Saturday, May 27, 2017

Covert hate groups of lawyers infiltrate Trump administration and some state, watch group claims

Who has heard of this group, Alliance Defending Freedom, as described in “Media Matters”?
There are subsidiary groups of Allied Attorneys and the Blackstone Fellowships that support “Christian” lawyers, so to speak.

There is a community website with no public content which would seem a little suspicious.

Media Matters claims that some are serving in the Trump administration and various states.  But does their activity go beyond the fringe groups and the “Hobby Lobby” crowd?   Let the market dictate how credible they are?

One Facebook friend notes that the “bathroom bills” came about as a fantasy on the Right, that really could pay attention to more real terror and security threats.  Remember in 2004 when Santorum wanted to pass an anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment and Feinstein criticized him for ignoring the anti-terrorism bill.

Picture: Pride sign in Frederick, MD (left side of photo)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

At Notre Dame, graduating students walk out on Mike Pence

At a conservative Catholic university in Indiana, many students at graduation walked out when Vice President Mike Pence spoke today, as in this NPR story and video.

The school is Notre Dame.  Canadian actor Richard Harmon (“Judas Kiss”) is known to follow the Fighting Irish football team .

Pence is notorious for having proposed conversion therapy as a way to meet AIDS back in 2000.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Some transgender people can sue under ADA, judge rules; "It gets better" comes under fire

Although this is not a judicial result that one wants to use to encourage overuse or “pimping” of disability in court, a federal court in Philadelphia, with judge Joseph Gleeson, has ruled that a transgender individual may file complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act in some circumstances.  The plaintiff was Kate Lynn Blatt, and the Washington Blade story today is by Chris Johnson, link.

 The ruling considers some forms of dysphoria as legitimate disabilities.  This might include body dysmorphia, for example.

The Blade provided the PDF of the opinion.

The Blade also reports that the idea of “It Gets Better”, which even Ellen deGeneres has promoted, has come under criticism as appropriate as an answer for all LGBTQ bullying

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LDS church pulls older teens out of Boy Scouts, half-heartedly denies it is about gay issues

The Mormon church (LDS) seems to be backsliding on the whole LGBTQ question, even if the church denies it.  It is separating older teens from the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts and forming its own separate scouting group.

On Hubpages. Ralph Schwartz gives a detailed history here.

The BSA gradually reversed its policies (first for members and then leaders) after winning its legal case in the Supreme Court in 2000 on libertarian grounds – because of corporate and community pressures.   A lot of people in the Cato crowd liked it turning out this way.  I know of at least one gay teen in Virginia who became prominent in scouting.

The LDS used to be one of the prime supporters of BSA.

The BSA also recently accepted transgendered people recently.

This is quite a change from the 1980s when the BSA, located in Irving TX along Highway 183 as I remember, actually showed up at IT job fairs with jobs for programmers, and living there at the time, I felt wary.

LDS theology goes beyond the familiar evangelical interest in the “natural family” to speak of eternal marriage in the hereafter.  So the LDS church sees openness and dedication to procreation as a moral imperative, connected to eligibility for its version of heaven.  From the viewpoint of more recent writings in quantum physics and cosmology, there seems to be something to the idea that “distributed consciousness” does exist in nature with other animals (like social insects) and is connected to familial relationships.  It’s hard to grasp this in relation to the “I-ness” of individual life on Earth.

Picture: Salt Lake Temple taken by my father in the late 1920s.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TrumpCare could remove affordable PrEP for many MSM, especially low income and minorities

Huffington Post has a rather alarming story about “TrumpCare” (so to speak) and HIV prevention, by Spenser Mestel.

Essentially because of the mentality that among gay men this is “behavior based”  need(as George Will once said) there will be a lot of pressure to allow insurance companies not to cover it.  And those thrown off insurance and likely to wind up with infection will be more likely to be minority and low income men.

Note the tone of the article, in terms of ending HIV once and for all.  PrEP is supposed to prevent infection.

Monday, May 08, 2017

"No Justice No Pride" seems quite aggressive in demands that Pride marches not admit police, corporations during the Age of Trump

Stephanie Higgins provides a vimeo from a group “No Justice No Pride”, in Spanish “Sim Justicis no hay  Orgullo” from Phoenix.

Sin Justicia No Hay Orgullo / No Justice No Pride from Stephanie Figgins on Vimeo.

The group wants Pride celebrations to deny corporations and police to march.

The video points out that Stonewall as actually started by two trans people, not cis males. It also talks about deportations

The group has a page on Facebook here.

And there in Phoenix the group was able to shut down the Phoenix Pride march, according to this report.

The group has a meeting at the Washington Peace Center on Constitution Avenue, story.

I found Lou Chibarro’s story on the group in the print edition page 1 May 5 but could not find the individual story separately.

Update: May 16, 2017

The Washington Blade has an op-ed by Mark Lee on the issue.

By Zarxos - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Private "Christian" colleges still fire people for pro-gay speech; Kentucky judge won't hear gay adoption cases

A few private “Christian” colleges have followed aggressive policies dismissing staff who support gay rights (especially gay marriage) even “off the job”.  The New York Daily News reports on Intervarsity.  And the Moorfield Storey Institute has a story on Montreat College near Asheville, NC,

But it has always been common for private “Christian” schools to maintain that sexuality should be reserved for procreation in marriage, as part of some collective scheme to get everyone to belong to a natural family that survives into the afterlife (Heaven).  If some people don’t go along, that weakens things for everyone else in their families, so the thinking used to go. It really is about procreation.

And there is a case of a family court judge in Kentucky who won’t hear gay adoption cases at all, even for legally married couples (Daily News).  Would “religious freedom” let him opt out?  But it seems self-contradictory:  one of the objections to homosexuality has always been the circular idea of avoiding responsibility for having to raise kids (and propagate the family).  The judge claims people who engage in homosexual sex “cannot help children”.

The Washington Blade reports that governors in both Tennessee and Alabama have signed bills which would allow religiously-based adoption agencies to refuse legally married gay couples to be considered without losing state funding, link