November 18th, 2008
There is a long tradition amongst religious zealots to read disaster as an evidence of God’s wrath. So it is not too surprising that ex-gay gadfly James Hartline had declared that the fires burning across Southern California are caused by God’s vengeance against evil homosexuals.
I tend to take James with a combination of amusement and annoyance, but mostly with pity. Though intelligent, Hartline’s mental state tends to result in hallucinations, bouts of paranoia, and wild eyed pronouncements all underlined by delusions about his role in the universe. Sadly, too many anti-gays or the more extreme variety encourage James and his wactivist efforts. It really isn’t kind of them.
But supposing that we could determine something from the fires raging, what could we determine that God was saying?
The areas hardest hit are in Santa Barbara County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County.
Orange County voted 57.8% in favor of Proposition 8. Those cities most effected voted even more in opposition to equality: Yorba Linda 65.9%, Anaheim 62.5%, Brea 62.6%. In contrast, the city of Irvine which voted 50.8% against the proposition seems to have been spared.
As for Riverside County and San Bernardino county, they voted for Prop 8 by 64.3% and 66.9%, respectively. I don’t have the city breakdown, but those areas threatened are among the more conservative.
On the other hand, Santa Barbara County is the only Southern California county to reject the amendment. And if their voting patterns matched other counties, Montecito, a wealthy enclave, is likely to have been strongly in opposition.
So it’s really hard to tell if God is punishing those who voted for Prop 8 or those who voted against it. And if these fires are to warn the gay community against protesting, none of the areas affected are much more or much less involved in protest than those not hit by fire.
Which tells me that those who look for God’s hand in natural disasters can read just about anything they like into such events. I prefer not to see such things as a revelation of God’s will or to call my neighbors into judgment over a fire, earthquake or flood. Perhaps I take more seriously the commandment not to take God’s name in vain.
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.