I was the first to publicly recognize that he had a bizarre fascination with gay male S&M. There never seemed to be a leather event this supposedly heterosexual man missed. He'd attend these parties "undercover" to do "research." Meanwhile, he would blatantly ignore similar events - including swingers clubs - that were heterosexually focused. It does not take Freud to know that this behavior is somewhat abnormal and a little bit odd.
I can think of no other straight man who rather be at a gay S&M gathering, than home with his wife. Such celebrations are fine, if that is your arena. If you are not into it, however, you don't go.
But, LaBarbera returns to such venues frequently and repeatedly. Each time, he takes the same exact "naughty" pictures and shares them on his website. There is never any new information, yet he still returns, year after year. Once he has the alleged smut, he posts the pictures online under a big "WARNING" sign - drawing more attention to the very images he claims no one should see.
Occasionally, he'll give a prurient presentation to church types and introduce them to various sexual acts - in the name of fighting the "gay agenda". I think it is fair to say that LaBarbera has introduced more church-goers to gay S&M than all gay activists combined in the history of the movement. LaBarbera seems to get off on bringing gay porn to the Christian masses. I suppose its a pretty sweet gig, if you can get away with it.
Unfortunately, LaBarbera no longer does get away with pushing his unique brand of perversion in the name of God. When he started in this "business", he could justify his behavior by claiming he was promoting "social issues." But, more than a decade later, most people - including many anti-gay activists I have spoken to over the years - believe he has "personal issues." I have been in television green rooms where LaBarbera's name comes up and conservative eyes roll.
A few years ago, I came up with the nickname "Porno Pete." It seemed to capture the very essence of the man, and thus caught on like wildfire. Since this time, he understandably has an axe to grind. I'd be angry too, if someone had exposed me as one who slithers around naughty places surreptitiously snooping for smut in the guise of "research."
Last night, Porno Pete attacked me, yet again, on his struggling vanity blog. He made a number of false allegations and outright lies. I could refute each fib, but I won't waste my time. This is because LaBarbera has become irrelevant. No one cares what he has to say. I almost feel bad for him.
Well, okay, I'll address one lie. Porno Pete talks of successful "ex-gays." The truth is, he had teamed up with former ex-gay activists John Paulk, Michael Johsnton and Wade Richards. Paulk was photographed in a gay bar by me. Johnston entered a sex addiction facility after meeting men on the Internet. Richards came out of the closet. If there is one man in America who knows that so-called "ex-gay" programs do not work, it would be LaBarbera. But, he conveniently left these failures associated with his ministry off his blog. Talk about intellectual dishonesty and denial!
His Americans for Truth venture is a dismal failure and has no impact on public policy, nor the culture at large. It is just one angry man with "issues" who under the pretense of activism shows hardcore gay porn to church folk. He's a creep with a traveling peep show. A pervert disguised as a puritan.
Porno Pete, the act is up and you are the last to know it.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is taking aim at the Obama administration's policy change over medical marijuana.
The Justice Department has announced it will target California's medical marijuana distributors only if they violate both federal and state law. That's a break from the Bush administration, which targeted dispensaries under federal law even if they complied with the state's law allowing sales of medical marijuana. Grassley said the new policy, outlined by Attorney General Eric Holder, is harming health care reform and will lead marijuana users to try harder drugs.
Isn't that rich. The man going after marijuana is named Grassley. Maybe he will team up with a sheriff named Potter and release a "joint statement." Why can't the Senator leave the people of California alone and let them decide? So much for state's rights when they stand between a Republican senator and grandstanding.
Leave it to Barack Obama to do something noble the day after I write a snarky column about his awful choice of preachers.
The AP reports today that the Obama administration will endorse a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality that then-President George W. Bush had refused to sign, The Associated Press has learned.
U.S. officials said Tuesday they had notified the declaration's French sponsors that the administration wants to be added as a supporter. The Bush administration was criticized in December when it was the only western government that refused to sign on.
This is truly wonderful news and we thank our new president - who is light years ahead of that Neanderthal Bush. Obama is setting a terrific example throughout the world.
On the way to Africa today, the Pope spoke about condoms. He said they make the AIDS epidemic worse.
"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will begin a seven-day pilgrimage on the continent. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."
How many people is this man willing to see die to defend his outdated dogma? Can the Pope show us a population where HIV increased because of condom use? Of course not!
What the Pope said today was morally repugnant and disgraceful. He ought to be ashamed of himself - but I doubt he is capable of such humility.
George W. Bush longed to escape his daddy's shadow, while Barack Obama has turned to shadowy preachers in his long search for a father figure. His filial approach to faith began with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and has now taken a sharp turn right.
The New York Times reports that the president has surrounded himself with a cadre of clerical crackpots known as the "Circle of Five". These holy men are: Rev. Joel Hunter, former head of the Christian Coalition; anti-gay Bishop T.D. Jakes; the "ex-gay" loving Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell; and Jim "waffling" Wallis, a protean progressive. The only Obama shaman who isn't shameless is the civil rights era preacher Rev. Otis Moss Jr.
Rev. Jakes refers to homosexuality as "brokenness" and has claimed that he wouldn't hire a sexually active gay person. But it seems T.D. can't even keep his own son off the D.L. (down low). His "sexually broken" heir was arrested earlier this year for cruising a Dallas Park in search of gay men.
Wallis, the chief executive of Sojourners, a Christian magazine, holds "traditional" views on homosexuality and abortion, according to the Times article. Although Wallis has taken some affirmative steps on GLBT equality, he prides himself on not being a part of "the religious left."
Rev. Caldwell has endorsed Metanoia, an ex-gay ministry designed to "help homosexuals understand with God's help that 'change [is] possible." When the GLBT community worked to elect Obama, this is not what we thought he meant when he promised "change."
"Whoa, OK, so let's assume [the Obama Administration decides to release] a mealy mouthed message like 'the President does not believe in ex-gay therapy' or some such nonsense," wrote blogger Pam Spaulding. "If he doesn't, then what is he doing talking to Caldwell when there are plenty of other prominent pastors he could choose to break bread with who don't subscribe to that view?"
We must also remember that during his campaign, Obama tapped "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to croon at a concert tour in South Carolina. And, this insult was compounded by the injury of selecting Rev. Rick Warren to give the Inauguration invocation.
I can live with Obama's poor Sunday choices if on Monday he hears our voices and passes landmark gay civil rights legislation. Still, it is disconcerting that such a cool and rational leader keeps returning to the theological armpit to fill his pulpit. Will spending time in the biblical backwater influence Obama's views and lead him to sell us down the river?
By embracing these conservative clerics, Obama is also setting a wretched example overseas. Last month, the State Department released a report to Congress that documents "an unfortunate crisis in human rights abuse directed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide." Much of this violence was the result of brutal religious oppression. Yet, Obama pals around with reprehensible reverends, thus undermining his own administration's call for moderate religious leadership abroad.
The Pope, who takes his road show to Africa this week, could have used Obama's absent leadership. In Nigeria, for example, lawmakers are debating a draconian law that would imprison gay people for living together. It encourages violent witch-hunts by requiring Nigerians to turn in their gay neighbors. Those who don't rat out gays could be jailed for up to five years.
The BBC reports that during a debate on this unconscionable legislation, Rev. Patrick Alumake told the National Assembly that the top leaders of the Catholic Church in Nigeria supported the measure.
"There are wild, weird ways of life that are affecting our own culture very negatively, we have people who either by way of the media or traveling around the world have allowed new ideas which are harmful to our nation and our belief," said Alumake.
Catholicism is also the largest religion in Uganda. There, the penalty for homosexuality is life in prison. Last week, American anti-gay leaders held a conference in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, where a local group leader pledged to "wipe out" homosexuality.
If he chose, the Pope could have a significant impact this week by urging African Catholics to stop persecuting homosexuals. But, we know this won't happen. After all, we are talking about a Vatican that dispatched its minions to Albany, New York last week to fight against a bill to temporarily lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging the sexual abuse of children. If the Pope won't protect innocent youths, he certainly won't lift a gold ringed finger to save the lives of people he considers "objectively disordered."
While there will be no moral leadership from this Pontiff, we expect Obama to understand that his clerical choices do matter. It is time Obama stops searching for Daddy and becomes the man of the (White) house, by picking preachers who are not at irreconcilable odds with his human rights policies.