September 7th, 2010
There has been a lot of talk about the Tea Party’s insurgence being a benign development as far as LGBT rights are concerned. When journalists ask national Tea Party officials what the movement’s position is concerning LGBT equality, they reliably demur, saying that the only thing they care about is the deficit — and lately, newer wedge issues like immigration and Muslim-Americans. Gays? No problem.
The problem I have with that is that everyone wants to tell you that the Tea Party is not a top-down movement, but a spontaneous uprising from among people who are disturbed that our president is an immigrant Muslim who plunged our nation into debt. Or something like that. So, if it’s really a spontaneous grass-roots movement, why is anyone bothering to ask Tea Party leaders? Shouldn’t they be talking to the grass roots? Like, say, the Plymouth Rock and South Boston Tea Parties?
Montana’s Tea Party, on the other hand, is trying to tilt the lever back away from social issues, but not generating quite a bit of controversey within its own ranks. In a July facebook posting, Tim Ravndal, the President of Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party Association, responded to an ACLU lawsuit over domestic partnerships by writing that he thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, his comments didn’t end there:
Then Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.”
Answered Ravndal: “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”
To Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party’s credit, they booted Ravndal from the party following an emergency meeting.
We are extremely disappointed by Mr. Ravndal’s commentary,” wrote Walker, who could not be reached for this story. “The discussion in that Facebook conversation is entirely outside the position of the Big Sky Tea Party. Even though Mr. Ravndal was having a personal conversation and made no reference to our group, we felt strongly that swift and decisive action was required as we cannot accept that sort of behavior from within our membership, let alone from an officer of the corporation.
“We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks,” Walker continued. “If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc. they are not welcome in our organization. The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone.”
In case you were wondering, I think we’re supposed to assume that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are meant to fall under “etc.”
Not all Tea Partiers in Montana are on board with that decision. Kristi Allen-Gailushas, secretary of the Big Sky Tea Party Association and Republican nominee for a state legislative seat, announced that she is quitting the group over Ravndal’s removal. The Helena Independent Record reports that Allen-GAilushas may have facebook problems of her own. Following Ravandal’s removal, Allen-Gailushas posted to her facebook page, “The Gay community wants a war…they’ve got one!!”
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.