Barack Obama the First “Gay President”?
March 30th, 2010
That’s what Tom McClusky, Vice President for Government Affairs for the Family “Research” Council, suggests. I know! You could have knocked me over with a feather too! Those FRC folks really do live in an alternate universe, don’t they?
Matt Barber adds names to Hate Group list
March 24th, 2010
As we told you, Peter Labarbera’s amusingly misnamed website, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, has been named a hate website by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And while I see this as a reasonable classification for a man whose “religious objection to homosexuality” always seems to be expressed in the vilest terms of contempt for gay individuals, fellow anti-gay activist Matt Barber (who sits on AFTAH’s board) has leapt to the Peter’s defense.
Writing in third person, he declares that this addition to the hate list entirely discredits the SPLC. And besides, AFTAH is no different from a number of other groups.
“It’s a ‘hate group,’ mudslinging good time!” joked Barber. ” Let’s try it on for size. In exercise of the SPLC’s trademark ‘I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I’ criteria for determining ‘hate group’ status, I hereby declare the Southern Pov Law Center an officeal ‘anti-Christian, anti-conservative hate group.’ Try it, it’s fun.
“But seriously,” continued Barber, “If AFTAH is a ‘hate group,’ then so is Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church.”
Well now, Matt, those are interesting nominations. You’ve given us something to think about.
Fact Checking the Family “Research” Council Straw Man Argument
March 13th, 2010
In response to a Washington Post article about the economic benefits of same-sex marriage in DC, the Family Research Council (FRC) provides a classic example of how right-wing organizations manipulate data and statistics to suit their anti-LGBT positions.
Here’s the quote:
When same-sex weddings kicked off in D.C. yesterday, the city wasn’t seeing anything but dollar signs. In an absurd article in today’s Washington Post, reporters tried to argue that counterfeit marriage could be the economic salvation of the city’s economy. In a region with 12% unemployment, local officials claim that redefining marriage “will create 700 jobs and contribute $52.2 million over three years to the local economy.”
Not so fast, says FRC. The last census counted 3,678 same-sex partner homes in D.C. Assuming that number has stayed roughly the same, then the 150 who applied for marriage licenses yesterday would amount to a whopping four percent of the local homosexual population–hardly the stuff of economic recovery. For the Post’s $52.2 million projection to come true, all 3,678 of those D.C. couples would have to get married and spend over $14,000 per wedding. (I don’t know about you, but my wife and I spent a LOT less!) These “marriages” (which have yet to meet financial expectations in other states) may make a fast buck in the short term, but they will do nothing but drain the economy down the road. Consider the massive health care expenses incurred by taxpayers every year to cope with the diseases spread by homosexual behavior. According to the Kaiser Foundation, federal funding grew to more than $18 billion in 2004 to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over half of all U.S. infections are in men having sex with men! That means taxpayers spend roughly $10 billion a year treating the diseases caused by a behavior celebrated in same-sex “marriage.” So much for economic development!
Not so fast FRC.
Yes, according to the Washington, DC Census Snapshot published by the Williams Institute, there are an estimated 3,678 same-sex couple households in the district, and the Associate Press did report that 150 same-sex couples applied for licenses on the first day same-sex marriage became legal there. This is about all that is factually correct in FRC’s statement.
FRC’s claim that the 150 couples represent “four percent of the local homosexual population” is a classic manipulation used by the religious right and discredited “researchers” like Paul Cameron. They take an estimate of one portion of a minority population and pretend that it is generalizeable to the population as a whole. In this case, the number of same-sex couple households willing to self-identify in the Census is not equivalent to the total population of lesbian, gay, or bisexual DC residents, which according to the Williams Institute is approximately 33,000.
Even more importantly, it is laughable for FRC to base its argument on the number of couples who applied for licenses on the first day. The Washington Post article references another Williams Institute report, which estimates that 2,000 same-sex couple in DC would marry over the next three years. In addition, another 12,500 couples are expected to come from out of state to get married. This is a more complete picture of the estimates used to create the projection of 700 new jobs and $52.2 million in revenue, but FRC simply ignores this information.
Where to begin with FRC’s last argument about same-sex marriage being a long-term drain on the economy because of “diseases spread by homosexual behavior?”
We could cite CDC data on transmission rates caused by “heterosexual behavior.” We could also estimate federal funding spent on prevention efforts that address the damage caused by social, and familial environments created by FRC. As they say, so much for economic development!
However, it would be a waste of time to feed into FRC’s “straw man” arguments.
They have no interest in examining real facts. Nor do they see the folly in their position against allowing same-sex couples access to an institution that fosters monogamy as well as mutual caring and support. As so many articles and special reports on Box Turtle Bulletin have illustrated, there is no place for scientifically supported facts in the anti-gay playbook.
CPAC Overboard on DADT
February 19th, 2010
Die-hard supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military’s ban on LGBT people serving openly, held a news conference at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 18 in Washington, DC. It was a truly priceless exercise in surrealism that has to be seen to believe.
Here are my favorites. Tom Minnery of Focus On the Family thinks repealing DADT is a bad idea, but not because he dislikes gay people. In fact, he’s worried all to pieces over what repealing DADT would do to gay men:
There are going to be a number of young gay men who have been shoved in the middle of this social engineering debacle and told that it is their right to serve. In the confines of barracks life, the sexual tension that will result when you try to develop a warrior culture and put these two very different ideas of sexuality in the middle of that culture, it’s going to produce a lot of abuse, a lot of angry, a lot of severely disappointed young gay men.
Tony Perkins, of the Family “Research” Council has a hard time with polling data:
When you look at the polling data of the sixty percent of Americans or whatever saying they thing that homosexuals should be open, should be able to serve openly in the military, well do they really understand the conditions under which their sons and daughters and their neighbor’s kids would have to serve in.
People understand the conditions of war very well, and nobody understands it better than those who are in the military currently. The Military Times finds that there has been a sharp decline in the percentage of men and women currently in uniform supporting DADT. Fewer still who personally know a gay person serving are willing to report them to their command.
But the most surreal statement comes from Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons:
You know in the Navy in the late nineteen hundreds, homosexuality was rampant in the United States Navy. It was so bad that mothers would not let their sons enlist in the Navy until the Navy cleaned its act up, and fortunately they did. …On board ship the Navy found that there are three things unacceptable to good order and discipline and its impact on readiness. You cannot have a thief aboard, you cannot have a drug-user or a drug-pusher, and we found out you could not have a homosexual.
And as anyone who has ever been to Fleet Week in San Francisco, New York, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale can tell you, they don’t have any homosexuals in the Navy anymore.
Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg Wants To Throw You In Jail
February 2nd, 2010
Don’t believe me? Then check this out:
Peter Sprigg was on Chris Matthews’s Hardball to talk about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on gays in the military. Sprigg, of course, is against ending the ban. But skip ahead to about the 8:15 mark, and you can see what Sprigg really wants to do:
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Peter, do you think people choose to be gay?
SPRIGG: Uh, people do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to have homosexual conduct. And that’s conduct also , which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn’t make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to be violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: Well, I think certainly it’s defensible.
MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.
This is the guy who nearly two years ago said we should “export” gays:
Where The Money To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage in DC Coming From?
February 2nd, 2010
Hint: None of it is coming from within Washington, D.C.. Rev. Harry Jackson’s three groups to wage three different ballot fights against DC’s new marriage equality law have raised a total of $199,000 so far. Of that, $102,192 came from Rev. Jackson’s MAryland-based High Impact Leadership Coalition. That sum is followed by $40,000 from Focus On the Family, $32,130 from the National Organization for Marriage, and $25,000 from the Family Research Council. None of the donations are from DC residents.
Family Research Council Wants Your Holiday Family Photos — And So Do We
December 5th, 2009
Well, they’re a bit more specific than that. They want you to send in your family Christmas photos. Here’s the email that landed in my inbox overnight:
Let’s face it, family photos aren’t easy to get. From children fidgeting, to getting everyone wearing the proper attire, to blinking eyes and lighting, just getting one good shot can often be an ordeal. But in the end, the effort pays off with for better or worse, a snapshot to fuel memories for generations to come. This year, FRC is offering another incentive to grab the camera and gather the family: the FRC Family Photo 2009 Contest.
Here’s the rundown: this Christmas season, send us your best family photos in one of four categories:
* Photo that best captures the spirit of Christmas
* Most original family Christmas photo
* Photo with the most family members
* Funniest Christmas photo
Once FRC has reviewed and posted your photo online, we’ll make them available on an upcoming web page where send your friends and family to vote for your photo. The winners in each category will each receive 2 free standard admission passes to the 2010 Values Voter Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C. on September 17 to 19, 2010. The contest begins now, and runs until January 15, 2010, and winners will be announced on January 20, 2010.
Send your attached photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to include the following information with your email:
* First & Last Name
* Photo Category (you may enter different photos in each category, but only one photo per category per entrant)
So ready your camera, gather your family, and best wishes in the contest.
P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend.
So what do you say? Send in your family photos and see if you can win. And when you do, you can send a copy to us as well, and we’ll show them what families really look like.
Another Reason To Rejoice
November 14th, 2009
There’s another reason to rejoice over the LDS Church’s historic support for pro-LGBT legislation in Salt Lake City: it’s causing all sorts of angst among anti-gay extremists. The right-wing group America Forever, whose fundraising ventures included selling worthless ID’s to Mexican immigrants, is incredulous. They charged that the seemingly powerless Church “was placed in this position by the gays from Utah.” That’s right. Gays are more powerful in Utah than the Mormon Church.
Other denunciations were more conventional. The American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn sputtered that the Church’s position was “grossly ignorant.” The Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg charged that the Church was “bend[ing] over backwards to exhibit tolerance toward homosexuals in some way.” Peter LaBarbera wailed that the church’s stance may mark “the ‘official’ split of the American pro-family movement against homosexuality into two camps,” with only one camp holding fast to unadulterated, no-holds-barred, anti-gay warfare — the only stance he finds acceptable. LaBarbera also worries:
If churches back “gay rights” (and the LDS is hardly the first), is there some truth to the idea that those of us who remain opposed to ALL aspects of the “GLBT agenda” are “bigots” or somehow extreme in our worldview?
Increasingly, the answer to LaBarbara’s question is self-evident. If someone opposes ALL aspects (as LaBarbera emphatically stipulates) of recognizing the humanity of any people — whoever they may be — then yes, they are bigots and extremists. That’s pretty much the definition. There’s no other way to put it. And whenever a major denomination like the LDS church can frame a question like this through its actions with such stark clarity, we all benefit.
Anti-Gay Activists React To Hate Crimes Bill Passage
October 23rd, 2009
And their reactions are true to form — full of all the same bald-faced lies we’ve heard before. Fortunately, this should be their second-to-last gasp. The last one will come when President Barack Obama signs the legislation into law. First up, Tony Perkins, of the Family “Research” Council:
“In a slap to the face of our servicemen and women, they attached ‘hate crimes’ legislation to the final defense bill, forcing Congress to choose between expanding hate crimes or making our military go without. This hate crimes provision is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality. … We call on President Obama to veto this legislation which violates the principle of equal justice under the law and also infringes on the free speech rights of the American people.”
The Family “Research” Council really needs to bone up on their research skills, because right there in the text of the bill (Section 4311) are these clauses:
3) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this division shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
(4) FIRST AMENDMENT- Nothing in this division, or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(5) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.
So unless the “planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence” is an essential element of Christian speech, people of faith have nothing to worry about.
Next up, we have Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. She also repeats the false claim that “Christians and other people of faith will now become targets for persecution and prosecution,” but adds this bit of creativity:
Hate crime legislation is based on the phony premise that there’s an epidemic of hate in America against LGBT (gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgendered) persons. This is false. FBI hate crime statistics prove that most so-called hate crimes amount to little more than name-calling or pushing or shoving.
First of all, the FBI doesn’t collect statistics for “name-calling, pushing or shoving.” They only collect statistics on violence and credible threats of violence. But that’s not the only whopper she told. Of all the hate crime categories that the FBI tracks, hate crimes based on sexual orientation are much more likely to be violent personal crimes than any other category.
|Total Hate Crime Offenses, 2007||Violent Crimes, percentage of total|
|Violent crimes include:
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter,
forcible rape, aggravated assault
and simple assault.
There are more. Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily calls the bill “the Pedophile Protection Act,” an obvious play on the “thirty sexual orientation” lie, which we dissected last May. All in all, there’s at least one thing you can say about these anti-gay activists: they may not be truthful, but they are consistent.
Anti-Gay Roundup on Obama at HRC: “He Will Lose His Soul To Damnation”
October 11th, 2009
While I’m still disappointed in the President, I liked the speech for the reasons listed here. But I left out a reason: President Barack Obama’s remarks before the Human Rights Campaign have anti-gay activists in a tizzy. For example:
Peter LaBarbera: “Obama’s Expanding Anti-Christian Agenda… President Obama used the bully pulpit tonight to defy the Creator, by brazenly declaring before a homosexual activist audience that homosexuality-based relationships are ‘just as real and admirable’ as normal relationships between a man and a woman..”
Family “Research” Council: “President Obama Ignores Election Mandate, Pushes Radical Social Policies”
Maine pastor Grant Swank: “Because of his double-tongued speech, he is not of the God of the Bible but of the demonic. There is no in-between. One is either in league with the Holy Spirit or the unholy spirit. …He will lose his soul to damnation if he continues on that course.”
Why Was Tony Perkins Smiling At A White Supremacist Meeting?
October 9th, 2009
Tony Perkins, as President of the Family Research Council, is often called upon to “defend traditional family values” by the mainstream media. But given his background, it’s fair to ask exactly which traditions he’s motivated to defend. This clipping from a Council of Conservative Citizens newsletter called the Citizen’s Informer shows Tony Perkins appearing before the Louisiana CCC on May 17, 1997. He was a state representative at the time. According to a 2007 Media Matters for America post quoting from two sources, the Boston Herald and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, Perkins spoke again before the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens on May 19, 2001.
The CCC, according to the SPLC, is a White Nationalist group which is a direct descendant of the racist White Citizens Councils which were common in the 1950s and 1960s. The CCC still harbors many of those beliefs, according to their statement of principles:
(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people. We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character. …We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
And while the statement on “cultural, national, and racial integrity is very carefully crafted, its historical and cultural context is unmistakable.
8) Cultural, national, and racial integrity. We support the cultural and national heritage of the United States and the race and civilization of which it is a part, as well as the expression and celebration of the legitimate subcultures and ethnic and regional identities of our people. We oppose all efforts to discredit, “debunk,” denigrate, ridicule, subvert, or express disrespect for that heritage. We believe public monuments and symbols should reflect the real heritage of our people, and not a politically convenient, inaccurate, insulting, or fictitious heritage.
And among those symbols which “reflect the real heritage of our people” is the Second Third (and final) Confederate Flag you see behind Perkins. Also known as the “Blood-Stained Banner,” it was adopted in 1865 and was based on the unofficial battle-flag, which we today are more likely to misidentify as the Confederate Flag. The Confederate Congress didn’t identify what the white field was supposed to represent. Some suggested that it was meant to represent the purity of the southern cause. But others believe that it was also meant to represent the white race.
Whatever the flag’s white field may have been meant to represent at the time, at the hands of the CCC today, the entire flag’s meaning is clear. On one page of the CCC’s web site, “Why are we unique? Because we’re effective!“, the CCC brags that they are the “only group advocating for ‘white rights’ that attracts elected figures as speakers.” Tony Perkins claims that he didn’t know what the CCC was all about when he spoke to them in 1997 and 2001. I find that hard to believe.
According to the Media Matters 2007 post, Several Louisiana papers printed dozens of articles in 1998 and 1999 describing the CCC as a racist group. In fact, a 1999 Associated Press article reported that Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson asked party members to sever all links to the Council of Conservative Citizens because “it appears that this group does hold racist views.” This was after Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Rep. Bob Barr, (R-GA) created a national furor after it was revealed that they had spoken at CCC meetings.
But there’s Tony Perkins, all smiles and laughter in front of the Second Confederate Flag, speaking to an organization that is proud to promote “White Pride.”
[Hat tip: Carlo Baca]
Addendum: This isn’t the only dealings that Perkins has made with White Supremacists. Max Blumenthal wrote in The Nation that in 1996, Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for a copy of his mailing list. Perkins was then the campaign manager for Louis E. “Woody” Jenkins, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the Jenkins campaign $3,000 for its role in hiding the money paid by Perkins to Duke.
Breaking: FRC Touts Evolution
October 7th, 2009
The Family “Research” Council has waved the white flag of creationism, now that it’s convenient to use real archaeological science against gay people. Peter Sprigg has penned a piece which claims that new archaeological evidence shows that marriage “as a union of a man and a woman” has been around for 4.4 million years. That’s quite a switch from the old Darwinism-leads-to-eugenics argument. But when gays are in the crosshairs, any piece of manipulable data is fair game, right?
Voter Values Summit: All Porn Is Gay Porn
September 20th, 2009
That pearl of wisdom came from Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). He and two others held a workshop on “The New Masculinity” at this weekend’s Voter Values Summit in Washington, D.C. Schwartz claims that his ex-gay friend revealed the true secret of how homosexuality is “inflicted on people”:
SCHWARTZ: (4:33) And one of the things that he said to me, that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark. He said, “all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants.” You know, that’s a, that’s a good comment. It’s a good point and it’s a good thing to teach young people.
… (5:28) But all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. And that in fact is what it does. I know couples now who are struggling with the husband’s addiction to pornography. It’s a terrible thing, and that is what happened to him. You know, if it doesn’t turn you homosexual, it at least renders you less capable of loving your wife.
I don’t know what’s crazier: the notion that “Debbie Does Dallas” or “Deep Throat” are gay movies, or where he ends this clip. If being “less capable of loving your wife” is along some sort of scale where loving your wife is on one end and being gay is the other, then isn’t everyone who divorces somehow more gay and less straight? Is Newt Gingrich (two divorces) gayer than Bill Clinton (still on wife #1)? Help me out here. heterosexual “logic” hurts my brain.
[via Think Progress]
The Family “Research” Council’s Parallel Universe
September 17th, 2009
The Family “Research” Council has just sent out an action alert, trying to get folks to sign up for a live webcast of the “Values Voter Summit” beginning tomorrow. They promise an exciting lineup of speakers. See if you can spot the error:
This webcast will feature our stellar lineup of speakers, including:
- House Speaker John Boehner
- Former Governor Mitt Romney (Mass.)
- Former Governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
- Governor Rick Perry (Texas)
- Governor Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
- Senator Mitch McConnell
- Rep. Eric Cantor
- Rep. Mike Pence
- Former Miss California Carrie Prejean
- Best-selling author, Joel Rosenberg
- Star Parker
- Phyllis Schlafly
Self-Centeredness – An Example
August 3rd, 2009
One of the common claims of anti-gays is that “the gay lifestyle is selfish”. Mostly, their argument is based on the idea that we selfishly demand to be treated with equality and dignity instead of generously giving in to their demands that we not exist.
But on the Family Research Counsel site, I found what I think may be one of the most blatant examples of selfishness and self-centered demands:
It’s not that unusual for me to have fellow worshipers come up to me after church, over coffee. Normally, however, we swap family stories, talk about children, grandchildren, hobbies, and common interests in our town. Yesterday, however, two friends sought me out with some urgency.
My first friend of the coffee hour was in anguish over his daughter’s decision to live the gay lifestyle. He and his wife had raised two daughters in their loving Christian home. Their younger daughter married and has blessed them with grandchildren. Their elder daughter pursued an academic career. He described this daughter as a brilliant scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at a major university. But he and his wife are heartbroken over their daughter’s decision not only to live in a lesbian relationship with another woman, but also her plan to change her sex. Their daughter is beginning hormone treatments soon. Distraught over their daughter’s choices, he appealed to me for help.
I referred him to PFOX—Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. There, my sorrowful friend would learn that parents can give unconditional love to their children—even as they hold out hope they will exit the gay lifestyle.
My friend was especially concerned that his lesbian daughter would take the extra step—sex change surgery—seeking to alter forever her sexual identity. Will “gender reassignment surgery” be covered under President Obama’s health care takeover, he asked, explaining that his daughter does not currently have the money to cover such expenses. I told him I cannot see how such surgery would not be included in the Obama plan. And if the President or Congress does not include it, activist judges surely will. He pleaded for consideration of parents. “Our wills give our entire estate to the two daughters we gave birth to” he said poignantly. “Now, we will have only one daughter. Where are our rights?”