12.19.2010

American Family Association lose - America wins!

Some people are thinking that calling the American Family Association is a little over the top.  Recently, the people at the Southern Poverty Law Center made a lot of news when they included the American Family Association on its list of hate groups.  The AFA has been waging a battle to "maintain" traditional family values.  By that they mean those values held by some Christians and the far political right.

The AFA spokesperson was very outspoken in response to the coming of the end of DADT.  He has said some outrageous things in the past, but in this statement he has out done himself.  Read it here.  

Fischer is quoted in my post below this one.

In 2009 the AFA hired Bryan Fischer.  Fischer came from the Idaho Values Alliance.  On May 27, 2010, Fischer wrote in a blog post that said, “homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”  (see full article, Bryan Fischer-Focal Point: Homosexuality, Hitler and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’)

His inference is plain for all to see.  If homosexuals are permitted to be open in the military, they will take over and start killing the "normal" people.   Fischer is just plain hateful toward gays. His whole effort seems to be focused on gays.  Which is interesting given another post on the AFA website which says all this attention on gays is diverting good Christians from the real problems.  E/uploadedImages/Blog/elijah.jpglijah Friedeman, The Millennial Perspective, goes onto say ...

"Homosexuality isn't the biggest moral problem facing our nation. Homosexual marriage isn't the biggest threat to traditional marriage. And homosexual activists aren't the biggest threat to freedom. This may be tantamount to heresy to some people, but it's true."
Its heresy I suggest to Fischer and others.  Its their screaming that has kept congress in the USA from acting till now. They represent small percentages of the US population yet they have managed to control the agenda.  They have litmus tests for candidates.  They have good connections to their small but motivated base.  They somehow manage to get them out to vote, to write emails, to phone elected officials.  They have created a false sense of the American person.  

I can only hope that these professional gay-hate creators will see themselves in the Hell they proffer to all of us fags. I only hope for some of them, their leaders, they find themselves scared to death, sharing a cell with Bubba one day. Nothing happens to them, its just the prospect, living in fear.  That's what they have done to me, to Bruce and countless millions of LGBT people.

H/t to Right Wing Watch - Reaction to DADT Vote: "The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted"

12.18.2010

“The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.”

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is gone soon.  The Senate removed the last barrier to Obama making the change.  Queers will soon be able to serve openly in the US Military.

One has gone over the top,
"The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk?"
 or this
"... The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?..."
That was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (see hate group stuff here on the AFA), it seems a little unreal that people in this time can think like this.  Only in America and within the ranks of the Canadian Conservatives.   

More at Truth Wins Out

12.17.2010

I got this message from Pink triangle Services, Help out people!

Pink Triangle Services is Canada's oldest registered LGBT non-profit.  They are located in Ottawa.  If you can spare a few dollars or a lot, you will be doing some good this Holiday Season.  They have a Queer Thoughts seal of approval! 

I would like to thank you for your past support of PTS. Your contributions have made it possible for us to serve tens of thousands of people in Ottawa’s queer community for over a quarter of a century—and that’s a history worth celebrating!

This November we launched our 2010 holiday fundraising campaign in support of the important work of the agency—and we need your help to continue meeting the needs of our community.

PTS aims to respond to the varied needs of our community in new and effective ways. In the next month we are excitedly anticipating the launch of an interactive, community-driven website featuring an up-to-date resource directory and user-driven community calendar. With the help of our supporters, we are growing along with our community.

This past fall we witnessed a whole range of high profile issues that were related to our community's needs. From the suicides of our youth to the rejection of educational reform on sexual health; these issues highlight the necessity for organizations like PTS to continue and to thrive. 

Our peer support groups, our library services, and our educational programs reach more people on a continuing basis than ever before. With your support we have helped to make positive changes in the lives of more than 3,900 people in 2009/10.

It is with this in mind that I ask you to consider making a donation to PTS this holiday season. As an added thank you for your generosity, supporters donating $25 a month (or $300 for the year) will receive a complimentary invitation to our 2011 Gala.

Giving is easy. Simply visit: www.canadahelps.org, search for Pink Triangle Services and provide your donation online. Or send your one time donation or void cheque to: 251 Bank St, Suite 301, Ottawa ON K2P1X3 made out to Pink Triangle Services.

Here are a few more reasons why PTS needs your contribution:

1. By promoting and facilitating change at all levels of education, and in diverse venues both inside and outside school systems, we are helping youth stand up for themselves and are ensuring that the teachers and administration listen. Our newest program - Creating Safer Spaces works to achieve these goals. We are working with community partners like Youth Services Bureau to achieve the greatest impact possible – partnerships which help make it better for the youth in our community.

2. We provide a variety of support programs to help youth and adults alike. Our programs work to engage those who are just coming out and give them the resources to live healthier lives. It's also an opportunity for established members of our community who want to give back and help others overcome personal challenges.

3. We have identified a need for free, queer-friendly counselling services, and in response to this need we are looking into community based counselling services. We have seen this need for years now, and with your support, we need to make this a priority to see these services realized.

With your support, we will continue working towards positive change and making a big difference in the lives of people in our community. 

There is still time to make your holiday gift to PTS. Visit: www.canadahelps.org and search for Pink Triangle Services.

12.12.2010

Who to take to the Dance, BC Style

BC Politics have become the most deadly in the country again.  I can recall the days of the Bennett - Barrett battles that were down right vicious.  Now its the political parties doing it to themselves.  First the BC LibCONs telling General Campbell it was time to get out of town or be shot, then it was the BC New Democrats. 

In something just short of an outright assassination, one third of the BC NDP caucus did the same thing to Carole James.  James a consensus kind of leader, you know the kind, they actually do things when people will be honest at the table.  The trouble with consensus leadership is that you have to have most of the players willing to play that game.  The voters in BC were not ready for that, didn't play the game in two elections and the grumbling inside the NDP grew. 

There also seems to be some kind of idea floating out there that James was brought down by rogue MLAs.  True some 12 or 13 MLAs did lend their name and a few words to the already leaning NDP election tower.  At the same time you did not see the other 25 NDP MLA's pushing the other way to keep the tower from falling, now did you.

Carole James was treated very badly by the bakers dozen.  She should have been given a nicer exit, one befitting her example.  Then maybe she wasn't ready to go...?

What NDP insiders saw coming, which of course most people were ignoring, was that once Campbell pulled the plug, the anti-Campbell polls would turn the BC LibCONS around.  A new leader would distance themselves from the HST, heck the new leader may even eliminate it before the referendum date. 

BC politics would then have its regular election, with the majority of people now willing to give the LibCON Premier a fair chance to change things and right the ship.  A disaster for the NDP in the making.  As bad a government as the BC LibCONS have been, it was the HST that sunk Campbell.  Not BC Rail scandals, nor lying budgets, or cost overruns, big deficits, or a host of other major failures.  It was the HST. 

One final point to this is the lack of large numbers of voices decrying what happened.  There are some, but not what you would expect from a group that was truly outraged by the actions of a bakers dozen. The choice for the NDP was to go into an election against the brand spanking new LibCON Premier with the person that you took to the dance contest twice and lost.  It was that simple.

12.11.2010

"Still deviant after all these years" - Bruce McDonald

I guess I am finally ready to write more about my buddy Bruce, a buddy of many in the blogging world.  Its amazing that he had made such deep connections with people never physically met, yet he did know so many of you.

Some of the things about Bruce we should know, he wore blue jeans only, loved boots and last night at the celebration of his life here in Toronto and via Skype in Vancouver, I was asked what Bruce's interests in boots were.  Its just not something you can explain to straight folks.   Your secret is safe with me Bruce.  Just wish I was telling you directly that I was asked.

Bruce also wore his hair long in some kind of attempt to appear different, or likely defiant to the norm.  It was also a part of him that came out of his wild youth in Revelstoke BC.  He was a renegade for years.  Then of course having long hair in south eastern BC is still not uncommon for men.  It must be the pot they smoke.

When I first met him in person, Bruce had long hair, living in his very unique ground floor apartment on Queen St East.  It looked to have been a storefront business in the past.  There was a tiny fenced backyard.  Two or three gigantic trees. The yard was a place for the cat and smoking on warm days.  We hit it off right away.  We were small town boys from BC living at the "Centre of The Universe." We spent hours talking about places we lived, the people we knew, and oddly, or perhaps not, the number of times we were in the same town on the same day, knew some of the same people, enjoyed many a drink in the same bars, yet our world never connected until we both landed in Toronto.



Of course Bruce was much older than me.  He was two months, two days older in fact.  A fact I never let him forget.  He often called himself Ricky's babysitter.  I wish it were true though it really was the other way around.  Bruce liked to do things, but not to actually get up and go do them.  He had to be dragged and I was becoming successful in that.

Bruce came to our farm for a gathering of gay men on Thanksgiving.  He had a great time, it reminded him of  his days in Revelstoke, no power, no running water except the creek that ran under the cabin, on a steep mountainside.  There was a wood heater and wood had to be cut and chopped.  I can see him doing it.  He held a romantic view of splitting wood.  Something he had not done in over 25 years.  He asked if we needed any wood split.

The wood here in Ontario is hardwood.  Aptly named.  It does not split well, either dry or wet.  I told Bruce this, yet he was game to try it.  That he did.  A few swings of the axe and he was ready to quit.  I introduced him to our gas fired hydraulic wood splitter.  That was a tool he wished he had years ago.  One of the tools I love at the farm.  Splitting wood by hand is just crazy.

Bruce also helped us take down the water system for the winter.  The line runs from the well to the summer kitchen, to a tank on the roof.  The line lays on top of the ground, so we need to drain it, put the pump away so they don't freeze with water in them.  Bruce and Claude worked at this for about two hours, job complete and time to have a Blue and relax by the fire.   He was smiling, feeling good.

The next morning Bruce decided to make bread.  He had preplanned this as he had the family cook book that his sister Linda put together.  Bruce said it had been 25 years since he made bread.  It was worth the wait.  He made five loaves in all, it was appreciatively devoured by the 20 other gay dudes there for the weekend.

There were fires outside, and again, Bruce said it had been so long since he had enjoyed an outdoor fire, with the cool night air.  Many a wild conversation took place, even a few songs and a sauna later.

Bruce came back up to the farm just before Halloween when my step son and his two young boys were there.  We were there to pick out a big pumpkin for the boys and to carve it.  Bruce and I cooked dinners, we had a great time.  That night we slept in the Tower, the main house.  Bruce marvelled at its construction, noticing many of the intricate details, admiring the craftsmanship.  He talked about it all the way back to Toronto, a four hour drive.

It was a fabulous time.

Over the next three weeks we met for beers a a few times.  He came for dinner on November 21, we had our smart little cocktails. In this case it was Blue.  Eight gay men enjoyed each others company and Bruce shone that evening.  He showed us his cabin, via google, on the mountainside in Revelstoke.  He spent the next hour showing us his haunts and telling stories.  It was another great evening with Bruce.

I called him the next day and we arranged for him to drive with me December 10 to go to Ottawa.  Bruce had never been to Ottawa.  We also were planning a Christmas Dinner for December 17.  He was going to come over early, for Bruce that meant 1 or 2pm, to help put the meal together.  I was so looking forward to it and he was as well.

Bruce had told me he was surprised his phone rang the last few times I called him.  He was expecting Bell to cut him off.  He was having a tough time lately, not enough work.  So when I did call a few days later and it was not in service I thought nothing of it.  The next day I drove over and there was no answer.  I tried calling to see if he had been reconnected, not to be.

I drove over two more times, December 1 and December 3.  No answer.  We all learned on December 6 what happened.  I won't go into what happened here, I will in a blog later on, when I feel ready, discuss some of the underlying reasons as I see them, as Bruce left no good bye.  If you are a regular reader of Canuck Attitude, you may already have a gut reaction as to what the reasons could be. 

So many people got to know Bruce online, through his blog, Canuck Attitude.  He focused on the religious right, bullies and of course the Conservatives.  He would also share his music and cartoons.  Apart from that was Bruce's willingness to read other blogs, offer comments and engage in conversations.  He did this with so many people. 

People were attracted to Bruce's irreverent approach to blogging and activism.  Bruce was an atheist and saw religion as one of the prime killers of gay men and others.  Bruce saw and experienced bullying as a boy and as an adult.  His life s not unlike many gay men.  And he made it a mission to expose this danger and our rights to be free of systemic discrimination, bullying and even death.

In a recent post Bruce said ...  "As much as I'm impressed and heartened by Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project and the incredible response it has generated, I can't shake the feeling that all we are doing is patting kids on the head and sending them back to the dungeons while telling them to be patient. I'm sorry, but that's still a kind of tacit approval of bullying."

Bruce was an unapologetic faggot atheist with a flare for design.  In the end he made a decision.  A decision affected by his life experience, an experience not unlike many other gay men.  Some make it too see, "It Gets Better", and some don't make it out of the dungeon.

In closing, here are a few Brucies -

"A smart little cocktail"


"Still deviant after all these years"


"I don't mind straight people as long as the act gay in public"


"Suck it up and vacuum the place, the dust bunnies are giving me dirty looks"


"Stuck to you like glue, My Dear . . . "

Friday, December 10th was a celebration of Bruce's life.  I told some Bruce stories, I cried, I wore a wig to recall Bruce's long hair and a plaid shirt along with a t-shirt he gave me, "Every good Idea I have gets me into trouble" .  Here are a few pictures from that evening...


 Me starting my Brucie imitation...

 Vancouver joins us via the net at Cafe du Lac
 Bruce's "other" best friend!!!!!!  Kathryn knew Bruce for 17 years and hosted the event at her fabulous little "Quebec" Cafe du Lac on Lakeshore in Toronto
 This Bruce's sister Linda in the white tee sweater,
what a sweet woman.  No wonder Bruce and Linda were so close...







More posts on Bruce.  If I have missed any please send the link so I may include them...


Montreal Simon: Bruce McDonald: Death of a Gay Blogger

RIP Bruce McDonald, Progressive Blogger |

Impolitical: Bruce McDonald,

Bruce Mcdonald 1958-2010

He used to say he’d marry me

Blogging Buddy Gone

Farewell to a friend.

RIP Bruce MacDonald of Canuck Attitude

A few of His Favourite Things


Bruce McDonald 1958 - 2010

12.10.2010

This one is for you Bruce, Mcvety kicked off TV Station

Our favourite hippy tells us the Canadian Broadcast Standards has lambasted Charles McVety right where it hurts.   Today's pig is tomorrows bacon.

"Christian broadcaster Crossroads Television System (CTS) has been found in violation of broadcasting codes for statements made by evangelical television personality and minister Charles McVety that implied there was a “malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial purpose” to the activities of homosexuals."
See also Bene Diction Blogs On

Picture was taken Thanksgiving weekend at our farm.  Bruce of course is in the red plaid Lesbian shirt.

12.08.2010

Attending Gathering for Canuck Attitude.

This Friday is a gathering for Bruce.  I am going and would like to know who else is thinking of going.  It would be so good if some of you that are in the Toronto area felt you could join me.  Let me know!

12.07.2010

FCKH8

Today I just wanted to say Fuck You to someone.  Its a bit selfish perhaps or letting my feelings get the best of me.  Bullying has long been a problem in our society.  Even more so for the LGBT folks.  That said bullying is problem for many straight folks as well and if you are the one being bullied, being gay or straight doesn't matter at the time.  Bullying in all its forms is devastating.

Its too big a job for me to take on the whole puzzle, so I primarily focus on LGBT aspects of bullying.  A new group, a few months old now called FCKH8 has started and according to their website, they have contributed $200,000 to fight homophobia and hate in our society.  You can go there and buy a t-shirt with all profits going to fight H8.  Check them out here.

And here is their latest video...  Its called FCK Bullies...

Proceeds will go to The Trevor Project to combat gay youth suicide and more charities doing similar work will soon be added.


FCK BULLIES by FCKH8.com: DON'T B H8N ON THE HOMOS! from FCKH8.com on Vimeo.
 

No Surrender

One of Bruce's many contributions, inspired by bloggers JJ and Montreal Simon, toward the fight for equality and freedom to be who we are.

12.06.2010

Bruce McDonald - Gathering

There will be a get-together this coming Friday December 10 at Cafe du Lac, 2350 Lakeshore Blvd. 416-848-7381 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              416-848-7381      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Time is from 7:30 to 10:30 pm. The restaurant is run by one of Bruce's friends.

A brother has left us "Bruce McDonald"



Bruce McDonald, a gay man in Toronto, a friend of so many online, passed away a few days ago. I have some thoughts of Bruce I will post soon. He was our friend. Like so many, I met him online. When I moved east, I met him in person. He was special. You might want to look at his blog, thats how so many of us came to know him and love him. Canuck Attitude. You can post comments on his facebook page here or twitter.

I will post info soon about a gathering to remember Bruce to be held Friday, December 10th.  

12.01.2010

To where you are Steven

This is a little indulgence on my part. Steven Hennessy was my hero. He bravely took on living with HIV/AIDS. He accepted it and then he accepted he had cancer and days to live. Soon after he passed away on June 9, 2002, I heard this song by josh groban. The thing is, Steven had an awesome smile.

Civil Union Bill Passes Illinois Senate

Civil Union Bill passes in Illinois

This email from 
Bernard Cherkasov
Chief Executive Officer...


We did it! Just moments ago, the Illinois State Senate passed the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act with a vote of 32 to 24!

The bill will now go to Governor Quinn, who has promised to sign it into law.  Once signed into law, civil unions will be available to Illinoisans effective July 1, 2011.


On that date, thousands of same-sex couples in Illinois will have access to protections that were previously denied to them, such as emergency medical decision-making, hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and others.  This is a historic moment for our State, and we would not have been able to get here without the extraordinary leadership of the bill's chief sponsors, State Representative Greg Harris and State Senator David Koehler.  Many of our partner organizations and community leaders devoted endless energy to helping pass this bill.  Clergy all around Illinois educated their congregations and even prayed for elected officials to understand the urgency of the protection that civil unions offers.  And our supporters from every corner of the State participated by contacting lawmakers, canvassing, phonebanking, writing letters, and making contributions.  This is your victory too.

Thank you for supporting Equality Illinois and our mission to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Sincerely,


Bernard Cherkasov
Chief Executive Officer

A tale of two gay men, AIDS and Family

Its World AIDS Day 2010
my 8th since Steven passed away and  when I wrote this...
A tale of two gay men, AIDS and Family
World AIDS Day is a personal day for me, a little like my own remembrance day.  It will be a hard day to get through.  It will be filled with so many memories of friends that have been taken by AIDS. 
I have been working in HIV/AIDS advocacy and awareness for a long time.  I had lost friends to this disease and  felt the pain of loss.  I found out I really had not experienced what many of my friends who lost partners went through. It became personal for me o­n World AIDS Day, December 1, 2002. 


My partner Steven was just 6 days younger than I was.  Something he never let me forget.  Our lives from birth were radically different.  Steven was the oldest of four and I the oldest of eight.  His family was religious, mine quite the opposite.  Steven entered Bible college at a young age and became a full fledged Pentecostal Minister at 17.  At 17 I was in high school trying not to get beat up because someone might think I was a faggot.
After school I went o­nto work for the BC Forest Service, starting a career, coming out as a gay man and getting to Vancouver whenever I could.  I became a union and gay rights activist.  Steven took up as a traveling revival show that landed in parking lots in communities all over BC and Alberta in the 70's preaching fire and brimstone.  From there he was married, went to the deepest south of the USA to preach the gospel.  Steven and his wife came back to Canada a little disillusioned with the Pentecostal movement and took up running grocery stores.  They had three children and soon after the birth of the youngest they parted.
Steven was gay.  He moved to Vancouver and made up for lost time and soon was diagnosed with AIDS.   During this time I had two relationships with men, each lasting six or seven years, gone o­nto being an elected union and community leader in small town BC.  I travelled to Vancouver often was was excited to join in the gay scene there.  Luck or fate seemed to protect me as I did much of what Steven had yet I did not contract HIV. 
In the early years of Steven becoming HIV positive, he was all over the map emotionally.  Told by his doctor he had two years at most.  It was a tough time and as he lived beyond the Doctors expectations, Steven came to believe he had a life to live.  He turned his anger and self pity into positive energy.  Living each day in the present, not the past.  
As this was happening with Steven, I was living life as an open gay man, enjoying a regular life, enjoying my siblings and their children.  I came to regret that I would never be a father.  My nieces and nephews were that more special to me as a result, yet I had this need to have my own children.  My partner at the time was not interested and I resigned myself to being an uncle.  That said, being called Uncle Rick is pretty sweet.
Steven's and my life collided with a soft beautiful smile.  I was in love the second I saw him.  I had just moved to Kelowna and was looking to meet other gay men.  I heard about a coffee shop that had a "gay night".  I wondered in and ordered a coffee and went about to meet people.  Most seemed a little shy or stuck up.  I was new and I guess they were sizing me up.
 
I went outside to have a smoke and then the grin was flashed.  Steven I discovered was a major tease, though I did not figure that out until much later.  He was the first person to speak to me, offering me a chair.  I sat down and commenced what would take me six months of dating to get to where I asked him to be with me for the rest of my life. 
Steven with me o­n my knees, asked me if I was sure.  "I may o­nly live another two, three years, I may be very sick for long periods of time."  I can still hear his words.  I said I was very sure and he said yes to me.  Shivers run up my arms now, across my back as I recall this moment. 
Our life began together like it started o­nly this time there were two amazing smiles and some tears to ensure our souls and bodies were overcome from our love.  
Steven told me that night he had just o­ne wish before he died, "I want to love and be loved."  I know I have done this now he said.  
Our lives went o­n, normal as they can be with HIV.  We were family.  We talked about our past, and it seemed we were at many of the same places at the same time, yet we never met.  Fate said Steven, we found each other when we needed to.  He believed we each had something the other needed in this life.  I soon learned how true this was.    
  
I became a Dad!  Steven's youngest, Stephanie, came to live with us.  We were overjoyed to have her.  She added a new dimension to our love as we shared our lives with her.  I now knew what being a Dad is like, being an integral, trusting and reliable part of some young person's developing life.  Steven shared with me o­ne of my greatest desires, to be a father.  o­nly his love could match such a gift.
Steven's son Mark was a big part of our lives as well, visiting us often.  When work took me to Mark's hometown Steven's former wife Lynn, and daughter Sarah-Dawn did all they could to make me welcome.  My Mom became Steven's mom, my nieces and nephews called Steven the weird uncle as he sang all the children's songs and played in the lake with them.  
Our life was normal, fulfilling and full of love and then came June 3, 2002.
I rushed Steven to hospital.  He was suffering agonizing pain.  We had been in to emergency three previous times in the last two months and the pain was becoming worse.  That night a cancer specialist was o­n the AIDS Care team.  She suspected cancer right away.  
Steven was admitted, in the days ahead we heard Steven might live six months, he had cancer and it was very advanced, beyond treating.  It was a cancer I soon learned was 100 times more common in HIV positive people.  Six months to live, it was not be.  It became days.  Steven was surrounded by friends and family.  We took turns, so he was not alone.  
Two days before Steven passed away, before he slipped into a coma, he pulled me close, and gave me that same smile he had when we met.  He asked me if I remembered what his o­ne wish was before he died.  "Ricky," he said, "I know what it is to love and to know I am loved."  Tears and smiles shook our souls and bodies.
Steven passed away o­n June 9, 2002 at 8:30am in St.Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.  I miss him and I better understand the horror AIDS has brought our world, certainly what it did to mine.  You can help me and other remember those that have left us.  Whenever you hear Josh Groban sing, "To Where You Are" think of Steven, think of all those that have gone and those still here to remember.  If you do this, you can know what love can be and why World AIDS Day is so personal for me and thousands of others. 


11.28.2010

When a picture is not worth a thousand words

Sometimes a picture is not worth a thousand words.  Sometimes the media gets out of hand.  Remember the TTC guy that was caught sleeping in the toll collector booth.  At the time they said he was suffering from health related concerns.  That did not stop the media and others from making hay.

The guy died from a stroke today...  see the story here

11.23.2010

The Sky isn't falling DADT and GOP Health care takers

No gays have been discharged since October 21st and all is well, and a newly elected GOP congressman asks for government paid health care.  The US Military manages to keep things afloat what with all those queers prancing about, how much longer do we need DADT?  And if we have Republican congressmen demanding their government paid health care now, would they want anything less for the people that they represent?

The republicans campaigned against "Washington elites", now that they are one, maybe they can rethink health care. Andy Harris according to how Politico reported it:
"'He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,'" said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange…'Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,' added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris' request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.”
Back to the world hasn't ended yet do to all those gays in the military, it has been over a month now and not one single gay or lesbian has been discharged.  The sky isn't falling, maybe, just maybe the brass will see it can be okay in the US just as it is in Israel, Canada, Germany, Australia, Great Britain, France and many other countries around the world.  See Washington Post here.

DADT - Canada and Australia - Generals ok with Gays

Fox news has refused to run this ad from the Palm Center on Don't ask - Don't tell, (DADT). Now that is just silly...

According to the Palm Center, the ad includes video clips made in May 2010 featuring Major General Walter Semianiw, Chief of Military Personnel in the Canadian Forces, and Major General Simon Willis (retired), former Head of Defence Personnel in the Australian Defence Force. Major General Semianiw has since been promoted to Lieutenant General and leads Canada Command.

18 Anti-gay Hate Groups says SPLC


The Southern Poverty Law Center has updated its list of Anti-Gay hate groups.  The list now includes the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Illinois Family Institute, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, Family Research Institute, Abiding Truth Ministries, American Vision, Chalcedon Foundation, Dove World Outreach Center, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Traditional Values Coalition, and MassResistance.
 
The Law Center states that these groups have influence way beyond their membership because their views are often amplified by the media and politicians.   I have posted the SPLC's list of 18 Anti-gay hate groups here.  You can go to SPLC for more information.  Minorities in the USA and around the world are indebted to the work being done by this wonderful organization.  Thank you SPLC!


*Abiding Truth Ministries
Springfield, Mass.


Abiding Truth Ministries serves mainly as a launching pad for an international anti-gay campaign. Its founder, Scott Lively, is also responsible for a book, widely cited by gay-bashers, accusing homosexuals of running the Nazi Party.

Lively first emerged as an anti-gay activist when he became communications director for the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which was backing that state’s notorious Measure 9 vote in 1992. The measure, which failed, would have added language to the state constitution listing homosexuality, along with pedophilia and masochism, as “abnormal behavior.” Lively later served as California director of the American Family Association, another particularly hard-line anti-gay group (see below).

Lively is best known for co-authoring, with Kevin Abrams, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party. The book makes a series of claims that virtually no serious historian agrees with: that Hitler was gay, that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic homosexuals,” and that gays were especially selected for the SS because of their innate brutality. The claims are entirely false; in fact, the Nazis murdered significant numbers of gays and made homosexuality a death penalty offense in 1942. In the foreword, Abrams adds that homosexuality is “primarily a predatory addiction striving to take the weak and unsuspecting down with it. … They have no idea of how to act in the best interests of their country… . Their intention is to serve none but themselves.”

Lively has taken his message abroad to Eastern Europe (see Watchmen on the Walls, below), Africa and Russia. In a 2007 open letter to the Russian people, he asserted that “homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses.” In 2009, he went to Uganda to speak at a major conference on the evils of homosexuality, saying, among other things: “The gay movement is an evil institution. The goal of the gay movement is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.” He also met with Ugandan lawmakers. A month after Lively left the country, a bill was introduced that called for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts and prison for those who fail to disclose gays’ identities.

In 2008, Lively started the Redemption Gate Mission Society, a church that seeks to “re-Christianize” the city of Springfield, Mass., where he lives.

*American Family Association


Methodist minister Donald E. Wildmon formed the National Federation for Decency in 1977, changing its name to the American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. Today, the group, which was taken over by Tim Wildmon after his father’s 2010 retirement, claims a remarkable 2 million online supporters and 180,000 subscribers to its AFA Journal. It also broadcasts over nearly 200 radio stations.

The AFA seeks to support “traditional moral values,” but in recent years it has seemed to specialize in “combating the homosexual agenda.” In 2009, it hired Bryan Fischer, the former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, as its director of analysis for government and policy. Taking a page from the anti-gay fabulist Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), Fischer claimed in a blog post last May 27 that “[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” (Ironically, the elder Wildmon was widely denounced as an anti-Semite after suggesting that Jews control the media, which the AFA says “shows a genuine hostility towards Christians.”) Fischer has described Hitler as “an active homosexual” who sought out gays “because he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough.” He proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior in another 2010 blog post and has advocated forcing gays into “reparative” therapy. In a 2010 “action alert,” the AFA warned that if homosexuals are allowed to openly serve in the military, “your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals.”

Gays aren’t the AFA’s only enemies. “Islam is a totalitarian political ideology,” Fischer said in August 2010. “It is as racist as the KKK. … Allowing a mosque to be built in town is fundamentally no different that granting a building permit to a KKK cultural center built in honor of some King Kleagle.” In late 2009, he suggested that all Muslims should be banned from joining the U.S. military.

And then there are the promiscuous. On his May 26, 2010, radio show, Fischer recounted the biblical story of Phineas, who used a spear to kill a man and a woman who were having sex. Citing the nation’s “rampant sexual immorality,” Fischer said, “God is obviously looking for more Phineases in our day.”

*Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) was formed as a part-time venture in 1996 by long-time gay-basher Peter LaBarbera, who reorganized it in 2006 as a much more serious and influential, if often vicious, operation.

A one-time reporter for the conservative Washington Times, LaBarbera has been an energetic campaigner against “the radical homosexual agenda” since at least 1993, when he launched The Lambda Report, which claimed to do first-hand reporting to expose its gay enemies. Over the years, he has been an official with Accuracy in Media, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and the Illinois Family Institute (see below for the last three). He left the Illinois Family Institute, where he’d been executive director, in 2006.

AFTAH is notable for its posting of the utterly discredited work of Paul Cameron (of the Family Research Institute; see below), who has claimed that gays and lesbians live vastly shorter lives than heterosexuals. Among the Cameron propaganda published by AFTAH are 2007 claims that gays and lesbians in Norway and Denmark live 24 fewer years than heterosexuals. Reviewing that claim, Danish epidemiologist Morten Frisch found that it had no scientific basis (see story on related Cameron claims, p. 32). LaBarbera himself, in 2002, compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.” Similarly, AFTAH’s website carries essays describing homosexuality as a “lethal behavior addiction,” a “dangerous” practice that is “neither normal nor benign.”

In 2007, LaBarbera claimed there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — yet another false assertion (see story, p. 31). The same year, he posted an open letter to the Lithuanian people from long-time gay-basher Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), who has made a series of false claims about gays running the German Nazi Party. In the piece posted to the AFTAH website, Lively said homosexuals are trying to take away free speech from all opponents of gays and to silence all religious opinions on the matter.

The AFTAH site repeats bogus claims like the idea that a proposed bill in California would “promote cross-dressing, sex-change operations, bisexuality and homosexuality” to kindergartners and other children. And it ran an essay that falsely asserted that hate crime laws would “restrict our speech” (see story, p. 33).

*American Vision

Led since 1986 by Gary DeMar, American Vision is one of the primary exponents of the doctrine of “Christian Reconstruction” — the idea that the U.S. was founded as a “Christian nation” and that its democracy should be replaced with a theocratic government based on Old Testament law. As a practical matter, that means American Vision, which describes its goal as “restor[ing] America’s Biblical foundation,” backs the death penalty for practicing homosexuals.

DeMar has modified that dictum slightly in the past, saying that homosexuals wouldn’t all be executed under a “reconstructed” government, but that he did believe that the occasional execution of “sodomites” would serve society well because “the law that requires the death penalty for homosexual acts effectively drives the perversion of homosexuality underground, back into the closet.” More recently, while hosting American Vision’s “The Gary DeMar Show” in December 2009, Joel McDurmon, the group’s research director, agreed that the Bible does call for killing homosexuals. And, he said, “when most of a society is Christian, is biblical, then it [execution of gays] is perfectly normal; it should definitely be in place.”

In April 2009, DeMar said: “Homosexuals aren’t content with only having the bedroom. They have taken their perversion into the classrooms, teaching that such practices are normal. There is nothing normal about what homosexuals do.”

DeMar, who was closely allied with the late D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries (see below), is a central figure in Reconstruction theology, which was founded by R.J. Rushdoony (see Chalcedon Foundation, below). He is co-author of Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn’t with Gary North.

DeMar has also said that a “long-term goal” should be “the execution of abortionists and their parents.” Islam is another enemy, he said in August 2010: “The long-term goal of Islam is the abolition of our constitutional freedoms.”

*Chalcedon Foundation
Vallecito, Calif.


The Chalcedon Foundation, named after a 451 A.D. council that proclaimed the state’s subservience to God, was started in 1965 by Rousas John Rushdoony, who is known as “father of Christian Reconstruction” theology. Led by Rushdoony’s son, Mark, since the elder Rushdoony’s death in 2001, the foundation continues to push for the imposition of Old Testament law on America and the world.

Reconstruction, as described in R.J. Rushdoony’s foundational 1973 book The Institutes of Biblical Law, is opposed to modern notions of equality, democracy or tolerance — instead, it embraces the most draconian of religious views. Rushdoony supported the death penalty for homosexuals, among other “abominators.” He also opposed what he called “unequal yoking” — interracial marriage — and “enforced integration,” insisting that “[a]ll men are NOT created equal before God” (the Bible, he explained, “recognizes that some people are by nature slaves”). Rushdoony also denied the Holocaust, saying the murder of 6 million Jews was “false witness.”

Rushdoony’s Reconstruction is indeed radical, even including “incorrigible children” among those deserving death. And virtually all of his works remain for sale on the Chalcedon Foundation website.

Today, most fundamentalist leaders deny holding such views. But a Who’s Who of the religious right — including Tim and Beverly LaHaye (see Concerned Women for America, below), Donald Wildmon (American Family Association, above), and the late D. James Kennedy (Coral Ridge Ministries, below) — once served alongside the elder Rushdoony on the Coalition for Revival, a group formed in 1984 to “reclaim America.” Rushdoony reportedly was also a member of the secretive Council of National Policy, a group of archconservative leaders.

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
Vista, Calif.


Originally incorporated in 1999 by retired Army Gen. William Hollis, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) says its goal is to serve as a “first line of response to anti-Christian defamation, bigotry and discrimination.” It was largely inactive until 2007, when it brought in as its new leader the Rev. Gary Cass, who claims that Christian-bashing, “the last acceptable form of bigotry in America, is alive and well and growing more intense and hysterical by the day.”

The CADC is heavily focused on the alleged evils of homosexuality. It has called the idea of allowing gays to serve openly in the military “evil”; opposed hate crimes legislation (which many religious-right groups falsely assert would make it easy to send pastors to prison for condemning homosexuality; see story, p. 33); and raged against a judge’s overturning of California’s Proposition 8, which had invalidated same-sex marriages. With regard to that last, it said: “Homosexuals have turned away from humbly worshipping the true and living God and his transcendent moral order in order to make an idol out of their sexual perversion and chaos.”

The group also has protested a lawsuit seeking to end public use of the motto, “In God We Trust”; encouraged the IRS to investigate the anti-theocratic Americans United for Separation of Church and State; and opposed a proposed Islamic center in New York City, saying Muslims “are exploiting the liberty we afford them to honor a murderous ideology that denies religious liberty every where [sic] it can.”

Although it is somewhat benign by comparison, the CADC has an advisory board that includes some of the country’s most hard-line anti-gay activists: Lou Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition (see below); Donald Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association (above); and O’Neal Dozier, a pastor who wrote in his 2008 book that “[h]omosexuality not only spreads disease and neutralizes God’s command,” but also “destroys families.” The board also includes Carmen Mercer, a former top official of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a now-defunct nativist group that once ran its own armed civilian border patrols.

Concerned Women for America
Washington, D.C
.


San Diego, Calif., activist Beverly LaHaye, whose husband Tim would go on to become famous as co-author of the Left Behind novels depicting the end times, started Concerned Women for America (CWA) in 1979 to create an anti-feminist group that matched the power of the National Organization for Women. Today, CWA claims more than 500,000 members organized into state chapters, a radio program that reaches more than 1 million listeners, and a cadre of attorneys and researchers devoted to the group’s mission of promoting biblical values.

LaHaye has blamed gay people for a “radical leftist crusade” in America and, over the years, has occasionally equated homosexuality with pedophilia (see related story, p. 31). In 2001, she hired prominent anti-gay propagandists Robert Knight (now with Coral Ridge Ministries; see below) and Peter LaBarbera (now with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, above) to launch CWA’s Culture and Family Institute. Matt Barber was CWA’s policy director for cultural issues in 2007 and 2008 before moving on to similar work with the Liberty Counsel (below).

While at CWA, on April 12, 2007, Barber suggested against all the evidence (see story, p. 29) that there were only a “miniscule number” of anti-gay hate crimes and most of those “may very well be rooted in fraudulent reports.” In comments that have since disappeared from CWA’s website, Barber demanded a federal probe of “homosexual activists” for their alleged fabrications of hate crime reports.

CWA long relied on and displayed Knight’s articles and talking points, including claims that “homosexuality carries enormous physical and mental health risks” and “gay marriage entices children to experiment with homosexuality.” Most remarkably, Knight cited the utterly discredited work of Paul Cameron (see Family Research Institute, below) to bolster claims that homosexuality is harmful.

Today, CWA continues to make arguments against homosexuality on the basis of dubious claims. President Wendy Wright said this August that gay activists were using same-sex marriage “to indoctrinate children in schools to reject their parents’ values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.” Last year, CWA accused the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a group that works to stop anti-gay bullying in schools, of using that mission as a cover to promote homosexuality in schools, adding that “teaching students from a young age that the homosexual lifestyle is perfectly natural … will [cause them to] develop into adults who are desensitized to the harmful, immoral reality of sexual deviance.”

Coral Ridge Ministries
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


The late Rev. D. James Kennedy started turning fundamentalist Coral Ridge Presbyterian into a mega-church in the 1960s, adding Coral Ridge Ministries (CRM) as its action arm in 1974 and claiming some 10,000 members by the 1990s. During the fiscal year ending in June 2009, CRM raised almost $18 million and spent more than $6 million of that on television and radio outreach efforts.

Over the years, Kennedy emphasized anti-gay rhetoric, particularly in his TV ministry. He recommended as “essential” the virulent work of R.J. Rushdoony (see Chalcedon Foundation, above), who believed practicing gays should be executed. In an especially nasty 1989 edition of a CRM newsletter, Kennedy ran photographs of children along with the tagline, “Sex With Children? Homosexuals Say Yes!”

After Kennedy died in 2007, Coral Ridge Presbyterian seemed to change course, merging in 2009 with New City Presbyterian Church under its pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham. Tchividjian began to move the church away from divisive social issues; some 500 members of Coral Ridge, including Kennedy’s daughter, left as a result. Today, Tchividjian says that the church, with 2,400 congregants, is entirely separate from CRM.

CRM, however, has continued its hard-line course. In 2009, it hired anti-gay activist Robert Knight as a senior writer and Washington, D.C., correspondent. Knight has used the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron (see Family Research Institute, below). In one recent essay on the CRM website, he argued against allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military, saying that “Bible-believing Christians would quickly find themselves unwelcome in Barney Frank’s new pansexual, cross-dressing military.” (Hector Padron, CRM’s executive vice president, wrote last May that such a change would post a “grave threat to the military.”)

In 2002, before joining CRM, Knight wrote that gay marriage “entices children to experiment with homosexuality” and that accepting homosexuality leads to “a loss of stability in communities, with a rise in crime, sexually transmitted diseases and other social pathologies. Still another is a shortage of employable, stable people.”

*Dove World Outreach Center
Gainesville, Fla.


The Dove World Outreach Center was founded in 1986 by Don Northrup and described itself as a “total concept church” in which all would be served. But Northrup died in 1996, and his successor brought in long-time Northrup associate Terry Jones as Dove’s leader in 2001. Since then, Jones has spouted increasingly vicious attacks on gays and Muslims, culminating in a plan that drew worldwide condemnation this September to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day.”

Jones and his family had spent some 20 years in Cologne, Germany, running a church that was allied with Dove. When he was asked to take over the Gainesville church, he apparently divided his time between the two until 2008, when the Cologne church was closed amid criticism of Jones by its congregants.

Jones pushed himself into the headlines last March, when he surrounded Dove with signs aimed at Craig Lowe, a Gainesville city commissioner who was running for mayor, that said “No Homo Mayor.” After an electioneering complaint was filed with the IRS (nonprofit churches cannot intervene in political campaigns), Jones had the signs shortened to the more generic “No Homo.” At one point, Jones and 30 of his congregants joined an anti-gay rally by the Westboro Baptist Church, which runs the Godhatesfags.com website and regularly pickets the funerals of U.S. soldiers, saying God is killing soldiers because America is a “fag-enabling” nation.

Jones is also the author of a book entitled Islam is of the Devil, and he has used that phrase on another set of signs posted around his church and sent his followers’ children to school in T-shirts bearing that slogan. (The school refused to let the children wear the shirts, and the ACLU filed suit against it as a result.) He regularly repeats the phrase on his “Braveheart Show,” an Internet video program where he asserted last April that “[h]omosexuality makes God throw up.”

Jones and his tiny congregation became momentarily famous this September, when he said he would burn Korans to protest Islam, which he describes as “an evil religion.” The threat drew public condemnation from Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and several leading members of the Obama Administration, and sparked anti-U.S. rallies in Muslim countries. In the end, Jones withdrew his threat and rapidly sank back into political obscurity.

*Faithful Word Baptist Church
Tempe, Ariz.


Steven Anderson, formerly affiliated with Sacramento, Calif.-based Regency Baptist Church, started Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona on Christmas Day 2005 as a “totally independent” organization. With “well over a hundred chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word,” Anderson quickly led his congregation into a series of extremely radical stands.

Much of his venom was aimed at homosexuals, who he suggests should be killed (“The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers but not for homosexuals”). In an August 2009 sermon, he attacked the United Methodist Church, saying “10% of their preachers are queers” and adding, “they got a dyke and a faggot behind the pulpit.” He has described gays as “sodomites” who “recruit through rape” and “recruit through molestation.”

Anderson is also a virulent government hater. As operator of the True Sons of Liberty website, the pastor calls for abolishing the IRS, the Federal Reserve, Social Security and Child Protective Services state agencies. In April 2009, he refused to get out of his car or answer questions from Border Patrol agents at the California-Arizona border. Agents broke his window and tased him as a result.

Anderson brought his church national notoriety in August 2009, when a member of his congregation, Christopher Broughton, went to an Obama appearance in Phoenix legally carrying an assault rifle and a pistol. It turned out that Jones had preached a day earlier to Broughton and others that he “hates Obama” and would “pray that he dies and goes to hell.” Two weeks later, he told openly gay columnist Michelangelo Signorile that he “would not judge or condemn” anyone who killed the president. Then, for good measure, he told Signorile at the end of the interview, “If you’re a homosexual, I hope you get brain cancer and die like Ted Kennedy.”

*Family Research Council
Washington, D.C.


Started as a small think tank by Gary Bauer, the former U.S. undersecretary of education under Ronald Reagan, the Family Research Council (FRC) merged with the much larger religious-right group Focus on the Family in 1988. Bauer lobbied on behalf of Focus until 1992, when the two groups legally separated to protect Focus’ tax-exempt status. By that time, FRC had become a powerful group on its own.

Headed today by former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, the FRC has been a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history. It relies on the work of Robert Knight, who also worked at Concerned Women for America but now is at Coral Ridge Ministries (see above for both), along with that of FRC senior research fellows Tim Dailey (hired in 1999) and Peter Sprigg (2001). Both Dailey and Sprigg have pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia (see related story, p. 31): Sprigg has written that most men who engage in same-sex child molestation “identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual,” and Dailey and Sprigg devoted an entire chapter of their 2004 book Getting It Straight to similar material. The men claimed that “homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses” and similarly asserted that “homosexuals are attracted in inordinate numbers to boys.”

More recently, in March 2008, Sprigg, responding to a question about uniting gay partners during the immigration process, said: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.” He later apologized, but then went on, last February, to tell MSNBC host Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied. At around the same time, Sprigg claimed that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military would lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.

Perkins has his own unusual history. In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican State Rep. Louis “Woody” Jenkins of Louisiana, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation. In 1999, in fact, GOP chairman Jim Nicholson urged Republicans to quit the group over its “racist views.” A short time later, after an Intelligence Report exposé but before Perkins’ 2001 speech, Republican House Speaker Trent Lott was embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group.

*Family Research Institute
Colorado Springs, Colo.


Started in 1987 by psychologist Paul Cameron, the Family Research Institute (FRI) has become the anti-gay movement’s main source for what Cameron claims is “cutting-edge research” — but is, in fact, completely discredited junk science pushed out by a man who has been condemned by three professional organizations.

Over nearly three decades, Cameron has published “research studies” (though almost never in peer-reviewed journals) that suggest that homosexuals are predatory and diseased perverts who victimize children. Among his more recent defamations was an FRI pamphlet asserting the primary activity of the gay rights movement is “seeking to legitimize child-adult homosexual sex.” In another, he claimed that with “the rise of the gay rights movement, homosexual rape of men appears to have increased.” In yet another, he wrote, “Homosexuals were three times more likely to admit to having made an obscene phone call” and “a third more apt to report a traffic ticket or traffic accident in the past 5 years.”

Some of Cameron’s more infamous claims include the idea that homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals and that homosexuals have extremely short lives (for a debunking of these and other claims, see story, p. 32). Last February, he wrote on FRI’s website that “[i]f homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military, they will be recruiting in showers, having sex in the barracks… . Before long, the U.S. may be defended by the sex-obsessed and those who can tolerate kowtowing to them.” After all, writes Cameron — a man who proposes that parents promote teen heterosexual activity to keep kids straight — “homosexual sex overwhelms rationality [and] overwhelms the desire to serve.”

Cameron’s colleagues have condemned him repeatedly. In 1983, he was thrown out of the American Psychological Association for ethical violations.  In 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association disassociated itself from Cameron’s statements about sexuality. In 1985, the American Sociological Association adopted a resolution saying Cameron “has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality” and “repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men”; the following year, the same group formally condemned Cameron for that misrepresentation of research.

Despite all this — and the fact that Cameron’s propaganda is widely known to be false or misleading — many groups have continued to use his claims, though often without citing their source. They include the American Family Association, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Family Research Council (see above for all five) and, until recently, the Illinois Family Institute (see below).

*Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment
Downers Grove, Ill.


Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (HOME) was founded by 62-year-old Wayne Lela, a former Catholic who now describes himself as an agnostic. Until recently, the 20-year-old group has had a fairly low profile.

The group, which is entirely focused on the alleged evils of homosexuality, attacks gay people on a wide variety of levels. But it keeps coming back to the idea that gay sexual activity should be illegal. “[P]enalizing people for engaging in homosexual behavior is clearly not discrimination, just like penalizing people for exhibitionism or incest is not discrimination,” HOME’s website says. In a second website comment, it adds, “[H]eterosexual activity is not illegalizeable … while homosexual activity is definitely illegalizeable.” And in a third, it insists that “legalizing homosexual deviations” leads to a “confused and sick society.”

HOME doesn’t stop there. It says that gays should apologize “for all the STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] they’ve spread, and all the money those STDs have cost, and especially for setting bad moral examples for our children.” It accuses homosexuals of having a “pathological attitude” toward the opposite sex. It says homosexuality shouldn’t have been removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders. It says gays threaten free speech because they seek hate crime law protections. It argues that gay film directors are working to “condition men to bond with other men at the expense of women.” And it claims that pedophilia and necrophilia are a sexual orientations like homosexuality, going on to suggest that they could therefore be legalized (see also story, p.33).

And then there’s this: Freemasonry may be connected to “the homosexual movement,” with members evidently engaging in sodomy and “homosexual orgies.” Thus, HOME says, there is a “very real possibility that this group is using its influence to try to impose pro-homosexual ‘values’ on the public.”

*Illinois Family Institute
Carol Stream, Ill.


The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), which says it dedicates itself to issues surrounding “marriage, family, life and liberty,” is heavily focused on attacking gay people and homosexuality in general. It maintains “working partnerships” with other hard-line groups including the Family Research Council (see above) and the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal center based in Phoenix. In early 2010, it launched Illinois Family Action as a political-action sister organization.

Over the years, the group has occasionally embraced the groundless propaganda of Paul Cameron (see Family Research Institute, above). Until 2009, it carried an article on Cameron — “New Study Shows that Homosexuals Live 20 Fewer Years” — preceded by a full-throated endorsement from its then-executive director, Peter LaBarbera (see Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, above). “Paul Cameron’s work has been targeted for ridicule by homosexual activists, and he’s been demonized by the left,” LaBarbera wrote in his introduction, “but that should not discount his findings.” IFI also posted a video attacking school anti-bullying programs that claimed, based on Cameron, that gay men’s median age of death is 42. Both were removed in response to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s listing of IFI as a hate group, which was largely based on its use of Cameron.


That response, however, hardly indicated that the IFI was backing down on its hard-line position. This year, Focus on the Family — for years, the powerhouse of anti-gay religious organizations in America — moderated its position markedly after founder James Dobson retired and pastor Jim Daly took over. In April, Daly told an interviewer: “I will continue to defend traditional marriage, but I’m not going to demean human beings in the process. It’s not about being highly confrontational.” The response of Laurie Higgins, IFI’s belligerent director of school advocacy, was that Daly was showing “surprising naïveté,” using the same language as pro-gay “homosexualists,” and failing to confront “the pro-homosexual juggernaut.”

In 2009, Higgins compared homosexuality to Nazism, likening the German Evangelical Church’s weak response to fascism to the “American church’s failure to respond appropriately to the spread of radical, heretical, destructive views of homosexuality.” Elsewhere, Higgins has pined for the days when gays were in the closet. “There was something profoundly good for society about the prior stigmatization of homosexual practice… . [W]hen homosexuals were ‘in the closet,’ (along with fornicators, polyamorists, cross-dressers, and ‘transexuals’), they weren’t acquiring and raising children.” She’s also said that McDonald’s, because it ran a gay-friendly TV ad, is “hell bent on using its resources to promote subversive moral, social, and political views about homosexuality to our children.”

Liberty Counsel
Orlando, Fla.


Created in 1989, Liberty Counsel is affiliated with Liberty University Law School in Lynchburg, Va., a legacy of the late conservative icon Jerry Falwell. It was founded and is still chaired by Mathew (Mat) Staver, who also serves as director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy at Liberty University, and provides legal assistance with regard to religious liberty, abortion and the family.

The organization may be best known for its campaigns to ensure that “public displays of religion” are maintained during the Christmas holiday, and it has adopted broad right-wing views, including the allegation that the Obama Administration has a “socialist liberal agenda.” But it also has focused heavily on anti-gay activism.

In 2009, J. Matt Barber, formerly with Concerned Women for America and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (see above for both), joined Liberty Counsel as director of cultural affairs (also becoming Liberty University’s associate dean for career and professional development). A year earlier, Barber had argued that given “medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality,” it should be considered “criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.”

The Counsel also has been active in battling same-sex marriage, saying it would destroy the “bedrock of society.” In 2005, the group’s blog said: “People who … support the radical homosexual agenda will not rest until marriage has become completely devalued. Children will suffer most from this debauchery.” A 2007 blog posting said same-sex marriage would “severely impact future generations.”

Like other anti-gay groups, Liberty Counsel argues that hate crime laws are “actually ‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom and of conscience” — an opinion rejected by the Supreme Court. In fact, the laws raise penalties for crimes already on the books — assault, murder and so on — that were motivated by hatred of people based on their sexual orientation (see related story, p. 29). They do not, and could not under the Constitution, punish people for voicing opinions.

Since 2006, Liberty Counsel has also run its “Change is Possible” campaign with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays to protect people who say they’ve changed from gay to straight from “discrimination” by “intolerant homosexuals.”

*MassResistance
MassResistance, “the leading pro-family grassroots activist group in Massachusetts,” began life in 1995 as the Parents’ Rights Coalition, became the Article 8 Alliance in 2003, and took on its current name in 2006. Its leader, Brian Camenker, is a programmer who was an official of the Article 8 Alliance and also headed the Newton, Mass., chapter of the National Taxpayers’ Association.

As president of yet another group, the Interfaith Coalition of Massachusetts, Camenker spearheaded the drafting of a bill that passed in 1996 and required that parents be notified of any sex education in their children’s schools. That same year, Camenker claimed that suicide prevention programs aimed at gay youth actually were “put together by homosexual activists to normalize homosexuality.” Later, MassResistance charged that groups like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which support school anti-bullying programs, actually want to lure children into homosexuality and, very possibly, sadomasochism.

In 2006-2007, Mass-Resistance pushed for an amendment of the 1996 statute that would have required that parents be notified of any discussion of gay or lesbian issues in the schools. The group proposed language that lumped sexual orientation (which includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality) in with criminal behaviors like bestiality and polygamy. During legislative testimony supporting the amendment, Camenker falsely claimed that no homosexuals died in the Holocaust (see related story, p. 32) and that the pink triangle the Nazis forced imprisoned gays to wear actually signified Catholic priests. The amendment did not pass.

Camenker, who has long focused on the purported “homosexual agenda” in the schools and frequently claimed gays are dangerous to kids, has repeatedly cited discredited claims from organizations like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality that link homosexuality and pedophilia.

In 2008, Camenker made another accusation for which there was no supporting evidence at all — the claim that the state of Massachusetts had had to spend more money every year since same-sex marriage became legal in that state. That, he said, was because of “skyrocketing homosexual domestic violence” and because of the “extreme dysfunctional nature of homosexual relationships.”

National Organization for Marriage
Princeton, N.J.


This year, MassResistance called Boston Gay Pride events a “depraved” display that featured “a great deal of obviously disturbed, dysfunctional, and extremely self-centered people whose aim was to push their agenda.”

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which is dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage in state legislatures, was organized in 2007 by conservative syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher and Princeton University politics professor Robert George. George is an influential Christian thinker who co-authored the 2009 “Manhattan Declaration,” a manifesto developed after a New York meeting of conservative church leaders that “promises resistance to the point of civil disobedience against any legislation that might implicate their churches or charities in abortion, embryo-destructive research or same sex marriage.”

NOM’s first public campaign was in 2008, supporting California’s Proposition 8, which sought to invalidate same-sex marriage in that state. It was widely mocked, including in a parody by satirist Stephen Colbert, for the “Gathering Storm” video ad it produced at the time. Set to somber music and a dark and stormy background, the ad had actors expressing fears that gay activism would “take away” their rights, change their lifestyle, and force homosexuality on their kids.

The group, whose president is now former executive director Brian Brown, has become considerably more sophisticated since then, emphasizing its respect for homosexuals. “Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,” NOM says on its website, “[but] they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

For a time, NOM’s name was used by a bus driver named Louis Marinelli, who drove a van for NOM’s “Summer for Marriage Tour” this year. Marinelli called himself a “NOM strategist” and sent out electronic messages under the NOM logo that repeated falsehoods about homosexuals being pedophiles and gay men having extremely short lifespans (see story, p. 32). In homemade videos posted on his own YouTube page, he said same-sex marriage would lead to “prostitution, pedophilia and polygamy.” But this July, NOM said it was not associated with Marinelli.

*Traditional Values Coalition
Anaheim, Calif.


Former Presbyterian minister Lou Sheldon has been warning Americans about the “gay threat” since 1980, when he founded the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), which also is concerned with abortion and national security and takes on liberal activists on a range of issues. The TVC, which today claims to speak for 43,000 churches, lobbies Congress and also mobilizes churches to oppose legislation that it disagrees with. Sheldon’s daughter Andrea Lafferty, a former Reagan Administration official, serves as executive director of the organization.

The group has at times enjoyed remarkable access to the halls of power — during the George W. Bush Administration, Sheldon and Lafferty visited the White House a combined 69 times, meeting personally with Bush in eight of the visits. But that does not mean that it has not long had a record of extreme gay-bashing.

In 1985, Sheldon suggested forcing AIDS victims into “cities of refuge.” In 1992, columnist Jimmy Breslin said that Sheldon told him that “homosexuals are dangerous. They proselytize. They come to the door, and if your son answers and nobody is there to stop it, they grab the son and run off with him. They steal him. They take him away and turn him into a homosexual.” Sheldon later denied that he made the comments, but his website today includes strikingly similar language: “[S]ince homosexuals can’t reproduce, they will simply go after your children for seduction and conversion to homosexuality.” Elsewhere, it claims that “[t]he effort to push adult/child sex … is part of the overall homosexual movement.”

The TVC also asserts that “it is evident that homosexuals molest children at a far greater rate than do their heterosexual counterparts”  — a falsehood based on conflating male-male molestation with homosexuality (see story, p. 31). Gays, it says, molest children at “epidemic rates,” adding: “As homosexuals continue to make inroads into public schools, more children will be molested and indoctrinated into the world of homosexuality. Many of them will die in that world.” With regard to LGBT teen suicides, TVC, under the headline “Homosexual Urban Legends,” claims that “[t]he cold, hard fact is that teens who are struggling with homosexual feelings are more likely to be sexually molested by a homosexual school counselor or teacher than to commit suicide over their feelings of despair.”

The TVC also makes assertions on its website about disproportionate homosexual pedophilia and attacks the idea that people are born gay and the claim that gays want the right to marry for the same reasons that heterosexuals do — the TVC suggests the real purpose of marriage equality is to destroy the concept of marriage and ultimately replace it altogether with group sex and polygamy.