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'Public Discourse' writer introduces me to some guy named 'Jeremy Hooper,' who seems like a real ass

by Jeremy Hooper

***MAJOR UPDATE, 10/3: New details about the pseudonymous author detailed below: "Rivka Edelman" is B.A. Newmark, prolific (and shocking) anti-trans activist [G-A-Y]

***MAJOR UPDATE, 10/6: Public Discourse has now corrected its report and apologized to me personally: 'Public Discourse' corrects, apologizes for 'Rivka Edelman' hit piece [G-A-Y]

The backstory below the asterisks:


Because I, someone who writes about LGBT things, dared to respond to a particularly vicious public commentary that appeared in several different prominent outlets as a means of attacking both a gay ex-husband and the entire same-sex marriage movement, and because my posts have an open commenting system that allows for people (including one of the involved parties) to have his or her own say, I'm apparently a bad guy who does all kinds of bad things. Or at least some fanciful version of "Jeremy Hooper," as detailed by a pseudonymous writer who uses the pen name "Rivka Edelman" (and who works closely with Robert Oscar Lopez) is a bad guy. Go meet him, an apparent "ruthless misogynist," right now:

The bloggers and activists at Jeremy Hooper’s Good as You blog have used this judge’s decision to suggest that Darnelle was an unfit mother. Darnelle’s piece did not give details about the family’s custody arrangement, but I have confirmed that the mother has 60 percent custody of the children. This indicates that she has not been found to be “unfit” in any way.

The “unfit mother” trope is very important to men like Hooper and Rose, because it helps justify taking women’s children, eggs, or the use of their uteri. Darnelle is right. Many families headed by gay male couples are built upon exploitation of women. Practically speaking, Jeremy Hooper, Scott Rose, and their compatriots have formed a men’s rights group that seeks to use women as breeders. These egg donors and surrogate mothers supply infants for a bustling market full of same-sex couples, for whom reproduction is naturally and biologically impossible.

In the name of equality, groups such as GLAAD (which employs Jeremy Hooper) have pushed through gender identity laws that have legally erased women.
FULL: Ruthless Misogyny: Janna Darnelle’s Story and Extreme LGBT Activism [Public Discourse]

The commentary is so rife with erroneous presumption that it's hard to know where to begin. For one, I didn't claim that Darnelle was denied custody—she insinuated that (to wit: "Our divorce was not settled in mediation or with lawyers. No, it went all the way to trial. My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: 'I am 201410031205 gay, and I deserve my rights.' It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, 'If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.'”). I never once claimed that she was bad or good or otherwise; I only had her own words to go on.

I'm also not employed by GLAAD; I am an independent consultant on a limited contract with GLAAD and other national orgs. I've worked with several over the years.

I also don't write people's employers to get them fired, something I possess neither the time nor desire to do. I can only remember writing any employer (a public school principal) in my ten years of doing this kind of work, and that wasn't to get the employee fired, it was simply to make the school aware of a teacher's public commentary.

I also don't "conspire" with Scott Rose or anyone else. Commenters like Scott can say just about whatever they want on this site. I do very little moderating, except in the rare instance when something particularly nasty is brought to my attention. I like discussion. I welcome all. Doesn't mean I always agree with everything everyone says, in full or even in part. I'm certainly not "conspiring" with people who leave comments. Scott Rose (who I have never met in person) and Jeremy Hooper do not share a playbook, despite repeated attempts to make it sound like we somehow work together.

In fact, I'm the guy who doesn't go after the person at all. I don't call people "bigots" or any other label; I always focus on the words and actions. Even my ardent critics will concede that, and some of my own allies fault me for my "soft" approach. But it is my approach. Frankly, I don't really care so much about the personality attached to the debate. I have no desire to hurt anyone's family or livelihood or anything else. I care about the concrete, tangible, public conversation in which engagement is not only fair but, I would argue, a duty of citizenship. If the end result could be opened eyes and more unity, that would be my preference.

But we're now at a point where anti-LGBT activists, so sick of losing and so desperate to change the script, perform a truly circular routine as a way of lessening the onus on themselves. They say terrible things about us, our families, and our rights. Then, if we respond to them, we are to be attacked, as if our side of the conversation is not only unneeded but actually invalid and wrong. And then, in a self-victimized effort to "defend" themselves against supposed "attack," they proceed to demean us as being angry, vicious, militant, or what have ya. All because we chose to stand up for our lives, loves, and freedoms.

Nice try. But no.


There has been speculation that "Rivka Edelman" is really just Robert Oscar Lopez writing under a different name. That would make sense to me just by looking at certain style and focal points. However, Lopez included "Edelman" on a recent amicus brief alongside himself and another person (Dawn Stefanwoicz), which would seem like a downright felonious act if "Edelman" is really just his pseudonym. So maybe. (UPDATE: NO, "Rivka" is an anti-trans activist who has made some truly shocking and personally denigrating comments.)


*UPDATE: I just stumbled on a November 2013 video hosted by "Rivka's" good pal Robert Oscar Lopez. Turns out he first started pushing Janna's story almost a full year ago, which seems like a *really big* coincidence:

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper

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