True Persecution

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Not Anti-Gay Enough.

You know you must be in Florida if your opponent charges your anti-gay platform with being not anti-gay enough.

In a sick game of who's the better Nazi, Florida gubenatorial candidates, Tom Gallagher and Charlie Crist are in a battle over which of the Republican candidates is the true "true conservative."

Both candidates are anti-gay of course, but one Crist, while absolutely wanting to ban gay marriage, is ok with civil unions or some other form of legal arrangement. Gallagher on the other hand is not only opposed to gay marriage, but civil unions or any other arrangement.

I guess you win, Tom!

This is about the dumbest campaign fight I've ever seen, but I would expect no less from the state where brains go to die. The state that brought you Jeb Bush, Kathryn Harris and the Coral Ridge hour has seen no shortage of idiocy in it's long career.

What really interests me is that in a state filled with dangerous hurricanes, economic challenges, immigration issues along with the usual suspects of taxes, crime, education and fraud against the elderly - the TOP issue is which candidate REALLY hates homosexuals.

Not only does this tell me that the Republicans in this state are devoid of substance, but if this actually works and hate is the #1 top issue that people are voting on then I have very little hope for the future since it would indicate that we really are a nation of reactionary and easily manipulated sheep that are about two steps away from the slaughterhouse.

Lambchop anyone?

Monday, August 28, 2006

A New Idea For Anglican Homosexuals.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has come up with a new solution for homosexuals to help stem the divisive split going on within the Church of England. His solution:


Well now that that's settled, we can all go to church together.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has decided to pull a 180 on his flock in what former supporters are calling an '"astonishing" U-turn over the homosexual issue.'

You see, Williams used to a be a supporter of the consecration of Gay Bishops and was widely hailed when he was appointed to be the new Archbishop, but suddenly he has reversed his position.

I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviours, ideas, emotions," he told a Dutch journalist.

"Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics."

So in other words, STOP BEING GAY.

When asked to explain his previous position in light of his current one, the Archbishop said "That was when I was a professor, to stimulate debate,"

I see so for all that time he was merely playing devil's advocate.

Let's see, do we believe that?

In 1989, while professor of divinity at Oxford University, he founded the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality - a group that set out to combat bigotry towards homosexuals, this newspaper has learnt. At the time it was launched, he said: "The pressure that some church figures put upon people of differing sexual identities is a greater disgrace than anything else seen in the church."

I guess we don't.

It's pretty simple. Somebody "got" to him. This is a gigantically contentious issue within the church. It's also one that the anti-gay haters can't bear or afford to lose. If they do not come out victorious, then it will strengthen the idea that LGBT people are equally valid and have the same rights. This would be disastrous to a hate group. As a result they will do everything they can to "win." Even if that means "turning" the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I'll say it again, if you have to hold on so tight to your beliefs that they can withstand no opposition, then they are weak beliefs and shouldn't be supported by anyone.

**special thanks to PageOneQ for additional reporting and quotes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Victory for Hate Speech.

This is Ruth Malhotra, Southern Baptist, College Republican and Hate Speech Advocate [photo & additional reporting courtesy of Southern Voice] ===>

The Georgia Institute of Technology had a portion of it's student community guide that prohibited students or groups from any attempt "to injure, harm, malign or harass a person because of race, religious belief, color, sexual/affectional orientation, national origin, disability, age or gender."

Seems pretty straight forward. Well not to Ruth Malhotra and her co-complainer Orit Sklar. They objected to the language that banned "denigrating written/verbal communications (including the use of telephones, emails and computers)." Basically they felt their God-given right to openly hate and persecute gays was being impinged.

For the record this restriction applied to the students living in the dorms, not to students in general. But shouldn't all students be allowed to spew hate speech and practice religious-based oppression? Apparently these two women thought so, so they sued the school and got their buddies at the Alliance Defense Fund to help out. Unfortunately they won.

U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester ruled against GATech and made them revise their rules. Thankfully Ruth and her College Republican friends can vomit all the hate speech they like against LGBT students and community members without having to face any pesky disciplinary action. Your parents and pastor must be very proud of you.

So what did the haters do with their new found freedom to hate? The turned around and sued the school again to block GATech's gay-friendly Safe Space program.

I guess we were wrong. Clearly this was all about free speech and had nothing whatsoever to with an agenda of religious-based LGBT persecution.

I think these folks all deserve a big round of applause for their victory and their success in destroying a small glimmer of hope, tolerance and unity in their little corner of the world.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Full-Time Hate!

It's a pretty sad day when the head of an anti-gay hate group leaves to form another group because his original hate group wasn't hating enough.

That's the new deal for Peter LaBarbera, former director of the Illinois Family Institute. The new group called Americans for Truth whose sole full time job is going to be disabling and stopping the "homosexual activist agenda"

Jeez, Pete, quit harshing everyone's mellow.

We all now know what "homosexual activist agenda" means. It's the fight for basic human rights, civil rights and the right to live without being beaten or killed because you were born different.

Good God, we have to stop it. If Americans for Truth sounds like a Nazi name to you too, then I leave you to draw your own conclusions. I love the fact that this guy has just formed a group dedicated to the oppression and persecution of the LGBT community and everyone in it. How does this continue to go on without anyone seeing it?

How does it happen that we continue to condone hate groups brazenly perpetrating their message without any consequences. I guarantee if this guy started a group to fight the "Jewish Activist Agenda" or "African-American Activists Agenda" He probably wouldn't have even gotten press, and he certainly would come into the crosshairs of people who would shut him down.

I defy any Christian to call themselves such if they support this guy or anyone like him. If the first tenet of your religion is hate, you are the lowest and most despicable of all life forms and are worthy of nothing but contempt. I only wish there was a rapture coming to see the look on all of these people faces when they realize they aren't getting on that plane.

**photo courtesy of Todd Winters and Chicago Business

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Dent in the Anti-Gay Armor?

Anti-Gay rhetoric has spewed forth from the mouths of the church fathers for some time now. These words of hate have echoed through every aspect of society and the media. But it is as really well received as people think?

Hate is easy to maintain as long as it is impersonal. Many god-fearing, church going, gay-hating people don't know any gay people, and they don't want to know them - probably because it would give their hate a face. For those that have gay friends, it's hard to look at your friend and say "this person is an abomination."

With that in mind it seems like some of the tables may be turning within the confines of the church hall. We've already seen what is going on in the Episcopalian and Anglican churches over gays in the clergy, and now the same is happening in the Presbyterian church and other welcoming churches around the world. And while it is fueling the fight, it also shows that there ARE people and churches out there that are willing to welcome, even if it means going against the traditions and hate espoused by others.

Now we have a similar issue going on right here in Atlanta at the Saint John'’s Lutheran Church. Gay pastor, Reverend Bradley Schmeling has served this congregation since 2000, but now that he has a partner, the church asked him to resign. Apparently his being gay was fine, but now that he has a partner, suddenly it's not ok. Obviously you can be gay as long as you don't do anything with it.

What makes this story interesting is that, he refused to resign. Now the church is in the uncomfortable position of having to terminate him if they want him out. To add another wrinkle, the congregation doesn't want him to go either.

"When we first brought in Bradley, we already knew he was gay. And we knew of his gifts for ministry, and his gifts for preaching and his gifts for teaching. His incredible pastoral gifts and that's what we wanted and that'’s what we got," said congregation president, Laura Crawley.

"We want Bradley to be our pastor, we made that decision in 2000 and we have no reason to reconsider it now," said Crawley.

Well now, doesn't that throw a monkey wrench into it? What does this tell us? I think this shows that now only can LGBT people contribute so much that a congregation is willing to let go of hate-inspired beliefs in favor of what's right and good for them, but also that some recognize that you can't have a living belief system that is never examined or changed to suit the needs and community in which it is supposed to serve. The church was always supposed to be about bringing people together to lead them on a path to whatever God they believed in. It's only selfish and power-hungry men who have continually sought to corrupt that purpose to theor own ends.

Harmony and equality are good for everyone, hate and strife only brings conflict and disunity - which do you think is better for the church, the community or the world?

We applaud Reverend Bradley Schmeling for not resigning and further applaud his congregation for standing by him. For those who are continuing to fight with all their might of oppress and persecute the LGBT community on behalf of their church like James Dobson or Pope Benedict, I leave you with this question - are you really representing and serving the people of your faith or are you serving a more selfish personal persuit?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't Let It Hit You On The Way Out!

Strange things are afoot in Cincinnati. The Ohio city has had a long and troubled history with respect to LGBT issue, but it looks like they are finally coming out of the dark and into the real world.

In 1992, the city passed an ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. But not to be left behind by the anti-gay hate train, voters turned around and voted to remove gays as a protected class and even added a one of a kind provision to specifically prevent LGBT people from being added as a protected class in the future. Nice!

Everything changed in 2004 when that provision was repealed. It took some time, but the council in March, 2006 finally voted to add LGBT protection back into the anti-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, that change could not take effect because a hate group called Equal Rights Not Special rights halted it's enactment while they gathered signatures to put the matter to another election year vote, similar to the 1993 reversal.

fortunately for all of us, they failed and have withdrawn their petition, clearing the way for the ordinance to take effect.

While this is a big hooray, it brings up several other issues that should give the rest of us pause. First off, it once again underscores the need for federal anti-discrimination protection for the LGBT community. If there is anyone out there who still thinks that gays and lesbians are not openly persecuted in this country they are either in denial or part of the hate groups.

Secondly, another interesting issue is why the group withdrew it's efforts to get their hate vote on the ballot. It turns out many of their signatures were suspect, and according to the report, even included "Cuban President Fidel Castro and Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini."

It strikes me as horribly wrong that any group could halt a measure like this just so they could get enough signatures to try and repeal it, but I suppose if it was an unjust ordinance on the other end, it would be good to have some immediate recourse action too.

In the end it was a victory for the Cincinnati LGBT community, and also for many other communities embroiled in the same fight. Hopefully there is still an opportunity for people to realize that hating gays is not only wrong but bad for society as a whole. When any member of society is discriminated against then it erodes the whole.

Nice work Cincy, there's hope for Ohio yet!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Rainbow Flag War Continues.

It always amazes me the lengths people will go to to preserve their pristine beliefs. It amazes me further still how a rainbow flag that served as nothing more than a child's colorful gift has become the Cindy Sheehan of a rural Kansas town and the fight for LGBT rights.

You can catch up with this story here.

Now we have some new developments in this ongoing saga. As you might recall this entire circus began when a 12-year-old boy gave his parents a rainbow flag that he purchased in California for no other reason than it was colorful. The flag was installed by his parents, the Knights, outside their new Bed and Breakfast in Meade, Kansas. The flag was only supposed to be to remember their son, but of course they are now in the middle of a gay rights fight where there wasn't one before.

When we last left the Knights, their flag had been stolen, but they vowed to replace it and keep it flying, if for no other reason then not to give into the hate of some of their neighbors.

Now the two boys who stole the flag have confessed and vowed to replace the flag. While that is great, it underscores the escalating issue that this flag has created. In addition to the stolen flag and massive attention this has created, the Knights have also sustained over $1500 worth of damage when a brick labeled "fag" was thrown through their plate glass window shattering it and two neon signs.

Now we have the granddaddy of all hate coming to town. That's right, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church will be coming to town and the BBC is coming with them. For those that don't know Fred, he is the leader of the "God Hates Fags" group that has been picketing funerals around the country. Apparently the BBC is doing some sort of expose on them so this should be interesting. Nothing says you are on the side of right, when one of the premier hatemongers is supporting you.

What continues to amaze me is the idea that letting people have basic human rights and live in peace is so abhorrent to some folks that they have to steal and destroy and persecute anything and everything associated with it.

What kills me even more is the hypocrisy. I wonder what would happen if someone stole the American flag from the Town Hall and threw a brick through the window with the word "fascist" scribbled on it. I'll bet Homeland Security and the FBI would be down there in a heartbeat.

I continue to applaud the Knights for their efforts and hope that they keep fighting, even if they never wanted to be involved in this debate to begin with.

And while I have no idea why you would, but if you ever find yourself in and around Meade Kansas, please give them your business at The Lakeway Hotel.