The Daily Agenda for Friday, November 4

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2011

Campus Pride College Fair and Prep Day: New York, NY. Campus Pride’s College Fair is an opportunity for LGBT students and their families to discuss educational opportunities with participating LGBT-affirming colleges and universities. The fair features expert advice about LGBT-friendly colleges, scholarship resources and even effective tips for campus visits. The last one on the calendar for this year takes place today at at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on 208 W 13th Street in New York, and goes from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

Screening of “This Is What Love In Action Looks Like”: Memphis, TN. In June 2005, sixteen-year-old Zach Stark announced on his MySpace blog that his parents were sending him away to an ex-gay youth program. He also posted the program’s rules that he would be forced to live under while participating in the program. Thanks to Zach’s blog posts, Memphis-based Love In Action, an Exodus-affiliated program, became the focus of worldwide controversy and daily protests. “Love In Action” was investigated by the state of Tennessee for child abuse and for operating a separate unlicensed drug and alcohol treatment program. Love In Action eventually settled with the state and shut down their youth program. Morgan Fox’s documentary, This Is What Love in Action Looks Like, chronicles those events and features interviews with Zach, then-LIA director John Smid, other former ex-gay leaders and former LIA clients. Since stepping down as LIA director, Smid has offered a general apology and confirmed that in his more than two decades as a leader in the ex-gay movement, he never met a man who had gone from gay to straight. More needs to be done, but it’s a good first step. Morgan Fox’s documentary will be shown tonight at the Indie Memphis Film Festival beginning at 7:00 p.m at the Playhouse On the Square. Morgan Fox is scheduled to attend.

AIDS Walks This Weekend: San Luis Obispo, CA.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Buenos Aries, Argentina and Palm Springs, CA.

Also This Weekend: REELING LGBT Film Festival, Chicago, IL; Invincible Truth, Hong Kong, China.

NARTH’s Annual Convention Begins: Phoenix, AZ. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) bills itself as a scientific organization dedicating to the non-scientific pursuit of “curing” homosexuality. NARTH claims that because they are a scientific organization, that they don’t engage in advocacy. But that claim doesn’t stack up. Just look at the convention program. Anti-gay firebrand Michael Brown will speak during a plenary on “A Call to Courage,” and Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater will speak in a workshop titled innocuously  “UN/International.” What that title doesn’t betray is that Slater has been very active throughout Africa advocating against relaxing laws against homosexuality and she refused to condemn Uganda’s proposed lifetime imprisonment for gays. (She did oppose the death penalty, as if there was a difference between that an a lifetime in a Ugandan prison.) Another item on the schedule is Christopher Doyle’s presentation of an “Acception (sic) film (bullying).” Ironic, given that in 2006 a member of NARTH’s scientific advisory board endorsed bullying as a way of “reestablishing necessary boundaries” for gender-variant children. Julie Hamilton, President of NARTH, kicks everything off this morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Airport Marriott at 1101 N 44th St. NARTH will also sponsor an all-day “Information and Resource Conference” on Saturday for Arizona residents, also at the Airport Marriott, for $35.

California’s Prop 64 To Quarantine People With AIDS Defeated: 1986. Lyndon LaRouche’s name is all but forgotten today, but in the early 1980s the paranoid perennial Presidential candidate was regarded more as a joke than as a serious political thinker, even though he took himself very seriously. LaRouche typically ran as a self-styled Democrat (much to the consternation of real Democrats) while putting forth elaborate conspiracy theories and bizarre economic platforms. During his 1984 campaign, he managed to purchase 14 television spots in which he called Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale a Soviet KGB agent, and charged that Henry Kissinger and the Queen of England were in charge of worldwide drug cartels. He lost, of course, but didn’t go away.

In 1986, at the height of the hysterical anti-gay backlash that had sprung up in the midst of the growing AIDS epidemic, LaRouche founded his Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee (PANIC), which gathered enough signatures to place Proposition 64 onto the ballot. Prop 64, if passed, would have placed AIDS onto California’s list of communicable diseases under the state’s public health law, which would have effectively forced anyone who was HIV-positive out of their jobs and schools and into a quarantine. The LaRouchites said that such measures were required because AIDS was “worse than the Black Death” that devastated 14th-century Europe and Asia, and was “more deadly to mankind than a full-scale thermonuclear war.” They also claimed that AIDS had been created by the Soviets — or maybe the International Monetary Fund or maybe the World Bank — to kill “excess eaters” in Africa, and asserted that it could be spread like the common cold through casual contact or through mosquito bites. “A person with AIDS running around is like a person with a machine gun shooting up a neighborhood,” he told a San Francisco radio program. Health officials denounced LaRouche’s harebrained theories, but LaRouche held his ground. His Biological Holocaust Task Force charged that “AIDS is the first known epidemic which could potentially wipe out the entire human race” and that his detractors were “guilty of one of the most evil cover-ups in medical history.”

Flyer for a LaRouche-sponsored conference in Atlanta, 1992. (Click to enlarge.)

Despite support from Congressman William E. Dannemeyer, Prop 64 lost in a landslide, 71% to 29%. LaRouche brought it back again in 1988 as Prop 69, when it lost by an even wider margin. He also made that AIDS quarantine the centerpiece of his 1988 presidential campaign, but Prop 64 would prove to be his high water mark, such as it was. In October 1986, federal and state agents raided his heavily guarded compound in Loudon County, Virginia and offices in Massachusetts. A federal grand jury indicted LaRouche and several of his associates with credit card fraud and obstruction of justice. In 1988, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 11 counts of actual mail fraud and a count of conspiring to defraud the IRS, all part of a wider effort to obtain credit card loans in his name and those of his supporters that he had no intention of repaying. LaRouche, true to form, blamed the raid on Raisa Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s First Lady. He served six years in prison, running again for President from prison in 1992. At one time, he shared his cell with televangelist Jim Bakker, who recalled, “to say LaRouche was a little paranoid would be like saying that the Titanic had a little leak.” He still hasn’t gone away. More recently, he posted an image of President Barack Obama as Hitler that began appearing at Tea Party and Town Hall meetings in 2009, and he helped to popularize the fiction that Obama’s health care reform included so-called “death panels.”

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

There are no comments for this post.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

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.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

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.

Paul Cameron’s World

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.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

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"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

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.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

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.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

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.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

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.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe 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.