discrimination

Our Nation's Policies Will Now Be Determined Solely By The FDA

I have to ask just when it became standard procedure for anti-gay activists to justify their positions on any issue by pointing to the FDA's blood donation policy?

Peter LaBarbera did it when calling for a "comprehensive federal study on the health risks of homosexual sex" on the grounds that gay sex is more dangerous than smoking. Bryan Fisher did it when claiming that gays should be treated like drug users.  And now Matt Barber is doing it in defending his opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Reasons for incompatibility are manifold. They are firmly rooted in both common sense and in the "settled" anthropological, sociopolitical and medical sciences, as well as the theological arena. Taken alone, each provides ample justification for maintaining the status quo. Combined, they prove the case. For now – in the interest of brevity – we'll focus on but one: medical science.

Consider that current U.S. health regulations prohibit men who have sex with men (MSM – aka "gays") from donating blood. Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration categorically confirm that if MSM were permitted to give blood, the general population would be placed at risk.

According to the FDA: "['Gay' men] have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first-time blood donors and 8,000 times higher than repeat blood donors."

The FDA further warns: "['Gay' men] also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion. For example, infection with the Hepatitis B virus is about 5-6 times more common, and Hepatitis C virus infections are about 2 times more common in ['gay' men] than in the general population."

A 2007 CDC study further rocked the homosexual activist community, finding that, although "gay" men comprise only 1-to-2 percent of the population, they account for an epidemic 64 percent of all syphilis cases.

Do the math: If "gays" are allowed to serve openly – as to appease leftists' euphemistic demands for "tolerance" and "diversity" – how much more would soldiers in the field – where battlefield blood transfusions and frequent exposure to biohazards are commonplace – face pointless peril?

As I asked before, since when did the FDA's blood donation policy become the foundation for every other national policy?  And why does this only seem to apply to gays?  If the FDA's policy is so foundational, they why isn't Barber demanding that everyone who is barred from donating blood be likewise be barred from military service, including "people who have recently traveled to or lived abroad in certain countries ... because they are at risk for transmitting agents such as malaria or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease"?

What is stopping these anti-gay activists from just citing this FDA policy as justification for barring gays from working in hospitals or anywhere in the medical profession ... or from working anywhere, for that matter?  In fact, what is stopping them from citing this policy as justification for instituting wholesale discrimination against gays in all aspects of life?

If the fact that gay men are not allowed to donate blood is enough to justify treating them as criminals and keeping them out of the military, then why not everything else? 

UPDATE: Well, what do you know? Sen. John Kerry is calling on the FDA to remove its ban on gay men serving as blood donors. What will anti-gay activists do if they can't cite this FDA policy to justify their calls for discrimination any more?

Concerned Women for America: Dedicated to Keeping Guys In Dresses Out of Montana's Swanky Restaurants

I always enjoy local press coverage that features state representatives of national Religious Right groups because the local leaders tend to be a far more open about their motivations and biases.

Case in point is this article about efforts to gather signatures in support of a proposed "Missoula City Council on a proposed ordinance barring discrimination against LGBT folks in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations" that would be the first of its kind in Montana.

Of course, the head of the state chapter of Concerned Women for America opposes it, because if it passes "homosexuals ... will go after people of faith" and "some guy dressed in a dress" would be able to dine at her "swanky restaurant," if she owned one: 

One group has come out in opposition to the Missoula ordinance. Concerned Women for America of Montana state director Patti Kanduch said such legislation will hurt religious business owners who don't want to serve people who are gay or lesbian.

"These homosexuals, once they get this passed, they will go after people of faith whether it's Muslims, Christians, Jews," Kanduch said.

Many churches, such as the University Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Missoula, embrace LGBT folks. But Kanduch said she doesn't believe members of the LGBT community worship alongside her.

"If they are, then they're being disobedient to God," Kanduch said.

The Concerned Women is a national group that professes family values and religious liberty. Kanduch said it counts 1,200 to 1,500 members in Montana. She does not believe only a few people hold the group's views.

"Oh, no, no, no. We're in the majority, people who are against homosexuality," Kanduch said.

She said religious business owners have won battles in court but lost a lot of money in the fight.

She offered an example of someone she would want to keep out of a business.

"If I had a swanky restaurant, I wouldn't want some guy dressed in a dress just because he wanted to dress that way. I should have a right to say, ‘No. That isn't what I want,' " Kanduch said. "I want a man that's a man and a woman that's a woman. But you know what? There's other restaurants that wouldn't mind."

Right Wing Round-Up

Barber Again Demands Judge Walker's Recusal

Imagine, for a moment, that there was a court case involving something like the posting the Ten Commandments in a government facility or opening of government sessions with Christian prayer or marriage equality and that the case was being heard by a judge who was reported to be a rather devout and committed Christian.

Now imagine what the reaction would be from the Religious Right if liberals started demanding that said judge publicly acknowledge their faith and recuse them self from the case because their deeply-held personal beliefs constituted a conflict of interest. 

Do you think that the Right would throw an absolute fit and start screaming about bigotry and discrimination? 

Of course they would ... by that isn't stopping Matt Barber from making a second demand that Judge Vaughan Walker remove himself from the Prop 8 trial:

Prop. 8 was approved by California voters in November 2008 to overturn an earlier state Supreme Court ruling that legalized homosexual "marriage," but a San Francisco newspaper recently "outed" Judge Vaughn Walker as a homosexual. Matt Barber, attorney and director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel, believes Walker ought to resign from the case if the allegation is true.

The Liberty Counsel attorney cites from federal law that "a judge shall disqualify himself when he knows that he has a financial or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding," and he argues that if Walker is a homosexual and overturns Prop. 8, he would benefit by granting himself the right to marry a man. Given that effect, Barber decides that hardly represents impartiality.

He goes on to report that Judge Walker has been silent since the newspaper claim was published. "Well, the judge has said, 'No comment' when asked about his sexual lifestyle," explains the Liberty Counsel attorney. "I think he needs to comment. If in fact he is engaged in the homosexual lifestyle, there is a clear conflict of interest here under federal law."

VA: Robertson, Falwell Court McDonnell In De-Funding Planned Parenthood

Changes certainly are afoot in the state of Virginia with the election of Gov. Bob McDonnell, who recently moved to strip away anti-discrimination protections for gays.

Now, in addition to efforts by state legislators to ensure that money raised from the sale of proposed "Respect Choice" license plates do not go to Planned Parenthood, Gov. McDonnell's long time ally Pat Robertson and other right-wing pastors are seeking his promise to defund the organization:

Some of Virginia's most influential Christian leaders asked Gov. Bob McDonnell and other top officials Thursday to block state funding for Planned Parenthood because the nonprofit organization provides abortions.

The Virginia Christian Alliance presented a petition signed by the Rev. Pat Robertson, the Rev. Jonathan Falwell and dozens of others asking Republicans McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to help defund the organization.

The pastors cited what they called the "unethical, immoral and racist practices" of Planned Parenthood, the nation's No. 1 abortion provider.

And according to the Virginia Pilot, McDonnell is going to support the effort:

Virginia's top three elected officials -- all Republicans -- expressed support Thursday for an effort by religious leaders to eliminate any state money that goes to Planned Parenthood, a health care organization that provides abortions.

Here are some responses from their offices:

"Lieutenant Governor Bolling does not believe that public funds should be used to pay for abortions, nor does he believe that public funds should be used to support organizations that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. In fact, in 2007 the Lieutenant Governor cast the deciding vote in the Senate to withhold public funds from Planned Parenthood. His position has not changed."

Ibbie Hedrick, spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

"Attorney General Cuccinelli supports withholding state funds for Planned Parenthood. It is Constitutional for state money to go to third party contractors, but just because it is Constitutional does not mean that it is a good policy and state funding of Planned Parenthood is a bad policy. Attorney General Cuccinelli supports the overall goal of this group, but does not plan to sign a petition." Dan Dodds, spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

The petition referred to in the response from Cuccinelli's office is a document the religious consortium is circulating.

Among its prominent signatories are Virginia Beach-based religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and Jonathan Falwell, son of Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell.

Another noteworthy public figure who plans to sign the petition is Gov. Bob McDonnell, a spokeswoman for the governor said Thursday evening.

Turns Out Everyone Who Opposed Bob McDonnell Was Right

As we mentioned yesterday, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell recently signed a decree taking away protections for gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia. The executive order, signed by McDonnell on February 5, nullifies a similar order of former governor Tim Kaine, who had specifically included sexual orientation as a part of his non-discrimination policy. 

It would be nice to say that this comes as a surprise, but a measure like this isn’t really a shock when one looks back to McDonnell’s long record of involvement with the far right (to say nothing of his collegiate thesis at Liberty University.) Back in September, Kyle described the thesis as “a blueprint to change what [McDonnell] saw as a liberal model into one that actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues”. Although McDonnell said during his campaign that he regretted much of the language in his work, it seems like it was pretty accurate after all.

Via TPM, Hari Sevugan, Former Governor Kaine’s spokesperson, said.

It says a lot about the Republican party that they would anoint as their 'rising star' someone who in 2010 is actually stripping away from Americans legal protections against discrimination. Bob McDonnell is proving his critics right.

Indeed.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • TPM: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Rolls Back Non-Discrimination Protections For Gay State Workers.
  • Sarah Posner: Conservative Activist Says Tea Party Movement Needs "Reverence to God."
  • Andrew Sullivan: "May The Judgement Not Be Too Heavy Upon Us."
  • Sam Stein: McCain Challenger: Birther Questions Are Legit In Days Of Identity Theft.
  • Eric Boehlert: James O'Keefe and the myth of the ACORN pimp.
  • TFN: How the Far Right ‘Guides’ Voters with Lies.
  • Finally, David Frum weighs in on The Mount Vernon Statement: Conservatives to Voters: We Don’t Feel Your Pain.

AIM's Kincaid Continues to Defend Uganda's "Kill The Gays" Bill

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has once again dedicated his latest colmun to not only defending the proposed legislation in Uganda that mandates life in prison and, in some cases, the death penalty for gays, but to attacking Sen. Tom Coburn for opposing the bill and for associating himself with gays: 

In a case of strange political bedfellows, conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has joined leftist comedian Al Franken, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, in sponsoring a bill denouncing Uganda's Christians for considering passage of legislation to outlaw certain unhealthy and immoral homosexual practices.

The original sponsor of the U.S. Senate bill (S. Res. 409) is Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, who supports the entire "gay rights" agenda, including forcing Christian-owned businesses to accept homosexual employees under the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Echoing the claims of liberals in the media, who have targeted Uganda for isolation and a denial of foreign aid for considering the legislation, Coburn has called it "an absurd proposal to execute gays" that somehow threatens progress against AIDS.

...

Coburn spokesman John Hart confirmed that the senator has also been working with a "gay" Republican group, GOProud, to defeat the Ugandan bill.

On the website of the group, which is co-sponsoring the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. next week, Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, declared, "We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Coburn back in December when he forcefully spoke out against the proposed Ugandan law, and we are pleased that he continues to lead on this issue."

LaSalvia was previously director of programs and policy at the Log Cabin Republicans, another Republican homosexual group that seeks to water down the GOP's commitment to traditional values.

Conservative and Christian groups have denounced CPAC organizer David Keene of the American Conservative Union for accepting GOProud as a sponsor. Keene previously accepted CPAC sponsorship money from George Soros-funded groups such as the ACLU and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like Focus on the Family dropped several million dollars to have the least watched ad of the Super Bowl.
  • Amazingly, Joseph Farah compares his Birtherism to McCarthyism ... but, you know, in the good way.
  • Brian Raum of the Alliance Defense Fund, who is involved in the Prop 8 suit, says that entire court hearing has been an attack on religion.
  • Mission America declares anti-discrimination efforts to be fascism.  That's right, fascism.
  • Over-the-top quote of the day from the Traditional Values Coalition: "A person can no more change his sex than he can change his species. A person can’t become a potato or a giraffe. Yet, the gay, lesbian, transgender movement claims that a person can become the opposite sex. This is madness."
  • Finally, FRC's Rob Schwarzwalder says that no American "has the right to obey only those laws he or she wishes. This is the path to moral chaos and political anarchy. It is the road to collapse." He really ought to have a discussion about that with his colleague, Peter Sprigg.

Southern Baptist Priorities For 2010: Fighting Gay Rights

Richard Land and Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission are claiming credit for having played in "instrumental" role in thwarting President Obama goals in 2009 and as they lay out the Southern Baptists' legislative agenda for 2010 which focuses heavily on fighting against reproductive choice and gay rights:

Whenever the voters have been given the opportunity to decide the question of same-sex marriage in their states, they have opted to support traditional marriage. Nevertheless, the battle to protect marriage is far from over. Right now, the U.S. District Court for Northern California is reviewing Perry v. Schwarzenegger, in which proponents of same-sex marriage are trying to undo the vote of the people by judicial fiat. The ERLC submitted an amicus brief in that case, supporting the will of the majority of the people in California. In all probability, this is the case that will end up before the U. S. Supreme Court, and decide whether or not the federal judiciary will leave the issue of same-sex marriage to the will of the people or seek to dictate to the people as they have on the sanctity of human life. The ERLC will join the battle for traditional marriage all the way to the Supreme Court.

We are also heavily engaged in trying to prevent the D.C. City Council from imposing same-sex marriage on the District of Columbia. We support efforts in Congress to require a vote by the District’s residents. We believe the majority of the District’s residents do not want to be known as the same-sex marriage capital, but instead want to support traditional marriage as the only form of marriage.

We will also continue to resist efforts in Congress to advance other aspects of the homosexual special rights agenda. Unfortunately, liberals in Congress did manage to pass the Hate Crimes legislation that provides special federal protections for homosexuals that are not available to most other people who are victims of violence. The next goal of homosexual rights groups is passage of the Employment Non-discrimination Act, which will prevent businesses from considering sexual orientation in their hiring practices and make it more difficult for people who oppose aberrant sexual behavior to express their beliefs about it in the workplace without fear of reprisal. This is certainly a free speech and religious freedom issue. Further, the President announced in his State of the Union address his intention to repeal existing law that bars active homosexuals from serving in the military. Liberals in Congress are fully supportive. We will continue to stand against this effort that would weaken troop morale and readiness for combat.

The Obama Administration has already ordered the federal government to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples in its employment. It is likely that this is a first step toward repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which the Administration has already declared it does not like. While we do not believe that will happen in the coming year, we stand ready to oppose any effort that will weaken our nation’s resolve to maintain its commitment to traditional marriage.

...

As we predicted, we spent most of last year resisting liberal efforts to undermine biblical values. Considering the daunting challenges we faced at the beginning of 2009, we believe traditional Judeo-Christian values won out in most cases. It is likely that we will be defending these values from liberal attacks in 2010 as well. However, we will continue to look for ways to move responsible, God-honoring measures forward. 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Norm Coleman and others are seeking to create a right-wing version of the Center for American Progress and hoping to exploit the Citizen's United ruling to fund it.
  • Mike Huckabee will be heading to Iowa to campaign for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.
  • James Dobson has endorsed Kansas GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
  • Apparently both the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints have players who are deeply religious.  Who knew? 
  • According to campaign finance reports, the Alabama Christian Coalition has been accepting money from gambling interests.
  • Finally, here is an argument that you don't see every day, from Bev Ehlen of Concerned Women for America: "I believe people are discriminated because of their age, because of their sexual practices, because of their weight, they have a speech impediment, because they're ugly, maybe because they're good looking. I know that people are being discriminated against. That's still not a reason to change law."

Citizens United: A Win For The "Regular Guy"

Yesterday's Citizens United ruling [PDF] by the Supreme Court has has now made it possible for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates ... and to hear the Religious Right tell it, it's a victory for the little guy:

Kelly Shackelford, president of the Free Market Foundation, tells OneNewsNow the decision is a great victory for freedom for every citizen.

"The government has no right to control the speech of citizens speaking out as a group during elections -- and these types of campaign finance laws are pure evil and destructive to any free society," he comments.

Shackelford notes that wealthy individuals such as George Soros are having a huge impact on elections, and he adds, "The idea that a group of citizens can't come together in some sort of corporate entity and speak their mind is really discrimination against the regular guy in this country" and against smaller businesses that want to take part in the election process.

The Family Research Council hails it as a victory for all of those oppressed "corporate citizens":

"Under the principles established by the First Amendment, nothing is more foundational than free speech. This is a win for free political speech and the right of corporate citizens to join the political process.

"The court's decision is a step toward restoring open political discourse in this country. Speech should not be truncated by government regulation; rather, transparency should be pursued. The standard of accountability must be full and prompt disclosure, not unconstitutional prohibitions on financial contributions.

While Focus on the Family rejoices, because apparently up until now, they too were having their voices silenced:

Tim Goeglein, vice president of external relations for Focus on the Family Action, said the pro-family movement will benefit.

"Organizations like Focus on the Family Action, the family policy councils, all of our allies," he said, "this will give us an incredible voice in the great issues of our time."

And Concerned Women for America declares that "Americans are the real winners today" and says the decision is the first step toward reclaiming "the ideals our Founders believed in when they fought and died to establish a country where we can be truly free to speak and worship our God without government interference":

Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America's (CWA) Chief Executive Officer, said, "The Court correctly concluded that judges should stop playing semantics with our Constitution and read the text as it is written. The government should not be limiting political speech because someone is rich or poor, or because they disagree with a particular point of view. Americans are the real winners today. Further, I recall upon the passage of the legislation that Members of Congress openly admitted voting in favor of the McCain-Feingold knowing it was unconstitutional. Those days have to end."

CWA President Wendy Wright said, "CWA joined an Amicus brief asking the Court to overrule these laws that serve only to chill political speech and open the door for those in power to choose favorites. We applaud the Court for listening to the voices of millions of Americans who believe in those foundational principles embodied by the First Amendment.

"We hope this is just the first in a series of steps to reclaim the ideals our Founders believed in when they fought and died to establish a country where we can be truly free to speak and worship our God without government interference."

You know, I wonder what these groups will be saying if the makers of Plan B were to now start pumping their $11 Billion into taking out conservative candidates who oppose their product.

A Matter of Bigoted Priorities

State Rep. Paul Scott, (R-Grand Blanc) recently announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for Michigan's Secretary of State and released a list of his top four priorities. 

This was among them

I will make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance

Of all the things a Secretary of State hopeful could focus on, instituting bigotry is what Scott decided ranked among his most important priorities?  Amazingly, yes: 

In an interview with Michigan Messenger, Scott said the issue was about “values.”

“It’s a social values issue. If you are born a male, you should be known as a male. Same as with a female, she should be known as a female,” he said.

When asked to explain how such a mandate from the Secretary of State would benefit Michigan, he said it was about “preventing people who are males genetically from dressing as a woman and going into female bathrooms.”

While Scott is aware that federal courts have ruled that gender dysphoria, the medical diagnosis for transgender persons, was a disability, he said he did not think he would run afoul of discrimination laws. For the 27-year-old state representative, the issue is about biological gender.

He said his mandate would be in place even for those who had completely undergone sex reassignment surgeries.

“That’s who you are. You can have cosmetic surgery or reassignment surgery but you are still that gender,” he said.

Court Throws Out Harry Jackson's Marriage Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed last year by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Bishop Harry Jackson and Stand4MarriageDC seeking a referendum on the District of Columbia's marriage equality law has been rejected:

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage opponents do not have a right to hold a public referendum on whether those marriages should be legal in the District.

The ruling, a major victory for gay rights activists, makes it more likely that the District will start allowing same-sex couples to marry in March.

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has twice ruled that a referendum or initiative on same-sex marriage would violate a city law prohibiting a public vote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination against gay men and lesbians and other minority groups.

But Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, appealed that ruling in superior court. Last week, 39 GOP congressmen filed a brief in support of Jackson's appeal, arguing that the elections board overstepped its authority in denying a public vote on whether marriage should be defined as a being between a man and a woman.

In her ruling, Judge Judith N. Macaluso stated the board "properly rejected the proposed initiative" because of the Human Rights Act.

The Attacks On Amanda Simpson Just Won't Stop

Apparently not content with the trans-bashing statement his organization released last week regarding Amanda Simpson, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association thought it necessary to write his own blog post attacking her as well:

According to both the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), transgenderism is mental health "disorder." Their word, not mine. A male transgendered individual is so confused and twisted around in his own thinking that he believes he is trapped inside a woman's body.

The world's leading mental health professionals agree that this is a form of mental illness. It is a psychiatric condition which requires therapeutic treatment. It is listed as such in the APA's official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and on the WHO's official International Classification of Diseases.

That's why it is a travesty that the president appointed the former Mitchell Simpson (who now goes by "Amanda") to a prominent position in his administration. What the deviance cabal wants more than anything is society's approval for their sexually aberrant lifestyles.

In fact, that and that alone is what drives the entire homosexual agenda: they want society to affirm their non-normative behavior, and want anyone who disagrees with them to be punished for daring to hold the values that have under-girded civilization for 8,000 years.

Gay activists are making a big deal out of Simpson's New Year's Eve appointment, clearly indicating that this is a milestone moment for them. Mr. Simpson himself said he hopes that "I will soon be one of hundreds."

Simpson, at the expense of some $70,000, has undergone no less than six surgical mutilations in an effort to reject science, biology, his own DNA and his own mental health in a vain effort to pretend he is a woman. He has had his Adam's apple removed, had breasts implanted, his forehead ground down, and his genitals revised.

Simpson was conceived as a male, was knit together as a male by the Creator in the womb of his mother, was born as a male, grew up as a male, married as a male, fathered a son as a male, and remains a male in every single cell of his body. No amount of surgical mutilation is ever going to change that.

He can only view his own sexuality through a transgendered prism by rejecting scientific reality and the stubborn biological truth about his own DNA. He is living in a state of alarming denial.

We rightly condemn the genital mutilation of young girls in Islamic countries. It is simply bizarre to celebrate genital mutilation among American adults, even if that mutilation is self-inflicted.

By appointing Simpson, the president has put the weight of the federal government behind the normalization of sexual confusion, sexual mutilation, and mental health disorders. Simpson, according to the APA and the World Health Organization, is mentally ill and should be in therapy rather than in a position of important public responsibility.

The president is contributing to the terrible practice of defining deviancy down in our culture. This appointment is bad for America and should be rescinded immediately.

Since the Religious Right seems intent on claiming that the APA considers transgenderism to be a "disorder," it would be nice if they were willing to ackloweldge that the APA's recommendations for treating this "disorder" involve gender transition and that the APA calls for "legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression" so that they may live "free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse":

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA encourages legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression, including access to identity documents consistent with their gender identity and expression which do not involuntarily disclose their status as transgender for transgender people who permanently socially transition to another gender role;

...

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA supports efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments, at all levels of education, as well as foster care environments and juvenile justice programs, that promote an understanding and acceptance of self and in which all youths, including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse;

...

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA supports the provision of adequate and necessary mental and medical health care treatment for transgender and gender variant individuals;

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT APA recognizes the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals and calls upon public and private insurers to cover these medically necessary treatments

Another Day, More Bigoted Attacks On Amanda Simpson

The bigoted attacks from Religious Right activists on transgender Commerce Department appointee Amanda Simpson just keep coming:

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality is not surprised that Simpson was appointed. "This is a man -- and by the way he is a man; he's not a woman -- who is one of the leaders in crusading for so-called 'civil rights' based on gender-confused behavior," he points out.

...

But LaBarbera says there is a bigger issue than just the one appointment to a federal government post.

"Obama is supporting ENDA -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- with a transsexual provision," he shares, "meaning that if that version of the bill gets through and Obama signs it, we will have businesses being forced to accommodate gender-confused individuals in the name of civil rights."

LaBarbera adds it is time for America to wake up to the agenda of the Obama administration.

Tying the appointment of Simpson to their fear-mongering about ENDA seems to be the newest right-wing talking point, as judging by this "action alert" from the Family Research Council which, like LaBarbera, insists that Simpson is really a man and puts her name in quotes: 

Mitchell Simpson, a man who had sex-change surgery and now calls himself a woman (named "Amanda"), was appointed as Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department. Simpson announced that "as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."

The day after Simpson began work, The New York Times reported that the main website advertising jobs with the federal government now says there will be no "discrimination" based on "gender identity"-even though Congress has never passed a law saying that.

This new policy applies only to the federal government. But there is a bill being considered in Congress, the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA), which would require every employer in America to open every position to homosexuals (by making "sexual orientation" a protected category) and "transgenders" (by protecting "gender identity").

All American employers including Christian owned businesses and potentially Christian ministries would be affected.

"Gender identity disorder" is a recognized mental illness that should be treated-not affirmed and protected. And the right of employers to set "dress and grooming standards" for their employees should include the most basic standard of all-that people dress in a way appropriate for their biological sex.

Don't let Congress and President Obama force American employers to hire homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers.

Usually, the Right goes to great lengths to hide its bigotry, but when it comes to commenting on the appointment of Simpson, they aren't even bothering to try.

Pure Bigotry Driving Attacks On Amanda Simpson

After years of monitoring the Religious Right, I always assume that I have more or less become immune to being shocked by their displays of naked bigotry ... but then they always manage to surprise me. 

Take, for instance, the newest backlash against Amanda Simpson, a transgender appointee to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security where she will serve as a senior technical adviser monitoring the export of U.S. weapons technology.

Despite her thirty years of experience and degrees in physics, engineering, and business, all the Right can focus on is her gender, claiming that her appointment is part of some conspiracy to criminalize Christianity (and note also how they insist on referring to Simpson as "he"):

“He may very well be qualified for this position but it appears that he was not picked (merely) for his qualifications, he was picked because of his wardrobe,” [Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Liberty Counse] commented to CNA. “That is not diversity or tolerance. It's political correctness run amok” ... Barber continued to express his concern regarding the future ramifications of Simpson's appointment, arguing that it is part of a larger movement within the current administration.“With hate crimes legislation and ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) and other radical GLBT pieces of legislation that are being pushed by the Obama Administration,” Barber told CNA, those who disagree with the GLBT perspective “literally can and will face criminal or civil penalty.”

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth voiced similar concern on the Focus on the Family Action website on Jan. 4. “Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama Administration? How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby,” he said.

Barber added that in his opinion “there is no doubt” that Simpson's appointment “is an effort to normalize” transgender issues and “desensitize” American society.

And I know I should be shocked by anything I find in WorldNetDaily ... but I can help but shake my head in disbelief at articles like this, with its repeated use of the term "he" and inclusion of wholly irrelevant details:

Mitchell Simpson, now known as "Amanda" following a sex change, is said to have been appointed senior technical adviser at the Commerce Department. He purportedly began work today.

...

Simpson, 49, is a former test pilot who made the gender switch 10 years ago while working in Tucson, Ariz., for Raytheon Missile Systems, a major Department of Defense contractor where he became deputy director. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Simpson underwent six surgeries at a cost of $70,000 to make the transition from male to female. He had his Adam's apple removed, breasts added, forehead ground down and genital surgery.

...

Simpson told ABC News he's worried that people will assume he was hired because he is a transgender and not on his merits.

What does any of this have to do with Simpson's qualification for the job?  Nothing whatsoever. 

This is nothing more than a personal attack based entirely on Simpson's gender and a flagrant display of undisguised right-wing bigotry.

2009: The Religious Right In a Nutshell

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of posts based upon a widespread right-wing lie alleging that the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama contained an "anti-Christian" provision that would "usher in a new era of religious censorship" and target Christians for discrimination.  We eventually produced our very first Right Wing Watch In Focus examining the Right's use of this lie in order to generate opposition to President Obama and his agenda.

In short, for weeks, the Right relentlessly claimed that the provision was unconstitutional and discriminatory until finally Sen. Jim DeMint took it up on the Senate floor and forced a vote on an amendment stripping the provision from the legislation - a vote which he lost. And then the Right used that vote to try and generate more outrage while pleading for donations. 

The group that got this whole thing started was the American Center for Law and Justice, which proclaimed at the time that "unless this provision is removed from the final stimulus package, we'll be in federal court challenging this discriminatory measure."

Well, the provision was not removed and the legislation passed and was signed more than ten months ago ... and yet the ACLJ never filed suit, nor has any other Religious Right group so much as mentioned it since its passage.

In essence, this entire charade perfectly encapsulates the method of operation for the Religious Right in 2009 and presumably for years to come:  generate a phony controversy, raise money off that phony controversy, scream and yell about the fact that nobody is taking this phony controversy seriously, make bold threats and declarations regarding this phony controversy, and then move on to generating new phony controversies and starting the entire process all over again.

Pawlenty in 2012: I Support Creationism, But Not Gay Rights

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has been busy quietly working to impress the Religious Right has he contemplates a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, which goes a long way toward explaining his views as revealed in this Newsweek interview, including his belief in creationism and the revelation that while he once may have supported equality, he doesn't any more, going so far as to recant for a past vote in support of anti-discrimination legislation.

Let me ask you about social issues your party has been dealing with. In her book, Palin claims that McCain's handlers wanted her to be silent about her belief in creationism. How would you describe your view?

I can tell you how we handle it in Minnesota. We leave it to the local school districts. We don't mandate a curriculum or an approach. We allow for something called "intelligent design" to be discussed as a comparative theory. It doesn't have to be in science class.

Where are you personally?

Well, you know I'm an evangelical Christian. I believe that God created everything and that he is who he says he was. The Bible says that he created man and woman; it doesn't say that he created an amoeba and then they evolved into man and woman. But there are a lot of theologians who say that the ideas of evolution and creationism aren't necessarily inconsistent; that he could have "created" human beings over time.

I know you are opposed to gay marriage, but what about medical benefits for same-sex couples?

I have not supported that.

Why not?

My general view on all of this is that marriage is to be defined as being a union of a man and a woman. Marriage should be elevated in our society at a special level. I don't think all domestic relationships are the equivalent of traditional marriage. Early on we decided as a country and as a state that there was value in a man and a woman being married in terms of impact on children and the like, and we want to encourage that.

To borrow a phrase, have your views evolved over time?

In 1993 I voted for a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation, housing, and employment. That was 16 years ago.

Yes, gay-rights activists regarded you as a pretty cool guy at the time.

We overbaked that statute, for a couple of reasons. If I had to do it over again I would have changed some things.

Overbaked?

That statute is not worded the way it should be. I said I regretted the vote later because it included things like cross-dressing, and a variety of other people involved in behaviors that weren't based on sexual orientation, just a preference for the way they dressed and behaved. So it was overly broad. So if you are a third-grade teacher and you are a man and you show up on Monday as Mr. Johnson and you show up on Tuesday as Mrs. Johnson, that is a little confusing to the kids. So I don't like that.

Has the law been changed?

No. It should be, though.

So you want to protect kids against cross-dressing elementary-school teachers. Do you have any in Minnesota?

Probably. We've had a few instances, not exactly like that, but similar.

Religious Right Threatens CPAC Boycott Over Gay Group's Sponsorship

Earlier this year, GOProud, a new gay conservative group, appeared on the scene intent on finding ways to sell the conservative agenda to gays. 

Their approach has been to eschew the "traditional" gay issues like hate crimes protections or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in favor arguing that healthcare reform would be bad for gays, that "the inheritance tax is really a gay tax," or claiming that the best way to stop hate crimes is to expand gun ownership.

But GOProud does also support things like marriage equality and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... and for that reason the Religious Right's professional anti-gay activists at Americans for Truth and the Liberty Counsel are now threatening to boycott the annual CPAC conference if GOProud is allowed to serve as an official co-sponsor:

Folks, for years religious conservatives have been complaining about getting the shaft from CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. There is usually only a token panel or two dealing with “Culture War” social issues like abortion and homosexuality (and rarely one explicitly on fighting the “gay” agenda) – as organizers seek to appease the CPAC libertarians, some of whom support goals like homosexual “marriage” that are anathema to socially conservatives.

Now CPAC’s tenuous ”Big Tent” could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference (scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2010) unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor. Barber, my good friend, an AFTAH Board Member, and the Director of Cultural Affairs at Liberty Counsel, is leading the charge to keep the CPAC sponsorship list … conservative.

...

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of “conservatism” that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage. Where does the expansion of “conservatism” stop? Would CPAC welcome “Republicans for Abortion” as a co-sponsor? How about “Conservatives For Higher Taxes”? We doubt it. So let’s stop the double-standard on one issue — homosexuality — that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age.

The American Family Association is also voicing its opposition:

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association and host of the radio program Focal Point with Bryan Fischer. He says CPAC chairman David Keene and CPAC organizers have a serious problem on their hands.

"The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically. "There are any number of co-sponsoring organizations that I believe are going to have a real problem with the fact that they are giving such a prominent place to an organization which is such an active proponent of gay rights."

"And it's GOProud, they're identifying themselves with the Republican Party...and yet their legislative agenda is directly contrary to the platform of the Republican Party."

As I wrote last year, though there is significant overlap, those who attend the CPAC conference have distinctly different priorities from those who attend the strictly Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit.

It'll be interesting to see how CPAC organizers managed to handle this controversy.  I'm guessing that GOProud will eventually "voluntarily" withdraw their sponsorship.

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discrimination Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 04/25/2011, 5:29pm
Today, the law firm King & Spalding decided against defending the Defense Of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, leading Paul Clement, the partner who was going to take charge of DOMA’s defense, to resign . Groups and leaders opposed to marriage equality are unsurprisingly irate at King & Spalding, and have found a new hero in Clement: Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage: Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/19/2011, 9:46am
Today, People For the American Way released a new report entitled "Barton’s Bunk: Religious Right ‘Historian’ Hits the Big Time in Tea Party America" written by PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery that exposes David Barton's shoddy pseudo-history and why it matters:  Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities;... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 04/15/2011, 10:33am
While the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel are calling on parents to prevent their children from attending school today and Concerned Women for America is encouraging a “Day of Silence Walk Out,” other Religious Right groups are trying to add anti-gay “balance” to today’s Day of Silence. Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue, which will take place on Monday in order to directly follow the Day of Silence, wants to help students they believe are “messed up sexually.” The “Day of Dialogue” is the successor to the ex-gay... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/13/2011, 3:09pm
As seen in the new Right Wing Watch: In Focus “Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids,” Religious Right groups are consistently trying to tarnish anti-bullying initiatives as “homosexual indoctrination” and “special rights,” among other absurd claims. A Religious Right group led by Virginia politician Eugene Delgaudio, the Public Advocate, now launched the “Protect Our Children’s Innocence” petition to protest the Student Nondiscrimination Act, which it labels the “... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/23/2011, 9:28am
On Monday, the State Department issued a joint statement in the UN’s Human Rights Council opposing the criminalization of homosexuality. Currently, well over 70 countries impose criminal penalties for gays and lesbians, and the statement has the support of 84 countries. According to the Family Research Council, however, the US is committing a great injustice by condemning the criminalization of people because of their sexual orientation. The FRC dubs it “Operation International Tolerance,” complete with a picture of Obama wearing a rainbow helmet: The FRC claims that the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 10:11am
Only in the worldview of the Religious Right do marginalized Americans like gays and lesbians have excessive clout in government while conservatives have little to none. Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, one of the most influential right-wing lobbyist organizations, describes LGBT-rights organizations as “bullies” whose crime is raising too much money. She told the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow that opponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are “claiming rights that don’t exist” and are trying to “intimidate”... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/16/2011, 5:34pm
FRC talked a big game about how they were going to hold the GOP responsible if they passed another Continuing Resolution that didn't defund Planned Parenthood.  That is just what the GOP did and all FRC can do is thank those members who voted against it. Phyllis Schlafly says she has had a great career and owes exactly none of it feminism ... just relentlessly attacking feminism, I guess. Hey, Stephen Baldwin directed a music video.  You know you want to watch it. Sharon Angle is running for Congress. Richard Land demonstrates that... MORE