Sunday, December 10, 2017

British pastors, MPs want Franklin Graham banned from entering England


His vocal support of Putin's crackdown on gays in Russia, which led to widespread anti-gay violence (first picture), is one of the reasons why some British pastors and MPs don't want Franklin Graham (second picture) to visit England in 2018.

Islamophobic comments and vocal support of Putin's persecution of the Russian gay community is now causing American pastor Franklin Graham much trouble. British pastors and politicians are undertaking an effort to keep him out of England.

From the Huffington Post:

Several British pastors and politicians are voicing concerns about a controversial American evangelist’s plans to preach in the U.K. next year. 
Franklin Graham, a prominent evangelical pastor who has made blatantly homophobic and Islamophobic statements in the past, is scheduled to headline the Lancashire Festival of Hope in Blackpool in September 2018. Graham’s three-day event — similar to the “crusades” once led by his famous father, Billy Graham — is reportedly taking place with the blessing of more than 300 church leaders and members in England.

But not all residents of the area are enthused about Graham coming to town. Some have urged the U.K.’s home secretary Amber Rudd to ban the preacher from entering the country altogether, the Guardian reports.

Nina Parker, the pastor of a church in Blackpool, told HuffPost in an email that she’s worried that Graham’s visit could embolden those who are prejudiced toward Muslims and queer people to express that hate.

In addition, according to the Huffington Post, Parker is involved with an online petition asking the home secretary to keep Graham away from England. Presently, the petition has over 6,000 signatures.

The Guardian also reports:

 Paul Maynard, a minister at the Department of Transport and a Blackpool MP, has written to Amber Rudd urging caution over Graham’s visit to the UK. 
Gordon Marsden, another Blackpool MP who has called on the home secretary to consider refusing Graham entry, said the evangelist may have broken UK legislation on hate speech. 
“I think frankly the evidence is piling up that his visit to the UK … would not be a good thing and not probably in my view a very Christian thing.” Graham’s statements were “incompatible with what Jesus said in the Bible”, he told BBC Radio Lancashire. 
Afzal Khan, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, said he was concerned about the prospect of Graham sowing division in the UK. “His views are not welcome, and I will make representation to the home secretary if it looks like he is intent on coming,” he told the Guardian.

Both The Guardian and Hufffington Post list past comments by Graham which are the basis for the concern over his visit.

The Guardian:

The evangelist, who backed Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election, has described Islam as “an evil and very wicked religion” and has equated the actions of extremist groups such as Isis with the faith. He claimed that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim” and had allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the US government at the highest levels during his presidency. He also said the Obama administration was pushing “a gay and lesbian agenda”, and he has spoken out against LGBT rights, saying Satan is behind same-sex marriage.

The Huffington Post:

Graham proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in July 2015, months before Trump did the same. Graham has also suggested that allowing LGBTQ people into churches or Christian homes is allowing the “enemy,” or Satan, to “devour our homes.” Graham praised Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 for protecting Russian children from the “damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”

Photo of anti-gay violence in Russia taken from MotherJones.

Related post:

Franklin Graham Endorses Vladimir Putin’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

Friday, December 08, 2017

'By encouraging trans activist, Obama upstages Trump yet again' & other Fri midday news briefs

Obama
Barack Obama gave an inspiring reply to this transgender activist’s question - Even when he is as far away as India, Barack Obama reminds us AGAIN why he is a better president in his sleep than Donald Trump could ever be. And I'm not posting this just for folks to bellyache about how they miss Obama. Obama is not in the White House anymore, but we should still be inspired by his words and candor. We are still citizens of this country and we still have the power and means to fight. And that doesn't mean with desperation.

Anti-LGBTQ hate group fundraises for its UN work with swastika over a rainbow flag - Tacky, but not surprising from C-Fam 

Yesterday The Supreme Court Jolted LGBTQ People With A Frightening Reality - Even though I am hope that even if the baker wins the recently heard SCOTUS case, it won't be as far-reaching as feared to be, this piece my Michelangelo Signorile outlines the fears long after the case came to court. We need to stop being so quick to celebrate victories that we forget how they can come with caveats. This is a war over LGBTQ equality and every battle always leads to a new one. 

Trump seeks emergency court action to block transgender people from joining the military - Good luck with THAT one, fool!

America Needs Another 21,307 LGBT Elected Officials to Achieve True Equality - We only have 448 elected officials in this country. More is always better. It's a step towards success. Encouraging good LGBTQs to run for public office, then helping them to win.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Religious right Congressional ally Trent Franks resigns because of talk of surrogate motherhood

Trent Franks
On the same day that Democratic Senator Al Franken resigned over charges of sexual harassment (and I am so not happy about the entire situation),  the religious right and the GOP are now seeing an equal resignation:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday he is resigning from Congress next year. Several news outlets reported Franks’ impending departure from the House earlier Thursday. In a statement, Franks said the House Ethics Committee is investigating his “discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.” “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” he said. “In the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation.” Franks said he has informed House leadership he will resign effective Jan. 31. In a separate statement, the House Ethics Committee announced it will investigate Franks to determine whether he “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”

. . . The eight-term congressman is a social conservative and one of the most aggressive anti-abortion legislators in Congress. He has led the charge, year after year, to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide and to limit abortion in the District of Columbia. Residents of D.C. protested his efforts in 2012 by lining up outside the Arizona congressman’s office with plastic rats and photos of pot holes, suggesting that he try to fix more pressing problems in the city than women having abortions.

According to Franks's statement, the situation seems to have stemmed from him asking two female aides to be surrogates for him and his wife:

'Anderson Cooper uses the power of 'shade' during wild interview with Roy Moore's spokesperson' & other Thur midday news briefs


Watch Anderson Cooper challenge Roy Moore's spokesperson to defend his past comments about "radical homosexuals," 9/11, and Obama birtherism - It's the interview just about everyone on twitter, etc. has been talking about. Janet Porter, the extreme right-wing spokeswoman of even more extreme right-wing GOP Senate candidate from AL, Roy Moore is interviewed by Anderson Cooper and frankly there should have been admission charged. Cooper, remaining calm throughout the interview and apparently borrowing extra powers to throw shade from the rest of us gay men,  basically annihilated Porter. He peppered her with questions regarding Moore's outrageous past comments and positions, leaving her befuddled and practically speechless many times. Let me put it this way - when a charge that transgender girls are carrying camera phones in locker room showers seems to the least memorable part of an interview, we are in pretty wild territory. 

My favorite part:

Porter: "May I finish . . " 

Cooper: "No." 


Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote - By the way, THIS happened. Isn't it awesome! 

Gays, pedophiles, Nazis, and the Alliance Defending Freedom - My post from last night because as of this week, I have a special hatred of the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom and I intend to throw the truth out about this lying, bigoted group every chance I get. Every. Chance. I. Get.

Voucher Schools Championed By Betsy DeVos Can Teach Whatever They Want. Turns Out They Teach Lies. - This affects us too. You can just imagine what these "schools" are teaching about the LGBTQ community.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Gays, pedophiles, Nazis, and the Alliance Defending Freedom

What do gays, pedophiles, and Nazis have in common?  The Alliance Defending Freedom has on occasion connected them all together. As I said in an earlier post, the organization of religious right lawyers  who on Tuesday defended a baker's supposed religious freedom to deny gay customers, have a history of  opposing LGBTQ equality so vicious that it's a wonder how it wasn't mentioned at SCOTUS as an example of possible .anti-gay animus.

If you have seen the video below (it's from last year and Alan Sears is no longer president of the ADF), see it again as a refresher course and send it to other friends and allies. I have a feeling that we are going need to remember what it contains:



Related article -Six key takeaways from The Nation's investigative report on Alliance Defending Freedom’s “legal army 

'Old enemy of LGBTQ community becomes more prominent in Trump era' & other Wed midday news briefs

ADF hides its anti-LGBTQ animus. It's our job to rip the cover away from it.

How This Anti-Trump Evangelical Is Quietly Taking Advantage of The Trump Presidency - My dear LGBTQ brothers and sisters, an old enemy is now taking a more prominent role in undermining our equality. The Alliance Defending Freedom has done a lot of damage to us behind the scenes, but with yesterday's SCOTUS case, the group is front and center. As this article by Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed points out, I think it's time for us to start thinking more strategically. This group is pushing a "kinder, gentler" form of homophobia, showcased by figureheads such as the baker in yesterday's case. And they are doing things that I have said for the longest that WE need to do. They are studying our community and methods. And they are taking advantage of our anger to make us look like we are attacking Christianity. Marching or screeching at this group online will only fuel its narrative.  This group is more skilled than the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and more methodical and patient. We can defeat its efforts but at the very least, we need to challenge our old ways of doing things. Emphasize more education about this group. Demand that the media not simply call it a group defending Christians. Demand that the true and ENTIRE story about ADF be told. And above all, tell the true and ENTIRE story yourselves. There is enough information out there and I've included a few links. ADF has skillfully hid its anti-LGBTQ animus. It's our job to rip the cover away from it.

It's not just Masterpiece Cakeshop: Alliance Defending Freedom is attacking nearly every aspect of LGBTQ equality - A reminder that ADF isn't simply about "defending Christians." That can be seen as a cover for the group to undermine LGBTQ equality. 

Alliance Defending Freedom profile from SPLC - The SPLC has called ADF a hate group but according to the Dominic Holden article from above, the organization struggled with giving ADF this label. That only goes to show how skilled ADF is in hiding it's true nature.

Ben Shapiro doesn't understand the facts of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case - I'm a bit more pessimistic about Shapiro. I believe he knows fully well but will spin it how he wants. 

Lawmaker Patted On Arm By Male Colleague Fears He Won’t Be Seen As Straight Anymore - Don't nobody want this fool. Lord! 

LGBT immigrants fear deportation as Congress debates whether to take up DACA - This is affects all of us.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

LGBTQ equality vs. 'Religious liberty' has its court date



The SCOTUS oral arguments about the Colorado baker attempting to use religion as an excuse to discriminate took place today and I have to tell you honestly:

Like they always do, people overemphasize  and underemphasize what the Justices said, what questions they asked, what points they made. People are looking for the smallest clue as to how they will rule. But I don't know what the ruling will be. Of course I also said that about marriage equality and probably have said that about every court case about LGBTQ equality even if I were sure. I do know that a lot of folks on our side freaked out - as they always do.

My advice is that we have a long time from now until the case is publicly decided - spring of 2018. Let's not flip out. That includes no constant insane speculation. But I will say that the best article I read on the case was from Chris Geidner and Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed.

I found it to be precised, not opinionated - which was very needed - and inclusive of many details other articles didn't contain, like the following:

Waggoner walked a fine line between saying she wanted a ruling for her client but not a decision that creates a slippery slope, thereby possibly eroding civil rights laws for other classes of people or protecting an endless type of service providers. And yet, she sought a decision open-ended enough that other creative businesses that sell wedding services could turn away same-sex couples. Waggoner drew this line by insisting she wasn't asking to protect tailors and chefs, for example, but rather the baker's cake, which is inherently a message. 
Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned why — even if there is a line to be drawn — the cake baker should be on the exempted side of the line. "The primary purpose of a food of any kind is to be eaten," she said. "There are sandwich artists," she said, but a sandwich-maker does't claim to create a First Amendment-protected lunch. 
Kagan synthesized the these scenarios into three "axes" of questioning, each one exploring how ruling for the baker opens further questions in a different direction. Many questions centered around which sort of business would be afforded the right to refuse service, and at what point their wares became a constitutionally protected form of expression. "A second axis is, well, why is this only about gay people?” she said, touching on questions about how a ruling could apply to racial discrimination, sex discrimination, or even, as raised at one point, disability discrimination. "Why isn't it about race?" Finally, she questioned how a decision could be confined solely to products for weddings. "What else counts?" Kagan asked — saying a funeral, bar mitzvah, or birthday could be affected. 
"So there are all three of these that suggest like, whoa, this doesn't seem like such a small thing," Kagan concluded.

Give it a read. It will calm your nerves. Also, remember that whatever the outcome, we will use it as an advantage. We will not give in to fear or despair if we lose or excessive giddiness if we win. Regardless of either outcome, this isn't over by a long shot. And when it is over, we will win because we will strive to win.

Monday, December 04, 2017

'Religious liberty' is merely the newest weapon in the 'war on the gays'



And here we go again with what I like to call "the eternal struggle." I call it that because we've been through this before and we'll probably go through it several more times in the future.

The anti-LGBTQ industry will meet us yet again at SCOTUS combat with the stakes being our equality. More specifically, a Colorado baker, with the assistance of groups who live to rip away LGBTQ equality, will see if he can use his religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The case has far reaching implications.

Don't be fooled by the spin pushed forth by anti-LGBTQ industry groups such as hate group the Family Research Council and the baker's lawyers from another hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom. This case is not about a simple Christian being attacked or persecuted by pushy gays (which is always the spin that side puts out there) nor is it about a cake. It's not about religious freedom or religious liberty, What it's about is the same thing as the fight for marriage equality, the sodomy laws, or even the fight over adoption has been about.

It's about groups with lots of money and influence who are willing to hide their animus against the LGBTQ community behind a religious veneer while constantly working to deprive us of equality. When you pull back the phony religious layer, you will see that we are talking about decades of ugliness.

In the 70s, they said the children must be protected from "recruitment" since gays supposedly can't reproduce.

In the 80s, they exploited the ignorance regarding the AIDS crisis to make lgbts seem like deserving pariahs.

In the 90s. it was all about keeping us from receiving unfair "special rights."

And in the early 2000's, it was all about "protecting marriage."

So now we are in the middle of yet another con job propagated by slick verbiage, straw man arguments, junk science, and anecdotal stories taken out of context - i.e. "religious liberty."

'Will SCOTUS allow 'religious liberty' to send America back to the bigotry of the past?' & other Mon midday new briefs

This week's SCOTUS case is not just about a cake, but a question of have we learned anything from history?

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop would destroy discrimination law. - Will a supposed adherence to a form of the Christian religion allow discrimination against LGBTQ customers and bring in an era in which anyone - particularly African-Americans, people of the Jewish faith, the Latino community, and the rest who are considered as "the other" - can be put at risk for the idea of "religious liberty." It's never been about a cake.

The Trump administration could cost the anti-LGBTQ cake baker a victory in the Supreme Court - Oh really? Do tell. 

Roy Moore: Immorality Is At A New Low - Get a load of this liar.

Democrat appeals decision striking down his order banning discrimination. - Louisiana Gov. Bel Edwards goes to bat for the LGBTQ community. 

Transgender rights: Los Angeles families complain of insensitive treatment during court hearings - This is a mess. Judges should carry themselves with a form of objectivity, particularly when dealing with children and especially OUR children.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

When 'religious liberty' puts children at risk

The video below says it all when it comes to children up for adoption. Should decisions about their well-being be based upon the personal religious beliefs of the childcare worker instead of the best interest of the child?

That question shouldn't even be up for the discussion, but thanks to the anti-LGBT right's argument about "religious liberty," a lot of money behind their cause, and a heavy dose of propaganda from them and other folks in conservative think tanks and media (i.e. Fox News, The Daily Caller, One News Now), here we are:



Editor's note - LGBT adoption in no way harms a children.In addition, the Child Welfare League of America has affirmed this  as a fact.