It amazes me that doctors, like Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse, think they have the right to comment on gay issues - even though their schools have a prohibition on openly gay students. Isn't that a little like professors of Bob Jones University conducting "studies" on interracial dating? (Prior to the lifted ban)
Until Grove City College and Pat Robertson University allow openly gay students and GLBT student groups, Yarhouse and Throckmorton should keep a lid on it. How dare they pass judgment or create sham studies while working at apartheid schools. The very nature of working at institutions that codify discrimination and humiliation of GLBT pupils - means they have lost the moral authority to lead on this issue. If they want to be taken seriously, they must quit and go to schools that support equal access to education.
Furthermore, we know that if Throckmorton or Yarhouse released papers or study results that were even remotely pro-gay, their careers would be effectively over. Does anyone think that Pat Robertson would promote a pro-gay professor? Does anyone think Throckmorton's career would advance if he came to the honest conclusion that coming out and self-acceptance was in the best interest of GLBT students? Clearly, there is a conflict of interest that colors and thus invalidates anything these men say on GLBT issues.
New Rule: If you work at a school that forbids GLBT students - your work should be forbidden from serious discussion and consideration. Why should "researchers" from bigot schools have a say when they are actively discriminating?
I criticized Obama when he hosted that gospel tour in South Carolina featuring ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. He deserved to get challenged on this issue.
Today, Obama deserves praise. At arally in Beaumont, Texas, (not a gay mecca, if you were wondering) he was asked a question about gay issues and called homophobia unChristian. This comment was in front of a mostly black, heterosexual audience. This took guts and he deserves credit.
It is sad, but in today's "free" America, there are vivid examples of tyranny of the religious majority. In Delaware, a Jewish family was run out of town after they questioned the aggressive sectarian prayers delivered in the Indian River School District.
For years, the Dobrich family put up with the illegal proselytizing - which was intended to marginalize non-Christians and use public arenas as fundamentalist recruitment centers. The straw that broke her back occurred at her daughter Samantha's high school graduation in 2004. An obnoxious and mannerless minister who does not understand a pluralistic society delivered a prayer proclaiming Jesus as the only way to the truth. Dobrich responded by asking the school board to consider more inclusive prayers.
Word got out in the hick town and the topic soon dominated talk radio - the usual cesspool for authoritarian, anti-American fascist rhetoric. This riled up the yahoos - bringing hundreds of rabid zealots to school board meetings with signs proclaiming that Jesus is #1. How spiritual.
Dobrich and another family sued - and won. The school board now has to explicitly spell out what is acceptable prayer - as opposed to predatory proselytizing. However, standing up for the Constitution and real American values came with a steep price. The town's Christian Ayatollahs poisoned the minds of their children - who then harassed the Dobrich family's children with anti-Semitic taunts.
The family's eleven year old son, Alex, was referred to as "Jew Boy" and other kids said he was the Jew who was "suing Jesus." Living in fear, the family was forced to relocate - which created a financial burden that forced their daughter Samantha to drop out of Columbia University.
These so-called Christan fundamentalists are such loving people. Surely, Jesus would be proud of them. They will no doubt go to heaven for their "good" deeds in Delaware.
The truth is - the right wing relies on intimidation and harassment to spread their beliefs. They send the sickening message that you will be excluded and ostracized unless you get with their religious program. They place enormous pressure on vulnerable individuals - such as children. If you express dissent - they will browbeat you - or just flat out beat you into submission. This example in Delaware represents everything that is wrong with religion in America.
While there are many wonderful people of faith - I have met countless examples - let's not sweep the truth under the carpet. In small towns throughout this nation, religion is often the premier source of bigotry and a sectarian club used to bash anyone who is not a fundamentalist. Until this scourge is addressed, America will fail to live up to its potential and we won't be the free country we purport to be.
The ego-maniac is running for president - yet again. In 2000 he told us there was no difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore. I think we - and the whole world - now know this is not true. After such a blunder, one would think Nader would disappear in shame forever.
However, he is back - the delusional savior - who must fall in love each time he looks in the mirror. Author David Mixner wrote a good commentary on Nader today and calls him McCain's "running mate."
Nader has gone from a beloved figure to one who is loathed. While he has a right to run - he has a responsibility not to screw up America - one which he has abdicated. It is time he rides off into the sunset and abandon his campaign to ruin this nation. His ego-trip is as self-aggrandizing as it is self-destructive to his shrinking legacy.
Gay bashing in Jamaica is so prevalent that in 2006 Time Magazine wrote an article about the island headlined, "The Most Homophobic Place On Earth?" The New York Times this week showed that the anti-gay climate has only worsened, with the island caught in a downward spiral of outright psychosis. It is time to hand an ultimatum to Jamaica's public officials: Stop allowing rampant abuse of gay people or your economy will be crippled.
The Times story is downright chilling. It details how last month five gay men were having a dinner party when a mob appeared at the front door - kicking it in and attacking the men. While screaming homophobic epithets, between 15-20 thugs beat the victims senseless with sticks and cut them with machetes. One man is still missing, but police found blood at the mouth of a deep hole near the yard.
This was not an isolated incident. The Times went on to report a shocking attack on a gay man's funeral last year, where hooligans trashed the church with rocks and bottles as the service was in session. Of course, this unholy barbarism occurred in the name of God. Interestingly, Jamaicans have turned their sex-fueled island into a heterosexual bathhouse and ganja den, but seem to get sanctimonious and discover the Bible when it comes to homosexuality.
Prior to these incidents, two of the island's notable gay advocates, Steve Harvey and Brian Williamson, were murdered. Time Magazine reported that a crowd celebrated over Williamson's disfigured body. Time also recounted an incident in 2004 where a teen was nearly killed when his father learned his son was gay and urged a mob to lynch the boy at his school. In the same year, it was reported that police heartily cheered on another mob as it stabbed and stoned a gay man to death in Montego Bay. In 2006, a Kingston man drowned after a horde screaming "batty boy" (a Jamaican slur for gay people) chased him off a high dock.
On American docks, six hundred miles west of this homophobic hellhole, tourists regularly line up to board massive luxury liners destined for Jamaica. The tropical island earned $2.1 billion from tourism in 2006, an increase of 24 percent over 2005. More than three million people visited Jamaica in 2006, with 1,025,000 arrivals from the United States.
Clearly, the answer to Jamaica's love affair with lynching is an aggressive campaign designed to put the clamp on tourism - particularly the cruise industry. The goal should be to strangle Jamaica's economy and force the island to change or suffer severe consequences. With tourism Jamaica's second largest source of revenue, such a campaign could have a powerful impact that achieves tangible results.
It appears that four major cruise lines are the main conduits in which people infuse Jamaica's economy with blood money. They are Carnival, Costa, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. The ports where the ships leave are Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Galveston.
It is imperative that one of the GLBT international groups or a major U.S. gay rights group create a campaign to shame these corporations and the passengers that travel on their ships. With so few ports, it would be relatively simple to call for a boycott and picket, while handing hand out informational flyers to cruisers. A "Boycott Jamaica" advertising campaign would greatly strengthen these actions. Billboards would need to be strategically placed along I-95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale with the bold headline: "JA-MURDER."
Undoubtedly, there are many passengers with gay friends and family members who are unaware of Jamaica's sickening and immoral violence against GLBT people. Once informed, many individuals would opt to vacation elsewhere. There is no doubt that with a concerted effort, Jamaica could be brought to its knees.
To lift such a boycott, Jamaica would have to abolish its "buggery" law. Public officials would have to undergo sensitivity training. The police would be required to set up daily undercover stings - where officers would dress in stereotypically gay clothing and arrest would-be attackers. Finally, Jamaica's public officials would have to openly welcome gay and lesbian travelers and offer enthusiastic support for homosexuals living within the country.
It is time we stopped vacationing from our responsibility and started holding Jamaica and its corporate enablers accountable. Until anti-gay atrocities are no longer the norm, Jamaica must be seen as an international pariah, rather than the faux paradise it presents itself to the world.
Note: Of course, there are other parts of the world, particularly Middle East countries, which treat gay people at least as poorly as Jamaica. There are also nations in Africa and Eastern Europe where homosexuals are marginalized and stigmatized. However, there is little leverage to facilitate change in these remote parts of the world. America is not going to jeopardize its oil supply over gay people. And, if most Americans are not going to pay attention to famines and genocide in Africa - they certainly are not going to concern themselves with the treatment of homosexuals. Anti-gay activity in countries like Poland or Russia is more the purview of the European Union.Jamaica is the one place where Americans can make a difference - thus we should.
NEW YORK - TruthWinsOut.org (TWO) unveiled four new Internet videos today featuring prominent molecular biologist Dean Hamer, notable mental health expert and author Dr. Jack Drescher, ex-gay survivor Brent Almond and Nick Cavnar, who after decades left an ex-gay cult. This is the final week that the organization has released new educational videos addressing the "ex-gay" myth leading up to the March 3 launch of TWO's updated website.
In today's first video, molecular biologist Dr. Dean Hamer discusses biology, genetics and homosexuality. He also debunks the misinformation put forth by "ex-gay" organizations, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family.
In TWO's second video, Dr. Jack Drescher, America's foremost expert and scholar on GLBT mental health, answers questions on the efficacy of 'ex-gay' therapy. Drescher is a renowned scholar on issues of sexual orientation and a celebrated author.
Our third person featured is Brent Almond, who suffered through the 'ex-gay' ministries. In this video, he opens up to TruthWinsOut.org about his harrowing experience.
Finally, TWO interviews Nick Cavnar, a man who suppressed his sexuality, married and joined a Michigan cult that promised to cure him. This exclusive video details his long road to self-acceptance.
TruthWinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
Please contibute a tax-deductible contribution to TruthWinsOut.org of you would like us to continue telling the stories of ex-gay survivors and providing experts to refute right wing lies.
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