December 4th, 2007
In 2001, Colin Powell was the Secretary of State and George W. Bush was settling into his administration. Those of us looking for signs of progress were encouraged when the President selected Michael Guest, an openly gay career State Department diplomat as ambassador to Romania, a post-communist country seeking to enter NATO. We were even happier to see the Secretary of State acknowledge Guest’s partner, Alex Nevarez, at his swearing in ceremony.
As Guest was the first openly gay ambassador confirmed by the Senate, and as Nevarez was encouraged to move with Guest to Romania, some of us hoped that perhaps the administration might be supportive of equality, at least in employment, and the administration’s lack of response to anti-gay protest seemed promising. That was 2001.
By all accounts, Guest performed his duties admirably during a time of significant change and ended his term in 2003 with Romania sharing a closer friendship with the United States, a member of NATO, and well into establishing European contacts that would eventually lead to inclusion in the European Union.
But much has changed since 2001. The President stopped appointing gay people – or even gay-supportive people – to positions of authority. And after failing to meet expectations on the foreign front, his handlers decided that he reelection message would focus on a greater threat to the nation: committed gay couples.
Ultimately this administration went from cautiously supportive to blatantly hostile to gay persons with the threat of a veto over a non-discrimination policy that is overwhelmingly supported by the populace. There are currently no efforts to lift discrimination against gay citizens that are not vehemently opposed by this President.
Subsequent to his ambassadorship, Guest has served the Department as Dean of the Foreign Service Institute’s Leadership and Management School. But now, after 26 years of service, Guest is calling it quits. And he’s not shy about sharing the reasons why. Per the NY Times,
“Most departing ambassadors use these events to talk about their successes . . . But I want to talk about my signal failure, the failure that in fact is causing me to leave the career that I love,” said Mr. Guest, 50, whose most recent assignment was dean of the leadership and management school at the Foreign Service Institute, the government’s school for diplomats.
“For the past three years, I’ve urged the Secretary and her senior management team to redress policies that discriminate against gay and lesbian employees. Absolutely nothing has resulted from this. And so I’ve felt compelled to choose between obligations to my partner — who is my family — and service to my country. That anyone should have to make that choice is a stain on the Secretary’s leadership and a shame for this institution and our country,” he said.
Among the inequities cited by Mr. Guest and other gay diplomats: unlike heterosexual spouses, gay partners are not entitled to State Department-provided security training, free medical care at overseas posts, guaranteed evacuation in case of a medical emergency, transportation to overseas posts, or special living allowances when foreign service officers are assigned to places like Iraq, where diplomatic families are not permitted.
The Secretary and the administration share the shame of their behavior towards those who, like Michael Guest, make personal sacrifice to serve their nation. And not only gay people but our Nation as a whole is victim to these policies that are hostile to our best and brightest.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.