January 30th, 2009
Most political pundits can take a glance at polling trends and predict that basing a party on conservative social policies is not a long-term winning strategy. But political parties, and those that direct them, don’t alway place logic, social change, or even the future viability of the party as a higher priority than entrenched ideology. And the Republican Party has been especially eager to hold firm to homophobic positions in the face of a decreasingly homophobic nation.
And today the Republican Party will make a decision about its future. It will choose a new leader and the choices represent either a sharp turn right, a stay the course, or a more moderate future social agenda.
None of the candidates can be considered advocates for gay equality. But one, Michael Steele, has illustrated an openness towards gay members and a common cause with some of those in the Party who are advocates for gay rights.
The voting isn’t over and the decision has not been made. However, reports are that the field has been narrowed to either the current chairman, Mike Duncan, or the more moderate selection, Steele (who appears to be in the lead). In either case, those who have build their identity on blatant and unabashed homophobia – including raging gay-hater Ken Blackwell – have now been eliminated. And that is a good thing for the gay community.
Duncan has withdrawn his name. Steele is currently in the lead but does not have a majority.
UPDATE TWO: Michael Steele has won the chairmanship of the Republican Party. The former lieutenant governor of Maryland is also the Party’s first African-American to hold the position.
Steele has a difficult road ahead of him. He will be at the helm of a party that is shrinking in number, has control of no branch of government, and is fighting the perception of being old, white, and Southern. Steele will also oversee an inevitable fight between those who seek to keep the party the standard bearer for social conservatism and a permanent voice of dissent and those who seek to moderate social issues, reestablish fiscal principles and bring the Party into the 21st Century.
I wish Steele well and hope that he finds the wisdom to lead the party into an age of inclusion and away from sectarian dogma and social obstructionism. I hope he lives up to his opening comments:
“We’re going to say to friend and foe alike: We want you to be a part of us, we want you to with be with us, and for those who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over”
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.