The Florida Family Policy Council (Florida’s affiliate of the anti-gay hate group, the Family Research Council) will welcome Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to its annual “policy awards dinner.” Despite Bachmann’s refusal to discuss the harmful ex-gay therapy offered by her family business, the appearance is a fresh reminder that the candidate is a fierce opponent of LGBT equality.
The FFPC raises hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to oppose abortion rights, “the gay agenda,” and Islam. In 2008, they successfully led the charge to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in Florida’s state constitution. The group’s president, John Stemberger, used a “protect children” strategy to scare voters into voting for the ban:
Failing to ban gay marriage in the state constitution could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle. Florida schools might have to teach that gay weddings are the same as traditional unions if the proposal fails at the polls.
In 2010, when a judge overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex adoption, FFPC ran a story attempting to discredit the couple who won the case by misrepresenting them with an absurd photo. The actual couple is on the right; FFPC ran the photo on the left:
Radio minister and former rocker Bradlee Dean canceled his appearance with SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile yesterday afternoon (claiming that he was overwhelmed with “interview requests”), but felt well enough to appear on Alex Jones’ show to discuss his lawsuit against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and the Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey. Dean alleges that Maddow and Birkey defamed him and his ministry when they suggested that he wants to kill homosexuals and ignored a “very clear disclaimer” on his website saying that he does not endorse such action.
In his appearance on Jones’ show, Dean doubled down on his long record of anti-gay rhetoric, claiming that his lawsuit aimed at “protecting the young in public high schools” from homosexual indoctrination and agreeing with Jones that gay people teach fisting to young children:
DEAN: It’s about protecting a particular people who are being attacked, namely the young in public high schools and that’s what this is really about and what they want to do is they want to keep me on the defense so they can stay on the offense so they can continuously play the victim.
JONES: All over the country, it is a fact, and I wouldn’t want heterosexuals recruiting 7-year-olds. They target children and I can’t even say on the radio for 20 years what’s been taught.
JONES: But they teach children sexual acts that can kill you.
JONES: I mean, we’re talking about fisting, ladies and gentlemen. Things like that are taught to 7-year-olds.
Dean has a long friendship with Michele Bachmann, dating back to her days as a Minnesota state senator. In 2005, Bachmann sent Dean’s ministry a letter of endorsement, saying, “Your work is a testament to the struggle our youth are facing in making the right choices in the face of controversy and peer pressure. [...] I commend you on writing this book for parents and youth alike,” she wrote.
Bachmann has also appeared on Dean’s radio show and attended his fundraisers. “It a tough job that you do, but someone has to do it. I thank God that he has given you the strength and the resolve to fight for our timeless values,” she said of Dean in 2009.
During a press conference announcing the lawsuit yesterday, Dean returned the favor and specifically referenced Bachmann, saying, “It is clear that Rachael Maddow, Phil Griffin, NBC, and its subsidiary MSNBC intended to use my ministry and me to destroy the presidential campaign of Michele Bachmann who they despise for her conservative Christian beliefs and her opposition to the ‘gay rights’ political agenda.” [HT: Dump Michele Bachmann ]
Barney Frank: Elizabeth Warren Was Not Appointed To Head CFPB Because Of ‘Gender Bias’ |
“Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor who conceived the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, could not secure an appointment to lead the new federal agency partly as a result of gender bias, Rep. Barney Frank said Wednesday on the House floor,” The Advocate’s Andrew Harmon notes. “Ms. Warren encountered from some people, maybe unconscious on their part, the notion that very strong-willed women with strong opinions might have a place, but not in the financial sector,” said Frank. Watch it:
APA Endorsed Marriage Equality Seven Years Ago Today | Seven years ago today, the American Psychological Association fully endorsed marriage equality for same-sex couples. The policy statement pointed out that having the ability to marry would provide security and mental health benefits, thus combating the “minority stress” stigma imposes upon couples. As the largest professional organization of psychologists, the APA encourages all of its members “to act to eliminate all discrimination against same-sex couples in their practice, research, education, and training.”
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT’s 8:45 AM round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here’s what we’re reading this morning, but let us know what you’re checking out too.
- The Washington Blade sat down with Douglas Wilson, the Defense Department’s first openly gay assistant secretary, about his role in advancing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
- Rep. Allen West (R-FL) will speak at the Business Assocation of Wilton Manors, FL next month, a city with a prominent LGBT community in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) Congressional district. Some commissioners have said they will not attend the meeting out of protest.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley sent a letter last week to state legislators, urging approval of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in the Judiciary Committee.
Bradlee Dean, once known for being a Christian metal rocker, now runs an incredibly homophobic ministry in Minnesota called the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry. Dean has many close ties to Minnesota social conservatives like Michele Bachmann, who he invites onto his “School of Hard Knocks Roxx”/”The Sons of Liberty” radio show, on which he regularly attacks gays and lesbians. This week, Dean filed a $50 million lawsuit against Rachel Maddow and Andy Birkey from the Minnesota Independent for highlighting radio tirades in which he supports the execution of homosexuals, calling the coverage “defamation” and “false accusations.”
According to the lawsuit, there’s a “very clear disclaimer” on the ministry’s website making it clear that it does not support the execution of homosexuals and claiming otherwise “seriously has harmed” Dean and the ministry. Maddow read that disclaimer in her coverage, but the lawsuit does not seem to acknowledge this fact. Though he now says “We are against anyone, anywhere, at any time, who executes homosexuals for being homosexual,” here is a round-up of some of his clips condemning homosexuality on the radio:
- EXECUTING HOMOSEXUALS IS MORAL: Dean is suing over a clip pulled from his radio show in May 2010. In it, he cited that Sharia Law calls for the execution of homosexuals, which he praised as being “more moral” than American Christianity. He also made the absurd claim that “On average, [homosexuals] molest 117 people before they’re found out”:
DEAN: Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.
- INCARCERATING GAYS IS MORAL: Only a week later, Dean was broadcasting live from the Heritage Foundation, and he and his ministry’s co-leader, Jake McMillian, praised Malawi for arresting a gay couple who got engaged:
MCMILLIAN: They are very conservative. They sentence people for crimes against nature.
DEAN: They are very moral; they uphold the laws.
MCMILLIAN: We have got countries all over the world that are standing for what’s right and what’s wrong. In Rwanda, there’s legislation right now that repeat offenders of homosexuality will spend their life in prison.
- HOMOSEXUALITY IS AGAINST THE LAW: Back in January, 2010, Dean railed against President Obama for appointing Sharon Lubinski, a lesbian, as a U.S. Marshal in Minnesota. Citing Leviticus 18:22 (which calls homosexuality an abomination punishable by death), he blurred Old Testament Law with federal law and ignored the fact that Lawrence v. Texas overturned all “sodomy laws,” saying:
DEAN: Sodomy is against the law in the United States. Homosexuality is against the law in the United States. Statute 609.293 is sodomy in the state of Minnesota.
- FOREFATHERS CALLED FOR PROSECUTING HOMOSEXUALS: Dean triumphed Leviticus 18:22 again last November, but this time claimed Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were on his side:
DEAN: The question I wanted to know is: “What did our forefathers have to say about it?” And I’m beginning to tell ya, I mean, for example, I went back to Thomas Jefferson. He was writing a bill to penalize sodomy by castration. George Washington would basically send forth the pipers and the drummers and he would drum them out shamefully, never to come back again. And then I began to read off state statutes, and they absolutely did not tolerate crimes against nature whatsoever. Again, all the way up until 1961, you’d go to prison for 20-21 years if you were caught in the act of sodomy. In Rhode Island, it was considered a mental illness, and folks, it is.
- HOMOSEXUALS ARE COMING FOR CHILDREN: Just this week, Dean had an “epic rant” against “The Homosexual Agenda” for trying to fight bullying in Anoka-Hennepin School District. His co-host Heather cited pro-pedophilia gay and lesbian groups and cited an “actual statistic” that “homosexuals commit more than 33% of all reported child molestations in the United States.” Dean went off:
DEAN: See folks, this isn’t a fire to be played with. These are crimes… You need to understand, you’ve got to get off the sympathy train, if you’re on that sympathy train folks, because… they are not the victims. Who are the victims? The children are.
If the notion that Dean supports death for gays is causing him so many problems, perhaps he should stop reinforcing it on the air.
Dean was scheduled to appear on Sirius XM’s Michelangelo Signorile show this afternoon, but canceled his appearance after claiming he was “overwhelmed” by interview requests. Listen to Signorile school Dean:
The Village Voice has video of Dean’s press conference announcing the suit this morning. In it, he claims that MSNBC caters to “progressives, meaning a generally secular, frequently atheist, pro-gay rights, socialist, and big-government market among its viewers.” Watch it:
April 10, 2012 – Through his attorney, Dean has accused ThinkProgress of making “”false and defamatory claims” in this post. We stand by our reporting, but have agreed to publish his attorney’s letter so that his words can speak for themselves:
March 28, 2012
Re: Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International
Dear ThinkProgress/Zack Ford:
Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International concerning the false and defamatory statements published in ThinkProgress on July 27th, 2011 have retained our law firm. The article, “Bradlee Dean Never Calls for the Persecution of Gays, Except all the Time” falsely states that Bradlee Dean and has expressed agreement with an extreme Muslim position that calls for the execution of homosexuals. In your article you give a quote from Bradlee Dean’s radio broadcast to support your false and defamatory claims. This quote must be given in its entirety if you choose to use it in your article; you will find the text below.
“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination. And I continually reach out to the homosexual communities on this radio show, and I warn them, which one’s love? Here you have Obama condemning it behind the backs of the homosexuals but to their faces he’s promoting it. Because he’s the one that said that he would never, no matter which way the winds go, Obama said he is not going to condemn or go against the Muslim nation. He’s also the guy that said we are no longer a Christian nation, we’re a Muslim nation … The homosexuals, they need to listen… I say this to my gay friends out there, the ones that continuously nitpick everything I say in their defense and for t heir eternal destination, Hollywood is promoting immorality and God of the Heavens in Jesus’ name is warning you to flee from the wrath to come, yet you have Muslims calling for your execution.”
Neither Bradlee Dean nor You Can Run International have ever called for the execution of homosexuals nor have they in any way expressed agreement with the statement that homosexuals should be executed.
Bradlee Dean and You Can Run International have sued Rachel Maddow and MSNBC for creating this false claim by deliberately deleting portions of a statement made by Bradlee Dean to make it appear that he was in agreement with this extreme Muslim position. Furthermore, your coverage of this lawsuit in the article is false as you fail to mention the second report done by Rachel Maddow highlighting Bradlee Dean. This second report done in August of 2011 is the subject of the lawsuit and should be acknowledged in your report. The reporter should understand and know the facts about this case before reporting.
If you contend that you have facts to support your false and defamatory claim, please produce those facts. If you have no facts supporting your false statement, then promptly remove the statement from your webpage or promptly make the corrections needed in order for this article correct and truthful.
Any further publication will be with full knowledge that the statements and claims are false and with a reckless disregard of the truth and will result in further legal action.
FAMiLY LEADER President Bob Vander Plaats responded to a petition from LGBT groups asking him to apologize for laughing and praising an offensive “faggot” joke during a March event in Audubon, Iowa. In an interview with WHO Newsradio this afternoon, Vander Plaats defended himself by saying he never used the “f” word and claiming that he was targeted by “gay activists” who were threatened by his group’s success:
VANDER PLAATS: The reason they’ve got this and the reason they think this is gold. They sent someone to all 99 counties, three stops a day, and they video taped everything….and so they have a 45-second clip. I think the tactic, Jan is, they want to point us out as being fearful and hateful. They wan to point out Bob Vander Plaats and the FAMiLY Leader — they’re fearful, they’re hateful. Absolutely not. Our goal is to love people, but to speak the truth in love. [...] They see us taking ground for the family. [...] I did not say those words, I would never utter those words. Again, we speak the truth and love.
Vander Plaats has also come under criticism from Republicans for his extreme views on social issues. In a video clip first published by ThinkProgress the FAMiLY LEADER head — who has previously compared same-sex marriage to second-hand smoking — is seen laughing at the following joke: “You know what my wife says? She says: Iowa, the state where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.” Vander Plaats responded with, “Oh shoot, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good. Oh shoot.” Watch it:
One Iowa’s petition asking Vander Plaats to apologize for his reaction currently has 1,479 signers.
Social conservatives have stepped up their criticism of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) for saying that he is “fine” with New York’s decision to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage and that the 10th amendment leaves such issues to the states. The backlash began with Rick Santorum — who yesterday promised to “go to New York” and repeal the law — and has spread to South Carolina’s Focus on the Family affiliate, the Palmetto Family Council, the FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats and American Values’ Gary Bauer:
– ORAN SMITH, Palmetto Family: “It’s the way he said it,” Smith said, noting that Perry said he was “fine” with New York’s new law. He explained that if by “fine” he means he’s happy about it, that won’t sit well with evangelical voters, but if he’s approaching it as a constitutional lawyer would, it may not be so bad.
– GARY BAUER, American Values: “His comments were inartful and disappointing. The 10th Amendment and states’ rights is very important to conservatives, but it’s not our highest value,” Bauer said. “There are some things so fundamentally wrong that we have not left those things up to the states.” The governor also seemed unaware that the threat we are facing is the same-sex laws of New York and Massachusetts being forced on the whole country. So I think he still has great potential, but I think it’s a sign that even if you are a governor, the transition to the presidential sweepstakes requires a lot of study and understanding the nuances of these issues.”
– BOB VANDER PLAATS, FAMiLY LEADER: “I hope it’s more of an education issue to understand this is going to a federal level,” he said, adding, “Many of us advocated for states’ rights and were big 10th Amendment people, but when it comes to things like whether its slavery, and abortion, or marriage, we’re not saying, ‘Well it’s OK to have slavery in Alabama but not Iowa.’ And our group wouldn’t say, ‘It’s OK to have abortion in the state of Washington but not in Iowa.’ Some things are right and some things are wrong, and especially when it comes to marriage, it’s a foundation block and a building block for society.”
Perry’s aides, meanwhile, have rushed to reassure conservatives of the governor’s support for a federal amendment outlawing the recognition of same sex relationships, despite his praise for the 10th amendment. “Nothing has changed with the governor’s philosophy here,” Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, told the Statesman, “confirming Perry’s support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman…the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and a state constitutional amendment defining traditional marriage.”
In 2010′s Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America From Washington, however, Perry wrote, “Gay marriage will soon be the policy of the United States, irrespective of federalism, the Constitution, or the wish of the American people. Not because it is actually protected in the Constitution, but because judges will declare it so.”
So, there’s a new study out that purports to find that conventionally attractive women are considered better role models than less attractive women when they’re in action roles. I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to find out that was the case. But the study seems really wonky. There were just 122 people in it, which is not a particularly big sample size. And more importantly, the examples in the study seem to bias the outcomes pretty heavily. It’s not just that Angelina Jolie and Kathy Bates are totally physically different. It’s that Tomb Raider and Primary Colors aren’t really comparable. Jolie in Tomb Raider is a very straightforward, sexy action heroine:
Bates’ character in Primary Colors has spent a lot of time hospitalized as a result of her mental illness. In the scene where she brandishes a gun on a sketchy Arkansas lawyer, she explicitly uses the fact that everyone thinks she’s crazy to make her threat to shoot his genitals plausible. “I am a gay lesbian woman! I do not mythologize the male sexual organ!” she hollers at him. The violence in Tomb Raider is abstracted, necessary, presented as if it’s cool, whereas the threat of it in Primary Colors is visceral and ugly, not strictly necessary, presented with a combination of wry admiration and disapproval. There’s no way both movies would seem comparable even if Jolie played both roles.
I’d actually like to see a study like this that’s based in more viable comparisons. If we can find a way of presenting women kicking ass that helps expand audiences’ sense of what women can do, while still making for awesome action movies, it would be wonderful to be able to advocate for it. But I need better evidence than this.
QNotes’ Matt Comer reports that North Carolina lawmakers might consider a state constitutional amendment that would ban all “recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other public and private arrangements for same-sex couples” as early as Thursday, when legislators consider several unrelated measures:
Their session rules allow them to consider only those and certain other topics, but, on Tuesday, Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) filed an adjournment resolution that would allow the legislature to quickly adjourn on Wednesday and reconvene on Thursday. The new session would allow for consideration of constitutional amendments. [...]
There’s been no serious indication the anti-LGBT bills will be heard on Thursday, but statewide advocacy group Equality North Carolina emailed their supporters Tuesday evening and urged them to contact their legislators. The group has also issued a call for volunteers to help them staff phone banking efforts today.
A special fall session on constitutional amendments could still be in the works. Tillis told reporters Tuesday that heintends to return and hear amendments that don’t make the cut Thursday. In June, Tillis told Asheville’s Citizen-Times that the anti-LGBT amendments would “definitely be brought up in a special fall session.”
North Carolina is “the last remaining state in the Southeast without a constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex relationships” and the New York Times’ Nate Silver has projected that the measure “would be a heavy favorite to pass.”
Several other states are also considering placing an LGBT-related amendment on the 2012 ballot. Minnesota will ask voters to go to the ballot to prohibit marriage equality while Maine, Washington and Oregon have introduced pro-LGBT measures.
Anti-Gay Christian Groups Can No Longer Profit Off Apple |
After a Change.org petition gathered more than 22,000 signatures, Apple has removed their iTunes store from the Christian Values Network (CVN). When customers make purchases through CVN, a donation is made to the religious charity of the customer’s choice, and anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council use the service to raise money. Companies like Microsoft, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, and BBC America have all recently removed their stores from the network.
Savage To Santorum: Keep Attacking Gays And I’ll Redefine ‘Rick,’ Too |
Sex columnist Dan Savage has offered a new threat to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum: If Santorum continues to attack gays and lesbians during his campaign, Savage will expand his “google problem” by redefining “Rick.” Savage led a campaign to redefine “Santorum” in 2003 after Santorum compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. Other people named Rick chimed in to urge Santorum to heed Savage’s threat. Watch it (Audio may be NSFW):
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT’s 8:45 AM round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here’s what we’re reading this morning, but let us know what you’re checking out too.
- The Washington Blade points out that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “states’ rights” position on same-sex marriage isn’t all that different from President Obama’s. Of course, the president supports the repeal of DOMA and opposes a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution.
- Bradlee Dean, who runs Minnesota’s You Can Rub But You Cannot Hide Ministry (and is a friend of GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann), is suing Rachel Maddow for $50 million for “false accusations and defamation” over remarks he made implying support of violence against the gay community.
- A lesbian couple helped save dozens of young people from gunman Andres Behring Breivik during last week’s shooting in Norway.
- Leadership changes at Equality California are raising questions about moving LGBT equality forward and how to respond to the Stop SB48 campaign, which would overturn the FAIR Education Act just signed into law.
- Here’s video of the National Organization for Marriage busing people in to New York City for their protests of marriage equality on Sunday. (HT: Jeremy Hooper for the “Rainbow Transit” bus image.)
A Williams Institute meta-analysis report (PDF) shows that LGBT people regularly face discrimination in the workplace, which leads to various negative impacts. Here are some important findings from the study:
- SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION: Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents, 27 percent faced discrimination based on their sexual orientation over a five-year period. Rates were higher for those were out, with 38 percent facing either harassment or job loss.
- SELF-CLOSETING: Only 25 percent of LGB respondents were out to all of their coworkers. (Another study found that those who were closeted were more likely to “languish or leave“.)
- GENDER IDENTITY DISCRIMINATION: As recently as 2011, 78 percent of transgender respondents have faced some form of workplace harassment or mistreatment based on their gender identity. Similarly high results were found in state-specific studies in California in 2009 (70 percent) and in Utah in 2010 (67 percent).
- WAGE GAP: Gay men consistently earn significantly less than heterosexual men.
- UNEMPLOYMENT: Large percentages of the transgender population are unemployed or have incomes far below the national average.
- NEGATIVE IMPACTS: Discrimination, fear of discrimination, and concealing one’s identity can have negative impacts on mental and physical health, productivity in the workplace, and job satisfaction.