Being Gay Is a Gift From God
May 6th, 2011
That is the message from the Central United Methodist Church in Toledo, Ohio. It’s part of a larger campaign which the church calls “a prophetic call to the Church to get out of the business of marginalizing gay and lesbian persons from the Church, and to welcome them as full members. The electronic billboard lit up with the message on April 25, and the church has secured the billboard for one month. They’d like to extend it if they can raise enough money.
[Hat tip: Lez Get Real]
In Ohio, Fiscal Conservatism Means Slamming The Gays
March 2nd, 2011
The Ohio Senate just passed a bill that Republican supporters claim is essential to balancing the state’s budget. The bill, which now goes on to the House, limits collective bargaining rights for unions of state and local employees, including police and firefighters. It also includes this indispensable and essential component for balancing the state’s budget:
Sec. 3101.01 of S.B. 5: … A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman. Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state. The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state. Any public act, record or judicial proceeding of this state, as defined in section 9.82 of the Revised Code, that extends the specific statutory benefits of legal marriage to non-marital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is void.
Ohio already passed one of the nation’s most draconian constitutional amendments prohibiting marriage equality in 2004. This bill goes further by stripping LGBT workers (mostly of state universities and a handful of municipalities) of their domestic partnership benefits. It’s a good thing the Tea Party only cares about fiscal matters.
Ohio Boy Cheerleader’s Arm Broken; Still Getting Threats, Still Cheerleading
September 29th, 2010
Eleven-year-old Tyler Wilson of Findlay, Ohio, loves gymnastics and tumbling, which is why he decided to join a youth football cheerleading squad over the summer. He’s been catching hell over it since then. It started with teasing, but it quickly escalated:
According to the mother and the police report filed on the incident, Tyler was walking home from school when two of his alleged tormentors approached him and punched him. As Tyler continued his walk home from school, the two boys continued to follow him, the police report said. Several small skirmishes broke out between Tyler and the two boys, according to the police report, and eventually one of the boys allegedly picked Tyler up and slammed him on the ground, breaking his arm.
Kristy Wilson filed a police report and went to Glenwood Middle School. That’s when she was shocked to learn that school officials already knew about the harassment but hadn’t called her to discuss it:
When I went to the school, about two days after it happened to discuss Tyler’s story, the principal said there was an incident Monday and the Friday before, that the boy who started the fight had jumped on Tyler’s back and tried to start a fight,” she said.
Kristy Wilson said if she had known that Tyler was being physically targeted said she would have certainly stepped in to stop the situation, going as far as removing him from the school.
“I really wish the school would have let me know a lot sooner, so I could have dealt with it sooner,” she said.
Meanwhile, Findlay police have arrested the two attackers and have charged them in youth court. The lead attacker was charged with felonious assault, and the other was charged with simple assault. Their names are being withheld because they are juveniles.
Meanwhile, Tyler continues to receive threats:
It’s been bumpy,” Ohio 11-year-old Tyler Wilson said of his return to school in a morning television exclusive interview with “Good Morning America.” “People are threatening me to break my other arm because I told on them.”
…But neither the injury nor the threats is stopping Tyler from pursuing his passion for cheering, the boy said.
“It feels horrible that they can’t accept me for who I am,” Tyler told ABC News’ Ohio affiliate WTVG. “It’s my choice. If I want to be a cheerleader, I’m going to be a cheerleader.”
Heterosexual Agenda: Passing Traditions Down Through The Generations
August 16th, 2010
From Springfield, Ohio:
Richard Stephson, 55, is in jail and facing multiple charges after what investigators describe as years of abuse. Authorities said the incident started in the mid 80s when Stephson began sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who was staying with him at his Springfield home. Soon, police learned that the teen was pregnant with his child. Now, 10 years after his daughter was born, authorities said Stephson offered her money to have sex with him and molested her during family visits.
August 10th, 2010
Every weekend for the last four years, Dunfee and members of his ministry have stood watch over George’s (strip club), taking up residence in the right of way with signs, video cameras and bullhorns in hand. They videotape customers’ license plates and post them online, and they try to save the souls of anyone who comes and goes.
Now, the dancers have turned the tables, so to speak. Fed up with the tactics of Dunfee and his flock, they say they have finally accepted his constant invitation to come to church. It’s just that they’ve come wearing see-through shorts and toting Super Soakers. They bring lawn chairs and – yesterday, anyway – grilled hamburgers, Monster energy drinks and corn on the cob.
Last June, a Minnesota Judge ruled that anti-gay activist must be allowed to distribute anti-gay literature within a park which gay pride organizers had rented from the city of Minneapolis. So it seems to me that turnabout is fair play. What’s good for the goose…
Prop 8 Rallies Planned
August 4th, 2010
As Timothy mentioned yesterday afternoon, we received word that a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected this afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (PDT). Already, Prop 8 supporters have already filed a request for stay of judgment pending appeal, in case Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8. If granted, this would prevent any marriages taking until the Court of Appeals hears the case.
Meanwhile, a large number of rallies are planned in California and across the U.S., forty so far and counting. Rex Wockner is keeping up to date with the latest additions.
Did God Smite Jesus Statue In Blatant Act of Ex-Gay Discrimination?
June 15th, 2010
That might be one explanation for last night’s Act of God, who destroyed a statue of His Only Begotten Son at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Church members were already trying to discern what it was that God was trying to tell them. Our own commenters have been helping out in that thread. BTB’s Timothy Kincaid and I wonder if maybe this might be a clue:
Then, in 1998 I founded Pro-Family Network, which is a Christian Family Advocacy organization…Also during this time I started, with the help of my pastor’s wife, a ministry at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Living Free Ministries helps those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle deal with the issues that brought them to gender identity confusion. We have helped scores of people to follow the Manufacturer’s guidelines for successful living. [Emphasis added]
“I” in the above quote is Greg Quinlan, speaking before an Ohio committee considering a marriage discrimination bill. Quinlan knows a little bit about discrimination rhetoric, even if he doesn’t understand what discrimination really looks like. He is now head of PFOX, where he regularly tries to claim that “ex-gays” — otherwise known as straight people, if you believe their propaganda — are being discriminated against by the LGBT community and society. That’s a claim that is too bizarre even for Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas. But it may not be too bizarre for God. Apparently.
Also, it looks like God has also smote Solid Rock Church’s web site.
Jesus Torched In Act of God
June 15th, 2010
There was a huge, rather startling statue on I-75 between Cincinnati and Dayton just north of the Monroe interchange on the grounds of Solid Rock Church that locals have dubbed “Touchdown Jesus.” The statue, a part of a music theater complex, was built in 2004 and depicted Jesus swooping up from out of a pond by the side of a busy freeway. I love American kitsch, and I have to tell you that the first time I drove by the massive 8-ton, 62-foot steel, styrofoam, wood and resin monstrosity bathed in massive floodlights, I did a full-on gay-gasp. It’s the last thing you would expect to see on a suburban interstate, and for me it was the perfect nightcap to a day spent at the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati. Too bad traffic was so heavy or I would have stopped to take a picture. These two photos give you some idea of the effect the statue has in the daytime. Multiply the drama by a factor of ten to get an idea of what it looked like at night.
Last night, the “King of Kings” statue was struck down by lightning. Witnesses traveling on I-75 first reported seeing the Right Hand of God on fire, and then the rest of the statue was quickly engulfed in flames. Firefighters say that the styrofoam/wood/resin combination was extremely flammable, and that the fire was too hot for firefighters to approach. It was, church members agree, an act of God. One church member said, “It’s a sign from God that we need to learn something as Christians as whole that we’re not doing something right.” Another agreed: “It scares me, like, it really does. I just think about what that symbolizes and to me that’s a sign, and not a good one.”
I’m the last person to read current events as signs from God, but I would like to point out that the giant Hustler Hollywood adult bookstore sign across the freeway is still standing tall.
Update: I guess it will be a while before travelers can pull over to have their picture taken:
Ohio Episcopalians to Bless Same-Sex Unions
November 11th, 2009
The Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, in an address Friday to the 135th convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, made the announcement that he said should surprise no one.
He said his position on his support for the blessing of “same-sex unions” was clear in his writings prior to his election as bishop of the 80-church, 25,000-member diocese in 2006,
He said he was lifting the “prohibition on the blessing of same-sex unions, effective Easter 2010.”
Recognizing the risk of empowering anti-gay activists through incautious or flippant actions designed more for political grandstanding rather than the pastoral needs of the community, the Bishop is stepping carefully.
No individual ministers will be forced to bless unions against their will. Further, at least one half of the couple to be blessed had to be Episcopalian, it must be “the union of the two persons who have vowed lifelong fidelity to one another, and accept accountability to the faith community as a faithful household”, and the Bishop will review each application for blessing personally.
Ohio House Passes Non-Discrimination Bill
September 15th, 2009
Five years after Ohio voters passed one of the most draconian anti-marriage constitutional amendments in the nation, the Ohio House of Representatives passed the Equal Housing and Employment Act by a vote of 56-38. Four Republicans voted for the measure, and no Democrats voted against (one did not vote however). This fully inclusive bill marks the first time a pro-LGBT bill has passed either house of the General Assembly. The Senate is firmly in Republican hands, making the bill’s prognosis uncertain.
CNN on Anti-Gay Bullying
April 15th, 2009
CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a marvelous story last night on Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat, and the daily anti-gay bullying which drove these boys to kill themselves. He was buried on Friday. Meanwhile, Focus On the Family, Exodus, and the Alliance defense, among many others, continue to defend the current status quo which leads to more deaths of young people — including straight kids as well as gay.
The Consequences of Anti-Gay Bullying
April 13th, 2009
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was so mercilessly bullied with gay taunts that on Monday he tied an electrical cord around his neck and hung himself. He was eleven.
Carl is not alone. Anti-gay bullying is a serious problem in public schools. It is rampant, it is pervasive, and often times it is ignored by those responsible for preventing it.
In Mentor, Ohio, the high school doesn’t think it has a problem with bullying. So they are being sued by the parents of Eric Mohat with a lawsuit that doesn’t ask for money but instead that the administration implement an age-appropriate anti-bullying program. The Mohats feel that the school has ignored the reasons why Eric, who suffered from persistent anti-gay bullying, killed himself in 2007. He was one of four bullied Mentor High School students who committed suicide that year.
Considering that children are dying and that the cause is obvious, you’d think that everyone would support programs to stop the bullying. You’d think wrong.
Anti-gay activists consistently oppose any effort to target and prevent anti-gay bullying. They say that programs which identify specific targets, including those tormented for being perceived as gay, are really “indoctrination of homosexuality under the pretext of anti-bullying curriculum.”
And they would much rather let children die than muffle those “students and school officials who object to homosexuality.”
Incidentally, neither Carl nor Eric identified as gay. That didn’t protect them.
Cincinnati NAACP appoints anti-gay activist to board
March 26th, 2009
Cincinnati’s NAACP chapter is concerned with equal rights — but just for some. The chapter’s NAACP board president Christopher Smitherman recently appointed anti-gay legal activist Chris Finney to its board, a decision the president, who has a gay brother, vigorously defended in CityBeat:
Chris Finney has done a fabulous job for the NAACP over the last two years … I cannot be concerned with the interests of any other constituency group. I must look out for the interests of our membership.
Finney is perhaps best known as the author of “Article 12,” a 1993 amendment to the city’s charter that prohibited passing anti-discrimination legislation that included sexual minorities. The amendment, which cost the city $45 million in lost convention revenues, was repealed in 2004.
During an Article 12-related court hearing in 1994, Finney was asked why sexual orientation should figure into employment decisions or public accommodations, like who gets to eat at a restaurant. According to CityBeat, he responded:
Because there may be some who don’t want their family dining next to a homosexual couple whose actions they find offensive.
Finney has also stated that he believes landlords should be able to deny housing to gays and lesbians.
Besides being hypocritical, the actions of local NAACP activists are strikingly out of step with the organization’s national leadership, which has strongly condemned anti-gay legislation like Prop. 8 in California. Smitherman appears to think that the actions of Cincinnati’s NAACP should only concern themselves with the plight of African Americans and not “any other constituency group.”
As a response, I would turn to an oft-quoted passage in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s letter from Birmingham jail:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Thanks to Will Kohler at back2stonewall.com for alerting us to the story. The contact information for Cincinnati’s chapter of the NAACP is available here if you want to express your concern over their hiring of Chris Finney.
Heterosexual Menace: Forced Conversions
February 17th, 2009
This just in from Toledo:
A Toledo man accused of kidnapping, handcuffing and holding captive in an adult diaper a 22-year-old woman he picked up off the streets in Detroit may have been trying to save her, authorities say.
Troy Brisport, 34, also read the Bible to Shykea Boykin, the Detroit woman who told investigators Brisport handcuffed her by the wrists and ankles in his West Toledo apartment. He also took off her clothes and dressed her in an adult diaper, and gave her little to eat and drink, she told investigators.
Three days later, Boykin sneaked out of the apartment, still handcuffed by the wrists, in a diaper and a t-shirt, banging on neighboring apartment doors and finally on doors outside, police said.
Now who exactly is trying to “force” others to accept their lifestyle choices?
Porno Pete Brings Deliverance To Ohio
February 10th, 2009
Peter LaBarbera called out his minions to protest an S&M conference taking place in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Worthington. Here’s who turned out:
“Is it a homo paper?” asked a scruffy 50+ man who spoke broken English with an Appalachian twang. In one hand he waved a large sign with the anagram “Gross Anus Yearning Sodomists” (whatever in the world that means) and in the other, he had two naked Ken dolls taped together in the position commonly referred to as “doggy style”.
(Imagine, a grown man buying two Ken dolls, stripping them down, brainstorming the most pornographic position for them, then taping them together. They were taped pretty tightly, too, with clear tape, so you know he spent a lot of time on it. This image would be hilarious if they weren’t so adamant about attributing their opinions to God himself.)
Now for the record, I grew up in Appalachia and I do still enjoy going home whenever I can. I’m not a fan of the stereotypes, and I always thought the movie Deliverance was little more than a 109-minute running cheap shot. But even though I still have something of an Appalachian twang left in me (at least, what hasn’t been corrupted by my fifteen years in Dallas), I’ll let that go this time. Go ahead and cue the banjos. He deserves it. He’s got less sense than God gave fleas.
The reporter continues:
…The two women picketing alongside him swarmed me. “If you hate this then you hate god!” said the first woman, brandishing her sign towards me. She preached the loudest of them all. As she also refused to give her name, and owning to her frazzled grey hair and pious hatred, we’ll call her Carrie’s Mom. (Seriously, her resemblance to the Stephen King character was uncanny.)
The second woman, who looked like your grandma only with a heart full of hate, was more diplomatic in her explanation of the protest. “We don’t hate homos,” she explained, her voice full of pity. “We just don’t like them having a conference here.”
Because The Peter was coy with the facts, his faithful readership had their own facts completely screwed up. The S&M conference full of “homos” they were all upset about? It’s actually being put on and attended mostly by heterosexuals. In other words, it’s mostly straight people who are doing god-knows-what in a closed off wing of the hotel with three layers of security so no wandering innocents could accidentally stumble in — yet it’s “the homos” who are getting the blame.
Yes, I know. Buried in there somewhere, The Peter belatedly acknowledged that this isn’t “a homo” event. But when all you talk about is homosexuals and you name your keyboard “Americans For Truth About Homosexuality” with no apparent ironic intent, and you talk about this event without actually describing who is putting it on and who is attending it, then you can’t be too surprised if some of your readers draw their own conclusions.
Which may be why “Carrie’s Mom” sees this event as more evidence of the end of days:
“There’s other people who are going to use those conference rooms!” she said, her hysteria almost tangible. “This kind of behavior will bring a civilization to its knees–with the baby killing and the sodomy!” she said, quoting scripture verses and shaking her head at me. She cited the current economic crises as proof that “the homos” were single-handedly responsible for the near-collapse of Capitalism and the global economic system.
Good Lord! As my great-great aunt used to say, these people don’t have one particle bit of sense. From now on, whenever I see The Peter use the word “Deliverance” in connection with homosexuality, it will always have a completely new meaning.
Smart crowd you draw there, Pete. You made ‘em madder’n a wet hen. I’d think you’d be proud of yourself for being so influential. So why are you suddenly acting so embarrassed?
Heterosexual Menace: Shock Collars, Shootings, Incest — But No Gay Adoption
February 2nd, 2009
From Xenia, Ohio, we have a father who disciplined his children by using shock collars:
The Caesarscreek Twp. man who used a shock collar and water torture to discipline three of his four children was sentenced to 16 years in prison by Greene County Common Pleas Court Judge J. Timothy Campbell Monday. David O. Liskany, 39, of Hussey Road, was sentenced to six years each for two counts of second-degree felonious assault and to four years for one count of third-degree attempted felonious assault.
“The only thing you didn’t do was wrap their faces in cheesecloth. They basically were waterboarded,” Campbell said before handing down his sentence, which was far harsher than the 4 years in prison recommended by state probation authorities. According to Campbell, Liskany abused three of his four children — who were 13, 11 and four at the time of the abuse — by using a dog’s shock collar on them, holding them underwater, subjecting them to cold showers and spraying water up their noses.
Authorities found out when the older boy ran away from home, walking fifteen miles to a relative. Liskany’s ex-wife Wendy Liskany pleaded for the court to not jail her ex-husband. “I don’t feel that incarcerating him will help,” she said.
Maybe Liskany had to use such creative measures because they spoiled their children when they were younger. These parents from New York were determined not to make that mistake:
A 5-month-old child is in critical condition Saturday in what police suspect is a child abuse case. Police say they have charged the girl’s father, Scott Archbold, 41, with causing the injuries including multiple bone fractures, internal bleeding and signs of prior abuse. Christina Benjamin, (above right) the infant’s mother, has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly failing to get the child medical attention after the infant’s grandmother suspected the abuse.
But at least Liskany and the Archbold-Benjamins didn’t just kill their entire families outright.
Armed with a handgun, [Ervin Antonio] Lupoe evidently roamed room to room starting as early as Monday evening, fatally shooting his wife and five young children — including two sets of twins.
Early Tuesday, Lupoe faxed a bitter, rambling two-page letter to a local television station blaming his employer for his actions. Though his wife and children were already dead, he also called the station threatening to kill his family, investigators believe. He followed this up with an incongruous call to police saying that he had returned home and that “my whole family has been shot.”
Fortunately, not all heterosexuals are so violent. This father loved his daughter so much, he had four children by her. He didn’t care much for his grandchildren-children though:
The father, Danial Rinehart, 47, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday. Authorities say three of the four babies he fathered by the second-oldest daughter, who is now 19, are dead. A 3-year-old boy is alive and in state custody. Rinehart is charged with second-degree felony murder, child endangerment, two counts of incest and two counts of abandonment of a corpse. The remains of two infants were found in chest-type coolers.
His wife, Linda Rinehart, is charged with child endangerment. Authorities say she was jealous of the relationship between her husband and daughter but helped with the babies’ deliveries.
Obviously, we need to put a stop to this sort of abusive family dynamics. That’s why a Tennessee state legislator is introducing legislation to ban adoption by same-sex parents. It’s also why a West Virginia judge thinks a 2-year-old girl would be much better off if she were ripped from the only parents she has ever known. Her lesbian fostor parents have cared for her since birth and now want to adopt her.
Pastor: Religious Leaders Opposing Cleveland’s Domestic Partnerships “Confuse Religion With Faith”
January 11th, 2009
Rev. Kenneth W. Chalker, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Cleveland, as also weighed in on Rev. C. Jay Matthews’ attempts to overturn Cleveland’s toothless Domestic Partnerships. He says that Matthews and others are confusing religion with faith:
It is not unlike the pastors 150 years ago who proclaimed the Bible’s endorsement of slavery as a legitimate enterprise, argued that there was no valid marriage between slaves, and therefore no reason to recognize loving relationships between slaves or recognize, in a legal way, their children.
It is not unlike a number of leading pastors in Birmingham, Ala., who joined together in 1963 to give biblically endorsed reasons why the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was out of line and moving too fast with his advocacy for civil rights and the elimination of legal segregation based on race and skin color.
It is all the result of confusing religion with faith.
Pastor Opposes Cleveland’s Domestic Partnership Registry With No Benefits
January 11th, 2009
Ever since we learned that Cleveland passed a Domestic Partnership Registry last month — the one which proved extremely controversial among some council members, the one that is still so controversial that Rev. C. Jay Matthews of Mount Sinai Baptist Church is trying to overturn it — we’ve been trying to figure out what that registry provides. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Connie Schultz, it’s not much at all:
The registry just guarantees that unmarried couples with none of the legal rights of marriage can pay the city a fee to document that they are unmarried couples with none of the legal rights of marriage.
It’s as if Cleveland City Council said, “Look, we know that all committed adult couples should be equal in the eyes of the law, but we just can’t bring ourselves to say that out loud, ‘kay?”
Now, the registry does arm gays and lesbians with a defense, sort of, against greedy relatives, self-righteous clergy and all sorts of official-looking people who think only heterosexuals should have the legal right to marry, no matter how many times it takes them to get it right. To be specific, the registry gives homosexual couples a piece of paper to call their own.
For example, let’s say you’re gay and weeping over the body of your recently deceased partner when her parents show up at the funeral and demand the keys to the house you shared for the last 20 years. If the house was in her name only, I’m afraid you’re still headed for a rental with a futon, but now you can whip out that sheet of domestic registry paper, wave it wildly and shout, “We are too a couple. Says so right here on this document.”
Much better, don’t you think?
This is what the fuss is all about?
Group Tries To Derail Cleveland’s Domestic Partnership Registry
January 9th, 2009
Last month, we learned that Cleveland was about to offer a Domestic Partnership registry. Now we learn that opponents are determined to derail the measure.
Rev. C. Jay Matthews of Mount Sinai Baptist Church failed in his first attempt to gather 11,000 signatures by Wednesday to force a citywide vote on the measure. He’s now focusing efforts on what is called an ordinance by initiative. It requires 5,000 signatures to submit legislation to city council for a vote. If the City Council doesn’t pass it, it goes to the voters. Matthews hopes to be able to submit the legislation by April.
Cleveland Enacts Domestic Partnership Registry
December 9th, 2008
Cleveland’s city council voted 13-7 to provide a domestic partnership registry. The legislation goes to mayor Frank Jackson, who plans to sign the registry into law. It will go into effect 120 days after the mayor signs the bill. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the vote wasn’t an easy one for several council members:
But several council members reported intense pressure from local pastors, who oppose domestic partner benefits on religious grounds. At one point Monday afternoon, a rattled Kevin Conwell, a co-sponsor of the legislation, seemed ready to change his position. “I had more than 70 calls over the weekend,” Conwell said. Conwell ultimately voted with the majority.
…Councilman Zack Reed, who voted against the registry, said he was lobbied by his pastor, the Rev. Marvin McMickle. Also voting against the registry were Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott, Councilman Roosevelt Coats. Pierce Scott said prior to the vote that she had concerns about how the legislation was worded. At a committee hearing, Coats cited biblical passages that he said denounce homosexuality. “Many of you may disagree,” he said. “That’s fine. These aren’t my words. These words are in the Bible.”
Cleveland’s domestic partnership registry seeks to steer clear of Ohio’s draconian constitutional amendment banning all forms of recognition for same-sex couples by being open to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.