Trump Supports NC HB 2.

donald-trump-now-supports-nations-worst-anti-lgbt-lawx750Yet another flip-flop from the premier con man, who will say anything at any time.

Donald Trump has flip-flopped on his stance on House Bill 2, the controversial law that forces transgender people in North Carolina to use public restrooms that do not correspond with their gender identity.

Trump appeared at a rally in Raleigh on Tuesday, where he spoke with The News and Observer about HB 2, which was forced through the state legislature in an emergency session on March 23. “I’m going with the state,” Trump said. “The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people and I’m going with the state.”

These statements are a complete reversal from his earlier views on the bill.

[…]

Trump was applauded for his moderate stance on LGBT issues, with former GOProud president Chris Barron calling the presumptive Republican candidate “the most pro-gay Republican nominee ever.” The CEO has also claimed that he would be a champion for LGBT equality if elected to office, reiterating that point at Tuesday’s rally.

“I am better for the gay community,” he said. “I am better for women than Hillary will be on her best day.”

[…]

But in reality, he’s been backtracking on his purported LGBT allyship since his initial statements on HB 2 in April. Shortly after speaking out against the bill, Trump amended his condemnation in an interview with ABC, in which he claimed that he would “leave it up to the states” to decide what’s best for transgender people.

“Well, I believe it should be states’ rights, and I think the state should make the decision,” Trump said.

According to Chris Sgro, the executive director of Equality North Carolina, Trump’s flip-flop on LGBT rights shows that he would be dangerous for the LGBT community. “Over and over, he has shown himself to be unqualified as a presidential candidate, and no friend to gay and transgender people,” he said in a statement. “We must resoundingly reject his ill-informed discrimination in November.”

[…]

Trump’s about face on LGBT rights, though, may just be the start.

According to reports, he’s considering Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for the Vice Presidential spot on his campaign ticket. Last year, Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which made it legal for businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That law was “fixed” after Indiana faced widespread boycotts in response to the bill’s passage, which reportedly cost the state $60 million in potential revenue.

“The Republican Party has a deep bench of qualified vice presidential candidates,” former Trump adviser Michael Caputo told the Indianapolis Star. “Some of them ring certain bells, and others ring other bells. I think Mike Pence rings the most bells of all.”

Once again, I’ll point to Trump’s volatility. He’s a con, and as a con, he will say anything, do anything, offer anything, promise anything, then turn around and do something else. There are a lot of people so anti-Clinton that they will vote for this monumental asshole out of spite. Please, I beg of you, think. Think hard. A vote for this man is to condemn this country into utter chaos, a place where the lives of people like myself will be forfeit, along with a whole lot of others. The States is hardly a shining beacon of humanism right now, but we all need to remember that it can get worse. Much worse.

In related news: Department of Justice Asks Federal Court to Block N.C. Law’s Anti-Trans Provisions.

Oh FFS Fox Facepalm…

By Elcobbola - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11136558

By Elcobbola – Own work, Public Domain, Wikimedia.

Perfectly timed for Colonial Day, the people at Fox News decide to dip into the barrel bottom of stupidity, trying to figure out whether or not a statue could be transgender, based on the gender of the model. This level of stupid might require a brand new descriptor.

Fox News took time over the holiday weekend to assure viewers that a recent theory suggesting the State of Liberty was modeled after a man could not be true.

According to an upcoming Discovery Family channel program, French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi may have used his brother as a model for the Statue of Liberty instead of his mother as most historians believe.

[…]

But on Sunday, Fox & Friends spoke to New York University Professor Edward Berenson to assuage concerns that Lady Liberty could be a man presenting as a woman.

“Is Lady Liberty actually a man?” Fox News host Peter Doocy asked, sounding shocked.

“This guy [Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi], when he was in New York wrote his mother every single day,” Berenson insisted. “If he wasn’t going to do his mom and was going to do his brother instead, we’d have that in the correspondence.”

“This guy” … “If he wasn’t going to do his mother”. Hmmm, well that’s certainly some scholarly talk right there. They needed a professor for this?

“I just assume somebody was playing a prank on us,” Doocy opined. “Are we supposed to think this French guy was pulling a fast one the U.S., ‘Hey, I’m going to say it’s a woman but it’s really going to be a guy. And they’re not going to be able to figure it out for a really long time.’”

“I really doubt it,” Berenson comforted Doocy. “This was not a tongue-in-cheek gift. This was a real serious business. He loved the United States, he loved American liberty.”

“Is it possible the Statue of Liberty transcends both masculinity and femininity?” co-host Anna Kooiman wondered. “That it’s just a symbol of liberty?”

“I think there’s no question she’s a woman,” Berenson replied. “But she’s very powerful woman.”

“There’s no question that she’s a tough lady,” he added. “She’s a lady.”

There just isn’t enough facepalm. Fox News is a symptom. Going by the symptom, uStates is halfway down the drain. In related news, New low: Gallup poll says only 52% are ‘extremely proud’ to be Americans. What a surprise. :eyeroll:

Catheter Cops.

Urinary catheter (Photo: drawdrawdraw, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Urinary catheter (Photo: drawdrawdraw, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

South Dakota. I am so not surprised. SD cops aren’t exactly a nice bunch of people, and they have the bad habit of stopping anyone with a Rez license plate, or being suspiciously brown looking. In keeping with that, rather than looking to be good human beings, they’ve gone with a threat, one they are happy to carry out. Anyone who will be traveling in my part of the world, you might want to go around SD.

Police in South Dakota are collecting urine samples from uncooperative suspects through the use of force and catheters, a procedure the state’s top prosecutor says is legal but is criticized by others as unnecessarily invasive and a potential constitutional violation.

The practice isn’t new, according to attorneys, but it’s been brought to light in a recent case in Pierre. An attorney for a man charged with felony drug ingestion is asking a judge to throw out evidence from an involuntary urine sample, saying it violated his client’s constitutional rights.

[…]

“Sticking a needle in your arm is very intrusive – I can’t imagine anything more intrusive than this,” said Ryan Kolbeck, a Sioux Falls lawyer and president of the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

It’s unclear how widespread the practice of forced catheterization is in South Dakota. Attorney General Marty Jackley said in an interview that the practice is permitted with a signed court order under state law, and he cited several  cases that supported the legality of the practice.

The attorney general said law enforcement would prefer not to collect urine samples by force, but that ultimately it’s up to suspects if they don’t want to cooperate.

“I don’t think anyone wants to go through that methodology,” Jackley said.

Police always take the person to a hospital if they are going to take a forced urine sample, said Tim Whalen, a Lake Andes attorney who has represented a couple of clients who have had urine samples taken without permission. Health care workers at the Wagner and Platte hospitals conduct the procedure on a regular basis, he said.

“They don’t anesthetize them,” Whalen said. “There’s a lot of screaming and hollering.”

Christ. Yeah, nothing wrong with this at all. Nope.

Kolbeck said he doesn’t know what state law would allow authorities to use forced catheterization. It’s an extreme measure that shouldn’t be used in routine cases such as drunken driving or drug ingestion, he said. Most disturbing, he said, is the fact that it could be happening to women.

“They want someone’s urine that bad?,” Kolbeck said.

The Pierre Police Department declined to comment and deferred all questions to the Hughes County State’s Attorney office. Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner declined to comment on the case or the practice of forced catheterization.

Pam Hein, a defense attorney in Lake Andes, said the practice of forcing catheters into suspects’ urethras “has been going on for years.”

Hein has seen the issue from both perspectives. She’s served as Charles Mix County State’s Attorney and Bennett County State’s Attorney.

Often an officer will have suspicion of drug use, request the warrant for testing and get the test before any reports on a drug violation charge lands on a prosecutor’s desk.

“Do I think that it’s being abused? Yeah, I do,” Hein said.

Usually it doesn’t come to force, though, Hein said. The threat alone is enough. Officers can hold defendants in a room, sometimes for hours, she said, and then tell them they can offer the urine test voluntarily or face a warrant that would allow the officer to take it by force.

“Most of the time, when they threaten them with catheterization, they said, ‘That’s OK, you can have it,’” Hein said.

I am officially out of words. Argus Leader has the full story.

Shameful Camps.

custercamp

I have, at best, been vaguely aware of Fort Abraham, having gone past it often enough. That vague awareness has now been shattered, and not in a good way.

Fort Abraham State Park in North Dakota offers a Saturday morning kids’ program called “Becoming a Soldier of Fort Abraham Lincoln”. The free program states that “children will learn about soldier life at Fort Abraham Lincoln and what it takes to be part of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.”

Fort Abraham is located just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, home of Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).

The program, which runs from late May to early September, says it will “introduce kids to military life on the Dakota frontier as a solider living at Fort Abraham Lincoln in 1875.” Kids will also take the ‘official oath of enlistment’ into the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

[…]

Custer’s surprise attack happened at dawn. He ordered his men to destroy “everything of value to the Indians,” and in a few hours over 100 Cheyenne’s had been killed including Black Kettle, his wife, and over 800 horses. Custer also took over 50 women and children into captivity.

While originally labelled as a “Battle” the slaughter at Washita River was later called a “massacre of innocent Indians” by the Indian Bureau.

[…]

In 1890, a blood thirsty and revenge driven 7th Calvary rounded up a peaceful band of Lakota, primarily Ghost Dancers, under Chief Big Foot and slaughtered over 300 women, men, and children known as the Wounded Knee massacre.

It is incomprehensible that the Fort Abraham State Park would find it appropriate to encourage children to find out what it takes to be a part of a legacy soaked in genocide.

I agree, it’s incomprehensible. When there’s a tacit refusal to teach children actual history, warts and all, they can hardly be blamed for developing untruthful and biased views. (There was a recent discussion about Custer here.) It’s not surprising that white attitudes towards indigenous people remains so negative when this whitewashing is taking place in the heart of Indian country. It’s sad and burdensome to see that lying about Custer is still so very important to some people. “History comes to life”. Yes, a very whitewashed, colonial version, which celebrates the largest mass murder in U.S. history, the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

https://youtu.be/v68KVexu628

Full Story at Last Real Indians.

Moving on to a Christian camp in Arkansas called Camp War Eagle. You already know it’s bad from the name alone. You just don’t know how bad. Yet.

[Read more…]

The Pulpit Stomp, O Those Filthy Sodomites!

Pastor Steven Anderson (Screenshot/YouTube)

Pastor Steven Anderson (Screenshot/YouTube)

After the June 12 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Anderson posted a video in which he said there are “50 less pedophiles” in the world. Forty-nine people were killed in the mass shooting at the gay nightclub.

Anderson has been reaping the consequences of his words, and he is not happy about it.

“It’s war. You know what the filthy sodomites have done toward our church and us, and our friends and our fellow pastors that actually have the guts to say what needs to be said? Here’s what they’ve done in the last few weeks,” he told his congregation. “They got our PayPal account shut down so that we can’t take anymore online donations. We set up with another company, GivLet, they got that shut down. Qgiv, they got that shut down. BitPay, they got that shut down. They shut down our iTunes podcast. They shut down Brother Jimenez’s PayPal account. They shut down Brother Romero’s PayPal account… The landlord of Pastor Jimenez is saying, ‘hey we’re not going to renew your lease.’”

[…]

Anderson was clearly angry that these words have come back to haunt them.

“I mean these people are dedicated,” he said, about LGBT rights activists. “These people are researching, they’re finding out where we bank, they’re finding out who we do business with. They’re trying to get us shut down on all fronts, and you know what, let me tell you something, I’m sick of it.”

He then jumped up on his podium and started pointing at the audience.

“And you know what, if you’re not gonna back us up then get out of here, we don’t need your help,” he said, before launching into an invective-filled rant calling LGBT people “dogs.”

I guess that whole “reaping the whirlwind” business isn’t okay if it’s aimed at them. Full Story Here.

GOP: Guns, God, and Surveillance.

http://www.advocate.com/politics/2016/6/20/not-even-orlando-could-get-senate-act-guns

http://www.advocate.com/politics/2016/6/20/not-even-orlando-could-get-senate-act-guns

After many of them sent “thoughts and prayers” toward the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando last week, Senate Republicans cast enough votes against a group of gun safety bills on Monday — including two proposals from within their own party — to prevent them from moving forward.

The move, while perhaps not surprising, still angered many Twitter users who supported the measures, which included expanded background checks and a ban on gun sales to individuals on terrorism watch lists.

Tweets

There’s more at Raw Story.

In the meantime, the GOP has made clear what they do think will help: more surveillance. Yep, let’s erode the rights of citizens a bit more, it will be okay!

enate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a vote late on Monday to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to use a secretive surveillance order without a warrant to include email metadata and some browsing history information.

The move, made via an amendment to a criminal justice appropriations bill, is an effort by Senate Republicans to respond to last week’s mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub after a series of measures to restrict guns offered by both parties failed on Monday.

“In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement.

The bill is also supported by Republican Senators John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions and Richard Burr, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Privacy advocates denounced the effort, saying it seeks to exploit a mass shooting in order to expand the government’s digital spying powers.

[…]

The amendment would broaden the FBI’s authority to use so-called National Security Letters to include electronic communications transaction records such as time stamps of emails and the emails’ senders and recipients.

[…]

The amendment filed Monday would also make permanent a provision of the USA Patriot Act that allows the intelligence community to conduct surveillance on “lone wolf” suspects who do not have confirmed ties to a foreign terrorist group. That provision, which the Justice Department said last year had never been used, is currently set to expire in December 2019.

Full story here.

The Face of A GOP Convention.

Protesters clash with Chicago police after grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths in December 2014. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Protesters clash with Chicago police after grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths in December 2014. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

For security reasons, Cleveland spokesman Dan Williams said he can’t get into the details of what the city has bought or borrowed, and if all goes well during the convention, we will likely never see much of it. The Cleveland police did not respond to a request for comment. They will oversee security in much of the “event zone” where rallies, marches and other protests are allowed to take place.

The thing about the LRAD, and other devices like it, is that more and more cities have them. And things haven’t always gone smoothly — which is what has activists, civil liberties groups and others in Cleveland concerned.

Much like the federal programs that many Americans only learned of after they saw images of police in tank-like vehicles trying to quell protests and riots in Ferguson, Mo., those $50 million national special security event grants are changing the way America’s cities are policed. They have supplied the funds for cities across the country to obtain devices that some have described as dangerous — or, at the very least, unsuitable for urban settings.

[Read more…]

Roots of Orlando Massacre Run Deep.

seminole-war-in-everglades

The tragedy that occurred in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12 did not begin a year ago, or a decade ago. Its historical roots go back almost 200 years, to the tragedies that occurred in the swamps of Florida, when the U.S. Army forcibly removed the Indigenous Peoples from the area.

Today, America is indisputably a nation of civilian gun owners, and a major reason for that is those very Seminole Wars. The NRA estimates there are 300 million guns in the hands of everyday citizens, and the argument that often justifies that extraordinary number is the “right to bear arms” contained in the Bill of Rights.

Pamela Haag, author of The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture disputes that. She writes, “We became a gun culture not because the gun was symbolically intrinsic to Americans or special to our identity, or because the gun was something exceptional in our culture, but precisely because it was not… It was like a buckle or a pin, an unexceptional object of commerce.”

In 1837, during the very early days of the transition from the art of gunsmithing to the mass production of firearms, Samuel Colt advertised his “Patent Repeating Rifle” in the New York Courier and Enquirer, with little result. The average citizen did not need multi-firing arms and was not willing to pay extra for them, according to a gun expert quoted by Haag.

Then Colt decided to hawk the repeaters to the U.S. military. Having failed to gain the support of the head of the Army’s Ordinance Department, he took his product directly to field officers. Specifically, to officers engaged in the Seminole Wars in the Florida Everglades.

A precursor to excess military equipment being dumped into cops shops all over uStates, and amped up departments to justify said military equipment.

One Col. William S. Harney, sent by President Andrew Jackson to Florida to wrest control of the land from the Seminoles, was losing, in part because the Seminoles had observed that the soldiers were defenseless when they were reloading their single-shot weapons. In 1835, the Seminoles defeated the U.S. Army in what was one of the military’s biggest defeats in the Indian Wars. The Dade Battle left more than 100 Army troops on the battlefield; reportedly only three of the force survived.

Colt himself delivered 500 rifles and a few pistols to Harney in St. Augustine in 1838. Harney defeated the Seminoles, writing later, “I honestly believe that but for these arms, the Indians would now be luxuriating in the everglades of Florida,” instead of having been forced marched to Oklahoma.

The Second Seminole War was fought near what are now the cities of Tampa, Ocala and Bushnell in Central Florida. Ocala and Bushnell are just north of Orlando.

Colt’s new invention – the repeating rifle – won Andrew Jackson’s bloody war against the Indians in Florida.

[…]

That means several million people have paid from $400 to $2,500 to own a kind of rifle – a repeater rifle – that has been linked to tragedy for almost 200 years in U.S. history.

We’ve ceased to be a blood-soaked nation. We’re a nation with blood overflowing. It has to stop.

Full article at ICTMN.

Doubling Down on that Christian Love…

Pastor Roger Jimenez (Photo: Screen capture)

Pastor Roger Jimenez (Photo: Screen capture)

The Sacramento, California pastor of Verity Baptist Church went viral yesterday, after news of his sermon after the Orlando shooting spread.

“As a Christian, we shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites. Let me go ahead and start right there. As a Christian, we shouldn’t be sad or upset,” Roger Jimenez said in his sermon.

YouTube has since removed the video of the sermon deeming it “hate speech,” but Pastor Jimenez is doubling down on his message, according to an interview with ABC10 News.

[…]

He wants people to understand, however, that his comments are not encouraging people to kill LGBT people.

“I’m not calling people to arms. And I’m not telling people they should go do this… What I’m saying is that if the government followed the laws of God, that’s what they would be doing. And if the government did that, I’d be fine with that,” Jimenez said.

“I would be fine,” he said if the government was the one who sentenced LGBT people to die. “I would be totally okay with that, if the government did that. That’s what they would do, if we lived in a righteous nation.”

The full story is here. Raw Story also has a summary of 7 Christian leaders also expressing the depth of their Christian love.

Once again, I have to ask, where are all you progressive Christians? What are doing, to police your own? You don’t get to say “oh, those people aren’t mine!” Yes, they are. They believe in the same god you do, the same holy book you do, the same tenets you do. When are there going to be legions of Christians denouncing these evil clowns?

For all those steeped in this smug, judgmental hatred, one of your favourite things is this, yes?: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13, out of your very own book of stories. You know one person who did that? Edward Sotomayor, Jr. A 34 year old man, out for a night of fun with his boyfriend. Edward put his boyfriend in front of him, and pushed him out the door, saving his life, as he was cut down by bullets. There’s love. No greater love, according to you christian lot.

Here is the face of love, no greater love than his:

Edward Sotomayor, Jr.

Edward Sotomayor, Jr.

Look well, all you Christians, at a person you condemn, a person you’re happy is dead, a person who was more of ‘Christian’ than any of you could be in 3 lifetimes. Edward wasn’t alone, either. The other people there were also most concerned with their loved ones, and all you have hate. Is it now okay for all of us who are utterly disgusted by your revelry in death to start talking about how good and righteous it would be to round up all Christians, and have the government sanction them being shot in the head? No? Have you asked yourselves why not?

No One Is Safe.

lat-mannequin3-lh-la0039095476-20160613

ChadMichael Morrisette’s art installation “No One Is Safe.” (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Each victim has a different face.

It’s a small, but vital, detail in ChadMichael Morrisette’s art installation, “No One Is Safe,” a response to Sunday’s deadly mass-shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Morrisette spent four hours Sunday placing 50 distinct mannequins on the roof of his home near the intersection of Fountain and Fairfax avenues in West Hollywood, a visceral representation of the 50 people, the gunman among them, slain in Orlando.

“I’m not celebrating today. I’m not going to Pride,” Morrisette texted his boyfriend, after waking Sunday morning, his 36th birthday, and watching the reported death toll from the tragedy rise. “Instead, I started working.”

It took the visual artist, who also operates his own business as a brand consultant, four hours to put together the roof display, with the help of a few friends, who Morrisette called “loving enough to come and celebrate that way.”

The process was intense, even beyond the effort needed to get the mannequins in position.

“It was emotional stepping over the bodies, laying them out,” Morrisette said, each time reminded of what those on-site at the crime scene must have experienced.

The faces weren’t the only things that differentiated these mannequins from the rest in Morrisette’s collection.

While the mannequins used in Morrisette’s business are pristine, the models that found their way to his roof were flawed, not yet receiving the care needed to patch their missing eyes or fingers.

“Some have damage you can’t see from a distance. Pulling them from a pile of broken bodies, it began to make it a little bit more real,” Morrisette quietly explained. “It wasn’t beauty being represented. It was shattered and broken.”

Mannequins from ChadMichael Morrisette's art installation "No One Is Safe." (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Mannequins from ChadMichael Morrisette’s art installation “No One Is Safe.” (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Mannequins from ChadMichael Morrisette's art installation "No One Is Safe." (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Mannequins from ChadMichael Morrisette’s art installation “No One Is Safe.” (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Response to the display has been immediate and powerful. Morrisette admits hiding behind his privacy hedge to watch people’s faces as they take in the message being communicated by his work.

“People are moved. They stop and get out of their vehicles. They do U-turns. One person just bowed to me as they walked by, out of respect,” Morrisette said. “Stopped cars sit at the light and have a moment to reflect, and those are the faces I like to watch. That’s when I know I’ve actually caused someone to think about something.”

Artist ChadMichael Morrisette sits on the roof of his West Hollywood home where he has placed 50 mannequins, as a way of dealing with his grief and expressing his feelings over the mass killing in Orlando. (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Artist ChadMichael Morrisette sits on the roof of his West Hollywood home where he has placed 50 mannequins, as a way of dealing with his grief and expressing his feelings over the mass killing in Orlando. (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times)

Full Story Here. Hat tip to Morgan.

A bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?

threestooges-800x430“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay? And then I’m sure it’s also gonna be used to push an agenda against so-called “hate speech.” So Bible-believing Christian preachers who preach what the Bible actually says about homosexuality — that it’s vile, that it’s disgusting, that they’re reprobates — you know, we’re gonna be blamed. Like, “It’s all extremism! It’s not just the Muslims, it’s the Christians!” I’m sure that that’s coming. I’m sure that people are gonna start attacking, you know, Bible-believing Christians now, because of what this guy did.I’m not sad about it, I’m not gonna cry about it. Because these 50 people in a gay bar that got shot up, they were gonna die of AIDS, and syphilis, and whatever else. They were all gonna die early, anyway, because homosexuals have a 20-year shorter life-span than normal people, anyway.”
— Steven Anderson, preacher at Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, AZ in response to the slaughter in Orlando.

I felt like I had been dipped in sewage just reading that, and dipped again posting it. If Steven Anderson wants to talk disgusting, I suggest he get in front of a mirror. It was just a short while ago that I brought up in a thread here that a lot of people (Americans in particular) still believe in the gay man equals pedophile canard. And there it is, in neon arrogance, the self-righteous judgment smug only Christians can work up into such a fine froth. There were women who died in Orlando. There were hetero people who died in Orlando. There were queer people who died in Orlando. Some of them were parents. All of them were loved. But here’s the same old Christian crap of old, disease riddled predators. Naturally, the only thing Anderson is truly concerned about is whether or not people might start looking at him sideways, possibly accusing him of hate speech. Oh, and of course, us lefty pinko commie rainbow warriors might take his bible away. Disgust, thy name is Steven Anderson, and all those like you.

Radical right-wing Christians must recognize the part their anti-gay rhetoric, legislation, hate speech and repeated attacks on the LGBT community played in the slaughter at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Yes, the terrorist homophobe who reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIL before he repeatedly pulled the trigger deserves all our anger and outrage. We will hear plenty about his radicalized religious beliefs in the coming days, but that is likely all the religious analysis we will hear in the media. But, we cannot let religious ideologues in the far-right Christian camp off the hook. Steven Anderson is not an anomaly. America has been painstakingly codifying beliefs he expressed into law. Polished politicians blunt the edges of Anderson’s words though the language of legislation but the hate and fear remains.

They will claim the assertion they have any role in the massacre as an attack on their religion – much like the consistent and well-orchestrated “war on Christmas” we heathens rage every year. They will tell you that their prayers are enough to overcome this act of terror. They will tell you Jesus wants you to arm yourself. “Get your guns before Obama takes them.” They will tell you this is about radicalized Islamist terrorists. They will whistle away the notion that guns or gays had anything to do with this tragedy.

And here is a major problem. Along with people busily straight-splaining, the rest are focusing on that terrible Muslim problem, because that’s the only terrorism that counts, and this was oh-so-definitely Islam based (even though it wasn’t), but you have a lot of Christians bristling over the idea that they might have had anything to do with this. Abrahamaic based religions all have the same root, and they have the same deep-rooted bigotry. How that bigotry is expressed isn’t the important bit – it’s why this expression is being allowed in the first place, why so many people who don’t have a personal stake in the current Christian war on all things queer, sit idly by, maybe let a small tsk escape their lip, shake their head, and decide to do nothing at all. Here in the U.S. open bigotry is being turned into law. People act like politicians spilling the most awful, bigoted bile is simply entertainment, yet another bad reality show.

The multitude of ways right-wing Christians discriminate against and kill – directly or indirectly – LGBT people can be incredibly nuanced.

[…]

Around the country LGBT couples are fighting for the right to adopt children. HIV is criminalized around the country putting a big red X on gay men and others. Gay men – by law – cannot donate blood. Most people didn’t even know that until Orlando. Federally funded abstinence-only programs populate our public schools masquerading as sexual education. What the actually do is preach sexual purity until heterosexual marriage, and they stigmatize girls and LGBT kids. How about the Great Bathroom Panic of 2016? It isn’t secular humanists behind these laws and programs; it is right-wing Christians serving in state and national office.

What message is all of this sending to our LGBT citizens? That you are less than, you are poison, your blood is tainted even if it’s not, you are after our children, you cannot love who you love. The message coming from the far right is “We Hate You”. Donald Trump gloat-tweets, Paul Ryan doesn’t mention guns or gays in his statement – just Islamic terrorists. The GOP’s (political party of choice for the far right Christian camp) presumptive presidential nominee and the US Speaker of the House deny any connection between the slaughter at Pulse and anti-gay hate crime.

The rest of Andy Kopsa’s excellent article is here.

Republican Erasure of LGBTQ People.

Marco Rubio wants to share his prayers, but not his civil rights, with LGBTQ people. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Marco Rubio wants to share his prayers, but not his civil rights, with LGBTQ people.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republicans have quick enough off the mark to offer up assorted prayers in the wake of the Orlando massacre, but they are being very careful not to acknowledge that these were and are LGBTQ people. The fact that a majority of them were people of colour is notably absent as well.

Marco Rubio tweeted: “Our prayers are with those injured and killed early this morning in horrifying act of terror in Orlando.

Rubio is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage and would like to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling affirming gay people’s constitutional right to wed. Worse, when Rubio served as Florida’s House majority leader, the state’s foster care system was in a crisis: Due to a severe lack of foster parents, children were essentially being imprisoned in inhumane conditions. One possible solution would be to lift Florida’s ban on allowing gay people to foster children. Rubio rejected the idea. “Some of these kids are the most disadvantaged in the state,” he explained. “They shouldn’t be forced to be part of a social experiment.”

Then there’s Mike Huckabee, who tweeted: “Please join Janet and me in praying for the victims of the Orlando attack and their families.

But if it were up to Huckabee, gay people would not be legally permitted to start their own families. Huckabee staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, civil unions, and gay adoption. […] At various points in his career, Huckabee has also said that AIDS patients should be quarantined; that homosexuality is a “lifestyle” similar to drinking alcohol; and that legalizing same-sex marriage is analogous to legalizing incest and drug use. When the Supreme Court invalidated a federal same-sex marriage ban, Huckabee tweeted: “Jesus wept.”

There are many more examples of aggressively anti-gay politicians  tweeting about the Pulse shooting, but one common thread ties them together: None of them mention that the shooting targeted, or even involved, the LGBTQ community. Indeed, not a single congressional Republican who tweeted about the shooting mentioned LGBTQ people. That stands in stark contrast to President Barack Obama’s clear assertion that “shooter targeted a nightclub” where “lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people … came together to be with friends, to dance, sing, and live,” and “to raise awareness and speak their minds and advocate for their civil rights.”

Republicans’ silence is actually quite apt. As a party, after all, the GOP has spent decades attempting to degrade sexual minorities and even drive them out of public life. It is altogether fitting, then, that conservative politicians are erasing LGBTQ people from their own tragedy. The gesture of support, I suppose, is basically benevolent. But let’s be clear about this: The 50 victims of Orlando’s LGBTQ nightclub massacre died as full and equal citizens under the law in spite of the Republican party’s best efforts to relegate them to second-class citizenship.

Full Article at Slate.

And the hate flows on…

Vigil in Santiago, Chile.

Vigil in Santiago, Chile.

In the midst of an outpouring of solidarity, love, and shared grief around the world over the loss of so many lives in Orlando, Florida, there runs a river of poisonous hate through the United States. Images and hate-filled tweets will be behind the fold, because no one should have to see those unless they choose to do so. First up, and I know this will surprise no one at all, the Westboro clan had to jump right in, with an attempt to be as crass and disgusting as possible. I’d say they succeeded, but what makes me sick is the sense of glee they give off. Second is the story of a Florida Imam who offered condolences and praise for emergency workers was met with a great deal of bigotry and hate.

Trigger Warning: extreme hate, bigotry, and sheer ugliness behind the fold.

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