Crystal Dixon, the anti-gay side’s newest hero, is a human resource associate vice-president who made a handful of comments including:
“As a Black woman … I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are civil rights victims. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. Daily thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle.”
I am so exhausted as a 38 year old gay man of hearing this tired old, just stupid argument that gays chose to be gay. It is easy to believe gays choose to be gay if you completely ignore everything we have ever learned about sexuality. It is easy if you just ignore we are human. It is easy to over-simplify it to a simple choice we made if, you completely ignore the facts, but that must be the case. It is easy if you ignore the terrorized faces of every kid crying as he tells his family he is gay. If you completely ignore the facts about the pain, suffering and shame that must be overcome to come out, than you can call it a choice. The Crystal Dixon’s of the world must just ignore all the facts.
I wonder if it is worth talking about facts anymore when people like Ms. Dixon, Ms. Harp, and Mr. LaBarbera don’t care about facts anyway. I don’t think it matters what the facts are they would dispute them anyway. LaBarbera and harp seems to be interested in being famous and powerful. I believe they care more about winning the argument than owning their damages.
I think we should just tell them what they wanna hear and be done with it. So hear it is. I chose to be gay. I woke up one day when I was about 5 or 6 years old and said, to hell with it all and me. I am gonna be gay. I am gonna be athletically useless just like the stereotype say I should be. I am gonna learn show tunes and learn tap. I am going to let the other kids beat the crap out of me and call me a faggot. Not sure why I made that choice, but yup, I did.
Along with making the choice to be gay, I would also like to admit that being gay is all about sex. There really isn’t anything more to this. It is just sex. In fact, my entire life has been about sex. Sex…sex…sex. I would write more about this but I have said it all. It is about sex. (how long will it be before this is taken out of context)
If this is what these anti-gay folks want to hear, we should just spoon feed it to them like grits on toast. Whatever it takes to show them how utterly dehumanizing and hurtful their claims are or force them to show their hands. What the fuck is your end game people? What does the world look like if you got what it is your are working toward? Are the gay people in camps waiting for the gas chambers? WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?
Paint me a picture. I would just like to know what the world looks like if these right wing, fundamentalist Christians actually got what they were working toward.
Part one of my thoughts on the day of silence are really just an exact repost of what I wrote last year. Not much has changed for gay youth. The problems, the bullying and the violence have gotten worse rather than better and sadly, we lost a few beautiful young lives in the process. Below is a repost of what I wrote on Last year’s Day of Silence. I will be writing my thoughts for this year and posting them soon.
Today marks the 11th year of the “Day of Silence“, a day that marks the silence that is forced on those who are being harassed about their real or perceived sexuality. Studies indicate that 1/3 of all students report being harassed over sexual orientation issues. The problem is very real and the silence kids experience is a form of structural violence that does its share of psychological damage.
Currently, a group called “Not our Kids” is asking parents to keep their kids home to protest the protest which is the Day of Silence. The coalition is led by none other than ex-gay, Stephen Bennett and it has been pushed hard by groups like Americans for Truth led by Peter LaBarbera. The actions of this group, pulling kids from school, only highlights the problem and brings more attention to the cause. While this coalition thinks they are making some statement by pulling kids from school, they are actually helping to support the meaning behind the Day of Silence since it is these very groups who create the climate that fuels the hate that causes the silence gay youth are forced to tolerate. The people who support the Day of Silence should send the people who don’t a thank you card since the brouhaha they have created helps bring the problem into the light.
As usual, groups like Americans for Truth, Stephen Bennett Ministries, Faith2Action and others ignore the real problems and offer no alternative solutions to the problems. They claim that homosexuality shouldn’t be discussed in the school, along with an array of issues they have deemed moral issues. I would ask, what gives these folks the power to decide what is a sexuality, science, educational or moral issue?
Homosexuality is not just a moral issue, it has a human face, especially when we are talking about youth. Anti-gay activists are so quick to call any outspoken advocate for gay rights “militant”, “Radical” or “Extreme” when we demand fair treatment or equal rights. The true facts show that these groups are far more militant in action and go to far greater lengths to spread misinformation and untruth than any other political group I have experienced. They claim up and down to be religious groups, but religion plays a small role and politics seems to rule the day.
Gandhi held the belief that each side of a conflict holds a piece of the truth and a piece of the untruth. He believed that nonviolent conflict resolution could be found if each group sat down and pulled together the truths each held and dispelled the untruths. I have personally seen more gays and lesbians willing to do this than I have ever seen from anti-gay groups. I have seen more gay activists willing to compromise for peaceful resolution on the issue than I have ever seen from groups like Americans for Truth or Faith2Action. I see these groups fight, complain and make demands to silence and dehumanize gays but rarely do we see any of them offer solutions to the problems gays and lesbians face and as it has been stated a thousand times in history, if you are not part of the solution, than you must be part of the problem.
The reason most commonly cited for being harassed frequently in schools is a student’s appearance, as four in ten (39%) teens report that students are frequently harassed for the way they look or their body size. Right behind was sexual orientation as one-third (33%) of teens report that students are frequently harassed because they are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.
LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%).
90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year.
The Solution from Anti-gay groups:
Other posts on the Day of Silence:
A 19 year old gay man has claimed that a touch by a prayer team on the “Holy highway” in Texas cured him of his homosexuality. The Christian Broadcast Network is reporting that James Stabile was going from a gay bar to another to “continue getting drunk” when he was approached by a street preacher whose touch cured the man of his homosexuality.
Stabile recounted, “He just barely touched me and he said, ‘Fire!’ and I remember staggering back and I thought I was tripping on acid. It was the weirdest thing ever. And he said, ‘Fire!’ again and I fell in the Holy Ghost.” Stabile said right then he felt God “.just came in and transformed me and radically saved me.”
One thing disappeared immediately: his homosexuality. “I didn’t feel the desires to be with men like I had felt before.” Oden recounted the same story from his side of the event. “We laid hands on him. He was hit by the power of God and filled with the Holy Ghost.got plugged into our church, and is just living for God.”
You are most likely wondering why I am writing about this. Reality is this article is offensive to all of the gay Christians out there who struggle to reconcile their faith and sexuality. I am angry to read this insult to folks who spend years and thousands of dollars trying to change their sexuality just for the Christian media to minimize their struggle with rubbish like this. Just a touch and a prayer and he is cured of being gay while on a highway that prophets in Germany dreamed was written about in the bible. Of course the homo was off getting drunk and clubbing. Why does the Christian media insist on portraying gay people as drunks, sex crazed maniacs and child molesters? I feel so sad when I read these articles because I find them so out of touch with reality. They are certainly no reflection of any gay person I know.
Look closely at what the kid said “I didn’t feel desires like I had before” but he still feels them? What does he mean when he says “like before”? He didn’t say I don’t feel them anymore he said he doesn’t feel them “like I did before” nor does he say, I just suddenly wanted to shag a chick. He made a very vague statement the Christian media distorted into “instantly”. Alan Chambers, President of the largest Ex-gay organization in the world says this about instant conversions from homosexuality:
Well, the truth is that’s not my story, and it’s not the story of anyone I’ve ever met. I don’t know Ted Haggard’s journey over the last three weeks, but like Mark, I would say that it’s something that — it doesn’t seem like something that is really the case.
Why is it we always hear about the drunk “fags” being cured but we never hear about vets growing their legs back after a trip into the “holy war” over whose god is bigger. Sorry, but if anyone wonders why I am anti-religion it is stuff like this that should answer your question. This is the one place in my life where I struggle to express myself in nonviolent ways. I struggle to express just how this type of article hurts so many with its distortions of homosexuality.
Watch the video of the Purity Sieges at CBN
Another study was released today showing connections between genetics and sexual orientation. For those of us with no attractions to people of the opposite sex, this is just confirming what we already know, that we were born gay. I am always rather amazed that someone can continually say that this is changeable or a just a behavior. Behaviors are something you “do”, yet I could do nothing at all and I would still be a homo. I can also tell you that my homosexuality is not changeable. I can’t speak for anyone but me, but I spent years trying to change it, and all that did was drive me close to suicide. I have heard similar stories from others who made much more concentrated efforts though religion.
One important piece of this article on the study is that the connection between being left handed and being gay are fact, not part of an agenda. What the article fails to mention is there has never been a “left handed gene” found. I note this because no one trys to change kids into “righties” anymore now that we know it hurt kids. Most people accept that people are born left handed without having genetic evidence of it. So why is it so hard to believe people are born gay?
This study also shows homosexuality is not our parents fault as the new book by the non-scientific Richard Cohen would have you believe. It has nothing to do with how much or how little your same sex parent did something. Why people are still giving any credit or ear to this man is beyond me. Even the ex-gay world stop listening to this guy, why is he writing a book. Again, he is the case of doing more harm than good.
I am now just going to wait for the conservatives to jump up and down while screaming this is the “agenda”
It has been said that when a person is being dishonest, others can see right through them. That was the first thought I had after reading Mike Ensley’s latest post on the Exodus Blog. In the post, I observe 3 “pop-shots” or “low blows” taken at gay and lesbian advocates, yet the rest of the post talks about a call to “set aside our agenda on the issues”. I have a need to see that someones words and actions match. I do not feel that is the case in this blog post by Mike Ensley.
Sorry Mike, but if you really want anyone to believe your effort is coming from a place of compassion and not a place of political movement, you are going to need to make a little more effort. Taking pop shots at those who demand equal treatment while at the same time asking us to put down our agenda would also mean you doing the same in the email where you asked us to do it. (whoa, I am out of breath from that statement).
Mike Ensley writes:
“You may have discovered that sometimes those who advocate “tolerance” and “diversity” are really only seeking to get their own viewpoint up on a soapbox–and silence or smear anyone who dares to disagree.”
He follows that with:
We believe that tolerance means people treat each other with respect even when they disagree, that we are willing to hear each other out, engage in dialog, and pursue a peaceful and friendly environment even when we can’t get others to come over to our way of thinking.
While we here at Replace the Lies with Truth, agree with Exodus internationals’ meaning of tolerance, we do not agree you can make a call for tolerance while making snide statements that gays want to silence you. That would be part of the agenda you asked us to put down. My answer to you and Exodus:
To make this even more transparent to me, I read though the new website for Allies Too where I found this sentence:
Wait a minute, aren’t you the ones who hate gays?
If that’s what you think, it’s about time you stop believing the lie that people with different beliefs about sexuality hate those who embrace homosexuality. We don’t. We don’t want to hurt others, and our goal isn’t for anyone to be unhappy.
Again, I see right through this. If they really wanted to see us happy, or even not see us unhappy, why have they hired a political lobbyist to help insure we have no rights. This is Exodus International, who has taken a public stance against hate crime legislation, against nondiscrimination policies in the workplace and fought any attempts to offer any legal recognition to gay couples. The goal is most certainly to make us “unhappy”. If Exodus is going to make these cute little statements, we as GLBT folks would like to see the actions that back up the words. Don’t just talk the talk, but WALK THE WALK!
The web is buzzing over recent comments by Exodus International leader Alan Chambers. Apparently Chambers has implied in his comments that no one really completely changes from gay to heterosexual. Chamber’s first quote was on CNN:
“For one for someone to simply think that going from straight to gay is like flipping a light switch, that’s something that we want to correct at every turn.” as reported by Box Turtle Bulletin
He followed that the next day with a report in the Los Angeles Times, the article states:(bold print mine)
With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he’s a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he’s come to resent the term “ex-gay”: It’s too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. “By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,” Chambers said.
Well, as the pro-gay world is buzzing about what Chambers meant or didn’t mean as he pretty much states that no one has a “complete” change from being gay and that ex-gays will still face “temptation”, ex-gay Stephen Bennett is calling “misquote.”
Stephen has written on his new igroop daily commentary:
“I have to say with every breath of my being, I believe Alan COULDN’T have said the things the LA Times claimed he did.”
Sadly for Stephen this is not the first time Alan Chambers has made such comments, but it also appears he was not misquoted either. Jim Burroway reports that Alan made similar. types of comments at the Love Won Out Conference last year. Jim writes on his blog about the “times” interview (bold mine):
This is very much in line with what he told an audience at Love Won Out in Phoenix last February. Alan Chambers gave a workshop, attended by about seventy-five people out of the 700 total attendance, in which he cautioned about setting realistic expectations for change. He also talked about his own struggles, and he candidly discussed the fact that even though he is happily married, his struggles continue.
Stephen doesn’t want to believe that Alan still has same sex attractions. For whatever reason he has, Stephen feels that Alan has been misquoted. Bennett states further:
“Our prayers are with Alan and Exodus during this time, and I hope someone will publicly respond to these ludicrous so-called “quotes” the LA Times is claiming.”
I sometimes, actually most of the time, feel bad for Bennett. I feel Stephen needs to believe, as well as many other ex-gays, the things he does. He needs to believe that gays and lesbians can just change and that all they need to do is find god. The fact remains that dozens of men and women, including Alan Chambers, are still homosexual regardless what they call themselves. The dictionary and science define homosexual as someone attracted to the same sex and Alan has stated more than once that even though he calls himself a heterosexual, he is still “tempted” by his same sex attractions. In other words, he is still a homosexual.
I too, hope that Alan will clarify his statements as I see this as a very important step towards finding the truth. I offered Alan Chambers an interview in this site. I sent him the questions and he replied he would work on them and send the answers back. I agreed I would post his responses unchanged, unedited and only print a final interview we both agreed on. He just kept sending me emails with excuses as to why he never filled it out. Either way, he never filled out the answers and sent them back to me. I will post the questions sent to Alan at a latter date (there are on my other computer), but knowing how direct my questions were, and knowing I crafted those questions so that it would be hard to avoid answering them directly, I suspect Alan is in the same boat as Stephen Bennett. Afraid to say the things that really need to be said.
I will add for the record I sent the same invitation to be interviewed by me for a gay audience to read, to Stephen Bennett, Peter LaBarbera, Stacy Harp and others. Those offers still stand. It was a chance to increase understanding and try to do away with the “Us vs. Them” mentality that plagues this conflict. Gandhi believed, and so do I, that we all hold a piece of the truth and a piece of the untruth. Gandhi believed that if we stripped away the “untruth” which is our greed, fear, power hunger, our desire to control, and mostly our ego, we are only left with that which is truth. Somehow, we have got to find a way to strip away the untruths. It takes strength and courage to take such a bold move in such a heated debate, but so many lives are at stake. So many people are getting hurt, killed, abused, and beaten over this debate. Finding the truth could change the world for the better. Alan Chambers appears to be making a courageous move, but the question remains, will Stephen? Will DL Foster? Will anyone follow the example?
Ex-gay Watch is reporting on Alan Chamber’s response to Stephen Bennett’s response on Mary Cheney’s and Heather Poe’s recent step into motherhood. Bennett had some crazy notions about gay and lesbian parenting and expressed them in a recent press release. His comments were hate filled notions that gay parents are pad parents because the child is deprived of a mother and a father. What Stephen failed to notice or mention to the press is that many children are deprived of any parents at all, let alone the pleasure of two parents.
A recent conversation in my life has been the idea of adopting a child. A good friend of mine is the Executive Director of the Foster Parent Association of Rhode Island. When I chatted with her about adopting, she urged me and my partner to consider (which I will consider) adopting an older child. Many of these kids leave the foster care system with no parents at all, let alone both a mom and dad. After being released from the system, many have no families to spend the holidays with or parents to celebrate their joys and pains. Many of these kids would be happy to have any parent or family. The idea of having two parents, regardless of those parents gender would be awesome for them. A family to call their own.
Ex-gay Watch’s story zero’s in on Chambers well informed response, as an adoptive parent of two children. While Bennett claims, I am sure by accident in his fury and knee jerk response to the idea of gay parents, that only the biological parents are good parents, he left out all the adoptive parents who are raising children with great success. I would hope that Chambers’ response will motivate Bennett to do the right thing and issue a correction.
Bennett needs to learn the art of communication. He has yet to say the things he really needs to say without offending everyone he didn’t intend to offend. Perhaps if he didn’t make this hateful knee-jerk reactions, he could do it. His focus is so pinpointed on demonizing gays and lesbians, he occasionally oversteps his bounds and says some very Jerry Falwell type statements.
Mary Cheney and Heather Poe will be great parents. All the research shows that lesbian parents are good parents. Little research is available on gay male parents, but what we do have is good. We spend so much time in this world focusing our efforts on the little causes we have that we tend to forget the bigger issues. We have thousands of children with no families. We have thousands of children without any healthcare, we have thousands of children without access to education, we have thousands of children in need. If Americans for Truth, Stephen Bennett and others would spend as much energy on these issues as they do demonizing gays and lesbians, we could solve some of these problems in the world. I can only hope for that to happen, as I doubt these men can pull themselves away from the International Leatherman Convention long enough to see that if we could get long term gay couples to adopt more children, we could get more kids healthcare, more kids into families that would celebrate their lives with them, we could work towards a beloved community.
For years I have stated that the science and propaganda of the religious right is a scary resemblance to the hate propaganda of the Nazi’s in Germany. Now, those fears are being crystallized as writers like Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin has really exposed the key researcher of the religious right as having an agenda to “exterminate” gays and lesbians.
Jim writes as a recap of his article about the things the man the religious right is using as the source of their anti-gay research:
This is a man the such groups as Americans for Truth, The American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and others have used as the staple to pin gays and lesbians are unhealthy, violent, and diseased. If you read anything about the religious right this week make sure you read Jim’s article.
Warren Throckmorton has also helped this effort by listing the groups that use Cameron’s work. Be sure to check that out too! Notice our friends Matt Barber, Peter LaBabera and NARTH are all on the list.
Let us never forget that Paul Cameron is the same man who said:
At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.
Alan Chambers of Exodus International has put out a question of what the “Q” in the initials “LGBTQ” because it seems he doesn’t get what that means. Alan writes on his blog:
Forgive me, but doesn’t “questioning” imply that they are unsure whether homosexuality is fixed? That one who identifies as gay or lesbian might possibly be mistaken? That gender is fluid? That homosexuality is far from inate or immutable? Changeable even?
The Letters in LGBTQ stand for the different ways people choose to identify themself. The “Q” stands for questioning and refers mostly to youth. I can identify with the “Q” because in my earlier days I would have been one of the “Q’s”. The questioning youth are the ones who feel they may be gay but are unsure they are ready to come out. They are the ones like me as a youth, who are hoping it will pass or that the attractions wouldl go away. That is what society teaches youth. Parents ask their kids “Are you sure its not a phase?” and the kids hope it is when they see how unaccepting of gays and lesbians society really is.
All of the current science out there seems to indicate that homosexuality is inate, including looking at Mr. Chambers who admits he still has same sex attractions despite the “label” to which he identifies. Youth of today who are not ready to accept themselves or who don’t want to indentify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered choose to labels their same sex attractions as just “questioning”. It is in the same ranks as “I don’t know”, a popular term for kids.
Alan’s questions are a stretch, but as he asked we will forgive him. It all comes down to the the label he chooses, he chose ex-gay even though he still has same sex attractions. Youth of today have chosen the label that fits them when they are not sure what they want to call themself, maybe they are not ready to leap past the stigma, leap past the hatred of an unaccepting world. Those youth choose to identify as “Questioning”, it has nothing to do with fluidity or immutable but respect. We need to respect what people choose to label themself as. If Alan wants us to respect he calls himself ex-gay, even with his admited same sex attractions, then Alan needs to respect gay youth who also chose the labels that fits them.
I know dozens of men and women who spent years living the straight life, raising children and calling themself straight. I did it too! I spent 7 years with a women and called myself straight. Deep down inside, I knew I wasn’t straight, but I didn’t want to admit that, I guess you could have called me “Questioning”.
I also find it ironic that Alan ends this article on his blog with a link to the “Question Homosexuality” ad campaign from Exodus, but keep in mind as soon as you question it, and label yourself “questioning”, you fall into the same category that Alan just tried to minimize with this blog post.
A 1933 article published in a German magazine made one of the first calls for the extermination of the Jews. It should have been the first sign for people to be wary of the Nazi’s and what immoral things they were planning. Sadly, we know that over 6 million Jews, Homosexuals, Gypsies and others were in fact exterminated. The last part of the 1933 article states:
The Jewish people is the people of the Devil. It is a people of criminals and murderers. The Jewish people must be exterminated from the face of the earth.
Now here were are in the year 2007 making the same mistakes all over again. Anti-gay activists including Peter La Barbera, Exodus International, the American Family Association, and many others are touting the work of anti-gay propagandist, Paul Cameron. While I think it is great that pro-gay writers like Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin and RTLWT writer Kevin Kaatz have exposed the most recent study by Dr. Cameron for all its lies, flaws and propaganda like qualities, I can’t help fear that the greater and more alarming issue is that anti-gay activists, much like Nazi supporters of the early part of the 20th century are giving further platform to a scientist who has called for the extermination of gays and lesbians. Paul Cameron, speaking to a 1985 Political Action Conference made the following comments:
”Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”
Former US Surgeon General, C. Evert Koop, states that Dr. Paul Cameron has been suggesting the extermination of gays and lesbians since 1983, yet the machine known to us as the anti-gay industry has been using this man’s writings for years and continue to do so even after this has been made public. Aside from the fact Dr. Cameron’s work is flawed; Aside from the fact Dr. Cameron has misrepresented the place he has printed and presented this flawed work, one has to ask: Why is Peter La Barbera and the rest of this machine using the work of a man who is calling for a systematic genocide of gays and lesbians?
Mr. La Barbera has gone as far as to try and defend Dr. Cameron with this statement before printing Dr. Cameron’s latest research:
Homosexual activists reject out-of-hand any research that shows homosexual behavior, generally speaking, is unhealthy compared to normal sexuality.
Homosexual activists, as well as everyone on this planet should reject the work of Dr. Paul Cameron. After any man on this planet calls for the extermination of an entire group of people, we as a human race should reject anything they say further. Why this is past Mr. La Barbera and why he would defend the work of a man calling for murder is beyond my understanding. I would suggest to Mr. La Barbera to retract the statements he has made in support of Cameron’s work, and remove the article promoting the work of the evil scientist.
I would urge all to read the sources and references on any anti-gay science they read on the websites of Americans for Truth, the American Family Association, Stephen Bennett, Concerned Women for America, Matt Barber and others for the name Cameron and reject it. These are all people who have, at one point or another used or help to further through others, Dr. Cameron’s work to dehumanize and demonize gays and lesbians.
If any of them are curious why GLBT people call their speech hate, this is it! This is the reason!
The now famous billboard stating “I questioned homosexuality, Change is possible” has been rejected by an Omaha Billboard company via email. The company gave no reason for rejecting the billboard that was supposed to publicize the “Love Won Out” conference. Melissa Fryer of Focus on the Family says:
“Apparently the idea of embracing a diversity of opinion is not extended to groups like ours, which offer the message that same-sex attractions can be overcome by those who are dissatisfied living homosexually,”
This message of false hope is misleading to those who struggle to accept their homosexuality. To say “Change is possible” leads people on a path that homosexuality is a choice and that they can just choose to be “Ex-gay”. Ultimately, this message is spoon fed to the American public who get false and misleading information from the ads. I would call on Exodus to stop using that slogan “Change is Possible”. There has to be a way for them to accomplish their mission without misleading people.
Daniel Gonzales wrote a great video piece on the “Day of Truth”. It has been release by “Truth Wins Out“. Dan examines the lies and misinformation behind the “Day of Truth” and shows you how their is sadly, little truth in the day of truth or the anti-gay industry behind it!
The same man who appears in this ad that claims “Change is Possible” is also the same man who just appeared on Montel saying “we cannot change people”. Meet Alan Chambers.
Who is telling the lies and who is telling the truth? Is this just a misunderstanding? I don’t think so.
Even though Peter La Barbera denies he contributes to the culture and climate of violence and hate, here we have even more evidence of how responsible right wing organizations are for this violence as we see the Soulforce Equality Rides facing violence and vandalism on the first day of the ride. How can he continue to deny he is part of this climate of hate when he spends day and night painting gays in a bad light by pointing out to the world every bad thing a gay person does. My god, what would happen if we pointed out everything a straight person does, wait, that would be the six ‘o clock news.
Anyway, I report to you today another incident of violence. This time the bus of the Soulforce Equality Rides has been Vandalized. Will Peter come out and denounce this? Will he mention and denounce the violence against Andrew Anthos? Will he claim his stake in the climate of violence? Will Peter La Barbera change his song and dance and actively seek in some way to STOP the violence. I don’t see it.
Caption: It says “God does not love gays”
We need to see the Peter La Babera’s, the Alan Chamber’s and the James Dobson’s spend as much time and energy on stopping the violence against gays as they spend promoting the climate that cultivates this climate of violence. I want to see actions that go along with the word…CHRISTIAN!
Updates on this vandalism story are available here:
Andrew Anthos, the 72 year old gay man who was beaten after getting off a bus Feb. 13 in Detroit, will be laid to rest this afternoon. The attack left him paralyzed from the neck down, and he died last Friday from those injuries. His killer has not been found. State Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) will do what he can to see that Anthos did not die in vain:
Clarke said Tuesday he will introduce the hate crime legislation in the next couple of weeks. He also will talk to Capitol officials to make sure that Anthos’ desire to get the Capitol dome lit will come true.
“I believe Mr. Anthos death will be a watershed,” said Clarke, who was a co-sponsor of similar hate crime legislation that didn’t pass last year. “It’s going to be successful.”
When I attended the Love Won Out conference in Phoenix on February 10, the question of hate crimes legislation came up in a Q&A session. Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, and Mike Haley, of Focus on the Family both stated their opposition to hate crime enhancements for violent crimes like this one, characterizing it as an attack on freedom of speech. This, of course, is nonsense. Hate crimes legislation targets violent crime, not speech. Our First Amendment — the very same First Amendment that permitted neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill., and allows the Klan to hold rallies wherever they feel like it — will always permit Exodus and Focus to say, print, and broadcast whatever they want.
But I was pleased to hear Mike Haley close that discussion on what I believed to be a somewhat positive note:
I think, too, we also have to be just as quick to also stand up when we do see the gay and lesbian community being come against as the Body of Christ. We need to be the first to speak out to say that what happened to Matthew Shepard was a terrible incident and should never happen again. And that we within the Body of Christ are wanting to protect that community and put our money where our mouth is…
While I thought that was a very positive sentiment at the time, it appears now that it was just an empty platitude. Andrew Anthos was attacked just three days later. There was no comment from either Exodus or Focus on the Family.
Ten days after that, Andrew Anthos died. Again, the Body of Christ — at least that portion of it represented by Focus on the Family and Exodus — has not spoken out.
Today, two full weeks after he was beaten with a metal pipe and left paralyzed in the cold Detroit snow, Andrew Anthos is being laid to rest. The silence from Focus on the Family and Exodus is deafening.
Now let me be clear. I don’t believe for one second that there is anyone at Focus on the Family or Exodus who feels anything but profound sorrow for Andrew Anthos’ brutal death. But I can’t help but notice that in the very same week when Focus had a chance to reach out to the gays and lesbians that they professed to love at Love Won Out, they chose instead to scour the Internet and find an extremely obscure, unpublished, non-peer-reviewed study — from China, of all places — to figuratively bash gays and lesbians here at home.
So this begs the question: Does Focus on the Family and Exodus say one thing to their Evangelical base and something else to the rest of us? Mike Haley’s right. They need to put their money where their mouth is. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that’s exactly what they did.
I’ll share my observations on how they tailor their messages based on their audience in greater detail next week. Meanwhile, you can see a few examples of that in action in the latest video from Ex-Gay Watch.
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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