Friday, July 18, 2008
Hi there. Please check out my column on David Benkof, which is in today's Huffington Post. Please comment and bump up the story. :)
To Read it CLICK HERE
Extremism Won Out With Demagogue to Be Honored, Says TWO
NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out (TWO) assailed The Museum of Broadcast Communications today for announcing they would induct
right wing extremist James Dobson into its Radio Hall of Fame. TWO vowed to protest the annual awards dinner, the second Saturday in November, to inform the world of Dobson's shameful and bigoted record.
"It is an affront for the Radio Hall of Fame to honor James Dobson, a right wing demagogue, who built his radio empire on the backs of gay and lesbian people," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "We vow to stand up and protest this outrageous insult and let the world know that Dobson is a dishonest, hatemongering ideologue."
Dobson told The Daily Oklahoman on Oct. 23, 2004, "Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
In the past two years, at least seven researchers have accused Dobson of manipulating or cherry picking their results to back his anti-gay teachings. Letters and videos documenting the concerns of these respected professors can be viewed at TruthWinsOut.org and RespectMyResearch.org.
Dobson also profits from intolerance. He founded a ministry, Love Won Out, that promises to "cure" homosexuals -- even though the so-called "ex-gay" leader of Love Won Out, John Paulk, was photographed in a gay bar. Dobson also continues to promote dishonest psychological theories about gay people that are rejected by every respected medical and mental health association in America, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
Truth Wins Out 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.
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Today, I went to Ridgecrest where Exodus leader Alan Chambers personally threw me off the grounds. With a couple of muscle men behind him, he scowled, "you're not welcome here." He should know that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is inhospitality. Earlier in the day, I waved to cars coming to the conference with some terrific young activists. I was proud to be outside with them. Tonight, I will be at a screening of the movie, "Fish Can't Fly."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Republican Senator Dole introduced an amendment
to name an HIV/AIDS relief bill after the
recently deceased Jesse Helms. The blog Joe.My.God
recalls some of Helms' notable moments in AIDS relief:
** Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."
** Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."
** Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."
** Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he'd changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."
Dole should be ashamed of herself. What an obnoxiously insensitive, despicable, insulting action for her to take. This reprehensible act is unforgivable. She can go to hell.
Oh, and for all you little closet case staff members skipping around her Washington and North Carolina offices - you should resign today or be outed for your low-self esteem and enabling hypocrisy.
The story broke in Atomic Gay Wonk
Several months ago, I wrote a scathing article
about The ManKind Project
. I had researched the group and concluded that they were tied to the so-called "ex-gay" ministries.
I was wrong.
My friend, author Joe Kort
, told me that the group was actually gay affirming. I looked into the topic more and this was true. However, what initially confused me was that several "ex-gay" ministries were praising the organization - because the group helped them get in touch with their masculinity. However, while the ex-gay ministries gave their stamp of approval to the ManKind Project, the organization never endorsed the ex-gay industry.
If this seems a bit confusing - it was. At the request of Kort, I spoke with the Executive Director of ManKind, Carl Griesser. I apologized to him for getting it wrong and wrote a follow-up article
. However, I let it be known that The ManKind Project needed to clarify that it was gay-friendly, as it was not readily apparent to those researching. Griesser said he would look into the matter.
Well, today he made good on his promise and if you visit the site, there is a big rainbow flag that proclaims - "Gay Friendly." If one clicks the flag, it leads to a clear statement
on "Sexual Orientation and the ManKind Project."
Congratulations to the group for its bold, affirmative step. Not only will gay men know that ManKind is a welcoming place, but the flag will make it more difficult for columnists like myself to screw up. Griesser deserves respect and praise for his excellent leadership.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
In 2001, David Bianco was at the pinnacle of his career in GLBT journalism. He was the founder of Q Syndicate, a content provider for gay media, and wrote, "Past Out," a widely distributed GLBT history column. He was also the author of, "Gay Essentials: Facts for Your Queer Brain."
With great irony, the man who made his living by revealing the glorious gay past was quietly reinventing his own personal history. He had allegedly given up sex with men and was rapidly moving towards Orthodox Judaism.
In September 2003, Bianco went public with his conversion in an interview with The Washington Blade
. He denounced, "having all kinds of Internet hook-ups and doing the urban gay male lifestyle thing," and said he could no longer remain closeted about his metamorphose.
"It was increasingly odd to be supervising content for the gay media on a day-to-day basis when in my own life I was moving away from gay identity," Bianco said. Then he complained about the reaction he received from colleagues saying, "Nobody gets a parade for leaving the gay community..."
While his exit elicited no parade, Bianco did create a media circus - changing his name to Benkof and appearing on the "Ricki Lake" show to oppose same-sex marriage. Basking in his beloved spotlight -- it seemed that Benkof was poised to become the right wing's latest star.
Then, he just fell off the radar for nearly five years.
Unfortunately, he could not bear anonymity in our celebrity culture and burst back on the scene this year -- using the California marriage decision to catapult him to newfound notoriety.
Benkof opened shop with a deceptively titled blog, "Gays Defend Marriage," and started a new column, "Fabulously Observant," in which he posed as a pro-gay activist who just happened to give up sex for religious reasons.
What the editors of GLBT publications who decided to run his column did not know was that Benkof had extreme beliefs. He says that his religion teaches him that, "when you engage in mishkav zachar (gay sex), you are inflicting harsh damage
on your precious Jewish spirit. Mishkav zachar is such a horrible sin that you are commanded to submit to being killed (yehareg v'al yaavor) rather than committing it."
When his editors found out his nutty views and that he was moonlighting as a zealous opponent of GLBT rights, he was dropped like a BLT at a Seder.
Benkof came to the attention of GLBT rights organizations last month after he began placing defamatory op-eds in mainstream news
publications. His columns were notable because they would ostensibly be about a topic, such as President Bush's record on AIDS
, but the real intention was to smear gay people
and make the GLBT community look perverse, untrustworthy, selfish and unworthy of basic human rights.
It was really a disgusting display of bigotry and self-loathing on the part of Benkof. He seemed bitter that he gave up sex and appeared to take his frustrations out on all gay people. His tirades were punctuated with hateful and unfounded statements like, "I have tons of data that shows how a significant subset of the gay community in America has always supported adult-child sex."
The truth is, not a single mainstream GLBT rights organization supports adult-child sex, or even mentions the topic, for that matter. Benkof flat our lied to slime the GLBT community. He seems to have an ax to grind and seethes with resentment that so many GLBT people have rich and satisfying lives.
When defending his views, Benkof would often throw irrational tantrums in online forums. He called me a "self-hating Jew" who was "spitting in the eye of G-d," and blasted blogger Pam Spaulding as a, "nasty bitch."
Still, Benkof was a difficult opponent because he's smart, has a knack for getting published and knew enough about gay history to hijack it. His brain was like a large computer hard drive stuffed with faulty software that contained quirks and bugs. With his prodigious output of anti-gay propaganda, he promised to be a problem for years to come.
But, again, in a blink, he was gone.
Out of nowhere, he announced this week
that he was closing down his blog and getting out of the anti-gay marriage business, saying, "I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign (the group trying to ban same-sex marriage in California), and the same-sex marriage movement in America in general."
The capricious Benkof is like a supernova of nonsense, he flares up and then he flames out. We can only imagine where the spotlight will lead this walking human tragedy next. Perhaps, the enterprising chameleon will start a reality show called "Extremist Makeover," where contestants with mutating morals change their names and search for new issues and identities to embrace.
I can't think of anyone more qualified for the job than Bianco/Benkof, or whomever he fancies himself today.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Even in a city with Asheville's relatively progressive reputation, the Exodus conference poses risks, said Washington-based activist Wayne Besen. "Asheville is more progressive than most of the country, and they won't be as susceptible to the antigay message, but there are still people who are vulnerable and can get stuck in the 'ex-gay trap."
"This is consumer fraud, selling desperate people false hope," said Besen, who will be in Asheville for the duration of the conference. "There are these poor spouses who think they can help their gay spouses (to become straight)."
To Read Full Article CLICK HERE
In a startling turn of events, writer David Benkof - formerly David Bianco - has closed down his blog, Gays Defend Marriage
, and vowed to stay out of the fight in California. In a statement to Truth Wins Out, Benkof said the following:
"I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign, and the same-sex marriage movement in America in general, with a few exceptions - most notably Maggie Gallagher. I have made a tentative decision not to publicize the disturbing information that caused me to end my promotion of man-woman marriage in the United States. But there is very little that I know about those subjects that a journalist, blogger, or activist cannot find out through diligent googling and asking the right questions of the Prop. 8 campaign."
Benkof had made waves in recent weeks with a string of high-profile anti-gay op-eds in major mainstream newspapers, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle.
We are pleased that Benkof has decided to do the right thing and step aside. It is also helpful that he has raised the red flag about the people running Prop. 8.
Over the weekend, Focus on the Family's James Dobson released his pit bulls and personally attacked me
. He is irate because I dared to launch a campaign to keep him out of the Radio Hall of Fame. Dobson is a venomous bigot who has said that same-sex marriage will "destroy the earth." Clearly, he does not deserve to be honored and must be stopped.YOU are the only thing standing between James Dobson and a Hall of Fame victory dance
. The last thing we want is for him to parade around on-stage with a trophy, using his platform to spew more bile against the GLBT community. There are four things you can do TODAY to stop this troglodyte.
You must act NOW, as Hall of Fame voting ends on July 15.
1) Sign TWO's formal request to have the Radio Hall of Fame dump James Dobson as a candidate. SIGN HERE
2) Contact Radio Hall of Fame CEO Bruce DuMont directly, to express your displeasure: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) As an option, vote for nominees other than James Dobson or Laura Schlessinger (the general public may vote, and the other nominees are Bob Costas and Howard Stern).VOTE HERE
4) Donate to Truth Wins Out
. Only with your help, can we continue to fight the right wing and take on extremists like James Dobson.
To Give a Tax Deductible Gift Online CLICK HERE
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