An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

2/21/2005 LGBT News Roundup is here

Monday, February 21, 2005

[NOTE: This is an early release on the House Blend of a weekly Daily Kos roundup diary that I post.]

It's almost Propagannon-free; but I just couldn't resist putting this right back up top...

Gannon and his close friends...
Click to enlarge (pun intended)



In this edition...
* Good news
* General corporate, legislative, legal and community activism by your jolly neighborhood homophobes
* Rabid religious wingnuts, Freepers and homo-bigot preachers on the loose

It's also up as a DKos diary, with additional news headline links.

Let's start off with the good news...



The Rock is all about coming out of the closet. That should go over well in Freeperville. Then again, pro wrestling is one big homoerotic fest.

How will the WWE crowd take this news?. Wrestler-turned-movie star DWAYNE 'THE ROCK' JOHNSON is urging his gay celebrity pals to come clean about their sexuality because he's convinced it will be a career boost for them. THE SCORPION KING star plays a gay bodyguard in new JOHN TRAVOLTA comedy BE COOL and he claims the role has made him realise that homosexuality is no longer something that needs to be hidden in Hollywood. He tells gay magazine OUT, "I know a lot of gay actors in Hollywood who don't want to come out, and whatever the reasons are I respect that. "But I think if people love you now, and if you came out, they would love you more, and if they didn't, then they weren't real people to begin with."

And the queer resident of Springfield is...


Marge's sister Patty. What a dumb*ss disclaimer at the beginning -- "Tonight's episode contains discussion of same-sex marriage. Parental discretion is advised." The episode wasn't that great, especially since Patty doesn't even end up getting married - her prospective bride turned out to be a man.


Florida State Senator Nan Rich wants to protect children in established relationships with gay foster parents.

Amendment to Fla. gay adoption ban filed. Does this have a chance? It looks like an attempt to peel back the layers of hatred of the gay adoption ban back and take the core out of it.
A Florida lawmaker filed legislation Thursday to amend the state's 1977 law that bans gays and lesbians from adopting. State Sen. Nan Rich has proposed that judges could allow adoptions if they conclude a permanent placement with a gay or lesbian foster parent is more important to a child's development than maintaining a temporary placement. Sen. Rich told the Associated Press the plan is in the best interests of children who have long-standing relationships with their gay foster parents.

But, she adds, her legislation is not a complete repeal of the ban, either. It applies only to "long-standing relationships and tries to protect those children so that they can remain in a permanent placement where they have shared a loving, stable home."

.. Florida is the only state in the union that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting under any circumstances. Convicted felons and drug abusers, however, can adopt as long as they are heterosexual.



Bush drone Charles G. Curie as head of SAMHSA got the leash snapped on his ass by mental health professionals. Oh, the government queer-queasy people got the message, hahaha.

HHS Backs Down On Gay Funding Threats. The Bush administration has backed down on a call for an LGBT suicide conference to remove the words 'gay,' 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' from its material. Charles Curie, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, now says that it is permissible for groups that receive money from the agency to use the terms 'Gay', 'Lesbian', 'Bisexual' and 'Transgender' in the titles of SAMHSA-sponsored public events. On Wednesday 365Gay.com reported that SAMHSA, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, had issued a veiled threat to organizers of the conference to be held in Portland, Oregon on February 28, that the use of LGBT terms could result in its funding being pulled.



It was a pretty good first season for The L Word, so I hope that the consistency of writing stays high the second go-round. (It's already been re-upped for a third season). I have to say the bi chick Jenny got on all my friends' collective last nerves in the first season. She and her trials and tribulations with her boyfriend and her "relationship" with Marina just got way too much air time. Jenny is one f*cked up chick -- oh and her poetry sucks. Please, no more manatees with her "writing" superimposed on the screen. What pretentious bullsh*t. On the bright side was just about every other storyline. I found a good teaser article on the show at Gay City News. Check it out.

You must play the Shady Bunch Match Game


Via The Swift Report

General corporate, legislative, legal and community activism by your jolly neighborhood homophobes...


Doug Wead, an author and former aide to President Bush's father, has Bush on tape saying some interesting things. (WaTimes)

In Secretly Taped Conversations, Glimpses of the Future Chimpy. "But Mr. Bush also repeatedly worried that prominent evangelical Christians would not like his refusal "to kick gays." At the same time, he was wary of unnerving secular voters by meeting publicly with evangelical leaders. When he thought his aides had agreed to such a meeting, Mr. Bush complained to Karl Rove, his political strategist, "What the hell is this about?" [Well, we know he got over that reluctance, due to Rove's prodding.] Later in the article, it's more clearly outlined his differences and common ground with the evangelicals on gays. Bush knew he was going to have to play it close, given his "base" doesn't just object to gay rights, they hate homosexuals to the core.


Bush's oracle on how to handle questions of past pharmaceutical transgressions, televangelist James Robison.

" Early on, though, Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?" Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however." "This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays." Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gay people, Mr. Bush said sharply: "No, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays." [Now you know why the White House is well-stocked with, at the very least, a plethora of gay men.]


Here's the best and brightest in legislative representation in CT: Colapietro: "Itís not a cure for the sickness allowing them to marry"; Hamzy: "There are proven benefits to defining marriage as being between a man and a woman"; Michele: "Youíre going to bring in a whole combination of other situations".

Bigoted Bristol, CT lawmakers rival the crackers in Alabama when it comes to marriage. Whoa. You are not going to believe some of the knuckle-draggers up in Bristol, CT. These homophobic comments rival anything the rednecks down in 'Bama have rolled off of their southern-fried tongues. "Supporters of legislation that would allow gay marriage in Connecticut wonít find any help from Bristolís lawmakers.

"Itís a sickness I think," said state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Terryville Democrat whose district includes Bristol. "Itís not a cure for the sickness allowing them to marry."

"I expect a fairly tight vote," said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, the chief opponent of the measures. Brown said his group is adamantly opposed to both proposals.


Brian Brown, the local "family values" monitor of FIC. With civil unions, he said, "In every respect it will be same-sex marriage -- except the name."

"Iíve voted against it every time and I will again this year," said state Rep. Kosta Diamantis, a Democrat whose district spans the southern third of town. "I think the traditional definition of marriage should be the law of the land," said state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose district includes northwestern Bristol. "There are proven benefits to defining marriage as being between a man and a woman," Hamzy said.


Diamantis says he opposes civil unions as well. Boukus "has compassion, but I can't change who I am."

State Rep. Betty Boukus, a Plainville Democrat whose district includes a tiny portion of Forestville, said she firmly believes that marriage should only be possible between a man and a woman. "I have compassion," she said. "I really do. But I canít change who I am." State Rep. Roger Michele, a Bristol Democrat who represents the northeastern section of town, said that "once we cross the line, the sharp line that defines marriage, there are many different categories that will want to be considered next." Any other group that has a sexual preference other than a man and a woman would feel they should get the same benefit," Michele said, including "bisexuals, homosexuals and the other. There are extremes," Michele said, that would lobby for the right to marry as well once the line is crossed.

"Youíre going to bring in a whole combination of other situations" if gay men and women are allowed to marry, he said. [WTF?]

"I just canít condone" same-sex marriage, Colapietro said. "My heart and my stomach wonít let me. I just think it should be a man and a woman." Colapietro said heís always opposed gay marriage "yet I really sympathize with those who are gay." He said he has gay friends "and Iím there when they need me." [Except when it really counts, you dumb bastard.]

Michele, Hamzy, Diamantis and Colapietro said they donít see a meaningful distinction between civil unions and gay marriage. They said theyíre opposed to civil unions as well. "We are protecting an institution and not merely a word," Brown said.

Two of the Bristol legislators - Michele and Hamzy - serve on the Judiciary panel.

Three of Bristolís delegates are married: Hamzy, Diamantis and Boukus. For Diamantis, it is his second marriage. Colapietro and Michele are both divorced."
Hamzi: William.Hamzy@housegop.state.ct.us
Boukus: Betty.Boukus@cga.ct.gov
Diamantis: (860) 585-9500 (no listed email)
Colapietro: Colapietro@senatedems.ct.gov
Michele: Roger.Michele@cga.ct.gov

Rabid religious wingnuts, Freepers and homo-bigot preachers on the loose.



Freepers on Alan and Maya Keyes. The Freepers have been remarkably silent on this issue, but eventually you knew we would smell the stench from Freeperland. I hope Maya can see what her father's supporters think of her. These losers are all up Alan Keyes's behind, since he's such a moralist wingnut. It's sad that her dad is on these cretins' wavelength. At least there are a couple of Freepers that feel badly for Maya.



Actual Freeper Quotesô:
"An adult lives with one's parents at the grace and mercy of the parents. If the adult child is a belligerent radical homosexual activist, the parents are clearly within their rights to kick out the activist, with an aim to save their lost soul, if possible. Hopefully the errant and deviant child will "come to their senses" like the Prodigal Son, repent and straighten out and fly straight."

"What should a father do? Just what he did...throw her out. I'm sure there is more to this than the sanitized WP version. The MSM always leave out the salacious details and reduce homos to a "loving partnership", when usually it is all just about deviant sexual activity."

"Another excuse for the Washington Post to print anything negative about a conservative. I wonder what the ration of Conservative kids to Liberal Kids end up in prison. Bet the liberals win hands down."

"Actually, we heard rumblings about this before. My guess is that the timeline is a bit different. I would guess that she threatened to undermine her father first and that is when he decided that he would not finance her radicalism. Note that she's not just a lesbian, she's "a liberal queer". The politics inform the sexuality, it seems. The WaPo wants to make it seem like her politics are a result of how her nasty father treated her. My suspicion is that it's just the opposite and she's a thoroughly unpleasant person to be around."

"Is there some link between lesbianism and conservative politicians? It seems like a Lot of Repubs have lesbian daughters, sisters, etc. "

"Bizarre. All this advice to Dr. Keyes! I think it's pretty safe to assume he knows what he is doing."

"Some children are just naturally rebellious. The very best parents can rear a child who chooses values 180 degrees opposite theirs."

"Thanks. There are always two sides to every story. Even though I may not agree with Keyes and his political views, like I stated to an earlier poster, very sad."

"Tell them you love them, that you care for them, but that if they want your support, especially money and staying at home, they have to live by your rules. "

"I've always maintained that I've never seen a child of overly strict parents who didn't become an accomplished liar. I've yet to see a single exception, although I'm sure one exists somewhere."

"It's one thing to come out, it's another to come out on stage in the spotlight; fashions change, soon there will be a rash of "old-time-revivals" and the wheel will turn and turn..."

"I was thinking the same thing. I could see pulling the purse strings, but not talking to the child just seems incredibly wrong to me."

"I doubt this is first time she has openly proclaimed her homosexual lifestyle in spite of being aware of her father's belief that it is morally wrong.."

"The gay issue aside, why would he finance someone adverse to his political views and goals, i.e. finance the enemy? Well, it may seem strange, but it does happen. Some parents put family ahead of politics. Some people put a whole lot of things ahead of politics. ;-)"

"This is the adult daughter's view of the situation. Why might it not just as fairly be said she quit talking to them? As for the parents' refusing to pay for her education when she has made it clear to them she intends to use that education to become a liberal activist to undercut her parents' values and beliefs, I would say the parents are making a rational and fully justifiable decision."

"I have no issue with paying her way. It's the removal the familial support that troubles me."

"Sad story. I find it hard to believe her mother won't talk to her either."

"As the saying goes, Christian nurture and education is to enable the children to see with their own eyes, not give them our own."

Alan Chambers, ultra-butch executive director of "ex-gay" sham group Exodus International says he is straight now. Yes. Keep repeating that, Alan.

The wingnuts at the religious news service (and arm of the American Family Association) Agape Press, lost their cookies over the opposition to the discredited sham "Love Won Out" recruitment revival held in Texas over the weekend. (I covered this discredited and dangerous movement in an earlier Blend post). The fun in this article is Exodus's representative's convincing plug for the program:
Sixteen billboards advertising an upcoming Love Won Out conference have been replaced around the Houston area. The billboards feature pictures of former homosexuals offering a message of hope and change -- individuals who profess that it is possible to leave the "gay" lifestyle. Exodus International sponsored the ads in preparation for the public seminar, an event co-sponsored by Focus on the Family and designed to examine the roots and causes of homosexuality.

The one-day Love Won Out conference, which has been held in 30 cities worldwide, is scheduled to make its first stop in Houston this Saturday. The event focuses on the hope and help available for those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality, largely through the personal testimonies of former homosexuals. Exodus International participates in the conference, offering support to people who want to leave homosexuality and providing them with long-term guidance and resources through member chapters in the region.

Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International and a featured speaker of the conference, says the ministry sponsored the billboards "in the hopes that many in Houston will, possibly for the first time, question the permanence of homosexuality." He himself left the homosexual lifestyle in 1991 and has gone on to become an accomplished writer and much sought-after speaker on the subject.

"Thousands of people, like myself, felt trapped by homosexuality and found an escape through Jesus Christ," Chambers says. "Our life stories challenge many misconceptions about homosexuality and we want the public to hear another aspect of this difficult issue."

However, the outcry from pro-homosexual activists has been swift and vehement in protest against the conference and its organizers. Those involved with the event, along with the billboards promoting it, have been labeled hateful by some homosexual groups and their supporters. Chambers says that is because many people involved in or supportive of the homosexual lifestyle "don't want the truth to be told."
The Exodus International spokesman says homosexual activists do not want others to know that change is possible because that fact invalidates their experience and infringes on their ability to promote their agenda in society. "If one person can change," he asserts, "then their story and their lifestyle comes into question."

After the February 19 event in Houston, the Love Won Out conference will be held on April 16 in Louisville, Kentucky; May 14 in Winnipeg, Manitoba; June 25 in Seattle, Washington; and September 17 in Birmingham, Alabama.




Enemy of the (Tar Heel) State: the North Carolina Family Policy Council<
It's nice to know who your enemies are. I came across this "independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization" while visiting in Freeperville (see, it's helpful to surf there!). The North Carolina Family Policy Council is a chip off of the AFA or Focus on the Family block -- "Advocating Traditional Family Values." NCFPC is of course, eager for NC to pass a marriage amendment. The web site is chock full of "homosexual issues" that they want to make sure legislators are aware of. Some policy papers for your entertainment (PDFs):
The organization makes no bones about what its intent is -- NCFPC will be lobbying, or as they refer to it, "educating" members of the North Carolina General Assembly by providing bogus science and research materials. NCFPC also has a radio show, a 15-minute program that airs on quite a few stations, none in major market areas.

Here is its board of directors.

Phone Numbers
Main Office Number: (919) 807-0800
Main Office Fax: (919) 807-0900

Email and Website
admin@ncfamily.org
www.ncfamily.org


Family Research Council's Tony Perkins want to get Howard Dean and Ken Mehlman in the same room. Hoo-hah.

I would love to be a fly on the wall at this meeting of the minds. Please Howard, you have to go.

A scrumptious stew - Howard Dean, Ken Mehlman and the Family Research Council. (from wingnut AgapePress): The Family Research Council has invited newly elected Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, along with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, to address the the pro-family organization's Washington Briefing in March. FRC president Tony Perkins notes that Dean appears to be living up to the commitments he made during his chairmanship campaign to meet with all constituencies in an effort to build a more inclusive Democratic Party.

Perkins notes that Dean's schedule last Friday had him appearing before the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus, the Seniors Coordination Council, the Women's Caucus, and groups of Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Pacific Islanders, all in a day. The head of the FRC observes that Dean told the GLBT Democrats they were 'among the most persecuted people in the history of mankind,' but could not confirm whether the ultra-liberal leader said the same to the Native American or African American audiences that might have a clearer claim to the 'most persecuted' title.


Pastor of yet another "ex-gay" ministry (this one in the Tar Heel State), Beyond Imagination, Ron Elmore and his wife.

An "ex-gay" ministry in my own back yard. In an earlier diary of mine, "Ex-Gay" and in absolute denial, one person noted that there was a Raleigh-based ministry that frequently sends out mailings for donations to fund its brainwashing of gay people in need of real counseling.

I had no idea about this local crap ministry, Beyond Imagination. It's Exodus-affiliated as well. The leader is right out of the mold of the Exodus cult:
From his personal story...:
During summer break, I walked blindly into a gay club at the beach. With the blaring disco songs of a popular vocalist, I began a very long journey in the homosexual lifestyle. I believed I had finally found male acceptance through homosexual contact.

Shortly afterwards, I joined the Air Force at the urging of my mother. Becoming more and more ambivalent to God, I found my place in the gay nightclubs near the city where I lived. For two years, everything was great with an over abundance of everything I thought I wanted. Then I endured two abusive long term relationships. Each relationship brought me deeper into the homosexual subculture. During those years of involvement I developed a deep suspicion of others mixed with anger and lust. I spiraled deeper and deeper into drugs, alcohol, and pornography. In my anxiety, I frequented the bars, homosexual establishments and adult bookstores. Even as the cavern in my soul grew bigger my Spirit testified to me that I was in rebellion.

In 1987, a co-worker who knew I was an active homosexual and could tell I had been using drugs, confronted me. "Ron," he said, "you need to go back to where your joy is." I remembered how Jesus had come to me as a little boy and met my needs. I heard clearly from the Holy Spirit, "Ron, if you stay where you are, you will die. But if you come back, I will give you life and I will give you life abundantly. You will be loved and cared for. Your greatest desire will be met."

...Within a year of my first Exodus Conference I applied and was accepted to Love in Action. The Lord showed me that I needed a safe place to walk through my relational issues. It was in the LIA program that I became very aware of my sinful nature.

...My life was in fact out of control. With thanksgiving I now realize, how my leaders at LIA committed to walk with me and with their hearts they helped me to learn to "sit in it" without running. God had a plan and Love In Action helped me to prepare for it.

The transformation in my life since 1990 has been unmistakable. Drugs, alcohol, pornography and homosexuality are no longer a part of my life.

At one time my thoughts were consumed with darkness. Now I wake up in the morning singing and now know because of the blood of Jesus I can take authority over my sin nature which used to so easily beset me.

Elmore lumps being gay with additions to drugs, alcohol and pornography. Someone with this background is so ill-equipped to help gay people struggling with self-loathing.

Beyond Imagination (full-fledged member of the Exodus International cult)
P.O. Box 28294
Raleigh, North Carolina 27611-8294
(919) 501-7601
life@beyondimagination.org


D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church is also head of the scarily-named Evangelism Explosion International. Wingnut, pastor, politician, activist, and musician Gary Cass is, according to his bio, a "tireless Christian warrior for God and an entrenched pro-life activist."

Members of the American Taliban meet in FL to strategize. Motivated by recent Republican successes at the polls and the threat of same-sex marriages, hundreds of conservative Christians from across the nation are gathering at Coral Ridge Ministries today for a two-day conference to sharpen their political skills and promote their social and cultural agenda.

Called "Reclaiming America for Christ 2005," the conference features topics such as Defending Religious Liberties, The Role of Christians in Civil Government, Christian Persecution and The Influence of the Bible in America.

"The moral landscape of America is in disarray," writes D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and noted televangelist in a welcoming letter. He believes the social and cultural mood of the country has shifted to the point that "there has never before been such a time as this, when the potential for God-honoring change in our land was so great."

While banning abortion remains a core issue for Christian conservatives, efforts to prohibit same-sex marriages have taken center stage this year. "The marriage issue and the assault upon it has probably done more to energize the social conservative base than any other issue," said Gary Cass, executive director of Reclaiming America.

...Cass said elected officials who were helped by "values voters" will be in trouble in the next election if they do not vote correctly on social and cultural issues. "We want to remind our friends that once they are elected, we expect them to do their part," Cass said. "We try to be respectful and kind, but our values are more important than a person's political career."


Some Related diaries this week...

tolerance/bullying: GLBT youth in school posted by juls

The Word for the Week posted by pastordan

HHS Backs Down On GLBT Conference Threats posted by JamesB3

"Ex-Gay" and in denial: exploitation of those in pain posted by pamindurham

Confronting the Gay Menace: A modest proposal posted by Renee in Ohio

This Week in Fascism" 02-17-05 [I need your help!] posted by Tomtech

Anti-gay bills defeated in NM/AR posted by JamesB3

More on Buster and PBS funding, etc. posted by pastordan

Lynne Cheney: It's only lesbianism if Buster does it posted by Carla

VA: Gay adoption ban KILLED, Cameron savaged. posted by JamesB3

Maya Keyes and GOP abandonment posted by dday

Just Heard Beth Stroud Speak posted by pastordan

LGBT Suicide is a Problem that Dare Not Speak Its Name posted by ortcutt

Maya Keyes was kicked out of her parents' house posted by DuPageCountyLibera

Mayor calls for gay marriage support posted by ElectGore2008

MA Gov: Reilly switches(?) on Marriage Equality posted by MAJeff

South Carolina Legislation - Our Testimony posted by stevenmark

Bush: Right uses gays as the enemy posted by up2date

Scandal with the Boyscouts...and implications it brings... posted by doctormatt06

Liberal Morality posted by nanoboy

McGreevey: A Heterosexual Affair? posted by Delaware Dem

MA Special Elections & Marriage Equality posted by Frederick Clarkson

NRO: ok, being gay is natural, but you still don't get any rights. posted by obietom

Virginia Assembly To Enshrine Discrimination posted by VAprogressive

Lincoln, homosexuality, and the American Soul. posted by BoringDem

Gay facts and fantasies in Propagannon research, posted by padraig pearse. Highly recommended - Pam. What Propagannon is really about - and the gay angle that cannot remain untouchable. Basically, the author -- "a seasoned gay man of a certain age" -- brings it all home about Propagannon and the gay angle. AmericaBlog has touched on it in its reporting on Gannon, but most pointedly in the rise of Ken Mehlman in the GOP. Mike Rogers of BlogActive has been blowing open hypocritical GOP closet doors for some time now.

What padrai pearse does in this essay is break it down to its most basic core -- we can follow the money trail of GOPUSA and Bob Eberle, but what this all may come down to for the Right is the fear of exposing its Republican Gay Underworld. It's a shadowy world of self-hating and horny homos, a gay cabal psychologically in the 1950s closet, where being gay is dirty, nasty, utterly enticing -- and blackmailable. [It's also relevant that these tapes of Bush pre-Presidency have surfaced now -- it clearly shows the schism between the reality of the acceptance of gays. Maintaining and obtaining power is dependent on remaining in the shadows.]

These folks hate gays that are out and proud because, in the end, they hate themselves and will do anything to protect their public closet. We're talking about the public political closet here -- the one these homos have to stay in to mollify the GOP's bound-at-the-hip relationship to the evangelical Right. Most of these folks are out to the politicos they work with and sleep with -- they just don't want the fundie audience to know. That "base" has been carefully cultivated and molded by the Rove Machine and without them, the GOP now cannot win an election.

And it's important to note that this is not just about the Repugs, it's any politician, or DC news media figure that's worried about being forced out of the closet by this sleazy Gannon affair. They are going to circle the wagons and try to shut this investigation down. This would explain why, someone like Repug (but popular in the GOP and conservative-voting) Dave Dreier, could be outed, yet mainstream media silence was deafening. The fall of Ed Schrock occurred because he must have been considered small potatoes and expendable. It didn't help that his over-the-top closet (cruising for men on a phone dating line, complete with recordings) and spotless Christian Coalition homophobic voting record could sink just about any GOP politician. Go read the diary.