This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinions of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin
March 20th, 2008
When homophobic rants like those of Sally Kern get a standing ovation from her House Republican caucus, or when folks like Oregon State Sen. Gary George (R – Newberg) can call gays “perverts” and advise that they just “shut up”, it can become discouraging. It does seem as though our nation is deeply divided along party lines and that we are an easy target in the raging culture wars.
But I think much of the venom and bile are the behavior of those who know in their gut that dusk is falling on their culture of heterosexist oppression. The signs are there for those who look. And here’s one from the Bay Area Reporter:
Log Cabiners’ optimism that their party is turning a lavender corner was buoyed last month at the California Republican Party’s state convention, held in San Francisco. The party adopted a new platform that no longer calls for passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The change in stance on an amendment is a blow to conservative groups trying to place such a ballot measure before voters this November. And it reinforces gay GOPer’s belief that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will oppose such a measure should it get on the ballot.
The party does still define marriage as being between a man and a woman, though a push to strip that from the platform came close to passing this year. It fell short by only eight votes.
A closer look does illustrate continued homophobic language within the platform, including
We believe that public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.
And in its discussion on Equal Opportunity, it clarifies that Equal does not include gay people.
We oppose any special rights based on sexual or behavioral preferences.
Clearly a (small) majority of the California Republican Party voting membership has decided not to view gay citizens as equal or deserving of the same rights that they hold so dear for themselves.
But in our constant battle against those who actively seek us harm, it can be easy to forget how much progress has been made, and how quickly progress continues to be made. In many states, any Democratic candidate that displays overt homophobia cannot expect to win their party’s nomination. In some areas, Republican candidates are facing the reality that their constituents can no longer be motivated by hate. And more importantly, many elected officials of all parties are coming to recognize the inherent worth of gay citizens on their own.
I believe that those kids who are now toddlers will live in a world in which a Sally Kern will seems as much an anomoly or embarrassment as David Duke or George Wallace. And while that day is still a ways off, this change in the CRP platform is definitely a positive omen of better days to come.
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.