A new article in Time Magazine reports on the weakening of conservative icon James Dobson and how his organization, Focus on the Family, is losing steam. Consider:
In 1994 Dobson's monthly newsletter had a circulation of 2.4 million copies. Today, that circulation is about 1.1 million.
The ministry's expenses have exceeded its revenues for two years -- what Daly calls a "drawdown from reserves" -- by $4.1 million in fiscal year 2006 and by $9.9 million in 2005.
In the 1990s, Dobson was drawing audiences of 15,000 or more to his speeches; but in the lead-up to the 2006 mid-term election, only about 1,000 people heard his anti-abortion speech at the 2,500-seat Mt. Rushmore National Monument amphitheatre.
According to news accounts and audited financial reports posted online for potential donors, the organization's staffing is down - 30 layoffs last September (Any worthless "ex-gays"?)
There are many more exciting tidbits in this story. However, Dobson's decline is a result of a loss in credibility due to an allergy to the truth. Dobson repeatedly got humiliated by his ex-gays getting photographed in gay bars, co-hosts sleeping around and flat out distorting the work of university professors. Apparently, honesty is not only the best policy - but it makes the most economic sense. Too bad it took "Double Talk" Dobson so long to realize that his dearth of morality would affect the bottom line. 0 Comments
A Vancouver newspaper said that hate crimes in this beautiful city have doubled, with 66 per cent aimed at Jews, gays and lesbians. Of course, one egg head professor in an ivory tower blames the victims for speaking out and calling these crimes precisely what they are - crimes motivated by hate. He also wants to focus on how these criminals feel. While getting to the root cause is important - let's do so while these thugs are rotting in a jail cell.
Ehor Boyanowsky, a criminology professor at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, doesn't like the term hate crime because it sets the victims apart from other Canadians.
He said labelling the crimes as hate crimes and the publicity that follows often makes matters worse, raising the ire of those who want to pick a fight or are on the verge of lashing out.
"I've always been against calling them hate crimes," Boyanowsky said. "What you really need to do is analyze why people feel this way and deal with them."
Yeah, right, these sleaze bags are sitting at home reading the newspaper and come to a story on hate crimes and say: "I don't like the label they have affixed to my violent proclivities. I think I'll go bash a Jew or a gay person." Um, okay, right professor.
TruthWinsOut.org today announced its ambitious plans for 2008 - which include several protests, a three-region tour and a significant presence at several Gay Pride events. TWO is also placing a national call for volunteers to help us in the cities and regions we are visiting. We are also asking that local universities, community groups, advocacy organizations, business groups, social clubs and religious institutions inquire about having TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen give a presentation on the so-called "ex-gay" myth while he is in town.
"We are urging volunteers to get involved now to help us at these events and to further our important message," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director, TruthWinsOut.org. "We look forward to educating people across America on the ex-gay industry and right wing extremism."
TWO plans to have regional tours in the following areas:
California, April 1-13 Florida, June 2-10 Pacific Northwest, June 16-30
TWO plans to work with local organizations to hold protest rallies at the following venues in 2008:
Love Won Out, April 12, San Jose Exodus Global Alliance, May 8-10, Toronto Love Won Out, June 7, Orlando Exodus National Conference, July 15, Asheville Love Won Out, Sept. 13, Anchorage NARTH Conference, Nov. 7-9, Denver
TWO plans to work with local organizations to have a presence at the following events:
Exodus West Coast Regional Conference, April 3-5, Fresno Exodus Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, April 4-6, Williamsburg, VA Exodus Asia Pacific Conference, Aug. 2-3, Malaysia Exodus North Central Conference, Oct. 24-26, Green Lake, WI
TWO plans to have booths at the following Pride Events:
Fort Lauderdale Long Beach DC Black Pride DC Los Angeles Portland (OR) New York City San Diego Atlanta Minneapolis Chicago San Francisco Seattle St. Louis Dallas
"We urge our supporters to mark their calendars and help us carry out our mission," said Besen. "If we will be in your area, consider booking us for an entertaining educational forum on the ex-gay myth."
All dates are tentative and subject to change as the itinerary continues developing. This is TWO's first national tour of America. TruthWinsOut.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.
"People should feel free to live the lives they desire. If someone who experiences primarily same-sex attractions wishes to explore a heterosexual life, no one should hold them back. But if 'growing into' that life requires years of counseling, weekly support groups, hundreds of hours of prayer, annual conferences, straight mentors, and a library of books, perhaps the person needs to face reality. That change is not for them."
Rudy Giuliani has hit the skids in a Florida freefall that could shatter his presidential campaign and leave a two-man Republican contest in the state between John McCain and Mitt Romney, a Miami Herald poll shows. Giuliani is tied for third place with the scarcely visible Mike Huckabee in a statewide poll of 800 likely voters.
Democrat Hillary Clinton's frontrunner's perch is intact, though her numbers dipped slightly since November, the poll showed. She garnered 42 percent of the vote, compared to 23 percent for Barack Obama. Clinton enjoyed overwhelming support from women, Hispanics and older voters. She beats Obama across the board except among black voters, who favor him 48-27.
Sen. Barack Obama didn't have to issue the challenge about homophobia in the African-American community - not in one of the nation's premier black churches, not on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday - but he did it anyway.
At the same time as Obama's Sunday speech, gay bloggers were digging into the background of the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a spiritual adviser to President Bush who endorsed Obama a day earlier.
"People are confused," said Wayne Besen, a gay activist and founder of Truth Wins Out, a New York organization aimed at countering the "ex-gay" movement. "We see one report of him saying powerful words. Then he is hanging out with some shady characters. People don't know what to make of that."
Is Albert Gore for marriage equality? It sure sounds like it to me. Watch the Video HERE. I still wish he would run for president!
"Gay men and women ought to have the right to join together in marriage. I don't see why it's considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians. Shouldn't we be promoting the kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one's partner regardless of sexual orientation?"
A few months ago, my organization TuthWinsOut.org caused a national uproar after we criticized Barack Obama for embracing "ex-gay" singer Donnie McClurkin. The Christian crooner was part of Obama's gospel tour of South Carolina, which was an attempt to lure African American voters away from the Clinton campaign.
Since then, Obama has shown himself to be a legitimate contender and, as a result, has secured much of the black vote in a state where they represent nearly half of all Democratic primary voters. At the same time, the rise of Obama has invigorated - and frightened - many gay voters, who write me each day to express confusion over what his candidacy represents.
Further complicating matters, was Obama's bold speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in front of 2,500 people at Atlanta's renowned Ebenezer Baptist Church. Instead of pandering to the crowd, Obama used the opportunity to address homophobia in the African American community.
"For most of this country's history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man's inhumanity to man," Obama preached. "And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them."
Unfortunately, as these words were leaving Obama's mouth, he was endorsed by the homophobic Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who is senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church and a spiritual advisor to President George W. Bush.
The Obama campaign's speed dating with anti-gay demagogues, coupled with pro-gay statements, has had the effect of befuddling many GLBT voters. I hear from some people who think he is courageous for speaking up on behalf of gays at black churches, where other voters think he is a cynical political opportunist playing both sides of the fence. I believe each side has a legitimate point.
The most maddening - and absurd - spin comes from Obama supporters who claim that his flirtation with both gay advocates and anti-gay bigots is evidence that he can bring Americans together. Let's be clear, he has not brought anyone together. The only "cause" that such diverse constituencies have rallied round is Obama's political career. If he were to be elected, I hardly see this translating into any grand coalition to pass pro-gay legislation. Indeed, the homophobic African American leaders are only tolerating his gay-positive positions because their priority is electing America's first African American president.
There are also some politically naive GLBT people who say it does not matter who Obama's friends are. Of course, we all know that candidates owe elections to their supporters and thus hand out favors while in office. If Obama can put McClurkin on stage in the name of "unity" - then why can't he place the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on the backburner, also in the name of unity? If ENDA gets in the way of a coalition to tackle Social Security or healthcare, might the GLBT community be told to pipe it down and take one for the team? And, if we insist on equality in an Obama administration, will we be made to feel like troublemakers who are putting ourselves above the larger coalition? Such questions must be answered definitively, because if Obama secures the nomination or gets elected, his power increases exponentially, as access decreases at the same rate.
So, when people ask me what to do in regards to Obama, I make three points:
1) His association with arch-homophobes actually does matter and should play a factor in how you vote. It is fair to judge people by the company they keep, and we must admit that some of Obama's associates are troubling.
2) That said, Obama has been a solid supporter of GLBT rights and his overall record should be under consideration. He should be given points for speaking in favor of equality at black churches.
3) All of the leading Democrats are pretty good on GLBT issues (marriage excluded), so they have essentially canceled each other out on this topic. Therefore, most gay people should make their decisions based on other concerns, like the war or the economy.
If Obama gets elected, either GLBT people or African American conservatives will be disappointed by the time his reelection bid rolls around. It is crucial that people realize that Obama's force of personality will not sustain this coalition, thus he must continue to announce his true intensions, so there is not great surprise and frustration after his inauguration.
The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment building at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, according to the New York City police. Mr. Ledger was 28.
At 3:31 p.m., a masseuse arrived at Apartment 5A in the building for an appointment with Mr. Ledger, the police said. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of Mr. Ledger’s bedroom. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger unconscious. They shook him, but he did not respond. They immediately called the authorities.
The police said they did not suspect foul play. Officials said pills were found near the body.
So, Sen. Sloth is abandoning his limp presidential bid. The question is, did anyone wake Fred up from his third nap of the day to tell him?
What a complete bust! I can't remember the last time I saw such a spectacular underachiever. Goodbye Fred - now, go back to enjoying your decadent Hollywood lifestyle and stop pretending to be conservative.
Also, please read my prediction about Fred getting in the race. I was pretty dead on. I did expect Gingrich to be trouble, but, fortunately, he never got into the race.
(Phelan, left, Unprofessional, Unaccomplished, Angry and Bizarre)
A couple of days ago, I posted a humorous video about a young Australian teenager who threw a party when his parents weren't home. The video is innocuous as it is silly and very enjoyable. Still leave it to the right wing to take something innocent and sexualize it - the perverse, immature sickos that they truly are. That is exactly what weirdo NARTH therapist Jim Phelan did, by posting on his blog the headline, "Wayne Besen Glorifies Pedestry." [sic - yeah - Phelan can't spell]
Now, exactly what did I do to earn this slice of sexual McCarthyism? What did I say to get tagged with this disgusting smear campaign? Well, absolutely nothing. I simply posted this video seen by more than 100,000 people and one that has become a hit on YouTube. But, I guess that is all it takes for the unprofessional crew at NARTH to try to slime their opponents.
Have you ever seen such a desperate and dysfunctional batch of quacks in your life? It is bad enough they have no scientific credibility, but unfounded personal attacks, such as this, also call into question their moral integrity. Phelan ought to apologize and then seek immediate professional help (Not from a NARTH therapist). It is increasingly clear that he may not be well and deserves our full support and sympathy. You can send Phelan a "Get Well Card" at this address:
6031 E. Main St, #117 Columbus, OH 43213
I hesitate to even name Phelan - as he has no real scientific profile, is unaccomplished in his field and has virtually no readers on his vanity blog. However, such sleazy and untrue attacks must be answered. After all, people like Phelan believe that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes a fact. We are not going to let that happen.
A Michigan woman's Jesus statue is being held for ransom by anonymous neighbors who are mad that the religious woman has allegedly not cleaned up dog dung from her hot dogs. Personally, I think we should call in Bill Richardson to negotiate. The neighbors should immediately return Jesus unharmed with an apology note. The Christians should promise to "love thy neighbor' by cleaning up the dog chips in the yard. See, no need to turn this into the Hatfield's vs. the McCoys.