I hate to brag, but I can, as this is my web site. If you don't believe me, check the name of the web address you are now on. Anyway, for the first time, my exciting book, Bashing Back was NUMBER ONE on the Lambda Rising chart. If you haven't read it, order a copy from Lambda Rising today and see what all the buzz is about.
If you don't like to read, order it anyway to look at the snazzy cover of me posing as a Mike Tyson figure, albeit smaller and much less fierce.
The American Family Association sent out an e-mail blast that promoted its upcoming webcast of the "Rediscovering God in America Pastor's Conference." It will take place Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Orlando. The AFA claims that more than 500 pastors from across Florida will be on-hand.
Interestingly, the AFA wrote, "This Pastor's Conference is not a political event." Directly under this disclaimer it read, "special guests include former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Governor Mike Huckabee."
"For a non-political event, there sure are a lot of high-profile politicians," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org. "We are used to right wing hypocrisy, but this is just blatantly outrageous. Who are they kidding?"
NEW YORK - TruthWinsOut.org today condemned Mike Huckabee's comments to BeliefNet that compared homosexuality to bestiality. Huckabee showed a lack of character, by pandering to the lowest common denominator in his quest to win the South Carolina primary, according to TruthWinsOut.org.
"Huckabee is quickly revealing himself to be an ignorant and crass political opportunist whose presidential hopes are based on exploiting wedge issues," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org. "To compare homosexuality to bestiality is deeply offensive and shows that Huckabee needs a tutor on this issue, as desperately as he needs one on foreign policy."
In the online interview, BeliefNet asked Huckabee if it was his "goal to bring the Constitution into strict conformity with the Bible?"
"Well, I don't think that's a radical view to say we're going to affirm marriage," Huckabee replied. "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what's been historic."
In further pandering to South Carolinians, Huckabee riled up a Myrtle Beach crowd today with comments on the Confederate flag controversy.
"You don't like people from outside the state coming and telling you how you oughta raise your kids. You don't like people coming from outside the state coming down and telling you what you want to do with your flag. In fact, if someone came to the state of Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them where to put the pole - that's what we'd do," said Huckabee.
"Huckabee's comments raise the question of whether he has the stature to sit in the Oval Office," said Besen. "The more Huckabee speaks, the less presidential he appears."
Truth WinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
TruthWinsOut.org expressed concern today over a Reuters news story about a drug-resistant strain of MRSA bacteria that is more prevalent among gay men in urban centers, such as Boston and San Francisco. The organization also slammed extremist groups for exploiting the news in order to smear the GLBT community and advance an agenda of pure prejudice and discrimination.
"The comments by Concerned Women for America is hatred in its rawest and ugliest form," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org. "These wing nuts wasted no time seeking the spotlight and creating a climate of panic and fear. They are factually wrong, morally wrong-headed and tragically addicted to bigotry."
Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with Concerned Women for America, used the news to viciously attack gay people. "Citizens, especially parents, need to stand up and say, 'No More! We will no longer sit idly by while politically correct cultural elites endanger our children and larger communities through propagandist promotion of this demonstrably deadly lifestyle,'" Barber said.
Peter LaBarbara, director of American's for Truth, capitalized on the situation to call for a government crackdown to "reign in homosexual promiscuity." In a statement he asked, "Why won't the news media make the common-sense connection between these frequent stories about (male) homosexual behavior and disease - to the idea that perhaps it's probably not smart for society and pop culture to celebrate homosexuality and bisexuality?"
"This disease is a result of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics, which has led to strains of MRSA that are drug resistant," said TWO's Besen. "The hysteria from the right is reminiscent of how they exploited the HIV crisis in the early 80's for political gain. If there is any dangerous lifestyle, it is that of religious fanatics who have caused untold misery, war, death and repression across the globe."
TruthWinsOut.org urges all people to educate themselves and take necessary precautions, if needed. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, MRSA killed 19,000 Americans in 2005.
TruthWinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
Bisexuality among women isn't just a phase, according to new research that followed 79 non-heterosexual women for a decade and found that bisexual women continue to be attracted to both sexes over time.
Being bisexual is a distinct orientation, not a temporary stage, says the study by Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah. It is being published next week in the January issue of Developmental Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association.
Full of Mitt Romney kept his chances alive today by winning Michigan - an act of monumental manipulation and grotesque groveling. He all but promised to move the White House to Detroit, put a Ford Motor in the space shuttle and raise Henry Ford from the dead and keep him alive on a GM battery pack. Romney's performance was a disgrace, but he did what he had to do to win. Congratulations!
McCain, on the other hand, should be worried. Republicans can't stomach him, which makes it hard to win a Republican primary. He will surely lose South Carolina and must hope to defeat Rudy in the big states. I predict he is going down to Giuliani - who will win Florida, unless Huckabee carries momentum from South Carolina to victory in the Sunshine State.
Mike Huckabee, who complains that it's unfair when reporters ask him about religion, is on the campaign trail urging that the U.S. Constitution be amended to meet "God's standards" about the family, according to People for the American Way.
(Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church)
Earl Paulk, a, 80-year-old leader of a suburban megachurch has been charged with lying under oath for saying he had sex outside marriage with only one other woman, court documents show.
Former church employee Mona Brewer is suing Paulk, his brother and the church on allegations that Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation. In a 2006 deposition stemming from the lawsuit, the archbishop said under oath that the only woman he had ever had sex with outside of his marriage was Brewer.
But the results of a court-ordered paternity test revealed in October that Paulk is the biological father of his brother's son, D.E. Paulk, who is now head pastor at the church. As part of Brewer's lawsuit, eight women have given sworn depositions that they were coerced into sexual relationships with Earl Paulk.
A controversial amendment that would make permanent the state's ban on gay marriage may not make this year's ballot after election officials discovered a mistake made in Miami-Dade County.
Those seeking to put the amendment on the 2008 ballot must gather more than 611,000 signatures from across the state by Feb. 1. Those who backed the amendment that would ban gay marriage thought they had reached that threshold late last year.
But a new count of petition signatures ordered last week by the Department of State now shows that the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment is short by roughly 22,000 signatures.
Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Secretary of State Kurt Browning, said the new count revealed that Miami-Dade's election offices had ''double-counted'' some 27,000 paper petitions that were turned in prior to January 2006.
Florida already bans gay marriage in state law, but organizers are seeking the amendment to ensure the ban is not overturned by a legal challenge. Opponents of the amendment, however, have countered that the measure is more far-reaching and could affect civil unions and threaten benefits for same-sex employees.
Over the past decade, Sen. John McCain has annoyed, aggravated and nearly destroyed some of the most powerful members of Washington's Republican establishment, creating a list of antagonists including anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and the vehement Gun Owners of America.
Now, with his victory in the New Hampshire primary putting the Arizonan's quest for the GOP presidential nomination back on track, his old adversaries are mobilizing to keep him out of the White House.
"It is conceivable that he can be nominated because of the [primary] system we developed," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a longtime McCain foe. "It's not conceivable that he could come out of this nomination fight or the national convention with the kind of enthusiastic support he is going to need for the general election."
TruthWinsOut.org expressed concern today for the Evangelical Christian community after an "ex-gay" organization pledged to recruit 10,000 churches. If Exodus International succeeds with its goal, it will become one of the leading causes for Evangelical divorce in America, says TruthWinsOut.org.
"Evangelical pastors will rue the day they aligned themselves with Exodus and caused a great deal of needless suffering for many of their congregants," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of TruthWinsOut.org. "We hope to head off as many disasters as possible and stop thousands of Evangelical Christians from unwittingly marrying ex-gay spouses - which often leads to divorce. TruthWinsOut.org is willing to have off-the-record discussions with any evangelical church pastor who wants to learn more about Exodus. We urge them to look carefully before they make the leap off the Exodus cliff."
According to Family News in Focus, Exodus will offer resources and training to pastors and church members.
"The vision is that there would be churches that people struggling with same-sex attraction could go to where they could learn how to be Disciples of Christ," said Exodus deputy spokesperson Randy Thomas.
"Unfortunately for the victims, Exodus does not offer legitimate help, but prolonged hurt," said TWO's Besen. "TruthWinsOut.org offers a real helping hand for those whose lives will inevitably be shattered by Exodus' grand plan to expand pain and misery to thousands of evangelical Christians."
TruthWinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
The most notable legacy of the New Hampshire primary will be the soiled reputations of leading pollsters and political consultants. For at least the past two decades we have worshiped at the altar of these glorified statisticians. Now the truth is out - these know-it-alls - don't know much more than we do.
The beauty of politics is its unpredictability - but the imprecise nature of this sport is often too much for some people to handle. Thus, at some point in time, the political establishment sought to turn this fine art into an exact science. An industry was created where people tried to figure out a secret formula for success. Unfortunately, all it has done has made politicians sound formulaic - and in the process turned off large swaths of the electorate.
Once the political consultants get involved, we often get milquetoast pabulum from the contenders that appeals to the lowest common denominator. The heart of the problem is that politics, like music, hits many emotional notes that can't be neatly figured out on a spreadsheet. What matters are the intangibles that ignite the imagination, and thus can't be so easily quantified.
So, it is no coincidence that Mike Huckabee - a man that until recently could not afford to take polls and had few political hacks on the payroll - was able to defeat Mitt Romney, who spent $10 million in Iowa. Unencumbered by canned talking points, Huckabee speaks from the heart and connects with the voters.
It was a blessing in disguise for him (not in the literal sense that Huckabee suggests) that he could not afford Washington consultants. They would have used focus groups to test every one of his jokes and the vast majority of his barbs would never have seen the light of day. He would have lost his groove and sounded like Romney with a southern accent - and would have likely been out of the race already as a result. Going with his instincts, he solidified his outsider status. We can only hope that his recent success and infusion of contributions will afford him the best Washington insiders money can buy.
Likewise, the pollsters in New Hampshire told us that Barack Obama was going to defeat Hillary Clinton by double digits. On the brink of defeat, however, Clinton showed her vulnerable side and voters rallied to her side. What the experts never expected was that going "off message" was the only message that would save her. When she briefly scrapped her staid talking points for spontaneous crying points, voters finally bonded with her. Clinton should consider firing her high-priced gurus and replacing them with on-sale bags of onions at the Price Club.
I'm not saying that politicians should get rid of all pollsters and political consultants. They are good at helping candidates understand the public's priorities. But, I am suggesting that the candidates can't be encouraged to ignore their gut feelings on the campaign trail. The public is hungry for honest politicians who don't need to check with three "experts" before they complete a sentence.
This lesson also pertains to the GLBT movement. There are some who rely too much on polling and focus groups to frame our message. They forget that focus groups only reinforce the status quo by letting us know where the public currently stands. The job of activists, however, is to move the conversation forward by telling people painful truths that they might not want to hear. When the GLBT community crafts messages on what people are already comfortable with, how does that advance the cause?
Somehow, the women's suffrage and civil right's movements managed to inspire and change the world without umpteen polls and focus groups. In fact, it seems the rhetoric was more inspiring back when every phrase wasn't poured over and parsed. Today's GLBT speeches often sound like a listless array of nothing sprinkled liberally with the word "equality." It appears the goal is not to screw up, rather than actually inspire.
The three most underrated ingredients in politics are heart, originality and intuition. To stay in business, consultants must convince insecure candidates or movements not to trust themselves and rely on the "hard data" -- which we have found in campaign 2008 is hardly reliable. If Iowa and New Hampshire taught us one thing it is that authenticity beats plasticity. While America may finally be ready to elect its first African American or woman President - the country seems in no mood to elect a robot. The candidate who comes across as least programmed is the one who will sit in the Oval Office.
Richard Mellon Scaife, billionaire bankroller of conservative crusades, spent heavily to expose Bill Clinton's "Troopergate" misbehavior. Now Scaife's divorce from his second wife, Ritchie, is providing another unsavory saga--adultery! addiction! assault! dognapping! -- as both parties let loose to Vanity Fair.
All this page can say to Scaife is go to hell. You tried to destroy this nation and nearly succeeded. What we did not know is that you were just projecting your own bitterness, misery and vindictiveness onto the rest of us. The fact is, the entire right wing is a collection of busy bodies and dysfunctional, nasty people who hide their ugliness behind the mantle of family values. What a sad, sick joke on the American people.