Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paul Cameron's Latest Work

So I happen to be on the mailing list for discredited researcher Paul Cameron, who operates an organization called the Family Research Institute. I just happen to be on his mailing list. Thought I'd share with you a request for donations that he mailed me this month.
This Month's Special: Report on Child Molestation by the HIV-Infected

What does getting a fatal infection 'do' to one? No, not the physical part--we know that HIV eventually kills. How about psychologically? We know homosexuals are more apt to molest kids, but are male homosexuals who get infected with HIV even more apt to go out and molest kids? (emphasis Cameron's)

HIV-infected gays don't just cost society $40,000/year for their medicines and treatment. They are also more apt to prey on the young. And being sexually molested often ruins a boy's life.

Examine the facts for yourself. Donate $25 or more and receive a copy of this fascinating new report from FRI. Get yours today!

My thoughts:

  1. Of course this is bogus, as is all of Cameron's "research" on homosexuality. What is most troubling to me is that there probably are people who pay him money, get his junk science, and believe it.
  2. Is this really a "new" report from Cameron? After all, the last time I received a letter from him (two months ago), he was selling a very similarly titled "latest publication", Do Those Who Engage In Homosexual Sex More Frequently Rape and Murder the Underage? The title sounds rather similar (and equally disgusting) to me.
hat tip: Paul Cameron himself

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Documentary

Sorry for the silence, guys. I was out-of-town for a job interview last weekend, and now stuff has hit the fan at work. It's gonna be a busy, stressful next few months!

In the meantime, check out this trailer for the new documentary Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement. It will debut at the Birmingham SHOUT film festival.

By the way, I've recently learned that the Canadian documentary in which I will appear is to be released in just a few weeks: April 12th! I still haven't seen the film, and the filmmaker assures me it isn't ready yet. I'm nervous; not sure what it will be like. Hopefully there will be some youtube that I can post.

hat tip: Ex-Gay Watch

Friday, March 21, 2008

Conservapedia Update

Just wanted to provide a quick update on the most frequently visited pages on Conservapedia. Here they are:
  1. Main Page‎ [2,416,548]
  2. Homosexuality‎ [2,366,036]
  3. Teen Homosexuality‎ [415,630]
  4. Wikipedia‎ [338,782]
  5. Arguments Against Homosexuality‎ [331,205]
  6. Homosexual Agenda‎ [328,904]
  7. Ex-homosexuals‎ [316,190]
  8. Homosexuality and Choice‎ [311,122]
  9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer‎ [298,537]
  10. Homosexuality and Health‎ [292,075]
Interesting. It seems that Conservapedia users' fixation on gay people (and their supposed nasties) unfortunately continues.

Hmm. I just had a thought. It seems clear that conservatives use Conservapedia largely for information on gay people. Imagine the effect if Conservapedia's information on gay people was even-handed, unbiased, and presented an accurate portrayal.

The Seven Aphorisms vs. The Ten Commandments

This is interesting. Adherents of a religion/philosophy called Summom (the photo on the left is of their pyramid in Salt Lake City in the photo) attempted to have monuments of its governing principles--called the Seven Aphorisms--placed alongside monuments of the Ten Commandments in two cities in Utah. The cities refused, so the Summom filed suit and eventually won their case in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pat Robertson's law group the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ--sound like any other legal groups you've heard of?) has picked up the cities' case and will argue it before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 28th. This move by the ACLJ may not seem surprising since the ACLJ is a religious group, however, as blogger Ed Brayton points out
What I find fascinating about it is how it conflicts with the ACLJ's long history of arguing equal access cases. Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ argued the Merghens case and the Lamb's Chapel case, both important victories for the concept of equal access to public facilities. Yet here they are arguing against that idea.
I'm quite interested to see how the Supreme Court rules. It seems a no-brainer to me, though.

In case you're curious, here are the Seven Aphorisms:
  1. Summum is mind, thought; the universe is a mental creation (the principle of psychokinesis)
  2. As above, so below; as below, so above (the principle of correspondence)
  3. Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates (the principle of vibration)
  4. Everything is dual; everything has an opposing point; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes bond; all truths are but partial truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled (the principle of opposition)
  5. Everything flows out and in; everything has its season; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing expresses itself in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates (the principle of rhythm)
  6. Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to Law; chance is just a name for Law not recognized; there are many fields of causation, but nothing escapes the Law of Destiny (the principle of cause and effect)
  7. Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all levels (the principle of gender)
Summum teaches that these were the original commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai--the set of commandments that Moses destroyed after coming down the mountain and being digusted with the Israelites. Moses went back up the mountain and came down with "lower laws that were more readily and easily understood by the Israelites", i.e. the Ten Commandments.

hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Dobson Fears for the Future of the Religious Right

A week ago, James Dobson and other leaders of the Religious Right movement gathered in D.C. for the National Religious Broadcasters convention. Many prominent conservatives, including President Bush, were present for the occasion. When it came Dobson's turn to speak, he expressed concern that the old guard of the Religious Right movement (people like Jerry Falwell, James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and himself--a group he referred to as "patriarchs") are aging and dying off. Dobson conveyed a sense of doubt that the up-and-coming generation of Evangelical leaders might not carry on the torch.

From the Associated Press:
With a generation of Christian right leaders dead or aging, the founder of the conservative evangelical group Focus on the Family says he's concerned about the movement's future leadership.

"It causes me to wonder who will be left to carry the banner when this generation of leaders is gone," Dobson told an audience of nearly 1,400 at the National Religious Broadcasters conference. "The question is, will the younger generation heed the call? Who will defend the unborn child in the years to come? Who will plead for the Terri Schiavos of the world? Who's going to fight for the institution of marriage, which is on the ropes today."

Dobson's comments come as national groups like the Christian Coalition are struggling, and the organizational muscle of the movement now rests with local pastors, not national figures.

Christian activists and other observers of the movement say that the next generation of leaders isn't as interested in polarizing debates and wants to broaden the evangelical agenda beyond divisive issues like abortion and gay marriage.

"Who in the next generation will be willing to take the heat, when it's so much safer and more comfortable to avoid controversial subjects," Dobson said. "What will be the impact on the conservative Christian church when the patriarchs have passed?"

Hat tip: Right Wing Watch, Ex-Gay Watch

Sally Kern for Governor

Remember Sally Kern, the Oklahoma state representative whose bizarre anti-gay speech a few weeks ago has created a firestorm in the blogosphere recently?

This just in from Oklahoma City conservative talk show host Mark Shannon:
I don't know Sally Kern, not sure I've ever meant [sic] her. I didn't hear the WHOLE speech she made, because the homosexual attack fanatics didn't want you or me to hear the whole speech.

That said, if I were a "political adviser" to her, I'd be exploring a run for Governor in 2010.

She's OBVIOUSLY the most popular woman in Oklahoma government right now for speaking the truth about the homosexual agenda in this country. An overwhelming number of Oklahomans SUPPORT her words and are glad she said them, and she's shown BACKBONE, something most of the "whimps" [sic] in the GOP have refused to do on this or any other topic.

KERN FOR GOVERNOR? She should at least be exploring the possibility. She has more "balls" than most of the men who object to her.

Incidentally, contrary to what Shannon wrote above, you can find links to the entire transcript of Kern's speech over at the "homosexual attack fanatics" blog Box Turtle Bulletin.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tony Perkins Brings the Crazy

Again and again I am amazed by the startling misunderstandings between the Left and the Right (and the Center?). In this clip from ABC News, Tony Perkins of the Evangelical lobby organization Family Research Council shares his unbelievable explanation of the evil "agenda" behind Global Warming.
Perkins: A major component of Global Warming is to reduce population because people are seen as part of the problem. And, of course, population control includes abortion. It also includes same-sex relations because they do not cause offspring.

What bothers me the most is the realization that Perkins must not be the only person who believes this stuff. Wow. There's just so much misunderstanding, misinformation, and confusion. Will it take the passing of the "old guard" of leaders on the Right and the Left before helpful dialog can take place between the two sides?

hat tip: Right Wing Watch

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This Week's Trophy for Most Homophobic Comments

Sally Kern--wife of a Baptist minister, mother of two, and Oklahoma state representative--was recently recorded saying the following statements during a meeting in her legislative district.
The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation, okay? It’s just a fact. Not everybody’s lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are... I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat. (emphasis mine)
That second sentence amazes me. In just a few hyperbolic words, Kern reveals not only her fear of gay people, but Muslims as well. As is often the case, fear like Kern's is rooted in significant misunderstanding. Kern makes her own confusion about gay folks clear in some of her follow-up comments. For instance:
It [homosexuality] has deadly consequences for those people involved in it. They have more suicides, they’re more discouraged, there’s more illness, their lifespans are shorter, you know, it’s not a lifestyle that is good for this nation. As a matter of fact, studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades.
Hmm. I think most of this is a total off, but there may be a few kernels of misunderstood, misinterpreted truth in there. I've read a ton of studies on gay folks (which I'd wager is exactly one ton more studies on the subject than Kern has read herself). I think I can say that her generalization about rates of depression and suicidal ideation being higher among the gay community folks is, in fact, backed up by the academic literature. Perversely, however, the cause of the higher-than-normal depression among gay people is... fearful, poorly informed folks like Kern. The anti-gay commentary given by Kern in her public statements is ironically one of the abundant sources of the ambient fear, misunderstanding, and persecution of gay folks in American society--an environment that gives rise to the disproportionate depression among gays that Kern points out.

But any "truth" in Kern's comments ends there. Her illness claim is flatly unsubstantiated by science. Her lifespan claim is hilarious (although my guess is she believes it to be true because it is a widely-held urban legend among social conservatives. This rumor that gays live shorter lives has circulated for decades among a staggering number of individuals and organizations on the far-right who have never questioned its source or legitimacy. The rumor source is, in fact, the laughable "research" of a single man: repeatedly discredited researcher Paul Cameron).

As for Kern's assertion that gay-affirming societies crumble after a few decades, it difficult to know where to begin. I've never actually heard of a single study on the topic. The only societies I can think of that come close to being gay-affirming are Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain, who recently recognized gay marriages as legally equal to heterosexual marriages. These legal decisions are relatively new (not even a decade old!) so it would be impossible for studies to exist claiming such societies meet their demise "a few decades" after implementing such laws.

Perhaps Kern is conflating endorsement of gay marriage with acceptance of pederasty, which was a feature of ancient Greek and Roman cultures (but a different subject entirely than marriage between consenting adults). However, even if Kern were referencing the Romans, her numbers are way off. It is my understanding that the Roman Empire existed for several hundred years after the state officially sanctioned pederasty.

Oh, but there's more misinformation to come. And I really have no idea what the following claims are based on:
Because what’s happening now, they’re going after, in schools, two year olds! Do you know what they’re trying to get into early childhood education? They want to give our young children into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them. I taught school for close to twenty years. And we’re not teaching facts and knowledge anymore folks. We’re teaching indoctrination, okay? And their going after our young children, as young as two years of age to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle. (again, emphasis mine)
What in the world? Unsubstantiated claims of government "indoctrination" aside, what public schools educate children at age two? This statement seems a bit beyond simple misunderstanding; this seems to be teetering on the edge of insanity.

Victory Fund released a recording of Kern saying these comments on YouTube last week. As you might imagine, Kern's words have evoked a firestorm of criticism, and Representative Kern's office has been deluged with email and phone calls. Some of these have been personal attacks--responses I consider understandable given the outrageous things Kern has claimed, responses I feel are ultimately unhelpful in this present "culture war."

The enemy here is not Sally Kern. The enemy is misinformation. Kern is bigoted because she's afraid; she's afraid because she believes false information. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, and I'm unsure whether Kern will ever be willing to invest the time it would require to systematically examine each of her outlandish claims, find the underlying misunderstanding, and replace the falsehoods with accurate information.

While I certainly hope Kern would seek to educate herself, I realize the chances of this happening are very slim. I, too, once believed outlandishly incorrect things about gay people--and I am one! I dedicated almost a full year of my free time to studying every scrap of information I could find on gay people, the quality of the lives they lead, and their mental and physical health. I was fortunate at the time to be a graduate student at a large University and have unrestricted access to almost a century of books and scientific journal articles on the topic. I learned time and time again that my anti-gay assumptions were wrong, that statistics I had thought indicated gay folks were miserable monsters of iniquity had been fabricated, manipulated, or taken out of context. I discovered that the truth about gay folks is radically different than what I was taught by my friends and churchmates growing up in rural Texas.

Because of this, I have appreciated the comments sent to Kern by folks who recognize the problem is misunderstanding. Here's a great clip from Ellen DeGeneres' show this week, in which she call's Kern's state office to try to clear up some of the Representative's confusion.

Apparently the representative's voice mailbox isn't the only thing that is full. On Tuesday, the Tulsa World reported that the representative had received more than 5,000 emails since Victory Fund released the recording of her comments.

But wait! The Kern drama isn't over yet. There have been a few more interesting developments in the story this week:

In a turn of events that reflects abysmally on the Oklahoma Republican party, the Tulsa World has also reported that Kern received a standing ovation from a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus on Monday, praising her for her outrageous anti-gay statements.

Moreover, the blogosphere has been rocked by comments left on the Tulsa World's website that have alleged one of Kern's own sons has a history of illicit homosexual encounters. Claims have been made that young Jesse Kern was disciplined on more than one occasion by his undergraduate school, Oklahoma Baptist University, for cruising campus restrooms in search of gay sex. Oklahoma's online court records indeed show that a Jesse Jacob Kern was formally accused of "attempted oral sodomy" (whatever that is) in March of 1989, although it should also be noted that the charges were subsequently dropped three months later. If Kern's son is in fact a gay man, I hope he's no longer trolling public restrooms. And I hope, for his sake and others, that his mother will reconsider her outrageous claims and learn the truth.

Hat tips: Victory Fund, Box Turtle Bulletin, Queerty, Tulsa World, Ellen DeGeneres, Right-Wing Watch

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CA Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage

Last week, the Supreme Court of California heard arguments in a case challenging the legal definition of marriage in that state. The case was brought by multiple gay and lesbian couples who have applied for and been denied California marriage licenses. Below, in the form of 11 streaming mp3s courtesy of Good As You, you can hear the arguments of the attorneys advocating expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, the arguments of attorneys striving to maintain the exclusively heterosexual definition of marriage, and the critical questions for each side posed by the justices.

I couldn't help but feel that I was hearing a pivotal piece of history when I listened to these recordings. For a guy from a rural, conservative part of a Southern state, the very fact that the highest court in our nation's most populous state is actually holding such a hearing blows my mind. Regardless of the decision that will be handed down from this court within the next 90 days, America is changing. And, just as I feel we have made enormous strides forward in the past 100 years (by abolishing Jim Crow, granting suffrage to women and African Americans, legalizing interracial marriage, etc.), I feel that America is on the verge of taking another positive step.

These recordings are fascinating for another reason: in them are found the arguments for and against gay marriage equality articulated in clear, precise terms. Moreover, the justices' apt questions rightly reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments on both sides (e.g. check out the arguments in favor of traditional marriage and how the attorneys struggle to explain why the state has a compelling interest in heterosexual relationships that is different from homosexual relationships--the justices immediately point out the flaws in the old "heterosexual relationships are superior because they can produce children" argument)

My sense from listening to the justices' questions is that the court is somewhat divided. There are many, many different facets to these arguments, including how the court should interpret the confusing, perhaps mixed messages coming from the state legislature (which has two passed bills expanding the definition of marriage to include gay couples), the electorate (which passed the infamous Proposition 22, whose interpretation is unclear), and the governor (who claims to personally favor expanding the definition of marriage, but continues to veto the legislatures measures to do so on the grounds that Prop 22 indicated the people are opposed to gay marriage). Complicated.

The court is required to issue its decision within the next 90 days.

Session Preliminaries and Arguments by Gay Marriage Advocates
  1. Therese Steward, the chief deputy city attorney for San Francisco.
  2. Shannon Minter, attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights
  3. Michael Maroko, attorney for the plaintiff couples
  4. Woukeen McCoy, attorney for the plaintiff couples

Arguments by Traditional Marriage Advocates

  1. Christopher Krueger, deputy attorney general for California
  2. attorney for Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California
  3. Glen Lavy, attorney for Alliance Defense Fund
  4. Mat Staver, attorney for Liberty Counsel

Rebuttal from Gay Marriage Advocates

The court hears rebuttal arguments from two of the attorneys advocating gay marriage, who had reserved some of their allotted argument time for the end.
  1. Therese Steward, the chief deputy city attorney for San Francisco.
  2. Shannon Minter, attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights

Hat tip: Good As You, NPR

Huckabee's Long Goodbye

Hee hee. I'm amusing myself with Daily Show videos while I babysit a simulation in the lab tonight. Hee hee. This is a dig at the ridiculously long, boring concession speech Mike Huckabee made last Tuesday night when he officially withdrew from the Republican presidential race.

The best stuff starts around 2:00.

Political Week In Review

Hilarious. Jon Stewart summarizes last week's developments in the race for President of the United States. Included: figuring out what to do with the delegates from Florida and Michigan, as well as President Bush's endorsement of John McCain.

Monday, March 10, 2008

All the World in a Song

Check out this rad piece of sheet music whose notes outline the continents. The musical map is created by Wild About Music.

Hat tip: Strange Maps

Respecting Ex-Gays; Respecting Gays

Dr. John Corvino is a Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University in Detroit. Some people know him more readily as "the Gay Moralist," famous for his traveling lecture "What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?" Over at the Independent Gay Forum, Corvino has written a fantastic piece expressing his views on ex-gay ministries.
People often ask me what I think about ex-gay ministries. I have no objection to them in principle, but serious problems with them in practice.
Corvino offers ex-gay folks respect on principle:
I have no objection to them in principle because I believe we should give others the same respect that we ourselves demand. That includes giving people wide latitude about living their lives as they see fit. If you really believe that you’re heterosexual deep down, and you want to take steps to help realize that identity, far be it from me to insist otherwise. I’ll let you be the expert on what you feel deep down, as long as you show me the same courtesy.
I heartily agree. However, Corvino goes on to offer criticism of the practices all too common in ex-gay ministries. Two of the criticisms Corvino articulates are spot-on with my convictions after undergoing five years of ex-gay treatment in two different ex-gay ministries.

The first is their tendency to promote myths about the so-called “homosexual lifestyle” by generalizing from some people’s unfortunate personal experiences. Ex-gay spokespersons will often recount, in lurid detail, a life of promiscuity, sexual abuse, drug addiction, loneliness, depression, and so on. “That is what I left behind,” they tearfully announce, and who can blame them? But that experience is not my experience, and it’s by no means typical of the gay experience. To suggest otherwise is to spread lies about the reality of gay and lesbian people’s lives. (The best antidote for this is for the rest of us to tell our own stories openly and proudly.)

The second problem is the ex-gay ministries’ abuse of science. Many of its practitioners are engaged in “therapy” even though they are neither trained nor licensed to do so; some of that “therapy” can cause serious and lasting psychological damage. Ex-gay ministries tend to lean on discredited etiological theories—domineering mothers, absent fathers, and that sort of thing. They also tend to give false hope to those who seek such therapy. By all respectable accounts, only a tiny fraction of those who seek change achieve any lasting success. Even then it’s unclear whether feelings, or merely behaviors, have been changed. While we shouldn’t reject individuals’ reports of change out of hand, nor should we pretend that their experience is typical or likely. (emphasis mine)

Well said, Dr. Corvino.

Now, be it known that not all ex-gay ministries are created equal. Two dear friends of mine work for Toronto-based New Directions, a ministry whose philosophy and practices are strikingly and wonderfully different than those of most ex-gay ministries in the U.S. Wendy Gritter, the executive director of New Directions, recently wrote a stunning guest post on Ex-Gay Watch in which she rebukes ex-gay ministries for a variety of errors, identifying several problem areas that match up with the criticisms of Corvino and many others. Gritter's post is far too long to copy-and-paste here, but I thought I'd reproduce a few paragraphs to give you a taste of what she had to say.

First, her introduction:

Thank you for the invitation to write this piece. To be honest, my knees are knocking a bit.

I want to begin by saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the pain that some of those who follow this site have experienced from leaders like me and ministries like the one I lead. I’m sorry that some of you connected with this site who identify as Christian have had your faith questioned and judged. I’m sorry there is a felt need for a site like XGW. I’m sorry that it feels like legitimate concerns have not been listened to. I am sorry for the arrogance that can come across from leaders like me.

I suppose I’m not what some would assume to be your typical ex-gay leader. I’m not gay, not ex-gay, not ex-ex-gay. Not male. Not Southern Baptist. Not Republican. Not even American. I’m a Gen X postmodern whose perspectives are, depending on who you talk to, too liberal or too conservative, unorthodox or too orthodox, heretical or vibrantly Christ-centered.

Interested? What a profoundly different opening statement than most of the stuff you read in the "culture wars." Next, a teaser for some of the content in her post. What follows are her three biggest criticisms of ex-gay ministry in general.
  1. We have been distracted by the politics around homosexuality. I do think there is a place for Christians to engage in the public arena. God calls his followers to be a blessing to all nations and to represent him by being the presence of shalom on the earth. Unfortunately, in many of the Christian political efforts regarding homosexuality there is little evidence of shalom. The result is that many who need to hear a gospel of good news perceive God’s people to be hypocritical and unloving (“you say you love us – but you’re fighting to prevent/take our rights”). This has perpetuated a sense of alienation that I believe, grieves the heart of God.

  2. We have been distracted by a focus on orientation change. The heart of Christian ministry was summed up by Jesus when he said, “Go, make disciples, teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you”. The point of a ministry like the one I lead is to support and encourage disciples of Jesus in their journey to live out their sexuality in a manner that they believe is God-honoring. If in that process they experience a deeper ability to love their opposite gender spouse (if they were already married) or a greater capacity to engage an authentic romantic, sexual, marital relationship with someone of the opposite gender, that is a gift that can be gratefully received. But such gifts can’t be predicted, they can’t be guaranteed, they don’t follow a set of instructions, or come after just the right combination of root identification and eradication. There is a sense of mystery that necessitates an attitude of humility, discussion of realistic expectations, and serenity. So at the end of the day, “change is possible” is not really the main point. Life in Christ is.

  3. We have been distracted by the question of causation. While there is clearly a place for research on this topic, and those involved in ministry should have the integrity to stay abreast of current research, by and large the conclusions (or lack of conclusion) on this matter are peripheral to the call of Christian ministry. Because there is currently such inconclusiveness on this question, conservative Christians would do well to humbly acknowledge that rather than being perceived as ill-informed, blinder-wearing, or agenda-promoting.
Wow, this woman is awesome! I encourage you to read all of her post on Ex-Gay Watch, as well as the comments that followed and her responses to them. Great stuff. Gritter is, without question, reducing the "noise" of the culture wars. I admire her work to find reconciliation and dialog between Evangelicals and gay folks.

Thank you for all your efforts, Wendy.

Hat tip: Ex-Gay Watch, Crosswalk

"Myth: Some Gays Really Love Each Other"

...or so claims Mike Haley of Focus on the Family. In an article titled "Clearing up the Confusion: Why Homosexuality is NOT a Part of God's Plan" that appeared recently in Breakaway, Focus's magazine targeted at adolescent boys, Haley sets out to deconstruct a set of "myths" about gay people. Most of these "myths" are what you would expect. But the last part of "Myth #3" really caught me off guard.
Myth #3: Homosexual relationships are no different than heterosexual ones. Homosexual advocates want their relationships to be treated the same as heterosexual ones, enjoying legal rights to marriage and adoption. And some gays really do love each other. (emphasis mine)
Really? Wow.

You can read all of Haley's piece in Breakaway for yourself. Or read Haley's bio: "From Prostitute to Pastor: the Mike Haley Story." Haley apparently has left a lifestyle of promiscuity and steroids, a behavior change that I applaud him for. Well done, Mike! But please don't conflate your addictions with your orientation, and please don't project your own experiences on other gay people.

Hat tip: Ex-Gay Watch, Queerty


ROFL This is hilarious.

Check out the website for Eunicure (that's "eun" as in "eunuch"), which advertises itself as
the only one-hundred percent effective treatment for curing homosexuality.
Hat tip: Box Turtle Bulletin

Gay = Mass Murder

...according to Stephen Green, director of the British organization Christian Voice. Green made the comment to pop music star Ian Watkins (front and center in the photo) during filming of a documentary about growing up gay in Wales.
During filming, he interviewed Stephen Green, director of campaign group Christian Voice, and was told his lifestyle was sinful, making him no better than American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

The comparison to Dahmer came when Watkins told Mr Green he was "so happy" with being gay.

Crazy. I am familiar with the line of reasoning used by some Christians that "all sins are equal before the Lord." Basically, the idea is that stealing a paperclip from the office is the same as robbing a bank, that having lustful thoughts is the same as cheating on your spouse is the same as raping someone.

My guess is that Green would back up his statement with something similar. He could have said that being gay (which Green clearly believes to be sinful) is the same as stealing a paperclip from the office. But why'd he have to go nuts and equate it with--not just murder--mass murder? It's just waaaaay over the top. Language like this won't win any hearts and souls. Language like this won't bring reconciliation or peaceful, calm dialog in the "culture wars."

Stephen Green: adding to the noise.

But wait! There's more:
Mr Green also told Watkins he could become straight, quoted from the Bible that being gay is "vile", and promised to pray for him.
Oh geez. Here we go again...

Hat tip: Google News

Harvey Milk Outdoor Shoot Today

Today an outdoor shot was held for the upcoming film on the life of Harvey Milk. A ton of folks in San Francisco turned out in 70's garb as extras for a scene in which Milk, portrayed by Sean Penn, gives a speech in front of City Hall.

If you've never heard of Harvey Milk, read a bit of the Wikipedia article on his life; he was basically awesome. According to Time magazine, Milk was "the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet".

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1976. In 1978, Milk and the mayor of San Francisco were murdered by a former member of the Board of Supervisors. The assasin was convicted of voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder, and sentenced to only seven years in prison for the dual assassination. The verdict precipitated the White Night Riots. Milk had anticipated that he might be killed in office; he prepared a message to be played in the event of his death by assassination. The message is played over the following video of participants in a vigil remembering Milk's life and work.

Rest in peace, Harvey.

I'm looking forward to this movie.

Hat tip: NPR, SFist

Monday, March 3, 2008

Absence Explained

Sorry for the long silence, everyone (all 3 of you who faithfully read the blog--you know who you are!). Two weeks ago I flew down to Memphis, TN to take part in a series of events called "Deconstructing the Ex-Gay Myth: A Weekend of Action and Art." I came back and have been swamped in work every since. I'd love to blog more right now, but it's unfortunately just not possible. I'm completely snowed in with work, and I'm spending another weekend at the office--blarg!

But I wanted to let you know about the weekend in Memphis, which was awesome. Check out the link above, which contains a photo album from the weekend and links to coverage in several media venues, including radio and newspaper. I also ended up on the five o'clock news in Memphis, but I don't think anyone has youtubed that clip.

More media will be coming out about the weekend, by the way. There was coverage by Rolling Stone and LOGO as well. I'm quite interested to see how those reporters cover the story.

At any rate, I long to have the chance to blog again. Sorry that it may be a little while yet!

And the Trophies for Most Homophobic Comments Go to...

First Place goes to Rev. Ken Hutcherson, former NFL linebacker and current pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland Washington.

Check out these quotes from a sermon by Rev. Hutcherson.
On a Sunday when Tarico was present, Hutcherson was preaching on gender roles. During his sermon, Hutcherson stated, "God hates soft men" and "God hates effeminate men." Hutcherson went on to say, "If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I'd rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end." (emphasis mine)

Second Place
goes to Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, pioneer of televangelism and preacher to this day in spite of being publicly exposed with prostitutes in 1986 and 1991.

Check out what Rev. Swaggart says he would do if a gay man ever looked at him "the wrong way" (around 0:50 in the following video). And don't miss his assurance at 1:55 that he's not antagonizing "the poor homosexual." Uh huh. Right.

Hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars