January 20th, 2009
What follows is not a structured commentary but rather some random thoughts on the inauguration.
Rick Warren: Warren’s performance continued to highlight what an unfortunate choice it was to select him for the inaugural invocation. His inflection and style lacked gravitas and humility and at times he seemed false and fawning. I watched the ceremonies in a local coffee shop and the crowd laughed when he verbally caressed the names of the President’s daughters.
The Presidential Inauguration Committee should have closely observed his praying style before announcing Warren. Had they done so, they might have made another selection. Or perhaps they did and wanted what they got.
Vice-Presidential Oath: I wonder why the Veep has an oath that is so much longer than the President’s. It seems that this oath is not stipulated by the Constitution and so they use the same one used by Senators.
Swearing In: Did Roberts not make clear to the President that he would be offering whole sentences rather than small word coupling? And then Roberts screwed up where “faithfully” was placed in the oath.
I would never accuse the man of intentional sabotage, but it does remind us that when President Obama was a Senator he voted against confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts.
Presidential Address: This was a good speech. It began with the usual platitudes and was full of generic rhetoric, but it also gave indications where this administration will view the world with different eyes than the last. Specific references to restoring “science to its rightful place”, and “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” suggest direct policy changes while more general references hint at priorities that will change.
What saddened me was the continuation of excluding gay persons from any reference in the grand fabric of the nation. Of course some will dismiss this as an overreaching demand for such a small community, but Jews and Muslims – both much smaller populations in America – received specific reference. As much as I hope and wish for meaningful change for our community, I now fear that gay Americans are seen as a less insignificant part of Barack Obama’s America.
Benediction: Bless Rev. Lowery, but if anyone less prestigious had given that prayer they could not have carried it off. “The Red Man can get ahead, man”? Yikes!!
But I am particularly pleased that the reverend said:
And now, O Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance. And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family.
Considering the press surrounding Warren and his selection, it seemed to me that Lowery was speaking directly of the rights of gay Americans and the recognition of their relationships.
CNN: I found it of questionable taste that throughout the President’s speech they kept finding and focusing on an elderly black person. They stayed too long and the audience members’ shock of recognition of themselves on screen was distracting from the speech. And after a while it ceased seeming a confirmation of the fulfillment of a promise and began to take on a feeling of pandering and condescension. I hope that in the future media outlets can recall that this is the President of all Americans, not just old black Americans, and that we all should join together to provide our support for his leadership.
Finally, this was a joyous occasion. We should, as a nation, together hope and support and celebrate this new chapter in the history of our country. Because be we Democrats or Republicans, young or old, gay or straight, black or white or brown or chartreuse, we are Americans and Barack Obama is our President.
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.