Various Direct Links

27 October 2011

FollowUp 2: Viki Knox, anti-gay teacher

On 17 October, I wrote about Ms. Knox's hateful writings on Facebook; writings that Garden State Equality was kind enough to save and place on-line after Ms. Knox removed them from her page.  After a "Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender History Month" bulletin board was put up at Union High School in New Jersey, Ms. Knox wrote about how perverted homosexuality is and how she does not have to tolerate anyone.

One of the latest coming to her defense is Eugene Delgaudio, the self-styled Public Advocate of the United States.  In an e-mail sent today, he writes

The Radical homosexuals are determined to run Mrs. Knox out of her school and out of a job.  Their radical supporters are staging aggressive protests at her school to frighten her into quitting.

No.  The goal is to have teachers who accept all of their students.  Ms. Knox wrote radical statements, words that condemn LGBTQ students.  I would be much happier if somehow Ms. Knox would grow beyond her bigotry and welcome students who do not follow her narrow beliefs.

Outrageously, Governor Chris Christie has come out against the Family in this fight, calling Mrs. Knox’s Christian beliefs “disgusting.”   It’s no wonder that he has publicly endorsed Mitt Romney for president, who has had more positions on the Family than Newt Gingrich has had wives.

No.  Governor Christie said that he found her comments "disturbing".  I find Ms. Knox's comments disgusting.  She can believe whatever she wants, so long as she keeps from attacking any of her students, including verbal attacks on Facebook, particularly LGBTQ students.

A much more nuanced argument is being offered by Mark on 21 October at Here I Blog, an explicitly Christian website.  (I am not going to add this site to the Hate Groups list as a quick look around his site shows a very different focus than animosity toward others).

Union High School officials missed a great opportunity to teach the students about tolerance and First Amendment rights of those who have differing view points.

The school’s employment policy not withstanding, an opportunity was missed with . I have no idea what employee code of conduct Knox may have agreed to, but she was posting on her personal Facebook account.

The students could have been taught:
  • Tolerance: Instead of calling Knox’ positions “hate” it could have been explained that her positions are that of most Christians (IMO) and tolerance calls that she be treated respectfully while disagreeing with her views.
  • First Amendment: Instead of calling for Knox’ firing they could have been taught that she and others have First Amendment rights to share their views in the same way the protesters have a right to protest.
Once again it seems that those calling for equality and acceptance only want to do so on their terms. A Christian like Knox who expresses her views, however winsomely or poorly, is not allowed a seat at the table. Is this how high school students are taught to engage controversial issues? Call the opponent’s position one of hate and rally against them until they are silenced?

I discussed the code of conduct in my first post on this topic:

The following is from the Township of Union Public School System Code of Conduct & Core Values

We believe that this can be accomplished when:
 * Teachers, parents, administrators, and other adult members of the Union Township Public School community, model respectful and respectable behavior toward one another in support of our core  ethical values;
 * Individuals acknowledge differences, demonstrate a respect for diversity, and recognize the worth  of each individual;
 * Individuals communicate concerns and/or suggestions in an appropriate and direct manner;
 * Individuals utilize effective problem-solving and conflict-resolution strategies; and
 * The dignity of every individual is protected and maintained.

It appears to me that Ms. Knox is in violation of this Code of Conduct.

Back to Mark's blog post.  Yes, we all of First Amendment rights, including religious and speech rights.  However, neither of those rights includes a guarantee of keeping a job.  One cannot be imprisoned for being of any faith or saying almost any words (there are a few limitations when it comes to speech that is threatening or inciting violence).

The seat at the table is an excellent point.  I believe that it is fair that Ms. Knox has a seat at the table, but which seat.  Saying that "homosexuality is a perverted spirit" does not model respectful behavior.  Ms. Knox did not "demonstrate a respect for diversity".  She wrote in a way that did not respect "the dignity of every individual".  It is important to remember that a Facebook page is not a private conversation, but a public statement.

So, yes,  I believe that Ms. Knox should have a seat at the table.  I think it is an excellent idea for her to participate as an invited guest of the school for a discussion such as Mark suggests.  She should not be in a position where she is the role model for all students, particularly we do not need role models who publicly denounce others based on their nature.

One last quote from Mark:

This idea that Knox’ views promote bullying could have been another opportunity to teach the students. The lesson could have been that ideas do not necessarily lead to violence anymore than a group of people gathered and chanting against someone holding signs with the word “hate” on them does not promote violence. Sometimes irrational people who really do hate others act out physically against those they hate, but there is no evidence the Knox has called for bullying those with whom she disagrees.

The problem here is that bullying is encouraged whenever a group of people are demoted to second-class citizens, as people who are somehow less than human.  It is difficult for most people to attack a fellow human, but if the victim can be seen as less than human it is possible.  Ms. Knox depicts homosexuals as evil, as opposed to God, and implies that we are pedophiles.  These depictions are demeaning and do lead to bullying and sometimes to teen suicide.  One does not need to explicitly call for bullying to condone and enable it.

17 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post

19 October 2011, FollowUp 1

FollowUp 5: Republican Denial of Climate Change

In the last followup of this series on 21 October 2011, we saw that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, conducted by a previously skeptical physicist, found that climate change is real.  In this installment, I will take a quick look at three more studies.

13 October 2011, City College of New York, NYC, New York.

Professor Marco Tedesco is finding that glacial melting in Greenland continues even when temperatures are not at the warmest.  This self-amplifying effect will make it very difficult to undo the effects of climate change.

“We are finding that even if you don’t have record-breaking highs, as long as warm temperatures persist you can get record-breaking melting because of positive feedback mechanisms,” said Professor Tedesco, who directs CCNY’s Cryospheric Processes Laboratory and also serves on CUNY Graduate Center doctoral faculty.

This is not simply a concern for the glaciers Professor Tedesco studied directly.

Professor Tedesco likens the melting process to a speeding steam locomotive. Higher temperatures act like coal shoveled into the boiler, increasing the pace of melting. In this scenario, “lower albedo is a downhill slope,” he says. The darker surfaces collect more heat. In this situation, even without more coal shoveled into the boiler, as a train heads downhill, it gains speed. In other words, melting accelerates.

Only new falling snow puts the brakes on the process, covering the darker ice in a reflective blanket, Professor Tedesco says. The model showed that this year’s snowfall couldn’t compensate for melting in previous years.  “The process never slowed down as much as it had in the past,” he explained. “The brakes engaged only every now and again.”

The team’s observations indicate that the process was not limited to the glacier they visited; it is a large-scale effect. “It’s a sign that not only do albedo and other variables play a role in acceleration of melting, but that this acceleration is happening in many places all over Greenland,” he cautioned. “We are currently trying to understand if this is a trend or will become one. This will help us to improve models projecting future melting scenarios and predict how they might evolve.”

21 October 2011, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Professor Svante Björck has found that modern climate change is unlike previous shifts in climate.  Today's changes are affecting both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, which is not natural.

Simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres, have not occurred in the past 20 000 years, which is as far back as it is possible to analyse with sufficient precision to compare with modern developments. Svante Björck’s study thus goes 14 000 years further back in time than previous studies have done. “What is happening today is unique from a historical geological perspective”, he says.

He concludes that humans are a source of climate change.

“As long as we don’t find any evidence for earlier climate changes leading to similar simultaneous effects on a global scale, we must see today’s global warming as an exception caused by human influence on the earth’s carbon cycle”, says Svante Björck, continuing: “this is a good example of how geological knowledge can be used to understand our world. It offers perspectives on how the earth functions without our direct influence and thus how and to what extent human activity affects the system.”

25 October 2011, Institute of Physics, a professional society of physicists.

Southwest China is experiencing increases in temperatures resulting in loss of glaciers.

Scientists examined data from 111 weather stations across south-western China and have shown that temperature patterns were consistent with warming, at a statistically significant level, between 1961 and 2008.

Of the 111 stations examined, 77 per cent displayed statistically significant increases in annual temperature.

Collating a broad range of research on glaciers during this time period, the researchers, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, identified three characteristics that were consistent with the increasing trend in temperature; drastic retreats were observed in the glacial regions, along with large losses of mass and an increase in the area of glacial lakes.

This is not trivial change.

The implications of these changes are far more serious than simply altering the landscape; glaciers are an integral part of thousands of ecosystems and play a crucial role in sustaining human populations.

The synopsis at the Institute of Physics page concludes

The lead author of this study, Dr Zongxing Li, said, “I think glacial loss is caused mainly by rises in temperature, especially in the high altitude regions. From the 14 weather stations above 4000 m, there was an annual mean temperature increase of 1.73 °C from 1961 to 2008.

“It is imperative we determine the relationship between climate change and glacier variations, particularly the role of precipitation, as the consequences of glacial retreat are far reaching.”

How much more science is needed before the Republican presidential contenders pull their heads out of the sand and stop denying climate change?  The truth is before us, the studies are reaching the same conclusions.  The results are being found in the Americas, in Europe, in Asia.  Denial of science is adequate grounds for any candidate for any office to lose my vote.

 1 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings posting.
10 October 2011, FollowUp 1.
11 October 2011, FollowUp 2.
17 October 2011, FollowUp 3.
21 October 2011, FollowUp 4.

30 November 2011, FollowUp 6.
29 January 2012, FollowUp 7.
15 February 2012, FollowUp 8.
18 February 2012, FollowUp 9.
2 March 2012, FollowUp 10.
11 March 2012, FollowUp 11.
4 June 2012, FollowUp 12.

26 October 2011

Praise: New Jersey It Gets Better

The It Gets Better Project is a creation of Dan Savage and tens of thousands of people in response to LGBTQ teen suicides.  The project started just over a year ago, barely before Tyler Clementi's suicide in New Jersey, and already has about thirty thousand videos from notables all the way up to the President of the United States.  While Mr. Obama and many other Democrats made videos and worked in other ways to help bullied youth, until this week Republicans had not participated.

The Huffington Post reports that two thirds of the New Jersey Congressional delegation have created an It Gets Better video that includes three of the five Republican Congressmen from New Jersey as well as five of the seven Democratic Congressmen and both Democratic Senators.  Senator Frank Lautenberg spearheaded the group.

The three Republican Congressmen are quoted in the article:

"There is no place in our society for bullying, especially when continued bullying leads to young adults taking their own lives," Runyan told The Huffington Post. "This issue goes beyond political affiliations. An individual's teenage years can be very difficult and it is important for our nation's youth to understand that it gets better."

"The issue of bullying is not a partisan one, but a human one," said LoBiondo. "Bullying needs to be reported and prevented, especially in our schools. This project relays a critically-needed positive message to South Jersey and the nation's youth who are considering taking their own lives. Namely, that they should hold on because it does indeed get better. In my view, anything that saves a teen's life if worth doing."

"The bipartisan effort puts forth an important, positive message that is consistent with New Jersey's landmark anti-bullying initiative signed into law earlier this year by Gov. [Chris] Christie," added Angie Lundberg, a spokeswoman for Lance.

Kudos to Senator Lautenberg and the nine who joined him.  Thank you.

25 October 2011

Repudiation: Jason Chaffetz Wants To Dispose of Wilderness

Representative Chaffetz (R), Utah, has proposed a bill titled:  Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011.  According to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the idea is to sell off over three million acres across ten Western states.  Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State are the ten.  The specific lands to be sold are not specified in the legislation, but are expected to include wilderness areas, endangered species habitat, wetlands, and other pristine acreage.

It is ironic that it was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who was a significant proponent of conservation.  One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, and 150 National Forests, among other works of conservation. Roosevelt was instrumental in conserving about 230 million acres (930,000 km2) of American soil among various parks and other federal projects.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection, there are lands that should be returned to private ownership,” Chaffetz said in introducing his legislation earlier this year. “If the land serves no public purpose and is ‘identified for disposal,’ let’s return it to private ownership.”

Incredibly obvious to anyone who has spent time in our National Forests or worked with the conservationists and environmentalists, empty land is not empty and does serve a public purpose.  Teddy Roosevelt saw the value in setting aside lands for all time.  Once developed, these lands would take decades, if not centuries, to restore.  The birds and animals that reside in these lands would have their habitat destroyed.  Land does not have to be built upon and industrialized to have value.  Land is not disposable.

Some, perhaps most, of the sold land would undoubtedly be stripped of extant forests.  This would exacerbate the ongoing climate change.  This is the problem that Republicans continue to deny and hide facts that prove climate change is occurring.  For our own sake, we must conserve the wild lands that remain.

Thanks to Joe My God for the heads up.

Small update.  Above, Mr. Chaffetz says "lands that should be returned to private ownership."  As I was reminded by the commenters at Joe My God, those lands were never privately owned.  Those lands never should be.

Praise: All Children Matter Report

A report has just been published that looks in depth that the state of children in LGBTQ households.  This report is co-authored by The Movement Advancement Project (MAP),, The Family Equality Council,, and The Center for American Progress,

The findings are both heartening and give cause for concern.  From the key findings, I was surprised to learn that two million children are being raised in LGBTQ households.  Despite the myth of most gays being rich, these households are twice as likely to be poor as straight households.  In addition to being more diverse in terms of race and ancestry, the report indicates that LGBTQ households raising children exist in 96% of American counties.  Far more spread out than I anticipated.

The kids are doing well.  For this, I will quote the entire paragraph from the Executive Summary

Research uniformly shows positive outcomes for children in LGBT families. More than 30 years of rigorous social science research shows that children raised by LGBT parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents. This is why every major authority on child health and welfare has determined that sexual orientation has nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent.

This is worth repeating:   rigorous social science research shows that children raised by LGBT parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.  This is exactly the opposite of the anti-equality propaganda.

The report raises concerns about that are not a surprise.  We already knew that archaic and discriminatory laws, combined with social stigma, create obstacles to stable, loving homes; economic security; and health and well-being.

The full report details the legal and social challenges that LGBTQ families face.  The report also has recommendations on what to do next, none of which should be a surprise.  The following recommendations are what full equality would mean with specific details important for families with children.

Legally Recognize LGBT Families

1. Pass comprehensive parental recognition laws at the state level to fully protect children in LGBT families. State parentage and adoption statutes should allow joint adoption by LGBT parents, recognize LGBT parents using assisted reproduction in the same manner as heterosexual parents, and provide avenues such as second-parent adoption and de facto parenting to allow children to gain full legal ties to their parents.

2. Legalize and federally recognize marriage for same sex couples. Marriage for same-sex couples would help strengthen legal ties of the entire family, including those between a child’s parents and between the child and his or her parents. Married LGBT parents would be recognized as legal parents upon a child’s birth, and would also have access to joint and stepparent adoption. If recognized by the federal government, marriage would also allow accurate representation of LGBT families for the purposes of safety net programs, tax credits and deductions, inheritance and Social Security protections, immigration sponsorship and other benefits; and make it easier to obtain family health protections, including health insurance, medical decision-making, visitation and family leave.

3. Provide pathways to immigration and citizenship for binational LGBT families. This should include legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act, which would add the category “permanent partner” to the list of family members already entitled to sponsor a foreign national for U.S. immigration. Provide Equal Access to Government-Based Economic Protections

4. Recognize LGBT families and children across government safety net programs. Broadening the definition of “family” would allow LGBT families to accurately reflect their household across numerous government programs and protections. Forms and application procedures should also accommodate the reality of LGBT and other 21st century families.

5. Revise the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code to provide equitable treatment for LGBT families. The IRS should create a “permanent partner” designation to identify a person who would be treated as a spouse for tax code purposes. The IRS should allow not just legal parents but also de facto parents to claim a “qualifying child” on their tax filing.

6. Provide equitable economic protections when a parent dies or is disabled. First, broaden Social Security’s definition of family to allow an LGBT worker’s permanent partner and children to access survivor and disability benefits in the same manner as a heterosexual worker’s spouse and children. Next, states should change inheritance laws to treat LGBT permanent partners as spouses, and ensure children can inherit from a de facto parent when the parent dies without a will. Last, states should permit the filing of a wrongful death suit by any individual who can show economic dependence on a deceased person. 

Provide Equal Access to Health Care

7. Advance equal access to health insurance and care. Pass laws ensuring that LGBT families have access to health insurance on equal terms with heterosexual families, including eliminating unfair taxation of these benefits. Encourage private employers to offer domestic partner benefits. Work to ensure the Affordable Care Act defines “family” broadly.

8. Enable LGBT family members to care for one another. Pass or revise state hospital visitation and medical decision-making laws to be inclusive of LGBT families and de facto parents. Work with hospitals and other medical facilities and providers to enact LGBT-friendly policies related to visitation, advanced healthcare directives and related issues. Revise the federal FMLA to allow same-sex partners to care for one another.

Protect LGBT Families with Anti-Discrimination Laws, Anti-Bullying Laws and Outreach

9. Pass state anti-bullying laws and laws barring discrimination in employment, adoption, custody and visitation, health services, housing and credit. Legislation prohibiting bullying and harassment in schools and universities should explicitly protect students based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and association with LGBT people. Non-discrimination laws should include similar protections.

10. Expand education and cultural competency training on LGBT families. Education and cultural competency training for a wide array of professionals should include outreach to adoption agencies and child welfare departments, judges and law students, government agency workers, health service providers, schools, and faith communities.

Provide Education and Services Support to Help LGBT Families

11. Create stronger support services for LGBT families, particularly families of color, low-income families and transgender parents. Advocates should target LGBT families with focused outreach and services, including opportunities to participate in social and support groups. Advocates should also educate LGBT families about the need to establish parentage ties and other legal protections, and provide assistance in doing so.

Expand Research on LGBT Families

12. Expand research on LGBT families and parenting, with an emphasis on filling gaps in data on families of color, low-income families and transgender parents. This should include lobbying for expanded private and government research and data on LGBT families and parenting in areas such as demographics, income, health and mental health.

It should not need to be said, but none of these twelve recommendations do any harm to any heterosexual families.  This is not a zero sum game.  These recommendations would see a more stable society with better conditions for all our children.

At this time, I have skimmed the full, 134 page, report.  (The quotes, above, are from the Executive Summary).  The full report includes details of the differences in expenses between opposite sex headed households and same sex headed households, details of what might comprise a family, information on extant laws, workplace conditions, and education conditions.  This looks like a great resource.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for the heads up.

24 October 2011

FollowUp 1: Speaker Boehner's Defense of DOMA

At the end of my first post on this topic, I included a link to an article in US News and World Report that was published on 20 October 2011.  My purpose at that time was to highlight the cost of Mr. Boehner's legal team which had grown to at least one and a half million dollars.  The article was about Representative Mike Honda (D) of California, who is concerned about this waste of taxpayer dollars.

Honda is calling for a hearing to address what he said is an "irresponsible, backdoor use of taxpayer money" on the part of House Republicans, who have agreed to increase the pay cap for an outside firm defending the law, as first reported by LGBTQ Nation.

"The speaker of the House has been on the job for 288 days and has not created a single job for the American people," Honda said in a statement Thursday. "Instead, the House Republican leadership wastes precious resources by putting the American taxpayers on the hook for a $1.5 million legal tab in defense of discrimination."

If it was not so apparent that DOMA is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, this might be worth discussing.  There are two particular violations of the Constitution that I would highlight.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Since DOMA says that a same sex marriage that is entered into in one state need not be recognized by another state, it is in violation of Article 4, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Since DOMA does abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States, particularly the fundamental right to marry, it is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

As usual, the hate groups are upset.  This afternoon the National Organization for Marriage wrote on their blog

"John Boehner and the House are stepping in to do the job that President Obama refused to do." —Brian Brown, President of NOM
Washington, D.C. — In response to Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California's calls for hearings on the cost of the House's defense of DOMA, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) released this statement:

"John Boehner and the House are stepping in to do the job that President Obama refused to do: defend a law passed by bipartisan majorities. The cost of hiring lawyers to defend DOMA should be deducted from the budget of the Justice Department," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "The $1.5 million cost of defending DOMA represent less than one-one hundredth of one percent of the Justice Department's huge $28 billion budget. President Obama's defection of duty is responsible for incurring this cost; he should trim some fat and find the money to pay for it."

The problem with Speaker Boehner defending DOMA is less about the specific amount of money than it is about the defense of DOMA being a waste of taxpayer money.  Defending a law that is blatantly unconstitutional is wrong.  Defending a law that is unconstitutional and deprives a minority group of equal rights is despicable.

Thanks to Holy Bullies and Headless Gods for the heads up.  The linked article there is worth reading for more background on some of the lies behind the defense of DOMA.

20 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post

Praise: Progressive Religious Groups

It is common among many LGBTQ bloggers to denigrate religion.  Certainly those religious groups who continually call for the restriction of rights of those who are not even members of their faith are earning reciprocal animosity.  However, just as it is not right for hate groups to link the LGBTQ community with Nazis or pedophiles, it is not right to link religious organizations that focus on love and accepting communities with those who preach separation and violence.

This morning's news on MSNBC included an article, Battling for Gay Rights, In Allah's Name, that caught my eye.  There has been so much fear and hate of Islam since the attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 and since there has been so much publicity of gays being tortured or killed in Islamic countries, like Iran, that I was surprised at first reading the title.

So, I decided to put together a list of all the religious organizations that I can find links for on the Internet that welcome members of the LGBTQ community.  Not those that preach hate but say that they welcome all, particularly those who are interested in changing their sinful ways, but those who are accepting and loving as, if there is a God, I believe that God must be.  The list is undoubtedly incomplete (please e-mail or leave a comment with corrections and additions), and is mostly limited to English-speaking North America.  No joke religions (sexual organizations with a pretense of religion) are included.


Baptist, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
Baptist, Rainbow Baptists
Christian Scientist, Emergence International
Community of Christ, GALA (Gay and Lesbian Acceptance)
Eastern Orthodox, Axios
Ecumenical Catholic, The Ecumenical Catholic Church
Episcopalian, The Episcopal Church
Episcopalian, Integrity
Evangelical, Evangelicals ConcernedGay Christian Network
Hope for Peace and Justice
International Christian Community Churches
Latter Day Saints, Affirmation Gay & Lesbian Mormons
Latter Day Saints, The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
Lutheran, Lutheran's Concerned/North America
Lutheran, Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries
Methodist, United Methodist Reconciling Ministries
Metropolitan Community Churches
No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice
Pacific School of Religion
Pentacostal, The Affirming Pentacostal Church
Pentacostal, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentacostals
Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian, Presbyterian Voices for Justice
Quaker, American Friends Service Committee
Quaker, Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns
Quaker, Friends General Conference
Roman Catholic, Catholics United
Roman Catholic, Dignity USA
Roman Catholic, Fortunate Families
Roman Catholic, New Ways Ministry
Seventh-Day Adventist, Seventh-Day Adventist Kinship
Unitarian, The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
The United Church of Canada
United Church of Christ
The Witness (feminist)


Imaan (British)
Muslims for Progressive Values


Conservative Judaism, Keshet (also called Jewish Mosaic)
Gay Gevalt
Humanistic Judaism, Society for Humanistic Judaism
Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation
Orthodox Judaism, Bat-Kol
Orthodox Judaism, Hod
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Reconstructionist Judaism, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Reform Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism

Other Religions

Buddhist, Soka, Gakkai
NeoPagan, Radical Faeries
Wiccan, McFarland (Old) Dianic

Interfaith / Multifaith

Allies Gather
The Interfaith Alliance
The Network of Spiritual Progressives
The Religious Institute
Soul Force

The sources for this list are The Liberty Education Forum, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Wikipedia, and I hope to have additions and corrections from you.

23 October 2011

FollowUp 1: California's SB-48

Among the smaller hate groups is one with the pretentious banner Public Advocate of the United States.  This operation is run by a Loudoun County, Virginia member of the County Board of Supervisors, Eugene DelgaudioWarning:  if you fill out anything for them, you will be on their mailing list.  The nonsense from this operation does not seem to stop.

The next to last e-mail that I received from them, on the 20th of October, is a condemnation of California's SB-48.  They never mention the law by name, but it will be obvious as we go through what Mr. Delgaudio had to say.

Dear Some,

The Homosexual Agenda will soon victimize the next generation of LA school children .

Outrageous, but it's true.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has decided to impose a curriculum of pro-homosexual indoctrination.

This Homosexual Education will remake every classroom to be more "tolerant and open."

Students will be brainwashed into believing homosexual lifestyles are moral and correct .

The decision to enact SB-48 was made on the state level, not at the local level.  There is no indoctrination.  Please look at the law yourself.  Yes, classrooms should and will be more tolerant and open.  There is no brainwashing.  Many groups are to be considered without discrimination.  Groups that must be included in social studies in California now include "men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups.  Instructional materials and activities "must not reflect adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation".

History courses will be rewritten to force in Homosexual and even transgender "role models."

Force in?  No.  Include, yes.  When an individual has done great or horrific things, things worthy of note in a social studies text, that should be included.  If they have done great things and are not heterosexual, that is part of who they are and should be included.  Doing so does increase acceptance of LGBTQ persons as normal, but does not change who the students are.  Good people should be considered as role models without regard to their gender or sexual orientation or gender identification.

Even elementary school children will be forced to learn new "lessons" in favor of homosexuality -- all the way down to kindergarten .

Children that age should never be exposed to these disgusting sex acts.  They will be permanently scarred!

Okay, this is an outright lie.  Mr. Delgaudio has obviously not read the law.  No child at any level of public school is to be "exposed to ... sex acts".  It is not going to happen.

And as horrible as this all is, it gets worse.

Not only will students be subjected to Homosexual Education, but they will have to undergo "training."

In fact, parents, teachers and students are all going to be "trained" by the school district to buy into radical homosexual ideology !

No.  This is another outright lie.  One needs only read the law and it is obvious that Mr. Delgaudio is a liar.

They are attacking Pro-Family Americans in every corner of our country.

No.  Learning complete history, including that of minority groups like the LGBTQ community, is not an attack on anyone.  To understand the kind of lie that Mr. Delgaudio is telling here, please see my series on Discrimination Upside Down.

The letter from this so-called public advocate goes on to claim that they are the only organization that will protect your children from the threat of the homosexuals and then to ask for money.  They are far from alone.  The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks many proven hate groups.

A more recent e-mail from Mr. Delgaudio, on the 22nd, is a rant against a campaign to have Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie wed.  The producers of Sesame Street said no last month.  Part of that letter included

They claim that if only Bert and Ernie were allowed to marry it would help put an end to bullying and end the suicides of LGBT youth.

The reality is the Homosexual Lobby wants access to your children and they want them while they're young.

Yes, the LGBTQ community wants access to your children, to help them accept each other and themselves for what they are and who they are.  By teaching acceptance and tolerance, as required in California, we can reduce bullying and suicides (I doubt these can be completely ended, but reduction would be good).  The cries of indoctrination make it sound as if being homosexual were contagious.  Enough of the lies.  We now need more states to follow the lead of California's SB-48.

12 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.

28 November 2011, FollowUp 2.

9 December 2011, FollowUp 3.

28 January 2012, FollowUp 4.

Repudiation: LGBTQ Closeted Homophobes

While the current impetus for this blog entry is a particular person, the problem goes far beyond any individual and needs to be addressed on a greater scale.  I don't know if the Mayor of Medford, New Jersey is gay and really don't care about him one way or the other.  He is, sadly, in the news with an allegation of having paid for gay sex while traveling in California.  While I, personally, find prostitution distasteful, it is not my intent to get into the politics of it.

This is important because the Mayor is another in a long string of Republicans, the political party that endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and has been working to prevent equality for the LGBTQ community for ages, who turns out to be gay.  When I looked for information about the Mayor, I saw that he is pro-life, but did not find his personal stand on LGBTQ issues.  That his party opposes equality does not guarantee that he does.  As I started writing, this is the impetus for a bigger discussion.

The Gay Homophobe is a website that documents a dozen Republicans and many clergy who actively worked to harm gays and turned out to be gay.  This phenomenon did not start in 2004, but that is the starting point for that documentation.  Why?  There are many whys that should be considered.

Why are these men in the closet?  They are in the closet because it was politically necessary to appear to be heterosexual if one sought elected office.  Any human is physically capable of sexual acts that are not pleasant to them, and so it has been for these men.  Better to hold one's nose and win the coveted government position than to face the ridicule that goes with being known as a faggot.

Why do these men stay in the closet once they are successful as politicians?  Politicians never stop running for office.  The facade must stay in place or they fear that they will be looking for work.  In fact, for most Republican gay homophobes, this is true.

Why, once in office, do these men attempt to pass laws to limit the rights of gays and lesbians?  They fear being found out so much that they foolishly believe that they can more easily hide if they appear to be virulently opposed to what they really are.  The list at the Gay Homophobe gives the lie to this harmful endeavor.

So now that they have gone to so much effort to hide their sexual orientation, why would they risk throwing away their facade families, their political careers, and their public image for encounters with a rentboy?  Sexual urges, whatever one's sexual orientation, are strong.  Repressed urges are even stronger than those expressed.  I would have sympathy for these men, go through so much personal pain, if they were not inflicting harm upon others in the process.

So long as the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and the rest (see my groups page and look under hate groups) and religions like Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism continue to create an environment of animosity and fear, I expect the list on the Gay Homophobe will continue to grow.