August 29th, 2011
Federal Court To Hear Arguments Over Release of Prop 8 Trial Tapes: San Francisco, CA. The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is sponsoring the federal Constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, will appear before Federal District Judge James Ware today to argue for releasing the video recordings of the Prop 8 trial which led to another judge declaring it unconstitutional. Attorneys Ted Olson and Ted Boutrous will argue that the public has a First Amendment right to know what happened in open court, especially since the full trial transcript is already part of the public record. As Ted Olson put it,
“The hearing is whether or not the American public will be able to see with their own eyes and listen with their own ears to the testimony that happened in a trial that effects the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of Californians and millions of Americans and people throughout the world. The proponents of Proposition 8 did not want a trial, they did not want testimony of witnesses under oath, they did not want experts testifying about the damage that’s done by discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals, they did not want evidence about the value of marriage and the importance of marriage as a fundamental right in this country, they did not want the public to see the truth. They did not want—and they do not want—the public to see a trial that took place a year and a half ago. They want to keep that in the dark. They want to influence public opinion about these issues through their advertising.
Ironically, Judge Ware has already announced that today’s hearing will not be recorded. It turns out the Yes on 8 people who don’t want you see the debacle that was the original trial also don’t want you to see this hearing either.
Dan Choi’s White House Protest Trial: Washington, D.C. On November 15, 2010, thirteen activists protested at the White House demanding more action in the face of slow progress in repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” All thirteen were arrested for refusing to follow a lawful order the the National Park Service police. The others opted to plead guilty to a “failure to move” charge and pay a fine. Choi instead decided to plead not guilty and demand a court trial. That trial begins today at 9:30 a.m.
Edward Carpenter: 1844. Britain would be a very different place without him, and so would the LGBT world. Carpenter was a very influential poet, philosopher, anthologist, nudist, feminist, pacifist, and early gay activist. He was as leading proponent of socialism, and helped to found Britain’s Labour Party. Reading Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in the 1860’s was a huge revelation for him, with Whitman’s dreams of “a brotherhood of manly love.” Carpenter’s 1889 book Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure argued that civilization is a form of disease which no society ever survived more than a thousand years before collapsing. His cure involved a closer relationship with the land and a greater sense of our own development as individuals. He very much practiced what he preached, living among tenant farmers and other working class workers. He was relatively open about his homosexuality, which was a remarkable accomplishment. Unlike Oscar Wilde, who was arrested and imprisoned for his “vice,” Carpenter escaped scandal and arrest, even though he had moved in with the man who would be his partner for the rest of his life, George Merrill, in Millthorpe. Carpenter befriended Walt Whitman, E.M. Forster, Havelock Ellis, John Addington Symonds, and several other early pioneers in the nascent gay community. Carpenter and Merrill’s relationship would serve as the model for Forster’s homoerotic novel, Maurice and, hetersexualized, for D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. His groundbreaking 1908 book, The Intermediate Sex: A Study of Some Transitional Types of Men and Women, would become a foundational text for future LGBT movements. He wrote that because “intermediate types” (his preferred term for gay people; he hated “homosexual” because of what he called its “bastardization” of the Latin and Greek) were free of gender limitations, they were uniquely qualified for bringing about greater gender equality and equal rights for women. Carpenter’s writings would later inspire Harry Hay to found the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, and thus spark a new gay rights movement half a world away.
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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.