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Louie Giglio is the pastor that was originally tabbed to give the benediction at Obama's inauguration  but has recently withdrawn amid the surfacing of a controversial 1990s sermon in which he called homosexuality a sin (read: practically blew Leviticus).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.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Department of Defense at War with Eur-gay-sia

Where do you even begin with the creepy, Big Brother-esque tactics of the Department of Defense and the internet filtering company they use called Blue Coat?  Yesterday a number of liberal bloggers (many of whom are LGBT) found that their sites were blocked on government computers at the Pentagon when similar right-wing sites like Red State, and Breitbart that rely mostly or exclusively on blog contributors went unfiltered.

The story deepened when the aforementioned bloggers also found that Blue Coat has an entire category devoted to LGBT.  And it's not that they're mistakenly being flagged as pornography, they actually have an entire category called "LGBT" devoted exclusively to blocking sites with LGBT content.  It turns out that they leave no gay stone left unblocked either:

"Websites that provide reference materials, news, legal information, anti-bullying and suicide-prevention information, and other resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) people or that relate to LGBT civil rights. The websites included in this category were selected because they do not contain sexually explicit content and are generally suitable for viewing by all age groups."

Really Department of Defense?  Really Blue Coat?  Anti-bullying and suicide-prevention materials are blocked even though (and this comes from Blue Coat's own website) "they do not contain sexually explicit content and are generally suitable for viewing by all age groups."  In fact, Blue Coat's URL Categories sheet is even more vague:

"Sites that provide information regarding, support, promote, or cater to one's sexual orientation or gender identity including, but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sites."

By that definition they should be blocking sites that refer to couples in any way.  They are not, however, because as we can see in the first link, the National Organization for Marriage's website remains unblocked.  Blue Coat seems to have an agenda because when you browse their Violence/Hate/Racism category, you see that they make every possible effort to avoid condemning violence against LGBT:

"...sites that depict hostility or aggression toward, or denigrate an individual or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or other involuntary characteristics..."

Who knows what the asshat that originally authored these things was actually trying to convey, but it looks to me like they're trying to excuse hate and violence directed at LGBT by implying that these are not involuntary characteristics.

Of course, Blue Coat has been caught doing some sketchy things before...

Editor's Note: The DoD has released one of the most factually inaccurate and generally mystifying statements in recent memory.  When did Miss South Carolina get a job as their PR spokesperson?