. I can’t forget that. Nor can I take the warm, cozy and comfortable life I have for granted. And I don’t mean that in some paranoid way. We always need to be reminded of what we are up against.

So in that spirit, I’d like to suggest that each of you to do a little homework. TAKE A FEW minutes and have a look at some web sites. I don’t feel great about driving traffic to some of these sites but I feel there is some upside, so here goes. Google the word “family.” The No. 1 entry is Think about that for a minute.

The No. 1 entry when you Google “family” belongs to James Dobson. He is well funded, has access to extraordinary media platforms and raises millions of dollars instilling fear about gay Americans into his army of followers.I perused that site and stumbled upon a piece offering advice to parents whose son or daughter has just come out to them. It starts out quite nicely and it isn’t until the end that the true colors come shining through. Would you like to know how many millions of Americans hang on James Dobson’s every word? Millions and millions.

NOW LET’S TAKE a look at the Traditional Values Coalition ( Andrea Lafferty (I wonder if she made lunch for her kids this morning) is the executive director and is one of the stable of anti-gay spokespeople sought out by national media. Here is her take on the upcoming vote on ENDA:

“Democrats have a serious problem with this legislation and that is why they are hiding the truth about what ENDA will do. They know that ENDA will give drag queens, cross-dressers, she-males, etc., the same protected status in American law as African Americans or other legitimate minority groups. Yet, they kept these individuals hidden from view at a recent hearing on ENDA.”

Next time you find yourself wondering how a bill as benign as ENDA has not been passed, visit any one of these sites and know that the talking points you find there are being widely disseminated by well-funded organizations.I repeat: I am not a paranoid personality. I like to be well informed. I’ll take that a step further: I believe I have an obligation to be informed.

If you do as the writer of the column suggests, I believe you ill conclude (1) these "Christians" are truly our enemies and (2) getting angry is justified.

Home Sales and Prices Fall Sharply

More grim news on the housing industry front as reported in the New York Times ( Obviously, if the trend continues, more and more builders and homeowners who took out 100% loans and other risky loans will be under increased pressure and/or face bankruptcy. Here are a few story highlights:

The latest data gave a fuller picture of the distress in housing-related industries, where the subprime mortgage crisis has led to turmoil in the broader credit market and to increases in foreclosures. On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors reported a 4.3 percent drop in August in sales of existing homes, and another large home builder, Lennar, recorded the largest quarterly loss in its history.

Last month’s drop-off in new-home sales was focused primarily in the South and the West, areas particularly hurt by subprime-lending problems. The seasonally adjusted pace of new-home sales is now down more than 21 percent from last year.

“If sales continue to fall, builders will continue to cut back on construction, which will be a direct drag to economic growth,” said Michelle Meyer, a Lehman Brothers economist who specializes in the housing industries. “Inventories remain elevated, home prices will fall as a result, and a decline in home prices will depress consumer spending.”

Analysts concurred, predicting that the disappointing data signified only the start of an unfolding decline in housing that could last several quarters. “Anybody that’s expecting a turnaround in housing anytime soon is going to be disappointed,” said Mike Schenk, a senior economist at the Credit Union National Association. “It’s going to be a long, slow process.”

Richard Moody, chief economist at Mission Residential, a real estate investment firm, predicted a jump in foreclosures that would add to inventory woes. “When you combine that with the tightening lending standard we’ve already seen,” he said, “and the tighter credit market conditions we’ve seen since August, it’s going to take that much longer to work all this off.”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ENDA hits snag over transgender inclusion

Regardless of whether or not Chimperator Bush vetoes the Matthew Shepard Act, it is absolutely critical that ENDA be passed. I get call routinely form employees who are harassed or fired due to their sexual orientation and must regretfully tell them that in Virginia (and the majority of the states) there is NO legal protection or recourse. ENDA is the best chance for a correction of this terrible reality. I have no desire to throw transgendered individuals under the bus, but passing a watered down version of ENDA is better than nothing. Also, even if transgendered are not specifically protected, the mere existence of ENDA would likely have some deterrent effect. Here are highlights from the Washington Blade (
House Democratic leaders are strongly considering dropping anti-discrimination protections for transgender persons from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, after an internal Democratic head count on Wednesday found that the bill would likely be defeated if it included the trans provision, multiple sources familiar with the bill said.

The current version of the bill calls for banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, terms that are defined in the measure to include gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons. As of late Wednesday, it appeared likely that the trans provision would be removed, setting up a potentially divisive fight within gay activist circles over whether or not to support an ENDA bill that excludes trans people.
“There has been an unraveling of the bill in the last week,” said a lobbyist familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’re hearing that Speaker Pelosi is very worried about how the gender identity issue will play on the floor,” the lobbyist said. The lobbyist and other sources said Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), among other Democratic leaders, expressed concern that the defecting Democrats would help Republicans garner enough votes to pass a motion either deleting the transgender language from the bill or recommitting the bill to committee, which effectively would kill the entire bill.

“The speaker is committed to passing the strongest possible ENDA bill,” said Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s press secretary. A decision to drop the transgender language from the bill is likely to cause a split in the coalition of civil rights groups that have lobbied for ENDA for more than a decade.
Half a pie is better than no pie whatsoever. I hope the gay rights groups do not go at each other's throats and play into the hands of those in the GOP who want to kill ENDA in its entirety.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Senate Votes to Extend Hate-Crimes Law to Gays

Daddy Dobson must be close to having an aneurysm - well, we can hope can't we? - over the Senate's vote on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. I was extremely please to see that Virginia's Senator John Warner was among the Republicans who voted for passage of the Act. No doubt, the Christo-fascists will be blowing up the Warner's phone lines. Once again, Warner has shown that his retirement will be a loss for Virginia and the country. Hopefully, Mark Warner [no relation] will win John Warner's seat in 2008. Here are some highlights from the Washington Post (

The Senate today approved an expansion of federal hate-crimes law to include protections for gay men and lesbians, defying a presidential veto threat by attaching the measure to a high-priority defense bill. Republicans said they will try to remove the provision in final negotiations with the House, but if that effort fails, GOP leaders urged President Bush to follow through with his long-standing veto threat. They were furious this week when Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he would force a vote on an expanded hate-crimes statute, with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) calling Reid's maneuver a "shameful" attempt to "hijack" essential defense legislation.

Democrats argued that the amendment addresses terrorism of a different form. "The defense authorization is about dealing with the challenges of terrorism overseas," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "This is about terrorism in our neighborhood."

The amendment is called the Matthew Shepard Act, named for a young gay man who was beaten and left to die on a fence near Laramie, Wyo., in 1998. The proposal has passed the House or Senate several times over the years but has never cleared the entire Congress.

Under the Senate amendment, the definition of a hate crime would expand to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Local law enforcement officials would be allowed to apply for federal grants to solve such crimes, and federal agents would be given broader authority to assist state and local police. More stringent federal sentencing guidelines would also be instituted.

Republicans counter that the expansion represents an unnecessary intrusion by the federal government. "We believe that local -- state and local law enforcement agencies are effectively using their laws to the full extent that they can," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Of course, the White House thinks we are succeeding in Iraq too, so that demonstrates how much the Chimperator's opinion is worth.

The Thomas Project: A study designed for specific results

Here is yet another analysis trashing the Exodus International/Focus on the Family financed "study" that the Christian Right is advertising as supporting their "choice" myth ( Let's be real: this is all about making money off of these "cure" programs and desperately keeping alive the choice myth for political propaganda reasons. The backers of the study care nothing about the truth. Here are some highlights:

It was called the Thomas Project. When its principal investigators — Stanton Jones of Wheaton College and Mark Yarhouse of Pat Robertson University — published Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press, 2007), the Christianist Right hailed the study as “scientific proof” sexual orientation can be changed:

“While we’ve known all along that long-term change is possible for people with unwanted same-sex attractions, it’s interesting to note how high the percentage of reported change was,” said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus on the Family’s gender issues department. [italics added]

[W]hat is surprising — even for the Dobson organization skilled in spinning things to suit their theopolitical agenda — is the irrationality of “how high the percentage of reported change was.”The Thomas Project included a pool of only 98 people, all of whom had been referred to various Exodus ministries for “treatment.” Exodus International claims to be “the largest information and referral ministry in the world addressing homosexual issues.” Exodus is not a medical or science-based organization. It’s a ministry. “Freedom is possible through Jesus Christ!” is their mantra and they, like Dobson’s Focus on the Family, are well known for exaggerations.

[A]ll participants in the Thomas Project were clients of and counseled by Exodus International.Focus on the Family’s Melissa Fryrear chirped about the “high … percentage of reported change.” But look at the numbers reported in the study:

– 33 people reported change in the desired manner (from gay at time 1 in the heterosexual direction at time 3)

– 29 reported no change

– 8 reported change in the “undesired direction”

– 3 were unsure how to describe their experience

– 25 dropped out of the study.

Add up those numbers: 33 + 29 + 8 + 3 + 25 = 98 (72 men and 26 women). A study claiming such global conclusions was based on a subject pool — selected from Exodus clients — of less than 100 people. The “high percentage” Ms. Fryrear chirped about is less than the combined percentage of those reporting “no change” and those who were “gayer” than when they entered the project.

Some participants reported that they were still homosexual, but were living a “chaste life.” As noted in “What on earth is ex-gay ‘success’?If “change” means one is constantly fighting off same-sex urges, then that sounds more like “ex-gay” means ticking time bombs (Bob Allen, Larry Craig, and the like, who truly believe they are straight but seek out sex with men) or chaste individuals suppressing their orientation than it does a true conversion. Sexual orientation is not simply about sex acts, something the ex-gay movement continually fails to acknowledge when touting “success.”

A weak methodology that included only participants likely to yield the desired results: junk science encouraging potentially harmful “therapeutic” practices. That being said, should individuals have the right to seek “ex-gay” therapy? Yes: caveat emptor. Before entering into such programs, however, those offering such “treatments” should be required — ethically and legally — to tell prospective clients the scientific, medical facts. Perhaps then those seeking change might consider legitimate psychological counseling to learn to accept themselves rather than opting for hocus-pocus religion-based “therapy” designed to teach them to reject who they are and lead fraudulent, repressed lives of denial.

Thursday Male Beauty

Following Bush Over a Cliff

This column by David Broder ( discusses a phenomenon that I simply do not understand - why members of the GOP blindly follow a president that the vast majority of the population disapprove of and believe is taking the country in the wrong direction. The GOP increasingly deserves to be savaged at the polls in 2008. As for the Chimperator, perhaps a mental institution is where he belongs:
The spectacle Tuesday of 151 House Republicans voting in lock step with the White House against expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was one of the more remarkable sights of the year. Rarely do you see so many politicians putting their careers in jeopardy.
The bill they opposed, at the urging of President Bush, commands healthy majorities in both the House and Senate but is headed for a veto because Bush objects to expanding this form of safety net for the children of the working poor. He has staked out that ground on his own, ignoring or rejecting the pleas of conservative senators such as Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch, who helped shape the compromise that the House approved and that the Senate endorsed.

Governors of both parties -- 43 of them, again including conservatives such as Sonny Perdue of Georgia -- have praised the program. And they endorsed the congressional decision to expand the coverage to an additional 4 million youngsters, at the cost of an additional $35 billion over the next five years. The bill would be financed by a 61-cents-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes. If ever there was a crowd-pleaser of a bill, this is it. Hundreds of organizations -- grass-roots groups ranging from AARP to United Way of America and the national YMCA -- have called on Bush to sign the bill. America's Health Insurance Plans, the largest insurance lobbying group, endorsed the bill on Monday.

Bush's adamant stand may be peculiar to him, but the willingness of Republican legislators to line up with him is more significant. Bush does not have to face the voters again, but these men and women will be on the ballot in just over a year -- and their Democratic opponents will undoubtedly remind them of their votes.

Two of their smartest colleagues -- Heather Wilson of New Mexico and Ray LaHood of Illinois -- tried to steer House Republicans away from this political self-immolation, but they had minimal success. The combined influence of White House and congressional leadership -- and what I would have to call herd instinct -- prevailed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

Matthew Shepard Act Vote Looming

The U. S. Senate will be voting in the next day or so on the Matthew Shepard Act that would add sexual orientation to the federal hate crimes laws as a protected category. The Christianists are pulling out the stops with lies and deliberate mis-information to stop passage of this important act. Any readers who have not yet done so need to contact their Senators and urge them to vote "Yes."

The Bankrupt Republicans

This ( not look like very good news for the GOP. Admittedly, at the natioal committee, the GOP still has an advantage, but the Democrat advantage at the House and Senate level more than bridges this gap. I hope the gap against the GOP continues to widen. In my view, only a massacre in November, 2008, will end the far right lunacy that has become the hallmark of the GOP:

A crucial GOP fundraising committee is nearly broke, according to its latest monthly filing with the Federal Election Committee last week. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) reported $1.6 million in cash on hand and $4 million in debts as of Aug. 31. The group helps bankroll House campaigns for GOP candidates. Its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reported $22.1 million, more than 10 times its Republican counterpart.

Senate Republicans are in a state of relative poverty, also. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has just over $7 million on hand, according to the new filings. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has more than $20 million.

Victimization For Sexual Orientation Increases Suicidal Behavior In College Students

In follow up to my previous post about gay teen suicide risks, this article ( confirms that the increased risk factor extends right up into the college years. In fact, new research indicates that being victimized because of sexual orientation is a chief risk factor for suicidal behavior among gay, lesbian and bisexual college students. I know I certainly had my thoughts of suicide at times in college. I guess I was hardly alone. Here are some highlights:
The study is the first to explore the link between victimization and suicidal behavior among college students. In the course of the study, University of Washington researcher Heather Murphy also uncovered a group of students who previously had not been studied and are at increased risk for suicidal behavior. These students identified themselves as heterosexual, but also reported being attracted to people of the same sex or engaging in same-sex behavior.

This group was three times as likely as heterosexuals to have made a plan to commit suicide in the past year and six times more likely to have actually attempted suicide in the same period. Gay, lesbian and bisexual students also were at increased risk for suicidal behavior. They were twice as likely as heterosexuals to have planned and to have attempted suicide in the previous year.
"A lot of people stop thinking about sexual orientation related victimization and suicide as a problem beyond the K-12 school years," she said. "But suicide doesn't stop after high school. I thought I wouldn't find very much victimization in Seattle, and I certainly wasn't expecting these kinds of numbers." The study was provoked by a question from a 15-year-old gay male while Murphy was working on an internship as a school psychologist at a high school. The youth, who was suicidal and using drugs, asked her, "Does it get better in college"" She didn't know.

To find out Murphy recruited 528 participants -- 404 heterosexuals, 79 same-sex attracted heterosexuals, 38 gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and 7 who said they were not sure of their sexual identity. The students ranged in age from 17 to 26, with a mean age of 19, and 63 percent of them were female. "There is a lot of hype that gay kids are more suicidal," she said. "My study shows that this is not so. In my study, being victimized for being gay was the risk factor that increased suicidal- behavior risk."

More Wednesday Male Beauty


Personally, I find President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be a very loathe some individual. Obviously, from this PageOne Q story (, he does not get it that the media in the rest of the world is not as easily intimidated and controled in his country. His statement that gays do not exist in Iran simply shows him to be a delusional idiot. Nowadays with the Internet, Iran can scrub its official site, but the truth can and will get out. That was a lesson learned by the former Soviet Union and which is being learned by China (Chimperator Bush still has not learned the lesson). Every time a means is found to block the flow of the truth, creative individuals will find a way around it. Here are highlights from the story:

The official website of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has removed a portion of a transcript of his speech yesterday at Columbia University. In the scrubbed section, part of a question and answer period, Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals in Iran. In a statement released by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission the organization noted that the comments had been removed from the Persian language version of the site, but left in the English transcription of the speech. Following an inquiry by PageOneQ made to the Iranian embassy, the entire question and answer period has been removed from the site.

In response to a question on the execution of gays in Iran, Ahmadinejad said there were no homosexuals in his country. "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," he said. Audience members booed and howled at the guest. "In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don't know who has told you that we have it," he added.

According to IGLHRC, no Persian language papers have reported on the remarks. "To date, not a single Persian-language media outlet in Iran - including Iran's official news agency, IRNA, and the semi-independent news agencies, ISNA, Mehrrnews and Farsnews, and the Wednesday morning newspapers - has reported on the President's comments," said IGLHRC's statement.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Whirl Wind Trip

I am back from the whirl wind trip and managed to see my mom who lives a mile or two from Monticello [pictured above], attend a conference, and have a nice dinner with my youngest daughter, all in about 27 hours. Of course, having been out of the office for only one day, I still find myself buried with voicemail messages and e-mails. The interview process of prospective roommates continues and two will be coming by tonight. I really want to make a decision soon just to get the process over with. Time permitting, I will post more this evening.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Vitter secures $100K for Louisiana anti-evolution group

I was about to log off and head to bed when I saw this article which goes to show just how disingenuous David Vitter and his Christianist allies have come to be. I guess if you land $100K for an anti-evolution program, the Christianist will close their eyes to one's frequent visits to prostitutes. Here are highlights from Raw Story (

In a move ostensibly aimed at providing "better science education" in Louisiana schools, Sen. David Vitter has secured $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund an anti-evolution effort spearheaded by a religious group politically connected to the alleged prostitute-soliciting Republican. Vitter secured an earmark in an upcoming labor, health and education financing bill for the Louisiana Family Forum, which The New Orleans Times Picayune reports has "taken the lead in promoting 'origins science,' which includes the possibility of divine intervention in the creation of the universe."

The group was founded by Tony Perkins, a former Louisiana state lawmaker who now leads the conservative Family Research Council [and who has ties to Klan Leader David Duke]. The Louisiana Family Forum works to "present biblical principals" on public policy issues, and until a reporter questioned them about it, the group's Web site included a "battle plan to combat evolution," which argued the theory "has no place in the classroom." Despite Vitter's admission earlier this year that he used a Washington, DC, call-girl service and allegations that he frequented prostitutes in New Orleans, the first-term Republican has maintained the support of religious conservatives in his home state.

Critics torpedoed the idea that Vitter's earmark was anything but an attempt to federally subsidize religious instruction. "This is a misappropriation of public funds," Charles Kincade, a civil rights lawyer in Monroe, La., who has been involved in church-state cases told the Times Picayune. "It's a backdoor attempt to push a religious agenda in the public school system."

Tuesday Male Beauty (Advanced Preview)

Here are a few photos for readers who visit for eye candy in case I do not get to post tomorrow.:)

Out of town

I am in Charlottesville for a conference tomorrow and my computer access will be limited. I am visiting my mom ( who has turned in fir the night)as I type this, then a conference on foreclosure issues hosted by a State Housing Authority to address the ballooning number of foreclosures and certain unethical "foreclosure rescue" schemes that take advantage of homeowners in financial distress. Several real estate investors from Tidewater will be there tomorrow too. Our goal is to craft legislation to be introduced in the legislative session that will provide safe harbor guide lines for investors and protect homeowners too. I still know many members of the Virginia General Assembly, so we hope to recruit bi-partisan sponsors for the bill. It should be interesting.
Tomorrow afternoon after the conference, I will bid my mom goodbye and head home, stopping in Richmond to have dinner with my youngest daughter who is a student at VCU. She alone of my kids is standing by me currently. She's a sweetheart and smart young lady. For those who have seen the crazy teen movie "Super Bad," she looks a lot like a shorter haired version of Emma Stone [pictured above] who plays Jules.
Depending upon when I get back to Norfolk, I may post some tomorrow night.

Final Monday Male Beauty

LGBT Teen Suicide Still A Persistent Problem

As the Christianists and pompous homophobes like Archbishop Peter Akinola continue their relentless attacks against LBGT rights and continue their efforts to demonize and marginalize gays, their handiwork continues to take a deadly toll. Here is a portion of a news story from the Contra Costa Times (California) (

In the gay community, youth suicide continues to be a persistent problem, experts say. Among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths, as many as 40 percent are likely to attempt suicide, said Cassie Blume, youth programs coordinator for the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose. The national data is derived from several studies, Blume said. "They are three times more likely to attempt suicide" than straight young people, Blume said. "Our work can be just about keeping them alive."

University of Minnesota pediatrics professor Gary Remafedi's book, "Death by Denial," found that 30 percent of gay youths said they had attempted suicide at least once as a teenager. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report from 1989 concluded that gay youths are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than straight teens. Gay and lesbian teens accounted for about 30 percent of youth suicides, the department found.

I hope these "good Christians" are proud of themselves. I find them disgusting. So much death and heartache and for what? So that these self-satisfied and self-righteous bigots can feel good about themselves?

More Monday Male Beauty

Archbishop: Gays have place in church

The battle between those who follow Christ's message of love and those who would make the Gospels a message of hate continues. First, Archbishop Rowan Williams makes statements confirming that gays have a place in the Anglican Communion (

Dr Williams's support for gays will fuel anger among conservative Church members who will see his message of support as direct challenge to their deeply held view that homosexuality is a sin. In his address to a key -gathering of 159 American bishops in New Orleans, the Archbishop insisted: "I do not assume that homosexual inclination is a disease." Warning that "violence against gay and lesbian people is inexcusable," he added: "Gay and lesbian people have a place in the Church as do all the baptised." Dr Williams flew to America in a last-minute round of shuttle diplomacy to reconcile the warring camps.
But his message of support for homosexual rights will be seen by religious conservatives as confirmation that he has taken sides against them and that they are viewed as the rebels in the Anglican Church. American bishops seem certain this week to endorse a greater role for homosexuals in the Church, in a move that could cause the biggest worldwide split in the Anglican congregation, headed by the departure of conservative African and Asian bishops.

Evangelical Christians around the world believe that homosexuality is a sin that can be cured, a view emphatically rejected by Dr Williams. He condemned homophobia and said that the roles gays could take within the Church were being considered. Dr Williams also said that the American Church faces "no ultimatum" to end its stance on gays, which includes the ordination of the openly homosexual Bishop of New Hampshire three years ago. His words will force the African church leaders to decide whether to leave the Anglican Church or accept that the American Church cannot be forced to stop appointing gay bishops.
In contrast to Williams, fundamentalist hate merchant Archbishop Peter Akinola from Nigeria delivered the sermon Sunday at a Wheaton, Illinios congregation consisting of several area churches that have separated from the U.S. Episcopal Church because of its acceptance of homosexuality (,1,4809684.story):
In an impassioned Sunday morning sermon to more than 2,000 worshipers at a Wheaton church, a leading critic of the Episcopal Church's liberal stance on homosexuality spoke against sexual sin, saying unity must come from transformation and obedience to God. His controversial visit to Edman Memorial Chapel coincides with a meeting in New Orleans of Episcopal bishops who must respond to a demand from Anglican leaders that they stop consecrating gay bishops and ban the blessing of same-sex unions.
"Fornication is fornication. Adultery is adultery. ... These are the areas of primary evangelism," Akinola said. The archbishop also supports a bill in Nigeria that would make homosexual sex and any public expression of homosexual identity a crime punishable by imprisonment."He refers to his views on gays as Scripture. Well, I refer to them as outright bigotry," said Jim Beyer, a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in La Grange.Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, said: "Akinola preaches hate and division. He's trying to split the worldwide Anglican Communion and he's making scapegoats of gays in the U.S. and especially in Nigeria."

Monday Male Beauty

Christian Right Grooms New Generation Of Leaders To Fight Gay Civil Rights

As if there are not already enough fundamentalist nut cases in the world - e.g., Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - the American Taliban is busy training more self-righteous, self-satisfied bigots to go on the attack against LGBT civil rights. Who cares about the poor, starving and homeless when you can get off bashing gay citizens. Here is a story on one such training effort in Florida (

(Brandon, Florida) Headed into the 2008 election season, Christian conservatives are weary. Their movement has lost iconic leaders and the Republican presidential field is uninspiring. But they may have found hope in a trailer on the campus of Bell Shoals Baptist Church. There, in Annex Room No. 3, Ruth Klingman nods as a leader in Florida's pro-family movement describes how gay marriage would open the door to other "aberrant forms of marriage." He holds up a printout of "polygamy pot lucks" as evidence. Yes, Klingman says afterward, she will do her part to pass a constitutional amendment cementing marriage as a union between one man and one woman in this presidential swing state. The first Family Impact Summit had minted a new activist.

Organized by a scarcely known Tampa-area Christian group and ending Saturday, the summit sounded a back-to-basics theme: that evangelicals are called to be active citizens to combat threats from the left; that the work must involve not just national advocacy groups but local people and pastors; and the fight requires patience and persistence.

The next marriage battleground is likely here in Florida. In the workshop that won Klingman over, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council described the particulars: volunteers have collected 597,702 verified signatures toward the 611,009 needed to get an anti-gay marriage amendment on the fall 2008 ballot. Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said state and local groups tend to stick close to social issues that please religious conservatives. Many in the movement wrote off the national Christian Coalition as just another mainstream GOP group vying for power after it got involved in foreign policy and tax cuts, he said. "Even if these local groups merely exist for one election cycle and go out of existence, they can still have a real impact turning people out to vote," Rozell said.

A Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey this month showed white evangelical Protestants are the only major group that considers social issues like abortion and gay marriage very important to '08 presidential decision-making. But even among that voting bloc, social issues trailed the Iraq war, the economy and other domestic issues.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Final Sunday Male Beauty

Massive surveillance net keeps track of Americans' travel -- down to the size of your hotel bed

It is nice to know that in the supposedly land of the free that American citizens have less and less privacy. This article from the Washington Post is downright scary and one can only wonder whether or not the Chimperator's regime knows the number of times you use the toilet. It is getting more and more like a police state here. ( Here are some highlights:

The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

Officials say the records, which are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System, help border officials distinguish potential terrorists from innocent people entering the country. But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged. The details were learned when a group of activists requested copies of official records on their own travel. Those records included a description of a book on marijuana that one of them carried and small flashlights bearing the symbol of a marijuana leaf.

Officials yesterday defended the retention of highly personal data on travelers not involved in or linked to any violations of the law. But civil liberties advocates have alleged that the type of information preserved by the department raises alarms about the government's ability to intrude into the lives of ordinary people. The millions of travelers whose records are kept by the government are generally unaware of what their records say, and the government has not created an effective mechanism for reviewing the data and correcting any errors, activists said. The activists alleged that the data collection effort, as carried out now, violates the Privacy Act, which bars the gathering of data related to Americans' exercise of their First Amendment rights, such as their choice of reading material or persons with whom to associate. They also expressed concern that such personal data could one day be used to impede their right to travel.

More Sunday Male Beauty

Sunday Ramblings

I have begun the process of having some prospective roommates come by the house. I was energetic this morning and cleaned the house, cleaned the bathroom, tidied up, and such fun tasks. It always seems so weird meeting people with whom one may end up living for the first time. I don't know if apprehensive is the right word - just a feeling of awkwardness, I guess. Time will tell what the outcome will be.
Now, I am at the office working on a notice of redemption for a bond series for an apartment complex that is going to be refinanced. Tax-exempt bond financing is one of my unusual areas of expertise. It clearly is not the most exhilarating work, however. With the residential real estate market basically dead, I thank God that I have had a burst of commercial work come in the door. That and estate planning documents for LGBT clients will go some way to make up the drop in the residential work.
The weather has turned beautiful - warm days and cooler evenings - the heat and humidity of summer have faded. In many ways, the second half of September and October are the nicest time of the year here in Southeastern Virginia.

Sunday Male Beauty

AP Poll: Most see Iraq war as failure

A new AP poll indicates that a clear majority of Americans consider the Iraq War to be a failure. One group, however, continues to be as out of touch with reality as Chimperator Bush: Evangelical Christians. My, my, what a surprise. I guess they are drinking the same Kool-Aid as the Chimperator. Here are a few highlights:

WASHINGTON - The public sees the Iraq war as a failure and thinks the U.S. troop buildup there has not worked, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll suggesting the tough sell President Bush faces in asking Congress and voters for more time.

The pessimism expressed by most people — including significant minorities of Republicans — contrasted with the brighter picture offered by Gen. David Petraeus. The chief U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress on Monday that the added 30,000 troops have largely achieved their military goals and could probably leave by next summer, though he conceded there has been scant political progress. By 59 percent to 34 percent, more people said they believe history will judge the Iraq war a complete or partial failure than a success. People calling it a mistake to go to war in March 2003 outnumbered those calling it the right decision by 57 percent to 37 percent, numbers that have stayed about level for more than a year. About a quarter of Republicans, along with most Democrats and independents, labeled the war an error.

Two groups that normally support the Bush administration — white evangelical voters and conservatives — remained largely behind its war strategy. Just over half of the white evangelicals who attend church at least weekly said the war was the right decision and the extra troops were helping, while about four in 10 said the war is a success — well more than Catholics and Protestants measured in the survey. Slight majorities of conservatives saw success in Iraq, a troop increase that is working and a war that was the right choice.