Monday, December 31, 2007

Hypocracy that knows no end...

A Christian author by the name of Dr. Gary Cass has written a new book where he claims that "Christian bashing" is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in America. Dr. Cass didn't stop with his book, Christian Bashing, however, he has also founded the "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission." Yes, you read that correctly. The fundamentalist community, the ones who oppose hate crime protection for gays, the ones who oppose employment and housing protections for gays, and the ones who are trying to make gays second class citizens though constitutional amendments think they are being picked on. What's next? A support group for rapists whose victims fight back?

If anyone has read this guys book, please let me know. I would buy it, but I don't want to give these people $15.00.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A truth worth sharing this Christmas

I did not write what is posted below.  I caught it off of Pam's House Blend, but it was originally from Faith In America Blog.  It is a very powerful piece, and I wanted to share it here.


A truth worth sharing this Christmas

The harm experienced by two Florida and South Carolina families this Christmas because of religion-based bigotry against gay and lesbian individuals is very real.

Many evangelical Christians this year may have to admit to their children that they've been perpetrating an "untruth."  Perhaps they are made just a smidgen more uncomfortable by the fact that they believe truth was embodied in Christ - who according to their religious teachings was a person born different than any other human being.

So at a time when many Christians are cautioned not to forget the "reason behind the season," they are confronted with the fact that they must close the door on a part of their son's or daughter's childhood by telling them that certain stories about the partially eaten cookies, the hand-scrawled note left behind and the soot smeared on the floor were really not true.

But the young lives of a future generation will go on albeit perhaps  a bit more cynical and somewhat dejected from discovering such a truth. 

For the families of Pat and Lynn Mulder of Auburndale, Fla., and Elke Kennedy and Jim Parker of Greenville, S.C., the lives of their two children will not be going on. The day-to-day gifts of joy they gave their parents, siblings and friends ended with their deaths - and no amount of perception will make their future lives and their gifts to those around them a reality.

Pat and Lynn's son Ryan Skipper, who was killed in April 2007, and Elke and Jim's son Sean Kennedy, who was killed in May 2007, will not be with their families next week to celebrate the season - and there is an underlying reason which we as Americans must confront honestly and truthfully.

Both young men died after attacks that have been reported as acts of violence against them because they were born different. The difference was that they enjoyed dating, being around, spending time with, and bonding emotionally with men instead of women. That difference, according to certain religious and religious/political factions in America, condemns them as sinners, unclean, undeserving of the same rights that other Americans enjoy and unworthy of God's love.

Gays and lesbian individuals are not the only Americans who have been delegated as second-class citizens at the hand of misguided religious teaching. African-Americans were once labeled as a cursed lot. And with the "Adam first, Eve second" thinking, women also have been denied equality in this country as many people believed they stood more in favor with their God by standing opposed to full equality for women.

The majority of religious-minded people look back on those periods in history and realize that religious teachings were misused and misconstrued to deny African-Americans and women full equality.

Yet many Americans today fail to see the history of religion-based bigotry against gay and lesbian citizens and the harm that it causes to millions of wonderful people simply because they are different.

The families of Ryan Skipper and Sean Kennedy this Christmas are experiencing the harm that comes when a social climate of rejection and condemnation is allowed to flourish because a society accepts bigotry against gay and lesbians as religious truth. While those families experienced the physical violence that is promoted by such a climate of rejection and condemnation, millions of of other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and their family and friends experience this violence and in other forms as well - emotional, psychological and spiritual violence.

In South Carolina, where Sean Kennedy parents will spend Christmas, the state in 2006 voted to ban gay marriage and the opposition from Christian churches in that state was instrumental in writing such discrimination into South Carolina's constitution - which coincidentally still banned interracial marriages until just a few years ago.

Next year in Florida, where Ryan Skipper's parents reside, a ban on gay marriage is being proposed for that state's constitution and no doubt religious and religious/political groups will lead that effort.

While denying gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry is but one of the many rights they as American citizens are not allowed to enjoy, it is an issue that clearly defines how a majority religious belief is used to justify legal discrimination against a minority.

Let's hope that people across this nation will pause for a moment to recognize that misusing religious teachings to justify discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens must be recognized just as wrong today as it has been in the past.

Great social injustices of the past have fallen faint when America's heart and soul bestows its most wondrous gift – equality.

Sharing that truth will most assuredly enrich the lives of future generations.

Brent Childers
Executive Director
Faith In America

Monday, December 24, 2007

Who's The Bigger Bigot - Starring Mike Huckabee

It's Christmas time. A time of giving, of charity, of compassion. At least, it is supposed to be. This Christmas season however, we get to watch GOP Presidential contender Mike Huckabee travel about Iowa selling his views of America - an America where not only is it not ok to be gay, it's just plain illegal.

For those who don't follow politics much, Huckabee came under attack from Ann Coulter a few days ago for comments he made in 2003 where he said the Lawrence v. Texas decision (the one that struck down sodomy laws) was "probably" ok. In Ann's view, as well as most of the members of the radical fundamentalist crowd, it is ok for the government to dictate what you do in your bedroom.

Huckabee's campaign, eager to prove they are just as anti-gay as the next fundamentalist nut job, quickly issued a statement claiming ignorance (hey, it worked for him on the whole Iran NIE thing, and the whole AIDS thing - hell, this guy has made being clueless a focal point of his campaign) as to what the decision was at the time he made the original comments. Now Huck feels that the decision, "is an extreme example of judicial activism." Why is it that every time the court issues a ruling limiting the power of government the religious right, who claim to be small government conservatives, start jumping up and down and screaming about judicial activism? It goes deeper than that, though. As the dissenting opinion to Lawrence points out, if sex is not the government business, then dictating who can marry and who can't is not the government's business either.

So why is this important? Simple. If Huckabee has his way, it will, once again, be illegal in several states to be anything but celibate if you are gay. If Huckabee has his way, the police will be able to kick down a gay persons door and arrest him and his partner for having sex (which is what sparked the original Lawrence case). Given the opportunity, he will stack the courts with judges who will rule not based on the law, or on the Constitution, but on extreme interpretations of the Bible. The Founding Fathers promised us a nation where "all men are created equal" and where "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are "inalienable rights." But that is not Mike Huckabee's vision for America. Huckabee's America is one where gay people must live in shadows, fearing the power of the state and being denied the most basic of civil rights. The fundamentalists have made their mission clear - they want to roll back each and every advance the gay community has made and force us back into the closet. We cannot let them succeed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Sanctity of Marriage - Exhibit B

One of the reasons God's own warriors protect the sacred institution of marriage is to provide stable homes for kids. After all, a couple of homos clearly cannot provide the loving environment, or the positive, wholesome role model that children need. For that reason, they should not be allowed to marry.

Who is allowed to marry however? Well, Mr. Antonio Harris is. This fine, upstanding gentleman was allowed to marry his girlfriend of 11 years (who he already had 2 kids with). Unfortunately, however, he had to be married in a courtroom, because, well, he couldn't afford the $200,000 bail that was imposed on him due to charges of drug trafficking and possession of a weapon by a felon. If convicted, he faces 38 years.

Far from wearing a toilet paper dress however, Mr. Harris was sporting prison stripes and shackles.


Judge Allows Inmate to Marry in Court

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:41 AM EST
Associated Press

CINCINNATI — One way or another, Antonio Harris faces a long hitch.

Harris, jailed as he awaits trial on drug and weapons charges, was allowed to get married Wednesday in the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge Steve Martin.

He was supposed to marry Aretha Thomas, 32, on Monday night at home. But that morning, his bail was increased to $200,000. Since Harris, 34, was unable to make bond, the couple got married in court.

Instead of a tux, the groom wore jail-issue black and white stripes, his wrists cuffed in front of him. The bride's ensemble was a polo shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. The newlyweds were allowed a brief kiss before Harris was returned to his cell.

"I know it's kind of unusual," Thomas said. "But that's everyday life. You never know what will happen."

The couple had been engaged 11 years and have two children. Martin said the fact that the couple has kids helped sway him to grant the request.

Harris was indicted on charges including trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, possession of both drugs and illegally having a weapon after a previous felony conviction. If convicted, he faces a 38-year sentence.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sanctity of Marriage - Exhibit A

As I am sure all of you are aware, the straight Christian community avidly opposes equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. They do this because marriage is a sacred institution ordained by God, and gays would only tarnish and destroy it. In what is sure to be a series of blogs, I will demonstrate the ways these holy defenders of the sacred institution of marriage protect it from the God hating homos.

From Yahoo News:

The bride wore white, 2-ply toilet paper

Wed Dec 19, 6:46 PM ET

If you're the kind to need a tissue at weddings, this was the place to be Wednesday. Jennifer Cannon wore a dress made of toilet paper when she was married to Doy Nichols at a public restroom in Times Square.

"You may kiss the bride," the officiant said, "but please don't squeeze the Charmin dress."

The intricately detailed dress — which looked at a glance like a regular wedding gown — was designed by Hanah Kim, winner of the 2007 Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, sponsored by

The ceremony took place at the Charmin Restrooms — temporary, free public restrooms set up for the event. As the newlyweds from Lexington, Ky., walked back down the aisle, family and friends threw — what else? — shredded tissue.


Public Restroom to hold the wedding in: $0.00
Toilet Paper Wedding Dress: $5.00
Preserving the sanctity of marriage: Priceless

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Gloves Come Off As Iowa Race Heats Up

As the Iowa race heats up its become a battle to the death for Huckabee and Romney, as only one can be the leading Republican theocrat. AS the battle rages, the ads get much more interesting, as you can see below! As a word of caution, please do not be drinking anything as you watch these, otherwise, you might have a dirty monitor.

Yes, those were fake, but, strangely, so true...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Huckabee Flip Flops On Taxes

Mike Huckabee realizing that no one is buying it anymore
"Nobody's going to find some YouTube moments of me saying something radically different than what I'm saying today."

- Mike Huckabee 10/21/07 on FOX News

On Huckabee's website, he claims to have been responsible for extensive tax cuts while Governor of Arkansas. He claims, "As Governor of Arkansas, I pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history - a $90 million tax relief package for Arkansas families. I also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for single taxpayers and $4,000 for those who are married. Some taxes I eliminated entirely: the marriage penalty, bracket creep caused by inflation, income tax on poor families, and capital gains on home sales. To encourage investment, I cut capital gains for both individuals and businesses. To help people better themselves, I provided tax credits for employee training and education. In total, I cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times during my ten-and-a-half years as Governor, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million."

However, that is not the whole story. He also *begged* the legislature to raise taxes. However, don't take my word for it, the video is on YouTube, and is presented above for your enjoyment.

Huckabee was confronted on this on Fox News. He claimed that it was in response to a court ordered funding increase for schools. However, his campaign had to retract that because the truth was that this was to cover expenses in the general budget. When Mike Huckabee says he beleives that government spends to much and the people are over taxed, remember that in Arkansas, he believed the people were undertaxed and the government needed to spend more. Remember Rev. Huckabee, the Bible says you should not lie.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mike Huckabee Digs Himself In Deeper

The Huckabee AIDS flap continues to develop. The day after the story broke Huckabee went on Fox News, where he was questioned about his comments. The video of this interview is on YouTube, and has been embeded here.

As the video shows, Huckabee dances around this issue while refusing to admit he was wrong and making claims that do not jive with reality. When specifically questioned on the quarantine remarks, he says he never said "quarantine" just "isolate" but does not explain the difference. Then, after a pause to think up a new answer, he threw out the Kimberly Bergalis case (the woman who claimed to have been infected by her dentist). Of course, Huckabee didn't do his homework here either. Evidence suggests that Ms. Bergalis was less than truthful about her virginity, unless, of course, she also caught genital warts from the same oral surgery she claims to have gotten AIDS from. To be fair, Huckabee could not have know this when he made the statement originally, but he could have known it now, had he or his staffers bothered to do some fact checking. Instead, he used it as an excuse to try and further justify his disturbing views.

Yesterday Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign, along with A. Gene Copello, president of The AIDS Institute sent a letter to the Huckabee campaign. In this letter, Mr. Solmonese and Mr. Copello requested that Huckabee sit down with the Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White, the teenager who died of AIDS in 1990 having contracted the disease through contaminated blood products, to hear from her, first hand, the pain and suffering that such ignorance causes to people who suffer from HIV/AIDS and their families. Huckabee responded to this letter by saying that, "I would be very willing to meet with them, I would tell them we've come a long way in research, in treatment."

Sometimes you really have to wonder if Huckabee engages his brain before running his mouth? Ms. White-Ginder has had a child die of this disease. She also sits on the board of The AIDS Institute. Who does Huckabee think he is that he has anything he can teach her regarding HIV or AIDS? There is one person who needs educated on HIV, and it certainy is not Ryan White's mother

The HRC letter points out that four years prior to Huckabee's statement, the Department of Health and Human Services was issuing brocures explaining that HIV could not be spread by casual contact. This, and the multitude of other evidence available at the time demonstrate that Huckabee is more committed to his world view of AIDS being a sinners disease than to what is true and what is right.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mike Huckabee - Idiot? Hatemonger? Facist? All Three?

Mike Huckabee - Dunce of the CenturyPictured to the left is the man who seems to be quickly becoming the favorite son of the far right wing theocrats, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.  Why, you may ask, is he wearing a dunce cap?  Well, because, as the
AP reports
, the man is either an idiot who is either woefully out of touch with reality, or a hatemonger who spews anti-gay bigotry to drum up support with "the flock".

In 1992, when he was running for the U.S. Senate, Huckabee wrote in response
to an AP questionnaire, "If the federal government is truly serious about doing
something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."  He then went on to say, "It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."

When asked on that same questionnaire about increased funding for AIDS research, he wrote, "In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified... An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor(,) Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."  So which is it Mike, is it a "genuine plague" that is so dire that you wanted to put the "carriers" in camps, or was it something so minor that it could be left to celebrities to handle?

When asked about those comments now, Huckabee claims ignorance.  After all, he maintains, that was 1992 and we didn't know how HIV was spread.  According to Huckabee, "We now know that the virus that causes AIDS is spread differently, with a lower level of contact than with TB.  But looking back almost 20 years, my concern was the uncertain risk to the general population — if we got it wrong, many people would die needlessly. My concern was safety first, political correctness last"  Of course, by 1992 everyone, except, apparently, Mike Huckabee, knew how HIV was spread.  So which is it Mike?  Were you just ignorant then or are you lying now?  Or were you just quot;talking tough" to capture the homophobe vote?

I think we can figure out which it was.  On that same questionnaire, when asked about homosexuality in general, Huckabee wrote, "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

Folks, well, for those of you folks who are members or friends of the gay community, this is what we are up against.  If we are complacent, we will lose all the gains we have made, or worse.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Highway to Heaven has been found... Someone tell Michael Landon... **UPDATED**

As reported on Pat Roberson's The 700 Club,  Interstate 35 is
no longer the evil North American Union Superhighway, but, rather, has been
revealed as the subject of Biblical Prophecy from Isaiah 35:8. 

The video at the right is the segment that ran on The 700 Club
This video was posted on YouTube by the folks at Right Wing Watch, which is
an organization which keeps tabs on the extremists in the Christian
community.   I present it here mostly for comic relief. 

However, there is one thing that concerns me here.  Part of this little
mission of their's have been little "gatherings" outside of gay bars to try
and convert all of us militant sodomites.  Personally, I feel it is
only appropriate that, should this become a common occurrence, that we in
the gay community show our, well, appreciation for their attention by
gathering outside of their church on Sunday morning...

Oh, and one other thing Pat, I lived just off I-35 in Kansas City for many
years, and I am still as queer as a $3 bill, so, your theory is, well,
crap..  But, we have all come to expect that from the fine folks at
The 700 Club


As it turns out, the gay guy in this video who was claiming to be cured of being gay is bipolor and was off his medication at the time. After the supposed cure, the so-called Christians shipped him off to ex-gay camp and told him not to contact his parents or resume taking medication. After a few weeks, the gayness came back, and the guy is now back home, back on his meds, and - big surprise - still gay... Below is the text of the story from The Dallas Voice:

Friday, December 14, 2007
Dallas gay man adversely affected by Christian "purity siege"

By John Wright of the Dallas Voice

Next time you see that group of fundamentalist Christians proselytizing outside the gay bars on the Cedar Springs strip, be sure to ask them about James Stabile.

In late November, right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson’s “The 700 Club” aired a segment on how some have come to believe — through prophecies, dreams and visions — that Interstate 35 is the “highway to holiness” referenced in the Old Testament.

As the story goes, a reformation is springing up in cities along I-35, which runs from Laredo to Duluth, Minn., that eventually will spread to the coasts and cleanse the entire nation of sin.

Or something like that.

Anyhow, the segment focused on a group affiliated with Heartland World Ministries Church in Las Colinas that’s been staging so-called “purity sieges” outside the bars on the strip — not far from where I-35 passes through Dallas — on Friday nights for the last few months.

I had covered one of these “sieges” back in early September, but as usual my timing was a little off.

Turns out, had I been there just a week before, I could have witnessed firsthand the dramatic and miraculous alleged conversion of Stabile.

Stabile, “a 19-year-old homosexual atheist from Dallas,” was out having a few drinks when he ran into Joe Oden, the Heartland evangelist who’s been helping to organize the sieges.

“He just barely touched me, and he said, ‘Fire!’ And I remember staggering backward, and I thought I was, like, tripping on acid,” Stabile said in “The 700 Club” segment. “It was the weirdest thing ever. … I didn’t feel the desire to be with men like I had felt before.”

Naturally, thanks to YouTube, it didn’t take long before the segment was plastered all over the gay blogosphere.

But the question remained: For the love of God, who is James Stabile?

I mean, surely someone in Dallas’ gay community had met this guy, right? Or was he just a member of the church who was planted on the strip so the incident could be staged?


I later asked Oden (who turns out to be a pretty nice guy, though clearly not my type), whether he could put me in touch with Stabile.

Oden told me Stabile had been shipped off to Pure Life Ministries, which operates a residential treatment program in Northern Kentucky.

“It’s a program for people who’ve lived alternative lifestyles just to get totally clean,” Oden told me.

Upon further investigation, I discovered Pure Life Ministries is also the place where Mike Johnston — remember him?! — is director of donor and media relations.

Johnston’s the guy who contracted HIV before swearing off homosexuality and becoming a poster child for the ex-gay movement in the late 1980s.

Then, in 2003, it was revealed that Johnston was living a double life — cruising men online and organizing unsafe sex parties while failing to disclose his HIV status to partners. Johnston eventually checked into Pure Life and later re-emerged in his current position.

“With good reason, people would question what I’m saying now,” Johnston told me recently during what he said was the only interview he’s given on the subject in four years.

But I digress.

A few weeks later, Oden told me Stabile had been kicked out of Pure Life for being a “compulsive liar,” which rekindled my interest.

Finally, I was able to get in touch with Stabile’s father, Joseph, who gave me the real scoop.

Coincidentally, Joseph Stabile is pastor of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, the oldest church in Dallas.

Joseph Stabile said he’s fully accepting of his son’s sexual orientation and believes being gay is neither a choice nor a sin.

Joseph Stabile said James left home to go out that Friday night and never returned. Joseph said James, or “B.J.” as his parents affectionately refer to him, is bipolar and had stopped taking his medication.

James called a few days later and told his parents he was moving out, and that he’d be back to get his stuff. James apparently had moved in with some folks from Heartland.

After that, it would be some time before James’ parents heard from him, as his church friends reportedly advised him not to contact them.

Joseph Stabile said the Heartland folks also may have advised James to throw away his medication, telling him that God would cure his bipolar disorder, too.

Joseph’s parents said James has a tendency to be less than truthful, especially when he’s off his medication, and that he loves attention. They said they don’t believe he’s ever questioned his sexuality, but that the folks from Heartland manipulated and exploited him for publicity.

It wasn’t until James got to Pure Life that he was able to reconnect with his parents. Not surprisingly, James wasn’t fitting in to the program, his father said.

“James did not fit into the program because their whole aim was to have him not be gay,” his father said.

Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. After nearly four months, James returned home last weekend.

His parents said they feel it’s too soon for James to talk about what happened, and that they want him to see his therapist first.

They said James has revealed little about his time at Pure Life, which he now refers to as “straight camp.” James just told them it was “horrible” and that there are some things he will never be able to share.

James’ mother, Suzanne, said he told her the people at Pure Life constantly threatened that he was going to hell.

Men in the program had to be fully clothed from the neck down at all times, including when they went to sleep, James told his parents. And they were prohibited from any physical contact, including shaking hands.

When James got kicked out, his father asked someone at Pure Life whether they would buy him a bus ticket.

After all, James had paid $2,100 to get in to the program, plus $150 a week. But the representative from Pure Life refused.

Joseph Stabile has contacted “The 700 Club” and asked them to retract the information about James in the segment.

For now, though, James parents are just glad to have him back.

“None of that experience was Christian, helpful, loving or supportive,” Suzanne Stabile said.