Monthly Archives: July 2011

Funny Or Die Presents: Michele And Marcus Bachmann On Homosexuality

Michele and Marcus Bachmann want to talk to you about homosexuality and that pesky FAMiLY LEADER pledge.

Erin Gibson really has Michele’s vacant stare down, doesn’t she?

Special bonus video: the The final installment of Bryan Safi’s That’s Gay, from the recently cancelled program Infomania.

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Professional Anti-Gays Return To Violent Rhetoric As New York Gays Marry

While lesbian and gay couples across New York married in near-record numbers Sunday, anti-gay activists ramped up messages of violence.

nom-logoAt a National Organization for Marriage rally of mostly bused-in marchers, christian Reverend and State Senator Ruben Diaz declared, “Today we start the war!”

Not to be outdone, NOM Chairwoman Maggie Gallagher later appeared on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network to tell their fake newscaster that “It’s going to be a bloody mess in New York,” followed glibly by “it’s kind of an exciting time.”

This is hardly the first time NOM and their allies have resorted to messages of violence when challenged (NOM organizers seemed to approve of this sign with two nooses seen at a rally in Indianapolis nearly a year before Sunday’s New York rally.), and it surely won’t be the last.

(Major ups to Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper for being on hand and doing such a thorough job reporting on the NOM rally.)

See What Maggie Gallagher And Brian Brown Work Tirelessly To Stop

Today, marriage equality came to New York. Across the state, LGBT couples who have been waiting for years, some even decades, are finally receiving a portion of the civil rights guaranteed to all people by the US Constitution. In New York City, the 24-hour waiting period has been waived and over 800 couples will be married today alone.

An unknown couple at City Hall in Manhattan (Image by flickr user erin m. Click for link.)
An unknown couple at City Hall in Manhattan
(Image by flickr user erin m. Click for link.)

As images of this historic day make their way across the internet, I can’t help but think of Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown. These two National Organization for Marriage leaders have made it their life’s work to keep what’s happening today from happening anywhere in the United States.

Myron Levine and Philip Zinderman (Image by Reuters. Click for link.)
Myron Levine and Philip Zinderman, married after 51 years together
(Image by Reuters. Click for link.)

We’re often forced to argue abstract concepts, but today we have a chance to deal in concrete examples of what we’ve been fighting for, and what Maggie and Brian hate.

Marcos A. Chaljub and Freddy L. Sambrano (Image by Reuters. Click for link.)
Marcos A. Chaljub and Freddy L. Sambrano
(Image by Reuters. Click for link.)

Here, then, are just a few of the hundreds of couples married in New York today. Pictured below is the first LGB couple married in Manhattan, Phylis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, mothers and grandmothers who have been together for 23 years.

Phylis Siegel (76) and Connie Kopelov (84) (Image by Jason DeCrow for AP. Click for link.)
Phylis Siegel (76) and Connie Kopelov (84)
(Image by Jason DeCrow for AP. Click for link.)

I was surprised to find myself getting pretty emotional while going through these wedding pictures. I’m usually a robot around weddings, but these lovely people, and thousands more like them, are doing today what was considered an unattainable goal just a generation ago. And while federal rights are still withheld from these people thanks to DOMA, and we still have plenty of fights ahead of us, this is a major victory.

Unknown couple with NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn (Image by flickr user erin m. Click for link.)
Unknown couple with NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn
(Image by flickr user erin m. Click for link.)

Remember, these images of joy and celebrations of civil rights are the kind of thing that makes Brian Brown cry. He was at the New York State House during the Senate vote last month and started sobbing uncontrollably when the Senate voted to acknowledge the civil rights of a minority group.

Our happiness makes him cry.
Our happiness makes him cry.

For today, though, I’m not worrying too much about Maggie, Brian, NOM, or others like them. Today is for joy, fairness, and in the grander scheme of things, victory.

Today, equality came for lesbian and gay people. Today, equality came for bisexual and transgender people. Today, equality came for straight people.

Today, equality came for America.


[box type=”note”]If you know who the two unknown couples are, please drop me a note at matt@mattalgren.com. I’d like to identify them properly in the post. Thanks![/box]

Megachurch Pastor Mark Driscoll Shows Schoolyard Bullies How It’s Done

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church has come under fire for a facebook message earlier this month asking “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?”

Oh yes he did.
Oh yes he did.

The now-deleted post brought new attention to Driscoll’s terribly unchristian homophobic and transphobic (not to mention misogynistic) attitude.

Author Rachel Held Evans blogged about this after seeing an open letter to Driscoll from self-identified straight-and-effeminate blogger Tyler Clark, in which he said:

The Church has been terrible to gays and lesbians. You have surely spent enough time talking with gay people in your community to know that the image of Christians tends to be a hateful one. In the same way that you want church culture to be more welcoming to blue-collar dudes, it also needs to be more welcoming to the gay and lesbian community. Your language—most recently including your Facebook post about “effeminate anatomically male worship leaders”—doesn’t help this.

Your language is not only hurtful to gay men. It is hurtful to many straight men. As a man who has always been intimidated by more traditionally masculine men, your words tell me that I am not welcome in your church or among your friends.

When you put out a call on Facebook for people verbally attack “effeminate anatomically male” men, I find myself back in high school—shoved against a locker, with the bullies calling me a faggot.

Mark Driscoll has since issued a non-apology buried under a mountain of misdirection and code words, but I think it’s important to note that this is nothing new for Driscoll.

On top of all the examples Held Evans mentioned in her post, here’s part of a promotional video Driscoll made in 2006. (cued to 1:54)

I got a feeling you got around Paul when he was a young guy, you got around John the Baptist or Elijah, I mean these dudes seem pretty rough to me. You know, they don’t seem like church boys, you know, wearing sweater vests and walking around singing love songs to Jesus. Guys like David are well known for their ability to slaughter other men.

I’ve gotta think these guys were dudes: heterosexual, can win a fight, punch you in the nose dudes. And the problem in the church today, it’s just nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys.

60% of Christians are chicks, and the 40% that are dudes are still sort of chicks.

It’s funny that he should mention David, who was a musician, cried an awful lot, was the runt of the litter, and had a male lover in Jonathan, whose love for him was “deeper than the love of women.”

Secondly, the ability to win a fight does not infer heterosexuality, and the lack of such ability does not infer homosexuality. I know some gay “dudes” who would kick his ass and make him beg for mercy.

Did you ever wonder why people like Mark Driscoll hold anything that isn’t hyper-masculine in such contempt? He lets that one slip in the next few sentences. (same video, starting around 2:37)

He even put it on the correct wrist.
He even put it on the correct wrist.
I mean, it’s just sad. You walk in, it’s sea foam green and fuchsia and lemon yellow. The whole architecture and the whole aesthetic is real feminine, and the preacher’s kind of feminine, the music’s kind of emotional and feminine. And we’re looking around going, “How come we’re not innovative?”

Because all the innovative dudes are home watching football, or they’re out making money, or climbing a mountain, or shooting a gun, or working on their truck. They look at the church and they’re like, “That’s a nice thing for women and children.”

To be clear, I am not suggesting that Mark Driscoll is a closet homosexual. On the contrary, he doesn’t set off my gaydar even a little. I just think he’s an extremely image conscious, in shape, attractive man whose fashion sense tends toward rough trade, and that maybe he’s gotten grief over it.

Whatever the reason, bullying (more correctly, abuse) from a church leader is just plain irresponsible and reckless.

In all sincerity, pray for the gay and/or effeminate boys (and men) in Driscoll’s church. He’s declared open season on them, and other kids (and some adults) in the congregation of over 7,500 will surely jump at the chance to show “Pastor Mark” how much of a “dude” they are.

May God have mercy on his soul.

FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats Doesn’t Hate Gays, He Just Loves Fag Jokes

Some surprisingly candid video from Think Progress yesterday showing FAMiLY LEADER CEO Bob Vander Plaats, who wants you to know that he totally doesn’t hate gays, whooping it up over a fag joke. Because fag jokes are hilarious, that’s why.

VANDER PLAATS: You wouldn’t believe how many people call us who grew up in Iowa or have Iowa ties […] and they say that they’re the butt of a lot of jokes, around the office place (?) about “Iowa, you know how those guys are.” …

[Oddly eager laughter from one attendee]

VANDER PLAATS: So, uh…
vander-plaats-family-leader

ATTENDEE: You know what my wife says? She says: Iowa, the state where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.

[Laughter]

VANDER PLAATS: Oh shoot, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good. Oh shoot.

Oh shoot, indeed.

None of this comes as a big surprise, by the way. After all, FAMiLY LEADER is officially associated with the anti-gay Focus on the Family and certified hate group Family Research Council, and last year partnered with certified hate group American Family Association as well as the hate group watch-listed National Organization for Marriage to get three Iowa Supreme Court Justices kicked off the bench for ruling in favor of civil rights.

The question now is whether major media will pick up this story or let Vander Plaats, a three-time gubernatorial candidate in Iowa with some political clout in the state, pretend it didn’t happen next time his group becomes newsworthy.

Anti-Gay Leader Accidentally Stumbles Upon The Point

Jeremy Hooper over at Good As You posted this video yesterday from the American Family Association's radio show Nothing But Truth, and for once, the show lived up to its name.

“Sooner or later it’s going to be like the Nazis, you know, gays and non-gays are going to have to wear badges, that way, you know, you make sure you know right off the bat that if you’re talking to a gay person you address them as such”

I agree with Jeremy that the caller’s statement is pretty darn alarming, history being what it is, but I loved guest host and American Family Radio General Manager Buster Wilson's little dig at the end, too.

He’s talking about California’s new The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) education law that requires schools to recognize the contribution of LGBTs in history, people like Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bayard Rustin, and James Dean.

It also tells our young people in California schools that if these gay people did such great things, then maybe if you’re gay as well, you’ll do great things in life! Hm? You think?

Oddly enough, Buster, yes I do think! That’s exactly the point of FAIR. From Equality California's press release after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill last week:

Studies have shown that inclusion of LGBT people in instructional materials is linked to greater student safety and lower rates of bullying. In schools where the contributions of the LGBT community are included in educational instruction, bullying declined by over half and LGBT students were more likely to feel they have an opportunity to make positive contributions at school.

“Today marks a monumental victory for the LGBT civil rights movement as the contributions of diverse LGBT community will no longer be erased from history,” said Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia. “Thanks to the FAIR Education Act, California students, particularly LGBT youth, will find new hope and inspiration and experience a more welcoming learning environment that will embrace them.”

Yes, I know, his meaning is backward, as if straight kids would somehow use the fact of LGBTs in history as a reason to “become” gay. And of course this is nonsense and not at all how the world really works.

Thanks to his phrasing, though, I’d like to think that maybe some of his listeners had an A-HA moment while listening to this certified hate group's radio show. That would be fantastic.

The Lavender Scare: New Documentary Exposes A Modern American Witch Hunt

Can’t wait to see The Lavender Scare, a documentary based on the book by David K. Johnson, currently in production that promises to tell a largely unacknowledged piece of LGBT history and modern American history. A new trailer was posted to youtube this week.

From the documentary’s website:

The Lavender Scare is not a historical documentary frozen in time. The issues it explores remain strikingly relevant today.

  • In the 1950s, it was said that the acceptance of homosexuality would promote the moral decay of our society. Today, opponents of marriage equality make a similar argument.
  • In the 1950s, it was said that allowing homosexuals to serve in government positions would threaten national security, create “homosexual cliques,” and destroy morale. Today, similar beliefs prevent gay men and women from serving openly in the military.
  • In the 1950s, politicians discovered that the “gay issue” could be used as a powerful weapon against their opponents. It is still happening today.

The Lavender Scare will provide important context to the battles still being fought today.

For gay audiences, particularly younger generations unfamiliar with the struggles of the past, it will provide important perspective and serve as an inspiring call to action.

I’m 100% behind this. There’s a real danger of LGBT history being lost with each new generation (one of the reasons California’s new LGBT history law is so important), and this kind of movie helps prevent that.

The fact that Director Josh Howard is a 60 Minutes alum with 24 Emmy Awards only makes me more excited.

No release date as yet, but I’m willing to wait for a thorough history lesson.

Michele Bachmann, This Gay Man Thanks You

The Candidate and First Caricature
The Candidate and
First Caricature
Honest to God, we in the LGBT community owe a debt of gratitude to Michele Bachmann. Her presidential bid has triggered an explosion of ex-gay industry coverage in the media. We couldn’t pay for better publicity.

Our community has pointed to eyebrow raising ex-gay videos, we’ve watched “ex-gay” industry leaders ripped to shreds by the indefatigable Rachel Maddow, and we’ve shown another ex-gay leader whipping up animus against gays in Uganda. Heck, it’s now part of the public record that the most prominent and oft-cited ex-gay research studies was faked.

But nothing we’ve been able to do has come close to putting ex-gay nonsense in front of people like a presidential candidate and her startlingly Liberace-esque homosexual husband making money off of trying to de-gayify people.

First, here’s the audio from Marcus Bachmann where he says that LGBT teens are “barbarians” who need to be (ahem) “disciplined.”

With that in mind, let’s dive into On July 11, ABC’s Nightline covered Truth Wins Out's expose showing that Bachmann & Associates, a company owned by the Bachmanns, indeed offers ex-gay “therapy.” (Do follow that link, please.)

Thomas Roberts covered TWO’s expose for MSNBC as well.

Anderson Cooper featured the Bachmanns on his “Keeping Them Honest” segment.

And CBS News reported that in a 2004 speech, Ms. Bachmann said that “Almost all, if not all” gays have been abused. She goes on to say that she’s not bashing gay people, she just wants them to stop being gay, which is totally different somehow.

Thank you, Michele Bachmann. Thank you Marcus Bachmann, you silly homosexual. You have done us the huge favor of giving Americans a close look, often for the first time, at what the ex-gay industry is all about.

But for your psychological and spiritual abuse of LGBT people through “ex-gay” “therapy?” Fuck you, Michele, and fuck your husband too. (No homo.)

Closeted Soldiers Must Come Out Now

A 9th Circuit Appeals Court again ruled last Wednesday that the government must immediately stop enforcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Here’s an article with specifics on the ruling, but Rachel Maddow broke it down very well with guest Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach last Wednesday night.

I agree with Rachel and Lt. Col. Fehrenbach for the most part. We part ways, however, on advice to closeted soldiers and recruits. To put it simply, it is time for service members of every rank to come out of the closet.

The purpose of self-imposed, situational closeting by LGB service members has changed. It isn’t about finding a way for invisible lesbian and gay service members to serve their country anymore, and it isn’t about sacrificing to that end. No, self-imposed closeting in 2011 is about playing it safe.

Well sorry, you don’t get to do that. Maybe in a generation, or even a half-generation if we play it right, but that just isn’t possible right now. Remaining invisible at this crucial time damages the fight against DADT and the civil rights movement writ large. Frankly, it’s damage we can’t afford to take.

Ask. Tell. NOW.
Ask. Tell. NOW.

You are a pioneer, part of an elite force that will blaze the trail for those who follow you. Right now, in the middle of it, that sucks. I know.

It sucked for the first generation of African American soldiers after President Truman integrated the ranks in 1948. It sucked for the first generation of women soldiers after President Ford and Congress opened military academies to women in 1975.

And it will suck for you now as the first generation of LGB soldiers after President Obama and Congress allowed LGBs to serve openly in 2010.

I wish I could pin a medal on your jacket for that, I truly do, but knowing that you helped defeat bigotry in our time will have to do.

Loose Lips Linda Harvey: ‘If we want to defund The Left we need to take the teeth out of the unions.’

Linda Harvey of Mission: America
Linda Harvey of Mission: America

In yesterday’s post about aspiring hate group leader Linda Harvey‘s idea that it’s bad business to hire gay people, I mentioned that I’d be bringing you another interesting quote from Linda Harvey’s little radio show, based in Columbus, Ohio.

This clip comes from her July 2nd radio show, just like yesterday’s. I am downright fascinated by how much she gets carried away with herself and says more than most political advisers would say is prudent. (Listen closely for her self-indulgent stifled giggle.)

[wpaudio url=”http://blog.mattalgren.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/linda-harvey-union-buster-7-2-11.mp3″ text=”Linda Harvey says too much.”]

Here in Ohio, we have, as many of our voters know, we have passed and our governor signed SB5, which is a bill that will… is a belt-tightening bill in the state, and it puts limits on public employee unions and their power to continue to drive up not wages, that’s off the table, but richer and richer benefits.

But it also gives people an option whether to belong to the union or not. And this has been a big thing with me with the Ohio Education Association, the National Education Association…the teachers’ unions in particular, because they’re funding the Left Wing Agenda in just about every single way that you can imagine.

If we want to defund The Left we need to take the teeth out of the unions.

Wait a second. I thought union-busting bills like Ohio’s SB5 were about supposed choice and mythical monetary savings.

Is Linda Harvey, on behalf of Republicans everywhere, actually admitting that it’s just about taking health care benefits away from state workers and, even worse, a political power grab?