And Then You Have...

The Ex-Gay Conference

Indiana Wesleyan University will just be a pleothora of "ex-gay" men and women honing in on this town of other young men and women...hmmmm, to "Live Out Loud", per the conference's theme.

Now if that just isn't screaming gay, look at the pics of the young men serving as "ex-gay", all-stars!

I'm sorry, but look at the mouth on that big ol' queen, hammin' it up for the camera! And that other boy is just too pretty not to be gay. They're foolin' no one, but I sure bet they have a grand ol' pansy (get it, GOP) of a time at these conferences (don't you ever wonder why they have so many of them?) among "their own kind."

The Unhinged Values Voters Conference

Oh my...the VALUES VOTERS (a virtual Who's Who of wingnuttery) descended on DC the last couple of days to proclaim their Contract with Congress (you know, the other unhinged wingnuts like Mitt Romney and now John McCain) as the end-all, be-all of human existence. And BY GOD, if they had their way, that's exactly the way it would be...the end of human existence.

This is just a sampling of some of their Contract babblings:

We are citizens of the United States of America and subjects of the sovereign Creator, acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence as the Supreme Ruler and Judge of the World. We strongly affirm our allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and are moved by our faith in God to join together now to defend government of, by, and for the people against the greatest assault it has ever faced: the destruction of our Constitutionally-mandated republican form of government by judges who legislate from the bench and, thereby, subvert our liberty and our entire way of life.

In defense of our national principles, our Constitution of self-government, our decent character, and our shared national identity, we the undersigned citizens of the United States come together in support of actions we hereby agree to be right and necessary for the common good of all.

We therefore seek the following:
1. TO AFFIRM the national relationship with God in our places of worship, schools, mottos, and public spaces, we call for the passage of -

* The Pledge Protection Act to prohibit activist judges from taking "under God" out of the Pledge (H.R. 2389, S.1046);
* The Constitution Restoration Act to prohibit activist judges from ruling against acknowledgments of God (H.R. 1070, S.520);
* The Public Expression of Religion Act to prohibit activist judges from ordering taxpayers to pay lawyers who seek to erode our national relationship with God (H.R. 2679); and
* The Workplace Religious Freedom Act to promote religious accommodation in employment (H.R. 1445, S. 677).

Okay, this last one I think is kind of interesting. These people obviously don't know how to write measurable and obtainable goals because it's kind of vague. Based on their description, they can't really stop me from setting up a pagan altar in my office and dancing naked as I chant to the Goddess.

I don't think they thought about that particular part of "religious freedom." Or what about the part where a Muslim can stop in the middle of his presentation to the company president while he says his prayers toward Mecca? Or maybe you have a major deadline coming up but half of your staff is Jewish and it's falling out right during the high point of Yom Kippur so everyone takes a vacation?


TV is NOT Liberal

The United Church of Christ has a new ad campaign out that AGAIN has been rejected by all of the major networks claiming "it's a controversial, issue-advocacy ad".

The "Ejector" commercial shows various groups of people getting the "boot" out of church, including a single African-American mother with a crying baby, a gay couple, an Arab-American, a disabled person, and a homeless woman. The closing says, "The United Church of Christ - no matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here."

This is a bad message???

I've been to a church where a homeless woman was given the cold shoulder because she couldn't afford to wear a designer dress and a Louis Vuitton purse. These attitudes are VERY real though not as literal as the commercial implies.

When someone wants a place to worship God, why should they EVER be or feel rejected? How is it okay to show erectile dysfunction ads on TV but not an ad for an inclusive Christian church? Since when did it become okay for the leaders of our country to flip the bird in church, say "goddamn" in reference to our Constitution, and "go fuck yourself" to their colleagues without reprisal, but they have the nerve to judge the lives of gay people?

How did we become this nation?


This is Family Values???


Okay, I've got Republican friends and some vague Republican acquaintances that I choose to keep at a safe distance (for both of our sakes), but when you hear all the BS and broohaha about gays being the end of all human civilization and destroying the family, THEN you see and hear things like THIS, you REALLY have to wonder...

Justice Scalia flips the finger in church

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'

Cheney Utters 'F - Word' in Senate

Anti-Gay Marriage Amendments a Problem for Straights

Ohio's straight and unmarried couples are learning a tough lesson today, and perhaps anyone who voted on the "protect family values from the dangerous gay agenda" agenda is learning that they aren't immune from ill-thought out legislation aimed at hurting people.

You see, Ohio voted in '04 like a lot of other places did to hurt gay couples, to put them in their place, and say, "Nope, you can't partake in marriage. That's just for us heteros." It looks like that has come back to bite some heteros in the ass.

The Blend reports that:

On Friday, the 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that state amendment leaves all unmarried people, straight or gay, ineligible for protection under the law in domestic abuse cases.

Each and every state that has passed one of these anti-gay amendments is, in fact, penalizing anyone in a partnered relationship who is a victim of domestic violence that isn't legally married.

The marriage amendment battle will be on the ballot this year in Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Citizens of these states need to realize the ramifications of these amendments.

It's not just about punishing gay people anymore. Are you so blinded by disgust and hate that you are willing to hurt yourself or someone you know just to hurt us?


Dems Feeling the Heat

A recent closed door session between gay leaders and Dem leaders left the Dems with their butts feeling a bit stung. Slowly more and more news will come out about this, but the bottom line is that the gay community is tired of being crapped on by the Democrats. It's time to put up or shut up. To add fuel to the gay fire, a new poll released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows amazing trends of support in nearly all areas for the gay community.

The Blend summarized this well:

* 51% oppose legalizing gay marriage, a significant decline from 63% in in February 2004 (after the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision leading to the legalization of marriage).

* A 60% majority now favors allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, up from 52% in 1994.

* In the South, the only region in which a majority of residents (55%) opposed allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, the opposition is at an incredible 35%, with 58% supporting open service.

* Even when you look at Republicans bigotry is losing traction -- 46% favor allowing gays to serve openly and 46% are opposed.

* 46% support gay adoption, up from 38% in 1999.

And look at this -- Pew finds "strong" opposition to gay marriage has ebbed to a new low in almost every demographic group except the bible-beating, Dobson-approved, whining evangelicals (56% of them still strongly oppose legalizing gay marriage, down from 65% two years ago)

One of the best quotes up on The Blend came from Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry:

"They will never be anti-gay enough to satisfy their opponents"

All Dems are doing is pissing off loyal gay voters and putting themselves on the wrong side of history. They are hurting themselves by looking weak to their opponents and disloyal to their constituents. The next election they lose, go ahead...blame it on the gays because this time it WILL BE because of us that you lose. Because we won't be voting for you, until YOU support us! Yes, we ARE you're weak link until you strengthen us.

Reprehensible Attitude

A Tennessee State Representative makes no bones about her attitudes towards gays and lesbians, particularly those who are parents. In a recent email exchange with a Vanderbilt graduate student on the topic of gay parent adoptions, Republican Rep. Debra Maggart said that gay couples have “numerous emotional dysfunctions and psychological issues.”

The story has made its rounds on several blogs (Tennessee Guerilla Women and The Blend, most notably), our local GLBT paper, and eventually our local paper, The Tennessean, got the story after several days. You can read the details on the links provided, but what I find most interesting is that Rep. Maggart and the committee assigned to review this issue had several groups come in to present information on gay and lesbian couples adopting children, including the very anti-gay Focus on the Family (I might add), but I have YET to find any information on whether Rep. Maggart or any of the committee members have ACTUALLY spoken to any gay parents or their children.

Perhaps, it would be wise before jumping to erroneous conclusions or listening to potentially biased third party organizations that these representatives meet with and listen to those affected by their judgments. Have they ever talked to a child that has been shuttled between foster homes and asked if they would care if they were in the home of a gay couple? Would they care if that home was the LAST home they got sent to and they could finally call their real home? Have they ever gotten outside of their offices and talked to anyone about these issues or are they content listening to bigots at Focus on the Anus, um, I mean, Family?


Bush Admin. Funneling Millions to Faith-Based Programs

This doesn't surprise me so I won't pretend shock. But I will do is ask this: what is different from taking money from taxpayers and putting it into programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, which conservatives loath, and taking money from taxpayers and giving it to religious organizations and faith-based nonprofits?

The answer: RELIGION...and everything that's tied to it, including the bias and prejudices inherent in a particular faith.

The Washington Post has the story and The Blend does a good follow-up on it. You can read it all there, but here is the lead in from the Post:

For years, conservatives have complained about what they saw as the liberal tilt of federal grant money. Taxpayer funds went to abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood to promote birth control, and groups closely aligned with the AFL-CIO got Labor Department grants to run worker-training programs.

In the Bush administration, conservatives are discovering that turnabout is fair play: Millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues.

Under the auspices of its religion-based initiatives and other federal programs, the administration has funneled at least $157 million in grants to organizations run by political and ideological allies, according to federal grant documents and interviews.

The Blend pulls out these factoids:

Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing took in $23.5 million (yep, gay-bashing, call for the execution of international leaders Pat Robertson)

The Door of Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Madisonville, Ky., a small outfit of four part-time employees committed "to the belief in the sanctity of human life, primarily as it relates to the protection of the unborn," operated on an annual budget of $75,000 to $79,000, most of it raised from an annual banquet and a "walk for life." Last year, Door of Hope got an abstinence education grant of $317,017, allowing it to hire staff and expand.

In Dyersburg, Tenn., the Life Choices Pregnancy Support Center, where the staff believes "without reservation or qualification that the Scriptures teach that human life begins at conception," had revenue of $81,621 and could pay Executive Director Natalie Wilson $12,247 in 2001. Two years later, the center got a $534,339 grant for abstinence education. By 2004, annual revenue totaled $617,355.

Bishop Sedgwick Daniels (pictured above as a convention delegate) met “with top administration officials” and also met with “the president himself.” Later, his church received $1.5 million in federal funds through Bush’s faith-based initiative.

So, the way I see it, my money is going to religious-based programs that basically don't fit with my belief system, and somehow this is okay. Conservatives don't see a problem with this. FYI, a conservative tool on the Tennessee Guerilla Women's site got on a rip about "social programs" but he had no problem with "faith-based" programs. Yet, it's only a problem to conservatives if THEIR money goes to a program that THEY don't agree with on moral and religious grounds.


A Nutcase Site-Must Read

Okay, you guys have to read this "essay" on this site. It's called "Understanding Homosexuality." Here's my favorite part from it and my dissection of it for you:

The homosexual agenda. Extremely organized – especially through the internet – and very supportive of each other, they are typically in the top 10% of the economic strata and concentrated in the big cities, in the media, and the arts. Almost all homosexuals avidly promote their agenda, and their success has been mind-boggling.

What agenda? I missed that booth at the last Pride Day and didn't pick up my latest copy.

Supportive of each other? Yes, that's why so many gays vote Republican because we're REALLY looking out for each other...uh, huh!

Top 10% of the economic strata? Well, we sure as fuck can't rely on anyone else, much less our worthless govt. Besides, we have to have some financial cushion to pay the thousands of dollars in legal fees to set up our estate plans, when we should just be able to pay $30 and get a marriage license, and when we have to go to court with the not-legally-recognized-in-laws because they want to yank our partner off of life support or kick us our of the house or take the kids or...yeah, whatever, go fuck yourselves!

Concentrated in the big cities and in the arts? Ummmm, what young, creative, not to mention self-respecting gay person would want to live in Opp, Alabama???? Alrighty!

Avidly promote their agenda? Well, I'm not going to shut up and sit still while the world kicks my ass! What the hell do you expect?

Our success has been mind-boggling? Ohhhhhhh, you mean having nearly half the U.S. states voting against your rights is a success, not being recognized as a legitimate and protected minority by our own government, having absolutely NO federal protection whatsoever, and even being attacked by our President and our religious leaders as the downfall of society and family so that a law MUST be enacted to disregard us as legitmate. Thanks for clearing that up. I never would have figured THAT out!


And WHO is a Threat to Society?

Ohio couple loses custody of adopted kids

A couple accused of abusing their 11 adopted special-needs children by making them sleep in cages lost permanent custody Monday.

Huron County Juvenile Judge Timothy Cardwell awarded custody to the county, which had placed the children in foster care last fall after a social worker discovered the enclosures.

The judge ruled earlier that Michael and Sharen Gravelle had abused the children, and he said evidence showed there was a good chance they would repeat the behavior.

The couple have pleaded not guilty to several charges, including child endangerment, in a separate criminal case. They deny abusing the children, ages 1 to 15, and say the beds were necessary to protect the youngsters, who suffered from psychological and behavioral problems.

MEANWHILE, back here in Tennessee, I get an email from our local gay rights organization, Tennesse Equality Project, telling me that tomorrow for the second time a representative from my state, who previously co-sponsored anti-gay adoption legislation last year and was stopped, is attempting to introduce family bills that could AGAIN open the door to anti-gay and anti-family legislation.

The list and litany of TN legislative bills are HERE!

I just don't get these attacks. The fundamentalists are trying so desperately hard in state after state, even here in TN, to force women to have babies (even in cases of rape or incest), to keep people from having access to birth control, and to keep age-appropriate sex education out of the schools. Inevitably, all this will do is create a swell in the population. Now mind you, it won't be for the rich and affluent. They'll still have their special doctors with that special room in the back for that "special" procedure, or at least be able to afford the flight to a foreign country to make it "go away." The problem will be in the upsurge of an impoverished class becoming more impoverished and less able to pull themselves out of poverty. Without access to care and treatment, they are doomed to repeating the cycle.

Ask yourself: what purpose does this serve the wealthy, the affluent, the corporation, the politicians, and the preachers?

There's a helluva business to be made in the "faith-based initiative" organizations. Lots of funding and government support. With a huge poor population desperate for jobs, you have a labor force eager for any kind of wages, any kind of hours, any kind of situation. Cheap labor is a corporate moguls wet dream. Greedy politicians love desperate people too. They need scapegoats and boogeymen to attack. They are easily mollified and molded to believe any fear. These people desperate for a way out of their situation and a way to feed their families will even be willing to die in war, die for something they don't believe in, if it means their family will be taken care of.

Empty promises from an empty and soulless country. Riding on the back of fake morality and family values, we're allowing married couples to cage children but saying gay couples will destroy family and society.

In the words of our dear leader, I think we're doing "a heckuva job" without any help from the queers.


I Hate Updating!

Shit! I hate updating! At request I changed the look of my blog, and granted, it is easier to read, but (CRAP!) I lost everything...my counter, my links, etc. Okay, not EVERYTHING, but those tedious things that you don't want to bother with filling back in. That's why I haven't been blogging lately. Not because the damn world isn't falling apart and not because I'm not pissed off, but because once I get started I'm going to want to fix EVERYTHING...and that's going to take a while.


How you serious hardcore bloggers do this day in and day out, I'll never know! If someone told me I could quit my job and get paid to do this, sure, no problem. Seriously, how?



A Little Message for Republicans

Short, sweet, and to the point!

Report: Gay Prevention Programs Harm Teens

If you look at the theocratic dominionist movement as of late, you'll see a disturbing trend: a focus on kids. From forcing military recruiters that actively discriminate against gays on college campuses to stopping gay-straight alliances to form to encouraging parents to send their kids to ex-gay camps, it's pretty clear that the theocrats have honed in on the next generation. And they say we recruit! Pffft!

A national gay and lesbian group is accusing several religious organizations of harming homosexual teens by offering parents what they say are bogus therapies to keep children from becoming gay.

In a report released Thursday in Miami Beach, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute questioned whether the therapies are ethical or effective and said state and federal authorities should provide greater oversight when these programs are aimed at youth.

The report said some Christian-based gay prevention and treatment groups have used the First Amendment protection of religion to avoid sanctions by state health officials seeking to enforce regulations on counselors who offer therapy without a license.

Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman said officials need to ensure that those offering such therapies are licensed — as opposed to simply being clergy — and that clients and their parents should be informed about the programs' long-term success rates.

"Many of these programs are crossing the line as to what is approved under freedom of expression," Foreman said in an interview with reporters. "This deserves attention. It deserves to be regulated."

The report was released in Florida because it is home to Exodus International, the umbrella organization for Christian ministries nationwide that seek to convert gays to heterosexuals.

Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, said he had not seen the report but maintained that the ministries are successful. He said Exodus' 130 affiliated ministries use clinically trained professionals, though he added that only 30 percent have onsite professionals.

More Reaming of Hillary

I quit reading the Washington Blade quite a while back when it was getting too right-wingy for me and too cozy with the HRC/moderate "play nice" politicos, but this was posted on Pam's House Blend and I thought it was a nice jab at Hillary "I'm trying to out DINO Lieberman" Clinton:

In her speech on the Senate floor, she said, "I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman." Another reality check: She's known for decades that in her own case the institution was never so limited and in fact was a not-so-sacred bond between a man and several women, including his wife and untold Gennifers, Monicas and others.

Man, you could hear the gay boy snaps of approval on that one!

Oh, yes, Hillary, your marriage is just SOOOOO sacred!!! What you really need to watch out for are the gays who can do marriage better than you and at least know to kick their philandering partner to the curb. You're a sorry excuse for a woman and for a Democrat.

The Danger of Dildos

This was too funny NOT to post! I wonder if these high and mighty fundies can actually bring themselves to say the word "dildo" on the floor of the legislature and I wonder how many snickers they get!

My question: is there a "grandfathered" in clause? Just wonderin'.

The Dire Problem of Dildos in Tennessee

Apparently, lawmakers in this impoverished red state can't find enough serious problems to address, so they've turned their minds to sex, specifically sex toys.

For unknown reasons, State Senator Charlotte Burks (DINO) and State Rep. Eric Swafford (R) have been thinking a lot about the activities going on your bedroom. They have come to the conclusion that Tennessee will be a better place to live if the state regulates your bedroom by outlawing dildos.

Dildos today, mandatory missionary position tomorrow.

U.S. Women Forced to Give Birth in Shackles

From Tennessee Guerilla Women's site:

(originally posted in NY Times)

Shawanna Nelson, a prisoner at the McPherson Unit in Newport, Ark., had been in labor for more than 12 hours when she arrived at Newport Hospital on Sept. 20, 2003. Ms. Nelson, whose legs were shackled together and who had been given nothing stronger than Tylenol all day, begged, according to court papers, to have the shackles removed.

Forget South Dakota! Pray you're never incarcerated! Jesus Christ!

Film Won't Fix Society

Now that the Oscars are over, I think this opinion article in my local paper is very appropriate and timely. In fact, my partner and I was talking about all of the Brokeback jokes and such. I haven't been finding them very funny, but then again, I don't find the story of two closeted gay men unable to find peace with themselves or each other very funny...tragic, but not funny.

Anyway, it made me think about the fact that the jokes stem from heterosexual discomfort. Look at who is making them and most will be supposedly heterosexual men. Our Puritanical society cannot deal with open sexuality very well so what do we do...we crack stupid jokes. So, your kids will no longer say "That's so gay!" for something being retarded or stupid, but "That's so Brokeback!" because it's the only way we know to deal with discomfort. Just like the only way our Ennis could deal with his feelings was to punch the person he loved, Jack.

We're not so different then the men on that mountain and a film won't change that. Only we can change that!

Great opinion piece...Enjoy!

It takes more than a film to fix a society

I'm dubious about the Brokeback Mountain effect because Americans are so schizophrenic now about gay rights. On the one hand, ballot measures and constitutional amendments — including our own in Tennessee — to deny gay and lesbian people equal rights usually pass with large majorities. Meanwhile, Americans flock to a bumper crop of Hollywood films with gay characters and themes, including this year's multi-Oscar-nominated Capote, Transamerica and Brokeback Mountain, and straight men allow the "queer guys" to make them over on TV.

Pardon me for being confused.

Should Brokeback win tonight at the Oscars, particularly best picture, Hollywood and the U.S. will pat itself on the back for being so enlightened about gay people. Ledger and Gyllenhaal will continue to make sure everyone knows they are straight and will dutifully respond to questions about kissing another man. And the rest of us will carry on in our bipolar way, of loving the fictional "sinners" while hating the real-life ones in our own towns.

We'll be all for straight movie stars playing gay characters getting fair treatment while standing by while real gay people are fired from jobs, kicked out of the military, denied adoption and excluded from the 1,000 rights that come inherently with civil marriage.

I'm waiting for Hotel Rwanda and Schindler's List to put an end to genocide. The Grapes of Wrath didn't end poverty, nor did Guess Who's Coming to Dinner end racism. Brokeback isn't the cure-all for gays, either. It takes more than movies to do that.

Christian TV empire savors a tax blessing

One of the local housings of the Trinity Broadcasting Network got a break from the courts here in TN. Now that they can be considered a church and not an entertainment complex, they don't have to pay property taxes, but the city in which it's situated will have to pay TBN back $300K.

It's A Nice Gig If You Can Get It!

A ruling that means Sumner County and the city must refund the theme park-like Trinity Broadcasting Network complex here more than $300,000 in taxes ends an 11-year skirmish and gives the colorful owners much of what they’ve wanted — status as a church.

Under an administrative judge’s decision approved by a state commission last month, televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch have the state’s blessing to stop paying property taxes on their auditorium. It is familiar to millions of TBN viewers worldwide as one location of the Praise the Lord show, a glitz-filled mix of prayer, musical entertainment and requests for money.

What's interesting is a poll that was included on the online newspaper The Tennessean about this. Readers were asked: Should satellite mininstries like the TBN complex in Hendersonville pay property taxes?

83% said Yes!!!

The Tennessean was also kind enough to post some exemptions churches get:

Exemptions in Tennessee for certified churches
• Tax on property so long as it’s used for religious activities or is a parsonage. Trinity Broadcasting Network’s auditorium, where services and revivals are held and the Praise the Lord show is broadcast, are deemed exempt, but not its gift shop.
• Items purchased – sofas, dishwashers, liquor, a Cadillac or others – are sales-tax-free so long as they are for the church’s use.
• A church can buy bricks and other building materials tax-free and, unlike other nonprofits, can provide the materials for a church project to a contractor without him having to pay sales tax. That goes for carpet also.
• A person can buy a television or other item tax-free if he’s going to donate it to a church.
• A church with a restaurant can buy food at a market tax-free, but the customers would have to pay sales tax on the price of the meal. Activities that are not regular, such as an occasional bake sale, can be carried out without charging sales taxes.
• A church can buy items tax-free to sell in a gift shop. That includes everything from the SUV-shaped car deodorizer along with cross necklaces found at the Trinity Broadcasting Network gift shop. But, the church must charge sales tax to its customers.
• Federal income tax

Source: Tennessee Department of Revenue and IRS

Like I said...NICE GIG!!! If you can get it.


One Time Too Many

Today I received one time too many emails from the Democratic Party asking for my money, my blood, my sweat, and my tears, and I'M SICK OF IT!!!!

I'm sick of having a hand stuck out in front of me constantly WANTING but NEVER giving! From Bill Clinton to John Kerry, the gay community has been sold out by the roadkill of this sorry party that got stuck in the fu**ing middle and couldn't make up its mind.

Today, I slapped away the hand that demanded more from me than it would ever give to me in return.

This is what I said:

Until the Democratic Party starts appreciating and recognizing the importance of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community to its election and re-election efforts and stops demanding money, time, sweat, and tears from us without giving us anything in return except contend, I will no longer give anything to the Democratic Party, including my money and my time, but will only support those who OPENLY support my community.

Wednesday Laughs

Because sometimes you just need to laugh, instead of cry!

Laugh at him while you can!

I just can't believe people actually voted for someone like this! Now, that's the crying part!