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The new attack on same-sex families is nasty and rude . . . but will still fail

By: Monday March 23, 2015 8:28 pm

The groups backing up  Lopez, Stefanowicz, Warwick, etc. don’t provide homes. They take away homes. They don’t offer solutions. Instead they trot  out pretty boxes of perfect family lives to the American people. Unwrap those boxes and you will find an emptiness with an echo as loud as the one in their chests, where their hearts, souls and integrity should be.

Already in 2015, we have seen surreptitious, but nonetheless, vulgar attacks on same-sex families.

Earlier this year, anti-gay groups and spokespeople rallied behind four individuals who filed an amicus brief to the federal courts speaking against marriage equality. What was different about this brief was that these four individuals are adults who were allegedly raised in same-sex households.

According to Zack Ford from Think Progress:

All four are in the spotlight now for their amicus briefs urging federal courts to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage. In these briefs, they explain how having a gay parent scarred them for life. They missed out on a “vital dual-gender influence,” they argue, and allowing same-sex marriage will similarly harm other children because “the gay community” doesn’t put children first, instead using them as “props to be publicly displayed.” In turn, “children lose forever their rights to know and be raised by their married biological father and mother.”

In addition to their briefs — which they are expected to replicate for consideration by the Supreme Court — their own additional writing is attracting a lot of attention. One of the four, Katy Faust, published a piece at conservative outlet Public Discourse . . . asking the Supreme Court to consider her experience. It has been shared about 150,000 times and even crashed the site due to its traffic. Brittany Newmark Klein, writing under a pen-name, followed suit at The Federalist.

Ford also pointed out that the four (Robert Oscar Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz, Brittany Newmark Klein, and Katy Faust) are known for either their anti-gay rhetoric or aligning themselves with anti-gay groups over the years (Editor’s note – click on the above links to read past statements and posts about Lopez and Stefanowicz).

As if that isn’t enough, a “child’s right activist” by the name of Heather Barwick published a column this month presumptuously called  Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting. In this piece, which was  published by The Federalist (the same publication which published Klein’s piece), Barwick claimed that she was raised in a lesbian household, and thus was deprived the love of a father:

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

Together these five, as if by coincidence, repeat anti-gay dogma that same-sex households raising children cause harm because they allegedly deprive children of the “traditional mother and father dynamic.”

And they also omit or ignore the mitigating factors which led to their alleged “deprived upbringings,” such as the Barwick’s father abandoning her or Stefanowicz’s father being an all-around negative individual which was independent of his sexual orientation.

Bryan Fischer’s claim about gay sex makes him a laughing stock

By: Thursday March 19, 2015 8:11 pm

Bryan Fischer

According to Right Wing Watch, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer made an interesting statement on his radio show:

Bryan Fischer asserts that “43% of homosexuals admit that they’ve had more than 500 sexual partners in one lifetime.” (Editor’s note – if you click on the link, Fischer says this at 7:14)

Of course Fischer doesn’t say where he got this statistic from, but I am guessing that he got it from the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity among Men and Women, which was published by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg in the late 1970s. (Editor’s note – Pan down to Distortion – Homosexuals have a lot of sex partners and their relationships do not last Part 1 in this link)

The two wrote the book from a study they took regarding gay white men in the city of San Francisco earlier that decade. This being the case, certainly the statistic cited by Fischer can’t be used to generalize about all gay men. Bell and Weinberg even said the following in Homosexualities:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.

It’s not by accident that Fischer didn’t reveal his source. But what gets me is his phraseology:

  “43 percent of homosexuals admit that they’ve had more than 500 sexual partners in one lifetime.”


There is something seriously wrong with that phrase. In a lifetime? Wouldn’t that mean you have lived your entire life, died, and then was buried?

So how in the hell can you tell anyone how many alleged sexual partners you had?

Can Bryan Fischer raise people from the dead? And if so, isn’t it creepy that possibly the first question he would ask that person he brought back to life is not about Heaven or Hell or about angels, but about their sexual behavior before they died?

Naturally, I am speaking strictly tongue-in-cheek here but I think you get the gist.

It’s always hilarious how foolish how some folks look when they sink to the depths of homophobia. And the fact that they don’t even realize it only make their idiocy much more enjoyable.

Fox News personality Todd Starnes ignores journalism ethics to create false ‘war on Christians’ narrative

By: Monday February 23, 2015 9:43 pm

Todd Starnes

Faced with the reality that they may actually lose the fight against marriage equality, anti-gay groups, as they are skilled at doing, are switching tactics to fight gay equality.

After decades of claiming that homosexuality is a public health menace which encompasses pedophilia, disease, and all-around negative behavior, they are suddenly shifting the conversation to the idea that Christians and evangelicals like themselves are now seeing their rights infringed upon by a world which is becoming more lgbt-inclusive.

Instead of relying on information such as FBI statistics, because such statistics contradict their claims, anti-gay groups are relying on anecdotes and FOAF (friend of a friend) stories which are for the most part are conjured up by either themselves or members of the media friendly to their point of view.

Such as Fox News personality Todd Starnes.

Since starting with Fox News a few years back, Starnes, a conservative author, commentator, and author,  has made a name for himself by supposedly uncovering evidence of anti-Christian bias in various places. Subsequently, his articles and columns not only attract a large following but are also used by anti-gay organizations such as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and other various groups who claim that the goal of lgbt equality is to suppress Christianity.

According to the site Equality Matters, Starnes serves as a willing mouthpiece to these groups; i.e. their conduit to the mainstream press when it comes to pushing their anecdotes of anti-Christian bias.

Starnes himself has made viciously untrue comments about lgbts such as:

LGBT equality is ushering in ‘cultural cleansing, and

LGBT equality will lead to bestiality

Starnes also has a reputation as a sloppy reporter whose personal biases causes him to either embellish or omit details in his articles and columns; details which contradict his overriding claim of anti-Christian persecution.

And this wouldn’t be the first time he has gotten into trouble for sloppy journalism. In 2003, Starnes was fired by the Baptist Press for what seemed to be a deliberate misrepresentation of quotes by then U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige. Apparently, what Starnes did was so bad that before the truth was discovered, several civil rights groups and members of Congress  were demanding Paige’s resignation.

Since that time, Starnes has been the stirring stick of several controversies which go beyond the Paige controversy.

Below is a short summary of  a few of  the controversies Starnes  has created. Accompanying these controversies are the facts which he either omitted or didn’t investigate further to discover. Not all of these controversies involve claims of gays supposedly persecuting Christians, but they all weave the false theme of anti-Christian bias. And we all know that when there are false themes of anti-Christian bias, sooner or later, these themes filter down to fingers being pointed at the lgbt community.

April 2013:

1. Starnes spin – The United States Military was deliberately blocking access to the official website of the Southern Baptist Convention because of anti-Christian bias.

Truth – The website was blocked because of virus issues. This was confirmed by the Baptist Press, the news source of the Southern Baptist Convention.

From Right Wing Watch

2. Starnes spin – The United States Military will begin court marshaling Christians in an effort to kick them out of the service

Truth  – “As Warren Throckmorton points out, the Defense Department guidelines on proselytizing and religious bias that has so enraged Starnes and others was actually put in place in 2008 during the Bush administration and the language clearly “draws a distinction between simply speaking about one’s faith and coercion.”

“Throckmorton also notes that Starnes twisted a statement from a Pentagon spokesman “to make it seem as though the outcome of religious proselytizing cases would be court martial.” ‘

From Right Wing Watch

September 2013:

Starnes spin – A San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance will bar all Christians from serving in public office, discriminate against folks for having prior anti-gay beliefs, and will “force churches to allow transgender bathrooms.”

TruthEquality Matters refuted every one of those claims. The site called the last claim regarding churches a boldfaced lie.

December 2013:

Starnes spin – Veterans Administrations Hospitals in two states (Texas, Georgia) refuses to accept Christmas cards made by children in a show of anti-Christian bias

Truth – This was probably the most significant debunking given to Starnes because it was by a fellow Christian, Alan Noble. In an absolutely blistering piece entitled Todd Starnes Sold Us a War on Christianity. We Bought It, Noble outright accuses Starnes of lying:

Last week, Todd Starnes at FOX News published two articles on anti-Christian discrimination at Veterans Administrations hospitals this Christmas season. In both reports, Starnes lies and tactfully omits facts in order to deceive his audience, creating the impression that the government is at war with Christmas. . . .

. . . Starnes’s wide influence on evangelicals is alarming because he consistently deceives and manipulates facts in order to exaggerate or fabricate incidences of Christian persecution. These reports influence a great deal of people who often respond with hatred, anger, and disgust out of ignorance.

Jan. 2014:

Starnes spin – A first grader was prohibited by her teacher from talking about how her family puts the Star of Bethlehem on top of their Christmas tree. Her teacher then told her to stop talking about the Bible in class

Truth – The school and the teacher involved published a public statement denying the incident.  The student was taking too long in her presentation. The teacher helped her through it but then cut it short because there were other students who had to do their presentations. At no time did the teacher tell the student to stop talking about the Bible in class or that no one is allowed to discuss the Bible in class.

From Right Wing Watch.

April 2014:

1. Starnes spin – As part of a lgbt-inclusive anti-bullying workshop at Linden Avenue Middle School in New York, two female students were forced to kiss each other.and male students were told to carry condoms in their pockets

Truth – The school district investigated and issued a statement that neither of these incidents took place

From the Huffington Post (Full disclosure. I wrote this Huffington Post article.)

2. Starnes spin – A kindergarten student in Florida was told that she could not pray before eating her lunch.

Truth – The school investigated and could find no evidence that the incident took place. An interesting addendum to this controversy was that the child in question was the daughter of Marco Perez. Perez is the vice president of sales of a Christian publishing house (Charisma House) which published Starnes’s recent book on – what else – anti-Christian persecution.

From Right Wing Watch , the Orlando Sentinel, and Equality Matters

October 2014

Starnes spin – An church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was being forced to marry a gay couple.

Truth - The “church” in question, The Hitching Post, was not a church but a “for-profit” business which also offered secular weddings. In fact, city never even took legal action against it.

From Equality Matters (Equality Matters pointed out that other anti-gay organizations and blogs pushed the story but that Starnes was the first who sounded the phony panic alarm)

February 2015:

1. Starnes spin – An Oregon bakery which refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple could face a fine of up to $200,000

Truth – “Todd Starnes is writing that the bakery owners face fines of up to $200,000 in damages. That’s false,” said Charlie Burr, (Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries) communications director. “In fact, it’s the Kleins who have asked for $200,000 in damages from our agency for our enforcement of the Equality Act.”

From Raw Story

2. Starnes spin – Students at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, California were bullied during a class presentation put on by the school’s Queer/Straight Alliance.

Truth – Acalanes High School District Superintendent John Nickerson sent email to Equality Matters denying Starnes’s claims:

It is not clear what other primary source Fox News used for their reporting, but their “opinion” piece on the program does not reflect what actually took place.

From Equality Matters

At a time in which journalistic honesty is being scrutinized because of controversies involving NBC’s Brian Williams and Starnes’s colleague at Fox News, Bill O’Reilly,  it is amazing that Starnes has gotten away with so many incidents of sloppy journalism and deliberate embellishment of facts

Starnes doesn’t care about being truthful because he is too busy presenting an argument. Such a mindset is a dangerous one for a journalist to have. He seems to be determined to prove that there exists an anti-Christian bias in this country (particularly coming from the lgbt community) whether or not such a bias exists.

And it is something for the lgbt community to remember  and remind people of because if we should eventually win marriage equality in all 50 states, Starnes’s articles and columns, no matter how sloppy and embellished, will play a huge part in the religious right’s argument of anti-Christian suppression.

Family Research Council supports punishing clerks who follow the law on gay marriage

By: Sunday February 1, 2015 8:47 pm

When it comes to these “religious freedom” bills, particularly involving clerks and government employees with regards to legal gay marriages, the Family Research Council’s change of semantics is very telling. On one hand, the group claims that marriage equality is dangerous because it pits a person’s employment and livelihood against their religious beliefs: “As more [...]

South Carolina, Texas would punish government employees for recognizing same-sex marriages

By: Monday January 12, 2015 9:34 pm

Apparently some legislators in South Carolina got a real bee in their bonnet about losing the marriage equality fight. And they are going to take it out on government employees who would recognized these marriages. On December 11, SC Reps Gary Smith and Bill Chumley filed House Bill (H.3022) which in part states: TO AMEND [...]

Kelvin Cochran and the homophobia hiding behind ‘religious liberty’

By: Tuesday January 6, 2015 9:06 pm

The fire chief of Atlanta, GA, Kelvin Cochran, was just dismissed because of a self-published book he wrote which was viewed as homophobic. According to Think Progress: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) announced Tuesday that he has fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who had previously been suspended for publishing and distributing a book condemning homosexuality.. [...]

Steve Scalise and racist groups, Tony Perkins and racist groups – it’s all relative

By: Monday December 29, 2014 6:52 pm

Washington is all abuzz about a huge scandal regarding Rep Steve Scalise, soon to be House Majority Whip, and a 2002 speech he made to a meeting of a white supremacist group founded by known racist David Duke: Twelve years before he was elected by his colleagues as House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) [...]

Anti-gay billboard is latest scientific distortion from religious right

By: Monday December 15, 2014 11:19 pm

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Last week, the anti-gay group PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) suffered a huge embarrassment because of a billboard it put up on a Virginia interstate: The billboard appeared recently beside I-95 in Richmond, Virginia, according to NBC affiliate WWBT. The sign depicts two males, one dressed in [...]

Arkansas victory exposes hypocritical nature of the Duggar family’s version of Christianity

By: Wednesday December 10, 2014 5:52 pm

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Earlier this week, the lgbt community suffered a nasty defeat in Fayetteville, Arkansas. According to LGBTQNation: Voters in Fayetteville, Ark., on Tuesday repealed a controversial LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance approved by the city council in August. KFSM-TV reports that 52 percent of voters cast ballots to repeal the ordinance, [...]

Family Research Council owes the Southern Poverty Law Center an apology

By: Monday December 8, 2014 5:39 pm

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Steve Anderson, the pastor of Arizona’s Faithful Word Baptist Church, has caused shock and revulsion for his recent claim that the AIDS crisis would end if gays were executed. However through it all, folks are missing a point that only us wonky individuals would bring up. In 2010, [...]

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