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Archive for February, 2008

February 28th, 2008

You’re Doing It Wrong…It’s Burn Your Bridges Behind You, Not The Goddamned Bed…

Note to self: After a fight with your boyfriend, do not get drunk, do not get drunk and throw the furniture around, do not get drunk and throw the furniture around and smear tomatoes all over the walls and the floors, do not get drunk and throw the furniture around and smear tomatoes all over the walls and the floors and set the bed on fire, and especially if the furniture you’re throwing and the tomatoes you’re smearing and the fire you’re starting is in the fire chief’s historic Nob Hill house…

$1 million bail in chief’s residence fire

Bail was set at $1 million Wednesday for the San Francisco planning director’s companion, who is accused of setting fire to the historic Nob Hill residence of the fire chief where the couple were living temporarily.

Lance Farber, 47, pleaded not guilty to felony arson and vandalism in a brief appearance at the Hall of Justice, shortly before Superior Court Judge John Conway set bail.

Farber’s lawyer, Randall Knox, said it was an "accurate assessment" that the dispute was a lovers’ quarrel. Farber set fire to the couple’s mattress, then called Rahaim to tell him that he had done so before leaving the residence at 870 Bush St., where the men were living while they were looking for a permanent home, Knox said.

Farber has been "going through a difficult time" since the move from Seattle, having left behind his friends and his job, Knox said.

Thirty firefighters and several high-ranking city officials rushed to the three-story home after the fire broke out around 8:40 p.m. Friday. Police found the burning bed, overturned furniture and crushed tomatoes smeared on the floors and walls.

Damage to carpets and walls was estimated at $30,000. Some city officials said they hoped Rahaim would pay for the damage. The planning director did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment.

Farber was arrested in San Mateo County on suspicion of driving under the influence about an hour after the fire broke out.

So I’m reading this and thinking to myself that being single for so much of my life has spared me from this little rite of passage…the lover’s quarrel.  My experiences getting dumped have all been along the lines of You’re a nice guy Bruce…  I don’t get the knock down drag out never darken my door again you bastard fight at the end.  They’re always so fucking nice to me.  So I’m sitting here trying to imagine what it would take to make me want to smear tomatoes all over the walls and floors and I can’t.  Kick over some furniture…yeah…I can imagine myself doing that if I got angry enough.  Getting drunk afterwards…check.  I can grok that.  I think a basic instinct for self preservation would prevent me from setting any fires indoors.  But…tomatoes?  Tomatoes???  (sigh) There is so much about being coupled that I’ve missed out on…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on You’re Doing It Wrong…It’s Burn Your Bridges Behind You, Not The Goddamned Bed…


Tales From The Republican Nanny State

Via Atrios…  From Bill Bennett’s Book Of Virtue…Chapter 88, How Do We Protect Multi-Billion Dollar Oil Companies From Responsibility For Their Own Jackass Behavior…?

Chief Justice Roberts defends Exxon

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on how much money ExxonMobil should be forced to pay as damages for its Exxon Valdez oil spill 19 years ago. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank notes that Chief Justice John Roberts appeared “bothered” that Exxon might have to pay for its destruction:

What bothered the chief justice was that Exxon was being ordered to pay $2.5 billion — roughly three weeks’ worth of profits — for destroying a long swath of the Alaska coastline in the largest oil spill in American history.

“So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?” Roberts asked in court.

The lawyer arguing for the Alaska fishermen affected by the spill, Jeffrey Fisher, had an idea. “Well,” he said, “it can hire fit and competent people.”

The rare sound of laughter rippled through the august chamber. The chief justice did not look amused.

As Atrios said…"The real question is "how can coastal Alaska protect itself from being covered in oil by companies like Exxon." Apparently they shouldn’t be able to.  I imagine if, say, a tractor-trailer careens into Justice Roberts’ home, his first thought won’t be about how to protect the company from punitive damages."

Three weeks worth of profits.  Exxon just posted something like 40 billion dollars in profits for the last fiscal year.  And Roberts thinks that they need to be protected from a 2.5 billion dollar judgment that holds them accountable for what they did to Alaska.  Those coastlines Still aren’t restored.  When republicans talk about the liberal nanny state, verses self reliance and personal responsibility, they’re talking about us peons.  If you’re a multi-billion dollar a year corporation, you’re entitled to all the government largess you want.

  
 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Tales From The Republican Nanny State


Nothing Personal, But Your Marriage Personally Offends Me.

Le Dance Pathetique (Petit)as choreographed by Katy B., of Katy’s Conservative Corner

Un…

"While your blogger has nothing personally against gays…"

Deux…

"…and does not care what they do as consenting adults…"

Trois…

"…she does care about Equality NC’s attempts to tie homosexual desires onto the civil rights causes hard fought by black Americans.  This is just wrong!"

Quatre…

"These gay militants want to be able to be married, just as heterosexuals are, and that personally offends this blogger."

Le Curtian…Applaus a Voux…

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)


Heathens Are The People In The Church Across The Street

When fundamentalists speak of freedom of religion, they don’t mean what you think they mean…

Calif. Capitol chaplain says religious tolerance offends God

An evangelical chaplain who leads Bible studies for California lawmakers says God is disgusted with a rival fellowship group that includes people of all faiths.

"Although they are pleasant men in their personal demeanor, their group is more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior," Drollinger wrote on the Capitol Ministries’ Web site.

The comments drew immediate fire from others in the capital, including the Republican lawmaker who sponsors Drollinger’s Bible study group.

Drollinger said "progressive religious tolerance" is an offense against God and causes harm to its practitioners.

He said the other Bible study group was perpetrating a "deadly lie" by presenting Jesus as "a good moral teacher who loves everyone without distinction."

Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines, who sponsors Drollinger’s Bible study group, said the differing approach between the two groups should not be a cause of conflict between them.

Right.  Until Drollinger’s kind finally acquires the power to decide what the first amendment means. This on Drollinger’s Capital Ministries from Jews On First

Capitol Ministries aims to "reach every elected official in every nation of the world at every level of government with the uncompromised, saving message of Jesus Christ," according to its website. So far, the California-based group has, again according to its website, "singularly focused on establishing biblical ministries in State Capitols throughout our nation … in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ within the political arena, at every level."

… 

The growing roster of states is worth noting because of Capitol Ministries’ extremism.

The group’s leader, Ralph Drollinger, is so extreme that the Los Angeles Daily News reported this month without qualification that he "has a long record of bashing Catholics, gays and mothers of young children who serve in the state Legislature."

In his keynote address to the May 8th Harrisburg "Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast," Drollinger said it was important to challenge legislators to make decisions to "submit to Christ as Lord," according to Rabbi Paula Reimers of Congregation Beth Israel in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who attended.

She also noted Drollinger’s remark that it isn’t necessary "to coerce one who has come to Christ as to how to vote."

In 2004 he [Drollinger] offended many in the California legislature when he called Catholicism "the world’s largest false religion."

According to a 2005 report in the Sacramento News & Review, the previous year Drollinger "had to move the Bible study from the governor’s suites after he labeled Catholicism, the religion of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a ‘false religion.’" Thanks to the sponsorship of three Republican legislators, Drollinger moved the study to a legislative suite, according to the paper, where its attendance was around a dozen Republican lawmakers. There is a separate study group for staffers.

In 2004 Drollinger wrote a Bible study stating that women legislators were sinning by leaving their children to go to Sacramento. "It is one thing for a mother to work out of her home while her children are in school," he wrote. "It is quite another matter to have children in the home and live away in Sacramento for four days a week. Whereas the former could be in keeping with the spirit of Proverbs 31, the latter is sinful."

Drollinger amplified with a patriarchal assertion about the roles of men and women. "Man’s is, primarily, to be a breadwinner, and women’s is to be at home nurturing their children," according to contemporaneous news reports.

Some members of the state Senate responded by wearing aprons to a legislative session.

In the interview with the Sacramento News & Review, Drollinger differentiated his operation from religious right organizations. They, he said, lobby on bills, whereas Capitol Ministries works to win souls (the same distinction he made at the Harrisburg breakfast)..

He also insisted that he supports the separation of church and state, because the two insititutions are biblically ordained to serve different purposes, according to the SNR.

The group’s own descriptions of its activities suggests quite the opposite. A 2002 "Bible study lesson series" aimed at Tennessee government workers was titled "Decision-Making and God’s Will," according to the Nashville Business Journal.

In 2005, in a retort to the speaker of the California Assembly’s statement that all are "children of God," Capitol Ministries’ national "expansion" director, Sean Wallentine, said: "While it is nice to believe that God is everyone’s Father, it is not true." Only those who are "born again" become God’s "adopted children," Wallentine said in a written statement quoted by the California Observer blog.

The Daily News report on the prayer breakfast in Santa Clarita quoted Wallentine disparaging an alternative Interfaith event. "I would just say they’re allowed to have their meeting," he said, "but we wouldn’t be supportive of a meeting that taught that there are many ways to heaven. There are not."

Freedom of religion?  You’re very much mistaken citizen…sin has no rights that men of god are bound to respect…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Heathens Are The People In The Church Across The Street

February 27th, 2008

Straight Friendly

Now…this is nice…this is really cool…if it’s real…

Straight-friendly destinations – the new trend in gay travel

Travel experts at the Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion at the world’s largest tourism fair have said the a new niche market for heterosexuals has emerged.

"Apart from gay and lesbian cruises, we have noticed a clear rise in hotels and resorts that are not only gay-friendly but targeted mainly towards gay men.

"Straight people are, in most cases, allowed to stay, too. The magic word is straight-friendly," said Robert Kastl, Managing Director of Publicom GmbH, the organisers of the Pavilion.

ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism fair, is being held in Berlin from March 5th to 9th.

He claims that destinations that have already established a gay-friendly image are increasingly putting their bets on explicitly gay and lesbian events, which are open to heterosexuals too.

"The range of special travel products has increased and even within the gay and lesbian travel market we are noticing more and more diverse sub-niches," says Kastl. 

The reason I prefer to go to gay friendly places while on vacation is because it’s nice to be able to actually relax and let my hair down and enjoy myself and not have to worry that some asswipe is going to bash my skull in to prove how manly he is and/or much he loves god.  But what I would really like is to be able to enjoy a mixed and diverse crowd of folks who all get along and just want to have a good time wherever we all happen to be. 

You have to figure that a heterosexual who goes to a gay friendly resort goes knowing that they’re going to be in the company of gay people and will likely find themselves witnessing PDAs between same sex couples, if not being the recipient of a cruising glance or two themselves.  If they’re the sort that doesn’t faze then far as I’m concerned I’d love to share a vacation space with them.  Be really nice to, at least for a few brief vacation days, imagine you’re living in a world where being gay (and for that matter, the color of your skin, or the country you’re from or the specifics of your religion) is no more an issue then the color of your eyes or your hair.  It’s hard to believe in that world if everyone around you is the same…even if that sameness is something you need to make you more comfortable.  Especially if, actually.

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)


Okay…This Is Just A Tad Creepy…

From The Washington Post…

Attention, Parents: Larry Craig is Seeking Interns

The Idaho Republican has just announced he’s taking applications for summer internships in his Capitol Hill office, which has been the brunt of gossip and many a colorful "wide stance" joke ever since last summer, when Craig was busted in a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport men’s room sex sting.

"Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office," Craig said in a press release issued Tuesday. "They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho."

Craig is giving preference to "Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college (including graduating seniors)."

The interns Craig seeks are "expected to fulfill some administrative duties such as answering phones, sorting mail and greeting constituents."

…with a pre-arranged shoe tap to let them know the coast is clear.  Craig’s want ad is Here, where he also notes…

Idaho law students are encouraged to apply for a full-time position as Law Clerk working directly with my Chief Counsel in Washington, DC. Contact my Intern Coordinator to learn about requirements and how to apply.

I’ll bet his Chief Counsel is a very busy man these days.  Unlike Mark Foley, I’ve yet to hear of Craig hitting on teenagers.  His libido, if a tad whacked, seems nonetheless to be drawn toward other grown men.  But still…what parent is going to consent to this?  You want to intern for Who?  Over my dead body…!

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Okay…This Is Just A Tad Creepy…


Heroes Of The War Against Homosexuality…(collect the entire series!)

Card #12: Houston District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal:

“I think that this Court having determined that there are certain kinds of conduct that it will accept and certain kinds of conduct it will not accept may draw the line at the bedroom door of the heterosexual married couple because of the interest that this Court has that this Nation has and certainly that the State of Texas has for the preservation of marriage, families and the procreation of children. “Even if you infer that various States acting through their legislative process have repealed sodomy laws, there is no protected right to engage in extrasexual – extramarital sexual relations, again, that can trace their roots to history or the traditions of this nation.” -Chuck, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas

Ah yes…the preservation of marriage and families…

Resignation doesn’t end trouble for Houston’s top prosecutor

Rosenthal is back in the headlines again. Last December, as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit into how justice is meted out in the county, he turned over the (partial) contents of his government e-mail account. And what a batch of e-mails it was. Black ministers called for the Republican to resign because of racist material, including a cartoon depicting an African-American suffering from a "fatal overdose" of watermelon and fried chicken. There were adult video clips and love notes from Rosenthal to his secretary, his mistress during a previous marriage. "I love you so much," Rosenthal says in one. "I want to kiss you behind your right ear," he says in another. "Go spend time with your family," she admonishes him back.

Extrasexual extramarital sexual relations.  Extrasexual extramarital sexual relations.  Extrasexual extramarital sexual relations.  What the fuck?  There something in the water down there?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Heroes Of The War Against Homosexuality…(collect the entire series!)


The Bloodshed Everyone Knew Would Happen…(continued)

Via Pam’s House Blend…  Mayor Naugle and his friends score another one…

Police search for man who attacked gay couple

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Police are searching for a man driven by hate, who beat a gay man and threatened him and his partner, after they finished a meal at an outdoor restaurant.

The couple were dining at the Floridian restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard with a friend around 3 a.m. Saturday when they say a stranger verbally and physically attacked them. "I can barely see out of my right eye at this point, I got scrapes…" said Melbourne Brunner.

Brunner said he received the injuries from the stranger who walked by their table and targeted him for no other reason besides the fact that he is a gay man. Brunner said they tried to be cordial with the stranger when they first made eye contact. "He looked down at us, and my partner said, ‘Good morning,’ and that was it."

Brunner recalled, moments later, the man returned visibly upset. "He just started with this barrage, of, ‘Are you looking at me, you faggot? You know what I do to faggots? I break their necks!’"

After the verbal encounter, his partner and friend decided to ask for their check. They got up, left the restaurant and headed down the sidewalk to their car. That’s when the attacker followed them and made his move. "As I was almost into the car, the guy had made it down the sidewalk and had reached inside and grabbed the edge of the door," explained Brunner. The verbal attack turned physical when Brunner stood up. "That’s when he hit me, and I landed face-down on the concrete."

Mitchell Mart, the victim’s partner, went to render aid to Brunner and noticed his injuries. "I came down the street to pick him up and put him in the car and saw he was badly injured," Mart said. "His forehead immediately swelled up, his eye closed, he was bleeding."

Mart tried to get the attacker’s license tag number from his pickup truck, but the assailant went out of his way to keep it hidden. "He took off his shirt, covered his license plate, put down his tailgate," he said.

Brunner said the attacker then threatened them. "’I’ll kill you before you get my tag number, you faggot!’ and jumped in his car, rolled down the window and was screaming, ‘That’s right, run, faggots, run.’"

Despite the attacker’s attempts to keep his identity hidden, the victims did give a detailed description to police. Authorities are looking for a newer model, four-door Toyota Tacoma with a metallic green color, chrome rims, a black roll bar and a black bed cover. The attacker is described as a white male, in his early 30s, with a muscular build, clean-cut hair, standing about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall.

Make no mistake…this is exactly what they were calling for, when Naugle and a group of black ministers got up in front of the cameras at a press conference, one of them wearing military fatigues, and called for a war on homosexuality, and a cleansing of sin from Ft. Lauderdale.

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Bloodshed Everyone Knew Would Happen…(continued)


I’m Lashing Out At You Because I Couldn’t Lash Out At Dad…

You see it often, how conservative parents of gay kids fight a bitter, vitriolic battle against gay equality, as a way of punishing their children.  There was Robert Knight, who fought gay rights in California till the day he died.  Alan Keyes.  Phylis Schafly.  Charles Socarides.  There’s a bromide about how so many anti-gay KulturKriegen are closeted gays themselves.  But often, it’s not that they’re gay, but that one or more of their children are.  So they lash out at the gay community, as a way of punishing their kids for being gay.  Less often you hear about children of gay parents, doing the same after they’ve grown up and left the nest.  But it’s there.  Just as bitter, just as vitriolic.  Case in point, Dawn Stefanowicz, whose new book, Out From Under, about being raised by a gay father, is being pushed by the usual suspects.  Here’s Peter LaBarbera gushing over it

Folks, this is a beautifully written book that testifies to the lunacy of encouraging homosexual parenting in public policy. It can be ordered through Dawn’s website:

Of course…it’s about more then "encouraging homosexual parenting"…

Stefanowicz said she was prompted to write the book in 2004 after testifying before a Canadian senate committee against hate crime legislation and expressing public opposition to the sexual diversity curricula used in her country’s schools.

…it’s about opposing hate crime legislation…and teaching tolerance to kids…because god knows if we don’t bully the little dickens mercilessly when they’re young they might grow up to be well adjusted gay people.  But look at this…really look at it.  Here’s a woman whose claim to fame is that her childhood was made miserable from having a gay dad, and she’s out there vigorously working to make school kids less accepting of their gay peers, thereby insuring that their childhoods will be miserable too.  Does she want kids to suffer abuse in school?  No.  So long as they’re heterosexual.

But, as it turns out, she doesn’t want other kids, gay or straight, to miss out on the suffering she went through either.  Look at this, from LaBarbera…

The author and speaker said writing down her memories about being raised by a father who welcomed numerous male sex partners into the family’s home on a regular basis was a painful process. Stefanowicz said her father’s destructive homosexual behavior created confusion about sexuality in her own life. In the book she chronicles how, as a young girl, she often wished she were a boy.

Of course, and conveniently, Stefanowicz’s dad isn’t around anymore to tell his side of it.  Stefanowicz says elsewhere that it was only after both her parents had passed away that she was able to come forward with her story.  Okay…that’s entirely plausible.  But it’s also very convenient and you learn to be suspicious of these kinds of happy advantages a speaker has when it comes to the religious right.  But let’s take that story at face value.  There’s two problems here, and below the surface of both, a terrible third.  First, any parent, gay or straight, who "welcomes numerous sex partners" into the household isn’t thinking of the effect that has on the kid, on their sense of being loved, and being secure.  So right away it’s obvious that it wasn’t her father’s homosexuality that was the problem there, it was his indifference to his kid’s emotional needs. 

Second, and reliably, there’s LaBarbera describing that as "homosexual behavior".  This is how bigots think.  It’s exactly like an antisemite talking about greed as a particularly Jewish behavior, or a racist speaking of black criminality.  LaBarbera, who almost certainly knows what he’s doing, deals professionally in every anti-gay stereotype you ever heard.  He’s a professional hate monger, who works tirelessly to inflame passions against gay people.  That’s how he earns a living.

But look closer into Stefanowicz’s story.  Her dad grew up in a time when gay men were deeply closeted, when we were all taught that we were depraved monstrosities deep down inside.  That doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it puts it into context.  We were given no moral guidance from the men of "virtue" in our culture, other then the knowledge that because we were homosexual, we were beyond the pale.  We were given nothing to aspire to beyond the gutter.  Some of us managed to escape that trap, and live decent whole lives in spite of the constant message being drummed relentlessly into us, that we were human garbage.  But it’s that message that Stefanowicz insists the culture keep teaching to gay men and women.

Stefanowicz may claim that writing about her childhood has helped her to heal, but in painting her experience as a warning, not about what homophobia does to gay people and to their families, but rather a warning not to accept the homosexual into society, she’s working diligently to guarantee that other children have exactly the same childhood she did.  Because when the message is that homosexuality is abominable, and that to be homosexual is to be lower then dirt, gay men and women will try everything in their power to not be gay…including getting married and having children.   But the human identity isn’t a blackboard anyone can scribble their will upon, and the sex drive is an instinct older then the fish, let alone the mammals, let alone the primates.  You suppress your sex drive and the next thing you know it’s rushing out in all manner of self destructive ways, and you have no control because you never learned control, because denial isn’t control.  So what we end up with, when we make the culture more homophobic, are a lot of married homosexuals, in denial about their sex drives, and utterly unable to control them.

Just ask this lady what it’s like being married to one

Unlike that poor woman who told her story to MSNBC, Stefanowicz is working to insure that more kids will have childhoods like hers.  Because she has to.  Because if other kids can have happy, fulfilling lives being raised by gay parents, then she’s still all alone in the misery of what happened to her.  Instead of rising above it, she’s made it her home.

More on  Stefanowicz Here, and Here, and Here

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on I’m Lashing Out At You Because I Couldn’t Lash Out At Dad…

February 26th, 2008

The Bloodshed Everyone Knew Would Happen…

Last summer the Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, Jim Naugle, went on an anti-gay rampage, first accusing the gay community of rampant use of the public bathrooms at the beaches for sex.  This despite his own police chief saying to the press that there was no such problem.  Naugle called for special toilet stalls to be installed at the beaches with doors that would fly open after a few minutes, theoretically to discourage their use for sex.  As the controversy grew, Naugle became more deranged in his attacks on the gay community.

I could cite a lot of newspaper articles for this, but I thought I’d show you this, from Peter LaBarbera’s Americans For Truth About Homosexuality.  It pretty well captures the…flavor…of the atmosphere Naugle relentlessly worked to create (and which let it be said, LaBarbera constantly works to create…)…

Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle Refuses to Back Down to Perversion Lobby for Taking on Public ‘Bathroom Sex’

flushnaugle-perversion_lobby_logo.jpg naugle_presbush.jpg Mayor Naugle is pictured above to the direct left of President Bush (he is facing the camera). At left, homosexual activists’ “Flush Naugle” website mocks his stand against homosexual public bathroom sex.

TAKE ACTION:  Watch yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel video of Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle’s press conference in which he apologizes for not doing more to stop homosexual “sex” in the city’s public and beach restrooms. Naugle also opposes housing a homosexual library collection containing hard-core pornographic items in a public library.  E-mail Mayor Naugle at mayorjames@aol.com, and thank him for refusing to be intimidated by a vocal fringe and the liberal media. And contact the Ft. Lauderdale city commissioners and urge them to support the Mayor’s push to protect children and uphold decency.

A note on the Naugle story: will the day ever come when LEADERS of the proud “gay” lobby apologize for their community’s own excesses — e.g., tolerating or encouraging men to commit anonymous sodomies with other men in public restrooms, parks, and bathhouses (sex clubs)?

Kudos to Mayor Naugle. I almost fell off my seat watching this video. Finally, a public servant with the courage to stand up to the homosexual militants and their fellow travelers in the media. Imagine: a big-city mayor tries to stop gross perversions from occurring in public places — and the pro-”gay” lobby says HE is the problem and is embarrassing the city! — Peter LaBarbera  

_________________________

From today’s Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper:

Fort Lauderdale mayor issues apology, but not to gay community 

FORT LAUDERDALE — Mayor Jim Naugle issued a public apology on the steps of City Hall Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn’t the apology the gay community was looking for.

Naugle apologized for underestimating the problem of men having sex with each other in public restrooms, and urged people to call police to complain when they come upon it. He also said Broward County leads the nation in the incidence of new AIDS cases involving men having sex with men, and questioned whether the county tourism office should be welcoming them here.

Naugle alerted the media that he was holding a news conference that would include “an apology.”

Gay activists and others have been calling for a public apology form the mayor, and for his resignation, since the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published Naugle’s comments earlier this month about gays. In article about a proposed self-cleaning, automatic toilet the city was going to buy for the beach, Naugle said an added benefit would be that it would deter men from using it for “homosexual activity,” which he said was a problem in public restrooms.

Naugle, you may recall, capped his performance with a news conference of several anti-gay black ministers from the area, who spoke of fighting a war, and of cleansing Ft. Lauderdale of sin.  One of them even came to the news conference, dressed in military fatigues…

  
 

 

People said blood would be spilled because of climate of hate Naugle was creating.  People tried to get him to at least tone it down.  Instead he gleefully fanned the flames.  Well…looks like Naugle, and all those black ministers who came to support him, who came to declare they were fighting a war, got the blood they were calling for…

Community Outraged Over Continuing Epidemic of Hate Violence

(Ft. Lauderdale) Today, Equality Florida and the coalition Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI) expressed outrage over the murder of Simmie Williams Jr., a gay 17 year-old who was gunned down this past weekend on a street corner in Broward County. Police are investigating the murder as a possible hate crime based on the words witnesses say were exchanged before the shooting.

A memorial is being planned for 4:30PM Thursday, February 27th at the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale where the murder occurred. A town hall meeting will follow at 6:30 at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida 1717 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL to discuss the issue of hate crimes in Florida.

Meet the enemy in the splended little war of the black ministers of Ft. Lauderdale …   The kid who had to die for Mayor Naugle’s fifteen minutes of fame…

Simmie23_williams_brow_flpd_2

“We can be horrified, but we cannot be surprised,” said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. “Just 10 days ago, 15 year-old Lawrence King was gunned down in California.

Ah yes…Lawrence King.  Let us avert our gaze now, toward the west coast…and the pulpit of the Antioch Bible Church…
 

Articles Of Faith: Ridiculing gay men is hateful way to preach

Personally, I have no problem with the effort to make church work better for men or challenging men to step up and do something with their lives. I do have a problem with it when it means, as it sometimes does, putting down women or insisting women play only secondary roles in church or family. And I have a big problem with the guy emphasis when it relies on making gay men objects of derision and ridicule.

Such appears to be the case in remarks made by Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland. Hutcherson has gotten headlines for his efforts to pressure Microsoft on gay issues. He has a right to his views — views he supports with texts from Scripture. Reasonable people can disagree over whether gay marriage is a good idea.

But Hutcherson goes beyond reasonable, at least to judge by the report of Seattle psychologist Valerie Tarico. Tarico, a former staffer at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, was raised in a fundamentalist church. In recent months, she has made it her business to attend services at many of the large, conservative churches in the Seattle area, including Hutcherson’s, to see what’s going on.

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."

"That was a joke," Hutcherson said Friday, when I asked him about the comment. But it’s not really funny, is it?

Trust me…they all laughed when he told it.  Every single self-righteous man and woman of god in those pews.  And you can tell that Hutcherson was only joking by their laughter.  If they’d seen him actually doing it to some poor man who had politely held a door open for him, they wouldn’t have laughed.  They’d have applauded.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Bloodshed Everyone Knew Would Happen…

February 24th, 2008

Survivors

I’ve never been so busy in my life over a weekend, which is why I haven’t been posting.  But it’s been exhilarating.  And these people, these decent, good-hearted courageous people, have provided a much needed tonic to my chronic anger.  To witness so much pain and emotional anguish, so many raw wounds, and still see such essential human decency shining though it all, is astonishing at times.  I could never loose my belief in the human status after this weekend.

  
 

John Holm, Jacob Wilson, Peterson Toscano, Daniel Gonzales and Brandon Tidwell,
before entering the Love Won Out Conference. All five are survivors of various
forms of ex-gay therapy.  John, Peterson, Daniel and Brandon are holding collages that
depict their individual journeys through the ex-gay movement, which they presented
to Exodus conference organizers.  They were able to talk briefly with some of them,
before being ejected from the conference building.

 

 

Peterson, Branden, Jacob and John on their way back from presenting their
collages to the Exodus conference organizers.  No…Daniel didn’t get eaten…he
just walked quickly ahead of the others so he could get back to his video camera
to record the others walking back.

 
I feel so privileged to have been allowed, encouraged even, to photographically document the weekend events.  Yesterday, after the action at the Love Won Out conference, there was a gathering of ex-gay survivors at the Memphis gay community center.  My cameras were only conditionally allowed inside, as there was a real need to create a safe space there for people to basically spill their guts about what had happened to them.  (This is why I never made it as a newspaper photographer…I always ask permission first…)   But I was allowed to witness the event and I’m here to tell you what I saw and heard would make a brick cry, if not a fundamentalist. 
 
One wall inside the center was covered with paper, for the survivors to write little notes on, in an exercise called a "chalk talk".  It was a way of helping them get their feelings out into the open and to acknowledge them…something that is excruciatingly difficult for people who have been emotionally battered to do.  I was not allowed to photograph the process, for I think obvious reasons, but afterwards I was asked to record the little writings on the wall.  I actually had to get up and leave the room twice as, one after the other, the survivors stepped up to the wall and started writing, and I began to see it all coming out, so overwhelming was it.  If I can get permission to put some of what they wrote on that wall here I will.
 
 
 
by Bruce | Link | React! (4)

February 19th, 2008

“What Did You Do To My Parents?”

Why I am going to Memphis tomorrow…

This is tough to watch, and all the more if you’ve ever met Peterson and know what a good heart he has and how much he loves his parents. Never in his life would he have ever wanted to hurt them. What happened wasn’t his fault. But all of that…what happened to Peterson and what happened to his parents…all of that is part of the horrible trail of scar tissue these ex-gay outfits leave behind. There is little enough love in this poor world. To leave the world poorer for it is crime enough. To leave people so wounded inside they have trouble for the rest of their lives finding love and intimacy, to then also drive a stake between them and their parents and family…it is a crime against humanity.

These outfits would largely whither and die almost overnight from lack of money, were they not being bankrolled by the religious right for purely political ends. The ex-gay movement gives them rhetorical ammunition for the Kulturkrieg, and it gives their politicians political cover to oppose basic civil rights for gay people. The war on gay people drives voters to the polls. And…it brings in money. That is why Peterson Toscano, and his parents, and many many others like them over the years, had to bleed. And that is why people are gathering this weekend in Memphis, to shout love into this heart of darkness. Enough is enough. No more wounded people. No more wounded families. No more bleeding hearts. Enough.

I’ll be leaving for Memphis early tomorrow. The last weather forecast I read for Memphis is calling for possible freezing rain around midnight, so I want to be in my hotel well before then. They’ll probably be no blogging tomorrow. But I’ll be posting updates on the events over the weekend as much as possible.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on “What Did You Do To My Parents?”


Corruption…

Via Andrew Sullivan’s blog…  From the National Review’s blog, ring wing crank John Derbyshire actually gets a few things right about Intelligent Design proponents…

I’ve said before here, and repeated as politely as I could in panel discussions with creationists: they’re not just wrong, they’re shifty. In my opinion, they wandered off the straight and narrow when they started pushing this "intelligent design" stuff. My advice to them — frequently offered but, for reasons that are baffling to me, never taken up — is to drop the i-d b-s and go back to good old Biblical creationism. At least that’s an honest point of view founded in Scripture. I understand why the move to i-d was made: to try to get out from under current church-state jurisprudence (not all of which I agree with). However, the constant strain of keeping a straight face while insisting that theirs is not — no way! absolutely not!! — a religious campaign, and talking about the mysterious-but-definitely-not-supernatural "Designer," has corrupted them irredeemably.

No.  What corrupted them irredeemably was idolatry.  These people worship the bible, not God.  And it’s forced them to turn away from everything God actually created, and treat Gods own handwriting in the matter that makes up the water in the sea, the sand on the shore, and the beautiful whirls and colors of sea shells as evil, whenever it contradicts what the idol says.  The first thing you give up when you turn away from the world as it really is, is your integrity.  After that, comes you honor, your self respect, and eventually everything you could have been.  Yes they’re shifty.  That’s what you become when you turn away from the world.  That’s what you have to become.

When the bird and the bird book disagree, believe the bird.  When reality slaps you upside the head, say "thank you".  Don’t tuck your tail between your legs and run away toward the comforting embrace of an idol, because you’ll never stop running until there is nothing left of you but the idol.  The empty, soulless idol.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Corruption…

February 18th, 2008

However, That Was Exactly What John Wanted

Via Box Turtle Bulletin…  The Memphis Commercial Appeal has an article on the upcoming Debunking The Ex-Gay Myth events in Memphis this weekend .  It begins, heartbreakingly enough, with this testimony from Jacob Wilson, who was nineteen when he was checked in to Love In Action…

Wilson, then 19, was a part of Love In Action’s adult program, housed in a former Episcopal church in Raleigh, at the same time that a Bartlett teen was forced into since-closed LIA’s youth program, Refuge.

LIA catapulted itself into the national spotlight two years ago when the Bartlett teen wrote about his angst on his MySpace page.

The gay community’s outrage was instantaneous, as the saga of the then 16-year-old, whose first name is Zach, spread across the blogosphere.

Zach’s supporters protested outside of LIA, but Wilson says the men and women inside were told not to make eye contact with the protesters and not to read their signs.

After Wilson left LIA, he found out what the protesters had wanted him to know.

"These people weren’t doing it to be activists, they were doing it to show that we weren’t alone, that we were loved … It crushes me that that message was cut from us."

Crushing you was the point.  Separating you from the love of your neighbors in this life is how they do it. 

His parents promised they’d pay for his stay at LIA, but reneged when Wilson decided he would live as God made him.

For Wilson, the cost has been strained family relationships, mountains of credit card debt to pay off LIA’s charges and emotional damage from which he’s still healing…

I see John Smid still isn’t giving out any money-back guarantees.

Here, from Beyond Ex-Gay, is a list of scheduled events this weekend in Memphis.  If you can make it, I urge you to come and stand with the survivors.  Let them see the love they weren’t allowed to while inside.  Show them what Love In Action looks like…

  • NEW!  Friday 2/22 noon Press Conference (Press only) at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center MGLCC (892 S. Cooper). Ex-gay survivors, local leaders and experts release statements about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered community in response to Focus on the Family and Exodus promoting an inaccurate picture about LGBT people.
  • Saturday 2/23 2:00-5:00 PM Beyond Ex-Gay Mid-South Regional Gathering, MGLCC (892 S. Cooper)
by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on However, That Was Exactly What John Wanted


Teach Your Children Well…(continued)

Reverend Ken Hutcherson, founder and senior pastor of the Antioch Bible Church near Seattle Washington, and one of the three leaders of the hate group, Watchmen on the Walls, is on the warpath over the Gay-Straight Alliance in his daughter’s school…

This poster is hanging in the window of a classrom at Mt. Si High School!

It’s time we wake up and realize we are in a culture WAR!

When teachers are allowed to hang posters like this in our local school, we’ve got a big problem. It’s time to take back our schools.

Pastor Hutch

Timothy Kincaid, over at Box Turtle Bulletin, has more.  Apparently Hutcherson is upset that his daughter is being called a stressful presence while "monitoring" those GSA meetings.  I can’t imagine why, other then that those kids probably know full well that everyone who attends those meetings, and everything that is said, is being reported right back to Hutcherson, and for all anybody knows, other members of The Watchmen on the Walls.  They might as well be holding their meetings in Hutcherson’s church.

Meanwhile…back in Oxnard…

1,000 march in Oxnard in tribute to slain teen

The Goths in their black T-shirts were there. So were the punks with fluorescent hair and multiple piercings.

There were even a few adolescent boys carrying skateboards among the nearly 1,000 Oxnard youth and other supporters who turned out Saturday for a hastily organized peace march to pay tribute to Lawrence King, 15, the Oxnard student shot to death in a classroom last week.

"Larry, Larry, Larry!" the crowd chanted before marchers clasped hands in a moment of silence for the fallen student.

There were no bullhorns, no speeches and no politicians. Just a mass of mostly adolescents wearing bright clothing, carrying signs and singing John Lennon’s "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance."

The size of the turnout surprised police, school officials and even the two Hueneme High School sophomores who put the event together just three days ago, spreading the word with fliers, cellphone calls and MySpace bulletins.

"We were expecting maybe 100 or 200 people," said Courtney LaForest, 16, as she gazed at a broad "peace circle" formed by march participants at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. "This is incredible."

Courtney said the turnout reflected a community’s anguish over a senseless shooting that has destroyed the lives of two young men. It was also a public plea for tolerance on school campuses for those who are different, she said.

However, "Pastor Hutch" and his friends think it’s time people realize they’re fighting a WAR!  And The enemy…?  Right here…

 

And…here… 

And…here…

 

Children are being shot by children.  Parents are burying their children.  Their friends are being torn apart by shock and loss and grief.  And Hutcherson says we’re in a WAR!  No shit Sherlock.  Two bullets to the head killed a sixteen year old boy and took away from this poor world everything he might have given to it, every moment of friendship and joy and love, every laugh, every smile.  Gone.  All gone.  In an instant.  And Ken Hutcherson’s words, and those of his fellow KulturKriegen, were the gunpowder.

  
 

 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Teach Your Children Well…(continued)

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