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  • In fact, no state has pulled their funding from “faith-based” adoption agencies. In all known cases, the agency closed shop rather than treat same-sex couples equally, with one very HUGE exception. In Boston, Catholic Charities actually placed 13 children over about 10 years with same-sex couples – all though the state foster system with state $$ and all children who were in hard-to-adopt groups. The agency had no issues with the adoptions and wanted to continue working according to state law, but Sean O’Malley, who took over from the not-yet-indicted Bernard Law, demanded the agency begin discriminating. When the agency refused, O’Malley used his veto power to overturn the Board of Directors’ decision, and in response 8/41 BOD members quit.

    Something else it is important to note – the states in which marriage equality has come to pass nearly always had anti-discrimination laws for LGB, if not T, people on the books when marriage equality came. That means these same agencies were already required to treat LGB Americans as equal, and apparently were violating the law – frankly they should be investigated and fined for taking public money under false pretenses.

    Finally, please note these same agencies have not complained about laws that require them to treat all heterosexuals who fail to meet their religious tests – heretics, blasphemers, adulterers and fornicators – also protected under state and federal law. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

  • That’s interesting in light of the fact that one of his closest allies at the time, Bayard Rustin – the man who organized the 1963 March on Washington – was openly gay.

    Not just that, but King was urged to distance himself from Rustin because of the knowledge he was gay, and King refused. Whether he thought being gay was a problem or not, he had the decency to respect his friend and his friend’s life.

  • There is another huge aspect to the original 1997 study that LaBarbera never mentions, and represents another distortion. The study in question was a methodological study – that is, it described a method to calculate the impact of HIV/AIDS deaths on a subpopulation like gay and bisexual men (the paper could also have focused on Haitians, for instance). Basically the authors were saying “if you wanted to estimate this impact, this would be the way you would go about it,” and the authors then presented several different scenarios – varying the percentage of the population that is gay or bisexual, the infection rates, the death rates from the disease, etc. – to demonstrate how their model would react to differences in underlying measures. The religious right chooses to focus on one such scenario – the worst sounding, of course.

  • Actually, Mr. Bergoglio (aka “Pope Francis”) was being somewhat revolutionary, but only because the Ratzinger-era church had become so reactionary. It was Ratzinger, when looking for a scapegoat to blame for the largest criminal conspiracy in history, who declared that even celibate gay men could not be priests and actually sent out investigators to ensure seminaries weren’t too gay. His claim was that being gay was so disordered we could not receive the sacraments of either marriage or holy orders (that is, someone known to be gay could not claim to have changed and then marry an opposite gender person in the church). Mr. Bergoglio’s words, therefore, were a change, albeit a change back to the theology of the late 20th century.

  • I think you misunderstand Peters, Laurel, although he is clearly wrong about the state of marriage in CA. Peters is claiming that county clerks have been told to ignore Proposition 8 and hand out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I am guessing that NOM, not content with the yolk already on its face, is planning some kind of legal challenge to either halt marriages in CA and/or declare invalid the ones that have already taken place. They don’t have a legal leg on which to stand, of course, but that hasn’t stopped them before.

  • 1789 – Bill of Rights approved by first Congress. Includes right to blasphemy and adultery.

    1830s – Joseph Smith creates Mormon “church.”

    1840s – Southern Baptists create new religion with white Supremacy as its moral foundation

    1879 – Christian Science religion is founded

    1960s – Scientology “religion” created

    1964 – Civil Rights act enshrines equality for all religious “lifestyle choices”

    Remember, when religious right claim the DOMA decision is the first time the government requires you to violate your religious beliefs – think of this list. Citizens of this country, even if only those working for the federal government, were forced, when each of these changes occurred, to potentially violate their own religious beliefs and treat these types of sinners as if they were human beings. Hell, the 1964 act even requires Christians to hire Jews.

  • Pam, I didn’t comment on your announcement of the closing of PHB a couple of weeks ago because I was in total denial. The Blend has been a go-to blog for so long that I can’t believe it won’t be around anymore. I am thrilled that the new blog is going to continue at least some of the work, but losing your voice on a daily, or every other day, basis is a huge loss. You have to take care of yourself, of course, but it is unfortunate that means you won’t be hanging around the blogosphere.

    Good luck to you and Kate and the dogs. Be well.

  • I completely agree with you. One of the thoughts that went through my mind yesterday was “at least Pam hadn’t shut down her blog before this happened.” Although the decision was not as sweeping as we would like (or that it should have been if justice were the only concern), it is a monumental step forward for the country. I think the dominoes will fall much more quickly now.

  • I stopped by the protest on my way back to my office this morning, and it was beyond pathetic. There were – maybe – two dozen people there, and it was not clear how many might be employees of HRC just observing. What you can’t see in the video is that the building to the left of HRC (using the same perspective as the video) is under construction. There are barricades that are 6′ tall just in front of the location of the protest. If you were to walk south on 17th street toward the HRC building, you would not even see the protest until you were literally on top of it.

    Oh, the protest was blocking the handicapped entrance to the HRC building, which was apparently temporarily relocated because of the construction.

  • I’m with you Hunter, although I understand from where Benny Cemoli is coming. I have worked in the social science world for years, and have more than a passing familiarity with the academic world. To the untrained eye/ear, Sherkat’s comments seem too mild for describing what was clearly a total and complete breakdown of the scientific method and how it is supposed to ensure bad scholarship doesn’t appear in peer-reviewed journals. But Sherkat likely relies on that same journal as a main source of his own publications, so of course Sherkat is not going to throw the journal under the proverbial bus. That being said, this is a devastating interview.

    Academics are loathe to criticize one another, because the world is simply too small and openness to new findings is such a hallmark of good research, even when those findings contradict your own. Nothing is final in any scientific field, so new findings may simply be new data points that cause adjustments in theories, or new theories entirely. You end up, in that environment, where academics tend not to praise themselves too much nor criticize their ideological opponents too much. So for Sherkat to so specifically criticize Regnerus’ methods and then basically dismiss the study as absolutely worthless is the academic equivalent of a knife in the back.

    Do I think this entire mess was a concerted effort by right-wing ideologues to put shoddy anti-gay propaganda out there as academic “research”? Do I think the reviewer who had consulted on the paper’s technical aspects not only should have recused himself, but deliberately didn’t to ensure publication? Do I believe Regnerus had his conclusions set before the first data point was plotted? Yes to all.

    Unfortunately, even this criticism won’t stop groups that still quote Paul Cameron from attacking us with this “research,” it will have an impact on the MSM and how the Regnerus work is covered. At the very least, pro-equality forces have a powerful set of statements to throw back at anyone trying to make an anti-gay point with the paper.

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post NOM-Rhode Island Endorses Religious-Based Disapproval of Gays

    2013-04-10 02:39:37View | Delete

    Exactly! The Bible and most cultures, until the 20th century, at least, do not approve of divorce and remarriage. And even our modern culture once looked down on people who committed adultery. Does NOM, either nationally or in RI, think that Rudy Guiliani, John McCain or Newt should lose their marriage rights/recognition because of their immoral activity?

  • It’s interesting that the same social science Gallagher is citing has overwhelmingly shown that the children of single parents and those in blended families do worse than those in homes with intact parents. Which civil rights does Gallagher think she should lose because of her inferior family structure? Should the VA social services be coming to take away her minor son to ensure he is not further harmed by her “lifestyle choices”?

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post Newt Gingrich underscores NOM’s hypocrisy, desperation

    2013-03-20 05:12:08View | Delete

    Let us remember that Gingrich did not simply “have an affair” with his current wife – he actually put her on his payroll when he was Speaker of the House. That means he was paying a woman to have sex with him – as close to prostitution as you can legally get, no? But it’s OK, because when Gingrich converted to Catholicism at his current wife’s request, the Church decided his first two marriages didn’t count (despite the first one producing two daughters) and annulled them, so Gingrich and the current Mrs. are validly married within the Church. Perhaps that’s why NOM uses them, they are basically a Catholic front organization, so they likely take the Church’s stance that his current marriage is his actual only marriage.

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post Why Do Some States Have More LGBT People Than Others?

    2013-02-18 20:09:06View | Delete

    Yeah because all those members of Congress, not to mention all their staffers, live in DC right? I guess that’s why the traffic from Capitol Hill to the low-tax haven of Northern VA is so light.

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post Zach Wahls – the religious right’s worst nightmare

    2013-02-13 16:42:16View | Delete

    What really disgusted me was hearing Land mention 2000 years of “Christian tradition.” The Southern Baptists were created in the 1840s to justify slavery and white supremacy and only renounced its racism in 1995, according to Wikipedia. The Baptist movement in general is less than 500 years old. That is hardly a history of two centuries.

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post Outserve-SLDN’s Sue Fulton: Women Are Fit for Combat

    2013-01-29 07:12:25View | Delete

    We may even discover that push-ups are not the best measure of combat survival and victory.

    In fact, it’s quite likely the military will find some jobs are better suited for women – I am thinking of combat roles where smaller stature and endurance may be more important than upper body strength. I remember when the Hubble Space Telescope was being repaired about 15 years ago, and the image of one of the women astronauts holding the enormous, and non-functional, solar panel they were removing from the Hubble. This woman was about 5’2″ and 100 lbs soaking wet, but the experts were discussing how she was the perfect person for the job because, in weightlessness, NASA needed a small agile person to get into some very cramped spaces when doing the repair. I could easily see the same issue happening in combat – in a tank for instance, where the cramped spaces could mean a woman driver who is shorter could be better able to handle the machine (presuming tanks have power steering, of course).

  • My question is whether, even with so many public figures coming out, the media will really stop reporting with the closet in mind — the double standard that results in reporters inquiring on all sorts of levels about personal lives and relationships of hetero celebs, but studiously avoid asking socially out, but professionally questionably closeted people about the mundane same aspects of their lives.

    THIS – times one million. I think that is what people who are complaining Jodie Foster didn’t really come out even last night (can you actually come out by saying you’re not going to make a big coming out speech?) don’t seem to get – she has clearly been out in her non-public life for decades. Hell, she not only has two children with her former partner – both those children have Bernard as their middle name. Their two parents literally couldn’t have been more clear about their lives without a big coming out speech. And everyone in Hollywood knew the score. If the media has simply treated a lesbian couple as it treats a straight couple, there would never have been a need for Foster to make any such statements last night.

    But there’s a flip side to your piece, Pam, in a big question for the LGBT community – when do we stop supporting the closet? When it is still possible – in fact likely – for LGBT people in rural/conservative areas to be fired because of their personal lives, we are not yet at a point when the closet can be completely abandoned, but we should feel fine about discussing and “exposing” the lives of the barely-closeted like Foster or Anderson Cooper.

  • @ Mena – “out of touch with reality” – that’s an enormous understatement. In the full piece, Lewis complains about the coarsening of our culture and the breakdown of the family without a hint of irony. Yet he is part of the conservative movement that gave us Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queens,” Nixon’s “southern strategy” and George HW Bush’s Willie Horton ads. It is the conservative movement that blames crime on single mothers, created the myth of us godless Sodomites working to destroy both the Church and the Family, and has created a series of “others” – Communists, feminists, liberals in general – to attack as explicitly outside American culture. If the culture has become coarser, it’s not because we are actually being honest about the full range of humanity and human experiences, it is due the politics of personal destruction, which has been adopted as strategy point #1 by conservatives.

    As for the breakdown of the family, which party was it that gave us the first divorced President? To which party did the governor who redefined “hiking the Appalachian Trail” belong? And which party is it that has paraded a series of known adulterers as viable Presidential candidates (yes, we’ve had both Bill Clinton and John Edwards, but we only knew about the first guy when we actually voted for him, and he’s still on his first marriage)?

    The real irony is, it is the Blue states, for all their evil liberalism, where our culture is at its most vital, where economies are booming and where social problems like teen pregnancy and divorce tend to be lower.

  • CPT_Doom commented on the blog post Does Cardinal George Serve God, Or Mother Nature?

    2013-01-02 07:19:25View | Delete

    The human species comes in two complimentary sexes, male and female.

    Bzzzzt! Sorry Mr. George, you lose the argument based on the facts. Humanity comes in many forms. Although most Americans are either male or female, 1 out of ever 2,000 births results in an intersex human being, someone who is physically (or even genetically) between the two genders. And while Catholics are free to believe those people cannot get married (because typically they are infertile, and infertility can be a bar to marriage in the Church) our civil laws must allow for all people to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

    Also, I’ll say it again, how does the Catholic Church have any moral foundation on marriage after they decided to recognize Newt and Calista’s marriage? Apparently divorce and adultery are only barriers to marriage in the Catholic Church if you are poor or unconnected. If you’re rich and powerful, however, as many annulments as you need will be granted to ensure you can marry the woman who spent 6 years undermining your last marriage.

  • You know, I might have some iota of concern about these noble “Christian” clerks if they had ever objected to any of the heretics, blasphemers, fornicators and adulterers they’ve been serving, apparently without incident, for their entire careers. But to arbitrarily draw the line at homosexuals – so it’s fine for them to issue licenses to some hetero guy with monogamy issues who’s on his 5th or 6th wedding, but not TEH GAYZ – sorry, that just doesn’t fly.

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