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Posts for December, 2011

Paul describes Santorum in one sentence

Timothy Kincaid

December 19th, 2011

Speaking to Jay Leno, republican presidential candidate Ron Paul tagged Rick Santorum in one accurate sentence. And no it didn’t include the phrase “frothy mix”.

CNN reports that when Paul was asked on Friday about former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, he said Santorum does not like “gay people and Muslims.”

Yep, that pretty much covers it.

The Daily Agenda for Saturday, November 19

Jim Burroway

November 19th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
Transgender Day of Remembrance: Several locations. While tomorrow is officially the day set aside to remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, some TDoR events are taking place today. TDoR began in reaction to the brutal murder of Rita Hester, who was killed on November 28, 1998. Her murder resulted in the creation of the Remembering Our Dead web site and a candlelight vigil in 1999. In the first nine months of 2011, 116 transgender people have been killed around the world, according to Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM). They also say that there have been at least 681 murders in 50 countries since 2008. Observances for the Transgender Day of Rememberance typically consist of the reading of the names of those who have died because of their gender identity, expression, presentation or perception of gender variance. Observances are being held in cities all around the world. Click here to find an observance near you.

TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Thanksgiving Family Forum: Des Moines, IA. The anti-gay Family Leader will host a Thanksgiving Family Forum with GOP presidential candidates Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, pizza magnate Herman Cain, and Rep. Michele Bachmann “sitting shoulder to shoulder around a ‘Thanksgiving table’.” That hokey piece of stagecraft is the brainchild of organizer Bob Vander Plaats, who has this as a dress code: “the audience attire will be ‘business casual,’ but the candidates were asked ‘to dress like they’re going to Thanksgiving dinner’.” Which means that one of them will be wearing a loud green sweater with a giant white snowflake.

Noticably absent from the banquet is Gov. Mitt Romney, which has Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats steamed at the snub. “Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa,” he told Fox News. “This has national tentacles. … This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president. …I think what will happen is what happened in 2008. He’s been in this position before. He’s been on top of polls only to find his campaign tanking and sucking air.” Tell us how you really feel, Bob.

Family Leader promises that “ALL the questions will be centered around issues relating to the family and are designed to gauge the constitutional and biblical worldviews of the candidates.” And to make sure none of the candidates move too far from an anti-gay agenda, two ten-minute segments of the two-hour forum will be headed by Focus On the Family’s Tom Minnery, and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown. The remainder of the one hour and forty minutes will be moderated by Fox News’ Frank Lutz. It begins at 4:00 p.m. at the First Federated Church in Des Moines. While the event is open to the press, the latest word has it that no major network will be televising it. Thank God for small favors.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
American Council of Christian Churches Calls AIDS “God’s Wrath”: 1989. Peter Steinfels wrote in the New York Times about a gathering earlier in November of U.S. Catholic Bishops in Baltimore that had met to hammer out a document responding to the AIDS crisis. The bishops decided overwhelmingly to reject the theological proposition that AIDS was in any way a punishment from God, a position held by one in four Americans, according to a recent poll. J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, had published 68 statements on AIDS from 45 different religious groups in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, and found “a remarkable” across both liberal and conservative religious groups recognizing that AIDS was not just a gay problem, and “that special ministries should be established to serve AIDS victims, their families and friends, and that the civil rights of homosexuals or of those with the AIDS virus should be protected.” But, The Times learned, that consensus wasn’t unanimous:

The Bible repeatedly describes God as employing all kinds of terrors, natural and human, to punish those who disobey his commands. These biblical accounts naturally governed the reaction of the American Council of Christian Churches, a fundamentalist group that recently expressed dismay at the consensus discovered by Mr. Melton. The council, which claims to represent about two million ”Bible Christians,” promptly went on record upholding the idea that AIDS is God’s wrath visited on homosexuals and drug addicts, although for their ultimate benefit if they turn to Jesus.

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

As always, please consider this your open thread for the day.

The Daily Agenda for Saturday, October 8

Jim Burroway

October 8th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
First Openly Gay Ordination for the Presbyterian Church, USA: Madison, WI. Last May, the Presbyterian Church USA became the fourth mainline Protestant Church to allow the ordination of openly gay clergy. Today, that promise becomes a reality as Scott Anderson is ordained at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin. The Princeton Theological Seminary graduate had served as Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians before moving to Madison to become the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches.

Anderson’s ordination will mark his return to a ministry he was forced to abandon twenty-one years ago. In 1990, while working as a parish minister in Sacramento, he was threatened with exposure by a couple who wanted him to help raise money for a cause they were advancing that he disagreed with. Rather than submit to the couple’s threats, he outed himself instead, and in keeping with the church’s rules he stepped down as minister and embarked on the long process of working to change the church’s stance toward ordination of openly gay people. Anderson will be supported by his partner of twenty-one years at today’s ordination. Anderson is being ordained by the John Knox Presbytery, which consists of 60 congregations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

AIDS Walks This Weekend: Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN and Kent/Sussex, DE.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tucson, AZ.

Also This Weekend: Iris Prize Film Festival, Cardiff, UK.

TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Values Voter Summit: Washington, D.C. Whenever the Family “Research” Council and the American Family Association team up to put on their annual Values Voter Summit, you can pretty much guarantee that they will more than live up to their reputation for being on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay hate groups. Yesterday, we saw GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum give his most bizarre qualification yet for the presidency, when he told the conference that voters should “look at who they lay down with at night and what they believe.” That will be hard to top, although Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver gave it his best shot by saying that gay equality will lead to the destruction of Western Civilization.

Today’s lineup will be about as crazy as yesterday’s. The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, whose sheer lunacy knows no bounds, will be a featured speaker, along with FRC’s Tom McClusky and Tony Perkins, National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, American Values’ Gary Bauer, AFA’s Ed Vitagliano, Alliance Defense Fund’s Alan Sears, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, Glenn Beck and Bishop Harry Jackson, among many others. GOP Presidential candidates speaking today will be Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

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

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

Johnson “Embarrased” By Booing of American Soldier, Other Candidates Refuse To Comment

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2011

ABC News’ Emily Friedman rounds up the reactions of GOP presidential candidates to the booing by audience members of Stephen Hill, a gay American Soldier stationed in Iraq, who asked about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during Thursday night’s debate. On the night of the debate, Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. said he heard the booing and thought it was “unfortunate.” He later added, “We all wear the same uniform in America. We all salute the same flag I have two boys starting their journey in the U.S military. We should take more time to thank them for their services as opposed to finding differences based on background or orientation.”

After one news cycle passed, Sen. Rick Santorum claimed that he didn’t hear the booing (which was loud enough to actually create an echo in the vast hall in Orlando), and said he should have thanked the soldier for his service. At least that’s what he told Fox News. When speaking to ABC News, Santorum walked it backed a little.

“I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear the boos,” Santorum told ABC News. “I heard the question and answered the question, so I’ve heard subsequently that happened. I’ve heard varied reports about whether they were booing the soldier or the policy.”

“I don’t know what they were booing,” he said. “If you can go out and find the people who were booing and find out if they were booing because a man was gay or because of a policy they don’t agree with.”

“You find out why they booed, and I’ll respond to your question,” he added.

Today, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he was embarrassed by the episode:

“That’s not the Republican Party that I belong to,” said Johnson. “I’m embarrassed by someone who serves in the military and can’t express their sexuality. I am representing the Republican Party that is tolerant. And to me that shows an intolerance that I’m not a part of in any way whatsoever. ”

Johnson added that he could hear the boos from the stage and believes that the other candidates – despite Santorum’s denial – could as well.

That’s a second candidate who admitted he could hear the boos from the stage. Yet none of the nine candidates spoke up against the demonstrated disrepsect of an active-duty soldier stationed in Iraq, and none of them engaged in the time-honored Republican tradition of shoving each other out of the way in the race to thank that soldier for his service to the country.

And for six of those candidates, that silence continues through day three. Pizzaman Herman Cain refused to comment saying he didn’t want his comments “taken out of context.” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s spokesperson refused to comment, as did the campaigns for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

GOP Candidates On Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

August 12th, 2011

Think Progress has a handy compilation clip from Thursday night’s GOP debate in Iowa of candidates discussing same-sex marriage. One of my favorite reactions comes from across the Pond, with The Guardian’s Richard Adams responding to Romney’s argument that “marriage is a status“:

Looking back through some clips, there’s Romney saying: “Marriage is a status, it’s not an activity.” Who says romance is dead, eh? Calling marriage a “status” makes it sound like a Facebook update.

The emerging consensus, albeit a snarky one,  is that the debate’s real winner was Rick Perry, who doesn’t officially declare his candidacy until tomorrow.

Here’s the clip and transcript.

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Mitt Romney: Marriage should be decided at the federal level. … Marriage is a status. It’s not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state and as a result, our marriage status relationship should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

Jon Huntsman: I also believe in civil unions, because I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to equality. And I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to reciprocal beneficiary rights rights. And I believe that this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states. I don’t have any problem with the states having this discussion. But as for me, I support civil unions.

Ron Paul: (About whether polygamy would “be okay too”) It’s sort of like asking the question if the states wanted to legalize slavery or something like that, that is so past reality that no state is going to do that. But on the issue of marriage, I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman and that the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I want less government involvement. I don’t want the federal government having a marriage police.

Rick Santorum: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are okay. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it.

Michele Bachmann: I support the Federal Marriage Amendment because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday, and as president I would not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say that when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the Constitutional amendment to define marriage as one-man, one-woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.

GOP Presidential Candidates Debate Marriage, DADT

Jim Burroway

June 14th, 2011

Last night, seven candidates for the GOP presidential nomination appeared in a debate in New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primay. Participating were Godfather Pizza magnate Herman Cain, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. And of course, LGBT issues came up in the debate.

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Only Herman Cain and Ron Paul opposed a Federal Marriage Amendment to ban marriage equality in the states.

Herman Cain said that he didn’t support repealing DADT, but he didn’t want the distractions that it would take to put it back into effect. Pawlenty says that he would seek the advice of “combatant commanders.” This wiggle room leaves open the likelihood that he would re-instate DADT. Ron Paul appeared to say the would keep it in place. He talked about punishing behavior, without specifying whether a consensual relationship between two people of the same gender would be punishable. Romney dodged the question altogether, saying that DADT should not have been repealed “until this conflict is over.” Gingrich answered by building a case for its reinstatement, an indication that he would work to restore the discriminatory policy. Bachmann said she “would keep the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.” When asked to clarify, she indicated that she would reinstate the policy after sufficiently cloaking it with “advice” from the military. Santorum took a lot of words to more or less repeat what Ron Paul said, but given the context of Santorum’s overall policies and attitudes toward gay people, I don’t think his eagerness to reimpose the policy would be much in doubt.

Not one candidate spoke about gay people as though they were taxpayers, patriots, or fellow citizens.

House Approves DADT Repeal

Jim Burroway

May 27th, 2010

Following an earlier vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the House’s version of the Defense Authorization Bill that paves the way toward the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The vote was 234-194. Five Republicans broke ranks to vote for the measure. They were Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Charles Djou (HI), Judy Biggert (IL), Joseph Cao (LA), and Ron Paul (TX).

Update: Twenty-six Democrats voted against the amendment. They were Bobby Bright (AL), Marion Berry (AR), Mike Ross (AR), Sanford Bishop (GA), Daniel Lipinski (IL), Joe Donnelly (IN), Travis Childers (MS), Gene Taylor (MS), Ike Skelton (MO), Bob Etheridge (NC), Mike McIntyre (NC), Heath Shuler (NC), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Mark Critz (PA), John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC), Lincoln Davis (TN), John Tanner (TN), Chet Edwards (TX), Gene Green (TX), Solomon Ortiz (TX), Rick Boucher (VA), Nick Rahall (WV).

GayWired.com Endorsed Ron Paul!?!

Jim Burroway

January 31st, 2008

I can’t believe it! Have they completely lost their minds?

Author? Author?

Jim Burroway

January 10th, 2008

Re. Ron PaulSo, who really wrote Ron Paul’s newsletters?

Ron Paul released a very brief statement claiming that he was acting something like an absentee landlord with regard to those now-infamous newsletters:

When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.

Former Paul staffer Eric Dondero doesn’t agree:

Let me revise my remarks. I want to be very precise on this.

Lew Rockwell was 80% the Ghost writer for Ron Paul’s Newsletters. Again, key word “Ghost writer.”

I’d say Ron himself authored about half the Newsletter.

He’d have a yellow pad, and every time we traveled by car, he’d break it out while I was driving and scribble on it for hours.

When we got back from Houston, he’d either giver it to his daughter Lori in Clute, or Jean McCiver in Houston. They were the only two who could interpret his hand-writing. If it was Lori, she’d fax the draft to Marc Elam at his office on Fuqua in south Houston.

Jean McCiver worked out of that office directly for Elam.

She was the one who edited and put the Newsletter together. She would gather all the various items faxed from Rockwell, and faxed from Ron to input into the word processing program.

Let me also say, that there were many times Ron and I had to drive directly to the Fuqua office to meet the deadline, to get his “yellow-pad scribblings” to Jean.

Again, while Rockwell had a very heavy hand in the writing of the Newsletter, keep in mind Ron himself wrote a great deal of it as well.

Some caution may be in order. Last May, Eric Dondero announced that he would run against Ron Paul for his Texas Congressional seat, saying “I am the guy that got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996. I can and will defeat him in 2008.” Of Dondero, Rep. Paul said, “He’s a disgruntled former employee who was fired.” (Emphasis in the original)

None of this, of course, addresses how such newsletters could go out for at least seventeen years without Ron Paul’s notice or apology. Seventeen years is a hell of a run. And none of Ron Paul’s taking “moral responsibility” happened until long after those newsletters were published.

Whether Dondero is telling the truth or not, Paul’s explanation so far just doesn’t rise to the level of “moral responsibility.” Even if Paul’s explanation were entirely correct, then that means that we would have to believe that he allowed someone to use his name for seventeen years. And yes, I do keep emphasizing that point: Seventeen years! When someone “lends their name” to a cause, it ought to mean something. If it turns out it didn’t really mean anything then, then why should it mean anything now?

A man who doesn’t protect his good name is as bad as whoever who wrote these newsletters. Three short sentences doesn’t even begin to address what went on for nearly two decades. Paul has way more explaining to do.

Hat Tip: Ed Brayton

Update: In my post above, I did not mean to imply that I thought Eric Dondero wasn’t telling the truth. I was pre-emptively pointing out issues which may cause others to suggest that we shouldn’t believe him. I tend to believe him, but my point is that we don’t really have to accept his word. All we have to do is ask why Ron Paul allowed these repugnant opinions to go out under his name for such an incredibly long time. I can’t imagine my name being lent to something without my knowing what was said in my name. Not in a million years. And since I can’t imagine that, I have to assume that Paul knew exactly what was being written — whether he did the writing or someone else.

What’s In Ron Paul’s Closet?

Jim Burroway

January 8th, 2008

Re. Ron PaulJames Kirchik at the New Republic has been digging around some of Texas congressman Ron Paul’s old newsletters from the 1990′s. It’s not a pretty sight. The wacky conspiracy theories were entertaining, but comparatively speaking that’s nothing. The true horror is with the atrocious racial bigotry (including full-throated defenses of the old Confederacy and kind words for David Duke), anti-Semitism, and hysterical homophobic rants:

In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

…(in 1990), citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” which is false. Paul’s newsletters advertised a book, Surviving the AIDS Plague–also based upon the casual-transmission thesis–and defended “parents who worry about sending their healthy kids to school with AIDS victims.” Commenting on a rise in AIDS infections, one newsletter said that “gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense,” adding: “[T]hese men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.” Also, “they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.”

Southrn Baptist minister and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been questioned extensively about his anti-gay comments, statements which are positively genteel compared to Paul’s. Rev. Huckabee refused to back down. Does Rep. Paul stand by his statements as well?

Update: The New Republic has posted a PDF of one of Ron Paul’s newsetters.

Update: The New Republic has now posted eighteen newsletters, all PDF’s. This isn’t us just taking Jamie’s word for it. True, almost none of these newsletters are actually bylined by Ron Paul. But they all have his name emblazoned across the top.

And this, I think, brings up a very important point. This blog doesn’t carry my name across the top, but as far as I am concerned it might as well. I am responsible for every post that appears in it, even for those few posts that I don’t necessarily agree with. While I don’t always agree with every post, I at least believe they are well reasoned and well written, and I will stand by them.

Ron Paul has tried to escape responsibility for these newsletters by claiming someone else wrote them. That doesn’t wash with me. These eighteen newsletters span from 1978 to 1995! This was not a one time thing.

But more importantly, Ron Paul’s name is emblazoned across the top of these newsletters. If you had a newsletter named after you, would you allow these articles to appear on your behalf? The answer couldn’t be easier: I wouldn’t. I’d have stuff like this killed in a New York minute. And if through some strange machinations the newsletter with my name on it were somehow wrested away from my control and stuff like this were printed under my name, I’d find the biggest, loudest bullhorn I could find to denounce it and everyone associated with it. That’s what responsibility looks like in the real world.

GOP Top Tier Ignore the “Values Voters”

Timothy Kincaid

September 17th, 2007

The great circus of extremism known as the Values Voters Debate is being held today, and the Republican front runners will not be there. NBC6 is reporting that Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson all have “scheduling conflicts” and wouldn’t be caught dead at the event.

One can hardly blame them. The debate is moderated by WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah and will host questions from “the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, Creation Studies Institute and the like”, including the brother of Terri Schiavo.

But though Janet Folger is terribly disappointed (and predicting dire results for those who are skipping the lunacy), there are some candidates so extreme (or so desperate) that they are willing to publically tie their wagons to young earthers, Ford boycotters, xenophobes, and homophobes.

Tonight’s forum, which will be moderated by Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily, will feature Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressmen Duncan Hunter (California), Ron Paul (Texas), and Tom Tancredo (Colorado), John Cox — and former U.S. Ambassador Alan Keyes, who announced his candidacy over the weekend.

Those with nothing to do (and I truly mean nothing to do) can tune in to watch the also-rans claim to each be more extreme than the other.

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