Friday, April 5, 2013

An Easy Answer to the Incest Question Regarding Marriage Equality

If you're like me and frequent read the worst in conservative trash, you've seen this hypothetical question thrown out there by opponents of Marriage Equality: If Gays Can Marry, Why Not Brothers and Sisters? The point is for conservatives to get Marriage Equality proponents to admit that marriage isn't just about love thus lending credence to their rhetoric about the biological creation of children, among other things.  Lately I've seen this repurposed as If it's about benefits, won't mothers marry their sons for those benefits?

Both of these questions are stupid.  Why?  Because slippery slope arguments only work if there is an actual slope, i.e. a connection between two points.  The notion that Marriage Equality is going to open the floodgates for any sort of cultural apocalypse is preposterous.  There is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, or bestiality, or incest, and to suggest that there is, is to rub your balls on the face of science, not to mention common sense.

If you're going to advocate banning something because it might lead to something else, you should probably have tangible evidence that it actually leads to that other thing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sex Education in the United States

I've written on this topic numerous times, and likely will continue to do so in the future.  There are several studies out there detailing what is effective and what isn't, and why and I would encourage you to read them, though they are not necessary for this article.

As I found when researching this, sex education is a nebulous topic.  There are some districts that lump it in with HIV/AIDS discussions, and some that don't.  There are some districts that teach both and vary what they do and do not teach within the two, and some that don't.  For the purposes of this article I considered either of them to be a discussion on sex education.  As state laws often change, I encountered numerous discrepancies, generally falling back on this brief when stuck as it is the most recent I could find.  My teen pregnancy rates for each state are based on the 2010 U.S. Census.  The reason I focused on teen pregnancy rates and not abortion rates or STD rates is because I felt it was the best predictor of whether or not sex education works.  Abortion rates are dependent on the number of clinics in a given state (which is why conservative states have low abortion rates), and STD rates are also somewhat dependent on the availability of care facilities.  I believe there have been a few more recent studies on the subject, but they were either not on a state by state basis, or I had trouble verifying their claims.  For any religious information, I used this source.  All age of consent laws were taken from Wikipedia.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tranny, Nigger, and Faggot

It comes as no secret that the term 'tranny' doesn't sit well with me, having a transgender partner and all.  Usually the comparison I make to try and get people to understand is that it's like using 'nigger' to refer to a black person or 'faggot' to refer to a gay person.  Especially since it has been an acceptable part of our vernacular for years, much like the other two terms were at one time (and in places, still are).  For this reason a lot of people don't consider it to be a slur, and considering the history of the other two, that's perfectly understandable.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Poly People Have Friends Too

Ever since I broke up with my longtime girlfriend in 2009, I've used OKCupid as a means for meeting people.  It's primarily a dating site, but includes options for platonic liaisons, friendships, 'activity partners,' and things like that.

In relocating to a new city, I've mainly been using it for the latter with the hope (but not requirement) that perhaps one of those friendships might turn out to be something more.  Unfortunately listing myself as polyamorous and in a relationship has been a major setback.

I can understand the fear with which people might approach someone of that nature, not knowing anything about them, or not fully understanding the terms they've attached to themselves.  That doesn't do much to curb my frustration when the only response I get in a message is something like "sorry, I'm not into couples."  This strikes at me twice, not just because I am poly, but because I am also LGBT.

You see, one of the key methods in which the religious right has used to denigrate LGBT people is to identify them solely by their sexual practices, and not as loving, committed partners, know...actual human beings.  I feel the same way when people visit my profile (and I list that I'm looking for friends at least six times (seriously) in the first paragraph) and only see me in terms of my sexuality.  I can't help but picture the homophobic athlete that's afraid of getting leered at by gays in the locker room.  Get over yourself.

Corkins, the FRC, and Other Things

Yesterday, Holy Bullies founder Alvin McEwen wrote a controversial post entitled Family Research Council is to Blame for Near Massacre at its Headquarters where he compared the FRC, not to a victim, but to a bully that finally got their ass beat by one of the kids they picked on.  And make no mistake, the FRC has done its fair share of anti-gay bullying, bullying that includes financial support for the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stacey Campfield's Death Sentence for Tennessee LGBT

Stacey Campfield, a Tennessee Senator has authored a bill that not only bans any discussion of "non-heterosexual sexuality," but also requires school officials to notify parents of a student that might be gay.

A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred

It's one of the most draconian anti-gay bills I've ever seen.  Not only does it give anti-gay bullies a free pass because it bars students from seeking any sort of guidance (note: this worked out well in Minnesota), but it also puts LGBT students at a serious risk of being disowned by their families.  As many are well aware, 30-40% (reports vary) of homeless youth are LGBT, and that LGBT youth that suffer parental condemnation are four times as likely to attempt suicide.

Someone needs to ask Campfield why he thinks pushing LGBT youth to suicide is a solution to anything.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Speculating on Manti Te'o's Sexuality

If you're not a sports fan, or an internet fan, I'll give you a brief rundown of the Manti Te'o story.  Te'o is a linebacker who played for the University of Notre Dame.  During this past season, he suffered the heartbreaking deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend in a short span.  One problem: the girlfriend is not real, and the name that Te'o thought he was dating does not belong to an actual person.

The Stigma of Online Dating

It has started to disappear, with more and more people meeting their partners online, 17% of married couples if you believe a study recently done by  Other sources have the number as high as 25%.  Still, the notion exists that anyone that has met their partner online was resigned to doing if all other options had failed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Louie Giglio and the Religious Right Smokescreen

Louie Giglio is the pastor that was originally tabbed to give the benediction at Obama's inauguration  but has recently withdrawn amid the surfacing of a controversial 1990s sermon in which he called homosexuality a sin (read: practically blew Leviticus).  There has been some back and forth in conservative circles over whether Giglio himself withdrew, or whether the White House forced him out with some sort of "withdraw and save face or we're kicking you out," ultimatum.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alvin McEwen Writes 'How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America'

One of the most infuriating things to me is straight people that don't have a problem with, or even support LGBT individuals, but don't understand why they do so much complaining.  A perfect example is how the media was allowed to frame the Chick-fil-A issue.  A majority of the commentary involved how "gay activists" were attacking CfA President Dan Cathy's right to free speech, when what LGBT people were really upset with is Chick-fil-A's donations in support of anti-gay legislation like Uganda's Kill the Gays bill.

When many paint LGBT bloggers and media members as "cry babies" that are pushing for change that is too radical, too fast, it can be difficult to address and justify as there is so much animus coming in from so many places on the right.

That's what I like most about Alvin McEwen, author of the blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, and his new publication How they See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America.  McEwen does a great job of not only illustrating how the religious right has worked to denigrate LGBT individuals, but also complies a wide array of quotes from anti-gay individuals and organizations, many of whom are considered "trustworthy" by the mainstream media (Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council for example).

So when people ask why we LGBT are so pissed off, and have such loud voices?  This.  This is why.