Thursday, May 31, 2012
John Edwards Found Not Guilty
Feds Shut Down 26 Chinatown Bus Lines
The "Chinese bus" has long been the cheapest and to many, the hippest way to travel between the major cities of the Northeast. But long plagued by shoddy maintenance and not a few accidents, their safety record has been as legendary as the low price. Today the feds, for now, put an end to most of them.
Federal transportation officials citing serious safety concerns announced on Thursday that they had ordered the shutdown of 26 bus operators, many of them based in Chinatown and offering inexpensive rides along the East Coast to thousands of passengers a day. In addition, 10 bus company owners, managers and employees were forced to cease all passenger transportation operations, including selling tickets, according to transportation officials who called it the biggest crackdown in the history of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The operators cited had employed drivers who worked long hours, had serious driver qualification violations and, in many cases, did not have valid commercial driver's licenses, officials said. The companies also used vehicles that had not been regularly repaired or inspected.Today's move was apparently spurred by the gruesome 2011 accident in the Bronx in which 15 passengers were killed when the driver allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel. My own experience with the Chinese bus involves a Christmas Eve 2005 trip to DC in which it felt like we took every curve on two wheels. I almost kissed the ground when we got there.
2011: Most Anti-LGBT Murders Ever
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects today issued a report containing the grim news that last year more LGBT people were murdered in hate crimes than in any year since the group began keeping records.
The 2011 report also highlights a number of disturbing trends concerning the severity of violence experienced by LGBTQH people. This year’s report shows that LGBTQH youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to LGBTQH people age 30 and older. As in the case of the murder statistics, transgender people and people of color were more likely to experience physical injury in a hate violence incident. The report found that transgender people were 28% as likely to experience physical violence compared to non-transgender people, and that LGBTQ people of color were two times as likely to experience physical violence compared to those who were not LGBTQ people of color.The report glumly notes that the sheer number of anti-LGBT violent crimes so taxed the organizations that track them, they could not fully investigate all of the incidents reported to them. Therefore, the actual number is higher.
View the full report (PDF).
I Pizza Slice NY
Gotham's tabloids reacted with horror this week at the SHOCKING news that Gov. Cuomo has launched a makeover of the state's iconic "I ♥ NY" campaign, which is considered to be the most successful tourism slogan in the history of everything.
Thanks for breaking New York’s heart, Gov. Cuomo. The governor ripped the ♥ out of “I ♥ NY” in a new $5 million tourism campaign unveiled Wednesday. He’s dumping the state’s iconic ♥ logo, known the world over, in favor of such ho-hum images as a slice of pizza, a hot air balloon, a beach ball and a stock car — a nod, apparently, to the Empire State’s NASCAR roots. “You still have the icon but you have to bring it back to New York,” Cuomo explained. “You have to reimagine, you have to reenergize it.”
Gays To March In NYC's Israel Day Parade
This Sunday LGBT groups will march for the first time ever in New York City's annual Israel Day Parade.
When: Sunday June 3rd, 2pm (Line up at 2pm, March begins 3PM)
Where: 54th St between 5th Ave and Madison, Section 11 E
Who: The entire Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer and Straight Ally Jewish Community
The Israel Day Parade is the largest Jewish event in the World! This is the first time that we are being fully included and able to march as our LGBT and allied selves.
One Million Shrews Against Father's Day
As expected and right on cue.
It is obvious that JCP would rather take sides than remain neutral in the culture war. JCP will hear from the other side so they need to hear from us as well. Our persistence will pay off! One day we will answer for our actions or lack of them. We must remain diligent and stand up for Biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature.
OMM will continue to avoid shopping at JCP until they take a neutral stand. If you receive their advertising booklets or catalogs in the mail, OMM recommends you write "REFUSED...RETURN TO SENDER" on your JCPenney catalog and try sending them back. If they receive an onslaught of their returned magazines, they will take notice.
Also, you may email, call, or use their contact form on their website to unsubscribe from their mailers so you will no longer have these delivered to your home. If you have a store credit card, you can close your account, if you have not already done so, to help get the message across that you have no plans to shop with them in the future. Be sure to tell them why you are unsubscribing and canceling your credit card.
Alliance Defense Fund On DOMA Ruling
"Under this rationale, if just one state decided to accept polygamy, the federal government and perhaps other states would be forced to accept it, too. The federal government had the right to step in against polygamy at one time in our nation’s history, and it has the right to step in against this attempt at marriage redefinition as well. The First Circuit's support of this same principle suggests that it is constitutional for California's voters to enact Proposition 8 -- and that all of the other state constitutional amendments and statutes defining marriage as a man and a woman are constitutional as well." - Alliance Defense Fund attorney Dale Schowengerdt.
NY Court Rules "Gay" Is Not Slander
A New York state appeals court ruled today that falsely calling somebody "gay" can longer be considered slander.
The court says that although falsely calling someone gay or lesbian has for decades been grounds for slander, that's no longer the case because being gay is no longer seen by society as negative. The decision Thursday involves the case of a Broome County man who sued after he was called gay, saying that hurt his relationship with his girlfriend. The court says a "tremendous evolution of social attitudes" and rights afforded to gays prompted the decision that overrules previous rulings.RELATED: Last year when I first covered the initial ruling in favor of the plaintiff, I noted that while other jurisdictions had already ruled that calling somebody "gay" is not slanderous, the New York appeals court had never been asked to make such a ruling. Now they have and it isn't.
Gay Military Marriage Proposal
FOTF Outraged Over DOMA Ruling
"Today’s decision from the First Circuit overruling a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was an unfortunate exercise of judicial tampering with the rules by which constitutional cases are decided. The Court began by recognizing that this case would fail under the usual tests that courts apply to these cases, and then proceeded to invent a new test by which the federal DOMA failed. Unfortunately, we’ve come to expect strange decisions like this from judges bent on redefining marriage for all of us.
"This is simply another round in the legal wranglings over the definition of marriage in this country, and marriage supporters can take heart that the battle goes forward. We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will reject the First Circuit’s adventure in legal gymnastics and uphold the interest of citizens and taxpayers in the vast majority of the United States who neither support the redefinition of marriage nor look forward to subsidizing same-sex unions with taxpayer dollars." - Focus On The Family spokesbigot Bruce Hausknecht.
Doing Good Without God
UC Berkeley has published a series of "generosity" experiments intended to test the "pro-social behaviors" of both atheists and the religious. Unsurprisingly (to the readers of this blog, at least), atheists scored highly in the experiments.
“The main take-away from the research is that there may be very different reasons why more and less religious people behave generously, when they do,” said Robb Willer, an assistant professor of sociology at Berkeley and a co-author of the studies. “Across three studies, we found compassion played a much bigger role in the way that less religious people treated others. Religious people, in contrast, tended to behave as generously as they would regardless of how compassionately they felt.” At the same time, Willer said, the view of nonreligious people as cold and amoral needs adjustment. “We find that nonreligious people do feel compassion for others, and that those feelings are strongly related to whether they choose to help others or not.”An evangelical professor interviewed for the above-linked article noted that religious people don't need to feel compassion to perform good deeds, they do it because they believe God expects them to.
Gay Couple Shown In U.S. Tourism Ad
They're only on screen for less than a second, but predictably Tony Perkins is furious that a gay couple is shown in a new international ad promoting U.S. tourism. Via Right Wing Watch:
In 236 years, America's never had an international tourism ad. So when Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act, people thought it'd be a great chance to highlight American attractions. What they didn't know is that it would highlight same-sex attractions. That's right. The commercial invites people to America-not to see the Grand Canyon, but to celebrate homosexuality. In one scene, a gay man is sleeping on his partner's shoulder in a trolley. The actors said they were specifically recruited to add a "homosexual presence" to the commercial. According to Brand USA, the ads were supposed to "open up some minds as to what America really is"-which, based on this commercial, is a country of radical values and backwards priorities. I suppose this is part of the President's push to "rebrand" America. It's just too bad he used a travel ad to feature so much cultural baggage.
KANSAS: Pastor Defends Call For Government To Execute All Gays
INDIANA: Sheriff Denies Claim That "Ain't No Homos" Church Got Death Threats
It turns out that Pastor "Ain't No Homos In Heave" Sangl lied to the media when he claimed that his church has gotten death threats. Shocking! The best part is that the truth comes via Fox News:
“To my knowledge, there are no death threats at this time,” Decatur County Sheriff Gregory Allen told FoxNews.com. He was responding to a report on TMZ.com that Jeff Sangl, pastor of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Ind., had received death threats after the video hit the Internet Wednesday. Allen told FoxNews.com that Sangl, who has left town and could not be reached for comment, contacted the department and asked him to keep an eye on the church's property following the surfacing of the video.(Tipped by JMG reader Mike)
BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Overturns Key Provision Of DOMA
Big news! The First Court of Appeals ruled in Boston today that it is unconstitutional to deny federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The ruling applies to Section Three of the Defense Of Marriage Act.
The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns. The court didn't rule on the law's other provision, which said states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in other states.Metro Weekly provides a portion of the ruling:
[M]any Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley
Today’s landmark ruling makes clear once again that DOMA is a discriminatory law for which there is no justification. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to create a system of first- and second-class marriages, and it does harm to families in Massachusetts every day. All Massachusetts couples should be afforded the same rights and protections under the law, and we hope that this decision will be the final step toward ensuring that equality for all.Lambda Legal
We are thrilled that another court- this time, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit - has ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny respect to the marriages of lesbian and gay couples. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act is being challenged in multiple cases and it won't be long before that bad law is gone for good. We congratulate our colleagues at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the State of Massachusetts for achieving this wonderful victory.Freedom To Marry
Today’s unanimous decision issued by the First Circuit Court of Appeals is a powerful affirmation that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is an unconstitutional and unjust law whose days are numbered. This ruling will return the federal government to its historic role of respecting marriages performed in the states, without carving out a ‘gay exception’ that denies thousands of protections. As more loving same-sex couples commit their lives to one another in marriage, the harms of this unjust law become more clear – from service members, risking their lives to protect ours, being denied the ability to protect their own families through military medical insurance or survivor benefits to senior citizens having to move out of their homes after their partners of many decades pass on because they cannot access Social Security protections afforded any other legally married couple.Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
At SLDN, we applaud the court for affirming that legal marriages in the states - and all the rights and protections that come with those marriages - should be recognized and respected by our federal government. Though a narrow decision, this important victory nonetheless paves the way further for litigation like McLaughlin v. U.S., SLDN's case on behalf of married gay and lesbian service members and veterans who are denied equal recognition, support and benefits for their families by this discriminatory law. We congratulate the GLAD attorneys and plaintiffs in this case and look forward with them to the day when every American - especially those putting their lives on the line to protect our nation - has the freedom to marry the person they love, knowing that their commitment will be honored by their government.Human Rights Campaign
This ruling is a historic victory for loving gay and lesbian couples and their children. For the first time, a federal appeals court has recognized that our constitution will not tolerate a law that forces the federal government to deny lawfully-married same-sex couples equal treatment. The writing is clearly on the wall for the demise of this unjust and indefensible law that hurts real families.We applaud GLAD, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the courageous plaintiffs for their incredible efforts on behalf of gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts and across the nation.
No More Needles?
I'm one of those rare folks who are more fascinated than repelled when a nurse's needle plunges into my arm. But I have some sturdy butch friends who get the vapors at the prospect of a shot. This is for them, surely. And chalk up another prediction for Gene Roddenberry.
Concentration Camps, Government Sanctioned Executions, Punching Gay Children, Brainwashing Hatred
TRAILER: The Price Of Freedom
BRITAIN: Bingham Cup 2012 Begins
Bloomberg Wants Your Big Gulp
As part of his latest anti-obesity campaign, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of sugared drinks in quantities larger than 16 ounces. The ban is expected to be rubber-stamped by Bloomberg's appointed heads of the Health Department.
The city’s proposed ban on sugary drinks would apply to service in nearly all restaurants, movie theaters and street food carts and it is part of a Health Department aim to reduce obesity. The ban, which if approved would be the first of its kind in the nation, would take affect in March 2013. Diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based beverages like milkshakes and alcohol would be exempt from the ban and it would not affect sales in supermarkets or bodegas. However, corner stores and all other establishments that receive a letter grade on food service from the Health Department would have to follow the ban. The Health Department is not seeking City Council approval to move forward with this plan, but the city's Board of Health would have to sign off on it, something that is considered a foregone conclusion.Since taking office Bloomberg has also banned smoking in virtually all of New York City and he has forced restaurants to place calorie counts next to all menu items.
Christine Quinn To Pen Memoir
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will publish her memoir early next year when she (presumably) will be in full mayoral campaign mode. Bloomberg did the same thing just before he was elected.
But while Mr. Bloomberg’s book was largely for a business audience, Ms. Quinn’s is intended to be more personal, describing, among other things, her upbringing in a middle-class Irish Catholic family on Long Island, and the effects of her mother’s death when she was 16. Ms. Quinn worked as a housing activist before getting her start in politics, running the City Council campaign of Tom Duane, who is now a state senator. In 1999, after Mr. Duane was elected to the Senate, Ms. Quinn ran to succeed him on the Council and won. She was elected speaker in 2006, becoming the first openly gay official to hold the position. “Where we come from says a lot about who we are — and where we can go,” Ms. Quinn said in a statement released by her publisher. “I’m excited about the opportunity to tell my story and, in the process, hopefully help young people who are going through similar experiences.”
At The Creation Museum...
Kentucky's Creation Museum has launched a exhibit which mocks "Lucy," the famed skeleton believed by researchers to be an ancestor of modern man. Via the Christian Post:
Dr. David Menton, staff scientist for the Creation Museum, told CP that the holographic exhibit shows how "Lucy" should not be considered a "missing link" for human evolution. "As this exhibit conclusively shows, the Lucy fossils belong to a knuckle-walking, ape-like creature. We can see that Lucy's V-shaped mandible was very ape-like, nothing like that of a human," said Menton. "Our exhibit also demonstrates how significant artistic license can be employed in interpreting what Lucy resembled. There simply isn't enough information found in the fossil bones for anyone to determine what Lucy looked like." In addition to the holographic special effects, the "Lucy" exhibit will include several molded casts of the head of Lucy, save with each head having different hair, skin, and eye color features. This was done by the Creation Museum to illustrate how artistic license can create varying results.Other Creation Museum exhibits show humans using saddles to ride dinosaurs.
Tired Old Queen At The Movies #102
WA Poll Shows Strong Marriage Support
A just-published poll out of Washington state shows a wide lead for the good guys, should marriage be forced onto the November ballot.
A new, independent, statewide poll finds that an overwhelming majority of voters approve of the Washington’s law extending civil marriage to same-sex couples. Washington voters approve of the law by a 54-33% margin. In addition to extraordinary support by Democrats (87%), the poll also found significant support among Independents, nearly mirroring the full poll, at 52-36%. Next week, Washington United for Marriage expects opponents to submit more than enough signatures to put the existing law allowing committed same-sex couples to marry in Washington up for referendum in November. The poll was taken May 22-24 of 500 voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
BOMBSHELL: Cardinal Timothy Dolan Accused Of Paying Off Pedophile Priests
The New York Times last night dropped a bombshell on Cardinal Timothy Dolan, reporting that Dolan paid pedophile priests to go away, rather than turning them in to authorities.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.” But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll. A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.A victims advocacy group reacted to the revelation: "In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?"
Open Thread Thursday
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
"Ain't No Homos" Church Update
After the grotesque clip posted here last night went globally viral, the "Ain't No Homos" church in Indiana posted the below message to their website.
The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives. We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.TMZ reports that the church is claiming to have received death threats.
Multiple members of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana tell TMZ the church office has been getting harassing calls and the pastor has received death threats at his home. They also say a prayer meeting scheduled for this evening at church had to be moved to a secret location. We're told they are looking into increasing security, but for now the congregation is handling it ... taking turns watching over the church.
One member says Pastor Jeff Sangl is extremely worried about his safety -- and this morning he and his wife left for vacation without telling anyone where they were going. Despite the threats, all the members we spoke to have no regrets about the song getting posted online -- in fact one said, "The people who are upset just don't read the word of God. If we don't teach the children the truth early they will never learn." As for the thunderous applause after the hate-filled song -- we're told, "Of course we applauded a child who is singing a song about God."
Two Minutes Of Minnesota Hate, Vol. 22
CALIFORNIA: State Senate Bans "Ex-Gay" Therapy For Children Under 18
The California Senate has voted to ban "ex-gay" therapy for children under the age of 18. The bill has been ferociously opposed by the usual hate groups. Equality California sends this press release:
If approved by the Assembly and signed by the Governor, Senate Bill 1172, authored by Senator Ted Lieu and co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Mental Health America of Northern California, Gaylesta, and Lambda Legal, would make California the first state in the nation to ban licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts of any kind for a minor patient, regardless of a parent's willingness or desire to authorize participation in such programs. "Being lesbian or gay or bisexual is not a disease or mental disorder for the same reason that being a heterosexual is not a disease or a mental disorder," Senator Lieu said. "The medical community is unanimous in stating that homosexuality is not a medical condition."Earlier today "ex-gay" crackpots NARTH sent out an urgent alert demanding that its followers call California's senators to demand they block the bill. Because the proper way NARTH likes to handle gay youth is to hire them as prostitutes for "daily erotic massage to release."
This Is A Car Ad
JC Penney Launches Father's Day Ad Featuring Gay Dads And Their Kids
The text on the upper right reads: "First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver--all rolled into one. Or two." The text at the bottom right reads: "Real-life dads, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children Claire and Mason." Fantastic. And I'm totally going to JC Penney this weekend. I don't know what I need, but I'll figure that out when I get there. (Tipped by JMG reader Jim)
RELATED: I'm sure you can already write the coming screech from the One Million Shrews. Snork!
Follow this blog on Twitter.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls Delivers 275,000 Petitions To Reinstate Lesbian Den Mother
Outspoken advocate, author and Eagle Scout, Zach Wahls, today delivered more than 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts of America at its National Annual Meeting in Florida, calling on the group to end its long history of anti-gay discrimination and reinstate Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forcibly removed as den leader of her son’s Boy Scouts troop because she’s gay. After delivering the signatures, Wahls met briefly with Deron Smith, Public Relation Director with the Boy Scouts of America’s national office.
ONTARIO: Provincial Government Orders All Schools To Allow Gay-Straight Clubs
Over the horrified screams of Catholic groups, the Ontario government is ordering all schools to allow gay-straight alliance clubs.
Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten said there would be no compromises. “Schools need to be safe places for kids to be themselves — and for some kids, that means being able to name a club a gay-straight alliance,” Ms. Broten said. “I don’t think there’s anything radical about allowing students to name a club.” Church sources said they were blindsided and disappointed by the announcement. Cardinal Thomas Collins, the head of the Archdiocese of Toronto, is expected to make a statement on Monday. The change in the provincial Liberals’ new anti-bullying bill — the Accepting Schools Act — is part of a government initiative to create a “safe and accepting climate” in schools, including Catholic schools, Ms. Broten said.Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has issued a public letter denouncing the plan.
GSAs are the only particular method or strategy mentioned by name in Bill 13. That is interesting. Now, with the recent change in policy, if any student insists on this particular method, then the trustees and principals who are responsible for the religious foundations of the school are compelled to agree. As pastor of a large diocese, on the road constantly visiting the people, I have again and again heard concern from parents and educators about the proposed imposition of the GSA methodology on Catholic schools. That same concern has been expressed to me by people of other faiths, since parents often choose to send a child to a Catholic High School precisely because they expect a particular approach to life which is largely in harmony with their family and faith convictions.
Billboard Of The Day
GOProud Congratulates Romney
TEXAS: ExxonMobil Shareholders Vote Down LGBT Employee Protections
Despite facing years of protests including one outside of today's meeting, the shareholders of ExxonMobil have once again refused to grant employment protections to LGBT workers. The Dallas Voice reports:
Meeting at the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District, the ExxonMobil shareholders voted 80 percent to 20 percent Wednesday morning against a resolution asking the corporation to amend “its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.” The 80-20 margin of defeat was among the largest for the proposal, which has been introduced each year since Mobil and Exxon merged in 1999. The percentage of shareholders voting for the policy had increased steadily over the years to about 40 percent, before dropping off significantly after gender identity was added in 2008.Before the two companies merged, Mobil had been one of the first major corporations to provide domestic partner benefits and workplace protections for gay employees. Those benefits were rescinded when Exxon came on board.
Read the full Dallas Voice report.
CHRISTIAN LOVE: Kansas Pastor Calls On Government To Execute Homosexuals
"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. They should be put to death. 'Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no? I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should. You say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you, you’re horrible. You’re a backwards neanderthal of a person.’ Is that what you’re calling scripture? Is God a neanderthal, backwards in his morality?
"Is it His word or not? If it’s His word, he commanded it. It’s His idea, not mine. And I’m not ashamed of it. He said put them to death. Shall the church drag them in? No, I’m not saying that. The church has not been given the power of the sort; the government has. But the government ought to [kill them]. You got a better idea? A better idea than God?" - Pastor Curtis Knapp, of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas.
NOTE: My apologies to the JMG reader who first alerted about Knapp this weekend. I tried listening to the hour-long sermon but grew bored and gave up before I got to the "execute homosexuals" part. Plus my house guest started screaming for me to turn it off.
Wayne Besen Interviews Former "Ex-Gay" Researcher Dr. Robert Spitzer
Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen sends us his interview with Dr. Robert Spitzer, who earlier this month renounced his own study claiming that people can change their sexual attractions. Spitzer's now worthless study continues to be cited by hate groups and the enemies of civil equality.
HomoQuotable - Dan Savage
"The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle is in Greensburg, Indiana. That's the town where Billy Lucas was bullied to death for being perceived to be gay by his classmates. I wonder if they stood up and cheered at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle when Lucas died—hey, another homo in hell. I wonder if any of Lucas's tormenters attend services at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle. And remember: I'm an anti-Christian bully for pointing out the connection between what straight kids are taught about 'homos' in the shithole mega-churches they're dragged to by their parents and what they turn around and do to 'homos' they encounter in classrooms. And what if that precocious little four-year-old singer is gay? Praise the Lord and pass the barf bags." - Dan Savage, whose It Gets Better Project was launched in response to Billy's suicide.
Crackpot Of The Day - Jerome Corsi
"If Obama wins, we do not have a First Amendment, we won't have a Fourth Amendment, we won't have a Bill of Rights, people like you and me we'll be in thought education camps - if they allow us to live, our families will be destroyed, private property will be confiscated. People think this is radical. All the plans are laid out and signed in executive orders." - World Net Daily lead birther Jerome Corsi, who is in Hawaii with Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio, where their "cold case posse" is seeking evidence of the president's birth.
Headline Of The Day
Politicker reports that the Ron Paul campaign is complaining that the media only focuses on his fringe supporters. And they don't even do that about gay people anymore.
“Shirtless hunks in leather tutus and motorcycling ‘Dykes on Bikes’ are no longer the point of the gay-rights spear,” Mr. Westover wrote. “It’s the gay lawyer/gay accountant, lesbian legislator/lesbian physician–same-sex couples with kids and fundamental concerns about faith, family and freedom–who are now the face of the movement. Focusing commentary on the remnants of the gay-rights fringe is something the media would never do.”(Tipped by JMG reader Hunter)
Romney Issues Birth Certificate
Satan Loves Homosexuality
"Let me just say that first of all that the Devil takes pleasure in anything that causes destruction in human society and the homosexual lifestyle does cause destruction. It’s seen as one of the evidences in the decline of every empire we have seen; studies have shown it became rampant in the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire." - Southern Baptist Convention head Richard Land, while interviewing NOM's Jennifer Morse. (Via Right Wing Watch)
JMG Reader Locates "Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven" Church
Thanks to the web sleuthing of a JMG reader, last night we learned Indiana's Apostolic Truth Tabernacle is where that four year-old child was filmed singing Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven. Shortly after I posted that repulsive clip, I was contacted by several media outlets, including CNN, who now know its source. Contact details for Pastor Jeff Sangl are at the first link and I suspect he is about to have a very interesting week.
Romney's New iPhone App
FLORIDA: Governor Rick Scott Continues Plan To Purge Eligible Voters From Rolls
Despite the outraged cries of watchdog groups, Florida Gov. Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott is doubling-down on his campaign to purge citizens from the list of eligible voters.
"Providing a list of names of questionable validity — created with absolutely no oversight — to county supervisors and asking that they purge their rolls will create chaotic results and further undermine Floridians' confidence in the integrity of our elections," stated the letter also signed by Florida Democratic Rep.'s Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, Corrine Brown and Kathy Castor. They asked Scott to "immediately suspend the purge of voter registration lists" in order to "ensure not one Floridian finds his or her legitimate voting rights callously stripped away." Chris Cate, a spokesman for the state Division of Elections, defended the state's actions. "It's very important we make sure ineligible voters can't cast a ballot," he said in an email to the Herald on Tuesday. He said the state continues to identify ineligible voters, saying the state Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has agreed to update information using a federal database that the elections division couldn't access directly.Not surprisingly, virtually all of those accused of being ineligible are Democrats.
Drarun Ravi Apologizes
"I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on Sept. 19, 2010, and Sept. 21, 2010. My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions. I apologize to everyone affected by those choices." - Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, apologizing for the first time. Ravi has elected to begin his 30-day jail sentence even though the prosecutor's appeal of his meager punishment is going forward.
ILLINOIS: Lambda Legal & ACLU To File Suit Demanding Equal Marriage
Lambda Legal and the ACLU will today file a joint lawsuit demanding full marriage equality for the citizens of Illinois.
A total of 25 couples from across the state are plaintiffs in the two lawsuits. Each couple tried to get a marriage license from the Cook County clerk's office in May and was denied based on the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which prohibits marriage "between 2 individuals of the same sex" and states: "A marriage between 2 individuals of the same sex is contrary to the public policy of this State." Cook County Clerk David Orr's office issued a statement from the clerk, who is out of the country: "The time is long past due for the state of Illinois to allow county clerks to issue marriage license to couples who want to make their commitment. I hope these lawsuits are the last hurdle to achieving equal marriage rights for all."Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has publicly expressed support for marriage equality and it is hoped that he will direct the state not to fight the lawsuit
Perkins Re-Spins DADT Message
"Yesterday I was interviewed by a Voice of America reporter who obviously had a perspective on this that was different than mine and said ‘we heard all of this talk about this was going to be horrible for the military and the military was going to be decimated by this, and here we are 12 months later and we haven’t seen the military fall apart yet,’ and I said, excuse me, but adopting a policy and changing a policy of this nature, you don’t see the total effect of a 12 month period. Now, let’s talk in about, 10 years." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, backing off his previous claim that up to one-third of soldiers would immediately flee the military upon the repeal of DADT.
More Video From Worley Protest
Washington Haters: Petitions Are In
This just in from Preserve Marriage Washington:
Thank you for all the hard work you have done on behalf of marriage in Washington State and Referendum - 74. You have collected 146,059 signatures on behalf of Preserve Marriage Washington and the GREEN R - 74 petition as of this evening. Thank you. We are in the final stages and it looks like your efforts will help us blow away our minimum goal of 150,000 signatures by May 31st. As you recall we set this date so we would have time to process (rack 'em, pack 'em, and stack 'em) the petitions prior to submission to the Secretary of State on June 6th. However, we, and hopefully you, will continue to collect signatures right up until next week. While most of our staff will box up and transport the signatures to Olympia Tuesday June 5th, So don't stop at 150,000. That's the bare minimum. As with every campaign thousands of signatures will be unreadable or invalid for other reasons. And we know our opponents will work tirelessly to disqualify as many as possible. So keep piling on - 175,00...185,000...can you do 200,000 by June 6th? We think you can
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Brown Vs Savage: Duel Accepted
Just posted to NOM's blog:
"Dan -- I accept and will look forward to debating you at your dining room table. As I said in my challenge to you, anytime, any place. While I appreciate the invitation that you have extended to my wife, she will not be able to attend. She is a full-time mom with seven beautiful children and an eighth on the way. I have no objection to Mark Oppenheimer from the New York Times covering the discussion, nor to you hiring your own video crew to film the event, provided that I am able to hire my own video crew to be sure there is no creative editing of the discussion. Not that a New York Times reporter would slant the news, mind you! :) This will be fun!" - Brian Brown.
Trump Goes Full Birther Asshat
Four Year-Old Church Singer Performs Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven
Christian Love: It's apparently an actual song and not only did they teach it to a four year-old, they proudly brought him up to the pulpit to perform it, generating whoops and a standing ovation from the congregation. Praise! Glory! Hit the link for the video if you can bear it.
UPDATE: A mirrored copy was posted to the comments.
Obama Called Jesus A Liar
RELIGION CENSUS: Fewer Than 50% Of Americans Are "Adherents" Of Christianity
According to a just-published analysis of the 2010 Religion Census, fewer than 50% of Americans are "adherents" of Christianity. The percentage who would self-identify as "Christian," regardless of church membership and attendance patterns, is presumably higher.
The researchers define adherents to be those with an affiliation to a congregation including children, members and attendees who are not members, and believe that the adherent measure is the most complete and comparable across religious groups. Congregations are defined as groups of people who meet regularly at a pre-announced time and location. More than 150.6 million Christian adherents and 344,894 congregations were reported across the country. It is noteworthy that less than 50 percent of of the nation's population identified as Christian adherents. With close to 15.8 million Christian adherents, California reported the highest number of Christian adherents, whereas Vermont reported the lowest -- only 200,000 identified as Christian adherents. Around 10 percent of the nation's Christians reside in California. With 27,248 congregations, Texas reported the highest number of congregations in a state, whereas District of Columbia reported the lowest with 566.The above-linked reports offer no insight as the number of Americans who consider themselves atheist, agnostic, anti-theist, or merely "unchurched."
Maryland's Activists Respond...
Marylanders For Marriage Equality has responded to the news that the anti-gay petition drive to force marriage onto the November ballot is all but assured its success. From their campaign director Josh Levin:
Given the low bar for petitioning a law to the ballot in Maryland, we’ve always expected same-sex marriage opponents to meet that threshold and then some—up to their stated target of 150,000. But don't confuse meeting the legal requirement with intensity or measure of support. It's clear those opposed to marriage equality are losing ground. Our PPP poll last week showed 57% would vote to uphold the law - with 37% voting against - if the election were held today. A surge in support among African American voters (to 55%) in the wake of endorsements by President Obama and the NAACP are key factors in that change.Here's their latest clip.
As we open two new campaign offices and build out a robust field operation to offer information, register, and mobilize voters this summer and fall, we will be looking to maintain this record-level of support for marriage equality in Maryland. Beyond polling and politics,let’s keep in mind what the likely referendum is all about: building stronger families and protecting every child under Maryland law. Only marriage provides such legal protections to children. Every family deserves dignity, just as every church deserves its freedom and liberty to marry who they want. Religious liberty is cherished and protected.