Posts Tagged As: Homophobia
November 29th, 2016
Last Friday, James Shawlin went to a Floor and Decor store in the Denver suburbs to return some defective stone slabs that he and his husband had purchased for their fireplace. After an employee gave Shawlin permission to check the replacement boxes of stone before leaving the store, another employee sent the manager over to see what was going on:
“The manager that came over was not too happy,” Shawlin said. “You could tell he was not in a good mood.”
Shawlin said he explained to the manager that another employee had given him permission to look through the boxes.
“I was a little firm with him, and I just told him, ‘hey, you know, my husband and I spend a lot of money here. We’ve been using you guys for ten years. We have $3,000 worth of stone.’” Shawlin said. “And [the manager] goes, ‘oh, that explains it now. The faggot that voted for Hillary.’”
Another customer overheard the manager’s comment and followed Shawlin and his four-year-old son out to the parking lot for more verbal abuse: “He basically said, ‘what are these faggots going to do to this child?’” Shawlin said.
On November 25, 2016, we became aware of an unfortunate incident in one of our stores involving two customers and one of our associates. We conducted an internal investigation to determine the facts and took prompt action.
We spoke with the customer the next day and apologized for his experience in our store. We further apologize to his family and the community for what took place. Our ethics code and our employee training make clear we do not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment based on, but not limited to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability or genetic information. The associate at issue no longer works for us, and we look forward to improving our sensitivity training for all of our employees and providing the highest level of customer service to all members of the communities that we serve.
November 21st, 2016
I know I’ve told you about my great-grandmother Easter. She lived a block away from where I grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio. She was born in 1898 in the hollows of Kentucky, and I used to go to her house and ask her to tell me stories about “the olden days.” She was as good as any library to me and I loved spending time with her.
And I know I’ve also told you this story about the time I asked her what the word “hick” meant. I must have heard it somewhere. Maybe I heard it from her. I don’t remember. But I remembered that she answered by describing people who grew up in the hollows of Kentucky, much like she had, but who had never left those hollows and knew nothing about the world around them. They may have thought they knew about the wider world — nobody think’s they’re particularly ignorant, especially now that we had radio, television, movies and newspapers — but, as she said, unless you actually go out into the world, there are things you will never know. Hicks, she said, are people who never left their homes and knew nothing about the world outside of their tiny communities.
And then she stopped and thought about it a bit, and added, “You can find them back in the hollows, but you can also find them in some mighty fancy places. You can even find them in New York City.”
I’ve been thinking an awful lot about that lately. Two weeks after Donald Trump’s surprise election, I’ve been seeing various posts pop up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds and in following some of the discussions taking place in private email listservs of progressive activists. And their simplistic explanations for what went wrong in the election tell me that they are hicks, at least as Easter defined them. But since the word “hick” conjures a very particular pejorative image, I’ll discard it and coin another one that I think is more accurate: Blue Bubble Democrats.
To be clear, you don’t actually have to be in a geographic blue bubble to be a Blue Bubble Democrat. You can easily do this by building your bubble through social media, carefully culled friends, and the particular neighborhoods you chose to call home. And also to be clear, there’s nothing sinister about it. It’s not a moral failing. In fact, it’s perfectly natural. We all do it. I’m in a rather nice blue bubble myself right here in blood red Arizona. But I’ve long recognized that this bubble exists and I’ve worked hard to stepped out of it, and I think I’ve recognized some disturbing trends that I think an awful lot of Blue Bubble Democrats have been ignoring for far too long.
So who are these Blue Bubble Democrats? Well, you can know them by their reaction to this month’s general election. They are the ones who, outraged over the abandonment of the Democratic party by blue collar Americans, are condemning and dismissing them as horribly racist, hopelessly xenophobic and congenitally homophobic. Their solution seems to be, as far as I can tell, to yell at those workers, demand that they stop voting against their interests, check their white privilege, and just generally get over themselves.
And don’t get me wrong: many blue collar/white middle class Americans are racists. Maybe very many them are. I’d be perfectly stupid to argue otherwise. But let’s be honest here: not all of them are. Not even close. And think about it: those who are would never have voted for a Democrat even if Jesus Christ himself were the nominee. They certainly wouldn’t have voted for a Black man in 2008, and they wouldn’t have voted for a man they branded a Black Muslim Kenyan in 2012. These aren’t the voters who swung this election. They were already in the bag for Trump, just like they were there for Romney, McCain, Bush, and so forth all the way back to Nixon’s “southern strategy” which, truth be told, held an awful lot of appeal outside the South.
Racism was the most visible part of Trump’s campaign. It was visible because it was so shocking, and we reacted strongly (and rightly) to that shock. Neo-nazis, White nationalists and Klanners have openly rejoiced over having “one of our own” running for President. And Trump’s playing to the more sinister impulses of hatred has emboldened them, and more than a few others, to unleash a wave of attacks both before and especially immediately after the election, as we’ve documented here at BTB. We’re all rightly alarmed by it, and we will continue to call it out, as we should.
But while focusing all our outrage in that, we should have been also paying attention to the twin ravages of long term economic crisis and ballooning heroin epidemic in Middle America. In fact, that epidemic should have been our canary in the proverbial coal mines. Instead we just said we’d shut them all down.
And so millions of other blue collar, white working class Americans — who voted for a Black man, and who returned to vote for that Black Muslim Kenyan, turned to Trump. If you’re going to say their vote was all about racism, then you’re going to have to explain why they waited so long to act on it.
Before I leave the subject of racism (and Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, and so forth), I do think it’s fair to ask how they could have excused Trump’s racism. Shouldn’t that have been a disqualifying factor in and of itself? My answer is yes, obviously. I voted for Clinton even though I strongly felt that she was, without a doubt, the single most flawed candidate the Democratic Party’s establishment could have put forward. (I also didn’t support Sanders either. I was beyond dismayed.) I’ll rant more about Clinton later, maybe, but getting back to that question: yes, I think Trump’s racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia — the list goes on far too long — should have been disqualifying on its face.
But I have the luxury of setting those priorities. Many of those who supported Obama but went with Trump didn’t feel they could do that. For decades, they had been telling Democrats that they have been facing an unrelenting economic crisis, in many places for decades without letup. To compound that misery, many of those once-prosperous communities along America’s rust belt are now being consumed by a disastrous opioid and heroin epidemic that is, each year, setting new records for killing their kids. Kirk Noden describes their reaction:
Deindustrialization was a traumatic experience for white working-class people. Yet we act surprised when this constituency exhibits post-traumatic-stress disorder. And it is we who perpetrate the myth that they are voting “against their interests,” despite all the facts on the ground indicating that for them it makes no difference which party is in power. They have lived through 40 years of decline.
Progressives like to talk about the “erasure” of long-suffering groups from public discourse. There’s trans-erasure, bi-erasure, Latinx-erasure, and so forth. But I haven’t seen anyone talk about another erasure that’s been taking place. Blue collar middle-class Americans had been the bedrock of the Democratic party since the days of FDR. The Democratic party, which had once been the workers’ party, has studiously set about erasing this core constituency from among its ranks as soon as Bill Clinton entered office and his fellow New Democrats and their “third way” took over the party. Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball illustrates the problem: “There was an incredibly revealing moment at the DNC. In an effort to rev up the crowd one of the speakers called out: ‘Who in this room works with their hands?’ Silence.”
Democrats who have been active participants in the erasure of one of their core constituencies cannot be allowed to escape their responsibility for helping to bring about Trump’s victory. Ball, who now lives in Kentucky, has diagnosed the problem quite succinctly:
They said they were facing an economic apocalypse, we offered “retraining” and complained about their white privilege. Is it any wonder we lost? One after another, the dispatches came back from the provinces. The coal mines are gone, the steel mills are closed, the drugs are rampant, the towns are decimated and everywhere you look depression, despair, fear. In the face of Trump’s willingness to boldly proclaim without facts or evidence that he would bring the good times back, we offered a tepid gallows logic. Well, those jobs are actually gone for good, we knowingly told them. And we offered a fantastical non-solution. We will retrain you for good jobs! Never mind that these “good jobs” didn’t exist in East Kentucky or Cleveland. And as a final insult, we lectured a struggling people watching their kids die of drug overdoses about their white privilege. Can you blame them for calling bullshit?
… The arrogance of thinking that somehow we could ignore most of the country and still hold a claim on the nation’s highest office is breathtaking. Demographics are not destiny. Candidates do matter. And it is still the economy, stupid.
So to those who cling to the idea that racism and the other -isms and -phobias were the reason voters turned to Trump, I challenge them to undergo this simple experiment. Grab one of those county-by-county maps showing the red expanse and the blue bubbles. Drive out from those bubbles (if that’s where you happen to live, or get away from whatever bubble you’ve made for yourself). Get in the car and go out into the red. Go to a bright red county seat and get out of the car. Get off of Facebook and take your earbuds out. Look around. And tell me: what do you see?
Closed storefronts. Abandoned houses and empty lots where whole neighborhoods once stood. Crumbling factory buildings, boarded up schools that were once the pride of the community. Look around. You have to ask yourself, what are these people clinging to?
Well it turns out that many of those who live in these communities have been looking around and asking the same question. They saw their broken communities, abandoned by the very party that had once been their champion, and heard Trump say he was going to make America great again. Clinton countered that America was already great. They looked around again and said, no, it doesn’t look so great to me.
And then they voted.
Over the course of the next several posts on this subject, we’ll be taking a tour of some of those places that had turned out for Obama but voted for Trump.
June 22nd, 2016
Among the many threads being pulled to try to explain why Omar Mateen shot up the Pulse gay night club in Orlando on June 12 — the influences of Islamist propaganda, the role of anti-LGBT teachings in mainstream American Islam (which, by the way, many mainstream Christian denominations share), a disturbing pattern of behavioral problems pointing to mental health problems, a deep-seated antipathy against LGBT people — there is also the possibility that Omar Mateen himself may have been dealing with his own conflicts with his sexuality.
This latest report should be taken with a word of caution: Univision said that they could not independently verify this man’s claims. But yesterday, a man came forward — his face heavily disguised and his voice modulated — for a Univision interview calming that he and Mateen had met through a gay dating site and became “friends with benefits.” The unidentified man given the pseudonym of Miguel said that Mateen’s motivation for the massacre was revenge:
He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin – but he felt rejected. He felt used by them – there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him,” Miguel said. “I believe this crazy horrible thing he did – that was revenge.”
Mateen, who liked to drink, expressed frustration over his father’s extreme views on homosexuality, which included a belief that “gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die,” Miguel said.
Mateen was especially upset after a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later revealed he was HIV positive, he added.
“He [Omar] was terrified that he was infected,” he said. “I asked him, ‘Did you do a test?’ Yes. He went to the pharmacy and did the test … it came out negative but it doesn’t come out right away. It takes 4, 5 months.”
“When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was ‘I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me.'”
“Miguel” described Mateen as “a very sweet guy” who loved to be cuddled. He also said that Mateen was critical of the U.S. “war on terror” and the killing of innocent women and children. He also said that Mateen was frustrated over his father’s extreme views of LGBT people, saying that “gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die.”
“Miguel” said that he had met with Mateen fifteen to twenty times, yet he never knew Mateen’s real name. The FBI confirmed that they had met with “Miguel” but will say nothing further. Absent a “blue dress,” caution is warranted. Nevertheless, this story is being picked up by the Associated Press, Fox News, ABC, CBS and other major outlets.
June 20th, 2016
Update: The FBI released an unredacted version of Omar Mateen’s first 911 call. See below.
Politico explains the redacting:
The partial transcript is redacted to remove portions of Mateen’s pledges of allegiance to the Islamic State, a move intended to minimize the value of the calls as propaganda for the militant group. The FBI also did not release audio of the calls, which U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said was meant to avoid “revictimizing” those who were inside the nightclub.
…“Part of the redacting is meant to not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist acts in the past,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said at a news conference. “We’re not going to propagate their rhetoric, their violent rhetoric, and we see no value in putting those individuals’ names back out there. We’re trying to prevent future acts from happening again and for cowards like this one, people like that influence them.” Hopper confirmed that there is no indication that Mateen received direction for his attack from the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.
Several Republicans and Fox News are predictably furious over the redactions, although they hardly left much to the imagination. The FBI confirms that Omar Mateen made three calls to 911 while gunning down LGBT patrons at the Pulse night club in Orlando.
ORLANDO—In order to provide an update on the progress of the investigation into the Pulse nightclub shooting, the FBI is releasing an excerpt from the timeline of events inside the Pulse nightclub during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. Out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s 911 calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident. Furthermore, the name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted.
The following is based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):
2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
2:04a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
2:18 a.m.: OPD S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons & Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:
Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]
(Shortly thereafter, the shooter engaged in three conversations with OPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.)
2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.
In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was “out here right now.” When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, “No, you already know what I did.” The shooter continued, stating, “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.” Later in the call with the crisis negotiator, the shooter stated that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they “used in France.” The shooter later stated, “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.” The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful.
4:21 a.m.: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate.
(While the FBI will not be releasing transcripts of OPD communication with victims, significant information obtained from those victims allowed OPD to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.)
4:29 a.m.: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes.
(An immediate search of the shooter’s vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)
5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.
Update: After severe criticism from House Speaker He-Who-Cannot-Say-Our-Name (R-WI) and other conservatives, the FBI and Justice Department have decided to reverse course and issue an unreacted transcript of Omar Mateen’s first 911 call. Here is the full statement announcing that reversal. I’ve italicized the portion that was originally redacted.
Joint Statement From Justice Department and FBI Regarding Transcript Related to the Orlando Terror Attack
The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued the following statement regarding the FBI’s release of the transcript related to the Orlando shooting:
“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda. Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime. As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”
Transcript of Orlando Police Department 911 Calls, June 12, 2016
2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:
(OD) Orlando Police Dispatcher
(OM) Omar Mateen
OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]
June 14th, 2016
Via Right Wing Watch:
Earlier in the broadcast, Robertson said that the Orlando shootings highlighted what he called “the dilemma of the liberals… because they have two favored groups. One, the Muslims; number two, the homosexuals.” Highlighting that homosexuality is legally outlawd through much of the Muslim world (Robertson thinks that it should be illegal here, though he doesn’t mention that today), and is even punishable by death in some countries. “The left is having a dilemma of major proportions. I think for those of us who dis”But the fact that this Islamic gentleman opens fire in a gay nightclub and kills almost 50 homosexuals, that says something and it tells the fact that Islam is against homosexuality. So the liberals are going to be scrambling to find some rationale, I think they’re going to have a hard time doing it.”
Which leads up to what he says in this clip:
One more time I want to mention the fact that this is a religious believe, it is deeply ingrained in the people. And for when our President refused to acknowledge it when the Secretary of State, now the Democratic nominee for President refuses to acknowledge it, says this is a quote “slur against a great religion.” This is nonsense. This is what this great religion teaches. And it’s right in the warp and woof of Islam. So whether you lie it or not, that’s the way it is.
The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves.
June 14th, 2016
On that small statement, at least, President Barack Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan agree. And so should we. And here’s why:
Photographer Eman Ali took this photo of three of her male friends in drag before they headed out to a party in London Saturday night, just a few hours before the Orlando attack.
“We thought that it was important to share this photo in solidarity with the victims of the attacks,” (Saleem Haddad) says of their decision to post it on Facebook. “We also wanted to complicate the narrative. As Arabs and Muslims, we are also part of the LGBT community and we feel the pain and the tragedy have an effect on our lives.”
Haddad is the one on the right. He recently published a novel about a gay man living in the Arab world.
June 13th, 2016
A drag-dancing married couple described seeing Mateen as many as a dozen times at the gay-friendly nightclub where he’d later embark on the single worst gun massacre in modern American history.
Ty Smith and Chris Callen recalled the eventual killer being escorted drunk from the Pulse bar on multiple occasions, including one incident where he pointed a knife at a friend.
Both professed shock at seeing his face on TV: “It’s the same guy,” said Callen, who performs under the name Kristina McLaughlin. “He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.”
They expressed incredulity at the story being told by Mateen’s father in the wake of the shooting, that the gunman had once been scandalized during a visit to Miami by the sight of men kissing each other.
They say Mateen saw plenty of men kiss — and far closer to home than Miami.
“That’s bullcrap, right there. No offence. That’s straight-up crap. He’s been around us,” Smith said Monday in an interview at the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.
Smith and Callen also describe an incident that corroborates other stories of Mateen’s explosive temper:
They said they decided to keep their distance from Mateen after he exploded in anger at a joke told by one of their friends, possibly about religion: “He ended up pulling a knife,” Callen said.
“He said if he ever messed with him again, you know how it’ll turn out.”
Another witness a local television station another detail:
Kevin West said the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, contacted him three months ago through a dating app called Jack’d.
“When he first contacted me, he was saying things like, ‘What clubs are popping and things of that sort, what are good places to go?'” West said. “And I remember telling him, ‘Oh, you can just look it up online because I don’t go out that much.”
West told the station that he turned the communications over to the FBI.
This thread seems to be picking up steam. Chris Hayes tweeted this teaser:
I talked to regular today who said the same. And that his friends recognized him as well. https://t.co/HOCEq1q4C9
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 13, 2016
The man I spoke with today also said the shooter has messaged him on a gay dating app. His friend as well. We'll run the interview tonight.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 13, 2016
June 13th, 2016
Bishop Robert Lynch of the St. Petersburg diocese penned a surprising op-ed for the Washington Post:
…sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.
Those women and men who were mowed down Sunday were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.
Even before I knew who perpetrated the mass murders at Pulse, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search for religion as motivation. While deranged people do senseless things, all of us observe and judge and act from some kind of religious background. Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop, too.
Bishop Lynch has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 this year.
June 13th, 2016
In a surprising speech, Trump casts himself in solidarity with the LGBT community (as reported by Talking Points Memo):
“Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT Community. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation… It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity…Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.”
Trump also got in a dig at Hillary Clinton by maintaining that he was in fact a greater supporter of gay and women’s rights than she was: “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women, and murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”
(Update: This was a teleprompter’ed speech, so that explains the relative linearity of Trump’s statement. When you see the video, you’ll notice he really had to slow down with the L. G. B. T.)
Given Trump’s entire campaign history, this strikes me as being about as cynical as anything else Trump has said — which is pretty much everything Trump has said. (It also has to be considered alongside his promises before Faith and Freedom Conference last week.) His Supreme Court picks also speak volumes.
But I really have to give him props for this one. If someone really wanted to talk about “radical Islamic terrorists” in the context of the Pulse massacre, this is exactly how to do it. It also marks a radical turnaround from earlier today when he called it an attack on “our nation.” And it raises the obvious question: why is that so hard for Florida Gov. Rick Scott or other Republican political leaders to say clearly who was attacked?
But — and there’s always a “but” when talking about Trump — he wants to use our deaths, our pain and suffering, for a sinister bait and switch. He wants to offer a conditional acceptance for one group of people to advance a rejection of another group of people.
Mr. Trump vowed to give the authorities more tools to clamp down on terrorists and that, if elected, he would use his executive powers to keep foreign Muslims from entering the country for an indefinite period of time.
Indeed, Mr. Trump appeared to broaden his call for a ban on Muslim immigration, extending it to whole regions rather than applying it strictly according to religion. He said he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.”
He also insinuated that the majority of Muslim Americans were disloyal and subject to being singled out for increased surveillance:
“Muslim communities must cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad – and they do know where they are,” Mr. Trump said.
But of course, there is a better way to talk about radical Islamic terrorists in the context of the Pulse massacre. Some (though clearly not all) chapters of the Council of American-Islamic Affairs gave taken a pretty good stab at it over the past twenty-four hours.
But we accept Trump’s bargain, if we accept an exchange of homophobia for islamophobia, then shame on all of us.
September 10th, 2014
The opponents of equality have vociferously insisted that they hold no animus to gay people in their efforts to deny marriage to same-sex couples. No, it’s for the children, to encourage heterosexual marriage, to send a message of paternal bonding, to encourage parentage of accidental babies, and to channel procreation into socially advantageous structures but never, ever, ever is it animus towards gay people.
Except, of course, that absolutely everyone knows that the primary motivation for the opposition to same-sex marriage is an objection to same-sex couples being perceived or recognized as socially, legally, or morally equivalent to opposite-sex couples. It is, and always has been, based in a desire to hold heterosexuals out as superior to homosexuals and to firmly continue that message and social position.
And perhaps nothing makes so honest an admission of that motivation than an amicus brief filed in support of the state of Utah in it’s appeal to the decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that their anti-gay marriage laws violate the US Constitution.
But first the back-story.
David Fancher and Paul Hard met in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2004. Six years later, in May 2011, they married on a beach in Massachusetts. Less than three months later Fancher was dead, the consequence of a traffic accident caused by an overturned truck.
Fancher and Hard had tried to protect their family with such wills and other legal documents as they could. Nevertheless, Hard was subjected to indignity at the hospital and later at the funeral home. But no indignity mattered so much as Alabama state law which disallows anyone who isn’t “next of kin” to receive compensation from a wrongful death. And the state of Alabama specifically disallowed David Fancher’s husband from being next of kin.
Earlier this year, Hard sued the state and asserted that the ban on recognizing same-sex marriages legally conducted in another state were in violation of several provisions of the US Constitution and that he is legally entitled to half of the settlement. However, his mother-in-law, Pat Fancher, contacted Judge Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law to defend her claim on the money.
But, it’s not just all about the money. And though Alabama is in the Eleventh Circuit, the Foundation for Moral Law has filed a brief arguing just why it is that Utah’s anti-gay laws (and thus Alabama’s) should be vindicated by the Supreme Court.
The Foundation has an interest in this case because it believes that this nation’s laws should reflect the moral basis upon which the nation was founded, and that the ancient roots of the common law, the pronouncements of the legal philosophers from whom this nation’s Founders derived their view of law, the views of the Founders themselves, and the views of the American people as a whole from the beginning of American history at least until very recently, have held that homosexual conduct is immoral and should not be sanctioned by giving it the official state sanction of marriage.
Well, thanks for clarifying that for us.
Yes, we’ve always knows that your objections to equality have no real rational reason or purpose. We’ve always understood that it is your religious beliefs that have justified truly vile behavior to others. We’ve been clear from the start that this has nothing to do with the smoke screens thrown up by state and advocacy group attorneys and everything to do with punishing gay people for their own existence.
But it’s nice to see it there so starkly in print.
December 16th, 2013
Brandon Ambrosino, writing in the Atlantic, argues that being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe.
If it’s “anti-gay” to question the arguments of marriage-equality advocates, and if the word “homophobic” is exhausted on me or on polite dissenters, then what should we call someone who beats up gay people, or prefers not to hire them? Disagreement is not the same thing as discrimination. Our language ought to reflect that distinction.
I would argue that an essential feature of the term “homophobia” must include personal animus or malice toward the gay community. Simply having reservations about gay marriage might be anti-gay marriage, but if the reservations are articulated in a respectful way, I see no reason to dismiss the person holding those reservations as anti-gay people. In other words, I think it’s quite possible for marriage-equality opponents to have flawed reasoning without necessarily having flawed character. When we hastily label our opposition with terms like “anti-gay,” we make an unwarranted leap from the first description to the second.
Irrespective of the fact that this piece made anti-gay activists giddy, he’s right. It gains us no new converts by calling our opponents names, and (perhaps not too surprisingly) telling someone that they are your enemy often makes them so.
It is also true that there are some who oppose civil and/or religious gay marriage who do so not out of animus. It is entirely possible for someone to truly believe the disingenuous arguments about “the children needing opposite sex parents”. Or to support rights, but not quite be comfortable with the history and religious associations with the word marriage. Or to have stepped out of a time machine from 1994.
It is also true that there are many who do not favor same-sex marriage simply because they’ve not yet gotten used to the idea and it’s what everyone they know believes. We should be cautious not to conflate the not-yet-supporter with the wild-eyed opponent.
Yet, Ambrosino’s critics also have merit to their rebuttal. This debate is no longer novel nor is this a debate reserved to some ivory tower. It becomes increasing more difficult with each passing year to simultaneously hold to opposition to marriage equality while also being a person of good will and intent.
But I think it is still possible.
So, yes, I would agree with Ambrosino that being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe. But it does give you something in common with one.
April 27th, 2012
Here at Box Turtle Bulletin we don’t throw around the term “homophobe”. People may have positions that differ with mine without holding personal animus and labeling them with a pejorative term pretty much precludes any future efforts to reach them with reason.
For example, many libertarian minded people may oppose non-discrimination policies not out of any personal desire to discriminate, but out of the desire to be free to do so without their government coming in and telling them that some hiring decisions are unacceptable. They might laugh at those who eliminate a qualified candidate due to race or orientation and figure that such decisions will hurt their business.
Others may seriously believe that marriage equality is a detriment to society, or are – at least presently – not yet ready to go as far as marriage. Yes, sometimes those objections are based in undue deference to tradition or to fear or even to prejudice, but that does not make them homophobes. For example, New Jersey Governor Christie opposes marriage equality, but still publicly advocates for civil unions and has no hesitation about socializing with gay people or appointing them to the supreme court. And I doubt anyone would describe President Obama as a homophobe.
But homophobes do exist. (And for the fools who say “homophobe means afraid of homosexuals and I’m not afraid of no pansies”, no, that isn’t what ‘homophobe’ means, you homophobe). And sometimes a situation arises that allows you to identify those who base their policies on principle and those who act out of animus.
Such a situation has arisen.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected Richard Grenell as his foreign policy spokesman. Grenell is gay and, as seems to be the case with virtually every gay person from the most liberal to what some call “sell-out quislings” (i.e. all gay people registered Republican), Grenell believes that gay citizens are entitled to the same rights and recognitions to marriage as heterosexual citizens.
To most Americans – hell, to most Republicans – this is not exactly worth noting. Republicans claim to support meritocracy and hire those who are best qualified without regard to race, religion, and sexual orientation – and most probably do (or, at least, have convinced themselves that they do). So for Romney to select Grenell, who served as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations under George W. Bush, is hardly an eyebrow raiser.
(And to be honest – okay, to be cynical – Romney’s opposition to marriage equality is probably as firmly committed as his opposition to mandated health care or any other position he happens to be espousing today. He seems to share with our current president – and most of our past ones – a strong devotion to whichever way the wind is blowing.)
But for some, hiring a gay man is unacceptable. Those folks are called homophobes.
Now 20 years ago homophobes would have railed about the homoSEEEXshulls infiltrating positions of power and proudly announced that they would have nothing to do with no perverts. Today that doesn’t sell well. So instead they come up with criteria that precludes hiring gay people and rant about that instead. It’s not their orientation that we object to, it’s their liberal anti-american position on fill in the blank.
For example, Matthew J. Franck – Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute – ranted in National Review.
Grenell has made a particular crusade of the marriage issue, with a kind of unhinged devotion that suggests a man with questionable judgment. And when the Obama State Department is already moving to elevate the gay-rights agenda to a higher plane than religious freedom in the foreign policy of the United States, it is reasonable to wonder whether Grenell, after taking such a prominent place in the Romney campaign’s foreign-policy shop, would be in line for an influential State posting where he could pursue his passion for that same agenda.
You see, it’s not him being gay or even supporting equality, it’s his unhinged devotion.
(To his credit, National Review columnist Kevin D. Williamson snarked all over Franck’s head: “…surely to preemptively attack an aide to Mitt Romney because he disagrees with you on a single issue — an issue that is not a very large part of the foreign-policy portfolio, one that ought to be about No. 13,479 on our national to-worry-about list — might to the uncharitable eye appear to be something like “unhinged devotion,” and in any case those of us who work at think tanks or journals of opinion might want to be a bit circumspect when arguing that a man should be distrusted because his devotion to a cause is too zealous.”)
Such a nice easy example: Matthew J. Franck is a homophobe.
He’s not alone, of course. Plenty of others, like American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer (who I really do believe is mentally ill) joined the fray. And, of course, there are haters of the other brand (Republiphobes?) who hate (yes, that is the accurate term) Grenell for his party affiliation (I suppose they absurdly believe that we are better served by having no gay people advise or have positions of power in Republican administrations – but we’ll save that for another time.)
For today, we’ll just note that Franck stands out as an excellent illustration on how to recognize a homophobe.
August 30th, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage has now officially become part of the wackadoodle extremist end of the anti-gay religious right. While Maggie Gallagher was officially at the helm, they managed to carry a pretense of civility and wore the mask of being issue driven rather than just acting out of animus and contempt.
But now that Brian Brown is the name on the masthead, the mask has come off. NOM no longer pretends to be civil, but instead now is openly using the tactics and language of those who seek not just to “protect traditional marriage” but to demonize gay people themselves and stir up hatred towards them.
No longer content with scare tactics such as “Mommy, I can grow up to marry a princess”, NOM is now spreading fear about radical homosexual activists and putting “gay marriage” in scare quotes. NOM has now become indistinguishable from Peter LaBarbera or Brain Camenker or Eugene Delguadio.
When the District of Columbia voted for marriage equality, NOM has become infuriated. And so they have involved themselves in the Washington DC councilman race.
Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas voted for marriage equality in the nation’s capital, so NOM has declared him to be an enemy and has funded a mailer for his opponent, Delano Hunter. It is as disgusting a piece of blatant nastiness as one would expect to find coming from MassResistance or the Traditional Values Coalition:
Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter become he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes “gay marriage.”
Radical, gay marriage activists are flooding Ward 5 with money to defeat Delano Hunter, not because they don’t like his plan to improve our community, but only because the supports the Biblical definition of marriage.
The outside gay activists don’t care about our right to home rule and right to vote on gay marriage. They only care about their agenda to redefine marriage. Don’t let them target Delano Hunter.
There is, of course, no explanation of why the Sister is in the picture. We don’t need one; we know exactly why that picture was selected. The Sisters are “scary” and for those who don’t know better she makes a good illustration of just what a radical homosexual looks like.
And, of course, since it’s NOM, the claim is a complete lie. Not a cent has been given to Thomas from “militant gay activists” in San Francisco or New York.
NOM’s Maggie Gallagher loves nothing more than to complain that mean gay marriage supporters are calling her names. “They call us bigots,” she whines at every opportunity.
At BTB we seldom engage in slinging slurs like “bigot” or “homophobe” or “liar” at those who oppose our equality. It serves no purpose and tends to shut down any possible hope for dialogue. And the truth is that most of those who don’t favor equality actually aren’t motivated by hatred or animus. Prejudice, presumption, and apathy are probably more to blame.
But while I am not calling Brian or Maggie names or accusing them of being bigots or homophobes, this particular mailer seeks to do nothing other than to appeal to hatred and fear. This mailer is, without question, bigoted and homophobic.
July 15th, 2010
This hardly counts as news; World Net Daily makes no bones about being virulently anti-gay. However, most anti-gays make at least a shallow attempt to say, “we don’t hate” and try to keep their language – in public – from including the worst slurs.
But it looks like WND has given up all pretenses.
WND has a recurring “comedy” feature called News! News! with D.J. Dolce, WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary. Dolce, the wife of Molotov Mitchell, shares her husband’s contempt for gay people. But while he masks his animus in religion (he endorses the death penalty for gay people using Scripture), Dolce just engages in slurs and endorses bigotry.
In a piece from March (which I missed at the time) titled About that ‘slur’ leveled at Barney Frank …, she says
Speaking of whiners, Democrats are still complaining that someone used the “N-word” in reference to Obama and the “F-word” in reference to Barney Frank. Well, not the “F-word” … the other “F-word” …
Now one of these attacks is unacceptable. Racism is wrong.
And the other thing… [shrugs, smiles]
It’s been a while since I’ve seen hatred expressed to blatantly in public.
May 6th, 2010
So what does it really mean when, much to our short-lived delight, we learn that yet another gay basher is actually gay?
“This happens again and again, but do we ever sit down and wonder why it happens?” asks LGBT media expert Cathy Renna. There is the obvious chatter—the person is full of self-hate, is ashamed, is overcompensating to hide his homosexuality. But the true effect of that overcompensation can be dire. “There is an insidious and horrible impact of internalized homophobia. I have no problem pinning someone like Rekers as the kind of person who is responsible for the suicides of young LGBT people, and he’s hired a rent boy?”
…There’s another pop-psychology element to the delight as well, says [UC Davis psychology professor Gregory Herek, a leading U.S. specialist in homophobia]. “There is this notion, one which I try to dispel, which is that people who hold strong antigay positions are always secretly gay.” Herek says to the extent that there is empirical data on the subject, there is no evidence this is true. But when people like Rekers get exposed, it fuels that pop psychology. “People get that ‘Aha!’ feeling, and take those few examples as confirmation of what is not usually true.”
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.