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Jan 26 2012

An essential lesson in Minnesota geography

I need you to look at the map below. The most important thing you must learn from it is that Morris, Minnesota is in the blue dot on the western side of the state, in Stevens County.

Do you see that hideous red blob on the eastern side of the state? That’s the Anoka-Hennepin School District. It’s in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis.

I point this out with some urgency so that it is completely clear to everyone that we have nothing to do with those assholes. I try not to even visit the place; I recommend you avoid it, too. At least it’s easy to skip it; the airport and the Mall of America are all on the south side of the city, so really, you have no need to ever even pass through there. There’s no excuse at all, unless maybe you were visiting Greg Laden, who lives around there.

Why am I so eager to separate myself from that area, and why am I urging you to shun it? Because it seems every state needs a sphincter where the unpleasant inhabitants must congregate, and Anoka-Hennepin is it for us (well, and a few other places: states aren’t restricted by metazoan anatomy, and can have many sphincters). This is one of the areas that elected Michele Bachmann; it’s been in the news lately because it is the center of a wave of teen suicides, where bullying is common and gay kids are often the target.

You’d think parents in that area would be worried about an epidemic of suicides. They are. Led by the Parents Action League and The Minnesota Patriarchy Council, some have decided to do something about it, they’ve assembled a list of actions to take.

They propose further discriminating against and stigmatizing homosexuality.

And whereas school officials would be liable for violating parental rights by subjecting a child to homosexual and related conduct indoctrination…

And whereas legal liability exists for the tort of negligence if it is proved that homosexual activists and organizations were granted access to students under responsibility and that students suffered physical or mental harm…

1. A new division within the student support services and a special section on the District 11 website devoted to student of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders…

3. That District 11 administrators and staff work closely with pro-family and ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations to provide ongoing training to school counselors, school nurses, social workers, school psychologists, prevention specialists, student learning advocates and a number of secondary principals and principals….

4. Provide professional development opportunities in which philosophical, pedogogical, and political assumptions of GLBT advocacy are critically examined.

7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.

They want to blame gay kids for potential harm, demand more Christianity in the curriculum and endorsement of gay conversion techniques, and want to relabel Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to something that more clearly and more inaccurately pins the cause on homosexuality, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID — man, it’s been ages since I’ve seen anyone use that term).

This is their solution: to justify and encourage more hate.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Marcus Bachmann has two gay conversion clinics, one in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis, and the other in the eastern. Minneapolis is just surrounded with a ring of these enclaves of smug, small-minded Republican scumbags. I suggest that we call them the Sphincter Suburbs, both for their ring-shaped geography and for the psychological properties of their inhabitants.

80 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    Those assholes are promoting anti-gay bullying and are claiming they’re doing good.

  2. 2
    tamaratemple

    WTAF. I do not understand how Minnesota transformed in the 30 or so years I was living elsewhere. This sort of thing makes me just sick. I feel so embarassed by the Bachmanns.

  3. 3
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Wow. Kids are killing themselves, and the “solution” is to hate them harder.

    Prepare the Orbital Friendship Cannon.

  4. 4
    lauriemann

    It’s always appalling to see the kind of fraud that can be sanctioned in the name of religious belief. Disgusting.

  5. 5
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    I’m rendered speechless. How did they manage to pin increased suicide on homosexuality? The stupid is thermo nuclear

  6. 6
    Alex HM

    It almost makes me feel sick. Is there any way to reach a common ground and a way forward with people who think that this is a rational and empathetic way to treat others?

  7. 7
    supermental

    “states aren’t restricted by metazoan anatomy, and can have many sphincters”
    Maybe majoring in Bio at University is what makes that really hilarious to me.. who knows…

  8. 8
    Hayden

    states aren’t restricted by metazoan anatomy, and can have many sphincters

    Metazoans *can* have many sphincters. Humans have over 50 (according to a quick glance at Wikipedia).

    </nitpick>

  9. 9
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The whole resolution is sickening to read.

  10. 10
    Azuma Hazuki

    Funny, they only seem to be focusing on gay men. Lesbian invisibility strikes again! But of course, we couldn’t have them mention us, as they’d have to admit we have lower STD rates than straight women and lower domestic abuse rates too, especially when we’re parents :)

    I can hardly imagine it’s good for your colon to be putting something forcefully in it, but it’s not like all gay men do anal right? And they can’t have forgotten than AIDS/HIV is more common among heterosexuals now…right?

    IMO this is a man thing, not a gay thing. Men got (pardon me) shafted by evolution, and their bodies are fragile and more prone to some kinds of disease in exchange for greater muscle strength. Men seem more impulsive, too, which means more likelihood of engaging in risky behavior.

    But of course, they will never mention any of this. If they were any more transparent they could win a Nobel Prize for materials science…assholes.

  11. 11
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    If anyone wants to present those bastards with some carefully chosen epithets, here’s the link to their contact page: http://www.parentsactionleague.org/contact-us/, for your convenience.

  12. 12
    Gregory Greenwood

    This really is the quintessence of religion – always blame the victim.

    It takes a special kind of vile, bigoted moron to look at an epidemic of bullying driving teens to suicide and decide that the solution is to further entrench ascientific blather about AIDS being a ‘gay disease’, lies about homosexual ‘conversion’ and general purpose homophobic hatred into the school system itself.

    1. A new division within the student support services and a special section on the District 11 website devoted to student of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders…

    3. That District 11 administrators and staff work closely with pro-family and ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations to provide ongoing training to school counselors, school nurses, social workers, school psychologists, prevention specialists, student learning advocates and a number of secondary principals and principals….

    4. Provide professional development opportunities in which philosophical, pedogogical, and political assumptions of GLBT advocacy are critically examined.

    7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.

    This amounts to nothing less than a bully’s charter, with the worst bullies being the supposedly responsible adults in charge.

    There are days when I find myself hating those large chunks of our species infected with the moral and intellectual poison of militant xian religion – this has just become one of those days.

  13. 13
    Jadehawk

    …pedogogical…

    O.o

  14. 14
    Matt Dillahunty

    I’d like to post a similar map, distancing me from the problems in my state, but I’d have to use Google StreetView to get the scale right. :(

  15. 15
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought
    …pedogogical…

    O.o

    I wanted to comment that that was one hell of a freudian slip, but then I checked their page and it’s written correctly there.

  16. 16
    Praedico

    That is, quite possibly, the most egregious, offensive, hateful stupidity I’ve ever read. Top ten at least.

  17. 17
    duphrane

    This phrase stood out:

    “gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies”

    Now, I’ve heard people slander gay men as the originators of HIV before. That accounts for the bit about “acquired immune deficiencies”. Anyone know if there’s some extra bit of crazy being brought to the table with the stand alone “immune deficiencies” bit, or are they just being redundant?

  18. 18
    baal

    District 11 9 administrators and staff work closely with pro-family and ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations to provide ongoing training to school counselors, school nurses

    WTF!?

  19. 19
    timgueguen

    Indeed. What the hell do they mean by “ex-transgendered?”

  20. 20
    Marcus Ranum

    If you’re being picked on and are considering suicide – kill the people who are picking on you, first. It will have a considerable effect in cutting back on people’s willingness to pick on others.

  21. 21
    captainchaos

    Man this stuff is depressing. This shit *costs lives*. Some of these parents are going to lose children, and they will have contributed to their deaths. It’s so fucking scary to me that there are areas where people are so dumb, so brainwashed and indoctrinated that they can not understand that, or worse, won’t acknowledge it.

  22. 22
    XXIst Century (now on Daylight Time) Vole

    What the hell do they mean by “ex-transgendered?”

    Some one who has had surgery to subtract/add anatomical features that were added/subtracted by previous surgery?

  23. 23
    duphrane

    @ Marcus Ranum:

    “If you’re being picked on and are considering suicide – kill the people who are picking on you, first. It will have a considerable effect in cutting back on people’s willingness to pick on others.”

    I grew up in Colorado when the Columbine shooting took place. As much as I don’t want to see gay kids kill themselves, and would like to see the fundies who torment them punished, this comment hit a bit too close to home for me.

  24. 24
    Therrin

    What the hell do they mean by “ex-transgendered?”

    Flip-flopping?

    (sorry)

  25. 25
    Jerry

    I’m afraid that my response to their “concerns and demands” via their website was on the border of polite. At least I changed ‘cretin’ to ‘semi-literate’ when referring to the person who used the obsolete homophobic phrase “gay-related immune deficiency (GRID)”.

  26. 26
    raven

    Every time a xian creates another atrocity, an atheist is born. Or two or three.

    One of these decades, some school administrator or politician is going to find a backbone and is going to tell these creeps to take their hate and crackpot ideas and go jump in a deep lake.

    And everyone will cheer.

    Or so I hope without too much evidence. It is a fact that xianity is slowly dying in the USA and the fundies are helping a lot.

  27. 27
    raven

    7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.

    HIV entered the human population because people hunt and kill sooty mangabeys (a monkey species) and chimpanzees for meat.

    I suppose there is nothing wrong with encouraging people not to eat monkeys and chimpanzees. Eating chimps always struck me as too close to cannibalism to be worth it and they are endangered anyway.

    What about the medical consequences of heterosexual acts. One common one is pregnancy which has drastic lifelong effects on at least two and sometimes three people. And can also cause serious injuries or even be fatal.

    These guys are idiots but I’m sure that isn’t a problem in their tiny little toxic waste dumps of weird cults.

    I’m sure most people know by now that the vast majority of HIV/AIDS worldwide is heterosexually transmitted and the large majority of victims are women and children.

  28. 28
    duphrane

    @ raven:

    “I’m sure most people know by now that the vast majority of HIV/AIDS worldwide is heterosexually transmitted and the large majority of victims are women and children.”

    That statistic should probably be obvious, but I think it’s a bit optimistic to think the general population is fully aware of this.

  29. 29
    raven

    That statistic should probably be obvious, but I think it’s a bit optimistic to think the general population is fully aware of this.

    Anyone halfway educated should know this. Most cases are in Africa and effect men and women equally. It’s on the news all the time and has been for decades.

    That being said, halfway educated is a high bar to cross these days. 20% of the US population still thinks the sun orbits the earth as do 26% of the fundies. They can’t diagram the solar system, a task I learned in the first grade.

    There aren’t many Flat Earthers around anymore but there are a few.

  30. 30
    duphrane

    @ raven:

    I do agree that the reasonably educated should know this. That being said, I was studying the HIV transmission statistics in some depth last year for a paper, and when I discussed it with people, the amount of ignorance they had about HIV was actually quite stunning. I had adults (college kids, but still legal to vote, etc.) who actually asked me questions like whether it was possible to spread HIV through oral sex, for instance. So we seem to be a long way from having the average citizen be aware of demographics of HIV cases.

  31. 31
    truthspeaker

    Despite what the PAL claims, this isn’t really a plan to address the suicides and the bullying. This plan is intended to head off what other people have planned to address the suicides and bullying, namely policies like other school districts have that prohibit bullying based on perceived sexual orientation. Or as PAL puts it, advancing the gay agenda.

    http://thecolu.mn/7387/conservative-christian-parents-fight-for-right-to-discriminate-against-lgbt-students-at-anoka-hennepin

    Barb Anderson has been the spokesperson for the group. She’s also a researcher for the Minnesota Family Council and has accused LGBT advocacy groups of being responsible for bullying and suicides in the district.

    At Monday night’s board meeting, she accused the LGBT community of indoctrinating the students of the district.

    “On Dec. 25th, on the front page of the Star Tribune, the pro-homosexual media once again held up the St. Paul school district as an example of how the districts should deal with GLBT issues. In St. Paul, the fear of the gay agenda coming into the schools is now a thing of the past. Well, that’s exactly right. There’s no reason to fear it coming in because its so entrenched in their schools that parents have given up all hope of getting it out.”

  32. 32
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    There aren’t many Flat Earthers around anymore but there are a few.

    And apparently they all live in North Minneapolis.

    Marcus Ranum, on a good day i would disagree with you and point out that all life is precious in it’s way, but then today has been spoilt by a load of people who clearly don’t think that. Who am I to argue…

    PZ, can your next 3 posts contain nothing but squid-kittens please. If you depress me any further I will have to stop visiting your site.

  33. 33
    NovaC

    This is exactly why I keep my happy atheist butt in Saint Paul. Those ‘Stepford Suburbs’ squick me right the hell out. I moved here from the Planet of East Texas and believe me, when I say that the god botherers are a creepier species up here, I mean it. The religiots in East Texas own their whacked out and delusional world views. You see them coming and you know what you’re up against. In Minnesota, it’s much more passive aggressive and sneaky. They pull the ‘Minnesota Nice’ routine quite a bit. In reality, all ‘Minnesota Nice’ boils down to a false face on disapproval.

  34. 34
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    1. A new division within the student support services and a special section on the District 11 website devoted to student of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders…

    First off, ex-transgenders? Not that these assholes care, but “transgenders” sounds pretty fucking offensive to me.

    Secondly, oh yeah, gotta protect those students of faith Christian students! If they can’t bully gay kids, then they’ll probably catch teh ghey cooties! And then Jesus will cry or some shit.

    4. Provide professional development opportunities in which philosophical, pedogogical, and political assumptions of GLBT advocacy are critically examined.

    Just say “gay agenda”. You know you want to.

    7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    IF YOU IGNORE OUR “PRAY THE GAY AWAY” COUNCILORS, THEN YOU’RE GONNA TO DIE!

    *barf!*

  35. 35
    truthspeaker

    NovaC, I live in Saint Paul and I agree with you 100%.

  36. 36
    NovaC

    Man, I suck! Please insert the word *is* between ‘to and ‘a’.
    Thanks.

  37. 37
    truthspeaker

    It would be nice if they were more accurate, and said some Christian students are being forced to keep their beliefs to themselves. I’m sure there are a few Christian kids at that school and parents in the district who are OK with the gay.

  38. 38
    truthspeaker

    I’ve noticed that extremists will latch onto any “fact” or idea that supports their agenda, no matter how long it’s been discredited. Creationism is just one example. Curing homosexuality is another.

  39. 39
    mxh

    GRID??? Wow, maybe they could start calling edema “dropsy” and TB “consumption”.

  40. 40
    FlickingYourSwitch

    How about a clinic that converts hateful bigots into cheek-turning, enemy-loving Christians?

  41. 41
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I am so pissed-off right now. I wish I’d read about Rani’s Roses after this.

    ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations

    Yeah, right. Hey, are there any ex-white organizations? I’m a recovering white caucasian hetero male.

  42. 42
    Pteryxx

    I grew up in Colorado when the Columbine shooting took place. As much as I don’t want to see gay kids kill themselves, and would like to see the fundies who torment them punished, this comment hit a bit too close to home for me.

    ^this.

    I don’t have much left for this, but I remember all too well trying to figure out if I could possibly do enough damage to the kids tormenting me to drive them away for good. There were far too many of them, they always backed each other up, and the teachers always believed them – they were the good, normal, upstanding kids after all, instead of the lone troublemaker freak. They routinely STARTED fights with me, just to make me hit back, just once, so they could scream bloody murder and get me sent to detention yet again. They’d rip up my books, then rip up their own and blame me for “retaliating”. They even got the teachers to believe that the cuts and bruises they gave me were self-inflicted as a ploy for attention. If any of them had gone so far as to kill another kid, no question I’d have been blamed for it. Going off on them would’ve just proved the haters right, but I still wonder about it.

    I also remember how, after Columbine, nationwide bullying increased against goths, gamers, loners, and anyone wearing black or a trenchcoat. Some kids reported being taunted with “Are you going to go all Columbine on us?”

    Putting fear into haters just means they’ll kill you first. It never stops them hating.

  43. 43
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]
    What the hell do they mean by “ex-transgendered?”

    Some one who has had surgery to subtract/add anatomical features that were added/subtracted by previous surgery?

    Maybe they’ve been watching too much Southpark in the course of their evidence-gathering investigations.

  44. 44
    glia

    The real travesty is this is the only post under the tag “fuckbrained assholes”. But, I’m not sure I needed to find a smorgasbord of stories about the fucked up things Republicans have done in the past anyway, this being another debate night. That’ll provide plenty to be incredulous about.

  45. 45
    Trebuchet

    I think lots of trans-gendered people have not yet had surgery — may not ever plan to. There’s a new FTBlogger that I believe may be an example. (Could be wrong, couldn’t find it on her blog but think I saw it the other day.)

  46. 46
    raven

    My old school district had a great idea once.

    They set up an “alternative school” in the district. It was supposed to be for kids being bullied, mostly gay kids.

    It sort of backfired on them. All the really smart kids ended up there as well. It became wildly popular among the set of kids that didn’t fit in because they were too smart.

    Not sure if it still exists. They do have an internet option for kids that want to go that route.

    Long ago I used to be a bit down on home schooling. These days, if it became necessary, I would jump on it. Statistics vary but some claim that most home schoolers aren’t fundies anymore. If my kids were getting bullied beyond endurance, I’d take them out.

  47. 47
    stinger

    The Minnesota Patriarchy Council? Seriously?

  48. 48
    gregoryhilliard

    I wanted to say “The lengths some people go to,” then I realized the word was depths.

  49. 49
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Catnip67, #5: Rates of suicide have traditionally been higher in the GLBT community because of the stress of oppression. The fundie scum blame it on sexual orientation and identity.

    Alex Houseman, #6: No. People like this are the hard core of haters. Once in a great while, one of them changes their mind, but never count on it. All you can do is neutralize their political influence and reach out to the undecided.

    Azuma Hazuki, #10:

    I can hardly imagine it’s good for your colon to be putting something forcefully in it, but it’s not like all gay men do anal right?

    Why, precisely, is all anal intercourse “forceful”? It need not be any more forceful than vaginal intercourse.

    Duphrane, #17: GRID is what AIDS was called 30 years ago, before scientists realized that the affected population was not limited to gay men.

    Baal, #18: As trans people are gaining more visibility in society, it was only a matter of time before “ex-transgender” therapy and groups started popping up.

    Stinger, #47: Their actual name is the Minnesota “Family” Council; PZ changes the name to reflect their real agenda.

  50. 50
    mikee

    So much ignorance and bigotry in one organisation it is just scary

    “Ex gay” orgnaisations? Aren’t these the ones where their leaders are secretly having sex with other men? http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressreleases/2010/05/8565/

    I think they’d find it much safer to have a out and confident gay man near their children than one of these sexually repressed “ex gays”. Who knows what their twisted psychology might lead them to do if they had the chance.(reminds me of catholic priests)

    GRID? Seriously, an outdated term used to provoke fear.

    ” the medical consequences of homosexual acts” are usually the same as the medical consequences of heterosexual acts, depending on which specific act you are talking about.

    The scary thing is that these folks are parents. I really pity their kids

  51. 51
    A. R

    This reminds me of the “Anti-bulling” law the my state of Michigan passed which Republicans managed to twist into a a charter for legally sanctioned gay bashing in schools. Oh, and someone should tell them that worldwide, more heterosexuals are infected with HIV than homosexuals. (By the way, don’t you love the fact they used GLBT instead of LGBT? Apparently even gay men are superior to their lesbian counterparts in these people’s minds)

  52. 52
    A. R

    All hail Tpyos! bullying, not bulling.

  53. 53
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Daisy,

    The question was rhetorical. Being homosexual does not of itself lead a person to suicide. Being victimized does. I would imagine the suicide rates are higher than the background in any marginalized group. I was expressing exasperation that there are people so stupid as to think that a solution to an increased rate of suicide is to increase the institutionalised level of bullying of one group.

    ie. “You’re {LGBT/GLBT} and people pick on you. So you feel suicidal. Therefore, we will bully you some more to try to make you stop being {LGBT/GLBT}”

  54. 54
    anchor

    @#6: alexhouseman: “Is there any way to reach a common ground and a way forward with people who think that this is a rational and empathetic way to treat others?”

    With that combination of unabashed bigotry and magnitude of stupidity? You’re kidding, right?

  55. 55
    'Tis Himself

    raven #46

    They set up an “alternative school” in the district. It was supposed to be for kids being bullied, mostly gay kids.

    It sort of backfired on them. All the really smart kids ended up there as well. It became wildly popular among the set of kids that didn’t fit in because they were too smart.

    I would have loved a school like that.

  56. 56
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Sorry for not picking up on the sarcasm, Catnip.

  57. 57
    frog

    I assume that “ex-transgendered” is some acknowledgment that there is a difference between a cisgender gay person and a transgender person (gay or not). So imagine if Chaz Bono had been sent off to brainwashing camp while still Chastity Bono, and they had convinced him that no, he was a woman and his body was the correct sex. They might then consider Chastity to be an “ex-transgender” person.

    Normally I would think that’s too subtle and complex an issue for these mouthbreathers to parse, but nothing drives home the distinction like asking bigots to contemplate if a man and woman marry, and then one has reassignment surgery, are they now a gay couple and is their marriage still valid? Suppose the marriage was performed in a church, by a clergyman?

    My guess is this “ex-transgender” language is to close off what Xtians consider some sort of loophole.

  58. 58
    OpenMindedNotCredulous

    This is what I sent to them via their “contact us” page:

    Most of us have no wish to return to the European Dark Ages. You are willfully ignorant and bigoted. Both of which are greater sins than whatever you object to people doing with their genitals.

    Please crawl back under your rock and leave the sane people alone.

  59. 59
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Azuma Hazuki @ #10

    I can hardly imagine it’s good for your colon to be putting something forcefully in it, but it’s not like all gay men do anal right?

    If anal sex is forceful, then someone is being raped. Honestly! Think about what you write!

    And no, not all gay men do anal. Neither do all lesbians or straights. What’s your point? Your imagination (or lack thereof) does not excuse your ignorance. Anal sex can and should be perfectly comfortable and not at all bad for any part of your anatomy.

    _________________

    OT, as if gay kids in school didn’t face enough challenges in such awful places, the adults endorse and engage in homophobic bigotry too.

    What’s worse, is that this sort of bigotry is still acceptable mainstream, so these people have media platforms from which to spew their vile hatred. They make themselves known, but it’s not as though the queer can use that knowledge to avoid them. Fucking awful.

  60. 60
    DLC

    I hardly know where to begin. How they can possibly be that hate-filled and bigoted I’ll never know. I’m no expert on it, but from what I can tell most of the GLBT world just wants to be treated like anybody else, and be left alone. They’re basically saying that if you’re GLBT you best the hell stay closeted or GTFO. Shitheads.

    Baal @18: District 9 . . . ISWYDT.

  61. 61
    raven

    I hardly know where to begin. How they can possibly be that hate-filled and bigoted I’ll never know.

    The fundie perversion of xianity is based on HATE. They use it for organizational and motivational purposes.

    This was known a century ago. But hate as a guiding principle is older than that. It’s part of tribalism, us against them. The bible is full of it.

    BTW, the fundies know this. In a lot of cases, it is deliberate. When hate crimes legislation is proposed, the usual opponents are fundie xians. Because they know that without hate they have nothing. It doesn’t work though. Hate crimes legislation provides penalties for crimes, not hate. For any fundies out there, relax. You can still hate your tiny brains and shriveled hearts out.

  62. 62
    raven

    I doubt if these kooks really give two hoots about the gays. A tiny minority that mostly wants to live their lives in peace.

    Mostly they are one of the last socially acceptable groups to hate. They can’t really hate the blacks, nonwhites, Catholics, or Jews any more. Not without looking like morons.

    This is slowly changing. Polls show that the majority of the US population is bored with this one.

    But rest assured, there is always some other group to hate. If there isn’t then they make up one. The alleged witches hung at Salem weren’t even witches.

    The next groups will be Moslems and atheists. Maybe UFO aliens. I’m sure the best minds in fundieland are at this very moment coming up with their next hate targets.

  63. 63
    raven

    Hate works or the fundies wouldn’t use it. But it has its drawbacks.

    Surveys show that two of the most hated groups in the USA are the Tea Party and the fundie xians. Humans have a well developed reflex. When people hate them, they hate back.

    Enjoy your hate fundies. As you sow, so shall you reap.

    The other drawback is that hate isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Smart people have better ways to spend their time and money.

  64. 64
    DLC

    It’s like I’ve said before. they whine about being oppressed because the rational world is limiting the number of people they themselves can oppress. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but every new low they sink to seems to sneak up on me.

  65. 65
    Felix

    In these areas, the gays and “liberals” (and their pets) should all be rounded up and deported.

    Then: carpet bombing.

  66. 66
    hesaurus

    What! Ex-Transgender?

    ‘Hi, I used to be a woman who used to be man. But I got better.’

    Ex-homosexual is equally ridiculous- Maybe these guys should go to one of those clinics you guys have to make them Ex-stupid: What are they called? Schools?

    Infuriating Bigots.

  67. 67
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    I know a woman who’s one of the high school guidance counselors in that school district. The mental and physical toll the school district’s mandates and the pressures of the job are taking on her are unbelievable. She’s not allowed to offer the kind of support that she KNOWS her students need, or her job’s at risk. When I last visited, back in May, she’d spent the day I got there at one of the district’s middle school, counseling after a gay middle school student’s suicide. She’s certainly not the only teacher or administrator in the district–especially those with direct interaction with students–who is appalled with the direction the district is forced into, and many folks there are torn between the need to keep their jobs, the need to help their students, and being forced to act against their students’ needs.

  68. 68
    =8)-DX

    the medical consequences of homosexual acts

    I think they’ve been reading this, Paul Cameron’s Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do.

    What is disgusting is meeting people who actually take this seriously, my parents for example.

    Hopefully the gay kids in these school districts have smartphones with internet connections and are busy listening to participants in Dan Savage’s I Gets Better campaign under the bedsheets at night or reading sex-positive and lgbtq-positive blogs.

    If you’re a gay teen reading this, take heart, it does get better.

  69. 69
    jblilie

    I live 200 feet from Michele Bachmann’s district. Luckily, I’m further away from the A-H School District.

    There is a particularly high concentration of assholes living in Anoka County, which is the majority of the A-H District. It’s one of those “outer ring” suburb areas.

    All MN readers: Get yer butt out there in the fall and vote against the odious Marriage Amendment!

    I’ve never understood how another couple’s marriage can possibly injure mine. Can anyone explain this? Oh yeah, it allows people and government to legally disadvantage people they don’t like! (Just like that proposed A-H Dist. policy.) The majority knows best, don’t you know? And they will impose their stance on everyone else. Bill of Rights, schmill of rights!

  70. 70
    jblilie

    Generally, MN is a decent place. Not everyone is a mulleted, SUV-drivin’, Tea-bagger.

    In our school district, teachers, deans, counselors, etc. do provide proper guidance to GLBTQ kids. Harrassment is against the rules (even if not always prevented). Our openly gay son (he flew his freak flag pretty energetically too) was fine in the local HS — he did not report any issues (and we kept pretty close tabs; we were worried about it.) The only issue he had was publicly making out, which is against the rules for all kids, regardless of their choice of boy-/girl-friend.

    Of course, this is a district nearer to the urban core of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

    I’ve had mant gay friends and acquaintances report that they moved to Minneapolis or St. Paul from rural whereever in the American middle-west because it was an island of tolerance in a sea of backwardness.

    P.Z.: How strong is the liberalizing effect of UMM on the local social/political scene in Morris?

  71. 71
    Azuma Hazuki

    @59

    Sorry…as you might expect my only exposure to that comes from porn ads (and makes me even more grateful to be a lesbian…ugh).

    Even so, isn’t the lining of the rectum kind of delicate, and prone to absorbing stuff? I mean that’s why we make suppositories for medicine right? I can imagine that, pardon the images here, microscopic tears admitting fecal bacteria would cause constant low-grade infections and make you feel like crap over time (though this is nothing like HIV/AIDS; that’s a specific immuno-suppresant virus).

    I don’t know, it just seems like men in general are more prone to risky behavior and somewhat less robust immunologically, so it makes sense that their partners whether male or female are also likely to get AIDS if they have it to begin with. I know for sure blaming “teh ghey” for this is all kinds of stupid and wrong though.

  72. 72
    Feminace, formerly Qurikythrope

    Azuma Hazuki:

    I can imagine that, pardon the images here, microscopic tears admitting fecal bacteria would cause constant low-grade infections and make you feel like crap over time (though this is nothing like HIV/AIDS; that’s a specific immuno-suppresant virus).

    I don’t know, it just seems like men in general are more prone to risky behavior and somewhat less robust immunologically, so it makes sense that their partners whether male or female are also likely to get AIDS if they have it to begin with.

    You may want look beyond porn for examples of how anal (or any sort of sex act, for that matter) is done, for starters. If done right, anal is relatively safe and is enjoyed by all kinds of orientations. Yup, even lesbians.

    Might I recommend Go Ask Alice to start?

  73. 73
    duphrane

    @71:

    “Even so, isn’t the lining of the rectum kind of delicate, and prone to absorbing stuff?”

    It is. And that is why anal sex is somewhat more likely to lead to transmission of the virus than vaginal sex. Condoms reduce both pretty substantially though.

    “I don’t know, it just seems like men in general are more prone to risky behavior and somewhat less robust immunologically…”

    Women are more likely to contract HIV from vaginal sex than men are, so no to the immunology part of that. As for risky behavior, I’m not entirely convinced that that is true of the population of men in aggregate, and it seems a bit like an extension of the stereotype that women are supposed to be meek and stay in the kitchen while the men go out into the real world, so I’m a little uncomfortable leaping to it as a conclusion.

  74. 74
    mikee

    Azuma Hazuki:

    Anal intercourse is an act that is not dependent on sexuality. Some straight women and men enjoy it, and some gay men do not.

    If one wishes to talk about any potential medical hazards of anal intercourse then it should be discussed in terms of the act not as “gay sex” which just demonstrates ignorance. And some scientific evidence to back up any hazards would be appreciated rather than general ponderings about the delicate ness of the rectum.

  75. 75
    willym

    “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” Whenever you see a guy running a money-making outfit to “heal” the perceived wrongs of someone else, look beneath the piety.

  76. 76
    TimKO,,.,,

    for their ring-shaped geography

    It’s the same way in Denver, with the burbs being GOP except for the Boulder/Little Silicon Valley corridor (the more drastic division is western CO=mountains=Dem ; Eastern plains=less educated=GOP stronghold). In SoCal it’s LA vs conservative Orange Cty. So, is it a safe guess that all American cities are this way?

  77. 77
    scifi

    It seems like religious nonsense is regaining steam. Pretty scary. Next thing you know, they will gain control of the government and it will be like Islam.

  78. 78
    Ichthyic

    Women are more likely to contract HIV from vaginal sex than men are

    I know what you meant, but the first thing that popped to mind was…

    “Well, men not having vaginas probably contributes to that.”

  79. 79
    duphrane

    @Ichthyic:

    I tried a couple other versions of that sentence in my head, because I had the same thought. I then went, “eh, they’ll know what I mean.” I’m glad that I was correct.

  80. 80
    tamaratemple

    Rolling Stone did a great article on AHSD’s problems with bullying LGBTQ students: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

    I couldn’t finish this because of tears. But the last paragraph stood out:

    A slight boy with an asymmetrical haircut speaks in a soft voice. “What this GSA means to me, is: In sixth grade my, my only friend here, committed suicide.” The room goes still. He’s talking about Samantha. The boy starts to cry. “She was the one who reached out to me.” He doubles over in tears, and everyone collapses on top of him in a group hug. From somewhere in the pile, he continues to speak in a trembling voice: “I joined the GSA ’cause I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to be nice and – loved.”

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