RECENT  POSTS:  » Video: Why is this shockingly anti-gay (among other things) speech happening in a Connecticut public school? » Fined NY event space to host same-sex wedding receptions (*but no ceremonies for anyone) » Another day, another far-right pastor pushing Christians to civil war » Joseph Farah still clueless about nondiscrimination law » Hobby Lobby president to join extremely anti-gay activists at 'Star Spangled' event » FRC's Sprigg admits his side put up 'weak defense' in 7th Circuit » Photo: The latest totally convincing, in no way silly attempt at a meme from anti-gay Ruth Institute » AFA's Fischer: Time for Christians to 'get up in somebody's grill' like Jesus would » GLAAD: The World Congress of Families sparks protests in Australia. Let's examine why. » GLAAD: NOM cofounder: 'Hard to see... the logical stopping place' between gay-affirming, murder-affirming Christians  

09/02/2014

Video: Why is this shockingly anti-gay (among other things) speech happening in a Connecticut public school?

by Jeremy Hooper

According to both the video description and a separate advertisement for the event this speech from Umar John took place earlier this month at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, CT. It will take only about a minute for you to see why it's deeply problematic for a public school to host such a speech:

@1:05: "Some of you gay—you sick. Some of you hate black people—you sick. Some of you married to white women—your ass is as sick as them all."

Let's be clear: If this school is open, then tax dollars are funding it. It doesn't matter if class was out of session. By sending someone to open the doors and turn on the lights so that this publicly funded place of secondary education could play host to deeply offensive, proudly divisive views like the ones shared in this video, the school and its administration is lending tacit endorsement to it.

I have a message in to the principal of this high school, Kermit Carolina (a Democrat who last year ran for mayor of New Haven). I trust he'll see the obvious need to respond.

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09/02/2014

Fined NY event space to host same-sex wedding receptions (*but no ceremonies for anyone)

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 At 10.49.30 Am Liberty Ridge Farm, the upstate New York business that was fined for turning away a lesbian couple who sought to book the space for their wedding, has agreed to allow same-sex couples to hold their wedding receptions on the site. But there's a catch: the business has stopped performing wedding ceremonies for anyone, gay or straight.

The following link, like all the links I've found, comes from conservative media, which is yet again framing this as a "mean gays" story:

The family will continue hosting wedding receptions, but ceremonies — which have traditionally been hosted inside the Giffords’ home on the property or at another nearby location — will immediately cease. Same-sex receptions will be allowed on the grounds.
FULL: After Being Fined and Forced to Host Gay Weddings, Christian Farm Owners Make Drastic Decision That ‘Will Likely Hurt Their Business’ [The Blaze]

Personally, I think it's a very silly choice. The owners admit that stopping ceremonies will negatively affect their business, yet are still choosing to terminate rather than accommodate. All so they can discriminate. Odd priorities.

But they do have every right to make this choice, as do all businesses who wish to discriminate against wedding-bound gay people. Businesses are only bound to their own offerings. If these owners (or the bakers or the photographers or the DJs...) prefer to equally limit their offerings rather than equally dole out their offerings, then that is their choice to make. Sure, it's the "I'm going to take my ball and go home" approach to not getting your way, which some might see as childish and unnecessarily divisive—but it is legally kosher.

I just wonder if the choice to allow already-married same-sex couples to dance the night away will turn off both sides. Most obviously, you have to wonder what gay couple is going to chose a venue that, by virtue of this chosen exclusion, openly condemns their prior, off-site ceremony. But you also have to think that this choice to allow all of the romance that comes with a reception—filled, as it is, with first dances and kisses and cake-cutting and happy relatives being happy for gayness—will also alienate those anti-equality straight couples who believe marriage is only to be one bouquet toss, one garter belt removal.

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09/01/2014

Another day, another far-right pastor pushing Christians to civil war

by Jeremy Hooper

After first calling to mind to both Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and the Titanic in April of 1912, Rev. William Cook, the exec. director of something called the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia (which he describes as "a clergy-led army of Christian patriots"), writes the following about America circa 2014 and Christians' supposed need to rise up and war against it:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 At 6.17.15 PmA word about abortion and homosexuality

God created the first government in Adam, “male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:26) Adam’s was an administration of the Imago Dei, and God prescribed profligate procreation as the principle means of extending the glorious liberty of his governance throughout the earth. By sanctioning abortion, and more recently, sodomy, America has done violence to the Imago Dei and itself. Nation’s that rebel against the Divine prescription for supremacy over the “elemental principles of the world,” (Gal. 4:3) inevitably come to be ruled by them. America was given a choice between liberty and death. America chose death, and shall have tyranny.

But some will say, “I have not had an abortion. I am not homosexual. I believe abortion and sodomy are wrong. I can’t impose my beliefs on others, can I?” Silence is tacit approval. Therefore, “silence in the face of evil is evil,” as is withholding a single “jot or tittle” of God’s counsel, or anything that would benefit to God’s people. (Acts 20:20, 27) Rather than equivocate, perhaps we should obey God and “deliver the society that is marching toward oblivion of its own accord, and blindly staggering to slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11 paraphrased)

This is a time to fight!

When Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg stood in the pulpit of Emmanuel Church on January 21, 1776, proclaimed that his was “a time to fight,” threw off his clerical robe, and ordered drums to beat for recruits at the rear of the log meeting house in Woodstock, Virginia, he forever raised the bar on American pulpits in times when Liberty is threatened. Muhlenberg was not alone in recognizing that exigencies of a looming war with England had changed his priorities. Many clergy of the time stood out among chief agitators of “the Rebellion,” and after it began, among the most supportive in keeping it alive, both in the pulpit, and on the battlefield. They were the “sons of Issachar” who rightly divined that parish business as usual would end Liberty and usher in tyranny. They were the “mighty champions of liberty” that Bishop Charles Galloway lectured about in 1898, “that God sifted three kingdoms to find wheat for [the] planting” of “the magnificent Americanism” of his time. There is a far more ferocious and brutal tyranny brewing in America today than the Crown of England, and pulpits must rise up and confront it before the opportunity to speak and act expires.

FULL: Don't You Know There's A War On? [BarbWire]

Should I build my bunker now or is there still time? Please advise, anti-gay America.

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08/29/2014

Joseph Farah still clueless about nondiscrimination law

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 At 3.16.34 Pm Earlier this week, I showed you how WND (formerly WorldNetDaily) founder and very anti-gay person Joseph Farah was using all kinds of easy-to-counter hypotheticals in order to diminish the case for fair nondiscrimination protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual consumers. Now he's back with an even worse talking point:

The fact is that to bestow special legal rights and privileges to minority groups based on their sexual orientation is de facto discrimination against the sexual orientation of the majority. It’s literally the tyranny by the minority, which is at least as bad, if not worse, than tyranny by the majority.

Let’s be intellectually honest: If we insist on having laws protecting people based on their “sexual orientation,” they should be protecting all people based on their sexual orientation, not just the vocal minority.
FULL: I guess I hit a 'gay' nerve [WND]

I'm frankly a little shocked to see Mr. Farah making such an obtuse argument, particularly in a post wherein he purports to set his critics right.

The truth, of course, is that heterosexuality is 100%, in every way as protected as LGB sexual orientations are (or should be). You can apply any of the headline-grabbing nondiscrimination cases and equally apply them to straight customers. If a photographer chooses to discrimination against a man and woman because they object to their heterosexual union and/or "lifestyle," then that is the same situation as the one that landed Elane Photography in hot water. If a baker refuses a wedding cake specifically because it's a man and woman getting married, then that baker just frosted his or her way into a legal problem. If an innkeeper denies a room to a straight couple because he or she fears the duo might join the majority of heterosexuals who engage in their own "sodomy," then that innkeeper very likely violated the straight couple's rights. Etcetera, etcetera. Straight people have scientifically-recongized sexual orientations, just like LGB people; all fall under nondiscrimination laws that protect on the basis of sexual orientation.

And it goes without saying (or should) that we LGBT activists are 100%, in every way okay with these protections based on heterosexuals' sexual orientation. In fact, we insist! It's actually a talking point for us, not Mr. Farah. When we fight for these protections (and hate crimes laws, employment protections, or other policy based on sexual orientation), we are not only fighting for ourselves but for *everyone.* It's the category of sexual orientation itself that we are safeguarding, not just certain members who fall within it. We're for ending *both* forms of tyranny—both the fake, not-at-all-happening one that enrages Mr. Farah and the gross one he and his political movement have turned into a supposed social good.

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Hobby Lobby president to join extremely anti-gay activists at 'Star Spangled' event

by Jeremy Hooper

The Benham brothers routinely equate LGBT rights with Satan. Tony Perkins equates homosexuality with drug abuse and says it's a fact that gay people will face eternal damnation. Mark Harris has admitted he doesn't want people to see homosexuality as "fine and dandy." Rick Scarborough insists that AIDS is God's judgement for homosexuality. Mike Huckabee believes homosexuality is a changeable "disposition," which he directly compares with alcoholism. Sen. Ted Cruz has made it his legislative mission to limit LGBT rights.

These men, all of whom want to control gay people's lives, will soon team up with a man who filled the news this year with his business's overreach into women's lives, Hobby Lobby president Steve Green:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 At 10.16.15 Am
[Star Spangled Sunday]

Lest you thought they Hobby Lobby case was anything other than part of a deeply conservative agenda. And lest you thought that store deserves even a penny of your cash.

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FRC's Sprigg admits his side put up 'weak defense' in 7th Circuit

by Jeremy Hooper

Everyone on the pro-equality side who has listened to the audio from this week's hearing at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (involving marriage cases out of Indiana and Wisconsin) is extremely pleased with how things went down. Folks are particularly overjoyed with Judge Richard Posner, a Reagan appointee, who beat back the opposition with tough and pointed questions that served to expose their lack of credible arguments. Most court watchers believe it was a good day for the case for equality and a bad day for discrimination.

But those of us on the right side of history are not the only ones who know it was a bad day for discrimination. The Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, a hostile voice Screen Shot 2014-08-29 At 10.09.16 Am of discrimination if there ever was one, fully admits that the arguments on his side were "weak":

One thing that was disappointing in the oral arguments (in addition to Judge Posner’s vitriolic hostility to natural marriage) was the relatively weak defense offered by attorneys for the states. By focusing narrowly on the issue of accidental procreation (the one public concern that is absolutely unique to opposite-sex relationships), Indiana’s Fisher omitted broader state interests in encouraging procreation in general, and in encouraging the raising of children by both their mother and father. (Indeed, one of Judge Hamilton’s first statements to him was, “I would think that the state’s interest is equal regardless of whether the children are intended or unintended.”).

Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson’s defense of Wisconsin’s law was even more vague, as he drew mockery from the judges for his reliance on “tradition” and “experience” as justifications for the one-man-one-woman definition. He was given little opportunity to develop a more technical argument he proposed regarding the difference between “negative” rights (such as protection from employment discrimination) and “positive” rights (such as access to the legal benefits of marriage). At one point, he said, “We defer to Mr. Fisher’s arguments [in the Indiana case] … [M]arriage provides a mechanism for tying unplanned children to their biological parents.” At another, he referred the judges to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent in last year’s case striking down the federal definition of marriage (Alito had cited the increase in divorce rates following the adoption of no-fault divorce as an example of how changes in marriage laws can lead to unforeseen negative consequences).

In neither case did the state’s attorneys make assertions as to actual harms that might result from redefining marriage
FULL: [
FRC Blog]

Of course this is a man who has publicly called to both "export" and impose criminal sanctions on gay people. It's not surprising that he'd find anything less than that to be weak.

But this time, the Family Research Council senior fellow does happen to be right. His side put up a very weak defense, as they typically (and increasingly) do. That is because they really have no rational arguments to make, first and foremost, and because the arguments that people like movement leaders like Peter Sprigg typically make in their day-to-day advocacy (in addition to the aforementioned calls for criminalization and deportation, Sprigg, like many in his movement, is a major advocate for "changing" gay people) would lead to an immediate loss for their side. It's a very strange reality on the other side. If they honestly present the kinds of things that they say about us every other day of the year, then they will lose because of the obvious animus, yet if they try to pretend they have a legally grounded case separate from their chosen desire to discriminate, they lose because of the obvious lack of legal merit.

They should probably just call it quits now. Think of all of the homeless they could feed and clothe with the legal bills they'd save.

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08/28/2014

Photo: The latest totally convincing, in no way silly attempt at a meme from anti-gay Ruth Institute

by Jeremy Hooper

Sorry advocates for civil marriage equality, but we have officially lost. The Ruth Institute, a former NOM offshoot that has since gone it alone, just drove a state in our reasoned, rational, winning constitutional arguments:

Natural-Marriage-Limits-The-State [Ruth]

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! A stake? And a rope? And a trite phrase about what said stake and rope do to the state?! MIND = BLOWN!

Of course on the other side of the rope, off camera, is the captive state being all like, "HELLLLLP!! SOMEONE!!! PLEEEASSE!!! PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY CAN IMPOSE THEIR PERSONAL FAITH ONTO ME HAVE HELD ME HOSTAGE!!!!! HELLLLLLLOOOOO—CAN ANYONE HEAR ME!??! I'M SUPPOSED TO BE SEPARATED; IT'S KIND OF A THING HERE IN AMERICA. I TRIED TELLING THEM THIS BUT THEY SIMPLY WILL NOT LISTEN. AND I MEAN LIKE REALLY, REALLY, *REALLY* WON'T LISTEN. I'VE NEVER MET A GROUP OF PEOPLE SO SURE OF THEMSELVES ABOUT SOMETHING THEY'RE SO WRONG ABOUT, ACTUALLY. BUT I DIGRESS. PLEASE COME RESCUE ME!! I'M A STATE; MY TAXPAYERS, BOTH GAY AND STRAIGHT, NEED ME!!!!"

But I do hear the Ruth Institute feeds their captive state at least once a day, so that's good.

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AFA's Fischer: Time for Christians to 'get up in somebody's grill' like Jesus would

by Jeremy Hooper

The problem with Christians involved in politics is that they are just too nice. At least that's the latest movement-delegitimizing musing from the American Family Association's most senior and most omnipresent (and most hostile) voice:

It's time to be done with the "nicer than Jesus" mentality. It never has worked and it never will work. It only fools us into thinking we are being Christ-like when in reality we are only being wimps.

The odd thing is that Christians who have lost their spine and have become silent and soft are often harshly critical of those Christians who do stand publicly and without apology for the time-honored truths of Scripture. This is especially the case when it comes to things like declaring that homosexuality is not a benign alternative to heterosexuality but a form of sexually deviant behavior.

Jesus wasn't crucified for being nice; he was crucified for being bold and confrontational. Don't misunderstand – he was the kindest man who ever lived. But he wasn't a sap. He knew when kindness was called for and he knew when it was time to get up in somebody's grill and challenge them with the truth.

FULL:
Christians, the 'softer, kinder, gentler' approach ain't working [American Family Association]

Riiiiight. Because if our divisive world needs anything, it's more stones for the casting.

It's the conservative talk radio version of Jesus, y'all.

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