October 13th, 2012
Most readers will recall that day in September 2007 when Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders called a press conference to announce his veto of a City Council resolution in favor of marriage equality – but then announced that he would endorse marriage instead.
Long time activist Nicole Murray Ramirez now tells us the story behind the press conference that surprised and touched the nation. (LGBT weekly)
Almost immediately, the media attributed Mayor Sanders’ change of heart to the fact that he has an openly lesbian daughter, Lisa Sanders. Lisa and I know that this is far from the truth and the real story has never been told.
Lisa and I developed a close relationship because her father asked me to help Lisa maneuver the complexities of coming out while being a public figure. I felt like her fairy godmother as I have watched Lisa blossom into an LGBT activist and leader in her own right.
Let me stop there to say how that decision reflects on Sanders’ character.
Ramirez was an excellent choice; experienced, connected, pragmatic, and goal-focused. But he’s also Empress Nicole the Great, The Queen Mother of the Americas within the Imperial Court System, a drag community that raises huge amounts of money for HIV/AIDS and other causes. And, sadly, many people – Republican, Democrat, or anything at all – would hesitate before choosing a drag queen as the mentor for their daughter. I think drag queens are perhaps the hardest for straight people to understand or appreciate.
So I really respect that Sanders went with ability and integrity instead of stereotypes about who the “good gays” were. Back to the story.
Mayor Sanders was in a quandary. Sanders was under political pressure to veto the City Council’s resolution from within the Republican Party, plus Sanders was up for re-election. His opponent was millionaire Steve Francis who took a public stand against same-sex marriage.
I will never forget the confidential phone call I received from Sanders’ aide, Fred Sainz. Sainz informed me that the mayor had decided to veto the City Council marriage equality resolution. Sainz asked that I arrange a meeting with LGBT leaders so the mayor could personally explain his decision.
Sainz suggested that I pick ten LGBT leaders from a list that he submitted to me. In addition, he requested commentary space for the mayor in the Gay and Lesbian Times to explain his veto to the entire LGBT community.
Go read it. It’s an important part of our history.
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.