The Pink Agendist

by E.B. de Mas, reachable at: pink.agendist@yahoo.com

Tag: homophobia

Am I classist, snobby, elitist and do I rub education and wealth in your face? The Importance of Fighting Back

One hopes the answers to all those questions is a resounding yes. It’s entirely intentional; Designed to subvert the oft-disseminated stereotype of the marginal underling gay. When I was a boy, 25 to 30 years ago, this was so endemic it even shaped people’s perceptions of the types of jobs we could have.

Gay men were hair-dressers of florists. If one was wealthy, one could become an art or antiques dealer (aah, the irony), or perhaps a museum curator. We weren’t just boxed in, we were excluded from mainstream society. There was the presumption that the (presumed) flamboyance of the gay man precluded him from working in a boardroom, in a bank, as the CEO of a company. I mean, how could we possibly work at a university if there was a chance we might show up to work one day dressed like this:

cage-aux-folles-1978-05-g (1)

The choices were simple. Either one was discreet to the point of closet-living, or one had to choose a profession and an environment that was unconventional. These limitations encompassed all aspects of life. They even affected how and with whom we could socialize.

Mike and I have been together for thirteen years, all of which we’ve spent in a quite traditional and conservative community called Sotogrande, one of Europe’s (and the world’s) most exclusive residential developments. The first couple of years weren’t easy. I remember people with a straight face saying things like “You’re invited to the party, but you two have to come separately“, or “We’d like to invite you, but would you mind staying in the garden area where it’s more crowded?“, or even “I can invite you when my husband or the children are away“- I’m not sure exactly what they were expecting, whether there was a risk we’d burst into Broadway musical style song, or that we might just start having sex in public view. The prejudices were so absurd, they seem almost funny in hindsight.

Having never been one to take anything sitting down, I decided to fight fire with fire. Sometimes it’s the only way to make people seriously consider the impact of what they’re doing. This took a measure of wit, but me being me, it also took a degree of brutality. To the woman who suggested inviting us when her husband was away, I said “What a relief! I didn’t want to say anything, but I’m not really comfortable with people from that country“. I may have followed that with a comment on terrorists. Her eyes widened in horror, and there began her crusade to prove to me that her husband was a lovely man despite my misgivings regarding his nation of birth. Dearest shoe, meet other foot. Other foot, meet shoe!

It’s a shame that so many people feel prejudice and discrimination in the form of reductionism is an issue that doesn’t affect them, and they adopt positions that are genuinely harmful to others. That’s my problem with websites like Askthebigot and groups like Grace Church Seattle. Someone there said that if my life was ‘great’, why would I waste my time fighting back against what they were doing? The implication being that I had some sort of insecurity. That couldn’t be further from reality. I fight back because it’s only fighting back that we’ve been able to arrive where we are today.

The other day I received an anonymous email from a young man who explained how happy he was when he first heard the gossip of us being here. He was a young gay teen who up to thirteen years ago had only been exposed to the idea of gays living in the sidelines. Like him I once thought the only social role we could have was that of  a companion, a walker. This took the form of accompanying widows, divorcees or women whose husbands were away, to social events. We filled in the boy/girl/boy/girl seating arrangements. That was it.

We weren’t invited as independent entities. We fulfilled a role. I’ve had the pleasure to see and participate in this change during my lifetime. It happened gradually, and not because people sat back and did nothing. I still remember my anxiety the first few times I hosted. Will they come? Who will come? An uphill battle.

We had the monumental task of demonstrating, proving even, that our existence wasn’t limited to our sexual orientation. People enjoyed the black and whiteness of it, some in the world still do. When they say a gay couple is less capable/ideal than a heterosexual couple, they imply that gender is the single most important factor in a child’s rearing (or to be honest, in humanity). Not psychology, love, comfort, education, support. When they say they’re fighting for the children, that’s what they’re doing. No nuance, no mention that each case is an individual case. That a gay couple could, in many cases, fulfill the needs of a specific child better than a heterosexual couple.

It all depends on the individual cases and by opposing gay adoption (or marriage) in a generalized manner they unfairly and misguidedly reduce our identities to sex- and in doing so create limitations for millions of children in the world who live in poverty and hunger, without anyone to care for them. And I say that with no horse in the race. I’m not a parental type, I’ve never wanted children.

All these years later, I feel we’ve accomplished something. I say that personally and as a community. Since ‘our scandalous arrival’ other openly gay couples (including of the flamboyant variety) have arrived and just blended. None of the gossip, none of the wild rumours. In fact, most are now welcomed with open arms on the assumption they’re probably fun, like a drink and throw a good party. That’s because knowledge is everything.

For years we’ve been the house on the street where children come play with the (many) dogs, where they’re welcomed to use the heated pool- where we work from home so if they need something their parents tell them to come to us. A far cry from the stereotypes that were attributed to gay men in the past. Yesterday we were sitting with a friend in the pergola as her eight year old daughter threw the kong toy in the garden. We saw her being brought home from the hospital. We watched her start speaking. First French, then Spanish and English, now Swedish. When her brother died, they all came here to not be alone after hearing the news. One day we’ll probably see her get married.

No trauma has been had by her growing up in the vicinity of an openly gay couple. I think all concerned would agree it’s been quite the opposite. The little girl told us yesterday we’re her favourite neighbours anywhere and I make the best sandwiches. None of the parents we know have ever had any qualms regarding their children being in our company- and that’s because they know something that the bigots don’t want to know. That we’re people, we’re human. That sexual orientation isn’t the be all and end all of ANYTHING, except of sexual orientation itself.

And it’s not just because we’ve arrived at this point that we should sit back and enjoy and leave everyone else hanging. I feel a personal responsibility to keep going, to keep pushing, to make it so others in our community, far and wide, are able to live in a less hostile world. Something we’ll only be able to accomplish if we fight back against the nefarious efforts of the anti-gay brigade.

 

 

The Anatomy of Bigotry: Religious Mafia Protection Rackets

racket

So there we go, it’s all out in the open now. And there’s nothing like a bit of sunlight and fresh air to remove that terrible stench from Astroturf. I say out in the open, but let’s keep going, because I don’t think it’s quite out in the open enough.

First let’s examine what happened. A religious posse formed, led by the wife of a pastor at a sect/cult called Grace Church Seattle. This group of self-styled crusaders had encounters on the internet to put forward their message: They’re against gay marriage. More so, they’re against homosexuality, but they mask that stance hiding behind the gay marriage issue. In communicating their propaganda they engaged in omitting, hiding, lying and deceiving. One pretended he wasn’t religious at all. Others pretended they didn’t know each other and just ‘happened to agree’ with the same forms of bigotry. Their intent was to fraudulently create the impression of an organic grassroots movement (with no hidden agenda).

I should clarify that this was by no means any great feat of investigative work on my behalf. All it took was a tiny bit of research for me to realize that all these independent opinionators of ethics and morality just happened to be sending their messages out from the same geolocation. On some occasions, from the same IP. I put that together with my previous knowledge of how these hate groups operate, and the rest is history.

It’s interesting that these people/groups feel all this dissimulation is a necessary part of their tactics. That speaks for itself. Websites with hidden registrars, no mention of their sects, a whole range of deceptive tactics- all in the name of their ethics, I suppose.

Make no mistake, this is the classic schema of a mafia protection racket. Whilst goons broke shop windows in the still of the night, only to offer protection to shop owners the next morning. These henchman foster and foment an environment where minorities are dehumanized, excluded and persecuted. This demonization is what feeds them and pays their mortgages. The leaders of these groups are opportunists, the more fear and hate they rally, the more money they make at the end of each month.

I have much more to say on the matter of these deceptive and disgusting practices. But I’m double booked today. We just finished a lunch, and we’re also invited to dinner this evening, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile I leave you with this amusing document from the sect in question. Note how in the first item one has to submit to never disagreeing with doctrine. Which is why, my friends, their activities are the sham of an authoritarian regime. In North Korea, everyone also thinks the dear leader is total fabulousity.

gracechurchobligations

 

 

Internet Shills: Beware of the Fake Debate. What to keep in mind before engaging with anti-gay rhetoric.

I never get tired of telling this story because I think it’s an extraordinary depiction of psycho-social manipulation. Back in 2004/2005 when we were campaigning for gay marriage in Spain, we had the wind at our backs. Public support fluctuated between 65 and 70%. Support in those under 40 was even higher. The internet and social media reflected those figures. Which is why we were so shocked when it seemed like the internet had been flooded by a tsunami of anti-gay propaganda.

To make a long story short. Two Spanish anti-gay groups called Hazteoir (make yourself heard) and the Foro de la Familia had gone to bed with American Evangelical Anti-Gay organizations. Not only were they now pushing the same tired propaganda, but they’d gone so far as to set up (as in hire) people to spread their message of hate and exclusion.

Their organization and method which helped them cause such a stir was also their downfall. Just as recently exposed by the French press in the case of the anti-gay and artificial Manif pour Tous, their message was scripted. And when I say scripted, I mean like this:

click here for the entire French version of the script

click here for the entire French version of the script

The contrived tone of their message, the propagation of debunked myths and their  inability to respond to anything outside the script meant that soon enough people were onto what was going on. They were shills and puppets on one side, and on the other manipulators bent on using xenophobia to make a personal profit.

Their conniving isn’t limited to internet forums. Most recently, in the case of the anti-gay Manif pour Tous in France, they announced they were made up of the members of 37 organizations representing all sectors of French society. Le Monde took a closer look at those claims only to discover that 11 of those groups didn’t exist at all. Of those that did exist, only 15  had any sort of legal status. And of the one’s that had legal status, all were linked to religious or extremist right wing movements. So much for being representative of French society!

pewresearch2013

2013 Pew Poll. Not quite in line with what the Manif pour Tous want you to think. And BTW ¡¡¡Viva España!!!

All of this is to say beware. Their methods are many. Astro-turfing, click-baiting, fabricating controversy et al. Their success depends on their fraudulent activities being given air-time, so my suggestion is not giving them what they want. Or at least don’t do it on their terms. If you want to respond to something, do it your own way, on your own territory. Otherwise you’re giving them a platform and driving traffic to their nefarious message.

The Best of WordPress: When a comment is better than a post. The Shocking Truth About IQ

wealth

Last week I had a comment that made me sit up and take stock. It was by lawman83. A lawyer, as his moniker implies. It displayed a level of incisiveness and order that my mind rarely achieves. It was better than the post, and more insightful than most of what I’ve ever written. It also touches the fascinating correlation of IQ to other aspects of life. Since reading it, I’ve been pouring over studies to see what the science says- and one after the next, after the next, studies confirm that IQ will (dramatically) impact your social class, your level of happiness, your social skills- and basically all of the qualities we attribute to successful people. 

Read on, (my) further comments are at the bottom of the post. 

“That’s easy for a cake-eater with a high IQ to say. As much as you deride your family, I doubt that you were raped by your Uncle Ernie. I doubt that your family inflicted the kind of emotional torture that is common in lower-class families with abusive, alcoholic parents. I do not say lower-class because I think that there are no abusive, alcoholic parents in wealthier social strata, but because children in middle-class families are unlikely to be kept out of school for their entire childhood and be forced to subsist on the produce of dumpster-diving. Do you think that Ariel Castro, the notorious Cleveland kidnapper could have enjoyed the immunity he had at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland if he had lived in the 2200 block of Edgerton Road, Shaker Heights, let alone Beverly Hills, California?

Those of us who have high IQs lose sight of the fact that half the population is below 100 IQ – and average is not very smart. Persons with 100 IQ barely graduate high school and spend their lives earning minimum wage, unless they are lucky enough to get into a factory that pays fairly well. Half –HALF – the population has less intelligence than that! I was recently asked to help two adults procure birth certificates. They had never been in school and had no medical records or Social Security numbers. They did not know either parent and had drifted from casual caretaker to caretaker with no social service involvement. Unbelievable!

Similarly, your emotional stability and social skills are far above average and you have not sustained the kind of emotional and psychological torture that many others have suffered. You are also much better-equipped to understand and rationalize adversity. Most of the population do not understand their condition, nor do they have the intellectual or emotional capacity to follow your suggestion to “let ourselves be, exist, on more real terms.” What they know is an emotional void they can partially mask by acquiring possessions, having children, or finding even less fortunate persons to abuse and hold in contempt.

The real tragedy is that these billions of stupid, hungry, desperate, insecure people, pining for meaning in their nasty, brutish and short lives, are ripe for the plucking by villainous demagogues, religious and otherwise. Then they are turned against their fellow creatures and encouraged to maim, rape and kill with riotous abandon.

Sing “Imagine” all you want. The fact is that for most of the population, materialism and finding another population to hate is all that matters. Furthermore, they are incapable of turning away from materialism and hate, particularly when their religious leaders tell them they are following the “one true way” and all others are idolators.”

This leads to some rather sad conclusions. Particularly in the sense that it places much of the world at great risk of exploitation and suffering; In environments where those who can will and do create/enforce/uphold the systematic victimization of those less fortunate, minorities et al. Everything from politics and religion (self-evident), to entertainment (just watch a morning talk show), is geared towards fomenting and perpetuating ignorance. If you watched today’s This Morning on ITV you were regaled with a woman who cried because she met a celebrity chef. Another who ‘married’ her Jack Russell and an interview with a soap-actor. This is Britain’s most viewed morning show with a 17.2% share. And in spite of thinking that Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are great and do their jobs superbly- it’s a sad state of affairs indeed when pandering to stupidity, fabricated drama and the insignificant superficiality of life is what a program needs to do to be embraced by the general public. 

It’s an important reminder that we have to always look deeper. The anti-gay movement in Uganda (and elsewhere), the oppression of women, religious extremism and most varieties of xenophobia coincide with levels of low IQ’s and under-education. The less people know the more they cling to pseudo-truths that are handed to them by those who can benefit from their ignorance.

Uganda and Arizona. Those More Trammelled by Convention.

The mind of a child is a funny thing. Equations are formed without the nuances that only come with age. My equation was terrifying. Horrifying. I spent much of my youth frozen. Being very still and holding my breath in the hope that would stop time.

I was born in March of 1978. In 1985 Rock Hudson died of Aids. Two years later the same happened to my mother’s hairdresser. Three years later it was Cazuza, the singer. Another three years after that came the film Philadelphia.

It wasn’t the ideal time to for any child to realize they were different. The early playground taunts clued me in. There had to be something different about me, even if I had no idea of what any of it meant. I chose to block the concept of sexuality from my mind all together. To be different meant to be one of them. To be one of them meant my lips would one day turn purple, my cheeks would sink in. I’d shrivel up and die. I didn’t want to die.

I also didn’t want to be the object of ridicule. At dinner parties people whispered. They whispered at funerals too. Murmurs of justification. “He was gay“, or “It was probably AIDS.” There was always an oddity to the tone when those words were uttered. The implication, insinuation, of deservedness.

These different people weren’t the victims of a monstrous disease. They were settling their bill with the universe. How could I possibly have accumulated such a bill with the universe before even reaching adolescence? How could anyone?

It didn’t matter. Twenty-five years ago, unless one was confined to the four corners of a LGBT citadel- one had to deal with a public perception of our identities that was grotesque. We had been vilified for centuries. The mythology surrounding gay existence was of biblical proportions. Apparently in some places it still is. That weight on the shoulders of a young lgbt person is as close to unbearable as unbearable can be.

It’s infuriating to see it happening again. I can’t imagine being a young gay person in Uganda today. It’s probably not great for those in Arizona or Russia either. I wonder if they get that same sinking feeling I used to have. An evisceration of sorts. Like being punched in the stomach, but a punch from which one can’t entirely recover.

late 80's

This was the monster they spoke of. He looks a bit more innocent than the accusations would have people believe. I don’t think he was out recruiting anyone, much less formulating plans to destroy families.

Study finds that homophobic people die younger.

Study finds that homophobic people die younger

This is from anecdotal evidence, but in my experience they’re also unattractive and have under-developed social skills…

They chanted ‘dehors les juifs’ and it wasn’t 1940. Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.

The Same Venom

As I read Badinter’s interview in Le Parisien last Sunday chills went down my spine. It was the first time since the occupation that a mob chanted “Jews Out” on the streets of the French capital. Make no mistake. If you were under the impression this brand of conservatism that’s spreading through  Europe is anything different from its predecessors, you are sorely mistaken. Their methodology, their ideology, their viciousness- it is as it has always been.

These groups have been hiding behind pseudo-grievances against gays, Roma gypsies and immigration from Eastern Europe. Their members are the heirs to those who supported Pétain. They’re the Catholic heirs of those who supported Franco and Mussolini. They are the children of those who applauded Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. And it doesn’t take long, as in Paris, for them to show their true faces. For the chants to begin. And if you think it doesn’t matter because your particular group hasn’t been the title song of the protofascists, just sit tight. As history has shown, once they attain power they have to keep it going. What spins the wheels of their ideology are their imagined demons. Your group just might be next.

These people have been conditioned. Indoctrinated to believe accident of birth entitles them to privilege. That accident of nationality, accident of skin colour, accident of religion- defines them as god’s chosen people. An imaginary elite. One the real elite wouldn’t allow near the gates. Trust me, I live behind tall gates too.

The real elite, the ones who use these people are characters like Marine Le Pen, daughter of Jean Marie Le Pen. The son of a fisherman who used the politics of hate to amass a fortune and has kept the xenophobia going ever since. Le Pen’s model is being emulated throughout Europe. To call it his model is a bit of a stretch. It’s the model of division that’s been used since time immemorial. Roman emperor Caesar: Divide et impera. Napoleon: Divide ut regnes- and let’s not forget Machiavel. It’s time for society to wake up and stop falling (again and again) for the same manipulations. Manipulations that serve no other purpose than the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many.

Hopefully this time we’ll wake up before there are people hanging from the ‘peupliers‘.

Superb article at the New Statesman: Christians aren’t being driven out of public life – they’re just losing their unfair advantages

“No one in our society has it all their own way: as an atheist, I am just as much of a trampled-on taxpayer and citizen as Odone. I pay for the BBC, yet nobody non-religious is permitted on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Humanists are not allowed to lay a wreath during the annual remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph. (The 14 faith groups that reviewed the ceremony decided this – the same groups that have supposedly been pushed out of the public arena.) There are 26 bishops in the House of Lords, there solely because of their religion.

As for education, schools in England and Wales are mandated to have daily Christian worship. What sort of state schools are forbidden in England and Wales? Despite the presumed anti-religious jackboot ruling over us, it’s not Catholic, Anglican, Muslim or Jewish schools: it is secular schools. You won’t find parents pretending to be atheists to get their children educated: “We had to go to lectures about Bertrand Russell every Saturday to make sure that we could get Cyril into our local atheist school.”

Full text:

Christians aren’t being driven out of public life – they’re just losing their unfair advantages.

The Nigerian Paradox: Where Marital Rape is Legal and Consensual Homosexuality Is Not

“Violence is a regular part of most women’s experience in Nigeria, especially at homes intended to nurture the psychological upliftment and development of its members. Domestic violence refers to violence within the home. It is carried out mostly against women and children. These acts include rape (forced sex); physical abuse; verbal abuse; incest; Female Genital Cutting (FGC); denial of food; denial of time for relaxation; forced marriage and child marriage” (Joda et al., 2007 via Journal of AIDS and HIV Research Vol. 1(1) pp. 001-007, October, 2009)

Let’s start with the figure: More than two thirds of Nigerian women are believed to experience physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of their husbands. To make matters worse in October of 2013 Vanguard reported a surge in rape statistics: “unreported rape cases are on the increase. More alarming is that the epidemic affects underage persons.” But what is President Goodluck Jonathan doing to address these serious problems? He’s jumping on the anti-gay bandwagon ignited by American Evangelicals in Africa and surreptitiously criminalizing consenting relationships between his fellow Nigerian adults of the same gender. Old habits die hard. Every day, women and girls are forcibly raped HETERO-sexually everywhere in the world. In fact, Africa is the world’s rape capital. Every day people suffer (HETERO) sexual harassment. Every day there are HETERO-sexual parents who abuse and sometimes even murder their children. Every day. And yet, instead of responding to these HETERO-sexual travesties, the priority of the Nigerian president is to harass adult men and women who choose to share a bed with other adult men and women. Please don’t confuse what I’ve just said for an attack on heterosexuals and/or heterosexuality. It is simply an illustration of how different standards are applied to the homosexual minority. One that shows the perfidious nature of the anti-gay movement and its nefarious intent. One in which lies and Goebbels style propaganda are used to legally institutionalize prejudice, hate and the exclusion of innocent people. It is time for us to stand up and be counted. We, from the nations who heavily support various African countries through aid, must write our congress-members and senators, we must not let these injustices be perpetuated without consequence.

10 URGENT ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE AGAINST ANTI-GAY NIGERIA

Stephen Fry wipes the floor with them. Red Telephonophobia

I’d missed the first episode of Stephen Fry’s Out There on BBC 2. Fortunately I caught the second episode a couple of nights ago (but it repeats tonight at around 11pm UK time, that’s midnight Madrid time). He was exceptional as always. Wiped the floor with a few homophobic politicians including that idiot from St. Petersburg and another idiot I’d never heard of from Brazil. He described professional homophobia in the best manner I’ve ever heard: “It’s like people dedicating their lives to stopping other people having red telephones.”

If you’re not in our part of the world you can see the first episode on the link above and the second below. It’s very touching.

The Alain Delon thing, what a shame.

alaindelonpleinsoleilSo he was on France 5 this week (the same channel that came to visit Casa Alba here in Sotogrande). They asked him what he thought of gay marriage. His daughter is a gay marriage supporter, by the way. He said he had nothing against it, but was against adoption. He also said gay relationships were ‘against nature‘. I’m not sure we can personally blame him, or others from that generation.  At this point I just find that sort of childish and uninformed commentary rather tiresome.

Even more tiresome is the way the media does it. I suppose it’s in their interest to create controversy. Just because views are in opposition doesn’t mean they’re equally valid. When they have an engineer on the news talking about a new bridge, they don’t invite someone from the 2+2=5 society to say that engineering is a myth and it’s actually god who holds bridges up with invisible strings.  While they continue with this irresponsible behaviour, it’s hard to make real progress in improving the way people think. Devil’s advocacy on its own doesn’t make for good journalism. Background information, study, science, real research- how about all of that? Channel 4 news UK is unfortunately getting stuck in this form of journalism, and it’s obviously not limited to gay issues. A few weeks ago Cathy Newman made a fool of herself with the way she was questioning two entrepreneurs in Cornwall. Sir Tim Smit kind of wiped the floor with her.

NOM goes after trans kids

NOM goes after trans kids

August 13, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper

Full text: NOM Exposed | Human Rights Campaign.

Frank Schubert, NOM’s political director, has penned a piece for RedState.com wherein he denies the existence of transgender people in general, and trans children in particular.  After first comparing gender identity with race, Schubert writes:

“The truth, however, is that there is no such thing as “gender identity” any more than there is “ethnic identity.” There is only gender.

This is an example of what happens when politicians and activists push agenda politics, and where political correctness trumps objective reality. No matter what any politician or activist says, there are only two genders: male and female. Nature and chromosomes determine gender, not education bureaucrats, activists or politicians.”

Full text here

A good way to fight back is by raising awareness on gender issues. Raising my Rainbow probably makes for a great Christmas present.

NOM Exporting Homophobia. Follow the Money

nom

 

Everyone knows the marriage debate earlier this year in France was brutal. It was the most vile debate that I’ve watched on the topic in Western Europe in the past 15 years. What everyone doesn’t know is that American anti-gay activists crossed the Atlantic to repackage, translate and sell their propaganda. The supposedly grass-roots movement turned out to be as astroturfy as NOM’s work in America. The HRC exposed how they do things a while back: 90% of NOM funding comes from 10 (TEN) donors. Not 100, not 1000, only 10. In 2010 NOM raised US$9,197,742 and of that total

    • $6,356,000 (69.1%) came from the top 2 donors
    • $8,106,000 (88.1%) came from the top 5
    • and $8,326,000 (90.5%) came from the top 10

In the first year of its creation NOM paid Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher 14% of its budget. Now NOM pays Brown a salary of over $150,000 per year. NOM’s Colton Brugger went so far as to start one of the biggest anti-gay French websites called Let the People Vote. So before buying into the idea that French people are highly homophobic, think again. With a budget in the millions, it’s very easy to create controversy. I’m not saying homophobia doesn’t exist in France, it does, and just like in America people are making money on it by promoting ignorance and hatred. The leaders of NOM are fraudsters. They’re a Mafia racket.

And I bet you’re wondering who’s behind NOM, right? Well, I’ll leave you with this from the HRC:

“NOM has deep ties to the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church hierarchy and right-wing evangelical pastors and other organizations against same-sex marriage. In fact, NOM and the Portland Catholic Archdiocese contributed 83% of the money raised in Maine’s Question 1 battle…

…NOM is comparatively unguarded about its ties to the Catholic Church, acknowledging that its early funds in California came from “well-off Catholic individuals,” and NOM openly aligned with the Catholic Archdiocese in Maine. The largest known donation to NOM is $1.4 million from the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus in 2009; that comes on top of the Knights’ $500,000 donation in 2008.

NOM and the Catholic Church teamed up to fund almost the entire Maine campaign against same-sex marriage in 2009. According to the Bangor Daily News, “…$1.1 million of the $1.4 million raised by Stand for Marriage Maine in October 2009 came from a single source: the National Organization for Marriage. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has poured more than $550,000 into the campaign to repeal the law, including more than $150,000 from its general treasury since October 1, 2009. The Portland diocese also collected more than $200,000 for Stand for Marriage Maine from bishops and dioceses outside of Maine.”

According to Jeremy Hooper of GoodAsYou.org, Gallagher appeared at “a ‘private meeting for Catholic clergy’…at the request of Maine’s Bishop Malone” in Maine in September 2009 at the height of the Question 1 campaign.

At least a half-dozen Roman Catholic bishops met with NOM board chairman emeritus Robert George to discuss his 4700-word manifesto called the “Manhattan Declaration” that warned of civil disobedience if same-sex marriage or stem cell research were approved by the New York legislature. According to Church & State, the Declaration “also represents perhaps the most far-reaching effort to date to juice up the Religious Right by adding the political power and media respectability of the Catholic and Orthodox hierarchies.”

Opus Dei has funded several Robert George projects through back channels and donations between non-profit groups. According to Time magazine, Opus Dei has assets of $344 million in the US, and nearly $2.8 billion worldwide. Opus Dei claims to have 85,000 members worldwide but refuses to identify them unless they choose to self-identify, as NOM board member Luis Tellez freely does.”

But don’t take my word for it, visit the HRC website’s NOM Exposed.

The Very Predictable Future of the Anti-Gay Debate in Britain & France. A Sense of Déjà-vu.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Now

This week there was a sacrifice at the altar of Notre Dame de Paris. The extremist right winger, Dominique Venner, 78, shot himself in the head. He was an ardent opponent of the immigration of citizens of the developing world to Europe and just hours before his death he wrote a blog post calling for ‘radical resistance’ to the newly passed French same-sex marriage law. Mr. Venner’s pathological narcissism is the perfect illustration of the mind-set exploited by right wing groups/ideology. They build up their self-importance to such an extent where they feel that every action, undertaken anywhere, is directly related to their being. This is the only viable thought process for an individual to be so utterly and personally offended by contracts that only concern the rights of the signatories in regards to each other, as is the case of a marriage contract.

In civil law, which is the only law governments should concern themselves with, marriage is a partnership agreement. Not unlike when two people get together to open a business. In fact my business partnership contract is extraordinarily similar to a marriage contract. There are a series of rights and responsibilities outlined in said contract. If my partner builds up debt, I’m partially liable. I have certain duties regarding the functioning of our business, as does she. The main difference, which is merely technical, is that we’re friends rather than lovers. Mr. Venner’s delusion is tantamount to me being offended by the minutiae of the private contractual agreements he may or may not have had with his wife (if he had one) or his contract with his publisher. I’m quite certain very few, if any, French gays ever concerned themselves with Mr. Venner’s legal or bureaucratic affairs. Worse of all, he led himself to believe that ending his life in a theatrical scene would have an effect on the decisions of private citizens to sign contracts giving each other certain rights. Sorry Mr. Venner, if Mike and I ever decide to get a French union at the French consulate in Seville, the fact you ruined some unfortunate janitor’s day at Notre Dame will not affect our decision! I could go on and on about his grandiose delusions including his choice of venue for his very public suicide, but they speak for themselves.

tonyhopkinsThe Then

The past few weeks were a very déjà-vu experience for us. Almost everything that’s been happening in France, then Britain, happened in Spain many years ago. I remember, because I was a vociferous part of it. I campaigned in 2004 and 2005 for gay marriage. We were confronted with the exact same accusations and sometimes even intimidation by right wing political and religious groups. We suffered the indignity of an ardently Catholic doctor named Aquilino Polaino being taken before parliament to give unscientific testimony, dragging out myths of yesteryear, such as gay men being the result of absent fathers and domineering mothers. Sorry lesbians, you never get mentioned by those people because apparently, you don’t exist- you just haven’t met the right guy yet! During Mr. Polaino’s testimony, I was sitting at the computer, and I was researching his writing. I had the tremendous pleasure of finding his essays on demonic possession. Before his testimony was over, I’d sent hundreds of letters to every LGBT association in Spain with copies of it and to the dean of the University at which he was said to work. In reality he didn’t even work there anymore. The dean put out a statement rejecting Polaino’s views and sent me a very nice personal note. The aftermath of the doctor’s testimony is history. Later, the Catholic church paid millions to bus people from all over Spain to protest against gay marriage in Madrid. American Evangelical right wing groups sent people to Spain to assist, instruct and sell their anti-gay propaganda to two groups replicating the American Hate Group model. They were called Hazteoir and Foro de la Familia. Even call centre type bunkers were set up in the American south, by Evangelical groups, intended to drown Spanish internet publications/message boards with their anti-gay propaganda (fortunately, easily recognizable due to their repetitiveness and unfamiliarity with European Spanish) .

Their efforts were in vain.

The What’s To Come

Just as in France today, we had the die-hard bigots. Mayors and even judges who assured us they would refuse to enforce the law. They would not perform marriages, they would be conscientious objectors. The PP (Spain’s major right wing party) went as far as to initiate a motion of unconstitutionality at the constitutional court. To make a long story short, none of it worked. It didn’t work because considering the incredibly high level of approval of gay marriage in the under 35′s, if any party wants to remain electable, the hate model is no longer deemed acceptable by a generation that has direct access to information. Now it takes 10 minutes, a computer and google to discredit the misinformation promulgated by anti-gay groups. Educated people know homosexuality isn’t a disease and those who aren’t educated can check with any of the major psychological/psychiatric associations of the world. There’s a meta-study that shows that growing up with gay parents is really no different than growing up with straight parents.  All of that means that time is on our side. It’s on the side of reason. Religious lobbies may go insane and pour tens of millions into anti-gay propaganda (in bursts) and that does have an immediate effect on public opinion, but as the days go by people have time to verify the information. Time to see the sky isn’t falling. Time to recognize they’re being played by groups that have no interest in anything but their votes and/or their money. Now nearly a decade has gone by since the legalization of gay marriage in Spain and socially, Spaniards have not become a culturally different people because of LGBT unions- only perhaps in the sense that there’s more respect for us.

Christine Boutin & the Other Homophobes Sullying the French Flag

DirtyFrenchFlag

During the past year I have had the displeasure to observe the most disgusting debate on gay marriage to have taken place in Western Europe in the 21st century. The French right-wing, effectively the political branch of the Christian/Catholic Right, have been all too happy to replicate the American Right’s model of promoting hatred against gays. They’ve used the same junk “science”, dragged out the same fallacious arguments, and by doing so have created an environment of hate which has endangered the lives of the French LGBT community. Just ask Wilfred de Bruijn, the victim of a recent homophobic attack in Paris.

Wilfred de Bruijn's photograph from his Facebook page

Courtesy of the Environment Created by the French Right Wing.

Today I woke up to one of France’s Homophobes in Chief, Christine Boutin, telling the world that “…there are laws that are superior to those of the Republic. She also mentioned that if she were a mayor she would refuse to perform gay marriages, as a conscientious objector. Boutin’s words echo those of the wing of the Catholic Church that supported Fascism and of proponents of Shariah law. They’re also in line with the American Evangelical movements attempts to make their ideology the law of the land, to the exclusion of all else. What her proposition means in practical terms is that Catholic officials would be free to deny authorizing divorces. Pacifist police officers and soldiers could renege on their duty to protect the public and Jehova’s Witness’ doctors could deny their patients blood transfusions.

I’ve always been proud to hold up my burgundy passport with the crest of the French Republic on its cover reminding me of the values of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. For a year I’ve been ashamed a sector of the French citizenry does not believe in those ideals. They are a stain on the flag, the great shame of a country which has historically been a symbol of enlightenment- evidently it was despite the reactionary sector of the populace.

Gay attack victim in France becomes cause celebre, as senate debates same-sex marriage law – The Washington Post

PARIS — The shocking photo of a homophobic attack victim in Paris that went viral on social media this week and caused the French interior minister to weigh in was used as an emblem in a pro-gay rally Wednesday evening.

The bloody image of Wilfred de Bruijn’s cut and bruised face was brandished by gay groups during a demonstration of several thousand people as evidence of their claim that homophobic acts have tripled nationwide over opposition to a law legalizing gay marriage.

Gay attack victim in France becomes cause celebre, as senate debates same-sex marriage law – The Washington Post.

For Republicans, Election Is a Last Stand Against Gay Marriage – The Daily Beast

For Republicans, Election Is a Last Stand Against Gay Marriage

Nov 3, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

The GOP went all out to try to stop the marriage equality movement at the ballot box this year. But in this showdown, they’re about to lose.

There are definitive points in time in politics where an issue becomes, as James Carville and I called it in our 2009 book, “res judicata.” Put simply, serious people stop arguing about it. Think of global warming—more than two-thirds agree it’s happening—or evolution—only four in 10 think we didn’t evolve. At one point, these were raging debates. We’ll remember 2012 as the year that same-sex marriage became res judicata.

For Republicans, Election Is a Last Stand Against Gay Marriage – The Daily Beast.

How Much Does It Pay To Be Anti-Gay? Eight Top Earning Pastors & Their Anti-Gay Propaganda. Is ‘Christian Con-Artistry’ a Tautology?

Click on a pastor’s name to see their anti-gay stance.

Kenneth CopelandAccording to an article by the Associated Press that ran in 2008, “His ministry’s 1,500-acre campus, behind an iron gate a half-hour drive from Fort Worth…includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church owned lakefront mansion.”

“the church disclosed in a property-tax exemption application that his wages were $364,577 in 1995; Copeland’s wife, Gloria, earned $292,593. It’s not clear whether those figures include other earnings, such as special offerings for guest preaching or book royalties.” 

Creflo A. Dollar: The New York Times reported that he drives a Rolls-Royce, is transported in a private jet, owns a million-dollar Atlanta home and a $2.5 million Manhattan apartment.

John HageeAccording to an article in The American Prospect, Hagee, “before he converted his nonprofit Global Evangelism Television into a church in 2004 (thus relieving him of the obligation to file a publicly available tax return), was known to be the highest-paid nonprofit executive in San Antonio, making nearly $1 million a year.”

The article also mentions Hagee’s 2000 book, “God’s Candidate for America,” “published by his nonprofit Global Evangelism Television, which that year used tax-exempt donor money to pay Hagee nearly half a million dollars in salary and deferred compensation for sixteen hours of work a week. Hagee earned another $300,000 from his church.”

Charles E. Blake: According to the Memphis Flyer, Bishop Charles Blake of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ “earns a $900,000 salary and owns a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills while most of his congregation lives in impoverished South Central Los Angeles

Benny Hinn: Hinn said in a 1997 CNN interview that he earned between $500,000 and $1 million each year.

Eddie Long: According to a 2005 Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation, “during the period between 1997 to 2000, Long received more than $3.07 million worth of compensation and benefits from his non-profit charity, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries Inc.” The investigation found that his compensation included a “$1.4 million six-bedroom, nine-bath home on 20 acres in Lithonia; use of a $350,000 luxury Bentley automobile” and “more than $1 million in salary, including $494,000 in 2000.”

Ed Youngpastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas lived in a 10,000 square-foot, $1.5 million home by the city’s Lake Grapevine. “Records show that Young was paid $240,000 a year as a parsonage allowance; that’s in addition what sources say is a $1 million yearly pastor’s salary,” WFAA-TV reported.

Franklin Graham:  president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, had a total compensation of $1.2 million in 2008. Criticism over his high compensation during a slowed economy led Graham to announce in 2009 that he would give up new contributions to his retirement plans from the two organizations he leads, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

The Real Homosexual Agenda by Jack Moore

 

 Jack Moore

Gay.net – Andrew Shirvell Ordered to Pay Millions for Defaming Gay Student

Gay.net – Andrew Shirvell Ordered to Pay Millions for Defaming Gay Student.

John Carroll: Gays Giveth and Gays Taketh Away: An Open Letter to Bailey Hanks

Absolutely fantastic open letter from John Carrol to Bailey Hanks, here’s the best part:

Just a reminder: You were plucked out of obscurity by a team of gay men, gay men who not only believed in you and gave you the chance of a lifetime but treated you with loving kindness and respect — the same gay men you discriminated against by publicly supporting Chick-fil-A. You were chosen to star in the show Legally Blonde specifically by the director/choreographer, who is a gay man. The associate choreographer and vocal coach who helped you win the reality show you were on are two gay men. A few of the Broadway show’s producers (the ones who paid you) are gay. Your costume designer is a gay man, as is the designer of the wigs and makeup you wore. You were taught the choreography and put into the Broadway show by a gay man, and you were supported and made to feel safe and part of the Broadway community by the many gay people in your cast. These people are not only my coworkers, Bailey, but, more importantly, they are my friends. After your time on Broadway (surrounded by gay people), you did not run screaming home, where the hills have eyes. You stayed here, in Sodom and Gomorrah. You auditioned and continued to make friends and work with — guess what — more gay people. We invited you into our homes and offered you a place at our table. You stayed for dinner, ate all the food, even stuck around for dessert, and now vomited it all up in our faces. Your website describes you as “sweet, kind, caring”; perhaps you should add “unless you’re gay.”

To read the full letter click below:

John Carroll: Gays Giveth and Gays Taketh Away: An Open Letter to Bailey Hanks.

Chick-Fil-A-Holes; The Dan Cathy Butt Plug Scandal!!!

I fortunately don’t have to boycott Chick-fil-A, I live in Europe and I don’t eat fast-food anyway; But if I did it would not be because of company President Dan Cathy’s comments on gay marriage. I would boycott Chick-fil-A because Dan Cathy used profits from Chick-fil-A to donate five million dollars to organizations that advocate:

1. Criminalizing gay people

2. Denying gay people the ability to serve in the military

3. Depicting gay people as pedophiles

4. Making sexual orientation grounds to fire an employee

5. Denying gay parents access to their own children

6: Denying children of gay couples the protections derived from having both parents recognized

and the list goes on.

Yet again, gay activists are making the same old mistake. Playing defence.

“Please, oh please Christian Right, please like us on Facebook!”

“We’re not so bad, look at the scientific studies!”

“We promise to be good, all we want is to get married and behave just like you!”

My message to Dan Cathy and the rest of the Chick-fil-A-Holes is go Fuck Yourselves. Get your pathetic little minds out of my business. I’m not interested in your sex-lives or the contracts you sign with your toothless wives regarding which one of you gets the trailer when you divorce to marry yet another cousin. I’d appreciate an equal disinterest in my sex-life and whatever contracts I sign. I don’t give a flying fairy who you marry. Go live your own lives and stop sticking your noses in other people’s business. Free, tax-paying LGBT citizens do not need your approval to live our own lives.

The Homophobia Song

I think I forgot to post this a few months back… anyway, here it is:

American Family Association decrys the “Big Gay” Machine | W. Thomas Adkins

The American Family Association has created an online “sign the letter” form where people who believe that the LGBT community should not be treated with dignity, respect and equality can show their support of Chik-fil-A’s anti-equality stance (hat tip to Good As You).

Full text:

American Family Association decrys the “Big Gay” Machine | W. Thomas Adkins.

Could someone just PLEASE send these people a box of dildos so they can distract themselves and attempt sex lives of their very own???

Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person (Reblogged from TRANIFESTO) « dominicdemeyn

This does not happen everyday! Freshly pressed LGBTQ issues!!!

Thank you Dominic!!!

Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person (Reblogged from TRANIFESTO) « dominicdemeyn.