Saturday, March 11, 2006
Bush buddy and former Jesse Helms hack, Claude Allen, has been arrested
for stealing. Allen once said that a political opponent of Jesse Helms' would lose because he was "linked with the queers." The thief later apologized for the remark.
The police said Mr. Allen
was seen on Jan. 2 leaving a department store in Gaithersburg, Md., with merchandise for which he had not paid. He was apprehended by a store employee and issued a misdemeanor citation for theft.
The Police Department said that as a result of an investigation it opened after the initial incident in January, it found that Mr. Allen had received refunds of more than $5,000 last year at stores like Target and Hecht's. Mr. Allen was arrested on Thursday and charged in connection with a series of allegedly fraudulent returns. The police said he was charged with a theft scheme over $500 and theft over $500.
Here is the latest example of a hypocritical conservative fraud who tells people how to live, while stuffing merchandise into his goody-bag. When will people learn that conservatism is a joke? People who spend their entire lives preaching about their wonderful morality, are almost always doing something sleazy. It is the law of the universe.
People who are truly moral, don't have to keep telling everyone or work for Jesse Helms to prove it. Allen should not feel alone, for he is in good company. He joins a long list of Republicans involved in scumbaggery, of one sort or another. Maybe Allen can go to work for Tom DeLay's reelection campaign, if he can get a laptop in his cell.
On this page, I have often called for moderate Muslims to stand up to extremist Islamists. In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Dr. Wafa Sultan
, a Syrian-American psychiatrist, criticized nutty Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," she said in an interview this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb. "Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs."
Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, "The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling."
She went on, "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."
She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."
Predictably, this brave woman is getting death threats from terrorists who don't want to hear her important message. Ms. Sultan is a genuine hero who has spoken out and put her life at risk to speak the truth.
In Annapolis, (Capital of) Maryland, at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify and he did so.
At the conclusion of his testimony, a right-wing senator rose to say, "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says that marriage shall occur only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?"
Raskin: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
The room erupted into applause.
Friday, March 10, 2006
More than 20 gay rights activists were arrested
on trespassing charges Friday as they tried to step onto the campus of Liberty University, the school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Many of the activists were part of Soulforce, a group on its first stop of a nationwide "Equality Ride" tour to promote gay rights at the nation's conservative Christian universities and military academies.Invoking the memory of the civil rights movement, Soulforce member Jacob Reitan said:
"We want to come to the school today to say, 'learn from history.'""We have a right to be here, because this school teaches that being gay is being sick and sinful," said Reitan, co-director of Equality Ride. "We have a right to question and to show how we are children of God."
(Sandra Day O'Connor)
Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor blasted Republicans
in a speech, saying they threatened an independent judiciary. She also warned that their irresponsible rhetoric threatened judges and could lead to a dictatorship.
A former client of Exodus International today described the group as a an "ex-gay" Hotel California: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. In a letter written to me in response this week's column, the man described his frustration with getting the ex-gay group to stop harassing him.
As a former member of Exodus I felt a need to respond to your newsletter. I recommend just for kicks you or someone you know try to join Exodus, then try and leave, good luck with that. It just doesn't happen.
I have tried to terminate all contact with Exodus for over 3 years now. The newslestters that come more than twice a week sometimes and the more than daily phone calls persist. They persisted to he point where I had to change my number. There is no doubt in my mind that if I were closer to their personal grasp they would be at my door also.
It has been my experience those who try to become "ex-gay" stop trying soon thereafter. Usually when the initial love and welcome from the Christian community wears off, and like myself, most begin to clearly see that this community has nothing but contempt and disgust for GLBT people.
Here was the main issue for me in terminating my relationship with Exodus....
I was cut off, they told me to leave all my friends and I did. They said I had to leave my lover of 4 years and I did. I know I know. I feel as stupid as you probably think I am.
So, in conclusion to curb Exodus I feel the GLBT community must have individuals and organizations in place so that people can leave Exodus more easily. I wish I had some suggestions at this time on how I think maybe that can be accomplished. I just just inspired by your newsletter, and honestly hadn't thought about it till this very moment.
This is not the first incident where Exodus refused to terminate its relationship with clients who came out of the closet to live happy, satisfying lives as openly gay men and women.
In Shawn O'Donnell's case, Exodus refused
to take his picture off their web-site for months, even after he came out and repudiated the group as a sham. For some clients, there is simply no exodus from Exodus. There is a word for groups that manipulate people, play mind games and refuse to let them escape: "CULT."
My friends, Bush is looking more like a lame duck every day. Even loyal Republicans are running away from him to save their skin in this election year. The Washington Post
wrote an article
on Bush's downfall today that must have turned the White House blue.
According to the article: Now, with his poll numbers in a political ditch, the port debacle has contributed to a perception of weakness that has liberated Republicans who once would never have dared cross Bush.
"He has no political capital," said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster. "Slowly but surely it's been unraveling. There's been a direct correlation between the trajectory of his approval numbers and the -- I don't want to call it disloyalty -- the independence on the part of the Republicans in Congress."
The writing is on the wall, unfortunately Bush may be too dumb (or lazy) to read it.
On April 17, the White House will host its
annual Easter Egg Roll. This year, however, hundreds of gay and lesbian parents and their children intend to be among the 16,000-or-so others who attend the free event.
"We want to give our fellow citizens the opportunity to see us as real families, participating in a great American tradition on the White House lawn, rather than protesting from the sidelines," the Family Pride Coalition, an organizer of this "family visibility action," says on its Web site, www.familypride.org.
The White House is shrugging off the controversy.
"It's an event that has a great tradition and all families are welcome to attend," said Peter Watkins, deputy press secretary to first lady Laura Bush, who is the official overseer of the egg roll.
Predictably, the bitter Neo-Puritans are stewing in their bile and want to discriminate against families that don't look like their own, even if this means demeaning and humiliating young children.
"For crying out loud, at the Easter Egg roll? This is a family event," said an exasperated Traditional Values Coalition executive director Andrea Lafferty, who called it "very distasteful" and inappropriate to politicize the occasion and to use children to do so. "They're trying to cloak themselves in normalcy. It's not normal. The American people overwhelmingly believe it's not normal," Lafferty said.
If anyone should be banned from the event it is the big-haired Lafferty who frequently dresses like a prostitute, even when lobbying on Capitol Hill. She is often unfit to be seen in the presence of children.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wayne, I have recently moved back to South Africa, after spending 2 years in New York. I finally came out during this time, after a lengthy battle to understand "me." I spent a time with Living Waters ex-gay ministry and they confused me completely.
Thankfully I found the truth and am happier for it!! In South Africa, I believe that there is a 0% success rate of ex-gays and a smal percentage of ex-lesbians through Living Waters. Coming back I have found that although the South African Constitution protects homosexuals and has approved civil unions, homophobia is rife and there are many ex-gay ministries, including Living Waters still going out there to enforce change, but as you say, not being able to provide the people to stand up and be counted as ex-gay.
I believe we need to stand firm and strong and proud here in a progressive South African society and we need to stand proud globally. Feel free to open debate with this and see what we can do from this side.
Johannesburg, South Africa
A committee of legal experts who set policy for Conservative Judaism decided yesterday
at a closed-door meeting in Baltimore to wait until December to vote on whether to lift the movement's ban on gay rabbis and same-sex union ceremonies. Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, a Conservative rabbi at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, a predominantly gay synagogue in Manhattan that is not part of the Conservative movement, said:
"I understand the need for the law committee to go through a serious halachic process, but this affects the real lives of real people, and for the people in our community there is real urgency."
These stalling tactics are shameful. They can put-off this decision, but not forever. Times have changed and nothing can stop this tidal wave of acceptance and common sense.
Three morons were arrested
for setting nine Baptist churches on fire in rural Alabama. The boys called it a joke that spun out of control, but no one is laughing. If there is such thing as karma, these young men will be sent to the showers in a Faith-Based prison. Now, THAT would be funny.
Okay, let's address the big pink elephant in the room. Two of the three boys were both somewhat attractive AND heavily involved in theatre. Most actors are heterosexual, so this doesn't mean much. But, let's be honest, people are discussing the possibility that the arsonists just MIGHT be gay. I certainly hope not - but people are whispering that this may be the case.
"George Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth." -- Ann Richards
Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards said that she's been diagnosed
with cancer of the esophagus and will be treated at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
On behalf of this page and its readers, we offer our thoughts and prayers. If anyone has the courage, tenacity and will power to survive, it is Richards. In this difficult time, we wish nothing but the best for her and her family and hope a speedy recovery is imminent.
The New York Times reports that
the GOP is in open rebellion against the Bush Administration. Six years in to his presidency, the Republicans have finally discovered that they are elected officials, not sycophant slaves. What has brought about this change of heart? An epiphany or a sudden twinge of moral guilt?
Nope, it's an election year and Bush is tanking in the polls!
the United States it could inflict "harm and pain" to match whatever punishment Washington persuaded the UN Security Council to dole out for Teheran's refusal to halt atomic research.
"So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll," Teheran national security official Javad Vaeedi said.
Folks, if you think Iran's threats are troubling now, wait until they have nuclear weapons. An atomic Iran led by insane, rabid Mullahs just can't be an option. They can either abandon their nuclear ambitions peaceably or face military action. A world with a nuclear Iran is a planet on borrowed time.
Redneck truck driver Merrill Keiser Jr. is running for the U.S. Senate
as a Democrat in Ohio. His platform is quite interesting and includes the belief that gays should get the death penalty. In an interview with the Sandusky Register
, Keiser said he wouldn't be against making homosexuality a felony punishable by the death penalty. The unanswered looming question is whether he prefers lethal injection, the electric chair or a good old fashioned stoning.
Apparently, this guy is so dumb, he doesn't even know he's supposed to be a Republican.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
(Alan Chambers)(Weekly Column)
I know this is hard to believe, but the "ex-gay" group Exodus International
is the next Starbucks. The organization, according to its executive director Alan Chambers
, is expanding so fast that it will soon have storefronts on every corner where forlorn homosexuals can pray away the gay.
In 2003, Chambers claimed
that there are "thousands of former homosexuals." By 2004, he announced that he knew "tens of thousands of people whom have successfully changed."
Last week, Chambers stunned the world when he boasted
to The San Francisco Chronicle
that there are "hundreds of thousands" of ex-gays. This must have been shocking news to the masses of gay people in San Francisco's crowded Castro neighborhood, that didn't know they were on the verge of extinction.
Folks, we need to put this mushrooming phenomenon at the top of the gay agenda. Even the success of Brokeback Mountain can't halt the expansion of these free the fairies franchises. If we don't stop Chambers by 2008 - a presidential election year - there will be millions of former homosexuals and most will vote Republican. And by the end of the decade, the number of ex-gays will look like a Bill Gates ATM receipt. Exodus might even have to get a sign, like McDonalds, so we can watch the numbers turn to keep track of the billions of transformed lives.
Sure, it seems like more people are coming out, but in Exodus "surreal-ity" the masses are going back in. I know it appears that gay Pride events are growing larger each year, but is it just the liberal media puffing up the crowd size to hide the fact that Chambers is decimating the annual parades? Thanks to Exodus, will Gay Pride soon be reduced to three stubborn drag queens lip-synching on a flat bed pick up truck?
Of course, there are still skeptics who believe that Chambers likes to pull numbers out of his posterior. He bases his inflated figures on the alleged 400,000 phone calls the organization receives each year. Why do I get the feeling that Exodus counts as ex-gays wrong numbers, telemarketers and calls from the pizza delivery guy? I called Chambers twice last year for columns and wonder if I was counted as two ex-gays?
What I find bewildering, is that if there are so many ex-gays, why can't Chambers provide any to speak to the media that are not ministry leaders or paid lobbyists? Why do Exodus and Focus on the Family use the same tired ex-gays in their advertisements? Why do they continue to highlight the testimony of Phil Hobizal
, a Portland ministry leader who stepped down in 2003 after having an "emotional entanglement," whatever that means? Why must the American Family Association peddle a video
by ex-gay Michael Johnston who suffered a "moral fall?" Perhaps, there simply are not replacements
for these failed leaders?
One just has to look at Dr. Robert Spitzer's 2001 study
of ex-gays to underscore the difficulty of finding these mythical people. The psychiatrist had so much trouble coming up with a mere 200 study subjects that he unethically resorted to using paid ex-gay shills and referrals from anti-gay groups such as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH
There is even a cloud of suspicion surrounding the subjects who said anti-gay groups did not refer them to Spitzer. Daniel S. Gonzales, a former patient of NARTH's Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, alleges that his right wing therapist "asked me to lie
to Spitzer when I called in for my study interview by denying Nicolosi had referred me."
In light of this revelation, Dr. Spitzer has an obligation to contact all of his supposedly "independent" subjects and find out if they were coerced into participating in his study under false pretenses.
Fortunately, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released a paper
this week, "Youth in the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism," that examines how these groups prey on youth, often manipulating parents to force their children into psychologically damaging therapy against their will
. These groups harm children as young as five years old and lure them and their parents with comics, youth groups and a slick CD Rom called "The Map."
More studies, such as this one and my book Anything But Straight
, are needed to counter the ex-gay myth that is the centerpiece of the right wing's campaign to deny gay people equal rights.
In 1979, most Americans believed there were few homosexuals. To challenge this misperception, the GLBT community held the first of four massive rallies in the nation's capital. If Exodus wants to silence the skeptics they should put up or shut up. It is time for them to hold an ex-gay March on Washington where we can actually see, once and for all, the invisible hordes that only seem to exist in Alan Chambers over-active imagination.
Showing that his political career is far from over, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay hammered his opponents
, winning the GOP primary with 62-percent of the vote. It just goes to show that the Republican base has no morals or values. What kind of a human being would vote for DeLay after the shame he has brought on himself, Congress and his district?
DeLay only won by hiding like a wet rat in the shadows. He steadfastly avoided interviews and public discussions of his felony money-laundering indictment and close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. DeLay will now face Democrat Nick Lampson, who was unopposed in Tuesday's primary.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
In a closed-door meeting this week in an undisclosed site near Baltimore, a committee of Jewish legal experts who set policy for Conservative Judaism will consider
whether to lift their movement's ban on gay rabbis and same-sex unions.
The ban on homosexuality is based on Leviticus 18:22, which says, "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination," and a similar verse in Leviticus 20:13. The law committee now has four legal opinions on the table. Although the reasoning in each is different and complex, two opinions essentially oppose any change to the current law disapproving of homosexuality, and one advocates overturning the law.
The most absurd legal opinion comes from Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, rector and a professor of philosophy at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, who unconvincingly argues that the passages in Leviticus refer only to a prohibition on anal sex.
Is he suggesting that gays can be right with God, only if they are lousy in bed and don't put out? Let's take it a step further and say that gay couples can have sex, but only while standing up, to avoid lying with another man. We'll call this the "Glory Hole Legal Opinion."
I am thrilled that the Conservative branch of Judaism is discussing this issue. But please spare us the dumb and insulting opinions and enter the 21st Century sometime in the near future.
If Tom Cruise or John Travolta see Madonna's daughter, Lourdes, they ought to run in the other direction. The kid has the gift of gaydar
"(Lourdes) is really obsessed with who is gay," says Madonna in an interview in Out magazine's April issue."Oh, and the other thing she likes to do when we go out, she says, 'Mom, do you want me to point out who the gay men are?' And I say, 'Okay, but I think I already know."'
There is an excellent article in today's New York Times
on marriages where the wife is straight and the husband gay. About two-thirds of the women who contact the International Straight Spouse Network in El Cerrito, Calif., eventually divorce, said Amity Pierce Buxton, 77, a retired school administrator who founded the group in 1992 and has been researching the topic since 1986.
Let's face it, groups like Focus on the Family who promote such arrangements are partly responsible America's high divorce rate. By putting politics above people, they are ruining many lives - and they just don't seem to care.
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war, and half say the United States should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll
The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence makes civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict is "very likely" to occur. These expectations extend beyond party lines: More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents say they believe such a conflict is coming.
If a civil war breaks out, Bush can kiss support for his war goodbye. It will be a tragic nightmare of the President's doing that will make America less safe and more vulnerable to terrorism.
Thanks Mr. President.
Gov. Mike Rounds (R) signed legislation Monday banning nearly all abortions in South Dakota, setting up a court fight aimed at challenging the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman's life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest.
Will America's silent majority finally wake up and realize that it is not okay to vote Republican? Doing so has real life consequences that hurt real women. The Republicans were not joking when they said they would outlaw abortion. They see their opportunity and they are seizing it. I think this will work against the GOP in the midterm elections, as they are overplaying their hand and spooking mainstream Americans.
News about GOP political corruption, inept hurricane response and chaos in Iraq has lifted Democrats' hopes of winning control of Congress this fall. But seizing the opportunity has not been easy, as they found when they tried to unveil an agenda of their own.
Democratic leaders had set a goal of issuing their legislative manifesto by November 2005 to give voters a full year to digest their proposals. But some Democrats protested that the release date was too early, so they put it off until January. The new date slipped twice again, and now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says the document will be unveiled in "a matter of weeks." (The Washington Post)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
has the reelection fight of his life down in Texas. If the voters in his district have any morals or values they will swiftly dispose of this creep who has sullied Congress. It amazes me that he still has any supporters. What kind of human being could support this guy and still look in the mirror?
For all the passions they generate, laws that require minors to notify their parents or get permission to have an abortion do not appear
to have produced the sharp drop in teenage abortion rates.
Once again, the fundamentalists are on a fools errand.
Stickers saying "Heterosexuals Only" were placed on bus benches and public drinking fountains in downtown Boise and at the Statehouse. A group of gay and lesbian activists, put up the 150 stickers
to protest the legislature's passage of a proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in Idaho, which voters will face in
Monday, March 06, 2006
The New York Times
had a story
on gay Mardi Gras in Sydney, which attracted more than 300,000 revelers. Interestingly, Fox Studios had the hottest party in town.
Many of the 300,000 spectators were dressed in fancy costume and vamped to the parade music that marked the trail to a full-blast dance party. The party, which lasted until 10 a.m. on Sunday, featured six disc jockeys and spread over three sites at Fox Studios, owned by the Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch.
Will Sean Hannity be the Grand Marshall of next year's parade?
The awards show
was long, but interesting. It was wonderful to see Ang Lee win for Best Director. It was also rewarding to see Philip Seymour Hoffman recognized for Capote. It was quite jarring to see him talk in his normal voice - making his ability to pull off Capote all the more remarkable.
It was disappointing that Brokeback Mountain did not win best picture. However, Crash was an excellent movie and also was deserving. No complaints here.
George Clooney stole the show with his defense of liberal values. He addressed the question whether Hollywood was out of touch by pointing out that the industry had addressed questions of civil rights and AIDS when the rest of America was afraid of them. "I'm proud to be part of this Academy," he said to applause, "proud to be part of the community, and proud to be out of touch."
However, before we take this all too seriously, remember the words of Louis B. Mayer, the head of the studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who started the awards ceremony: "I found that the best way to handle (movieemakers) was to hang medals all over them. If I got them cups and awards they'd kill themselves to produce what I wanted."
Lately, some Democrats have discussed impeaching Bush. ImpeachPAC's Web site, for example, lists 14 congressional candidates offering commitments to dump the president.
I am sympathetic to this cause and believe that there is a legitimate case to remove the president. However, impeachment is a terrible idea that will lead to increasing partisan bitterness, distract voters from real issues and destabilize the nation.
In America, we have quaint little things called elections. When a candidate wins, we thrive or suffer under his or her leadership. If Americans don't like the choice they made, they can make changes in subsequent elections. Bush is a village idiot - but he is our
village idiot - no matter how ruinous or distasteful it may be.
Some of my Democratic friends are now saying, "But look what the Republicans did to Bill Clinton over the Monica incident!"
The perfidious behavior of Republicans just bolsters my point. The GOP impeachment leaders attempted a coup and were guilty, in my opinion, of borderline treason. They spent millions of private and public dollars to investigate Clinton, went on countless fishing expeditions and finally came up with a sex scandal (which they pretended was all about lying).
The Republicans behind the coup did not care about America. They were loyal only to the shadowy conservative movement, at the price of freedom and democracy. If they would have succeeded in removing Clinton, more than half of the nation would have viewed it as an illegitimate transfer of power. All we have to do is look at the history of other nations to see what happens when legitimate leaders are forced from office by a cabal of power-hungry thugs wearing bad suits.
If we want our children to live in a stable, peaceful land where voters decide who leads them, then both Democrats and Republicans will stop frivolously wielding impeachment as a partisan weapon. I look forward to the end of the Bush-era as much as anyone. Sadly, if this nation cares about its political health, it will be in 2008.