Saturday, May 26, 2012

The GOP Lies About Obama's Spending

Click image to enlarge
Virginia is being barraged with Mitt Romney ads that make me want to throw something at the television.  One of the most egregious lies being run is that Barack Obama is presiding over run away federal government spending.  The chart above tells the true story.  If Romney is lying to us this horrifically now, what would he do in office?  We had more than enough lies under Chimperator Bush.  I for one do not want a reprise of that disaster.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

The GOP's Phony Worship of Ronald Reagan

It's mind numbing to hear all the references by today's Republicans who claim to give adulation to Ronald Reagan even though were he to run for office with the positions he held, Reagan would likely go down to defeat at the hands of the Christofascist/Tea Party base of today's GOP.  The hypocrisy of these pretend worshipers of Reagan is only exceed by the hypocrisy of the child rapist protecting Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.  On a host of issues, Reagan would be anathema to today's GOP base.  A somewhat tongue in check column in the Washington Post looks at how Reagan would have to be "genetically re-engineered" to conform to today's insane and  extremist Republican Party.  Here are highlights:

Party officials have been making the pilgrimage to the Reagan Library this year to express their wish to re-create the great man. “I believe boldness and clarity of the kind that Ronald Reagan displayed in 1980 offer us the greatest opportunity to create a winning coalition in 2012,” vice presidential aspirant Paul Ryan said at the library last week.

Also making the trip were VP hopefuls Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. “Like Ronald Reagan, I believe in what this country and its citizens can accomplish,” the latter declared. “The America I speak of is the America Ronald Reagan challenged us to be.”

The man they hope to join on the ticket, Mitt Romney, once boasted that he was “not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” Now he says the party’s standard-bearer should be in “the same mold as Ronald Reagan.”

But before they go filling that mold by mapping the Reagan genome, Republicans may wish to consider some genetic flaws that party scientists should repair in the cloning process. To make the Reagan clone more compatible with today’s Republican Party, a bit of genetic engineering may be in order:

AFL-1  Reagan’s AFL-1 gene, on the labor chromosome, has a mutation that made him susceptible to workers’ rights. He said of unions: “There are few finer examples of participatory democracy.” He said the right to join a union is “one of the most elemental human rights.” And he said collective bargaining “played a major role in America’s economic miracle.”

EPA-4  Reagan’s EPA-4 gene, on the regulatory chromosome, has a protein that can summon anti-industry sympathies. He signed a law establishing efficiency standards for electric appliances and an update to the Safe Drinking Water Act punishing states that didn’t meet clean-water standards.

SSA-2 and MDCR-1  These related genes, on the long arm of the retirement chromosome, are problematic. Reagan expanded Social Security in 1983 and imposed taxes on wealthy recipients. He also signed what was at the time the largest expansion of Medicare in its history.

DEBT-1, DEBT-2, DEBT-3  A trio of abnormalities on the fiscal chromosome caused Reagan to increase taxes several times after his initial tax cut, to embrace much higher taxes on investments than current rates and to sign 18 increases in the federal debt limit.
SPND-1, SPND-2, SPND-3  These Reagan mutations, in the same sector as the debt mutations, created a genetic predisposition to expand the federal government. Reagan enlarged the federal workforce and the federal budget, added the Department of Veterans Affairs (one of the largest Cabinet agencies) and pursued a military buildup that would be impossible under spending limits proposed by congressional Republicans.

EITC-1  For all his talk about welfare queens, Reagan had a gene on the compassion chromosome that led him to champion the earned-income tax credit, a program for the working poor that takes more children out of poverty than any other program. Budgets proposed by today’s Republicans would cut or eliminate the credit. A related abnormality caused Reagan to say that bus drivers should not pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than millionaires — one of President Obama’s tax proposals opposed by current Republicans.

By today's standards in the GOP, Reagan would be described as a tax and spend liberal Democrat.  My goodness, he might even be called a Communist!  Today's lunatic GOP base definitely has a very selective memory of the real facts about Reagan and his 8 years as President.

Catholic Bishops Put Religious Privilege Above the Rights of Others

I often maintain that while they claim that gays are the ones who want "special rights," it's actually the Christianists and the Roman Catholic bishops who want their rights and special privileges to trump the civil rights of others.  They want to make their religious beliefs the de facto established religion in America - never mind that the U. S. Constitution forbids this very thing.  Sadly, the same mindset exists in other countries as well be it in the form of the Taliban or ultra-conservative Hindus or orthodox Jews in Israel.  It's all about inflicting their beliefs on the larger secular society.  And unfortunately, for too long the Catholic bishops and others have been allowed to receive special rights at the expense of others.  The fact that these unwarranted privileges and improper special rights are now being challenged is what is really behind the disingenuous lawsuits filed by Catholic institutions.  An article in the National Post looks at the selfish demands of the Catholic Church hierarchy and the disdain they bishops hold for the rights of others.  While the article looks at the Church's ridiculous claims of persecution in Canada, the pattern of Church dis-ingenuousness applies in the USA as well.  Here are highlights:

As screams of victimhood grow ever louder and calls for new rights continue to expand, a much needed debate on the difference between rights and privileges may have been generated by the newest – and most unlikely – claimant for persecuted group status: the Catholic Church.

That’s right. The same Roman Catholic Church that controls a city state valued at $15-billion and a diplomatic arm granted special Permanent Observer status at the United Nations, believes it is the special target of persecution both internationally and here in Canada. The recent 12-page “Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion” [download PDF] released by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is another example of a continuing exercise among religious believers to convince themselves and others that they are a persecuted minority.

To set the stage, the document references Pope Benedict’s Message for the 2011 World Day of Peace: “It is painful to think that in some areas of the world it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols.”

While the opportunity existed to bring attention to serious forms of religious persecution around the world, the quote instead is used to quickly pivot towards the Pastoral Letter’s real thrust, which is to reinforce the preeminence of religious rights over all other freedoms, while bemoaning the loss of privilege and dominance of the Christian religion.

The conflation of rights and privileges can lead to some bizarre results. The same Bishops demand that in Ontario via their privileged publicly funded Roman Catholic School System they should be able to deny a Charter right – freedom of association – to gay students.

The public seems to get the difference. This week a Forum Research survey found that a majority of Ontarians support the Charter right for students to form gay-straight alliances in public schools while opposing the special privilege of publicly funding a single religious school system.

The document’s arrogant tone comes out clearly through its recommendation of civil disobedience if Christians fail to get their way and its almost exclusive focus not on genuine rights under threat but on those “subtle” attacks on their religion which turn out to be any removal of Christian symbols or ritual from its position of privilege in civic society.

The intention here is not to compete for scarce victim points but to point out the hypocrisy of a Church that denies others fundamental rights while claiming for itself special privilege.

The real problem with the pastoral letter is its casual inclusion of the secularization of society within a list of the most pernicious forms of religious persecution. By listing the dangers of “radical secularism” alongside the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the battering of missionaries in Hindu sectors of India, the result is to trivialize genuine persecution.

The secularization of the public sphere is a necessary reaction to the reality of a pluralistic democratic society. The removal of public spectacles of Christianity from government institutions does not, as these Bishops claim, erode the “rightful role of religion in the public square” unless its rightful role is the permanent enshrinement of Christianity as the dominant symbol in civic society.

Religious freedom is a fundamental right. Elevating it above all others, and using slippery language to claim special privilege under the same banner, is to make a mockery of real affronts to human rights and serious religious persecution. If these Bishops don’t know better, it’s our right to tell them.

Wedding Day Excitment and Frenzy

I'm doing a few posts  now because in just a few hours the everything will start getting busy and frenzied as we prepare for my daughter's wedding here at our home.  I spent the day yesterday doing last minute painting touch ups, manicuring the yard and getting the backyard ready for the ceremony that will have the tidal creek as the backdrop.  Thankfully, the weather forecast is perfect and with the actual ceremony set for 6:00 PM, the heat should have slacked off to a comfortable level.  It will definitely be strange having my former wife and some of her siblings and their families her, but I feel confident that everyone will behave.   

The cake (which will look something like the one above) will arrive around 1:30 to 2:00 PM and the and caterers arrive around 3:00PM for set up and a young friend will be bar-tending for us.  Music is set up for both during the reception and for dancing on the back patio under a large tent complete with chandelier that we had erected both in case the weather had failed to cooperate and to give us more covered space for the crowd which will overflow the house.   It goes without saying that the Boyfriend will be doing my daughter's hair.  

Thankfully, my oldest daughter from Olympia, Washington, and her new husband will be attending, although my son in northern California was not able to make the trip.  As is the growing trend among their generation, my daughter and her husband opted for a non-church wedding - one of the Hampton Circuit Court judges who lives up the street will be officiating.

Wish us luck for a happy and memorable day.  Needless to say, there will be pictures tomorrow and the next day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Morning Male Beauty

NC County Officials Will Allow Protest Against "Kill the Gays" Pastor To Go On

One thing about the Christofascists is that they can dish out the hate and venom, but they go berserk when people stand up to them.  I previously mentioned how a peaceful protest is planned for Sunday May 27th against Rev. Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church (pictured below) who said in a sermon that gays should be put behind electrified fences and allowed to die off.  Apparently the good Christofascists sought to have the county leadership block the protest - no doubt claiming it amounted to the "persecution of Christians."  But faced with the American Civil Liberties Union stepping in to help the protest organizers, the county has backed down and will allow the protest to go forward.  Surprisingly, even the viciously anti-gay Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is disclaiming Worley's comments.  Here are highlights from the Kansas City Star:

Catawba County, N.C., officials have backed down after initially denying a request from marchers who want to use county facilities this weekend to stage a protest against a preacher's anti-gay sermon.

Organizers of the protest had originally predicted several hundred marchers would show up Sunday outside the Providence Baptist Church in Maiden to protest against the Rev. Charles Worley, who said in a sermon that gays should be put behind electrified fences.

But national attention, including coverage on Anderson Cooper's CNN show, swelled estimates to between 1,500 and 2,000. Because of safety concerns, organizers decided to move the protest, and asked that it be held on the grounds of the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton, about 12 miles away.

In originally denying the request, the county had cited county codes governing public use of grounds. Provisions include completing an application 14 days prior to the date of the proposed use, a requirement that a group making the request must have been in existence at least one year and proof of insurance.

Protesters wanted the requirements waived, saying they're not an organized group - just concerned citizens coming together for a cause. They'd asked for help from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Read more here:

On Thursday night, the county posted a statement on its website, saying officials had received an application earlier that day for public use of the lawn of the Justice Center for Sunday's protest.  "This application raised questions regarding the constitutionality of the existing regulation, specifically the 14-day requirement for applications to be received in the County Manager's Office," the statement said.  Officials said they consulted with constitutional law experts after receiving the application and then chose to grant permission for the assembly "in the interest of demonstrating appropriate respect for the ideals embedded in the Constitution."

The planned protest is in response to a Mother's Day sermon by Worley, who called for gays and lesbians to be placed in a type of concentration camp.  A video of the sermon hit the Internet, stirring a whirlwind social media controversy.  Worley, 71, suggested building a large fence, 100 or 150 miles long, so lesbians would be put in one area "and the queers and the homosexuals in another and have that fence electrified so they can't get out."

Read more here:

Read more here:
Worley's comments have been rejected by some Christians.  On Thursday, Melissa Lilley, communications director of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, noted that neither Worley nor his congregation is affiliated with the convention, which is comprised of Southern Baptist churches. Providence Road is an independent Baptist church.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Kudos From AltDaily

I wanted to give a "thank you" to AltDaily, a Hampton Roads alternative news and cultural outlet for giving this blog a plug in a its blog roll of Hampton Roads based blogs worth reading.  The introduction to the blog roll reads as follows: 

Hampton Roads Blogs You Maybe Should be Reading

There are some pretty cool, helpful, and interesting blogs in the Hampton Roads area. Here are some that we suggest you look into.

This blog falls under the "Life in General Category."   Again, a sincere thank you to the folks at AltDaily.  As an aside, readers should know that AltDaily has been very supportive of Hampton Roads Pride, Out in the Park,  and Hampton Roads Business OutReach, a/k/a HRBOR.

How the GOP Lost Its Way

As a former GOP activist - I was on a local city committee for 8 years - I remember a time when one did not need to be either a religious fanatic, a thinly veiled white supremacist, or driven by greed and obsessed with lower taxes to be a Republican.  Sadly, those days are long gone and I and many others - including a number of LGBT bloggers I know - fled the GOP where after the Christofascist take over, we are deemed not even fully human and certainly not entitled to any civil rights.  As I've noted before, my entire extended family more or less has fled the insane asylum that has become today's GOP.   I blame most of the change in the GOP on the emergence Christian Right as the real puppet masters of the party.  In Virginia, the Republican Party of Virginia has become a de facto branch of The Family Foundation, a virulently anti-modernity affiliate of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.  What I find especially chilling about the Christianist take over is that it has coincided with a level of selfishness and greed and intolerance that never used to be the principal hallmarks of the GOP.  A lengthy column in the Washington Post looks at this slide away form caring about the common good and the embracing of far right extremism.  Here are some excerpts: 

To secure his standing as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney has disowned every sliver of moderation in his record. He’s moved to the right on tax cuts and twisted himself into a pretzel over the health-care plan he championed in Massachusetts — because conservatives are no longer allowed to acknowledge that government can improve citizens’ lives.

Romney is simply following the lead of Republicans in Congress who have abandoned American conservatism’s most attractive features: prudence, caution and a sense that change should be gradual. But most important of all, conservatism used to care passionately about fostering community, and it no longer does. This commitment now lies buried beneath slogans that lift up the heroic and disconnected individual — or the “job creator” — with little concern for the rest.

Today’s conservatism is about low taxes, fewer regulations, less government — and little else. Anyone who dares to define it differently faces political extinction. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana was considered a solid conservative, until conservatives decided that anyone who seeks bipartisan consensus on anything is a sellout. Even Orrin Hatch of Utah, one of the longest-serving Republican senators, is facing a primary challenge. His flaw? He occasionally collaborated with the late Democratic senator Edward M. Kennedy on providing health insurance coverage for children and encouraging young Americans to join national service programs.

Conservatism today places individualism on a pedestal, but it originally arose in revolt against that idea.

The great American conservative William F. Buckley Jr. certainly understood this. In his book “Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country,” he quotes approvingly John Stuart Mill’s insistence that “everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit.” With liberty comes responsibility to the community.

Before the Civil War, conservatives such as Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay believed in an active federal government that served the common good. This included a commitment to internal improvements (what we now, less elegantly, call infrastructure), public schooling, and the encouragement of manufacturing and science. Clay, an unapologetic supporter of national economic planning, called his program “the American System,” explicitly distinguishing his idea from the British laissez-faire system. (The Club for Growth would not have been pleased.)

Civil War pensions — the first great social insurance program and a central Republican cause — were supporting about 28 percent of men 65 and over by 1910. In 1894, the program’s most expensive year, the pensions accounted for 37 percent of federal spending. Sounds like a massive entitlement program, doesn’t it?

And the first American version of socialized medicine was signed into law in 1798 by that great conservative president, John Adams. The Marine Hospital Servicefunded hospitals across the country to treat sailors who were sick or got injured on the job. There is no record of a mass campaign to repeal AdamsCare.

Dwight Eisenhower created the interstate highway system and established the federal student loan program in the 1950s.   More recently, Ronald Reagan never tried to dismantle the New Deal and acknowledged, sometimes with wry humor, the need for tax increases. He was acutely alive to the communal side of conservatism.

In other words, until recently conservatives operated within America’s long consensus that accepted a market economy as well as a robust role for a government that served the common good. American politics is now roiled because this consensus is under the fiercest attack it has faced in more than 100 years.

Modern conservatism’s rejection of its communal roots is a relatively recent development. It can be traced to a simultaneous reaction against Bush’s failures and Barack Obama’s rise.

Bush’s unpopularity at the end of his term encouraged conservatives, including the fledgling tea party movement, to distance themselves from his legacy. They declared that Bush’s shortcomings stemmed from his embrace of “big government” and “big spending” — even if much of the spending was in Iraq and Afghanistan. They recoiled from his “compassionate conservatism,” deciding, as right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin put it, that “ ‘compassionate conservatism’ and fiscal conservatism were never compatible.”

 Obama, in the meantime, pitched communal themes from the moment he took office .  .  .   .   The more he emphasized a better balance between the individual and the community, the less interested conservatives became in anything that smacked of such equilibrium.

It’s why they cannot accept (as Romney and the Heritage Foundation once did) energetic efforts by the government to expand access to health insurance. It’s why, even after a catastrophic financial crisis, they continue to resist new rules aimed not at overturning capitalism but at making it more stable.

[W]hen we balance our individualism with a sense of communal obligation that we are most ourselves as Americans. The 20th century was built on this balance, and we will once again prove the prophets of U.S. decline wrong if we can refresh and build upon that tradition. But doing so will require conservatives to abandon untempered individualism, which betrays what conservatism has been and should be.

"Slideshow" Bob Marshall Continues His Anti-Gay Diatribe

There are few individuals outside of the leadership at the FRC hate group affiliate, The Family Foundation, in Virginia who hole more hate and animus towards LGBT individuals that Del. Bob Marshall who has in some ways become the face of the Republican Party of Virginia after co-authoring the foul Marshall Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution and leading the charge to "lynch" Tracy Thorne-Brgland in the House of Delegates.  Moreover, by his statements about sexual orientation being a "behavior" he demonstrates his utter ignorance of modern medical and mental health knowledge.  Indeed, to say that Marshall is a bigot and total asshole is being far too kind.  Campaigning for the GOP Senate nomination in Charlottesville this week, Marshall continued to denigrate LGBT Virginians and spout long repudiated faux research as he pandered to members of the Virginia Tea Party.  Marshall gives new meaning to the phrase "ignorant by choice." Here are highlights from the Daily Progress:

A week after making the assertion that “sodomy is not a civil right,” Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, stood by his remarks during a campaign visit to a Central Virginia tea party meeting.

“If sodomy is a civil right, do we have to protect it? Do we have to fund it? Do we have to teach it? Do we have to encourage it? Do we have to facilitate it?,” Marshall said in an interview Thursday after an appearance at a meeting of the Jefferson Area Tea Party. “… It is not a civil right.”

Marshall touted his efforts to prevent Thorne-Begland from becoming a judge, which he has said were a response to Thorne-Begland’s activism, not his sexual orientation.

“I led the charge. The assembly said no. That’s what I would do in Washington,” Marshall said. “I wouldn’t let a federal judge be an activist there … You saw me. I didn’t let a state judge do it here.”

“It is an insult to suggest that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are in any way parallel to the efforts to do things that have been criminal for most of this nation’s history.”

Marshall also was asked whether he believes consensual gay sex is protected by the U.S. Constitution.  “The court says it is in certain limited circumstances. But you know what that behavior does? It cuts your life by about 20 years,” Marshall answered. “It causes increased health problems. It doesn’t serve the common good to promote this.”

If we are worried about the common good, then the first thing that needs to be done is to see Marshall removed from office once and for all so he can spend all his time with his nose up the ass of the folks at The Family Foundation and  the asses of the child rapist protecting Catholic bishops.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Thursday Male Beauty

Republicans Attack Mainline Christian Sacraments

For years I have been arguing that equality for LGBT citizens is intertwined with the fight for religious freedom.  The Founding Fathers -f one actually takes the time to read their writings - wanted a secular government and they wanted no religious tests for public office and/or civil rights.  Despite this historic reality of the Founders' intent, the GOP has made an unholy alliance with the far right Christofascists and the result is that the Founders' intent has been flushed down the toilet.  Instead, anyone who doesn't conform to the religious beliefs of the Christofascists is denied civil law equality and their religious beliefs become a test for public office as was horrifically demonstrated by the judicial nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland who faced the equivalent of a lynching in the GOP controlled Virginia House of Delegates.  In the process of the GOP's prostituting itself to the Christofacsists, the rights of LGBT welcoming mainline denominations have been trampled into the dust.  A piece in Box Turtle Bulletin looks at this disturbing phenomenon.  Here are excerpts:

In the midst of fighting it can be easy to confuse a battle with a war and struggle over a battlefield can be so predominant that it appears to be the goal. And so it is in the Great American Culture War. With so much emphasis in fighting over issues involving homosexuality, it can seem as though denying gay people equality is the primary goal of many conservatives. But I believe that the battle over marriage, adoption, and even simple social equality for gay people is not driven so much by objection to homosexuality. Rather, a larger issue is at stake: who will be the voice of The Church in America.

It is no small prize. Tremendous influence is wielded by those who are considered the arbiters of morality and the defenders of faith and godly society.
For most of our existence, The Church has been Protestant Christianity with denominational differences relating primarily to economic or social status or ethnic tradition (with all falling under the mantle of “Mainline Christianity”). Usually (with some significant historical exceptions) broad leeway was granted to Catholics and others, but as far as “what Americans believe”, it was driven by Protestant ideology. Mormons, Pentecostals, and other fringe groups mostly kept to themselves.

Today’s culture war is a battle for the right to dominance and to have a different ideology shape the culture. Catholics, Pentecostals, and Mormons have formed an alliance to replace the Mainline Christians with their own brand of Christian thought, and the difference is significant.

Mainline Christianity’s underlying principles could be expressed as “work hard, be a good neighbor, live responsibly, and care for the less fortunate”. While individual morality is important, and social pressure is used to encourage moral behavior, it is generally considered to be in bad taste to publicly shame those who do not live according to a list of rules and coercive morality-based laws are not a primary focus.

The coalition of other faiths that seek to replace this message all place a great deal more importance on conformity, doctrinal purity, and a society that reflects and adheres to the teachings of The Church. Caring for the physical needs of your neighbor falls a far far distant second to caring for your neighbor’s spiritual needs, and there is an underlying presumption that The Church – not the neighbor – can best determine what such needs may be.

I would like to be generous and say that this is purely ideological, but it is to a large part a power-grab. 

I see the latest attack from Republicans in the House of Representatives as not being, necessarily, an effort to hurt gay Americans (which it might seem on the surface) but as an effort to hurt Mainline Christianity. It is the boldest and most brazen attack on specific denominations that I’ve ever seen.  Specifically, the House Republicans included the following measure into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013:
A military installation or other property owned or rented by, or otherwise under the jurisdiction or control of, the Department of Defense may not be used to officiate, solemnize, or perform a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man with one woman.
Initially, this looks like an attack on gay soldiers. And it is. Indeed, it is specifically the marriage of gay soldiers which will be disallowed on military bases or other military property.

Yet I think that the greater targets of this provision are the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Friends (Quakers) – all of whom allow their chaplains to offer same-sex marriage sacraments – and the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – who are either considering or allow for some measure of marriage-like ceremony. 
For the first time in my lifetime, a house of government has dictated what is acceptable theology and has banned sacraments from its properties that do not meet the religious beliefs of legislators.

I think that this is so obviously a violation of the First Amendment that it cannot withstand legal challenge. Telling a chaplain that he need not conduct sacraments that violate his faith (another provision added) is a protection of religious freedom. Telling a chaplain that he cannot conduct sacraments that are provisions of his faith is a blatant attack on his religious freedom.

Timothy Kinkaid is 100% on point.  These anti-gay laws and initiatives seek to enforce one "established" religious vire in direct violation of the U>S. Constitution.  The question remains when will someone challenge this unconstitutional effort for what it is.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin Takes Anti-Gay, White Supremacist Tony Perkins To Task

As I have noted before, it drives me to distraction and yelling at the television when I see main stream media outlets giving uber-homophobic, white supremacist loving, pathological liar Tony Perkins a platform from which to spew his lies and disinformation without challenge or any acknowledgement of  Perkins' truly foul history and baggage.  Thankfully, that trend ceased at least temporarily when CNN's Brooke Baldwin went after Perkins' bigotry and refused to back down on her questioning.  Not surprisingly, Perkins either refused to answer or fell back to his "religious belief" cop out. Perkins needs to be challenged like this EVERY time he goes on the airwaves.  Better yet, his sordid history should be summarized when he is first introduced so that viewers will understand the hate and animus that motivate Perkins and the hate group that he leads.   A video clip is set out below.  Here are highlights from Mediate:

Tony Perkins has been particularly loud in recent days as a voice against equal rights of marriage for same-sex couples, arguing that one minority in the society cannot define religious sacraments that, for some reason, are also governmental institutions “for the rest of us.” He took his crusade to CNN today with anchor Brooke Baldwin, who flummoxed the Family Research Council leader with simple questions like “have you ever been to the home of a same-sex couple?” and “why do homosexuals bother you so much?”

From the start of the interview, it was clear that Perkins was not interested in discussing the matter in personal terms, instead noting that “30 states have enshrined that definition into their constitution with an average vote of 67%,” and the issue at hand was not the private lives of loving couples, but “what we’re talking about here is the curriculum in our public schools.” Baldwin didn’t seem to buy into this argument, asking, “why are we talking about curriculum in the school when this is about love and the law and the ability to get married?” Perkins replied that the subject was one in the same: “religious freedom, parental rights, public accommodation.”

 Baldwin asked him whether his experience had corroborated that belief: “Have you ever been to the home of a same-sex couple?”

Perkins answered in the negative, and refused to argue what he would tell that hypothetical couple to convince them their lifestyle was hurting society. “We don’t make public policy based on what is good for me… not anecdotes or what one couple likes.” As a society, Perkins asserted, “we have incurred a great harm.”

“I know you don’t want to answer the question,” Baldwin asked, patience wearing visibly thin, “but I’m going to try again: why do homosexuals bother you so much?” “They don’t bother me!” Perkins replied, asserting again that he was “not going to be silent while they try to redefine marriage in this country.”

Inconvenient Facts For the Kool-Aid Drinking GOP

Recent Gallup survey results do not bode well long term for the GOP.  Not only do independent voters align with Democrats far more than Republicans as demonstrated by the first chart below from the Washington Post, but on many issues, but independents also far more accepting of others and different perspectives than the Christofascist/Tea Part controlled GOP as set out in the second chart.
The associated op-ed sums things up well as follows:

Republicans were only more permissive than Democrats and independents on three measures and they all had to do with the killing of people and animals — the death penalty, buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur and medical testing on animals. Interpret that as you will.

Independents were closer to Democrats than to Republicans on 13 of the 18 issues outlined. The only exceptions were medical research using embryonic stem cells, the death penalty, suicide and human cloning. (On cloning animals, Democrats and Republicans were both less permissive than independents, and in equal measure).

When people are asked to identify themselves by political ideology, Americans may appear to be center-right, but independents look more like Democrats than Republicans on moral issues.

This does not bode well for Republicans as the composition and conscience of the country continues to change. We are slowly becoming less religious, more diverse and increasingly open-minded.  That is completely at odds with today’s Republican Party.

In short, the GOP seems to be continuing towards its own Jones Town like mass suicide  not many years down the road.    Having sold its soul to the worse and most hate filled elements of the extreme  Christian, the GOP seems to have no rip cord to pull to avoid a very, very hard landing.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Is NOM About to Get Much Deserved Hate Group Designation?

The ever bloviating cow Maggie Gallagher and Brian "Brownshirt" Brown constantly claim that the National Organization for Marriage's only goal is to "protect marriage."  Actions, however, speak louder than words - especially words coming from the lips of liars lake Gallagher and Brown.  In addition to "protecting the sanctity od marriage" NOM has fully embraced the ex-gay lie and has moved on to out right denigrate and spread lies about LGBT individuals.  These actions have caught the eye of the Southern Poverty Law Center which monitors hate groups in America.  In a new report on NOM, the SPLC's take on NOM is blistering.  And it's the lies and deliberate falsehoods that have triggered SPLC's analysis of NOM's true agenda.  Stating religious belief is one thing.  Seeking to dehumanize gays and depict them as enemies of society and western civilization is something quite different.  Here are excerpts from the SPLC report:

About the worst thing said about gay men, an allegation that is regularly dragged out by certain religious-right organizations, is that they molest children at rates vastly higher than their heterosexual counterparts. It is as devastating a charge as one can make in a country where jailed pedophiles, known in prison parlance as “short eyes,” are frequently murdered by self-righteous fellow inmates.

But it is also completely false, a demonizing construct long ago debunked and denounced by virtually all relevant scientific organizations and serious researchers. That’s why the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the leading opponent of same-sex marriage but also a group that prides itself on keeping its criticisms of homosexuality both civil and factual, does not employ the accusation.  Or does it?

Last Nov. 15, the Ruth Institute, a project of the NOM Education Fund, published the first eight paragraphs of an essay by anti-gay activist Michael Brown that asked what topic even far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh might be afraid to bring up in the face of “political correctness.” The part of the essay on the Ruth Institute website didn’t say what that topic was, but gave a “Keep Reading” link to a site run by an openly gay-bashing hate group, the American Family Association.

There, it took readers another three paragraphs to get to the red meat: “Could it be that the [Penn State] sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature? And could it be that even Rush Limbaugh didn’t have the guts to address this? (Contrary to the protestations of some, a man who is sexually involved with boys is a homosexual pedophile; a man who is sexually involved with girls is a heterosexual pedophile.)”

Anti-gay activists claim that all men who molest male children are homosexual. But researchers long ago established that there are two types of molesters: fixated and regressive. Fixated molesters — the stereotypical pedophile — typically molest children of either sex, but have no sexual interest in any adult and can’t be considered heterosexual or homosexual. Regressive molesters are attracted to adults, but may “regress” to children under stress; most of them have been found to be heterosexual in their adult relationships. That’s why the American Psychological Association has officially concluded that “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men.”

For more than a year now, gay rights activists have alleged that NOM is playing a shell game, avoiding the most egregiously false defamations of gay people on its own website, but linking directly to others who don’t. 

NOM seems hard-pressed to avoid talk of pedophilia as it campaigns against gay marriage.  Just this Dec. 7, for instance, NOM’s Ruth Institute posted a gushing recommendation for a book titled Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk, a jeremiad by Mathew Staver, head of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel. “Anybody who cares about the future of our society should read this book,” NOM said.

The 2004 book that NOM says “gives you real answers” isn’t further detailed on the NOM site, but it is jam-packed with precisely the kind of misinformation that Gallagher suggests she abhors. Perhaps most remarkably, the book claims that “29 percent of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6 percent of the adult children of heterosexual parents… Having a homosexual parent(s) appears to increase the risk of incest with a parent by a factor of about 50.”  Staver’s citation for this hair-raising claim is remarkable — a debunked 1996 article co-authored by Paul Cameron,

Again and again, NOM seems to come back to pedophilia. Last June 8, it posted a video of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) at the Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit, countering arguments for same-sex marriage by warning that it would open the door to all kinds of marriages, including pedophilic unions.

And last Aug. 18, in a “Dear Marriage Supporter” open letter, NOM President Brian Brown wrote about a highly controversial group of scholars and others working to de-stigmatize those attracted to children who do not act on their impulses.

NOM also publicizes anti-gay material that is just plain nasty.  .  .  .  .   Some of the material NOM pushes out, also dealing with children, is flatly untrue. In fliers opposing same-sex marriage sent to thousands of Rhode Island residents early last year, NOM made the claim that “Massachusetts’ public schools teach kids as young as kindergartners about gay marriage. Parents have no legal right to object!” Checking that claim out, PolitiFact found that the group’s only evidence was two isolated, 5-year-old incidents and rated NOM’s assertion “false.”

Similarly, NOM last September sent out mailers to thousands of New Yorkers warning of the “legal consequences” of gay marriage. Although virtually all of NOM’s assertions were questionable, one stood out — the claim that a sex ed teacher in Massachusetts “taught her students to perform lesbian sex.”

Like other anti-gay organizations, NOM sometimes displays a sense of aggrieved victimhood, picturing itself and other religious opponents of same-sex marriage as under assault by powerful and devious forces. 

NOM’s claim of victimhood is the core element of its refusal, in the face of campaign laws in more than half a dozen states, to release the names of financial supporters of its many electoral efforts, .  .  .  .  Although FBI hate crime statistics show clearly that gay men and lesbians are by far the most targeted minority in America, NOM portrays donors to its many political campaign efforts as the real victims because a few who have been identified have been picketed by LGBT supporters.

Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown have repeatedly claimed that they are simply trying to protect marriage, that they bear no animus toward LGBT people or their sexual orientations. But again and again, signs of such animus have crept into the material issued by NOM: scary warnings about pedophilia, “addictive behavior,” “jihads” against Christians and so on. Now, as pressure ratchets up on opponents of same-sex marriage — Maryland this year became the eighth state to approve such unions, even as a federal judge found the anti-same-sex-marriage Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional — it remains to be seen whether NOM can avoid following other religious-right groups into a world of untrammeled hate.

Will Obama "Evolve" Further on Gay Marriage?

Personally, I suspect Barack Obama doesn't do anything that isn't motivated by political calculation.   And when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage, it's all political calculation rather than equality under the law and the U. S. Constitution.  However, Obama may find that the train has left the station on the issue - especially in the minds of younger voters - and that he may have no choice but to get fully on board and cease the double speak of leaving marriage rights to the states.  That mealy mouthed position is akin to saying that states can decide to reimpose segregation (something that would likely be embraced by "godly Christians" in Bible Belt states).  One is either a full citizen of the United States or one is not.  Currently in a significant majority of states, LGBT Americans are second class citizens unless they are living in states like Virginia, in which case they are fourth class citizens.  Thus, some such as Ted Olson believe that Obama will be pressed to make marriage equality a national rather than state decision.  This, of course, terrifies the Christofascists who seek to impose their Christianist version of Sharia law on all citizens.  Here are highlights from an article in the Washington Post that looks at Obama's likely predicament:

Supporters and critics of President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage agree on one thing: He may not be finished evolving on the subject.   Despite his comments that he thinks the matter should be left to the states, many gay rights advocates strongly believe that it must be dealt with nationally — and that Obama is quietly on their side. Conservative critics of the president suspect the same, citing this as one way the president might tack left if reelected.

And some Obama supporters who are uncomfortable with same-sex marriage fear that in a second term, he would come under enormous pressure to back efforts to impose the legalization of such unions at the federal level.

“I can tell you without a doubt there’s a lot of fear right now from religious communities . . . about where it’s all going to go.”  [said the Rev. Joel Hunter, a spiritual adviser to the president who opposes same-sex marriage]

In particular, they are worried that the president’s preference for state-by-state recognition will give way to the view that same-sex marriage is a guaranteed right under the Constitution. That issue is at the heart of a case that could come before the Supreme Court in its term beginning in October: It involves Proposition 8, a voter-approved California constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage.

Obama opposed Proposition 8. But if the court accepts the case, it could ask the administration for its view on whether marriage is a fundamental right that cannot be withheld from gay couples. Such a finding could sweep away state decisions on same-sex marriage, as well as the bans in 30 state constitutions.

“He’ll have to decide whether he believes the Constitution recognizes gays’ or lesbians’ equality as far as marriage is concerned,” said Theodore B. Olson, a Republican former solicitor general who is a lead lawyer challenging Proposition 8. “That’s not reconcilable with leaving it up to the states.”

Before he announced his support for same-sex marriage, Obama ended restrictions against gays serving openly in the military, and his Justice Department said it would no longer defend in court the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex unions. The administration said the law violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution, an argument that some say conflicts with the view that states should decide.

 The Obama campaign is making same-sex marriage an election issue. It announced plans Wednesday to reach out to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender voters and to use the issue to paint a stark contrast with the president’s presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who supports passing a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

 “It’s to me very clear and unqualified, and not up for debate, that the route that this is ultimately going . . . is going to be to recognize justice and equality,” said Chad Griffin, a Democratic fundraiser and incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. “I expect that our federal judiciary will side with the side of equality and justice, and I hope the Justice Department will continue to file in the way that they’ve filed in the DOMA case.”

Democrats Push "Paycheck Fairness" Bill

In response to my post the other day about the misogyny of women who support the Republican Party even though the party is anti-woman, a woman apparently from Texas left a snarky comment about ME having no credibility.  Looking at her "profile" (which naturally hides her identity) she showed a penchant for following Christianist and home schooling blogs  - no surprise with respect to the latter.  Her reading habits indeed typifies to me the women in the GOP.  They are so wrapped up in religious brainwashing and the avoidance of objective facts that they don't know the difference between their ass and their elbow.  She took particular offense at my statement that women don't earn the same wages as men for the same job. Never mind that objective facts support my contention.  The comment author obviously needs to get her nose out of her KJV and open her eyes.  Politico looks at efforts of Democrats to push legislation that would end pay disparities for women.  Here are highlights:

Sick of the fights over contraception and Planned Parenthood? Get ready for a new front in what Democrats call the GOP’s “war on women.”

Five female Democratic senators pressed for legislation Wednesday aimed at closing the wage gap between men and women. The Paycheck Fairness Act would bring up to date the Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson nearly 50 years ago.

Democrats cited statistics showing that women today are still paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, or $10,784 less a year on average. That’s the equivalent of 183 tanks of gas or 92 bags of groceries.

“Women still make less for doing the same job with the same education as men do. The pay gap is as real today as it was 49 years ago,” Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving female in Congress, said at a news conference.

“We’re saying … we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore.” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised a cloture vote on the pay bill the week of June 4, after the Senate returns from its week-long Memorial Day recess.

Republican opposition has given Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) a chance to frame the issue of equal pay as yet another example of the GOP’s war on women.  “As I look at the record of Republicans on women, it is not good,” Boxer said. “Personally, I say it’s a war on women. The more they protest it, the more I say it, because I truly believe it.”

Democrats counter that the Paycheck Fairness bill is much stronger than the Ledbetter Act. They say Ledbetter keeps the courthouse door open for women to sue for discrimination, while Paycheck makes it tougher to discriminate in the first place. Ledbetter does not address compensatory or punitive damages; Paycheck does. And Paycheck makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers for inquiring about their colleagues’ wages.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Maureen Dowd Slaps Down the Catholic Bishops

As noted in prior posts, I believe the shrieks of the Roman Catholic bishops that their "religious liberty" is under attack by the Obama administration are utterly disingenuous.  Instead it's all about (a) distracting the news media from the constant stories of sex abuse by priests and (b) inflicting their 12th century beliefs on all Americans.  In a New York Times column Maureen Dowd give the bishops a much needed slap down and comes to calling them hypocritical liars.  It's a great read.  Here are highlights:

I wasn’t surprised to see the Gallup poll Tuesday showing that 82 percent of U.S. Catholics say birth control is morally acceptable. (Eighty-nine percent of all Americans and 90 percent of non-Catholics agreed.) 

The poll appeared on the same day as headlines about Catholic Church leaders fighting President Obama’s attempt to get insurance coverage for contraception for women who work or go to college at Catholic institutions. The church insists it’s an argument about religious freedom, not birth control. But, really, it’s about birth control, and women’s lower caste in the church. It’s about conservative bishops targeting Democratic candidates who support contraception and abortion rights as a matter of public policy. And it’s about a church that is obsessed with sex in ways it shouldn’t be, and not obsessed with sex in ways it should be.
The bishops and the Vatican care passionately about putting women in chastity belts. Yet they let unchaste priests run wild for decades, unconcerned about the generations of children who were violated and raped and passed around like communion wine.
They still have not done a proper reckoning, and the acrid scandal never ends. In the midst of a landmark trial in Philadelphia charging Msgr. William Lynn with covering up sexual abuse by priests and then recirculating the perverts, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that two priests in their 70s who worked in parishes and hospitals had abused minors at some point and were unfit for ministry.  This follows five priests sidelined earlier this month.  .  .  .  . plus 17 others suspended after last year’s sickening grand jury report on rampant sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. 

[T]he pugnacious Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York rejected the compromise and charged that the White House is “strangling” the church.    Interpreting the rule in the most extreme way to scare Catholics, he said: “They tell us if you’re really going to be considered a church, if you’re going to be really exempt from these demands of the government, well, you have to propagate your Catholic faith and everything you do, you can serve only Catholics and employ only Catholics.”
The Archdiocese of Washington put an equally alarmist message in the church bulletins at Sunday’s Masses  .   .   . 
The church leaders headed to court hope to undermine the president, but they may help him. Voters who think sex is only for procreation were not going to vote for Obama anyway. And the lawsuit reminds the rest that what the bishops portray as an attack on religion by the president is really an attack on women by the bishops. 

Obama Campaign Launches LGBT Shake Down, I Mean Outreach, Effort

Call me cynical, but we knew this was coming:  the Obama campaign has launched an "outreach" effort to the LGBT community.  This of course, translate to "shake down" effort by any other name.  Obama wasn't reaching out when he could have done more to speak out against Amendment One.  Likewise, he wasn't reaching out to the LGBT community when he refused to sign an ENDA like executive order that would have been binding on federal government contractors.  I'm sure readers will say, "but Obama came out for marriage equality."  Yes he did, but what's the practical effect?  Absolutely nothing from a legal perspective.  And cynics believe he took the final plunge only because of the backlash following the North Carolina vote and the reluctance of LGBT donors to write big checks.  Also troubling is the fact that out-going do-nothing HRC president Joe Solmonese is co-chairing the effort.  MetroWeekly has coverage on the "outreach" launch.  Here are highlights:

Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese was on double duty today, serving as the main speaker on the launch of the Obama for America campaign's LGBT outreach today. Earlier this year, Solmonese had been announced as one of the co-chairs for the campaign for President Obama's re-election, which HRC endorsed in 2011.  .   .   .  Solmonese's HRC successor, Chad Griffin, is slated to start at the nation's largest LGBT political organization, headquartered in DC, on June 12.
Much of the call's opening, in which Solmonese was joined by campaign spokesman Clo Ewing and campaign national LGBT vote director Jamie Citron, was focused on a detailing of Obama's accomplishments in his first term, from this past week's support for marriage equality to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to Obama's recording of an "It Gets Better" video.

Metro Weekly led off the question-and-answer portion of the call with a look forward, asking what effort there will be during the campaign to lay out a plan for LGBT equality aims in the second term of an Obama administration.

Solmonese responded generally, talking about collective decision-making regarding priorities, but did specifically mention the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as "landmark issues" that remain to be addressed.

The article covers additional issues, but it seems Solmonese was at his best mealy mouthed double speak self.  Personally, I'd rank picking Solmonese as co-chair of the effort right up with picking  Charlotte for the DNC convention site.

The campaign's LGBT specific web page is here.    Over all, I am left feeling conflicted.  On the one hand, a vote for Romney is a vote for a Christofascist controlled administration.  On the other, there's a less hostile administration that truly only gets concerned about the LGBT community when subjected to great pressure and in need of money and votes.

Will the DNC's Charlotte Convention Backfire for Obama?

I see many references across the blogosphere about boycotting North Carolina after the passage of Amendment One earlier this month.  I DO understand that feeling although I will be going to OBX Pridefest next month to support Dare County residents and businesses that voted against Amendment One (Dare County was the only non-metropolitan county to reject Amendment One).  The Counties surrounding Charlotte likewise voted against Amendment One, but that may not dampen the anger and animosity that is palpable in North Carolina.  Given this toxic atmosphere, some see the DNC National Convention as something that may backfire big time.  Here are excerpts from a column in The Daily Beast that suggests holding the DNC convention in Charlotte may not be a good idea: 

When the Obama campaign last year picked Charlotte, N.C., as the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, they hoped to double down on the president’s historic victory four years ago, when his electoral coalition of young, black, and college-educated white voters made him the first Democrat to carry the Tar Heel State since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

But while polls show Barack Obama and Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in the state, the president's choice to hold the convention there could come back to haunt him, given the convergence of angry labor unions, an unfortunately named venue, embarrassing local political scandals, Occupy Wall Street protesters, and the voters’ decision this year to pass a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions.

That vote led more than 30,000 people to quickly sign a petition from a New York–based marriage-equality group to move the convention elsewhere, though timing and logistics alone render that functionally impossible.

[T]he economic backdrop is far from ideal for the president looking to sell voters on the Obama recovery. North Carolina’s unemployment rate has persistently been above the national average, at 9.4 percent last month, and Charlotte is the world headquarters of Bank of America, a bailed-out megabank so closely associated with the financial collapse of 2008 that Occupy Wall Street has devoted a campaign specifically to breaking it up. Protesters will be on the streets of Charlotte taking aim at the bank even as President Obama delivers his acceptance speech—at Bank of America Stadium. And labor unions are fuming that the convention is being held in a so-called right-to-work state (where union membership or dues cannot be required for employment).

Labor, which remains the bedrock organizing arm of the Democratic Party, is miffed that national Democrats chose to meet in the state with the smallest proportion of union members—just 2.9 percent of the workforce last year—to make their case for a strengthening the middle class and broadening economic prosperity. Some locals are planning to skip or even protest the convention, and labor has pointedly declined to contribute its expected share of the convention’s costs, which will be upwards of $36 million this year.

Time will tell whether or not the Charlotte choice proves to be disastrous.  Knowing wat we all know now, I cannot help but believe a different choice would be made if time permitted a change of venues.

The Other Victims of the "Ex-Gay" Myth - Part 2

I recently wrote about the victims so often ignored by the Christianists and fraudulent "ex-gay ministries - the straight spouses who end up in doomed marriages all so that (i) self-loathing closet cases can try to convince themselves they're not really gay,  (ii) politically involved Christianist can spread the lie to their GOP allies that gays can "change," and (iii) the "ex-gay" ministries can rake in some buck preying on tortured gays and their typically ultra-religious parents.  Meanwhile, the straight spouses are treated as they don't exist - nor are the families of such "mixed marriages" acknowledged to exist.  Instead, it's all about making a buck and playing political games with peoples' lives.  Andrew Sullivan has some more comments from his readers who suffered because of the "ex-gay" myth and religious traditions that refuse to accept modern knowledge about sexual orientation.  Religious traditions that - to quote blogger friend Bob Felton - prefer to cling to the writings of nomadic Bronze Age goat herders.  Here are excepts from Andrew's latest post on this sad topic:  
Last Monday, six days after I voted against the amendment in North Carolina that would protect the sanctity of marriage by stomping on the rights of gay couples, I told my husband that as much as it saddened me, we needed to divorce. We’ve been married for nearly 25 years and have two great teenagers, but I found out seven years ago that he was gay. We have worked mightily to reach some sort of an accord that would keep our marriage and our family intact. But I just can’t do it anymore.

As soon as I told him that the end was here, the emotion in second place to our sadness was relief … for both of us. The day we had both been dreading but knew deep down had to come was finally here. We will tell our children the whole truth once school is over. We feel they are old enough to understand now, and it is important that they know why we are separating so the cycle of secrets can stop.

When we got married, he was sure that he had put "those" feelings behind him for good, relieved that he wouldn’t be disappointing his parents. He was optimistic about having it all: the wife, the family, the career - things he didn’t feel he could have had if he’d chosen to be openly gay in the late 1980s. So he pushed it all away until he couldn’t deny it any longer

And it is all just so sad. I have to part ways with the person that I thought I would grow old with, who knows me better than any human on earth, who laughed out loud with utter joy when our daughter was born, who read each Harry Potter book aloud to our son until he was old enough to read them himself. I’m not mad at him anymore. I’m just so very sad.

That narrative in some ways describes my own failed marriage.  Like the husband in the comment, I stupidly believed that I could deny who I was and make it all go away.  Of course, it doesn't go away.  And while trying to please family, church and a large segment of society one experiences a daily living Hell and others are harmed.  Others that you love.  I hope that some day my former wife (who I will see Saturday at our daughter's wedding) fully forgives me.  I will likely never forgive myself.  Andrew also has a son's perspective.  Here are highlights:

My mother will never forgive my father, which I understand. .  .  .  .  For her, he stole her womanhood; he stole the possibility of making love and being loved by a man who desired her. That's what hurt me the most.

As I said, I will likely never forgive myself.  Nor will I forgive the professional Christians and church leaders who continue to denigrate and demonize gays and in the process create more failed marriages like my own.  Worse of all, they don't give a damn about the straight spouses and the children of these doomed marriages.

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Bad News for Christofascists: Strong Support for Gay Marriage Now Exceeds Strong Opposition

Yet another poll shows that the days of the Christofascists' ability to ban same sex marriage is moving towards its death throes notwithstanding what happened on May 8th in North Carolina's low turn out vote on Amendment One.  Based on the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, the Christianists are slowly but surely losing the war despite winning some battles.  And as aging bigots die off, the pace will likely accelerate.  As will the stridency and hysteria of the professional Christians and the Catholic Church hierarchy as they see their fund raising ability using "the gay agenda" as a boogie man fade away.   The GOP needless to say will continue to pander to the Christofacsists and raging bigots and homophobes like Bryan Fischer, Maggie Gallagher, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan.  Here are highlights from ABC News on the new poll results: 

Strong public support for same-sex marriage exceeds strong opposition by a significant margin for the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, and African-Americans have moved more in favor, perhaps taking their lead from Barack Obama on the issue.

Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, steady the past year but up from 36 percent in just 2006. Thirty-nine percent “strongly” support it, while 32 percent are strongly opposed – the first time strong sentiment has tilted positive. Six years ago, by contrast, strong views on the issue were negative by a broad 27-point margin.

Further, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that support for gay marriage has reached a new high among African-Americans in ABC/Post polls, up from four in 10 in recent surveys to 59 percent now.

Another result shows increasing exposure: Seventy-one percent of Americans now say they have a friend, family member or acquaintance who’s gay, up from 59 percent in 1998. People who know someone who’s gay are 20 points more likely than others to support gay marriage.

Regardless of that shift, Obama’s May 9 announcement of his support for gay marriage shows no measurable impact on political preferences. While more support than oppose his position, 51-41 percent, Americans divide on whether it’s a political plus or minus, with most saying it’s not a major factor in their vote choice.
Sharp differences among groups persist. Republicans and conservatives oppose gay marriage by more than 2-1, evangelical white Protestants by more than 3-1. While Democrats support it by more than 2-1, the balance is tipped, as is often the case, by independents: Fifty-eight percent support legalizing gay marriage; 43 percent do so strongly.

Among other groups, support for gay marriage reaches 69 percent among adults under age 30 (with 51 percent “strong” support), compared with just 38 percent of seniors. (Half of seniors are strongly opposed). Support is also 14 points higher among college graduates than among non-graduates, 63 to 49 percent. But it’s the same, 53 percent, among men and women alike.

These results underscore two things: (1) living out and proud does change hearts and minds and (2) the GOP is commiting long term suicide on this issue.