Recently, a bizarre NARTH therapist, Dr. James E. Phelan, has been posting to this site. Ex-Gay Watch has been following his strange actions, since he wrote a disquieting blog item about having "one-two drop kicked the hell out of" a man in the Columbus Marathon. It seems Phelan had heckled a gay group, one of many who had gathered alongside the road to cheer the runners on. The victim of his drop kick had protested this by allegedly shoving Phelan. No one Ex-Gay Watch contacted remembered such an event so they can't confirm what happened. Phelan himself confided that the police had not been notified.
After this disturbing incident, Ex-Gay Watch discovered that Phelan's name was no longer appearing on the Exodus International referral list of ex-gay ministries and therapists. He was listed there when this story broke last month, but not now. Exodus has not yet responded to Ex-Gay Watch's request for more information.
Phelan posted a series of strange and belligerent rants on the Ex-gay Watch site that are hardly befitting of a professional therapist. Based on his temperament, it appears that this man might be on the wrong side of the therapy couch. Here are a few excerpts of his quotes:
"I may joke and get heated and talk shit..."
"I resigned from that board because I felt she was pressuring me to make unnecessary apologies, and curve [sic] my language. I already have a mother and don't need another one."
"Yup, Franc apparently it's not just lesbians who don't like "nasty little men".
"David, as annoying as you can be...
Nice, a shit talking therapist who makes stereotypical jokes about lesbians, demeans mothers and is so outrageous, ex-gay groups demand that be curb his language. Of course, we are still waiting for Phelan to state his military fighting credentials so we can check with the Pentagon. Although he presents himself as the Religious Right's Rambo, he has so far refused to state his rank and Army Unit. Until he does so, he is permanently banned from this site. Is it just me, or are the ex-gay ministries getting more desperate and insane as they lose the culture war they launched? Does NARTH and Exodus set out to recruit human punchlines, or do they develop these circus acts in their programs?
Now that the Employment Nondiscrimination Act has passed the House of Representatives, the religious right has launched an all-out offensive to ensure people can be fired because of their sexual orientation. The first obvious fib propagated by Focus on the Family and the Christian Business Association is that this bill is bad for business.
"Businesses should be up in arms over ENDA," said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action. "This bill will increase their litigation and compliance costs, create conflict among employees and is simply bad for business."
Notice how they used the words "should be" up in arms instead of "is." What they fail to point out is 49 of the Fortune 50 have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as ninety-percent of the Fortune 500. With all due respect to the Christian Business Association - I trust the Fortune 500 more than the Faith 500.
Focus on the Family and the CBA aren't really concerned about the negligible affect on business - what drives them bonkers is that they might have to mind their own business. It isn't enough that in America they have the freedom to pray as they wish and practice their religion as they see fit. They aren't happy unless they can impose their values and bully people into adopting their beliefs.
Focus on the Family's true agenda reared its ugly head in a story on the group's website which said: "ENDA would prevent employers from taking sexual orientation into consideration when hiring, promoting or firing."
Well, this is absolutely true. Why should sexual orientation be taken into consideration for a job? If people work hard, pay taxes and play by the rules they shouldn't have their careers ruined and personal finances wrecked because of an employer's religious hang ups.
"ENDA also could silence religious speech in the workplace," the story goes on to say. Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for the Free Market Foundation, elaborated on this point in a debate against me on the Alan Colmes radio show, by complaining that ENDA might force him to take down a screen saver with a Bible verse condemning homosexuality.
First, the notion of "free speech" at work is patently absurd. If we could truly say whatever we wanted to our boss - few people would be employed. There is reasonable expectation that employees make the effort to create a harmonious workplace. Condemning anyone - for whatever reason - results in a hostile work environment that lowers morale and production. Any employee that can't make it through eight hours without hurling insults at co-workers - even if they are based on an interpretation of the Bible - should be fired. Could you imagine the chaos that would ensue if people were given the green light to debase others based on their beliefs?
Of course, these fundamentalists don't want all people hurling nasty barbs at the water cooler - they want to reserve for themselves the special right to be nasty. If a co-worker insulted their faith - they'd be on the phone with a lawyer crying victim faster than one could say Leviticus. Finally, ENDA has a religious exemption - so no radical churches would be required to hire gay people. Therefore, the choir can remain closeted, as it has for centuries.
I want to end this column with a surreal thought. If the Senate passes ENDA - the bill would go to President Bush. There is no doubt in my mind that he will veto it - however, what if I am wrong? There are three remote - but real - reasons why Bush might sign ENDA.
The Cheney family could lobby him and he might have difficulty defying his surrogate Daddy.
Bush has few legislative accomplishments. Signing landmark civil rights legislation would boost his legacy.
Like rats, the right wing has abandoned Bush's sinking ship. There is a small chance Bush will get vindictive and put a thumb in their eye.
If any of these scenarios occur, Bush instantly becomes the most pro-gay president in history. In the not too distant future, we might pay to see him as the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign's national dinner. Now, that's enough to give anyone indigestion.
A man in southern India , P. Selvakumar, married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony as an attempt to atone for stoning two other dogs to death - an act he believes cursed him. Fortunately for Michael Vick, he doesn't live in India or he'd need a full-blown dog harem to atone.
The only animals I ever killed were a couple of wart frogs when I was seven years old (and some ants and wasps) - so, my marriage prospects aren't too good.
What do you want to bet that our religious right somehow finds a way to blame homosexuality for this marriage?
When Rudy Giuliani lived with a gay couple during the separation from his wife, he reportedly told the pair he would marry them if he had the chance. Now, that he working to get the Republican nomination, he needs the bigot vote, so he is going back on his word. Likewise, he used to praise immigrants - and all of us New Yorkers know they are largely responsible for revitalizing the stagnating city in the 80's and 90's. However, they have come under fire from the ambitious Republican front runner. According to today's Washington Post:
As Mayor of New York in the 1990s, when undocumented immigrants were pouring into the city, Rudolph W. Giuliani extolled their contributions to the Big Apple's burgeoning economy, forbade city workers from denying them social services and benefits, bent over backward to help them navigate the path toward citizenship, and grasped the plain fact that they would never be deported en masse. As the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Giuliani has gradually purged such ideas from his campaign rhetoric, stressing instead his plans to erect a "technological fence" to secure the nation's borders, end illegal immigration, and monitor the comings and goings of "every noncitizen" in the country by means of tamper-proof, biometrically savvy ID cards.
The fact is, the Republican base is such a despicable batch of haters, fear-mongers, hypocrites and conspiracy theorists that once reasonable men have to play dumb to get the nomination. It is time that people stop courting this grotesque constituency that distorts our politics and hinders intelligent public policy.
The New York Times agreed with the incremental approach to civil rights and for nixing the "T" from the bill.
"We sympathize with the groups' sense of injustice, but disagree heartily as to strategy. Transgender people should be protected from discrimination, and we hope they soon will be. It would have been regrettable, however, had the sponsors refused to compromise, and as a result, lost the chance to extend basic civil rights to the millions of Americans who would be covered by the current bill.
Throughout American history, civil rights have been achieved in incremental steps. The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, barred race discrimination in public accommodations, an enormous step forward at the time. It wasn't until the next year that Congress protected voting rights in a separate bill."
What this example fails to say is that gender identity will not be included the following year - but many years later. If trans rights were coming in 2008 - I'd wait too. The Times went on to say that Bush will veto the bill - and I agree. He has never let down his nutty right wing base and I don't expect him to start now.
Gay people are just too boring to get automatic laughs, according to The Seattle Times. By now, Entertainment Weekly reports, 61 percent of college freshmen, who grew up with "Will & Grace," approve of gay marriage. The finding in the national poll is up 10 percentage points from a decade ago.
So, to add shock to TV shows in 2007, writers (the ones not on strike) have turned to transsexuals. Soon, they too will be kind of lame - and the networks will have to turn to fundamentalists to get guaranteed guffaws. And, the good news is that they will appear rigid and goofy no matter how long they stick around.