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Archive for October, 2009

October 2nd, 2009

Signs The Writer Knows Their Subject

I just received my copy of Republican Gomorrah and cracked it open (after doing the usual book binding break-in thing…you all do this with the new books you get…right…?).  The book is subtitled: Inside the movement that shattered the party.  It purports to be about how the religious right subverted, then dominated republican party politics.

Opening it to the page after the dedications page, I came across this quote…

The great difference between people in this world is not between the rich and the poor
or the good and the evil.  The biggest of all differences in this world is between the ones
that have had or have pleasure in love and those that haven’t and hadn’t any pleasure in love,
but just watched it with envy, sick envy.

Tennessee Williams, Sweet Bird of Youth, Act I 


I expect the author Max Blumenthal, understands his subject completely…


by Bruce | Link | React! (3)

And Since When Did You Care About The Sexual Abuse Of Kids Mr. Hannity?

GLSEN, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, has struggled since 1990 to make schools safer for gay kids.  Here’s their mission statement:

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. 

They started as a local group in 1990, when there were only two Gay-Straight Alliances in the nation.  Since then they have helped nurture more then four-thousand in schools all over the county. They also sponsor the national Day of Silence, to draw attention to how anti-gay bullying shuts gay kids out of the education they need and deserve.

Predictably…all too predictably… they’ve been facing an onslaught of political attacks by the right since day one.  In a world where all children can learn in safe, nurturing environments, where does that leave people…kids and grown adults alike…who think bashing faggots is one way of telling Jesus you love him?  Worse, if kids are taught to respect their gay peers in grade school, they might also respect them in the adult world too.  That simply cannot be allowed to happen.

So GLSEN has been for many years, a major target for various right wing propaganda machines…

Behind its promotion of "tolerance" and "safety," however, are the sordid realities of what GLSEN actually supports. Just about every type of sexual practice imaginable is "celebrated" and even graphically described in first-person stories by students in GLSEN’s recommended literature. GLSEN also supports gender distortion through cross-dressing, even in books recommended for elementary school children.

Criminal, underage sexual contact between adults and minors is a frequent, casual theme in these materials…

-NARTH – GLSEN and Its Influence on Children, by Linda Harvey

Old-timers naturally recall Communist, Fascist and Nazi youth brigades as severing children from their parent’s religious traditions and beliefs.

Such American classroom indoctrination is now found in "hate" and sexual diversity training and in 3,500 nationwide Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) school clubs. Under color of a "Safe Schools Movement" battling alleged "bullying" of so-called "gay" children (K-12), some see GLSEN as a modern version of the Hitler Youth and as preparing the ground for a larger, sweeping, schoolroom Youth Brigade.  

-World Net Daily – GLSEN And The Hitler Youth, by Judith Reisman

GLSEN, which stands for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, proudly claims that its goal is to promote safe schools for people of all sexual orientations.  Many of its programs are billed as "anti-bullying."  GLSEN presents itself as a benign organization devoted to tolerance and understanding.
In fact, GLSEN is anything but benign or tolerant.  What GLSEN actually opposes is "heterosexism."  In other words, GLSEN wants schools to rid children of the outrageous notion that heterosexuality is the norm, and make sure they’re clear that gender is merely a man-made construct.  They’re not really about stopping bullies.  They’re about bullying schools into adopting their radical pro-homosexual agenda.  Not only do they want to teach your kindergartener that it’s okay to be gay, they want to teach your middle-schooler how to be gay.

-One News Now – Mr. Biden Goes To GLSEN

Both GLSEN and PFLAG are activist groups that promote acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and cross-dressing even in elementary schools. They help students organize homosexual clubs with or without parental knowledge; advocate job protection for openly homosexual teachers and ministers; and attempt to partner with schools and churches. Both groups have taken political stances in favor of "gay" marriage and against the Boy Scouts’ moral beliefs on homosexuality.

-Mission America – How You Can Help Stop P-FLAG And GLSEN

The homosexual monster has always been after your children.  That is still one of the most potent means of hate-mongering the struggle for gay equality, and it continues to make the gay community at large gun shy about reaching out to, and supporting gay youth.  GLSEN boldly and proudly stepped into the breach and not only reached out a hand to struggling gay youth, they have energetically taken up their cause.  They say you can always tell who the pioneers are…they’re the ones with the arrows sticking out of them.

Because their outreach is to youth, GLSEN is among the easiest of gay rights groups to smear with the accusation that their only purpose is to give predatory adults access to children.  It is a bedrock trope of the right that homosexuals are not born they are created.  As the slogan goes, Homosexuals don’t reproduce, they recruit.  In the context of gay youth, support, honest facts about homosexuality and sex education become a means to turn your children into homosexuals.  This is the accusation that is usually employed against GLSEN, if not outright, then as a barely concealed subtext.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is holding its annual homosexual recruitment effort on April 9th at several hundred public schools nationwide. It bills this event as the "Day of Silence," which is an attempt to dramatize the alleged plight of "homosexual" teens who are fearful of going public about their sexual behaviors.Day of Silence, however, is nothing more than a clever propaganda campaign designed to silence opposition to the homosexual seduction of children-and to lure more sexually confused teens into a lifestyle that is fraught with physical and mental health dangers.

-Traditional Values Coalition – Homosexual Recruitment Programs May Face Legal Challenges

Radical activists foresee a time when homosexuals literally rub elbows with children in an effort to alter their views. Lesbian author Patricia Nell Warren wrote in The Advocate of “the bloody war in our high schools and colleges for the control of American youth.” Part of what was needed to win that war, Warren said, was that homosexuals “need to be mentoring, teaching, canvassing” both gay and straight kids.

Homosexuals are not fighting this “bloody war” in a haphazard manner. Instead, homosexual groups like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), are organizing and developing a national strategy to get into public schools. Based in New York City, GLSEN has been enormously effective since it was formed in 1990. Some 7,500 GLSEN members now promote their agenda in more than 80 chapters throughout the U.S., and the number of Gay-Straight Alliances in public schools registered with GLSEN now stands at 400. 

-The American Family Association – Homosexual Agenda: Targeting Children

The homosexual monster has always been after your children.  It should come as no surprise that this is the first thing the right jumped on, when President Obama nominated GLSEN founder, to head his Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools…

He wants homosexuality to be taught in American schools — in his book Always My Child, Jennings calls for a “diversity policy that mandates including LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] themes in the curriculum.”  But he wants only one side of this controversial issue to be aired, and apparently believes in locking sexually confused kids into a “gay” identity. That’s the implication of his declaration, “Ex-gay messages have no place in our nation’s public schools. A line has been drawn. There is no ‘other side’ when you’re talking about lesbian, gay and bisexual students.”

Jennings does not limit his promotion of homosexuality in schools only to high schools or middle schools. He wrote the foreword for a book titled Queering Elementary Education, which includes an essay declaring that “‘queerly raised’ children are agents” using “strategies of adaptation, negotiation, resistance, and subversion.”

Perhaps the most dramatic illustration, however, of Jennings’ unfitness for a “safe schools” post involves an incident when he taught at Concord Academy, a private boarding school in Massachusetts. In his book One Teacher in Ten (the title is based on the discredited myth, now abandoned even by “gay” activist groups, that ten percent of the population is homosexual), he tells about a young male sophomore, “Brewster,” who confessed to Jennings “his involvement with an older man he met in Boston.” But at a GLSEN rally in 2000, Jennings told a more explicit version of “Brewster’s” story. Jennings here quotes the boy and then comments: “‘I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.’ High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people.”

Did Jennings report this high-risk behavior to the authorities? To the school? To the boy’s parents? No — he just told the boy, “I hope you knew to use a condom.” Sex between an adult and a young person below the “age of consent” (which varies from state to state) is a crime known as statutory rape, and some states mandate that people in certain professions report such abuse.

-Human Events – Kevin Jennings — Unsafe for America’s Schools

This story that Jennings had looked the other way at a case of statutory rape ran like an angry mob with torches across the right  wing noise machine…

Sean Hannity: "As The Washington Times said, ‘At the very least, statutory rape occurred,’ and he didn’t report it." On the September 30 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity said: "We have the safe schools czar, a guy by the name of Kevin Jennings, OK? And he writes this book, and he gives information to a 15-year-old — ABC News and Jake Tapper write about this tonight — a 15-year-old sophomore, and his advice to him when he’s having a gay relationship is, you know, ‘Did you use a condom?’ He knew it was an older adult. Now, as The Washington Times said, ‘At the very least, statutory rape occurred,’ and he didn’t report it. Now he’s saying that he made a mistake, only because it’s been reported on. My question is, where’s the vetting process? Why was he even put in this position?" Hannity went on to call for Jennings to be "fired."

-Media Matters For America – Fox, right-wing media claim Jennings covered up "statutory rape"

But there is a problem with this.  First, Jennings now says the boy was 16, not 15, which is the age of consent in Massachusetts.  That would mean there was no statutory rape.  But that is beside the point.  The problem the right has with Jennings isn’t that he looked the other way when an older man had sex with a kid.  Here’s the problem:

In a 1994 book, he recounted his experience as an in-the-closet gay teacher at a private school, and he described a 1988 episode in which a male high school sophomore confided to him his involvement with an older man. Jennings was 24 years old then, and as he wrote, "I listened, sympathized, and offered advice. He left my office with a smile on his face that I would see every time I saw him on the campus for the next two years, until he graduated."

In a 2000 talk to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, which Jennings had started, he recalled that this student had been 15 years old, had met the older man in a bus station bathroom–for that was the only way he knew how to meet gay people–and that he (Jennings) had told him, "I hope you knew to use a condom." Jennings’ best friend had died of AIDS the week before his chat with the student. According to Jennings, the student replied, "Why should I? My life isn’t worth saving anyway."

-Politics Daily – The New Right-Wing Hit Job: Kevin Jennings

Emphasis mine.  Jennings told this kid his life Was worth saving.  That’s the problem.  Make no mistake…that is Exactly why they are whipping up the standard right wing feeding frenzy over Obama picking him to head the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.  Jennings told a gay kid his life Was worth saving.  That is the wrong message to give to gay kids.

This incident happened in 1988 and both Jennings and the kid were in the closet.  Here David Corn almost grasps it:

The right is vilifying Jennings because he didn’t tell the student’s parents or the authorities that this closeted gay student was having sex with an older man. That is, he didn’t out this student, who was clearly troubled by his inability to be open about his sexual orientation.

Conservatives who oppose gay rights generally don’t display much sympathy for people who have to keep their homosexuality hidden–and don’t show much concern for how that affects their lives. But I can imagine the difficult situation both Jennings and the student were in. The student needed a confidante, and Jennings had to worry about the students well-being, which included protecting his secret. (Had there not been so much anti-gay prejudice, of course, the two would not have been in these respective positions.) It’s possible that Jennings helped save the kid’s life by encouraging him to think about condoms. It’s possible that outing the student may have led to terrible consequences. There’s no telling. But only someone blinded by ideology would refuse to recognize that Jennings was contending with thorny circumstances. Perhaps he didn’t make the right decision. It was a tough call. But the go-for-his-throat campaign being waged against Jennings is mean-spirited and fueled by an any-means-necessary partisanship.

Well…no.  Partisan it surely is, but the fuel on this fire is hate, pure and simple.  Jennings should have brought the police into it, not to look into a case of statutory rape, but to have the kid locked up for having sex in a public place, where he would likely have been raped by older inmates. The kid should have been outed to parents and family and peers and everyone he knew.  His life should have been made so miserable that the only smile to grace his face would be the one he made as he slit his wrists.  That instead the kid walked out of Jennings office with hope instead of despair was unforgivable.  That is what this is all about.

It is grotesque to take at face value the word of bigots who have opposed with scorched earth political warfare even the smallest efforts to stop the bullying of gay youth in schools, that they are appalled that Jennings looked the other way at a case of child abuse.  If they are appalled at anything, its the prospect of real work being done now at the federal level to insure that schools are actually made safer for kids…all kids…and that gay kids can get an education too, and grow up healthy and strong and walk proudly into their future.  That must never be allowed to happen.  Because our hopes and dreams are their stepping stones to heaven.  Because if we don’t bleed, they are not righteous.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

October 1st, 2009

How The Game Is Played…(continued)

You knew the ex-gay movement had no conscience when you saw them dragging contented, well adjusted gay teens into their reparative therapy chambers against their will.  And if that didn’t cinch it, when you saw them opposing grade school anti-bullying reforms that sought to protect gay kids out of one side of their mouths, while out of the other insisting that they are being oppressed simply for who they are.  Right?  You knew this.  Now behold David Elliott bellyaching in this PFOX press release that gay state representative Jay Fisette does not respect the rights of the rhetorically heterosexual…

When staffing the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) exhibit booth at the Arlington County fair last month, I spotted Jay Fisette, my elected county representative who self-identifies as gay. Two years ago at this fair, a gay man had assaulted me because he was upset with my ex-gay story of hope and change from a homosexual identity. Because I did not press assault charges, some gay activists and Fisette falsely claimed the assault never occurred.

When I saw Fisette at the fair this year, I had the opportunity to tell him the assault had actually occurred, no matter how much he may dislike ex-gays like me. I said, "I wanted to let you know that I was hit when I was working at this booth in a previous year." Fisette replied, "What happened to you wasn’t good, but neither is your message." I responded, "Everyone has their own opinion." Briskly, he replied, "No."

Fisette then looked at us and inquired, "Are you guys ex-gays?" Both myself and the other PFOX volunteer affirmed that yes, we are ex-gays. Fisette shook his head and hurriedly walked away.

Question: When Jay Fisette, an elected government official, says "No," does he mean that I do not have a right to my own opinion of not accepting the ‘gay’ label for myself? Or does he mean that he refuses to dialogue on the ex-gay issue?

Gay groups exhibit at this fair too. Does Mr. Fisette also believe that gay groups do not have a right to their own opinion? Or is the right of self-determination permitted only to gays like him?

The Washington D.C. Superior Court recently ruled that ex-gays are a protected class eligible for sexual orientation non-discrimination protection. Does Fisette agree that his county’s sexual orientation law also protects ex-gays?

Jay Fisette is an elected official in Virginia and I would hope that elected officials are tolerant toward others, regardless of their sexual orientation.

To someone unfamiliar with the events described therein, the press release reads like a cry for help amidst the onslaught of the militant homosexual agenda.  But to anyone else its in-your-face, any-lie-you-can-get-away-with-oh-see-my-golden-halo mendacity is grotesque.  Also par for the course when it comes to PFOX, which is to integrity in discussions concerning human sexuality as FOX News is to integrity in journalism.  Let’s start with the biggest whopper first…

The Washington D.C. Superior Court recently ruled that ex-gays are a protected class eligible for sexual orientation non-discrimination protection.

Er…not exactly

In 2002, the group applied to secure a display at the National Education Association’s annual convention. PFOX submitted an application, signed a deposit check, and prepared its exhibit: an educational display, it claimed, “to promote tolerance and equality for the ex-gay community.” The NEA denied PFOX’s application, citing limited booth space. PFOX suspected there was another motive at play: sexual orientation discrimination.

In 2005, PFOX filed a discrimination claim with the D.C. Office of Human Rights against the NEA for “refusing to provide public accommodations to ex-gays.” When the OHR sided with the association, PFOX appealed. D.C. Superior Court Judge Maurice Ross handed down the decision in June of this year: PFOX’s discrimination complaint was again denied.

But Ross handed PFOX a symbolic victory. While he decided in the NEA’s favor, Ross also held that ex-gays should, in fact, be protected under the sexual orientation clause of the D.C. Human Rights Act. In Ross’ view, the Human Rights Act protects not only groups defined by “immutable characteristics,” as the Office of Human Rights’ decision claimed. The act also protects groups defined by “preference or practice”—like people who previously “practiced” gayness and now “prefer” to practice heterosexuality.

PFOX’s celebratory press release about the ruling didn’t mention that the judge saw fit to make an analogy to the KKK. The embrace of D.C.’s sexual-orientation law was a bit of a departure for PFOX, which has spent most of its history rallying against anti-discrimination protections for gays, lesbians, and transgender people…

Dig it…PFOX Lost that case.  The judge, in agreeing that ex-gays fall within the protections of the D.C. Human Rights Act, was basically smacking the Office Of Human Rights upside the head for arguing that the act only protected those groups with immutable characteristics.  Yes…that’s what they argued.  HuH?

A person’s religious beliefs for example, are chosen.  Going to church and worshiping in the manner your conscience dictates is a chosen behavior.  These sorts of chosen behaviors, expressions of a person’s deepest convictions and conscience, deserve the same protections under law as characteristics of race and gender.  And in fact, the first civil rights laws I am made to understand, were passed in New York City ages ago…to protect Irish Catholics. 

It’s that Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness thing.  Which…ironically…the religious right absolutely despises when it’s granted to the heathens too.  But it protects both them as well as the likes of me, and a decent society respects that right to conscience in all its citizens.  Even the morons. 

PFOX lost the case, because the judge also recognized the right of the NEA to exclude groups based on the content of their message. The same right in other words, that gives the New York City Hibernians the right to exclude gay Irish from their Saint Patrick Day parade, also gives the NEA the right to exclude groups that promote anti-gay intolerance.  Groups like…oh…PFOX…

In 1998, two dozen of the country’s leading Christian Right groups convened in Colorado Springs, Colo., at Focus on the Family’s sprawling headquarters complex. Led by Janet Folger of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, the coalition of anti-gay groups called themselves "Truth in Love." They decided to spend $600,000 on advertisements in the New York Times and USA Today to try to make "ex-gay" a household word.

Folger spelled out the new strategy in an NPR interview, saying, "That ex-gays exist shatters the foundation of the homosexual movement." On ABC’s "Nightline," she admitted to wanting to imprison gays through enforcing anti-sodomy laws that were later thrown out by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Regardless, Truth in Love officials maintained that their message was one of hope and compassion.

Initially, ex-gay therapists and ministers were elated at the money and attention from the wealthy and powerful Christ Right groups that had shunned them for decades. In 1999, the Family Research Council, created as a political arm of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, gave $80,000 to fund PFOX, or Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays. In return, PFOX president Anthony Falzarano – a former male prostitute and confidante of closeted prosecutor Roy M. Cohn, the rabid anti-communist who persecuted homosexuals before dying in 1986 from complications of AIDS – lobbied to keep anti-sodomy laws from being repealed in Louisiana.

Today, PFOX is headed by Regina Griggs, the mother of an openly gay son. The group’s goals have as much to do with transforming public schools as they do with changing people’s sexual identities. In a move its officials aim to replicate nationally, PFOX, with the help of Alliance Defense Fund and the Thomas More Law Center ("Christianity’s answer to the ACLU"), sued the Montgomery County School District in Maryland for the right to operate a high school ex-gay club. PFOX lost the suit but continues to distribute ex-gay literature in Maryland schools. 

-The Southern Poverty Law Center – Straight Like Me

For a flavor of how PFOX views same sex relationships…try their article on same-sex marriage…

From a young age, I was exposed to explicit sexual speech, self-indulgent lifestyles, varied GLBT subcultures and gay vacation spots. Sex looked gratuitous to me as a child. I was exposed to all-inclusive manifestations of sexuality including bathhouse sex, cross-dressing, sodomy, pornography, gay nudity, lesbianism, bisexuality, minor recruitment, voyeurism and exhibitionism. Sado-masochism was alluded to and aspects demonstrated. Alcohol and drugs were often contributing factors to lower inhibitions in my father’s relationships.

My father prized unisex dressing, gender-neutral aspects and a famous cross-dressing icon when I was eight years old. I did not see the value of biological complementing differences of male and female or think about marriage. I made vows to never have children since I had not grown up in a safe, sacrificial, child-centered home environment. Due to my life experience, I ask, "Can children really perform their best academically, financially, psychologically, socially and behaviorally in experimental situations?" I can tell you that I suffered long term in this situation, and this has been professionally documented.

-PFOX – Same-Sex "Marriage." Have the Best Interests of Children Been Considered?

PFOX is part and parcel of the religious right’s Ex-Gay dog and pony show, and that show is not about, as they claim, helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, but giving bigots an excuse to blame gay people for their own persecution.  If the gays don’t want to be discriminated against they can always change…  This is what that "change is possible" rhetoric is all about.  Change is possible, so if that hospital shuts a gay man out of his dying lover’s room because only real, as opposed to homosexual fake families are allowed to be together, if a lesbian’s boss fires her because the company doesn’t want sexual deviants in the work force, if a gay teenager got the crap beaten out of him because normal kids are disgusted by homosexuals, it’s their their fault because they choose to live the homosexual lifestyle.

Which brings me to the other big whopper in David’s press release…

Two years ago at this fair, a gay man had assaulted me because he was upset with my ex-gay story of hope and change from a homosexual identity. Because I did not press assault charges, some gay activists and Fisette falsely claimed the assault never occurred.

Ah yes…the incident of the militant homosexual attacker at the Arlington County Fair.  The problem is of course, nobody but the two PFOX droids at the booth witnessed this assault

I’d previously posted on PFOX’s rather hysterical claims a homosexual activist assaulted an ex-gay at the Arlington County Fair. At the time I noted only suspect websites catering to the religious right were reporting on the supposed incident.

Bravo to editor Dave Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch for undertaking an investigation. Roberts contacted the only gay organization with a booth at the fair, the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance. He also contacted the fair’s event manager and the Arlington County Police Department and strangely no one had heard of such an incident. Roberts wrote:

We contacted the Arlington PD and ended up speaking with John Lisle of the Media Relations/Legislative Affairs Office. He had no initial knowledge of such an incident. After checking briefly, he again said that no one was aware of such an incident. So we sent a copy of the PFOX statement to him at which time he agreed to check more thoroughly. After over two days of research, there was nothing he could add to his statement; no report exists and no one recalls such an incident.

Mind you…this was in a fair area packed with people.  And nobody saw this attack?  Ah Ha says PFOX…but one of the officers Did Confirm It Happened….!


On September 10, we received the following email from John Lisle, our contact at the ACPD. It was our original inquiry to him that started their investigation into the matter and we asked that he let us know if any new information turned up. This was also posted to the original thread by a commenter about an hour after we received it.

One officer told me today he was on patrol at the Fair when a woman approached him and told him a man had knocked over pamphlets at the PFOX booth and assaulted another man there.

The officer then spoke to the alleged victim. He did not want to press charges and therefore no written report was filed.

Based on the description the officer was given, he located the suspect at the Fair. Another officer escorted that gentleman off the Fair grounds.

This was quite exciting, as up to now we were coming up dry everywhere. Contrary to the way it has been framed by some, this obviously isn’t proof of an assault — even the police have no witnesses — but it is something. Clearly the PFOX workers had talked with the officers and we were able to exchange questions with them through Lisle over the next week or so.

We first verified the place and time. Whatever it was, it did in fact occur at approximately 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, August 18, at the PFOX booth located inside the indoor section of the Arlington County Fair. One can get a general idea of how the booths were arranged by the photograph to the left, however we were told that it was more crowded Saturday evening than in this photograph. This was also the time frame during which two witnesses told us they saw what they called a “heated discussion” at the PFOX booth (but no assault or literature thrown).

When questioned by the police, the alleged attacker denied hitting anyone but admitted that “his emotions got the best of him.” So while he could be lying, he could also be truthfully admitting to the “heated argument” that others have reported. Either way, we still have no one from a crowded, indoor location who saw a physical assault or literature being thrown to the floor — at least no one other than those at the PFOX table.

The police asked him to leave based on their belief that he was at the very least involved in some sort of disturbance, as even he admitted to becoming overly emotional. Since they saw nothing themselves, and the alleged victim did not press charges, no other action was taken. Currently, the police do not know the name of the alleged attacker, and they have no witnesses other than the two PFOX workers. If they had seen an attack themselves, they could have arrested the attacker whether the victim pressed charges or not.

So…to recap…nobody saw it happen the officers who responded included, nobody was arrested, and nobody even knows now who this alleged assailant person is.  But…All Is Not Lost…

In the mean time, PFOX found a sympathetic ear in Matt Barber, a Concerned Woman for America attorney and writer. In a web audio interview, PFOX executive director Regina Griggs and someone claiming to be the alleged victim, “David,” basically told the same story as before, while Barber read the email above from Lisle as “proof-positive that this occurred.” Again, it is certainly germane, but it is not proof of anything beyond the fact that someone from PFOX relayed this story to the police that evening, and based on that they asked someone to leave.

And the problem with all this is that the word of PFOX is…well…worth its weight in gold…

There were some other issues brought out in this interview. David describes the alleged attacker as “belligerent,” yet in the next breath says he invited him out to his car, away from the booth, to retrieve his Bible — not a smart move for someone he considered so threatening. Also, Griggs stated a couple of times that she was the woman at the booth with David, yet both our witnesses have identified Estella Salvatierra — a longtime PFOX vice president and moderator, who is a civil rights attorney for the FCC in Washington — as the woman there during the incident, and after. While we don’t currently have a photo of Griggs, there are at least 20 years and any number of physical differences between her and Salvatierra.

We don’t yet know why it would matter, but the evidence suggests that Griggs was not there and Salvatierra was, yet Griggs is saying otherwise. Lisle has also said that during her conversations with him, Griggs has never spoken as though she was present at the booth during the incident, as she does in the audio interview and other places. Again, we don’t yet know the significance of this, but she clearly can’t speak about events in the first person if she was not there at the time.

Does it even matter?  Maybe there is some yet to be revealed motive for concealing the identity of the second PFOX worker there, but more likely it is just the reflexive lying of the habitually mendacious.  As Frank Lloyd Wright once said, no stream rises higher then its source.  The ex-gay movement, to the extent it can even be called a movement and not a prop in the religious right’s culture war, is built on a bedrock of myths, lies and superstition regarding homosexuality.  Truth is a matter of belief, not facts.  What matter who was actually there, or what they actually saw.  Concerned Women For America have another story to feed the right wing propaganda mill about the threat of militant homosexuality, which is all that really matters.

Here’s what I think happened, based on nothing more then a middle aged gay man’s lifetime of watching how fanatics readily build up a head of steam when they’re not getting their way.  Someone, probably a gay someone, saw the PFOX booth, went over, looked at one of the pamphlets denigrating homosexuals as sexually broken disordered threats to children and families, and got into an argument with the droids working said booth.  Said droids, shaken as their kind usually are whenever their scapegoats get uppity, rush to ask fair security to eject the uppity homosexual.  But even in Virginia…well…Northern Virginia…you can’t just demand to have a homosexual ejected because they don’t appreciate pamphlets being handed out describing them as sexually broken versions of what a human being is supposed to be.  So the threat was…elaborated upon.  He didn’t just have an argument with us…he was…Belligerent.  He threw our papers to the ground.  Yes…that’s what he did.  And…and…wait a minute…he trashed our booth.  And…and…he assaulted us!  Physically assaulted us!

And then we invited him to walk with us to our car so we could read the bible to him…

Mind you…I’m not saying they don’t thoroughly believe their own stories by now.  Look up the word confabulation.  If it wasn’t for confabulation, there wouldn’t even be a republican party in America right now, let alone a religious right.  In the meantime, David Elliot is working the Alexandria County Fair another year, mining it for all the outrage he can concoct, all the evidence that it is ex-gays who are a persecuted minority, and not gay people who face another election year round of state ballot initiatives making marriage a right only heterosexual couples can enjoy…

Jay Fisette is an elected official in Virginia and I would hope that elected officials are tolerant toward others, regardless of their sexual orientation.

No you don’t.  No more then you hope school kids are tolerant of their gay peers, or society as a whole is tolerant of same-sex couples.  It’s not your sexuality that’s fluid David.  It’s not your reality either.  It’s your morals.  Your word as to what transpired between you and Jay Fisette is worth its weight in gold.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on How The Game Is Played…(continued)

Roman Polanski And The Child Abuse Apologists…All Of Them…

Like many people I suppose, I’m following the story of Roman Polanski reluctantly…drawn into it against my better judgment.  It’s an ugly affair but there is far more ugliness in the public chatter surrounding it.  In 1977, the year he was arrested and tried, I had just tentatively begun to come out to my circle of friends and I had my own issues with human sexuality.  I wasn’t all that interested in the sexual trials and tribulations of a 44 year old Hollywood glitterati, other then how it re-enforced my perceptions of the heterosexual double standard.  Had his thirteen year old victim been a boy I had little doubt his film making career would have been over instantly and his name would be poison in the film industry.  But Hollywood seemed perfectly willing to forgive him his use of a thirteen year old girl as sexual junk food.  Probably because it was something practiced among the Hollywood rich and powerful all the time.  His crime it seemed, if any, was that he had allowed it to make headlines.

So now it’s back in the headlines again, and I’m watching the stories fly across my Google News page with the same sense of irritable astonishment.  Hello…look at all the people who were outraged at the way the Catholic church aided and abetted child molesting priests, coming to Polanski’s defense.  I have to wonder in retrospect how much of that outrage was because they took sexual advantage of kids at the same time they’re preaching about sexual purity, or because they were homosexuals and the victims were boys.  How much ink would have been spilled on the scandal had the victims been girls instead?  But this passage from Polanski’s victim, now an adult who just wants to not have to deal with it anymore, struck me…

She spoke with People magazine in 1997. After her mother went to police, "all hell broke loose," Geimer said. The European media compared her to Lolita, the young seductress in fiction.

"The fallout was worse than what had happened that night," she told People. "It was on the evening news every night. Reporters and photographers came to my school and put my picture in a European tabloid with the caption Little Lolita. They were all saying, ‘Poor Roman Polanski, entrapped by a 13-year-old temptress.’ I had a good friend who came from a good Catholic family, and her father wouldn’t let her come to my house anymore."

Against that backdrop, the plea deal was struck.

Afterward, Geimer shut down emotionally and rebelled, she told People on the 20th anniversary of the crime.

"I was this sweet 13-year-old girl, and then all of a sudden I turned into this pissed-off 14-year-old,’ Geimer said. I was mad at my attorney; I was mad at my mom. I never blamed her for what happened, but I was mad that she had called the police and that we had to go through this ordeal. Now I realize she went through hell trying to handle things as best she could."

Geimer dropped out of school, got pregnant at 18 and married at 19. She divorced and moved with her family to Hawaii. She later married a carpenter, with whom she had two more children.

This reminded me of something I’d read a couple years ago in a New York Times story about a gay kid and the family who loved and accepted him just as he was

Cindy and Dan O’Connor were very worried about Zach. Though bright, he was doing poorly at school. At home, he would pick fights, slam doors, explode for no reason. They wondered how their two children could be so different; Matt, a year and a half younger, was easygoing and happy. Zach was miserable.

The Times story is as heartwarming as the tale of Roman Polanski is grotesque.  Zach’s parents loved their gay kid, and tried their level best to make sure he knew it, even as the kid struggled with terrible fears and doubts about himself.  But both stories contain this little nugget of fact: both kids turned from sweet little dears into sullen, angry, and self destructive shells of their former selves almost in an instant.  And it wasn’t simply a case of raging adolescent hormones that did it.  They had both been sexually abused.  Geimer directly and physically.  O’Connor, though his parents tried their absolute best to protect him from it, by the culture of anti-gay hate he was growing up in.

The misery Zach caused was minor compared with the misery he felt. He says he knew he was different by kindergarten, but he had no name for it, so he would stay to himself. He tried sports, but, he says, “It didn’t work out well.” He couldn’t remember the rules. In fifth grade, when boys at recess were talking about girls they had crushes on, Zach did not have someone to name.

By sixth grade, he knew what “gay” meant, but didn’t associate it with himself. That year, he says: “I had a crush on one particular eighth-grade boy, a very straight jock. I knew whatever I was feeling I shouldn’t talk about it.” He considered himself a broken version of a human being. “I did think about suicide,” he says.

Though I never hated myself for being gay, I know something of the misery that kid was going through.  I wrote about it Here

That was so me.  And looking back on it after mom retired, I never really appreciated how bad I was.  Then when mom passed away, I inherited her diaries.  And I saw it all then.  It was very painful reading…

Bruce came home in a very bad mood.  Stomped into the bedroom…  So I called up J*** & went over to her place for the rest of the evening.  He had my stomach just tied up in knots…Oh how I wish he would turn back to the Lord & become like the little boy I once knew, kind, thoughtful, & love for all…

But I wasn’t her little boy anymore, let alone bloody likely to walk back into a church where I would be demonized as an abomination in the sight of God.  I was a young man with a young man’s needs and doubts and heartbreaks, all the more confusing and difficult to deal with not so much because I was gay, as that I couldn’t talk to the one person in my life who by all rights should have known me better then anyone, and who might have been able to give me some guidance, but mostly just love, when I needed it most.  And love she Did give me…but it had, or so I felt, strings attached.  Strings I was terrified to break.

She absolutely positively didn’t want me to come out to her. Every time I even went near the subject of my sexual orientation she would get cold and angry herself and throw up a wall. So I just accepted the fact that we could never talk about it, and I always had to keep that part of me inside when I was in the house.  So when my first love left me, and then my second try went very bad on me, and then my third, and I was a miserable desolate wreak inside, I had to keep it inside.  I grew increasingly sullen and angry. 

Even my friends back then, who were mostly straight, saw it.  It was a time before the Internet, and easy access to information about the greater gay community beyond my doorstep.  I only knew of a few seedy bars downtown, where I really didn’t want to be.  To get my weekly copy of the Washington D.C. gay paper, The Blade, or the Advocate, I had to venture down to this really squalid adult bookstore in nearby Wheaton.  Gay kids nowadays will, thankfully, never know how alone and isolated it felt to be gay back then.  Most of my friends were straight kids I knew from my high school days, and I really couldn’t talk much to them either, as counter-cultural tolerant as they were (though some of them not so much really).  But none of them could have given me what mom might have been able to, had we both lived in a different world.

If only I’d had a chance to open up to her about what was going on in my life, if only I’d had her to talk to then, I might have been a lot less angry, a lot less miserable. My temper was always flaring. I would storm into my room and sulk for hours. I knew I was having "anger management" issues back then, but in retrospect I never thought I was as bad as I was, until I read her diaries.

It isn’t just Roman Polanski’s apologists who are hypocrites here.  The deeper, uglier hypocrisy hangs around all the sexual moralists now venting at Polanski’s apologists, who themselves see nothing wrong with sexually brutalizing children.  From clergy thumping their pulpits that god considers homosexuality an abomination, to right wing pundits and politicians raging against the homosexual menace, to the hostile hate filled mobs that pack school board meetings to rage against anti-bullying rules that protect gay kids, to the child abusers in every ex-gay ministry that teach gay kids to fear their bodies and hate themselves, the only difference in kind between them all and Roman Polanski is that Polanski, as near as I can determine, never said he boozed up and raped that girl because he loved her and wanted to bring her closer to God.

It’s not just gay kids who suffer at the hands of these human hating thugs.  Read this blog post about the criminalization of teenage sexuality and try not to cry.  As Ed Brayton writes on Dispatches From The Culture Wars…

The age at which the most people are convicted of "sexual assault" is fourteen. Fourteen. And no doubt some of those were actual sexual assaults. But the vast majority of them were not. The vast majority of them were kids convicted of statutory rape. And they are then, in most states, considered sex offenders for the rest of their lives. A taste of why this essay is so important, first on how easy it is to become one of those statistics:

It takes so little for this happen to a child. A girl in school has oral sex with a boy in school. She becomes a sex offender for the rest of her life. Streaking a school event, as a practical joke, becomes a sex crime in the new America. Two kids "moon" a passerby and are incarcerated in jail as sex offenders, where they may well learn a lesson or two about rape. A teenager, who takes a sexy of photo of him, or herself, is paraded around the community as a "child pornographer" for the rest of his or her life…

If you think this was an unintended result of the past couple decades of right wing hysteria over child sexual abuse, you are not paying attention.  This is exactly what they wanted to accomplish.  Not the persecution of child molesters, but of children.  Because they must hate their bodies.  Because they must hate themselves, all of them, gay and straight alike.  They must hate themselves.  And most of all, they must fear joy. 

This isn’t rocket science.  Our children are our future.  The way we treat them is the judgment we pronounce every day upon the human race.  When you see someone treating them like crap you have to wonder if that’s not because they think the human race is crap and doesn’t deserve to survive.  And many do.  If you think child molesting louts like Polanski are the bottom of the human gutter you haven’t looked down into it very far and I can’t say I blame you.  Nietzsche was right about gazing for too long into an abyss…

To Polanski’s defenders I can only say this: No means No.  That simply should not even be an arguable thing.  I understand the reflex to push back against American sexual hypocrisy.  But: No means No.  Furthermore, if you are a grown adult and the person whose pants you’re trying to get into is a kid, Yes means No too.  They may come onto you.  They may think they get it.  But they don’t.  Not the way you do.  Your job is to set an example, to show them what it is to be the grownup they ache to become.  How often do you bellyache about corporate greed and political avarice?   How often do you rail against the coarseness of American culture, the casual off-handed brutality of a might-makes-right morality?  Did you ever blast the cigarette companies for pushing their health damaging addictive wares onto kids?  You take sexual advantage of a kid, and for sure that kid will grow up with an understanding that taking advantage of someone weaker and more vulnerable then them for your own greedy pleasures isn’t so wrong after all.  Is that what you want? 

You need to be the kind of person you want that kid to grow up to be.  You need to live the kind of life you want the world of tomorrow to become.  Yes, sex is wonderful.  Sex is one of this life’s perfect joys.  But only where No means No and grownups don’t take advantage of naive youngsters, itching to grow up quickly.  If you want kids to grow up strong and proud and beautiful and unafraid of their sexual selves, then adults who take advantage of them must be held accountable.  For the sake of all those strong, proud, beautiful kids and the tomorrow they represent.

As for the voices from the kook pews now crying hypocrite at Polanski’s defenders: If sex, as your kind is so fond of saying, is for making babies, then hating human sexuality is also a way of hating the future, hating the human race.  You warp a kid emotionally to the point they are incapable of having a healthy sexual relationship with anyone, and you are damaging not only that kid, but everyone that kid takes into their arms, and whatever children they might bear.  I am perfectly aware that this is fine with you. 

You teach them abstinence not to keep them healthy and strong but because you know perfectly well that teenage girls will get pregnant, that kids who don’t know how to protect themselves from STDs will get horribly sick and you believe that motherhood, sickness and death are just punishments for enjoying sex for its own sake, just punishments for living life for its own sake.  Didn’t the bible say that Eve’s punishment for disobeying god was to bear the pain of childbirth?  Children should be afraid of joy as you are.  They should loath their human bodies as you do.  They should hate their flesh and blood life and this good earth and all of human existence as much as you will until the day you die.  Your problem with Roman Polanski is that he took pleasure in sex, not that he raped a young girl.  Women are supposed to submit to the authority of men aren’t they?  Were Polanski a moral man he would have broken that kid’s heart without taking any physical pleasure from it.

The next time a case of child sexual abuse hits the headlines, please kindly shut the fuck up, because you are no better then that criminal is.  Wait…let me amend that.  You are worse.

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

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