In a country that doesn't (officially) recognize state-sponsored religion, whose Constitution says "all men are created equal," where bigotry and bias are abhorred — why do otherwise intelligent and sensitive people feel they can engage in hate speech against gay people?

Despite tenets such as [More...]



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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"…The Dignity of All People"

Coretta Scott King's passing today strikes anyone who acknowledges the heroic work she did on behalf of justice and equality in this country. In his State of the Union speech today, the (p)resident acknowledged her spirit and steadfastness, saying:

"Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream."

Many people don't know King was also a staunch supporter of rights and equality for gay people, as well. Today for the first time, Judy Shephard, whose son Matthew was killed in 1998 in an anti-gay hate crime, released this note she received from King the day after Matthew died.

October 13, 1998

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Shepard,

I was stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the killing of your beloved son, Matthew Shepard. On behalf of Dexter Scott King, The King Center and the King Center Family, I send our heartfelt condolences, our love and prayers for your family in your hour of bereavement.

Clearly, your Matthew was a fine young man, a kind and open-hearted person who believed in human rights and the dignity of all people. The outpouring of sympathy from his many friends, as well as his family, is a testament that he was a caring and much-loved human being, and
his loss diminishes us all.

The epidemic brutality that took your son’s life and has caused so much pain to your family must be confronted and stopped. Americans of conscience must work a lot harder to eliminate this sick culture of violence that threatens even our best and brightest.

Matthew Shepard will be sorely missed. But we will be praying your family soon be unburdened by the knowledge that his beautiful spirit will live on in the hearts of all of those he touched.


Coretta Scott King

Fun With Forms

I love the American Family Association's on-line forms!

Here is what they wanted me to send today:

Dear Governors Romney, Douglas, and Doyle,

I am deeply troubled and concerned over the actions of Judge Edward Cashman, Judge Alan Bates and Judge Suzanne Delvecchio in your respective states. Their actions indicate that they care more about pity for the offender than justice for the victim.

I strongly urge you to address the particular situation in your respective states to make sure that justice is done in each of these cases. Surely you don’t want your state to get the reputation as being a protector of child molesters.

And here is what I sent:

Subject: Catholic Priests Must Be Stopped from Sexually Molesting Our Children!

Dear Governors Romney, Douglas, and Doyle,

I am deeply troubled and concerned about the actions of judges in your respective states. Their actions indicate they care more about pity for the offender than justice for victims.

Specifically, I strongly urge you to address the particular situation in your respective states to make sure justice is done in cases where Catholic priests have sexually abused children. Surely you don’t want your state to get the reputation as being a protector of Christian child molesters.

As a footnote, if anyone thinks this degrades the level of discourse, you should note the AFA addresses the civil servants to whom they want these e-mails sent as "Governors of Molesters."

Is it necessary to remind everyone I am as Christian as anyone? I just abhor using religion to exercise false power in a very un-Christian way. The AFA is a bunch of Nazis.

Christian Group Says NBC Pulling A Show With Low Ratings Indicates The Power Of Their Pressure; Will & Grace Say Otherwise

Oh, please!

The American Family Association, the fanatical anti-gay group that claims to be the largest Christian, "pro-family" group in the nation (but is actually a hateful fringe group that bilks lamb-eyed conservatives out of money in the name of religious fervor), is taking credit for NBC's decision to put the show "Book of Daniel" on hiatus. Actually, NBC has not said they plan to cancel the show at all — that's just what the group's President claims in his letter below. Exactly how Christian is it to blatantly lie?

An NBC spokeswoman said NBC is dropping the show from the schedule due to poor ratings but stopped short of saying the show is cancelled. Let's look back and see how many watered-down, family-oriented shows with Christian themes were dropped when nobody watched them, either. Was that a statement about what people thought was trash?

When you people succeed in getting NBC to cancel "Will & Grace," I'll take notice.

Because of Your Efforts, NBC Cancels 'Book of Daniel'

The Book of Daniel cancelled! Your efforts, combined with those of hundreds of thousands of other AFA Online supporters, had an impact.

NBC's decision to pull The Book of Daniel shows the power of the pocketbook. NBC didn't want to eat their economic losses. Had NBC not had to eat millions of dollars each time it aired, NBC would have kept The Book of Daniel on the air. Because of your efforts, the sponsors dropped the program. NBC then decided it didn't want to continue the fight.

Even an impassioned plea by Daniel's producer Jack Kenny could not match your participation. "Ordinarily, I would never ask anyone to do this, but the AFA and bullies like them are hard at work to try and prevent you from seeing these beautiful shows, and that is censorship — pure and simple. And that is both un-Christian and un-American," Kenny wrote. His attitude is typical in today’s society. Non-Christians telling Christians what is Christian.

People like Kenny don't want people like you to have a voice. They want to deny you the right to get involved. You are supposed to sit back and take the trash. And when you do speak up they call you names.

This shows us that we don't have to simply sit back and take the trash, but we can get involved and fight back with our pocketbooks. I want to thank the 678,394 individuals who sent emails to NBC and the thousands who called and emailed their local affiliates.

Thanks for caring enough to get involved!


"Big Daddy Don" (editor's note: added to make a point)
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Monday, January 30, 2006

With Christians Like These, Who Needs Nazis?

Do they give an award for the most evil parents in America? I think we have our winner. These people didn't deserve to have any children — much less someone as altruistic and generous of spirit as their son.

By Molly McKay, EQCA Field Director

Written for the Bay Area Reporter

January 12, 2006 — When Becki Jones, our Tulare County chapter leader called me on December 15, I couldn't believe the news. Nathan Christoffersen, the 28-year-old, sunny, bright volunteer who ran our Madera County chapter, had been found by his father that morning, dead on their front porch. According to a handout from his father entitled "What happened," Christoffersen was found "down on his knees with his head on his knees and his butt on his heels, facing away from the house."I had spoken with Christoffersen just the day before; he was happy, excited about a job interview with Planned Parenthood. He asked me for a letter of reference and a copy of the latest handout on fighting the proposed constitutional amendments aiming to eliminate domestic partnerships and marriage equality. He and I talked weekly about the challenge of getting people in the Central Valley active for LGBT rights. He told me that it was hard for him to live at home with what he described as his "homophobic parents," without a car in the outskirts of a tiny farming town. He joked about how his house was the
central organizing headquarters for those both for and against the constitutional amendments. He told me his parents were leaders of a local church and how they refused to accept that he was an out, proud gay man. According to Christoffersen, his parents repeatedly threatened to throw him out if he was ever interviewed or photographed by the media.

But Christoffersen was a positive, brave, upbeat person. He was a fantastic journalist for the online LGBT community newspaper called www.GayFresno.com, which was owned and run by our Fresno County chapter leader, Jason Scott. Christoffersen's death was shocking and didn't make any sense. Scott told me that according to Christoffersen's father, he had complained of not feeling well, having switched medications that day, but went Christmas shopping with a friend for an hour or so anyway. Scott explained that Christoffersen had been taking a variety of
antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Scott forwarded an e-mail from Christoffersen's sister stating that the coroner had found no cause of death. She simply concluded that "Nathan had been called home by God" and reported that he had already been cremated. She invited Scott to Christoffersen's funeral.

How could a 28-year-old die of "nothing" – Christoffersen's legacy deserved better than that. An inquiry to the coroner confirmed that
indeed there was no "medical finding for Nathan's death" no signs of trauma, healthy heart and vital organs. The coroner was waiting on toxicology reports. The day before the funeral, Christoffersen's obituary was published. There was no mention of his gay rights leadership, just a notation that "he played in the school band." In a total outrage, the family asked for donations in Christoffersen's name to the New Creation Ministry, a church linked with the ex-gay movement and an active proponent of the debunked "conversion therapy." This wasn't the church the family attended, this wasn't some coincidence or mistake, they were soliciting donations to an antigay organization in Christoffersen's memory.

Though we knew we'd be wading in unwelcome waters, Scott, Jones, and I committed to attending Christoffersen's funeral on December 21 to honor our colleague and friend. At the chapel, we reviewed the memorial table, which was white-washed of any mention of his civil rights leadership – nothing but a mention that "Nathan was fortunate enough to attend several Cher performances" and how he loved the musical Annie. Speaker after speaker came to the microphone to lament Christoffersen's "struggles," "demons," "conflicts" – how they "continued to pray for him and never gave up on him." Once the minister rose to give his message, the gloves came off, the words became less guarded and more explicit about just exactly what that "demon" was that Christoffersen was fighting. The minister
acknowledged Christoffersen's sensitive nature, his extraordinary singing and songwriting talents, but instead of acknowledging his gayness as part of that rare gift, he characterized his gayness as "an affliction." The minister explained how Satan was jealous of the "vulnerable, the sensitive" with talents, and how Satan "harassed" Christoffersen from an early age. He explained that Christoffersen's death was God calling him home before Satan could cause anymore torment in his life – in the air was a collective sigh of relief. I bit my lip mercilessly trying to keep myself from standing and shouting "Nathan was a proud gay man – this isn't a memorial service, this is twisting Nathan's memory to reaffirm your agenda at Nathan's expense" – the hypocrisy of their "love for Jesus" and the hatred of Christoffersen's true being was killing me.

The service finally over, Jones and I expressed our disbelief at this being "Nathan's service." I had pictured us staying and trying to have "equality" conversations with the attendees, but the knot in my stomach threatened to explode and my tears would not stop. We wanted to get the hell out of there – and we resolved to immediately go to meet with the coroner and find out what really caused Christoffersen's death.We tracked down the Madera County coroner's office down a long desolate road. The coroner had received preliminary toxicology reports that confirmed no alcohol, no street drugs, but an alarmingly high level of antidepressants and anti-anxiety prescription medications – all within the recommended dosage levels for each drug, but the coroner reported, combined and cumulatively, enough to cause his system to shut down. We blinked in disbelief. I asked him to reconfirm there were no other substances. He shook his head. We thanked him for his time and stood out in the parking lot trying to make sense of it all.

Christoffersen was one of the few people courageous and committed enough to reach out and make a difference – we don't have many people like that. He had so many plans, he had never been in love, he had just started to find his voice, he had just started on his journey to
be a great civil rights leader – how could antidepressants taken to help him survive the homophobia be the cause of his death? Searching for a way to counteract his parent's request for donations to the ex-gay movement in Christoffersen's memory, we discussed asking for donations in his name for pro-equality causes – but which one? We concluded that the best thing we could do was to share Christoffersen's story – to ask people to double their contribution of time and/or money to whatever LGBT cause they were already involved in, in his memory.

I can't end the story like this. I can't walk away from this all with me having such negative feelings about his church and his family. There has to be something that comes of Christoffersen's death. Ironically, I found the answer from Christoffersen's own words –
sifting through his articles after the funeral I found one titled "Leaving your Legacy," written on June 30, 2005:
"I've been doing a lot of reflecting on my life the past several weeks. It's been a time of soul searching for me ... thinking about the present, trying not to dwell too much on the past, but mainly looking toward the future. ... I'm eternally grateful to those older gentlemen that I met in my early years as a young gay man. I believe it was those men that instilled in me the importance of fighting for what I believe is right. Today, I'm an activist for HIV prevention as well as marriage equality. I'm not afraid to protest when we need to, and to speak out against discrimination when appropriate. If you are a member of the LGBT community and you're reading this, you may feel beaten down, you may feel like your country has turned against you, you may feel a sense of hopelessness ... that we're never going to be treated like 'them' (heterosexuals). There is hope, though. Hope and action are all we have. Many have come before us ... they have fought hard for equality, have battled prejudice and continue to promote tolerance ... all of this so that our community can have such things as gay pride, gay clubs, antidiscrimination laws, and the ongoing fight for our civil rights. They have left their legacy, and I plan to leave mine."

You did, Nathan. Thank you for your tremendous spirit, your tenacity and your sense of humor. Where there is hope and action there are limitless possibilities.

Thanks Nathan, that lesson is the best legacy of all – you will be missed in body and riding with us in the wind in spirit.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Null Set

Where are all the hot, Republican gay men?

Joe from the blog "Joe. My. God." has applied mathematical set theory to figure out that queer-y. He certainly has done his homework.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Real Offense

The National Black Justice Coalition has both balls and moral
authority -- demonstrated brilliantly by this ad they will be
sponsoring in black newspapers in Baltimore and Washington and in Roll
Call, the Congressional newspaper.

Before God?</bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></color></fontfamily></bold><fontfamily><param>Arial</param>

<color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>Before 1967, laws would not allow
Clarence Thomas, a black man, to marry his wife Virginia, a white
woman. Opponents of interracial marriage cited the Bible to justify
this discrimination.</color>

<color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>In 2006, laws do not allow two men
or two women to marry each other. Opponents of same-sex marriage cite
the Bible to justify this discrimination. </color>

Religion To Justify Discrimination Is The Real Offense Before God.</bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></color><bigger><bigger><bigger><bigger><bigger><bigger>

1967, the Supreme Court ruled in
</color><italic><color><param>4E4E,3F3F,3737</param>Loving v.
Virginia</color></italic><color><param>6666,3333,0000</param> that
laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional.</color>

<color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>We wonder: <bold>If Clarence
Thomas had been on the Court in 1967, how would he have voted?</bold></color><bold>

</bold><color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>We wonder: <bold>If Samuel
Alito had been on the Court in 1967, how would he have voted?</bold></color><bold>

</bold><color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>Today, America is faced
with the challenge of how to treat a group of its citizens fairly.
We've been down this road before. We can't allow powerful people to
use religion to justify their bigotry. It wasn't right for African
Americans, and it's not right for gays and lesbians.</color>

<color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>In America, the framers of our
Constitution created a separation of church and state for a good
reason: to protect minorities.</color>

<color><param>6666,3333,0000</param>Don't turn back the clock. Let's
protect our Constitution.</color></fontfamily>

Hat tip to Pam's House Blend.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kindred Spirit

Just found this blog. He does a much better job of writing regularly
than I do. I don't know anything about the owner, but judging from what
I read, I've met the man I should marry.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Post: Pat Robertson Is Pathetic

Post Editorial: Pat Robertson is a "Pathetic... Religious
Extremist"</bigger></bigger></bigger></fontfamily></bold><fontfamily><param>Arial</param><bigger><bigger><bigger> </bigger></bigger></bigger>

Christian television evangelist Pat Robertson and the president of
Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have a well-established affinity for the
outrageous. This time their mutual embrace of indecency places them in
a category all to themselves. As Ariel Sharon lies hospitalized and
critically incapacitated by a massive stroke, Mr. Robertson, one of
America's best-known religious extremists, and his Iranian counterpart
-- no slouch when it comes to religious demagoguery -- suggested that
Israel's prime minister had it coming. Speaking on his TV show, "The
700 Club," on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Mr. Robertson said
the Bible "makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who
'divide my land.' "....

Pat Robertson and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are probably beyond the point
where they can be reached by embarrassment or shame. But they are not
beyond the kind of strong condemnation that they have richly earned.
We need not recite the records of contemptible remarks made by both
men in the past. There is little reason to believe that either will
cease his disgraceful behavior. Mr. Ahmadinejad, the president of a
country with a lamentable human rights record and a nuclear program,
is dangerous, where Mr. Robertson is only pathetic.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Bail for being charged with soliciting sex: $500.

A citation for lewdness: $2,500.

Exposing another hypocrite who bashes gay people in the name of
religion while seeking gay sex on the down-low: PRICELESS.

Pastor Arrested In OKC On Lewdness Charge</bigger></bigger></bigger></fontfamily></bold><fontfamily><param>Arial</param><bigger><bigger><bigger>


<bold>OKLAHOMA CITY -- </bold>An executive committee member of the
Southern Baptist Convention was arrested on a lewdness charge for
propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said.

Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, was booked
into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night on a misdemeanor charge of
offering to engage in an act of lewdness, police Capt. Jeffrey Becker
said. Latham was released on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon.

Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, asked the officer to
join him in his hotel room for oral sex. Latham was arrested and his
2005 Mercedes automobile was impounded, Becker said.

Calls to Latham at his church were not immediately returned Wednesday.

When he left jail, he told Oklahoma City television station KFOR:

"I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police."

The arrest took place in the parking lot of the Habana Inn, which is
in an area where the public has complained about male prostitutes
flagging down cars, Becker said. The plainclothes officers was
investigating these complaints.

The lewdness charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a
$2,500 fine.

Latham is one of four Southern Baptist Convention executive committee
members from Oklahoma.

He spoke out last year against a measure, ultimately approved by
voters, to expand tribal gaming.

He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage and in support of a
Southern Baptist Convention directive urging its 42,000 churches to
befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can
become heterosexual "if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and
reject their 'sinful, destructive lifestyle."'

The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation's largest Protestant


No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at the United Church of Christ.


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