Saturday, September 08, 2012

Hate Group Leader Linda Harvey's Conniption Fit Over California Ban on "Conversion Therapy"

It's almost amusing to watch the hysteria and spray spittle enveloping the "ex-gay" snake oil merchants and professional Christian crowd in the wake of the California legislature's enactment of a ban on so-called conversion therapy, a/k/a reparative therapy.  While these nasty individuals posture and pontificate the bottom line is that they know full well that if other states adopt similar bans, their cottage industry of preying on tormented gays and/or their parents who can't tolerate the embarrassment of having a gay child  will come to an end.   Worse yet, their insidious agenda of trying to convince the public that sexual orientation is a choice will slowly wither and die.  Linda Harvey of Mission America - a registered anti-gay hate group  - who has ZERO credentials on mental health issues or sexual orientation issues illustrates the spittle flying conniption fits.  Here's a sampling of her batshitery via Right Wing Watch:

Mission America’s Linda Harvey is weighing in on the debate over California’s SB 1172, the legislation detested by anti-gay activists because it will prohibit counselors from engaging in discredited sexual orientation conversion therapy with minors. Harvey said the bill is another move by the “aggressive homosexual lobby” to keep children and teenagers from hearing the truth about sexuality, and she is hoping that more Americans will begin to “see how false and harmful the gay agenda is and it’s our youth who are particularly at risk” before other states consider similar bills. Later, she decried the legislation as “seriously evil” as it could lead gay and lesbian youth “down the road of spiritual, emotional and physical tragedy.”

HARVEY:   If Governor Jerry Brown signs a bill just passed by both houses of the California assembly, that state will essentially ban heterosexuality for some kids. Despite a huge controversy, Senate Bill 1172 recently passed anyway, it bans all forms of sexual orientation change efforts by licensed counselors for people under the age of 18, even if the patient and parent want this type of therapy. For some teens, this means they will never hear that a person who has same-sex attractions does not have to act on those desires. They may also never hear the fact that no science has demonstrated that people are born gay, but reality doesn’t stop the aggressive homosexual lobby. It is expected that this law will be signed by the Governor.

[S]imilar bills may soon be introduced in New Jersey and a few other states. It’s the latest strategy of those who oppose biblical morality to portray high sexual standards as being mean and hateful.

There are no words to describe how seriously evil this is. It can affect certain children in a make it or break it way. Imagine you are the parent of a thirteen year old son who announces that he thinks he might be gay and wants to start dating other guys! You as a well-informed Christian know this is not the way he was born and that he could easily start down the road of spiritual, emotional and physical tragedy.

What's seriously evil is hate filled individuals like Ms. Harvey who seek to inflict their own disturbed paranoia and afflictions on everyone and who will resort to any and all lies and untruths to denigrate others. Forcing teens into ex-gay therapy is nothing less than a form of child abuse and it needs to be outlawed nationwide.

New York City - Day 1

We had a great day here in New York yesterday and walked around, picked up tickets for a Broadway show today and had a wonderful dinner with my niece (she operates Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets that has a link to the right on this blog) and closed out the day at the Monster Bar which is just down the street from where we stay. 

During the afternoon we stopped at the Forbes Galleries (there is no admission charge) and enjoyed an exhibit on the liner U.S.S. United States - which was built less than 10 miles from our home in Hampton - along with some wonderful art work.

Dinner was at a Singapore style restaurant called Masak in the East Village.  Whenever we are in New York two things always strike me:  the diversity of the people and how many beautiful guys there are.

The only disappointment of the day was the Monster Bar where the supposed dance party had some of the most awful music I've heard anywhere.  It's kind of shocking when Norfolk clubs have better music than a New York gay club.  My advice to visitors to the City is to avoid the Monster Bar on Friday night.  I love to dance, but we went home and I read a book - the music was that bad.

Today we plan on hitting the street fair in the lower east side near Chinatown where my niece is a vendor, hitting the show this afternoon and then dinner with the daughter of one of the boyfriend's clients who lives just down the street from where we are staying.  We plan on dining at Philip-Marie here in the West Village where we have dined before and never been disappointed.

At the Monster

Catholic Bishop Convicted of Shielding Pedophile Priest

In what ought to be the first in a huge volume of criminal convictions, the Bishop of Kansas City, Robert W. Finn (pictured at left), was convicted of protecting a predator priest.  Unfortunately, he was only convicted of a misdemeanor rather than a felony, but at least it's yet another signal to the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that civil authorities are no longer going to allow these foul men to be above the law.  What is sad is that Finn engaged in the very same conduct as countless other bishops, cardinals, and yes, Benedict XVI himself, yet they have dodge criminal prosecution to date.  In my opinion, the whole lot of them belong behind bars, and I cannot understand how anyone with a shred of morality can continue to give deference or financial support to these morally bankrupt individuals.  The New York Times has details.  Here are excerpts:

A Roman Catholic bishop was found guilty on Thursday of failing to report suspected child abuse, becoming the first American bishop in the decades-long sexual abuse scandal to be convicted of shielding a pedophile priest. 

In a hastily announced bench trial that lasted a little over an hour, a judge found the bishop, Robert W. Finn, guilty on one misdemeanor charge and not guilty on a second charge, for failing to report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls. The counts each carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but Bishop Finn was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation.

The verdict is a watershed moment in the priest sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the church since the 1980s.  .  .  .  .  the Kansas City case has served as a wake-up call to Catholics that the policies cannot be effective if the bishops do not follow them. 

It was an abrupt ending to a case that has consumed the church in Kansas City and threatened to turn into a sensational, first-ever trial of a sitting prelate. The case had been scheduled for a jury trial later this month, but on Wednesday the prosecution said it would be decided in one afternoon by Judge John M. Torrence in Jackson County Circuit Court. 

Before being sentenced, Bishop Finn, 59, his jaw quivering, rose in court and said: “I am pleased and grateful that the prosecution and the courts have allowed this matter to be completed.  .  .  .  .   The church managed to avoid a lengthy, highly public jury trial like the one earlier this year in Philadelphia, where a high-ranking assistant to the archbishop was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to prison for three to six years. 

The Jackson County prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, said that the expedited trial spared the young victims and their parents from having to testify. She said it also meant that the disturbing photographs of children would not be shown in open court. She said the victims and their families “were all ecstatic that this could end today.” 

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, like some other victims’ advocacy groups, applauded the unprecedented conviction of a bishop but said in a statement that the sentence was too lenient. “Only jail time would have made a real difference here,” it said.

I agree with SNAP.  Only jail time will force the Church to purge the ranks of the hierarchy of those who knowingly enabled and protected child rapists.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday Morning Male Beauty

Democrats: Gay Is Good for America

As a gay America, one thing that was striking about the Democrat Party convention was the end of the reluctance of the party to openly admit that LGBT Americans exist.  Even more, the repeated references to LGBT rights even suggests that addressing our existence and rights is good politics.  Unlike the GOP which is controlled by hate and fear driven Christofascists, the Democrats seem to understand that society is changing and that the younger generations are fully on board for LGBT equality.  A piece in Slate looks at this phenomenon.  Here are excerpts:

More than a dozen speakers mentioned LGBT equality on the first two nights of the Democratic convention, including Michelle Obama, who positioned marriage equality as a new ingredient of American greatness: “If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.” Openly gay speakers are getting primetime billing. A record-setting 8 percent of delegates are LGBT. The party’s unprecedented embrace of gay equality comes a week after Joe Biden thanked gay rights advocates in Provincetown for “freeing the soul of the American people.” The gay rights movement, said the vice president, was advancing the “civil rights of every straight American.” For gay people’s “courage,” he said, “We owe you.”

There you have it: For the first time ever, Democrats at their most public, high-profile moment are treating gay rights as a political winner. They’re moving along with public opinion: In the latest Harris Interactive poll, 52 percent of likely voters favored same-sex marriage, including 70 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents.

Instead, equality is increasingly—and correctly—cast as a means of improving not only the lot of minorities, but the country for us all. New York magazine recently reported the trend of a growing number of straight couples quoting gay marriage court decisions in their own wedding ceremonies. Expanding access appears to be rejuvenating rather than destroying the institution. As Slate reported earlier this year, statistics bear this out. The marriage rate in Massachusetts, the first state to allow gay couples to wed, actually went up in the years same-sex marriage became legal, even adjusting for the initial 16 percent increase caused by pent-up demand by gay couples waiting to wed. What’s more, in each of the five states that legalized same-sex marriage starting in 2004, divorce rates dropped even while the average rate across the country rose. These figures give the lie to breathless warnings that same-sex marriage will harm marriage.

Equal rights fosters openness, which has positive fallout of its own. There are no doubt fewer sham marriages than there were in the 1950s. Gay-straight friendships are more authentic without a lifelong secret blocking discussion about love and intimacy. Straight men are likely more forgiving of their own nonconformist impulses—perhaps including passing same-sex desires. Parents have fewer estranged relations with sons and daughters whose deepest secrets and fears they once could never know, and whose struggles with depression and loneliness they sought in vain to understand.

The principle that minority equality helps the majority was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most important insights during the black civil rights movement. “The stirring lesson of this age,” King declared, “is that mass nonviolent direct action is not a peculiar device for Negro agitation,” but a “method for defending freedom and democracy, and for enlarging these values for the benefit of the whole society.”

There's much more to the piece and it is worth a full read.

Reflections on Obama's Acceptance Speech

Some were underwhelmed by Barack Obama's acceptance speech last night I suspect largely because he did not lay out his proposed agenda for the next four years.  The problem, of course, is that unless the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, it will be difficult to implement any plans Obama may have.  Thus, on the one hand, laying out an agenda, the GOP obstructionists would only have a road map in advance for their future efforts to screw over Obama and the nation.   But, more details of what he hopes to accomplish might have helped win over the undecided voter element in the electorate.  

One Obama did accomplish is to lay out the stark night and day difference between to GOP vision of the future - e.g., an attempt to return to the 1950's with gays, minorities and woman clearly subordinate and a reprise of the policies that got the country into the economic mess from which it is still struggling to recover -  and a vastly more future looking Democrat approach that includes and embrace of science and knowledge rather than religion and ignorance.  For me, it's a no brainer as to which vision I support.

Another aspect of the contrasts between the two parties' conventions is the lily white aspects of the GOP convention versus the Democrats who included everyone.  It offends and sickens me that the Republican Party despite it's disingenuous effort to show case a handful of blacks and Hispanics is in fact in the final analysis a white Christianist party.  Others are not welcomed despite the false images that were floated in Tampa.  I have a nephew about to marry a young woman of Asian descent and I have a niece engaged to a wonderful Hispanic man.  That these two amazing young Americans are viewed as foreigners or "not Americans' in the eyes of the GOP is beyond disturbing to me.  Add in what the GOP platform would do to LGBT Americans and women and I see today's GOP as nothing less than a menace.

Yes, Obama's speech could have been more, but he and the rest of the Democrat speakers made a clear case of the two visions voters have to choose from.  I hope they embrace the Democrat vision.  If they don't and Romney/Ryan triumph, I question whether this country will be a place I want to live in.  It will certainly be a crueler and less compassionate country and most of us will be the losers.

Mother Sues School Division for Bullied Son's Suicide

I've written about gay teen suicides all too often and sadly, far too many school divisions ignore the problem while giving a wink and a nod to the forces that support bullying as an "expression of religious belief."  Frankly, I am convinced that the only way in which we will see significant change on this front is through more lawsuits against school systems and school administrators who either negligently or deliberately fail to protect bullied LGBT students.  Monetary judgments and the loss of jobs in the wake of lawsuits seem to be the only means to get the message across that all students have the right to be safe in their school.  No matter what disingenuous bullshit organizations like Focus on the Family disseminate.  A mother in Indiana is suing the school division that failed to protect her son who ultimately took his own life.  Here are highlights from Eagle Country 99.3:

Greensburg Community Schools are being sued by the mother of a 15-year-old boy who was allegedly bullied into committing suicide.  

Indianapolis-based attorney Tom Blessing said the school system is partly to blame for the 2010 death of Billy Lucas, who hung himself.  The lawsuit was filed September 4.

“The peers ridiculing him and harassing him was bad enough, but when the teachers stood there and let it happen when it occurred physically in their presence, they would say things or make comments as well,” Blessing said.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims Lucas was a target because of his learning disability, ethnicity and because some classmates thought he was gay.

Ann Lucas says her son Billy talked to her just days before his suicide about being bullied.

“He told me ‘Mom, you don’t know what it’s like to walk down the halls of school and be afraid of who’s going to hit you, who’s going to kick you,” said Lucas.

The attorney said there is a long history of bullying and harassment in Greensburg schools because students know no one ever steps in to stop the behavior.

In addition to the school corporation, the lawsuit also names as defendants former Greensburg Junior High School principal Rodney King, assistant principal David Strouse, teacher Iris Ramp and teacher’s aide Darci Kovacich.

In the complaint Blessing claims “Ramp and Kovacich witnessed students harassing and bullying W.L. (Lucas) on multiple occasions yet did nothing to prevent or stop it. In fact, Ramp and Kovacich not only ignored the harassment of W.L. by other students at the School, but in some cases encouraged and even actively participated in the harassment of W.L. themselves.”

I continue to sickened by the vileness of those who likely go to church on Sundays, pat themselves on the back for their "goodness" and then treat or condone the treatment of others as less than human.  I don't understand the sick mindset.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Headed to New York City

The boyfriend and I are headed to New York City this afternoon for a long weekend.  We will be staying at the usual place - a friend's apartment on Christopher Street (pictured above).  Fortunately, our Obama campaign intern - Ittai Orr who made the documentary "Breaking the Silence" - whom we are housing for the next two months will be house sitting our place in Hampton and watching over things for us.

Because of the trip, blog posts will be more sporadic and possible fewer in number.  Perhaps I will see some New York readers at The Monster or other destinations in the City.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Group Claims to Have Stolen Copies of Romney Tax Returns

Only time will tell whether or not the claim is for real or merely a stunt to keep a lively discussion of Mitt Romney's hidden tax returns in the political mix, but a group is claiming that it has stolen copies of Romney's pre-2010 tax returns from an office of Price Waterhouse Coopers.  Obviously, if the claim is real and the returns are released, the world will know the details of whatever Romney has been secretly hiding.  Since I have a growing dislike for Romney, who seems to be an arrogant pathological liar driven only by his quest for more and more wealth, part of me would like the claim to be true and to see the returns released.  Here are highlights from coverage in the Washington Post:

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The Secret Service said Wednesday it is investigating the reported theft of copies of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s federal tax records during a break-in at an accounting office in Franklin. Someone claiming responsibility demanded $1 million not to make them public.

An anonymous letter sent to Romney’s accounting firm and political offices in Tennessee and published online sought $1 million in hard-to-trace Internet currency to prevent the disclosure of his tax filings, which have emerged as a key focus during the 2012 presidential race. Romney released his 2010 tax returns and a 2011 estimate in January, but he has refused to disclose his returns from earlier years.

Romney’s accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said there was no evidence that any Romney tax files were stolen.  “At this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question,” PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman Chris Atkins said.

The data theft was claimed in letters left with political party offices in Franklin and disclosed in several Tennessee-area newspapers. Jean Barwick, the executive director of the Williamson County Republic Party, said employees in the GOP office found a small package on Friday with a hand-written address. The package contained a letter and a computer flash drive, she said.
An anonymous posting on a file-sharing website said the returns were stolen Aug. 25 from the accounting firm’s office. After “all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied,” the posting said, flash drives containing encrypted copies of his pre-2010 tax records were sent to the firm and to Republican and Democratic party offices.

Barwick said she turned over the materials to the Secret Service. She said she was not able to confirm that copies of any tax returns were stored on the flash drive.

As I said, it will be interesting to see if the claim turns out to be a hoax or not.  I'm sure that Mitt and Ann "Marie Antoinette" Romney are peeved.  As you recall, Ann/Marie said "you people" have been given all that we are going to give.

Marriage Equality Goes Prime Time

For LGBT Americans the contrast between the GOP convention and platform and those of the Democrats cannot be more stark.  The Republican view of the future has LGBT citizens remaining stigmatized, our relationships threatened by a GOP federal marriage amendment and we remain subject to firing from our jobs at will for who we are, and we remain denied the 1000 benefits awarded to heterosexual couples via the word "marriage."  In the Democrat view of the future, we have full equality and employment non-discrimination protections.  Indeed, the GOP offers a nightmarish alternate universe for LGBT Americans compared to the Democrats.  Yet amazingly, I continue to see on Facebook and elsewhere LGBT individuals who say they "like" Mittt Romney and/or Paul Ryan.  How can you like someone who wants to forever keep you inferior and subject to discrimination.  I simply don't understand the mindset.  Or are these folks just stunningly uninformed?  A column in the New York Times looks at how the Democrats have taken the support for equality prime time if you will.  Here are excerpts:

In light of my Sunday column on how thoroughly prime-time speakers at the Republican National Convention ignored the issue of same-sex marriage, I thought I should note the repeated mentions of it on the first night of the Democratic National Convention here in Charlotte.

I thought I should also note something else that occurred to me this morning, as I revisited speakers’ comments on the matter. Although the Democratic Party’s platform for the first time this year has a plank advocating marriage equality, three prominent speakers who nodded to that – Michelle Obama; Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio; and Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts – did so in glancing fashions.

And with a consistency that can’t have been accidental, all three sidestepped the words “gay” or “lesbian” or the initials LGBT, unless my electronic search of the transcripts of their remarks is in error.
It was an intriguing suggestion that while Democrats are increasingly lining up in support of marriage equality, which has been championed over the last two years by the Democratic governors of the states of New York, Washington and Maryland, they still believe it must be framed in careful ways, with careful language. They’re perhaps still concerned that they not come across as too fixated on this issue or too beholden to identity politics or, well, too liberal.

The trend the author noted continued last night  suggesting that even our supporters at times see us as still semi-radioactive.  But the Democrat approach is still far preferable to that of the Republicans who allowed portions of their party platform to be written by the likes of hate group leader Tony Perkins (who also has an affection for white supremacists).  The column author summed it it up thus:

I was trying to make an observation that I stand by: the issue of same-sex marriage remains sensitive enough, and some voters’ comfort with the rising visibility and acceptance of LGBT Americans remains shaky enough, that even supportive politicians often enter this area with some degree of caution, making precise decisions about diction. And I think that’s part of what you saw and heard on the convention stage in Charlotte last night.

My primary response to the brief references to same-sex marriage was gratitude. My secondary response was excitement. A fascination with the details and flavor of those references was maybe my tertiary response. And my post about it was meant to be an analysis, not a complaint.

I too feel gratitude and hope that LGBT youth around the country take note that the Democrats (i) take note of their existence in a positive way and (ii) support their happiness and the worth of their lives.  Would that the Christofascist controlled GOP would do likewise.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Bill Clinton's Speech Taking Down Romney

Bill Clinton just did a masterful job of calling Mitt Romney (and Paul Ryan) a liar.  No mincing of words, simply calling him out for telling deliberate lies.  It gets directly to the issues of the hypocrisy and betrayal of the Gospel message by the Republicans that drives me crazy.  Andrew Sullivan has some good bullet points in his live blogging.  Here is a sampling:

[B]y being a former president and exposing the shameless lies perpetrated by Romney, especially on welfare reform, he was able to say things no one else could. I don't buy the argument that Obama is more liberal than Clinton and never have. But for those who do, tonight was a brilliant reminder of the things that unite them. 

11.18 pm. Republicanism today is failed arithmetic. Clinton is really bringing this home - intellectually. It is not a series of platitudes; it is a series of arguments rebutting last week's entire convention arguments. It has far more policy substance than Romney's or Ryan's speeches. And it has the added benefit of being true.

11.15 pm. Clinton is now equating Obama's plan with Bowles-Simpson. And when you spell out the Romney plan as it exists, it does not add up. And it's perverse. Cutting revenues as a way to cut debt when revenues are at 50 year lows is not a policy. It's madness.

11.11 pm. Now the important passage on Romney's massive welfare lie. The requirement was for more work, not less. Bill Clinton is the perfect man to rebut this lie. I wonder if it will have some serious blowback for Romney. A former president has called him out on a clear lie.

11.10 pm. Now he's telling seniors that slashing Medicaid means slashing home-care for the elderly.

10.51 pm. Clinton's summary of Republican malfeasance these past four years is simply liberating. Liberating because it is true: their moral and intellectual and political degeneracy is our biggest challenge. And he is directly comparing his re-election to Obama's. And he's being as honest as he can: no one could have repaired the full damage of the 2008 crash in four years - but the green shoots are there.

10.49 pm. Genius: "We left him a total mess and he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough so we should get back into power".
I haven't always liked Bill Clinton, but he did a wonderful job of exposing the abject lives that are the norm in today's GOP and the Romney-Ryan campaign.

Christian Post Provides Platform for Anti-Gay Charlatan Paul Cameron

There are many anti-gay organizations that work over time to depict LGBT individuals as mentally ill if not outright disease ridden.  Organizations like - some rightly registered as hate groups - Family Research Council, American Family Association, Mission America, and Focus on the Family drip with malice in the vileness of their false and fabricated propaganda.  Organizations like these knowingly  and deliberately use and/or repackage the long discredited and fraudulent "research" of Paul Cameron (pictured at left), a true charlatan in my opinion.  Thus, one would have thought that a arguably legitimate outlet like the Christian Post would avoid giving a false legitimacy to Cameron and his bogus works.  Here's the headline carried by the Christian Post: "Research Group Claims Gays Have Mental, Physical Problems."   Worse yet, here is a sampling of the batshitery contained in the article:
The Family Research Institute (FRI), an organization driving research into questions relating to the traditional family unit, has challenged a widely approved and circulated study accepted in many psychological circles that claims to prove that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

"The main motivation is that if you look across the data sets you see that homosexuals have a host of mental problems, disproportionate physical problems, they don't live as long, and they are disproportionately involved in drug abuse and criminality," Dr. Paul Cameron of FRI, who led the analysis, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. "That would seem to indicate that that is a lifestyle that may reasonably be considered mentally disturbed – [a] disorder. Yet, it isn't."

FRI's investigation concerns a 1957 study of 30 male homosexuals conducted by Dr. Evelyn Hooker that used a number of psychiatry tests to determine whether homosexuality can be considered a mental problem. Hooker's research was claimed to show that it cannot, eventually prompting the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973.

FRI's close research, however, led the organization to believe in a different outcome.  .  .  .  .  "It is surprising that such a wildly defective study, and one that actually proved the exact opposite of what it claimed to have proved has survived so long," he concluded.

What the Christian Post fails to note is that Cameron has been expelled from every legitimate association that he ever belonged to for either unethical conduct or falsifying research.  In fact, in more lawsuit where Cameron was used by anti-gay forces, the court's opinion notes that both Cameron and his testimony was fraudulent.   Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin has a great take down of Cameron and ultimately the Christian Post for providing a total charlatan the cloak of legitimacy.  Here are excerpts:

They should know better. They really should know better.  By this point, everyone in media from Mother Jones to the National Review, from the Catholic Register to the American Atheist Magazine, everyone should know that quoting Dr. Paul Cameron will bring embarrassment and make you the subject of public ridicule.

After Cameron was booted from the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association for distorting the research of others, it should have been obvious. After Bill Bennett stupidly relied on Cameron (and had to publicly apologize), it should have been obvious. After the Lincoln police called his bluff about a “four-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway [mall] in a restroom with a homosexual act”, it should have been obvious. After making a complete fool of himself in Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary film BrĂ¼no, it should have been obvious.

I guess it isn’t obvious. Or not to the Christian Post. They think that Cameron has discovered that gay folks are mentally ill.

A three minute Google of Hooker would illustrate just how distorted that statement is from reality. Another three minute Google of Cameron would illustrate just how dishonest (and perhaps deranged) that Cameron’s claims have been over the years.  They really should know better.

Kincaid is right - everyone should know that Cameron is a liar and fraud.  Yet time and time again, the "godly Christian" folk feign ignorance.  Once I even had Robert Knight and Peter LaBarbera make this type of  ridiculous claim.  I sent them detail information and documentation on Cameron and what did they do?  They went on deliberately lying and disseminating utterly fraudulent anti-gay propaganda.

Quote of the Day: the Chilling Malice of the Far Right

While most commentators have either praised Michelle Obama's speech or at least been polite, such hasn't been the case in the swampland of the far right.  After reviewing various blog comments, Bob Felton of Civil Commotion notes:

There has always been a dark fringe sickness in American politics, an unquenchable malice — but not until now has it controlled one of the major political parties. The country has a long and ugly time in front of it, no matter who wins the election.

Note that Michelle Obama wasn't the only target.  Malice is indeed the best description of the principal undercurrent of today's GOP.  Like my self, Bob has a history of supporting the GOP.  But given what has become of the Republican Party he has likewise fled the insanity.  Here are the comments that set the stage for his statement:

Click Image to Enlarge

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Christian School Fires Teacher For Having A Gay Son

The hate and ignorance that are increasingly the principal hallmarks of conservative versions of Christianity - that's assuming, of course, one can even call such people Christians - took on a new level of nastiness at a "Christian" school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Teacher Sharon Wright ultimately was fired because of her gay son and her inability to "fix him."  Moreover, the stress and hostility she experienced cause Wright severe emotional harm and depression which ended up necessitating a medical leave - which was likewise used as a justification for her firing.  Wright has now filed a lawsuit against the school and it will be interesting to see where this goes in the courts.  Here are highlights from Think Progress:

The Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA believes that “the practice of same-sex relations is a sin and that promotion of such a lifestyle is a sin,” and they’re now using that belief to justify the firing of a teacher.

When Sharon Wright’s son announced on Facebook during his senior year (2009) at the school that he was gay, he was indefinitely suspended and not allowed to return to the school. This created an interesting dilemma for Wright, who was a teacher at the school. She continued to teach there despite her support for her son, but endured comments from school administrators like, “your son is broken, and it’s your job to fix him” and that this was a “battle for his soul.” The ongoing stress of the situation exacerbated her mental health diagnoses of “adjusted disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood” and impaired her “thinking, concentrating, interacting with others, and sleeping.”

Wright was not rehired for a full-time position for the following year. Now, she has filed suit in federal court claiming that she was discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

No doubt, the academy’s anti-gay policy and its treatment of Wright’s son are odious. But now it seems the school is using that policy to justify discriminating against one of its teachers. Though the school did not accuse her of violating its tenants in her capacity as a teacher, she endured an environment so hostile that it impacted her mental well-being. Ultimately, the school used that as justification for her termination.

A copy of Wright's lawsuit can be found here.  As author Anne Rice stated sometime ago, please do NOT call me a Christian - I want nothing to do with these horrible people.

Michelle Obama's Devatating Speech

Last night, Michelle Obama's speech did a masterful job of highlighting the difference between the GOP and Democrat Party views of social justice and moving the country and all Americans forward.  What was masterful was the way that she repeatedly slammed to GOP and Mitt Romney without ever uttering Romney's name.  By the end of her speech, it was obvious how out of touch Mitt Romney - and Ann Romney - and Paul Ryan are coming from wealthy families and that the GOP wants to take the country back to a time when a handful of the very wealthy lived like kings and most everyone else struggled to merely survive.  A Washington Post column lays out how her speech was so effective.  Here are highlights:

The most devastating attack on Mitt Romney at Tuesday’s Democratic Convention came from Michelle Obama, who did not mention Romney’s name and said not a single cross thing about him.

She devastated him by implication. If Romney was the son of privilege, she and her husband were anything but. What she said directly is that Barack Obama understands people who are struggling. What she didn’t have to say is Mitt Romney doesn’t.

As a general matter, her speech was a big hit: good enough that even Fox News was kind to her. But the specific stories — about her father working through the pain of multiple sclerosis, about the debts she and her husband accumulated from college — served a powerful campaign purpose. A speech that was thoroughly apolitical on the surface carried multiple political messages, linking a very traditional message about parenting with a call for social justice.

Among the many messages here: Her dad was awesome; he was also a traditional father; and, more broadly, people who receive government aid can be, usually are, very responsible citizens.

Oh yes, and she also said that for husband, “success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Did any other presidential candidate come to mind as perhaps having a contrasting approach? Michelle Obama was much too polite to say. She didn’t have to.

Another Washington Post carried a similar theme.  Here are a few excerpts: 

It’s not that Michelle Obama said anything about Mitt Romney. She didn’t even mention his name. Not once. But in one section of her lively and well-delivered primetime speech to the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, line after line was weighted with biting implications about Romney’s character – and his suitability to serve as president.

She argued that presidents makes hard calls by referring to their values, and Barack Obama has the ones you want. They also happen to be values that Romney isn’t widely reputed to hold,

Michelle Obama wasn’t just saying that her husband is like you. She was implying that Romney is not like you. 

Though this was just one section of a much larger address, the politics of this rhetorical ballet make some sense – polls show that one of the president’s greatest assets is that Americans like him personally, and that one of Romney’s greatest weaknesses is that Americans don’t like him so much.

Please don't think I am saying that Mitt and Ann Romney and Paul Ryan are bad people.  I just firmly believe that they are not the right people to be leading this nation.  Social mobility is dropping in America while increasing elsewhere, yet this individuals and their policies would make matters worse.  Millions of Americans are struggling and going without, yet their policies would take from the working poor and the middle class.  This isn't the America that I believe in.     Moreover, it's not consistent with the Gospel message, yet the GOP falsely wraps itself in religiosity.

Party Platforms That Are Poles - And Worlds - Apart

With the release of the Democratic Party platform roughly a week following the release of the GOP counterpart, voters are now presented with two starkly different party platforms - indeed, different views of the world and America.  The GOP plan favors the wealthy and seeks to dilute or out right bar the rights of others while the Democrat platform seeks the expansion of rights for those too long subjugated to angry white men and white extremists.  To me, it's the starkest choice perhaps ever presented.  And, in my opinion, unless one is a racist, greed driven, totally lacking in compassion, homophobe, and/or an enemy of the concept of religious freedom for all citizens, I frankly do not see how one can support the GOP platform.  A piece in the New York Times looks at the contrasts.  Here are a few excerpts:

The Democratic platform supports same-sex marriage for the first time — “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples,” it reads — and reaffirms the party’s support for abortion rights. The Republican platform supports the passage of constitutional amendments that would ban abortion and define marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.” 

When it comes to Medicare, the Democratic platform says the party will oppose “any efforts to privatize or voucherize” the program, while the Republican platform would reshape the program for those under 55 so they would get “an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice,” including a government plan. 

And while the Democratic platform opposes any privatization of Social Security, the Republican platform says younger workers should be given the option of “personal investment accounts as supplements to the system.” 

While the Democrats failed to enact the promised climate change legislation, they still call it a top priority. “We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation — an economic, environmental and national security catastrophe in the making,” their platform says, adding that they “affirm the science of climate change.”  This year’s Republican platform dropped the 2008 section on “addressing climate change responsibly.” The new platform states that it opposes “any and all cap-and-trade legislation.”

The Democratic platform says “the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value” and opposes “the attacks on collective bargaining that Republican governors and state legislatures are mounting in states around the country.” The Republicans support right-to-work laws, which weaken unions, and salute “the Republican governors and state legislators who have saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions.” 

On taxes, the Democratic platform says that President Obama will fight to extend tax cuts for the middle class while “asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share.” The Republican platform calls for extending the Bush-era tax cuts.

Where the GOP seeks to take America is a frightening place that moves the country and the rights of many Americans backward in time.  About the only thing the GOP hasn't embraced in its flight to the past is the reenactment of segregation laws.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Quote of the Day: Charles Pierce on the GOP - Today's Confereacy Party

This blog has noted many times the sickening racism that lingers just below the surface of today's Republican Party.  Yes, the GOP is wracked by hate filled religious extremism.  But worse yet in my mind is the racism and abject in ability of most of today's GOP base to recognize the common humanity of all Americans that don't look just like themselves.  The inability to see that others less fortunate have hopes and dreams, value in their lives and the same rights to equality under the civil laws chills my blood.   It is horrible and disgusting.  It's truly not American.  Yet the Republican Party of today can't see it and instead sees racial minorities, gays, non-Christians, and non-native born individuals as somehow less than human.  In a column Charles Pierce hits home at this moral vacuum at the heart of the GOP and spoiled children of wealth and privilege like Mitt and Ann Romney and Paul Ryan.  Here are some column highlights:  

There is no question in my mind anymore that the Republican Party has reconfigured itself as a Confederate party. Not because it is so largely white, though it is. Not because it is largely Southern, though it is that, too. And not because it fights so hard for vestigial accoutrements like the Confederate battle flag. The Republican Party is a Confederate party, I think, because that is its view of what the government of the United States should be. It is written quite clearly in the party's platform that the Republicans adopted last week in Tampa.

We are not a union of states. That argument lost in Philadelphia in 1789. The Constitution is a covenant between We, the People, not We, the States. The national government is every bit the "instrument of our self-government" as any state is. Nevertheless, the Republican Party has gone full Tenther. Now a lot of it is couched in arguments against the tyranny of EPA regulations and the jackboots of the individual health-care mandate, but there is no question that the driving force of this theory of government is resistance to full African-American citizenship just the way it was in 1860, in 1879, in 1957, and in 1965. And the most obvious manifestation of that resistance today is the staggering welter of voter-suppression laws that have emerged in the years since the president was elected. Almost all of them are being defended on Tenther grounds; Texas is directly challenging the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
[T]he Republican Party condemned "the current Administration's assaults on State governments in matters ranging from voter ID laws to immigration." The "assault" in question involves the Department of Justice's entirely legal enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, a law freely passed in constitutional fashion by a free Congress as the representatives of the people in 1965. This is pure Tenther gibberish, and the people who wrote the Republican platform would have flunked civics back when we still taught it.)

The Republicans get positively giddy quoting Ronald Reagan to the effect that, "Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction," as though this were in some way profound. People like Virginia Fields and Henry Marsh know that freedom is never more than a couple of seconds from extinction because, unlike Reagan and the people who so glibly quote him, their freedoms have real enemies, and those enemies have not changed.  .  .  .  .   The attempt to undo African-American citizenship is the one battle from that war that has gone on and on and on,  .  .  .

Frankly, give what the Republican Party has become, it sickens me that I ever was a GOP activist.

How to Support the Obama/Democrat Party Grassroots Campaign

In the midst of this years presidential campaign one sees almost unimaginable amounts of money flowing in the coffers of the Republican Party from individuals like the Koch brothers who seemed determined to take America back to the wealth disparities last seen during the so-called Gilded Age.  With Mitt Romney reportedly taking in $100 Million in August alone, some as what are average Americans to do to stop the plutocrats from buying the United States presidency?   Actually, there are a number of things one can do.  Yes, money contributions to the Obama/Democrat effort are helpful.  But those who lack the monetary resources have other options.  What are they?  Well here's a sampling:

1.  Top priorities on the Obama campaign list are finding additional housing options for incoming staff.  Open your home to a campaign worker and provide free housing (the boyfriend and I are doing this and took in an amazing young man just this evening who will be staying in our home for the next two months)

2. The campaign needs people to come out to local campaign offices to volunteer.

3. The campaign is looking for people to do phone calls to get more volunteers, do door to door to get voter turnout, and also assist in voter registration drives.

Yes, these contributions involve the contributing time, not money.  But they are things that all of us can do.  I challenge readers to get involved.  Make a difference and please, please do not let greed driven billionaires like the Koch brothers - who in my view see most Americans as disposable trash - buy the office of the United States presidency.

If you are inclined to get involved and volunteer, you can do so here.

Virginia Board of Elections OKs Virgil Goode for Presidential Ballot

Today the Virginia Board of Elections handed down a decision that likely has not warmed the dishonest hearts of Republicans: former Congressman Virgil Goode (pictured above) will appear on the presidential ballot in November as the candidate of the miniscule Constitution Party.   Why does this matter?  Because Goode may siphon off votes that might otherwise have gone to Mitt Romney.  Which is why the Republican Party fought tooth and claw to keep Goode off of the ballot (the GOP is doing the same thing to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson).  The Virginian Pilot has details.  Here are highlights:

Virginia's Republican-dominated electoral board rejected an effort Tuesday by the state's Republican Party to keep conservative former U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode off the presidential ballot to avoid draining votes from the GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, in a deadlocked swing-state contest.

Goode, nominee of the obscure Constitution Party, and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson of New Mexico were both added to the Virginia ballot after Republican Party of Virginia attorneys asked the board for an independent review of alleged irregularities in both candidates' qualifying petitions.

"We're on the ballot, so I'm happy," said Goode, 65, who has been a Democrat, an independent and most recently a Republican during a 36-year career that spanned 12 years in Congress and 24 in the Virginia Senate. Goode lost his U.S. House seat in 2008 to one-term Democrat Tom Perriello.

The Republican Party leveled the challenge against Goode as a Quinnipiac University poll showed Romney and President Barack Obama tied in Virginia. Goode, who was elected five times to Virginia's 5th District seat representing rural Southside Virginia, could draw thousands of votes from a conservative base less than four years after leaving office.

Virginia Constitution Party Chairman Mitch Turner called it an effort by a moneyed major party to intimidate conservative third-party rivals and limit their access to the ballot.

"I think that sends a message to the people that if you are going to buck the establishment, if you want to get out there and make a difference, you better watch out," he said. Goode, who has said he's on the ballot in other states, said early this year he was focused on balancing the budget and limited government. He acknowledged that his likelihood of winning was small, but he said his campaign was more about a message than winning.

Once again - as in the case of voter ID laws that address a nonexistent problem - we see the GOP being unable to win on the basis of its policies and candidates and resorting to blocking legitimate candidates and American citizens from voting to steal elections.

Washington Times: "Extremists" Drive Some Republicans To Obama

I often lament what has happened to the Republican Party - the party I grew up in and supported for many years.  Apparently, I am not the only one that feels the party left them instead of vice versa.  The far right Washington Times of all outlets is carrying coverage on the move towards Obama by some Republicans who simply cannot be a part of the extremism and Kool-Aid drinking that defines today's GOP.  Here are some excerpts:
John Martin loves the GOP and wants to remain a Republican. But the party he grew up supporting has changed, he said, and Mitt Romney is doing nothing to keep his loyalty.

The Republican presidential nominee lacks the will or desire to stand up to “extremists” who have gained a sturdy foothold in the party, Mr. Martin said, and President Obama is far from the socialist demon portrayed by GOP leaders.

For that, the politically active New Jersey resident said, he will vote for Mr. Obama.
“I’m just very unhappy with the state of today’s party,” said Mr. Martin, who heads a group and website called Republicans for Obama. “Although Gov. Romney would have been a great candidate, the Mitt Romney we see today is too beholden to the party’s [conservative] base and to the hard right.”

[S]some [Republican voters] say they will back Mr. Obama because of the GOP push to the political right.  Lowell Weicker endorsed Mr. Obama despite serving three terms in the Senate and a stint in the House as a Republican from 1969 to 1989. Now an independent, he quit the Republican Party soon after leaving Capitol Hill — not because he had changed politically or ideologically, he said, but because the party had.
The Republican Party increasingly has turned its back on the inner cities and minorities while pandering to religious conservatives, rural communities and the middle and upper classes, he said, and he doesn’t see a swing back to the political center anytime soon.

“The Republican Party has changed from being a party of fiscal conservatism and social moderation [to] become a ‘praise the Lord and pass the ammunition’ party,” he said. . .
Other Republicans turned independents who have endorsed Mr. Obama’s presidency include former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and current Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Both have been given speaking spots at the Democratic National Convention this week in Charlotte, N.C.

Teresa Sayward, a Republican New York Assembly member who was first elected in 2002, said she will vote for Mr. Obama because Mr. Romney — and all of the other Republican presidential candidates this year — proposed what she considers anti-women policies.

“People don’t realize that 4 million Republicans voted for Obama in 2008, and moderate Republicans — those who aren’t in the hard right and most vocal parts of the party — a lot of times people forgot about us,” he [Mr. Martin] said.

Tuesday Morning Male Beauty

Catholic Church Continues Its Anti-Gay Jihad in Minnesota

While the priestly sex abuse scandal continues to explode in many parts of the world - my Google search agent has turned up much coverage in Australia of late - rather than purge itself of predator priest and make just compensation to victims of child rapists, the Catholic Church continues to push an anti-gay rights jihad.  One of the centers of anti-gay Church activism is in Minnesota where an anti-gay marriage amendment is on the ballot in November.  The lies and hypocrisy are shocking, but par for the course for an institution which has organized a worldwide conspiracy to protect clergy who molest children and youths.  Think Progress has a piece that looks at the latest developments coming out of Minnesota.  Here are highlights:

Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt has penned a verbose letter calling on Catholics to support the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which many priests read to their parishes last week. Nienstedt claims that he opposes discrimination against “brothers and sisters living with same-sex attraction,” yet admits that the entire reason to support the amendment is to keep gays and lesbians from marrying:
First, some ask, “Why is a constitutional amendment necessary?” Well, the fact of the matter is that politicians and activists are working right now in Minnesota to redefine the institution of marriage from one that bonds a man and a woman to any children born from their sexual union into another that licenses the romantic preferences of same-sex adults. [...]

Nienstedt’s letter is an exemplar of cultural abuse, simultaneously feigning compassion while advocating discrimination. It may, in fact, have had the opposite effect, as Catholics for Equality reported an uptick in lawn sign requests, with many reporting they walked out of their churches during the letter’s reading. According to the Facebook group, “I am Catholic. I am voting NO!”, many churches did not even read the letter. Nevertheless, the Minnesota Catholic Conference remains one of the largest donors to the amendment campaign, an alliance between the conference, Minnesota Family Council, and National Organization for Marriage.

Washington [State] Bishop Blase Cupich similarly wrote to parishioners earlier this month, urging them to oppose marriage equality so that opposite-sex couples continue to get “special support and recognition.”
How church going Catholic can reconcile supporting a Church hierarchy which has deliberately protected sexual predators with pushing for discrimination against normal, law abiding same sex couples is mind boggling.

Democrats Issue Final Platform With Full Marriage Support

For LGBT Americans, the contrast between the Republican Party national platform and that just released by the Democrats could not be any starker (the full DNC platform can be found here).  Under the GOP platform, we remain an officially discriminated against minority pretty much across the board.  Indeed, the GOP platform does everything anti-gay possible except call for the official re-institution of the sodomy laws struck down by Lawrence v. Texas.   On marriage, the contrast could not be more extreme.  Here's the Democrat position on marriage equality:

Freedom to Marry. We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

But the sharp contrasts continue throughout the document.  Here are portions that deal with civil rights and equality:

Civil Rights. We believe in an America where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules. At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status. Democrats support our civil rights statutes and we have stepped up enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and other settings. 

We know that putting America back to work is Job One, and we are committed to ensuring that Americans do not face employment discrimination. We support the Employment Non- Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The President’s record, from ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in full cooperation with our military leadership, to passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to ensuring same-sex couples can visit each other in the hospital, reflects Democrats’ belief that all Americans deserve the same chance to pursue happiness, earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love. The Administration has said that the word ‘family’ in immigration includes LGBT relationships in order to protect bi-national families threatened with deportation. 

The sharp contrasts also extend to women's rights and reflect a view that women, not angry, out of touch white men should make decision relating to their own bodies.  I continue to be dumbfounded how anyone in the LGBT community other than someone driven by greed and a desire for lower taxes or someone who is a self-loathing individual can support today's GOP and the Romney-Ryan ticket.  It's like a black American supporting the KKK or someone of Jewish descent supporting a Neo-Nazi agenda.  I just do not get it.

Why Romney/Ryan and the GOP Are Bad for Women

I continue to be shocked by some members of the LGBT community that I know who "like" Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan on Facebook.  Do they really not understand what a Romney/Ryan victory could do in terms of setting back LGBT civil rights progress?  And the same holds true for women who just don't seem to grasp that the extremist GOP agenda is not woman friendly.  One can only hope both groups of GOP leaning individuals wake up and educate themselves before election day or, if they don't, that they stay home and do not vote.  A piece on CNN lays out why women need their head examined if they intend to vote for anyone in the GOP in November.  Here are excerpts:

The image makers were in overdrive at the Republican National Convention this week. They finally had their candidate but now they had a problem: The guy wasn't likable. And nowhere was that problem more acute than with women voters.

Concerns about Mitt Romney's slash-and-burn economic approach at Bain Capital, coupled with displays on the campaign trail of his stunning lack of empathy had shaken confidence among women voters. Add in the wound reopened when Senate candidate Todd Akin spoke aloud the GOP's twisted ideas about women and rape and pregnancy, and the mandate to the handlers was infinitely clear: Make every night Ladies' Night at the Mirage in Tampa.

Then, in a deluge of red, white and blue balloons, the pretty show ended and the workers began to dismantle the Mirage, leaving the harsh sunlight of the day-after to reveal the intractable reality of what a Romney-Ryan presidency would mean for American women.   

Women voters care most about the economy and jobs. But with a critical caveat: nine out of 10 women say that a candidate must "understand women." To do that requires an acknowledgment of two things: that women's economic security -- by almost every measure -- still lags behind that of male counterparts and that their economic security is inextricably tied to their ability to control their health, including reproductive choices. And on those points, no illusions and tradesman's tricks can obscure the fact that the GOP agenda fails the test.

While Romney's jobs plan is still notoriously vague, with little to offer other than a regressive nod to trickle-down economics, Paul Ryan has been frighteningly clear that his top priority is essentially dismantling our government -- a fixation projected to result in a whopping 4.1 million lost jobs over two years. Even the lucky few women who hold or get jobs under a Romney-Ryan administration are likely to be paid far less for equal work. In the aggregate, women are paid on average 77 cents on the dollar to men, but Romney still refuses to support the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Check Fairness Act.

The 24 million women who live in poverty in America span all ethnic groups, with single moms twice as likely to be poor as single dads. Still, Ryan has proposed cutting nutrition assistance to these households, often the only thing that stands between them and malnutrition.

Adding insult to injury, Romney's Republican platform includes an extremist anti-abortion amendment that removes exemptions even for rape and incest victims. A party that eliminates a woman's right to choose while at the same time cutting pay, jobs, and access to health care and food security exposes a bizarre and dangerous lack of understanding of the challenges facing American women.

Monday, September 03, 2012

The GOP's Guide for Women

Click image to enlarge
This image seems to sum up the world that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the angry white men of the GOP want for women.  I especially like the last tip: "a good wife always knows her place."But is this really what women want? 

Sunday Male Beauty

Liberty Counsel Threatens Lawsuit if California Bans "Ex-Gay" Therapy for Minors

I have noted several times the progress of legislation in California which would ban anyone under 18 years of age from being subjected to bogus "ex-gay" conversion therapy - a form of therapy condemned by the American Psychological Association.  "Ex-gay" conversion therapy, a/k/a reparative therapy is a big deal to the Christianists because claiming that gays can "change" is a key part of their effort to block LGBT civil rights.  They realize that once the general public understands that sexual orientation is immutable, not changeable,  and not merely a "behavior" as the Christianists claim, the Christianist efforts to bar gay rights and gay marriage will be seriously damaged.  Perhaps fatally so.  Hence all the money poured into the snake oil peddling "ex-gay ministries.  Here's a sampling of the flying spittle and batshitery via Liberty Counsel's website:

[T]he California legislature passed a bill that prohibits minors from receiving change therapy counseling regarding same-sex attractions. The bill, now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, bans any counseling or therapy that seeks to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction or guide children away from gender confusion.

"If the bill is signed into law, Liberty Counsel will sue on behalf of counselors, parents, and minors who provide, refer, or who receive and have found change therapy to be beneficial," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The bill defines "sexual orientation change efforts" as any practice that is designed to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction. Such broad language will prohibit any counseling that does not affirm and encourage experimentation with or acceptance of same-sex attractions, regardless of whether those feelings and attractions are unwanted by the counselee. The bill not only prohibits this type of treatment, but it makes it an ethical violation for any counselor or therapist to engage in it.?

"If the governor signs this law, mental health professionals will find themselves in a catch-22," Staver said. Therapists have an ethical obligation to help clients deal with conflict. If a counselee is experiencing conflict between religious beliefs and same-sex attractions and wants to prioritize these beliefs over such attractions, the counselor is ethically obligated to directly help the client or refer for help. Under this bill, the counselor will be forced to disregard the client’s religious beliefs or change them. This bill will harm minors, undermine parental rights, and interfere with the rights of counselors. This bill and the ethical codes of all of the licensing boards in California are on an inevitable collision course," said Staver. "The licenses of countless mental health professionals hang in the balance."?

That's right, the law could result in charlatans who engage in "ex-gay" conversion to lose their licenses.  Frankly, I cannot think of a better result.  Ditto for calling misguided and harmful religious beliefs what they really are.  Any therapist who places ignorance and religious bigotry and superstition ahead of the welfare of his/her patients ought not to be a therapist.  It's hard to describe my abhorrence of Mr. Staver and his organization which I view as a pestilence on the state of Virginia and most certainly on the city of Lynchburg.  Mr. Staver and his followers continue to cling to the anything but inerrant Bible as their justification for marketing hate and intolerance and pushing a fraudulent form of therapy that does nothing except support their anti-gay political agenda.