Tony Perkins’ Head Explodes After New York Marriage Vote

 Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Tony Perkins’ Head Explodes After New York Marriage Vote
Jul 062011
This entry is part 29 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

I admit to being a little late on this one, but head of SPLC designated hate group Family Research council, Tony Perkins, is just all atwitter about marriage equality passing in New York State. Get this, he’s deeply concerned the law doesn’t “protect” deeply religious “divorce lawyers.” If, as Perkins and the other haters claim, they are just in this to “protect marriage,” why would there be any such thing as a “deeply religious divorce lawyer.” Wouldn’t their deeply held beliefs prohibit them enabling any divorce?

Here’s Ms. Perkins’ entire statement (I did exclude the obligatory solicitation for a contribution…you know, to save the children):

Ms Tony Perkins in her pulpit“[The law] does not protect individuals. It does not protect private business owners. It does not protect, for example, a bed and breakfast owner who is using their own private personal property in the type of intimate setting that a bed and breakfast is. It does not protect licensed professionals. For example, it does not protect counselors. It also does not protect lawyers–you may have a family law attorney who does not want to do a same-sex divorce because of their deeply held religious beliefs. It does not protect fertility doctors who may have a strict belief and only want to help [heterosexual] married couples because they believe a kid deserves both a mom and a dad. The dominos from this decision are just starting to fall. One newspaper is reporting that the New York Department of Correctional Services is already rewriting its rules for inmates’ ‘conjugal visits,’ which will now be open to homosexual ‘spouses.’ Prisons will provide the condoms!” – Hate group head Tony Perkins, via press release.

I left the following snark comment on another blog:

I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Perkins. I think we need to carve out religious exemptions to all these kinds of laws. I should have the absolute right to deny a room in my B&B to those darned Baptists, and Catholics…well there’s no way I should be required to let them eat at my lunch counter, no handicapped people in my pool, and black folks, well they can get a drink out of the water hose out back.  

I’m glad the FRC and Ms. Perkins are on my side on this one. You go girl! Let’s beat back all these equal rights laws and rules.  


Apparently, Ms Perkins is all upset because calling yourself a ‘Christian’ is not a get out of your legal obligations free card. And gay couples might get exactly the same legal rights and government recognition as “opposite-married” ones.  I think I’ve eaten yogurt that had a higher IQ.

The more America expands equal rights to all people, the crazier these haters get. It would be funny if they weren’t dangerously close to cracking in a serious way.

What Would You Do

 Gay Issues, Society  Comments Off on What Would You Do
May 252011
This entry is part 28 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

ABC News did one of their “What Would You Do” segments in a Texas diner. They had a lesbian couple with children (actors), and a gay couple with children go in, and a person playing a waitress who began to criticize the couples openly. I must admit, I was heartened by what transpired, and reminded of how important it is to speak out in face of bigotry and inequality. The Texan’s fared better than New Yorker’s.


Of course, when the good kristians at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw it, they just couldn’t tolerate the fact that some people are actually opposed to discriminating against gay folks, so they had the following response:

Let’s note first of all that the behavior of the “waitress” in this setup up is outrageous.

The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC.

Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites.

Maggie forgets that there is often a grain of truth in stereotypes.

Trying to Make A Little Change

 Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Trying to Make A Little Change
Oct 252010

I started attending a Sunday School class at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church a few years ago because a retired minister was teaching sessions on several Methodist related topics in which I was interested. I am the youngest person in the class by quite a few years, but found a great group of intelligent and thoughtful people.

In 2008 I took a resolution to the Administrative Council of the church asking that they adopt a non-discrimination statement. It included all the categories in the United Methodist Social Principles, and that includes sexual orientation. Well you would have thought I’d ask them to torture their mothers’. It was surprisingly ugly. I have, as have most gay people, been touched by the recent spate of suicides by gay teens. We know a lot of the ugly rhetoric comes from “religious” people and religion. So I believe people of faith have a special obligation to try to tamp down the madness, and to send a message, especially, to young gay people that they are loved and welcome.

So, two Sunday’s ago, I was teaching the class (as I’ve done a number of times), and took a few minutes at the end of the class to deliver the following statement. I have been amazed at the outpouring of concern and support, and a number of them are willing to attend the Council meeting with me in November. I will reintroduce the resolution leaving out the section about trying reasonably to deal only with other organizations with similar statements. The council members previously used this as their primary objection.

I don’t remember exactly when I started attending this class, but I came for lessons by Dick Martin on The History of Methodism and The History of John Wesley, and I sort of found a home here at Palma Ceia. And for better or worse, you’ve been stuck with me since.

Despite being an outsider in a number of ways, you all welcomed me, and even allowed me learn a great deal from you. I feel I’ve developed some friendships in here, and I am grateful to have gotten to know each one of you.

I’m coming today though to do something I’m loathe to do, and that is to impose on that friendship. What I’m going to discuss may make some of you uncomfortable, but I can’t apologize for that because I’m going to be discussing something that literally has life and death consequences.

Back in 2008 I went to the Administrative Council calling on the Church to adopt a statement of non-discrimination. It included a call for the church to try to do business only with other business and organizations with a similar statement. There’s nothing in the statement that is not in the Discipline and Social Principles, but it was met, at that time, with a great deal of hostility. I could go into what I believe that to be based on, but that’s no longer the point.

The point now is, as it has been for many years, that children are dying at their own hand because they are being bullied at school. Now we all know that some amount of that is just part of growing up, and children are bullied for many reasons, but studies make it clear that a primary reason is because they are gay or perceived to be gay or lesbian. And just over the past few weeks, six children have killed themselves, and one young man has had his arm broken.

Here’s some information on these kids. I wanted to put a face on this problem. [download id=”1″]

And lest you think this is not our problem, I want to assure you that there have been and are kids in our youth group who are gay. When Rev. Mac was here, he had approached me to discuss, without divulging any confidences, gay youth and parents who had approached them for help and support. I have also had occasion to run into some of our youth at gay events.

I think these past weeks caused me to reach a tipping point. I was already fed up with the politicians using lies and distortions about my life to score political points, and by religious people raising money and support for their own false bigotries on my back. I launched my own little campaign called “Say it to my face,” in which I do my best to get in touch with some of these people, or someone on their staff, and call them out on their comments. I don’t know if I accomplish much, but it can be fun sometimes, and I feel better.

I’m over 50 now. I experienced some of that bullying growing up, and I’ve experienced discrimination in my religious and professional lives, but there’s not much left that can hurt me. However, my heart has been ripped out by these recent events, and it’s time for some adult leadership, because many of the so-called adults, wrapping themselves in the cloak of a false Christianity need to realize their words have consequences. Their words make a group of people, “the other,” and it’s always easier to hate and violate people not like us. The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of some people, even some who claim to be “Christians,” and the lies that spew forth from some public figures give children a license to verbally abuse, humiliate and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of these straight children—having listened to mom and dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to the family, will destroy society and how gay sex is awful, and gay people are worse than terrorists (all things have been said publicly)–feel justified in physically attacking the gay and lesbian students in their schools. You don’t have to explicitly “encourage children to mock, hurt, or intimidate” gay kids. Encouragement—along with hatred and fear—is implicit. It’s here, it’s clear, and we can see the fruits of it.

So I’ve had enough. I can’t change the world, but I can work to change my little corner of the world. Remember, during the Warren study, I said I had figured out my purpose in life…to leave things a little better than I found them.

I am no longer going to sit by and allow bigots to eat at the souls of the gay youth of this community. I am returning to the Administrative Council at their next meeting in November to re-submit this resolution without some of the additional requirements. ([download id=”2″])We at this church need to send the message to our youth, and to the broader community that all are welcome here at this House of God…that everyone, but especially our youth, are loved and respected, and are children of God.

Regardless of how you feel about gay people, you can’t believe it’s OK for children to be bullied to the point they see suicide as their only option. Dr. Warren Throckmorten, a conservative evangelical said it very well:

“As a traditional evangelical, I may have some differences of opinion with my gay friends. However, such ideological differences don’t matter to a middle school child who is afraid to go to school.

There are many such children who need adults to care more about their well being than about religious differences. Adults need to focus on common values of respect and civility and take the culture war off the school campus.”

He goes on to say, “It seems to me that people of faith should lead the way in providing safe and respectful environments for all. To do this, you have to be there and you have to name the problem to solve it.”

If you remember when we concluded our study of the Social Principles I asked you all to stand, and reminded you of how Martin Luther famously said, “Here I stand Lord, I can do no other.” Well here I stand, imposing on our friendship, because I’m asking you to stand with me…to ensure the children and youth of this church know this is a safe place for them…a place where they are loved and respected and supported for who they are, and where the teaching of Jesus is that all are welcome in his house.

Martin Luther King said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” I am asking you to be a friend to these kids, and speak up. I am asking you to join me at that Administrative Council meeting on November 29, and I am asking you to discuss this with your friends, and invite them to join us there.

I do not apologize if it makes you feel uncomfortable because children are dying, and I cannot, as a Christian, continue to stand by silently.

And as Forest Gump famously said, “And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

I also provided a sheet with a photo and brief bio of the teens who recently committed suicide.

Miss California Boob Job

 Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Miss California Boob Job
May 042009

I have held off posting on this whole Miss USA conflagration. I thought it mostly much ado about nothing, but now everyone seems to be jumping into the act. Not suprisingly, the krazy kristian kooks are trying to martyr Miss Jugs for Jesus.

Beauty pageants have just never been my thing, so I didn’t watch. I did see the video of Miss California’s answer to the question, and I saw the nasty response video from Perez Hilton. For the record, Hilton’s response was ridiculous, over the top, and uncalled for…and he does not represent most gay people (thank goodness). Get a life for Christ’s sake.

Carrie Prejean’s answer to her pageant question was nearly incoherent. For a minute there, I thought maybe she was channeling Bush. She is entitled to her opinion, and I defend her right to have one. However, I don’t have to respect it (bigotry is wrong, and no amount of silicon and lipstick can make it right), and when you get on a national stage, and can’t put together a coherent thought, when that’s the whole point of the question segment, then it’s also OK to make fun of you.

I have two main problems with this whole thing. First is this attempt by the whole group of professional christians to try to make a martyr of Prejean by implying that somehow she lost the pageant because of her honest answer. Well, bullshit to that. Turns out she was behind in points coming into the question, and even if she said she would be my maid of honor, unless she said it “more gooder” than she did her own answer, she didn’t deserve to win.

It is also an insult to Miss North Carolina, as the flip side of their inference is that Miss North Carolina somehow didn’t deserve to win, and I believe they all owe her an apology for their misguided implication.

I am also tired of this bullshit coming from the professional christians about how oppressed they are. Today, for the most part, it is just not socially acceptable to express racist tendencies in polite company. Does that mean that racists are oppressed? Well, by the definition of the professional christians it means exactly that. They do have a right to say whatever vile and hateful things they want to say, but that does not have to mean that society finds it acceptable to say it or act on it. And it means I can call you out on it. The times they are a changin’, and these people just don’t get it.

Distribution of major religious beliefsIt really is time for them to stop with the “oh we’re so oppressed” drama. Their very claim is that homosexuals shouldn’t have the same rights the straights do since they are the majority, but they sure do assign a lot of power to homosexuals. I just don’t get it, and why in the world the news media plays along I’ll never understand.

So it’s really time for this to be over. Miss Jugs for Jesus has had her 15 minutes, and all the straight boys can drool all over her bathing suit picture. nowwe need to move along to something that is actually important.

Gran Torino – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Gran Torino – A Movie Review
Feb 092009

Gran Torino Movie PosterWalt Kowalski is a widower, grumpy, tough-minded, borderline-hateful, unhappy old man who can’t get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1973 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition. When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao’s family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them form the gangs that foul their neighborhood.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama and Thriller; Running Time: 1 hr. 56 min.; Release Date: December 12th, 2008 (limited), January 16th, 2009 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for language throughout and some violence.

Starring: Cory Hardrict, Bee Vang, Clint Eastwood, Ahney Her, Brian Haley

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

I wanted to see this movie, so we went Saturday night. It wasn’t the worst movie we’ve seen, but I was disappointed. As Ty Burr of the Boston Globe put it, “In the context of Clint Eastwood’s career as a star, an actor, and a filmmaker, “Gran Torino” is an endlessly fascinating movie. If only it were a good one.”

It was kind of an Archie Bunker meets Dirty Harry. I think a valiant attempt was made to tell a real story, and have an impact on how people think about each other. Unfortunately, it missed the mark. Eastwood’s dialogue goes way over the top in attempting to show what a bigot he is. Even when he’s in the home of his new neighbors eating with them, the insults continue to flow non-stop. I respect that the film was unabashed in showing this bigotry, it just went too far in trying to set it up.

If the performances by the supporting cast, mainly the young Asian boy, were stronger this could have made the movie a little better. Vang’s performance really held the movie back, especially during the parts where he and Eastwood share screen time. The young priest in the movie was also pretty weak.

It’s worth seeing, just wait until it is out on video.

Now click on the stars below to let us how you rate the movie, and then use the comments section to tell us what you think.

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Dec 292008

Inauguration of President-Elect Obama For those of you living under a rock, President Elect Obama has invited Rick Warren, from the Saddleback Mega-Church, to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Gay rights and other activists groups have strenuously objected, and Obama and his aides have made any number of statements defending the choice with the tired old line of how the Obama campaign has always been about “uniting people” and showing how “we can disagree without being disagreeable,” and blah, blah, blah. (That’s the part of the message Rick Warren needs to get, not his critics.)

Warren’s supporters are up in arms claiming that it’s “the gays” who are being intolerant and showing hatred. Even some politically naive gay activists keep saying to let it go, and keep our powder dry for the important issues. Of course, these would be the same activists who led the strategy that cost gay people their rights in ballot issue after ballot issue over the past several years.

So let me be clear in my response. In the case of claims by the Warren supporters (including you Obama), they are correct. I am being intolerant and am applying the standard applied by Warren and his supporters to love the sinner and hate the sin. I believe that the sin of hate and bigotry, most especially when used for monetary gain, should never ever be tolerated. I guess that fits the definition of intolerance, so I am guilty as charged.

Jesus gave us the two most important commandments, and one was to love your neighbor as yourself. Rick Warren has not done that, and has worked aggressively to deny equal rights to gay people, and been dishonest in how he’s gone about it. Warren has compared homosexuality to incests and beastiality to be sure to arouse the gay sex “ick” factor. He has lied about the tradition of marriage in a video he taped in support of California’s Prop 8. Warren said, “We should not let 2 percent of the population determine to change a definition of marriage” — that definition being one man and one woman for life, of course, as he states moments earlier in the video — “that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years.”

Of course, none of that is true. The fact is that different cultures have supported different definitions of marriage which have included polygamy (see Mormons for the most recent example of this one), marriages involving children, forced/arranged marriages (still practiced widely today), and marriages for dowry. To even hint that Warren’s definition of the “Ozzie and Harriet” norm to which is referring has obtained, only and everwhere, for five millenia is a bold-faced lie, and Warren knows it to be a lie.

Sure, Warren invited Obama to visit his church, but even then he was less than honest. Warren spent an inordinate amount of time on the social hot buttons of abortion and gay rights instead of the promised attendtion on poverty and social justice. Oh, and let’s not forget he promised that McCain would not hear the questions in advance. We now know that too was a lie.

The day after Obama’s appearance, Warren compared abortion to the Holocaust when he said to Beliefnet that an antiabortion voter backing a pro-choice candidate would be like a Holocaust survivor voting for a Holocaust denier. Continue reading »

Oct 262008

An article at the Florida Bilerico project points out the lengths to which the American Taliban will go in order to scare people. John Stemberger, lead proponent of Florida’s Amendment 2, is claiming that if Amendment 2 fails, the schools will have to indoctrinate children to gay marriage.

John Stemberger

John Stemberger

Failing to ban gay marriage in the state constitution could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle. Florida schools might have to teach that gay weddings are the same as traditional unions if the proposal fails at the polls.

In the first place, there remain four (one wasn’t good enough for the American Taliban) Florida statutes on the books which prohibit gay marriage, and they will still be on the books after this election. They have been challenged in court, and have, so far, stood a state constitutional examination.

In the second place, when the hell did any teaching of “marriage” enter the school curriculum anyway…straight or gay? I admit to forgetting a lot, and it’s been a long time since I was in school, but I just don’t remember ever being taught “marriage.” But hey, if you’re crazy and desperate, anything goes, right?

And on top of all that, despite being an attorney (or maybe because of it), Stemberger and are being accused of violations of campaign finance laws. It seems that political organizations must disclose from whence comes their funding. Well Stemberger, who incorporated Florida4Marriage, also incorporated Florida Family Action as a not-for-profit. As such Florida Family Action would not have to disclose their donors. Now it turns out that Ads being run in favor of Amendment 2 say they are paid for by Florida4Marriage, but it turns out they actually paid for by Florida Family Action.

In fact, Florida Red and Blue, who filed the complaints, has a memo written by Stemberger encouraging people to donate to Florida Family Action rather than Florida4Marriage. When he was asked about it, The Florida Times Union reported the following:

Stemberger said having donors contribute to the lobbying group is proper and understandable – especially considering past backlash against donors like Amway Corp. founder Richard DeVos, a major donor.

“Some people want to remain anonymous. It’s because of the intimidation of our opponents.”

This to me sounds like an admission of guilt. The law says you can’t hide contributions for this kind of activity, regardless of the reason. The GOP has often been a primary benefactor of these kinds of initiatives, and have been in Florida up to recently. People don’t take actions like this unless they have a good reason to hide something. So let’s make Mr. Stemberger disclose who contributes to both organizations.

Sep 112007

I suppose no blogger can let 9/11 pass without a post reflecting on what it all means. Unfortunately, the Bu$hCo Administration has done everything they can to tie the events of this day to Iraq. They have gone so far as to ensure that the Petraeus report is delivered to Congress so as to coincide with the observance of this anniversary.

The attacks of 9/11 were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, and ever since, Bu$h has been using the mantra to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and ensure continued support of his war. He and Dick have incessantly linked the words “al-Qaida” and “Iraq.” In a  recent speech about Iraq, Bush mentioned al-Qaida 95 times. No matter that the insurgents in Iraq are not the same group that attacked the U.S.

We all knew what Petraeus was going to say before he said it. He was going to spend most of his time talking about how great things are in Anbar…again, never mind things were getting better there long before the “surge” started. We need also to remember that progress has been made there only by striking another “deal with the devil,” Saddam’s Fedayeen. Bush arrogantly attempts to play the alpha dog Commander and Chief with his, “we’re kicking ass,” comment.

 Everyone in America who gets any outside input beyond Faux News knows the real situation on the ground in Iraq. Read some of the blogs of the soldiers that are there. So just forget the absurd debate about progress. The questions to be asked are much more basic–Why can’t we bring ourselves to end the debacle, and why did we invade Iraq in the first place?

Congress cannot bring themselves to end the Iraq war because they haven’t yet grown the backbone to question the basic assumptions on which Bu$h’s “War On Terror” is based. To this Administration, 9/11 justifies everything and ends all arguments. As Gary Kamiya wrote at

Bush’s reaction to 9/11 was to declare a “war on terror,” of which the Iraq adventure was said to be the “front line.” The American establishment signed off on this war because of 9/11. To oppose Bush’s “war on terror” was to risk another terror attack and dishonor our dead. The establishment has now turned against the Iraq front, but it has not questioned the “war on terror” itself, or the assumptions on which it is based.

We chose this go-it-alone vigilantism over reason and justice. We responded from our biological instincts –“fight or flight” – we were hit, so we had to hit back. We responded like a drunk in a bar fight, and combined with our preconceived notions about the Arab/Muslim world, we ran up against our prejudices. The problem is we allowed Bu$hCo to convince us that instead of taking vengeance on the people that attacked us, we should attack the guy standing on the corner watching. It’s a male thing. On the school yard its called “bullying,” and for conservatives it appears to be a necessary reaction. Hence their bully-ish name calling of war critics as “wimps, girly-men and appeasers.”          Continue reading »

KY University Kicks Gay Student to the Curb

 Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on KY University Kicks Gay Student to the Curb
Apr 112006

The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., has kicked out a sophomore because he revealed he was gay on his page, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The university has a policy that says, “Any student who engages in or promotes sexual behavior not consistent with Christian principles (including sex outside marriage and homosexuality) may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the University of the Cumberlands.”

“We are different by design, and are nonapologetic about our Christian beliefs,” said university president Jim Taylor in a written statement.

While I am convinced that it is NOT in any way Christian to reject or otherwise exclude people, I think we have to allow people their beliefs. However misguided they may be.

I feel sorry for this young man, but if this were the policy when he enrolled, he should have selected another school. I would tell Ruth Malhotra the very same thing. I wrote about Ruth in another article posted today. Apparently she, as a member of the College Republicans (you know, training ground for the likes of Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, and Ralph Reed), is suing the Georgia Institute of Technology because they have a ban on speech that puts down others because of, among other things, their sexual orientation. I’d tell Ruth she also should have selected a different institution if she didn’t agree with the policies in place when she enrolled.

I have a strong suspicion that Ruth is applauding the action by the University of The Cumberlands, and has probably made the same comment I made. Unless she’s just hateful enough of people different from her that she believes those people shouldn’t have an education in the first place.

I hope when a judge hears Ruth’s case, he or she will note this University of The Cumberlands situation, and make the point to Ruth that she can’t have it both ways. Either the school is entitled to have their own policies and students have to make choices consistent with their own beliefs, or no school can have any policies related to discrimination, hate speech, or sexual orientation. But then again, Ruth is a white anglo-saxon protestant republican…so she’s part of the ruling elite, and probably can have it both ways.