August 26th, 2009
“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy, the last surviving brother of the Kennedy dynasty, died last night in his home at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after more than a year-long battle with brain cancer. He was 77. His family released a statement announcing his death:
Edward M. Kennedy — the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply — died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port.
We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.
We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.
He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.
He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.
Like many great men, Ted Kennedy was himself a bundle of contradictions. His personal life was touched by tragedies and failures, but he achieved greatness by transcending those setbacks in the service of his country. A man of privilege, he was a staunch supporter of the downtrodden, including the LGBT community when there were precious few allies in Congress. He was an early proponent of funding for HIV/AIDS research and care in the 1980s, battling conservative religious hostility and White House indifference to the emerging epidemic. In the early 1990’s he became an early supporter of gay rights legislation and voted to strip “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from the National Defense Authorization Act in 1993. He stood up as one of only fourteen Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. During the 2004 debate on a proposed federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Kennedy said:
“We all know what this issue is about. It’s not about how to protect the sanctity of marriage, or how to deal with activist judges. It’s about politics and an attempt to drive a wedge between one group of citizens and the rest of the country, solely for partisan advantage … The Constitution has never been used as a tool to entrench currently popular views at the expense of an unpopular minority – and it should not be used that way now.”
In 2007, Sen. Kennedy grilled President George Bush’s anti-gay nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. James Holsinger about a 1991 paper Holsinger wrote about the “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality.” During the confirmation hearing, Kennedy blasted the nominee for the paper’s “unscientific, biased, and incredibly poor scholarship.” Holsinger was never confirmed for the position.
More recently, Ted was the chief sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and the fully-inclusive Employment Non-Descrimination Act. Despite his illness, he was working on building support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Kennedy received the nation’s highest honor in July when President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Pres. Barack Obama today praised Kennedy as “the greatest United States Senator of our time.” Sen. Harry Ried, Senate Majority Leader, said that we have lost our nation’s patriarch. With Kennedy’s passing, the Senate has lost it’s great Liberal Lion, and the LGBT community has lost a valued friend.
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.