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Wash. Times Baselessly Claims That GA Gubernatorial Candidate Is Keeping His Pro-Equality Views A “Secret”

August 20, 2014 11:26 am ET by Luke Brinker

The Washington Times editorial board accused Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter of concealing his support for LGBT equality in order to win over the state’s voters, ignoring Carter’s own words offering his full-throated support for marriage equality and mounting evidence that gay rights are decreasingly a wedge issue with voters, even in traditionally conservative states like Georgia.

In an August 19 editorial, the Times alleged that when it comes to his opinion on “homosexual demands,” Carter “dodges, weaves, and deflects, eager not to offend religiously conservative Georgia.” Writing that Carter can’t win his closely contested race against Republican Gov. Nathan Deal if he embraces “the full rainbow agenda,” the Times asserted that Carter is hiding behind statements from his spokesman and supporters in the gay rights community:

Jason Carter wants to follow in his famous grandfather’s footsteps. Mr. Carter, a Democrat, is running for governor of Georgia, a position Jimmy Carter held for a term before moving on to the White House. Jason Carter is willing to say pretty much whatever it takes to win. When someone asks his opinions on homosexual demands, he dodges, weaves and deflects, eager not to offend religiously conservative Georgia. But his gay supporters are saying it for him.

Georgia remains committed to traditional marriage. The left-leaning Public Policy Polling discovered last year that 6 of 10 Georgia voters want to keep the thousands-of-years-old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. If Jason Carter yearns to come out in support of the full rainbow agenda, he knows better than to do it before the election.

[…]

The pro-homosexual website Project Q Atlanta doesn’t like the sneaky approach, either. “Jason Carter collects gay cash, but stays mum on LGBT issues,” the site noted earlier this month about a fundraiser held for Mr. Carter. The event, organized and hosted by homosexual activists, raised nearly $90,000 for the Carter campaign. Reporters were barred from the fundraiser, lest the secret leak.

[…]

One man’s pragmatism is another man’s dishonesty. Voters deserve to know, loud and clear, what they’ll get if they put another Carter in the governor’s mansion on Nov. 4. Gov. Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent running for re-election, should pressure Mr. Carter to say unequivocally whether he would be prepared as governor to fully defend Georgia’s state constitutional amendment, enacted by the people, that defines traditional marriage.

It’s true, as the Times noted, that some gay rights activists in Georgia expressed unease with Carter’s previous relative silence on LGBT issues during the campaign. But the Times conveniently omitted the fact that this month Carter addressed those concerns head-on, affirming his longstanding support for marriage equality. This, by the Times’ standards, apparently constitutes “dodg[ing], weav[ing], and deflect[ing]” on marriage equality:

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Family Research Council Uses Robin Williams’ Suicide To Push “Ex-Gay” Therapy

August 18, 2014 3:56 pm ET by Luke Brinker

The Family Research Council (FRC) used actor and comedian Robin Williams’ suicide to champion discredited “ex-gay” therapy, comparing treatment for mental illness to treatment for homosexuality.

In an August 18 post for the FRC’s blog, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg compared the late actor’s struggles with addiction and depression to people struggling with “unwanted same-sex attractions.” Noting that states like California and New Jersey have banned so-called “sexual reorientation therapy” – which is opposed by the American Psychological Association and has been associated with psychological damage in patients – Sprigg asked why social liberals aren’t also trying to “outlaw rehab”:

In the wake of Williams’ suicide, many TV commentators and friends of the late star talked about the challenges of mental illness (Williams suffered from depression), addictions — and rehab. I saw comedian Andy Dick say, “I’ve been to rehab seventeen times.”

In light of this history, I have only one question for socially liberal political activists — why aren’t you trying to outlaw rehab?

I ask the question because such activists are trying to ban a form of mental health treatment — not drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but “sexual orientation change efforts” (“SOCE”), also known as “sexual reorientation therapy.” Such therapy involves assisting people with unwanted same-sex attractions to overcome them.

Why would someone want to change their sexual orientation? Some such individuals are simply disillusioned by their experiences in homosexual relationships. Some have legitimate concern about the well-documented health problems associated with homosexual conduct (especially among men), such as high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, of which HIV/AIDS is only one example. Others may seek help in conforming their behavior and lifestyle to the teaching of the religious faith to which they are committed. Some may aspire to a traditional family life, raising children in a home with both their mother and father present.

Whatever the motivation, there are those who have simply made a choice to walk away from the homosexual lifestyle, without clinical help — much like how Robin Williams simply stopped using drugs and alcohol in the 1980’s. Others have sought professional help, perhaps at the urging of family members, in the form of “sexual reorientation therapy” — much like when Williams entered a formal alcohol rehab program in 2006. Whether simply through personal development, religious counseling, or with the help of a licensed or unlicensed counselor, thousands (if not millions) of people have experienced significant changes in one or more of the elements of their sexual orientation (attractions, behavior, or self-identification). [emphasis added]

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Tampa Tribune Pulls "Repugnant" Anti-Gay Column

August 14, 2014 3:26 pm ET by Joe Strupp

The Tampa Tribune has pulled a controversial column that alleged Disney is indoctrinating children with its "pro-gay agenda." The column, which was highlighted by Media Matters, had also drawn criticism from gay rights activists and Florida journalists.

On August 11, Douglas MacKinnon, who is listed on the since-pulled column as "Tribune staff," argued that Disney has been engaged in an underhanded effort to wrongly "indoctrinate" children. He also contended the company is trying to subtly push an agenda through its children's programming.

The piece, titled, "Disney's pro-gay agenda is disturbing," quoted an anonymous "former Disney executive" saying, "the company has taken direct aim at children to indoctrinate them about gay lifestyles and gay marriage through shows it airs on The Disney Channel and Disney XD."

MacKinnon later added:

The former executive said one of the more subtle techniques is to incorporate the colors of the gay-pride flag in as many shots as possible. The colors are woven in as a wink and nod to the gay community and show up on shirts, hats, posters, stacked cups and rings. The practice has been picked up by other children's networks and national advertisers. Disney also pushes the gay agenda by introducing openly gay characters and couples on its children's programing. Again, that is their right, but should they be in the business of entertaining children or indoctrinating them?

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Medical Experts: Laura Ingraham's Transgender Youth Advice Is "Dangerous," "Child Abuse"

August 14, 2014 2:33 pm ET by Luke Brinker

ABC News contributor and nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham has established herself as one of the most stridently transphobic conservative media figures, repeatedly assailing parents who offer support and affirmation for their transgender children. But medical and child health experts condemn Ingraham's transphobic smears as "dangerous" and "ignorant."

During the August 6 edition of her radio show, Ingraham delivered a screed against parents who affirm and accommodate their transgender children, calling it "child abuse" to provide transgender youth with hormone therapy:

Her comments were roundly condemned, but they were just the latest in Ingraham's campaign against trans-supportive families. Ingraham has asserted that putting trans youth on hormone blockers could have "long term effects" that children will come to "regret." She's also claimed that medical caring supporting trans youth "push[es] kids into a box" and prevents them from potentially realizing that they aren't transgender.

 But a number of experts in transgender and child health care deride Ingraham's comments as "dangerous," "ignorant," and wholly divorced from reality.

"When one speaks from ignorance, there is a good chance that they will say ignorant things.  This could be no more true than for Laura Ingraham," said Diane Ehrensaft, a clinical psychologist and head of the University of California-San Francisco's Child and Adolescent Gender Center, in a statement to Equality Matters:

If we do nothing for these children, just let them be children, as Ingraham suggests, we are actually doing something, and that something is not good:  we put them at risk for anxiety, depression, poor school performance, and later—drug abuse, self-harm, sexual acting out, suicidal thoughts, attempts, or completions... Ingraham repeats what so many in my own field, mental health, have done to significantly harm gender-nonconforming youth:  dismiss what they are trying to tell us, blame the parents who are trying to support them, and deny them adequate care in one fell swoop... We might even consider the denial of the service a form of child abuse—there's a life jacket right there, we're watching, and we're letting the child drown.  

Psychiatrist Jack Drescher, a member of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, echoed Ehrensaft's concern, stating that Ingraham is "staking out an opinion, but she's not talking about the actual situations that exist. The way she speaks is appealing to prejudice."

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Tampa Tribune Columnist: Disney Is “Indoctrinating” Children With A “Pro-Gay Agenda”

August 13, 2014 10:15 am ET by Luke Brinker

A conservative columnist for the Tampa Tribune criticized the Walt Disney Co. for allegedly pushing a “pro-gay agenda,” asserting that the company is using its programming to “indoctrinate” children about “gay lifestyles and gay marriage.”

In his August 12 column, Douglas MacKinnon – a former aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush – charged that Disney was peddling the “gay agenda” to “impressionable children” by exposing them to “openly gay characters and couples”:

Beginning with the takeover of the company by Michael Eisner in 1984 and continuing under the leadership of Robert Iger since 2005, it can be argued that Disney has been working overtime to redefine “family values.”

[…]

Back in the late 1990s when I worked with former Sen. Bob Dole, I had the pleasure to interact with Iger. He was professional, respectful and could not have been more kind or considerate. Since taking over, he has only made the company more profitable. But beyond his fiscal responsibility to shareholders, does Iger have an even greater responsibility to impressionable children?

Disney has made no secret that it pushes a pro-gay agenda. That is most certainly its right. But where does the company draw the line? A former Disney executive I spoke with told me the company has taken direct aim at children to indoctrinate them about gay lifestyles and gay marriage through shows it airs on The Disney Channel and Disney XD.

The former executive said one of the more subtle techniques is to incorporate the colors of the gay-pride flag in as many shots as possible. The colors are woven in as a wink and nod to the gay community and show up on shirts, hats, posters, stacked cups and rings. The practice has been picked up by other children’s networks and national advertisers.

Disney also pushes the gay agenda by introducing openly gay characters and couples on its children’s programing. Again, that is their right, but should they be in the business of entertaining children or indoctrinating them? [emphasis added]

MacKinnon never explains what harm might be caused by featuring gay-inclusive programming - suggesting that he sees an inherent harm in simply letting children know that gay people exist and have families. 

MacKinnon’s attack on Disney’s alleged “pro-gay agenda is just the latest in the columnist’s history of rabid right-wing rhetoric. 

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Breitbart Attacks "Lesbian Bridezillas" For Opposing Anti-Gay Discrimination

August 12, 2014 1:37 pm ET by Luke Brinker

Breitbart.com criticized a Pennsylvania couple that was refused wedding gowns by a bridal shop owner on religious grounds, assailing the "lesbian bridezillas" for writing about their experience on Facebook. 

On August 7, The Press Enterprise reported that an unidentified lesbian couple in Bloomsburg, PA had been refused service by W. W. Bridal Boutique owner Victoria Miller. "We feel to answer to God for what we do," Miller told The Press Enterprise. "And providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God's law." The couple subsequently posted about Miller's refusal to serve them on Facebook, prompting criticisms of W. W. Bridal's discriminatory policy.

In an August 12 article titled "Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs," Breitbart attacked "the lesbians" for "bull[ying]" Miller, citing the anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) to condemn their fight for equal treatment as "forced acceptance":

A Pennsylvania Christian bridal shop owner who refused to provide wedding gowns to a lesbian couple because of her religious beliefs was bullied by the lesbians on Facebook, where their post about the shop owner's refusal to serve them went viral.

[...]

According to the News, the Bloomsburg Town Council is meeting Monday night to discuss the incident and whether to propose legislation that will ban businesses from refusing to serve LGBT customers, potentially providing the couple the means with which to sue Miller.

[...]

"Instead of showing the tolerance their movement claims to practice, the women turned to social media to bully the shop - trashing its online reviews and sparking a city-wide firestorm," said Family Research Council (FRC). "Obviously W.W. Bridal Boutique isn't the only wedding dress shop in town. These women could have easily taken their business elsewhere - but chose to retaliate instead."

Referring to the leftist gay activist agenda as "forced acceptance," FRC said, "When religious liberty clashes with homosexuality - as it has from bakeries to flower shops - the storylines are all the same: conform or be punished."

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Mike Huckabee Warns Anti-Gay Gathering That America Is Becoming Like Communist China

August 11, 2014 4:08 pm ET by Eric Hananoki

Mike Huckabee told a gathering of anti-gay activists that the United States is becoming like communist China and defended his recent claim that President Obama deserves to be impeached.

Huckabee was speaking at the third annual Family Leadership Summit, hosted by The Family Leader and sponsored by anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage and FRC Action. The event was held in Ames, Iowa, and was attended by potential 2016 Republican candidates including Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Speaking on August 9 about his recent China trip, Huckabee noted the country's policies regarding trade, human rights, one child and forced abortions, and observed: "After we came back, I assessed that what was most disturbing was that China was becoming a lot more like the United States used to be, and America was becoming a whole lot more like China used to be." Huckabee added that America, like China whitewashing the Tiananmen Square massacre, has "completely rewritten our history" to remove God from textbooks. The Fox News host has made similar pronouncements on his show and elsewhere in the right-wing media.

During a media availability, Huckabee defended his recent declaration that President Obama has committed impeachable offenses. Huckabee began by claiming "I don't think we're going to have an impeachment, don't think we even should because there's no point and it's not gonna go through." However, Huckabee still argued President Obama is worthy of impeachment because of his alleged abuse of "the basic constitutional powers," citing Obamacare and the DREAM Act.  

The Family Leader is an anti-gay group headed by the virulently homophobic activist Bob Vander Plaats. The Iowa group gained notoriety during the 2012 presidential election when it asked candidates to sign a homophobic "marriage vow." The pledge attacked same-sex relationships as a choice and threat to "individual and public health." The vow also suggested African-American children were better when they were slaves (the group later retracted that language). 

Vander Plaats has said gays are a "public health risk" similar to smoking, and claimed of marriage quality: "[W]hat we know is it goes against the law of nature, and the law of nature's God, which means, again, it's against the Constitution." He warned against attending an anti-bullying conference, claiming that doing so "is exchanging truth for acceptance and tolerance of harmful behavior."

Huckabee is a longtime ally of Vander Plaats, who served as Iowa chair for the former Arkansas governor's presidential campaign in 2008. He endorsed and fundraised for Vander Plaats' unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Huckabee regularly speaks at gatherings of anti-gay groups. The pairing is natural, as Huckabee has said he opposes marriage equality because of "the ick factor," labeled same-sex relationships an "aberration" and once called for AIDS patients to be quarantined.

Previously:

Mike Huckabee's Dangerous Campaign To Smear Houston's Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Mike Huckabee Denies History Of Anti-LGBT Vitriol

Fox's Huckabee And Guest Peddle Myths About Transgender People, Gender Identity

Fox's Erick Erickson: Countries With Marriage Equality Are "Bent On Suicide"

August 08, 2014 10:27 am ET by Luke Brinker

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson continued his pattern of championing anti-LGBT discrimination, warning that gay rights and Christianity are incompatible and asserting that a society that affirms LGBT equality "is a society bent on suicide."

In an August 7 Townhall.com column titled "Tolerate or Be Stamped Out," Erickson lamented the growing marginalization of anti-LGBT attitudes, charging that pro-equality activists are determined to purge Christians from American society:

In fact, enormous energy is being expended by the left in America to make Christianity and Christians unacceptable. A New York Times writer wants to stamp out those views "ruthlessly." He describes those with orthodox Christian views on marriage as unworthy of civility. Anonymous groups expose the home addresses of mostly Christians and subject them to harassment. This is not happening to orthodox Jews or Muslims, but to Christians.

It raises a serious question Americans must confront -- are gay rights and Christianity compatible? The answer appears to be no. As gay rights activists use the tactics of Bull Connor to push for what they declare civil rights, they are targeting churches, religiously affiliated groups and Christian businesses for harassment and lawsuits.

Across the country, the left has decided our sexual preference is something we are born with, but our gender is something we get to decide. Anyone who thinks otherwise is threatened and harassed. Several thousand-year-old pillars of society are being shoved aside in the name of tolerance. Those who speak up for sanity, tradition and faith are treated scornfully.

This will not end well for any of us. Despite surveys designed to show the contrary, children tend to do best with mothers and fathers. A society that willfully undermines perpetuating itself is a society bent on suicide. One thing is for sure -- a faith that survived its followers being used as torches to light the streets of Rome will survive a modern age hell bent on ruthlessly stamping it out. [emphasis added]

Erickson's latest apoplectic screed is par for the course from the Fox News commentator. Last month, he endorsed a Georgia congressional candidate's view that "the homosexual movement ... is destroying America." Previously, Erickson has written that gay people are on the "road to hell" and warned businesses that serve gay couples that they are "aiding and abetting" sin. Moreover, Erickson is a prominent supporter of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a right-wing legal group working internationally to help criminalize homosexuality.

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Megyn Kelly’s Cozy Relationship With An Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader

August 07, 2014 10:14 am ET by Luke Brinker

Anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins has appeared on Megyn Kelly’s shows more than all other Fox News programs combined over the past two years.

Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), an organization that was labeled an anti-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010. He has called pedophilia “a homosexual problem,” claimed that gay men “recruit” children into homosexuality, and endorsed a Uganda law that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality. His organization regularly produces anti-gay propaganda depicting gay people as abnormalunnatural, and destined for “eternal damnation.”

He’s also one of Megyn Kelly’s most frequent guests on Fox News. Kelly – who was once hailed as a harbinger of a “gay rights revolution” at Fox – has hosted Perkins more than all other Fox News programs combined in the past two years, according to an Equality Matters analysis. Hailed by Kelly as “a captain of the Religious Right,” Perkins has become a familiar face to viewers of Kelly’s shows:

Between America Live – Kelly’s former Fox program – and The Kelly File, Kelly’s shows account for 17 of Perkins’ 30 Fox News appearances since the conclusion of the 2012 GOP primary season, when his cable news influence peaked:

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How A Hate Group Lost Influence On (Most Of) Cable News

July 30, 2014 4:01 pm ET by Luke Brinker

Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins has all but ceased to appear as a guest on CNN and MSNBC. It’s a dramatic change for the anti-gay hate group leader, whose constant appearances on cable news during the 2012 GOP primary cycle drew criticism from progressive faith groups.

Since becoming president of the Family Research Council in 2003, Perkins has used his position as a leader among social conservatives to command significant media attention. FRC hosts the annual Values Voters Summit, making Perkins an easy choice for networks looking for a prominent voice to comment on social conservatism and GOP politics.

Over time, networks also began turning to Perkins for commentary on LGBT issues like the fight over marriage equality and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Perkins was happy to oblige – he has a history of making incendiary comments about LGBT people, and FRC has turned the production of anti-gay propaganda into an art form.   

In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled FRC an anti-gay “hate group,” citing the organization’s propagation of known falsehoods about LGBT people.

That label, unfortunately, didn’t stop cable news networks from continuing to invite Perkins on national television on behalf of social conservatives. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, Perkins appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News a total of 56 times. MSNBC was particularly friendly to Perkins, with Hardball host Chris Matthews praising Perkins as an “honest conservative” who always tried “to find the truth” during a November 2011 interview:

Perkins’ platform on cable news didn’t sit well with audiences familiar with his long and sordid history of bigoted anti-LGBT rhetoric.  Faithful America, a progressive Christian group dedicated to “reclaiming Christianity from the religious right,” launched a petition in February 2012 asking the network to stop inviting Perkins on air. The petition garnered 20,000 signatures, which were delivered to MSNBC’s headquarters.

Perkins’ platform at MSNBC created an awkward situation for Hardball host Chris Matthews. At a March 2012 book event, Matthews was asked about his willingness to invite Perkins on his show and admitted that his critics “may be right.” At a book signing a few weeks later, Matthews told Faithful America members that the group had “a good argument” for no longer hosting Perkins.” Perkins did appear on Hardball once more, in a joint appearance with gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA. But rather than offer the warm welcome Perkins had come to expect, Matthews grilled Perkins on his anti-LGBT extremism.

In the summer of 2013, Faithful America launched a similar petition targeting CNN after the network hosted Perkins to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The petition urged CNN not to let Perkins “speak on behalf of America’s Christians” and quickly gathered more than 32,000 signatures.

A new Equality Matters analysis finds that both MSNBC and CNN have largely ended their practice of hosting Perkins in the months since the end of the 2012 GOP primary. Perkins hasn’t appeared on MSNBC since March 2013, when the Supreme Court heard arguments in two marriage equality cases. Meanwhile, Perkins’ appearances on CNN have steadily declined in the last year, and he hasn’t been on the network since February: At Fox News, on the other hand, Perkins’ appearances have held steady and actually increased in the past year:

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BarbWire.com: When A Hate Group Creates Its Own Conservative "News" Site

July 28, 2014 1:33 pm ET by Luke Brinker

The vice president of a notorious right-wing legal organization has spent much of 2014 developing one of the most extreme anti-LGBT “news” sites on the internet. Now he’s using the site to hawk a treasure trove of right-wing merchandise and souvenirs.

In January of 2014, Liberty Counsel vice president Matt Barber launched BarbWire.com, a website that claims to offer news and opinion “from a decidedly biblical worldview.”

Though BarbWire isn’t exclusively an anti-LGBT website – the site spares some vitriol for immigrantsMuslimsreproductive choice, and President Barack Obama – LGBT topics have dominated its content since its inception. BarbWire’s first post championed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his comments comparing gay people to murderers and equating homosexuality with bestiality. 

In its short existence, the site has featured commentary some of America’s most notorious homophobes; Scott Lively, an American pastor closely linked to anti-LGBT persecution in Uganda and Russia; the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who blames gay men for the HolocaustLaurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, another anti-LGBT hate group; and Robert Oscar Lopez, an anti-gay activist who has made a second career of publishing bizarre gay erotica novels.

Unsurprisingly, BarbWire has become a hub for the kind of anti-LGBT propaganda that even many conservative news sites shy away from:

Hucksterism

But BarbWire is more than just a platform for publishing the Right’s more unsavory anti-LGBT sentiments – it’s also a money-making scheme for Liberty Counsel’s Barber.

In July, subscribers to BarbWire’s mailing list began receiving emails peddling products from Patriot Depot, a website that offers “supplies for the conservative revolution.”

There’s the “’Say Hello To My Little Friend’ Garden Gnome,” available for $18.95: 

A tin “Don’t Tread On Me” sign could be yours for $14.95:

You could purchase an “Obama’s Last Day Countdown Clock” for $12.95:

And nothing will stick it to liberals quite like Rise, Kill, & Eat, a paean to “edible wildlife” from “Genesis to Revelation” featuring a foreword by Ted Nugent:

Both BarbWire.com and Patriot Depot are part of Liberty Alliance, a network of conservative web sites and web stores. 

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Conservative Site: Homosexuality, Game Of Thrones Are Creating A “Slippery Slope” To Incest

July 24, 2014 4:44 pm ET by Carlos Maza

An article published in WorldNetDaily blames the acceptance of homosexuality for creating a “slippery slope” to the popularization of incest, citing the popular HBO series Game Of Thrones as evidence.

In a July 23 post titled “Next Stop On Slippery Slope: Incest,” notorious anti-LGBT activist Michael Brown warned that the acceptance of homosexuality had created a “slippery slope” towards “sexual anarchy” and the normalization of incest:

Gay activists constantly tell us that there’s no such thing as a slippery moral slope and that the acceptance of homosexuality will not lead to the acceptance of other sexual practices, such as incest. The facts prove otherwise, and it is clear that we are rapidly sliding down the very slope whose existence they deny.

As I continually chart our society’s moral free fall, the term that best describes our current condition is sexual anarchy, where men can have sex with men just as well with women, where sex outside of wedlock is just as acceptable as sex within wedlock, where marriage doesn’t necessarily mean monogamy and where longstanding social taboos are cast off.

[…]

In their zeal to justify homosexual practice, these misguided teachers have opened the door wide to incest as well, removing the primary biblical texts that prohibit these sexual unions.

Society as a whole needs to take heed as well. If we don’t reverse our slide down this slippery moral slope, we will soon crash and burn.

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Fox’s Erickson Agrees That “The Homosexual Movement Is … Destroying America”

July 23, 2014 4:17 pm ET by Luke Brinker

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson endorsed a congressional candidate's assertion that "the homosexual movement" is "destroying America." 

On July 22, Georgia Republican Jody Hice won the Republican primary to succeed Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) in the state's 10th congressional district. In the wake of Hice's victory, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kacynski highlighted 11 examples of Hice's history of inflammatory commentary on LGBT issues.

Erickson, who has endorsed Hice, responded to Kaczynski's post by tweeting that "most every conservatives [sic]" would agree with items "1, 5, 9, and maybe 10":

The passages Erickson endorsed included Hice's claim that "the homosexual movement is ... destroying America by aggressively seeking to destroy traditional families, religion, and marriages for the purpose of removing all societal moral boundaries":

The item Erickson thought most conservatives would "maybe" agree with concerned Hice's suggestion that gay people can change their sexual orientation:

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Fox & Friends: Michael Sam Will Be Just As Distracting As Michael Vick

July 23, 2014 3:38 pm ET by Ellie Sandmeyer

Fox News compared openly gay NFL player Michael Sam to convicted dog fighter Michael Vick, suggesting that Sam’s sexual orientation would be equally as distracting as Vick’s criminal conviction.

On July 21, NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy and former NFL coach said that if he were still coaching, he wouldn’t have drafted Sam because the media attention on Sam’s sexual orientation would “be a distraction” to the team. 

Fox & Friends defended Dungy’s comments on July 23, comparing the attention given to Sam’s sexual orientation to the coverage of former NFL player Michael Vick, who was convicted of participating in an illegal dog fighting ring in 2007:

DOOCY: On the Twitterverse, they’re saying he’s a hyprocite. When you look, for instance, at Michael Vick. He completely rehabbed himself, right, via Tony Dungy.

HASSELBECK: You know, 32 teams had seven chances to say yes or no to Michael Sam, right? And all but one time in those seven rounds of the draft, teams said no. They said exactly the same thing that Tony Dungy said when asked by Tampa Bay.

KILMEADE: And Michael Sam said I’m a fan of Tony Dungy and I’m glad the Rams don’t feel like he did. But Steve, to your point, Michael Vick coming out of prison, he was a distraction in the locker room because that’s a major story every time you walk in. 

DOOCY: Absolutely. [emphasis added]

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National Review Online Editor Endorses “Ex-Gay” Therapy

July 23, 2014 10:46 am ET by Luke Brinker

National Review Online editor-at-large Kathryn Jean Lopez praised an organization that practices discredited “ex-gay” therapy techniques, urging gay men and lesbians to choose the path of “conversion and renewal.”

In a July 22 review for NRO, Lopez lauded Desire of the Everlasting Hills, a documentary about three Roman Catholics who left gay relationships to pursue lives of celibacy. As Lopez noted, the documentary was a project of Courage, a Catholic organization that aims to help people with “homosexual desires” to lead “chaste lives.”

Hailing the documentary as a potential “game changer,” Lopez wrote that Desire of the Everlasting Hills could help viewers “make sense” of our “fallen world” and point audiences in the direction of “alternative conversions” (emphasis added):

Desire of the Everlasting Hills is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. In no small part, it’s about conversion and renewal, and knowing oneself and what one truly wants, for life and eternity. To watch it is to know that you cannot caricature it. It’s about living and learning; it reveals the truth of our lives, as discovered by three individuals who today are overflowing with a grace-filled, transparent joy — a joy deepened by redemptive suffering. All three leave regrets about the past to God’s mercy and entrust their future to His Providence, always acknowledging that the Way of the Cross is a rough road, but believing it to be the one with eternal rewards.

[…]

I wish you could have felt the peace and seen the joy at the premiere of Desire of the Everlasting Hills. At the annual Courage conference, it drew a crowd that knows and sees some of the most heartbreaking crosses of life; many people there would have a lot to teach us about courage. For anyone who feels in a fog, Desire of the Everlasting Hills is a light. To watch it is to see that people who have attractions different than yours are not all that different from you. They are people living in a fallen world — our universal condition. We can work to make sense of it together.

[…]

Watch Desire of the Everlasting Hills and know that you are not alone; watch and never let anyone feel alone. Our politics can make things seem intractable, but our lives with one another can be a balm; and this movie can be a catalyst for hope and for alternative conversations filled with honesty and compassion and love for life, living as we were made.

The journey to the Everlasting Hills is one for us to take together, joined by a shared desire for the good and the beautiful — for God. Desire of the Everlasting Hills will inspire you to give to another the true look of love we crave.

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Right-Wing Media Pretend Religious Liberty Protects Anti-LGBT Employment Discrimination

July 22, 2014 4:10 pm ET by Luke Brinker & Meagan Hatcher-Mays

Conservative media are condemning President Barack Obama's executive order prohibiting federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT discrimination, framing the order as an assault on religious liberty, pushing discredited arguments to claim this discrimination is legally insignificant and asserting that anti-LGBT workplace bias isn't a real problem.

On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite pressure from some conservatives, the order did not include a broad exemption for religiously-affiliated organizations to engage in such discrimination, instead re-affirming a Bush II-era exemption that will allow a contracted "religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society" to continue to limit its hires to employees of their preferred religion. Prior to the issuing of the order, Executive Order 11246, more than 100 faith leaders signed a letter warning that the rejected religious exemptions would "open a Pandora's box inviting other forms of discrimination."

In a July 22 editorial, National Review Online complained that the order was unnecessary due to "changing social attitudes and the pressure of market competition" and argued that "the order addresses a small and shrinking problem of discrimination at a cost to religious liberty." 

Ryan T. Anderson, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a writer for the Daily Signal, Heritage's news site, echoed NRO's objections. Anderson flatly rejected any comparison between anti-gay discrimination and that based on sex or race and referred to sexual orientation and gender identity as "voluntary behaviors":

Federal policy on government contracts should not seek to enforce monolithic liberal secularism. Today's order undermines our nation's commitment to reasonable pluralism and reasonable diversity. All citizens and the groups they form should be free to exist and participate in relevant government programs according to their reasonable beliefs. The federal government should not use the tax-code and government contracting to reshape civil society on controversial moral issues that have nothing to do with the federal contract at stake.

[...]

[S]exual orientation and gender identity are unclear, ambiguous terms. They can refer to voluntary behaviors as well as thoughts and inclinations, and it is reasonable for employers to make distinctions based on actions. By contrast, "race" and "sex" clearly refer to traits, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, these traits (unlike voluntary behaviors) do not affect fitness for any job.

Today's executive order bans decisions based on moral views common to the Abrahamic faith traditions and to great thinkers from Plato to Kant as unjust discrimination. Whether by religion, reason, or experience, many people of goodwill believe that our bodies are an essential part of who we are. On this view, maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human to be valued and affirmed, not rejected or altered. Thus, our sexual embodiment as male and female goes to the heart of what marriage is: a union of sexually complementary spouses. Today's order deems such judgments irrational and unlawful.

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Fox News Correspondent Has A Meltdown Over Obama’s LGBT Non-Discrimination Order

July 21, 2014 4:47 pm ET by Carlos Maza

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes attacked an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees, accusing the Obama administration of being “hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda.”

On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating LGBT employees. The order amends existing non-discrimination executive orders to include sexual orientation and gender identity. As BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner reported, the order “contains no additional religious exemptions … beyond those already contained in existing executive orders.”

Fox’s Starnes attacked the executive order in a July 21 post on FoxNews.com, accusing the Obama administration of endangering religious liberty and “bullying religious groups that hold viewpoints it deems inappropriate”:

The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. And that includes religious Christian colleges and universities that provide financial aid to students.

[…]

“If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told me.

[…]

“The mask is coming off of the homosexual movement’s agenda. They really do not believe in religious liberty. They want forced affirmation of homosexual and transgender conduct to trump every other consideration in the workplace – including religious liberty.”

[…]

The Obama administration seems hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda. Resistance is futile.

Starnes’ commentary is typical of the Fox News personality, who’s made a career acting as the network’s mouthpiece for some of the country’s most extreme anti-LGBT hate groups. The Family Research Council’s (FRC) Sprigg, for example, has called for the exporting of gay people out of the U.S. and endorsed the criminalization of homosexuality. Pastor Robert Jeffress, another critic cited in Starnes’ post, is notorious for his extreme comments about LGBT people and Muslims.

Starnes’ fear-mongering about the executive order’s lack of religious exemptions grossly mischaracterizes the scope of the directive, which merely extends existing non-discrimination protections to include LGBT employees of federal contractors. As the New York Times editorial board recently explained:

This is not a question of religious freedom. It is a question of whether to allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate in employment against a particular group of people… [T]he presidential order … would extend those rules to companies that receive federal contracts in states without those kinds of anti-bias laws, protecting millions more people.

Mr. Obama’s resolve is being tested. There is no good reason to give religious employers a special privilege to inflict undeserved pain by, for example, refusing to hire someone to work on a government-backed project just because she happens to be a lesbian, or firing a capable employee who marries someone of the same sex.

Previously:

“God Less America”: An Ugly Look At What Still Motivates The Right’s Culture Warriors

Fox's Starnes Embarrasses Himself With Another Bogus Culture War Horror Story

Fox News Contributor Calls Out Todd Starnes' Anti-Gay Bigotry

Media Yawns At Landmark Study On Same-Sex Parenting

July 10, 2014 3:59 pm ET by Luke Brinker

A landmark new study finds that children of same-sex couples are happier and healthier than children raised by heterosexual parents – a finding that major media outlets have largely ignored despite its potential significance in the legal fight for marriage equality.

On July 4, researchers at the University of Melbourne unveiled the results of a study that looked at how children of same-sex and heterosexual couples fare on a variety of health and wellness measures. The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) is the largest study of its kind to date. Controlling for factors like socioeconomic status and parental education, researchers examined 500 children of 315 same-sex parents. An estimated 80 percent of the children were raised by female parents, with 18 percent raised by male parents. The Guardian summarized the researchers’ findings:

The children raised by same-sex partners scored an average of 6% higher than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion. They were equivalent to those from the general population on measures of temperament and mood, behavior, mental health and self-esteem.

Researchers did identify one hurdle often confronted by children of same-sex parents: anti-LGBT stigma, which about two-thirds of the children reported experiencing.

The Australian study is noteworthy not only given its unprecedented size and scope, but also because of its potential significance in the ongoing legal fight for marriage equality.

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Fox News Defends Hate Speech With Misinterpretation Of The First Amendment

July 10, 2014 1:27 pm ET by Michelle Leung

Fox News suggested HGTV ran afoul of the First Amendment when it canceled an upcoming reality show following reports of the hosts' extreme anti-gay and Islamophobic activism.

HGTV cancelled its forthcoming reality show Flip It Forward following revelations that the hosts, Jason and David Benham, had an extensive history of anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-Muslim activism. Examples of the brothers' reported hate speech include David Benham likening the fight against gay marriage to that against Nazi Germany, and participation in protests against "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation." Benham has publicly highlighted Leviticus' punishment of death for gay sex and protested in front of mosquesshouting "Jesus Hates Muslims."

After rushing to defend the brothers by claiming they were being punished for their Christian views, Fox News is now suggesting HGTV's decision to cancel the show violated the Benhams' First Amendment right to free speech.

On July 10, Fox News host Steve Doocy interviewed Jason and David Benham while an on-screen graphic declared they had been "fired for faith." Doocy argued, "You were fired for having an opinion. I mean, there's this thing called the First Amendment where people are entitled to their opinion and their Christian beliefs as well." 

But the First Amendment does not protect individuals from being fired by private employers, as it does not limit the actions that private employers may take based on employees' speech. The First Amendment Center explained:

The First Amendment does not limit private employers. The Bill of Rights -- and the First Amendment -- limit only government actors, not private actors. This means that private employers can restrict employee speech in the workplace without running afoul of the First Amendment.

HGTV did not violate the First Amendment rights of the Benhams by dropping their show. As Columbia Law's Suzanne Goldberg pointed out in an interview with CNN, it was most likely a decision to protect the business' brand following widespread outcry against the Benhams' comments. Even David Benham told CNN that he does not hold a grudge against the network, telling Erin Burnett, "It was too much for them to bear and they had to make a business decision."

Previously:

How Fox News Is Helping Homophobes Hijack Christianity

Jason Benham: Christians Have A Duty To "Destroy" Ideas God Doesn't Like, Including Marriage Equality

Fox News’ Defense Of Anti-Gay Discrimination At NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Watch A Child Dismantle Fox's Panic Over Gender-Neutral Restrooms

July 10, 2014 12:49 pm ET by Carlos Maza

Fox & Friends continued its bizarre attack on Illinois State University for designating gender-neutral restrooms, but even a group of “Fox fans” didn’t seem fazed by the school’s attempt to accommodate LGBT students. 

Illinois State University recently announced that it would be relabeling several of its single-stall “family” restrooms on campus as “all-gender” restrooms. Though the decision won’t alter the functionality of any of the restrooms, the move is meant to accommodate transgender and gender-variant students, who often face harassment and even violence in public restrooms. All-gender restrooms will be identified by a new sign that “will include a symbol of a half of a man and half of a woman.”

On July 9, the cast of Fox & Friends mocked the decision, calling the new sign confusing and blaming the change on the “P.C. police.”

On July 10, Fox & Friends continued its criticism of the university’s decision. Co-host Steve Doocy produced a massive mock-up of an “all-gender” sign and asked a group of “Fox fans” outside the studio what they thought the sign meant.

But none of the fans, including a young boy, seemed to share Doocy’s confusion or outrage over the sign:

The exchange was an awkward moment for Doocy, who was seemingly hoping to get a more negative reaction from the “Fox fans.” One chyron during the segment read “Bathroom Boondoggle: Are New Gender Signs Just Too Confusing?”:

Doocy’s co-hosts seemed equally surprised at the “Fox fans” unfazed reaction. Brian Kilmeade admitted “they’re better people than us. I could not figure it out and we had the story in front of us. It makes no sense.”

Designating gender-neutral bathrooms is not an unusual practice. Many colleges and universities have adopted gender-neutral facilities in order to better accommodate the demands of growing LGBT student populations. Such basic adjustments might cause havoc and confusion on the set of Fox & Friends, but in the outside world, even “Fox fans” can’t figure out what the big deal is. 

Previously:

Fox & Friends Laughs At University's Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Fox & Friends Blames The “P.C. Police” For Gay-Inclusive Federal Forms

Fox News Has A Meltdown Over Gender-Neutral Marriage Licenses In WA

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