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July 26, 2008

In The Bizarre News Department...

My partner sent me this article. It's from the Tonawanda News in North Tonawanda, N.Y. and it's so bizarre I have to share it with you.

According to the article a two year old boy in Lockport (a nearby town) was attacked and sexually assaulted by a pit bull.

Lockport Police Detective Capt. Larry Eggert said that “The dog sexually attacked the kid and caused some pretty significant injuries.” He said the boy’s family members, who were reportedly home at the time, and neighbors had to beat the dog to get him off the boy. “I have never, ever heard of an assault quite like that,” Eggert said.

The article went on to say:

Niagara County SPCA Executive Director Al Chille said this case is an unusual one.

“I have had reports of adults having (sexual) relationships with animals, but not anything like that,” he said. “The majority of the calls we receive with regards to pit bulls are bite calls, not calls of this nature. We get a considerably large number of those (bite calls) from all over the county.”

The dog was a 2-year-old pit bull that had been with the family since it was a puppy, Eggert said. Sunday’s incident was the first time the family had any problems with the dog being aggressive or biting, he said.

The boy underwent surgery on Sunday night and may need more reconstructive surgery in the future, Eggert said.

Wow! I wonder how the right-wingers are going to handle this one?

You can read the whole story at: tonawanda-news.com

July 25, 2008

Right-Winger Stuns Congressional Hearing On Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In arguments meant to persuade congressional leaders, Elaine Donnelly, founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, stunned everyone at the House Armed Services subcommittee hearings on the now infamously famous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

According to a Washington Post story, Ms. Donnelly was called to testify before the committee but instead of making her case to retain the DADT policy, she launched into amazingly bizarre and far-fetched arguments that had just about everyone staring at her with their mouths hanging open.

The Washington Post story said:

Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.

"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.

At the witness table with Donnelly, retired Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, a lesbian, rolled her eyes in disbelief. Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, a gay man who was wounded in Iraq, looked as if he would explode."

Ms. Donnelly not only didn't make her case she was an embarrassment to herself and her organization. In fact, she did more to generate sympathy for the repeal than just about anyone else who testified.

Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) called her comments "just bonkers" and "dumb" and her comments about an HIV menace "inappropriate." Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), a veteran of the war in Iraq, called her words "an insult to me and many of the soldiers" by saying they "aren't professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while successfully completing their military mission."

To read the full story (it's worth taking a few minutes to read) go to: Washington Post

July 24, 2008

Another Homophobic Ad


It was announced yesterday that Mars has pulled the ad referred to below.

Mars issued this statement late Thursday:

"This ad is the second in a series of U.K. Snickers Ads featuring Mr. T which are meant to be fun and which have been positively received in the U.K. However, we understand that humor is highly subjective, and it is never our intention to cause offense. Accordingly, we have pulled the Mr. T speed walker ad globally."

HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Workplace director Daryl Herrschaft said "HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action."

Thanks to everyone who expressed their feelings about this ad to the Mars Corporation. Good work!

------ Read original post below ------

It seems that the misguided folks over at the ad agency Omnicom (producer of other homophobic ads in the past) are at it again.

This time they have Mr. T "machine-gunning" a young, blond male who is doing nothing more than speed walking down a sidewalk. Mr. T bursts through a house in a modified pickup truck with a gatling-type machine gun, manned by Mr. T, mounted in the back. He shouts at the hapless walker that he is "a disgrace to the man race" and that "it's time to run like a real man" then starts shooting him with snickers bars. Check out the ad for yourself...

This might not seem like such a big deal but when we have right-wing, religious fanatics calling on their congregation to literally shoot gay people (see my June 6th posting), this suddenly becomes very serious and in incredibly poor taste. Even though it could be argued that this isn't necessarily an anti-gay ad, the image they chose to use is that of a thin, young man who "swishes" while walking. That clearly plays off of the stereotypical image that most of the ignorant and uninformed religious fanatics have of gay men.

To express your dissatisfaction and/or outrage at this kind of advertising go to snickers.com This is a direct link to their contact form.

I found this story at queersunited.com through a headline on Yahoo's Gay/Lesbian News.

Los Angeles Police Chief Supports Gay Marriage With A Donation

According to the Los Angeles Times, Police Chief William J. Bratton has come out in favor of gay marriage. He not only supports it, he has backed up that support with a donation to Equality California, a group that is fighting the homophobic, anti-gay marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November.

Chief Bratton and his wife, former Court TV diva Rikki Kleiman, strongly believe that gays have a right to marry. "The Constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Bratton said this week. "I see no reason why gays can't pursue happiness through marriage." His donation is a wedding present honoring his friend celebrity publicist Howard Bragman and his longtime partner, Chuck O'Donnell.

Mr. Bragman and Mr. O'Donnell requested that instead of gifts, they would like donations made to Equality California and that they be made publicly. As a result other friends, including tennis star Martina Navratilova and former "Grey's Anatomy" actor Isaiah Washington (who has been trying to make amends with the gay community since he was caught uttering an antigay slur backstage at the Golden Globes in January 2007), have also made public donations.

Mr. Bragman is quoted as saying:

"So many of these ballot initiatives seem esoteric and hypothetical. Our marriage changed that for people who know us. Our love, respect and commitment has the power to change hearts and minds and make an ethereal concept real."

After so much negative news lately it's really nice to see something like this. Congratulations to Mr. Bragman and Mr. O'Donnell and very big kudos to Police Chief Bratton and his wife, Rikki Kleiman as well as Martina, Isaiah and all the others who also made donations.

I hope we can generate that kind of interest and support here in Arizona where we also face an anti-gay marriage amendment in November.

To read the full story go to: Los Angeles Times

July 23, 2008

Scientist Tells PFOX To Stop Distorting His Work

According to a press release from Truthwinsout.com (TWO) Dr. Gary Remafedi said that PFOX (Parents & Friends Of Ex-Gays) has manipulated his research study and should take the distortions off its website immediately.

PFOX objected to a story run by the Washington Post that was about a 15-year-old boy who described his homosexual feelings and how Gay Straight Alliance student clubs help gay teens deal with discrimination and bullying in high school and middle school. PFOX Executive Director Regina Grigg is quoted as saying “What the article failed to describe is the danger of young sexually confused teens self-identifying as gays at an early age. Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling. Early self-identification is dangerous to kids.” The research that was cited to "prove" her case was Dr. Remafedi’s study.

Today, Dr. Remafedi released the following statement to Truth Wins Out:

“My work has been cited by PFOX in response to a Washington Post article on gay-straight alliances (GSA). PFOX misuses one of my studies on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Our findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor is there any evidence that the availability of GSAs influences those developmental processes.”

PFOX, as well as Focus on the Family, distorted Dr. Remafedi's findings to make the case that young people should not learn about homosexuality because they were sexually confused, and could thus be influenced by educational material. This is just one more example of how virulently homophobic, right-wing, pseudo religious groups twist and distort legitimate scientific research to fit their own sick and perverted arguments. Much like our President has done with environmental research studies over the last almost eight years.

These groups count on the fact that most people would never know what the research really said and they rely on that ignorance to make it sound like someone or something "official" supports their arguments. That's why it's important to expose them whenever they're caught doing it. TruthWinsOut does an excellent job of riding roughshod over these groups and I commend them for their diligence. I also commend Dr. Remafedi for coming forward and not letting them get away with distorting his work.

To read the full press release go to: Truthwinsout.com

July 22, 2008

Reverands John Hagee And Rod Parsley Not "Really" Disavowed By McCain Campaign

It appears that John McCain and his campaign haven't really ostracized Reverands John Hagee and Rod Parsley.

In case you don't remember Hagee's and Parsley's ridiculously outrageous comments that caused McCain to "distance" himself from their support, I'll recap a few. Hagee got in hot water for calling Catholicism a "false cult," blaming gays for Hurricane Katrina, and preaching that Hitler came about "because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel." Parsley, meanwhile, called the prophet Muhammad "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil" and claimed that Islam was an "anti-Christ religion," in addition to countless anti-gay rantings.

Hagee's group, Christians United for Israel (of which, Parsley is a regional director) went to Washington this week for its third annual "summit" of Christian Zionists amid much self-generated hoopla. The group booked the convention and widely publicized its agenda in the media, encouraging everyone to attend.

However, when reporters showed up for a panel with Hagee and Gary Bauer (president of the group American Values), yesterday morning the group's spokeswoman, Avraleigh Keats told them "I have some bad news for you. There's been a change. There's no press allowed. . . . No interviews. No filming. Nothing."

According to The Washington Post, when Executive Director David Brog was asked why, after announcing the summit agenda with such fanfare and inviting the public to watch, did they suddenly decide to bar the press and the public? Brog speculated darkly: "I don't know if it was someone trying to sabotage us."

The Post article went on to say:

"A secret Christian Zionist meeting? Talk of sabotage? It was the sort of thing that caused McCain to distance himself from Hagee and Parsley in the first place. But while McCain has officially renounced the pair (and they him), the program for the summit suggests the distancing came with a wink and a nod. It touts as speakers top McCain surrogate Joe Lieberman and Bauer, a prominent McCain supporter and an informal adviser to the campaign. It displayed three photos of McCain with Hagee at last year's summit."

Obviously, John McCain would not only continue the disgusting, prejudicial and secretive policies of George Bush but would most likely expand them. Ya wanna see something really scary?

To read the whole store go to: The Washington Post

July 21, 2008

Perverse Religion Once Again Rears Its Ugly Head

According to a follow-up story in The Advocate, the North Carolina legislature just effectively killed a bill that would protect school children from bullying.

The senate sent the bill back to committee guaranteeing that it won't be voted on this year. The bill-killing hoopla was over the inclusion of the phrase "sexual orientation" as a reason that a student may face discrimination or bullying. The objections that sent the senators running home with their tails between their legs were from right-wing religious groups that included the Christian Action League and the North Carolina Family Policy Council. These so-called "children-of-god" claimed that LGBT groups would use the bill as leverage for other rights legislation.

Let me see if I have this right. They don't want to protect A CHILD from being bullied because it might lead to other protections for GLBT children and adults? What kind of a sick, perverted and repulsive mindset is that? If a bully starts calling a little kid a faggot and a queer and starts pushing him or her around or even ultimately physically beats them, that child would have no right to be protected and no legal recourse to prevent future abuses simply because the words queer, faggot or homosexual were used in the attack - EVEN IF THE CHILD ATTACKED WASN'T GAY!

These people have gone way too far for way too long. What kind of religion would even remotely condone outright child abuse FOR ANY REASON? Certainly none that I've ever heard or read about that purports to believe in an omnipotent, loving God. This is a travesty and an ugly perversion of religion for nothing more than personal and/or organizational avarice for wealth and power.

To the legislators of North Carolina, and everywhere else for that matter, I ask you - is this the kind of family legacy you want to leave to your children and your family's future reputation? If so, then you deserve to be in a jail cell right next to every other child abuser!