There is an excellent article in today's Washington Post that discusses the horrifying deaths of two gay boyfriends in the barbaric state of Iran. It also touches on the sad fact that most of the mainstream media ignored this tragedy, as if two dead gay teens mean nothing. It is the same media silence I got when I informed the press in 2003 that Jerry Falwell's HIV+ "ex-gay" spokesman was engaged in unprotected orgies with men he met online. Again, the lives of gay men were considered not worthy of media coverage.
(Phillip Perry, GLBT Mover and Shaker in Florida Politcs)
A poolside cocktail hour sponsored by the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Democratic Caucus was packed with pandering pols! The event drew both Democratic gubernatorial candidates, state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa. This is a welcome development in a state where politicians are used to whispering support for the GLBT community.
"I don't know if it's just my North Florida twang, but I was asked when I came in here today, 'How comfortable are ya?' Well, I hope you won't quit me," Smith said.
There was a silence after that remark, which references a line from Brokeback Mountain, the movie about two cowboys in love. Then the crowd roared.
Most of the credit for its new-found appreciation is due to gay Democrats, who in reaction to myriad anti-gay political measures, have recently refined their political prowess. Dozens of new GLBT chapters have been reorganized or newly created, including in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. In about two years, the GLBT has gone from an excuse for a social gathering into a sizable political voice with ample money and time.
Keep up the good work! The Sunshine State needs to keep spreading light on the dark conservative politics that have recently haunted the state.
Once again, President Bush has endangered Americans by placing the desires of his nutty right wing base over reality and common sense. The president had the opportunity to jumpstart research to potentially cure fatal diseases affecting the lives of real people. Instead, he vetoed their hopes and immorally chose to let people suffer. Why? To irrationally save clumps of cells that could fit on the tip of a pin. So much for his claim to be pro-life! The moment people are actually born, the President stops caring about them.
What's even more unconscionable, is that the cell clumps in question were slated to be thrown in the trash anyway - so the President's claim of protecting life is pure ideological garbage.
If Democrats are smart, they will tie this to the Terri Schiavo incident to show that the GOP is guided by a bunch of snoops and scolds who want to dictate how people live from cradle to grave.
Hats off, by the way, to Republicans who stood up to the extremists and voted to save people instead of indulge in cruel and inhumane right-to-life fantasy politics.
"Anonymous" right wing jerks are banned from posting for the rest of the month. They have abused my free speech zone by rudely over-posting. The party has ended. Start your own damn blog, instead of stalking mine like parasites. If a right wing creep wants to leave a message from now until August, he or she must no longer be anonymous. No more hiding. Period.
Former Georgia Republican Party chairman Ralph Reed lost his bid for the party's nomination for lieutenant governor last night, the first electoral defeat this year that can be traced directly to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Here is Dubya, strolling speedily into a G-8 summit meeting where powerful, intent world leaders are already gathered to discuss, presumably, serious issues of the day, walking straight up to a seated German Chancellor Angela Merkel and giving her a weird, unsolicited shoulder rub from behind, before dashing to his seat. Oh yes he did.
The pictures, the video reveal all. Merkel reacts accordingly, is instantly creeped out, cringes and shrugs Bush away with a look of surprised revulsion. (Excerpt From Mark Morford's Column)
In his New York Times column, Thomas L. Friedman hits a home run with today's commentary, "Not So Smart," which details the poor strategic choices made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah:
On the peach front, let's see, Israel gets out ofLebanon and Gaza, and what is the response of Hamas and Hezbollah? Build schools, roads and jobs in their recovered territories? Nope. Respect the border with Israel, but demand that Israel continue to withdraw from the West Bank? Nope. The response is to shell Israel from Gaza and abduct Israeli soldiers from Lebanon. Hamas and Nasrallah replaced the formula "land for peach" with "land for war," said the formet Mideast envoy Dennis Ross.
It is sad to say, but these radical groups have no interest in peace. Their only goal is to destroy Israel so they can establish an Islamic state, a virtual mini-Iran on the Mediterranean. Sadly, there are still pseudo-liberals who do not support Israel's right to defend itself. They have inexplicably placed their sympathies with Hezbollah, which is translated as "The Party of God." It amazes me that some of these so-called liberals would align themselves with a fundamentalist party that thinks that it speaks for God. When George W. Bush does this, they have a fit. When Hezbollah does this, these misguided fools hypocritically blame Israel.
All I can do is shake my head in in bewilderment at such ignorance and twisted logic. Finally, the Israelis treat gay people with dignity and respect, while the Palestinians torture and kill homosexuals. For all you gay people who are anti-Israel, take your cheap talk to Gaza and hang your rainbow flag and see what happens.
Unfortunately, this picture of Peter LaBarbera's Steamworks bathhouse card is only a spoof - just like his anti-gay work. For those who don't know, "Porno Pete" has attended more gay events than Mr. Leather, RuPaul and Mary Cheney combined.
Indeed, he was found picketing the tubs in Chicago last week during the Gay Games and protesting at Chicago's gay pride not long before that. This is nothing new for a man that has collected gay magazines and gone "undercover" to numerous gay events. But now that his secret is out in the open - he is angry and attacking me for telling the truth. Here is a letter he wrote to Planet Out because they mentioned his new nickname. My rebuttal comments are in red. ______________________________________________________________
"... (Porno Pete), why didn't you contact me first? Or do you always run with the most vicious smears just because a prominent gay activist uses them? Usually I get fair treatment in the gay press; not this time."(It is not a smear if it is true. LaBarbera's bizarre work involves a curious amount of time spent in porn palaces, S&M balls and bathhouses. He likes to discuss sexual practices that most gay men are even unfamiliar with. My first grade teacher would say he had a "potty mouth.")
"Yes, I once researched gay events, and still do occasionally, by attending them to get firsthand info."(Occasionally???? The issue isn't his "firsthand" account, it is that he keeps going back for second...third...fouth hand....opinions.)
"I sometimes went undercover so as not to get kicked out by "tolerant" gay activists (what are they trying to hide?). but other times I went openly, such as at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Ass'n, where I once spoke at a panel debate opposite gay journalists dealing with whether the media has a pro-gay bias.(The first time I saw Peter was when he was undercover at a National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association meeting in New York in the early 90's. He was exposed by a journalist who knew his "Lambda Report" was an anti-gay publication. Since then, he has been at countless gay events, including press conferences. However, his aim has always been to distort GLBT life and demean our community. While I have let him into my events, it is entirely justifiable not to include a person whose chief aim in life is to insult gay people. LaBarbera has been particularly nasty towards transgender Americans and attacked me for supporting their rights. He has also made his living making sure that young gay kids continue to get beat up and harassed in school.)
No, I do not "collect" porn--never have--and I am not interested in or enjoy gay pornography. Frankly, it's pretty sick stuff, in my view. And no, I am not a homosexual nor did I ever struggle with those desires. (Isn't it funny how gay activists accuse their opponents of being homosexual as if that's the biggest slur they can come up with?) --(I have never claimed LaBarbera is a homosexual. I have just taken note that he enters the homosexual arena an inordinate number of times. He studiously avoids respectable gay venues and seems to find himself in sodomy dens. This, quite frankly, is weird and unnatural behavior. Pat Robertson is also anti-gay - but I have yet to see him at an S&M ball. Finally, homosexuality isn't the slur, as Peter suggests. What I am making fun of is a supposed "pro-family" advocate who has a taste for repeated exposure to the gay fringe underground.)
Wayne Besen relied on the false testimony of a former "ex-gay," Wade Richards, who worked a while for Americans for Truth before we (foolishly) urged him to speak at a press conference. Besen attended the event and apparently helped to recruit young Wade back into the gay life. Wade knew full well that my interests were as a critical researcher, but he wanted to strike back at me, so he accused me of collecting gay "porn."(First, I wasn't aware that LaBarbara had critical research credentials. His career pinacle was working for the Moonie Washington Times. Second, if LaBarbera had a problem with Richards, why did he use him as as a spokesperson? From my experience, Richards has been nothing but honest and trustworthy - the complete opposite of LaBarbera. Here is what Richards had to say about LaBarbera in my book, Anything But Straight:
"Peter was very intense," said Richards in Anything But Straight (Pg. 77). "The office freaked me out. I had never seen so much gay pornography in my whole life...It was crazy...[there were] thousands [of gay magazines] - all kinds...[He said they were] for research...I had no clue what fisting was until I met Peter LaBarbera...It was a crazy experience."
Richards wasn't "recruited, as Pete claims. No, he called me when he was ready to come out, citing that none of the "ex-gays" Peter hung around with had actually changed. It was Peter's failed program that led to him to call me.
Yes, I have purchased numerous gay magazine subscriptions and books over the years as part of my efforts to research the movement--just like some gay researchers peruse the writings of the Family Research Council or Dr. James Dobson. (Should we accuse "Ex-Gay Watch" of secretly supporting Christian conservatives because they spend a lot of time and energy researching them?) --(A moment ago, he accused Richards of misrepresenting the facts. One paragraph later, he admits that he has "numerous gay magazine subscription and books" supposedly for research. Sure, Pete, you need numerous subscriptions to do your job. I am a gay activist and I only have one gay subscription. It seems you protest a bit too much. And, ex-gay watch is collecting reading material, not straight skin mags.)
But, no, I don't "collect" gay porn. (You've told us already -- it's just research)
Wade lied to smear me, and Wayne never bothered to check his new recruit's "facts" because that would have gotten in the way of him slamming a right-winger, I suppose. (It was an eye witness account. If Peter wants to invite me to see his magazine collection - I'm all for it! I happen to enjoy porn, albeit in very small doses. I tend to get bored rather quickly, so I might only make it through part of Peter's first stack.)
The fact is, porn is a prominent part of the gay male world, and some magazines I collected had pornographic content (surprise!). --(And straight people don't read porn and watcch xxx movies? Maybe if he'd pry himself away from gay sex joints, he'd find the time to read straight porn mags, visit swingers clubs, film spring break sex orgies, frat house sex parties and whore houses in Vegas and street walkers in every big city in America. But, no. It is only gay porn that seems to capture Porno Pete's imagination. You know, these days you can even get straight porn in most major hotels.)
Most were simply gay publications like the Washington Blade.(The Blade is rated PG13 on a good day and on a bad day R. There are more graphic scenes in most video games.)
On my side of the issue, we think porn use/addiction is a big problem; hopefully some gays will agree with us, but regardless, the endless effort to portray ME as a gay perv because I try to expose the wrongs of your movement makes about as much sense as saying GLAAD supports the Federal Marriage Amendment because they write about it a lot.(Pete we, love the sinner, but you must admit, your sins are a tad weird. What the GLBT community is fed up with is that you brazenly exploit us for political gain with no conscience. You are a right wing lobbyist who bears false witness and uses distorted depictions of our lives to pass hateful legislation. If you cared about fairness, you'd attend a PFLAG meeting or take pictures of gay veterans during pride parades. Why not attend the GLAAD Media Awards or an HRC black tie dinner? No, you just want to slither through the tubs at unGodly hours - in the name of God. What you do Peter, is produce pure, unadulterated propaganda and hate. You have made it difficult for kids in school and torn families apart.
Most disturbing, is that LaBarbera has seen his pet "ex-gays" fail three times in a row - yet he tragically keeps beating this dead horse. First, he backed John Paulk, until I photographed him in a gay bar. Then, he touted Wade Richards - a man he now unfairly attacks. Then, he jumped on the Michael Johnston bandwagon, before I exposed him as a fraud. You would have thought Peter would have learned something by now. But, he has no interest in the facts, even as his tired strategies have repeatedly failed. This is profoundly immoral and unBiblical behavior on the part of LaBarbera.
On a personal level, I like Peter. He is friendly and gregarious. This is not about a personal battle between us. I just wish he would deal with his issues, whatever they might be, instead of destructively battling his demons on the public stage. The lives of too many GLBT youth are at risk for LaBarbera to continue to play his Gay Games.
Focus on the Family unveiled its campaign of lies to counter the "Born Different" campaign. The extremist ministry said the Born Different campaign misleads readers and viewers about the scientific basis for homosexuality. Focus will meet with reporters this morning to introduce its own advertisements featuring Sherman, a dog who barks.
"Sherman is the centerpiece of a multimedia 'No Moo Lies' campaign to be launched Wednesday, July 19, which clearly explains the truth about what characteristics dogs - and humans - are really born with," the ministry said in a news release.
The ministry's news release included the headline "Focus to make major announcement: Dogs don’t moo," and a subheadline: "Ministry to offer irrefutable proof that 'woofing' is the language of canines."
I'm looking forward to seeing the "scientific evidence" Focus on the Family will use. I'm sure it will take limited effort to expose it as second-tier propaganda. The fact is, all studies over the past few decades have pointed to a biological basis for sexual orientation. There is not even a shred of evidence to support the contention of Focus on the Family that sexual orientation is a result of bad families or sexual abuse. There is even less evidence for their cure: That gay people can become straight through non-sexual same-sex friendships.
Indeed, most gay people already have such non-sexual relationships with straight friends. To suggest that this is a cure is absurd on its face. With such nonsense, is it any surprise that so many recloseted homosexual leaders end up in gay bars?
Bush may have been crass when speaking to Tony Blair about Syria, but he was dead on. This is what he said to the British leader today when discussing the MidEast crisis (he did not know the Mic was on)
BLAIR: Well it's only if I mean, you know. If she's got a..., or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. Because obviously if she goes out, she's got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk BUSH: You see, the thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.
While Bush was his usual inarticulate self, he was right on the policy end. Syria and Iran are stirring up trouble in the region and must stop or be vanquished. These two regimes offer the world little more than instability and terror. This was not a diplomatic move by Bush, but at least Syria knows exaclty where the president stands.
As many of you know, Iran has embarked on a murderous campaign to execute its gay citizens. If you live in New York City, you have the unique privilege this week of letting your voice be heard by speaking out for those who have been silenced by this barbaric Isalmo-fascist government.
There will be a DEMONSTRATION, WEDNESDAY, JULY 19 AT 5 PM at the Iranian Mission, 622 Third Avenue at 40th St.
It will mark the one-year anniversary of the executions of two young gay men, Mahmoud Asgari, 18, and Ayaz Marhoni, 19, by the government of Iran
1. End all executions in Iran, especially the execution of minors.
2. Stop the arrest, torture and imprisonment of Iranian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and repeal the Iranian penal code's criminalization of same-sex relationships.
3. Halt the deportation to Iran of LGBT asylum seekers and other victims of Tehran's persecution.
4. Support Iranians struggling for democracy, social justice and human rights.
5. Oppose foreign military intervention in Iran; regime change must come from within--by and for the Iranian people themselves.
(Personally, I think intervention may be necessary after watching the havoc caused by Iran's Hezbollah this week in Lebanon. Nonetheless, this is a worthy casue and I urge my readers to attend, if possible.)
Bring Signs: ** IRAN: STOP EXECUTING GAY PEOPLE ** JUSTICE FOR GAY PEOPLE IN IRAN ** REMEMBER MAHMOUD AND AYAZ ** MAHMOUD AND AYAZ: KILLED FOR BEING GAY