Saturday, July 30, 2005


Author Wayne Besen released an explosive letter today by Love In Action's co-Founder and former ex-gay John Evans, which rebukes gay conversion groups saying that they "shattered lives". The group he started has recently made headlines because it runs a boot camp for gay teens called "Refuge" that tries to turn adolescents heterosexual, often against their will.

"In the past 30 years since leaving the 'ex-gay' ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the 'ex-gay' movement," Evans writes in his letter to John Smid, Love In Action's current director. "I challenge Christians to investigate all sides of the issue of being gay and Christian. The Church has been wrong in the past regarding moral issues and I'm sure there will be more before Christ returns."

Evans, a gay man, founded what may be the first modern ex-gay group in San Raphael, Calif. in 1973, along with a heterosexual preacher Kent Philpott. Evans left his life partner of ten years to start the gay conversion group. He later dropped out after he realized it didn't work and his best friend committed suicide because he could not turn heterosexual.

"Having the founder of Love In Action step forward to admonish the ministry he started speaks to the utter hopelessness and futility of these groups, not to mention the danger they represent," said Wayne Besen, Author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth (Haworth, 2003). "Most disturbing are the compulsory gay boot camps for teens which are tantamount to child abuse. They should immediately be shut down."

In May, 16-year old Zach told his fundamentalist Christian parents that he is gay. Horrified by the news, they vowed to fix him by sending him to an "ex-gay" boot camp in Memphis to be reprogrammed. Like a modern day message in a bottle, Zach used his Internet blog to send an SOS.

"I told my parents I was gay," he wrote. "This didn't go over very well," and "They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they 'raised me wrong.' Today, my mother, father and I had a very long talk in my room, where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays."

The next day, Zach threw another bottle into the Cyber-sea.

"It's like boot camp. If I do come out straight, I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it won't matter."

Besen is a nationally recognized advocate for gay and lesbian rights. He has been a guest on leading news and political talk shows. He made international news when he photographed "ex-gay" poster boy and Love in Action graduate John Paulk cruising a gay bar in Washington, D.C.

The link also contains the full text of the letter to Mr. Smid.

Friday, July 29, 2005

I might have to get Benji one of these.

Now that's the way to talk to a governor!

"[T]he Sambia of New Guinea have traditionally believed that for an adolescent boy to grow into a man, he absolutely must fellate an adult male and swallow the semen.... It's been that way for well over 3,000 years of their history.... Some ancient Greek tribes had a similar notion of the necessary reception of semen to make a boy a man, only with them it was an anal-routed process."

An Open Letter to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

Which provides for an interesting re-interpretation of Peter Pan's reluctance to grow up.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"A Kenyan city councilman says he offered Bill Clinton 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter's hand in marriage five years ago."

I'm sure it tempted him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How else do you reason with such blind bigotry?
I'm not sure what criteria to weigh when deciding whether or not to vote for a Supreme Court nominee. I don't think that just because he makes rulings I don't like should be enough to disqualify him from being accepted. But how should one qualify whether someone is a "good" judge? The number of his rulings that have not been overturned on appeal? Accepting the ABA's rating (how do they come to their conclusion, anyways)?

I only currently have two qualms with John Roberts. One is that he's got very little experience as a judge--two years, as opposed to many years of being a lawyer. But I don't know if that's atypical of justices on the Supreme Court, either, or if that would even really affect his performance overly much. I just assume one needs a different frame of mind to be a judge rather than a lawyer--though this is perhaps not really much of an obstacle.

The second is this.

Which, of course, they're denying.
Apparently it's okay to discriminate against gays because they commit twice as many DUIs.

Though, like most of the screed that comes out of Paul Cameron, I think this study is only good for a laugh.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

We need a racist superhero.
Maybe a black superhero who'll only rescue black people from the oppression of the white man!

Oh, and Jason, by the way--in addition to Ragman, the Sasquatch is Jewish.

As is the Thing, Doc Samson, and the second Nite Owl, apparently.

And possibly Spider-Man.

As is, of course, Magen David, Menorah Man, Minyan Man, Shabbas Queen, Dreidel Maidel, Yarmulkah Youth (or Kippa Kid), and Matza Woman (the last of whom got her powers from "unknowingly eating an atomic matzah that was accidentally baked in a microwave oven with radioactive water").

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Teaching (In)Tolerance!
Changes in Iraq Will Set Women Back 50 Years

Many of the war's sponsors, though historically challenged, believed they could bring democracy to Iraq. They believed they could white-out all of Iraq's history with their good intentions (and a lot of not-so-good intentions, as well). As the primary symbol of their "goodness," they would make sure that Iraqi women (and soon, Saudi women, and Egyptian women, and Syrian women) would be equal to men. That would be the Washington war-planners' gift to the world.

And what has happened THERE?

In fact, Iraqi women's rights are about to be set back by nearly 50 years, The New York Times reported this week, "because of new family law provisions inserted into a draft of the constitution at the behest of the ruling Shiite religious parties."

Koranic law -- the harsh Sharia best known for keeping company with the Saudi Wahabis, the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Taliban in Afghanistan, where women are stoned to death for adultery -- would come to Iraq. Shiite women, even secular ones, would no longer have the right to choose their own husbands, to inherit property or to seek court protection if their husbands declare them "divorced."

But the writer continues to say "Under Saddam Hussein, Iraqi women actually DID have total equality with men," which I find somewhat suspect. Then again, I know little of gender issues in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Friday, July 22, 2005

From the testimony of James Marcinkowski, ex-CIA:

Before you shine up your American flag lapel pin and affix your patriotism to your sleeve, think about what the impact your actions will have on the security of the American people. Think about whether your partisan obfuscation is creating confidence in the United States in general and the CIA in particular. If not, a true patriot would shut up.

Those who take pride in their political ability to divert the issue from the fundamental truth ought to be prepared to take their share of the responsibility for the continuing damage done to our national security.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Witchy woman

At 39, Fiona Horne is turning as many heads as ever. In the US she has been dubbed "the hot witch".

"I'm glad to see all the magic is paying off and I still look young," she says.

The platinum blonde Horne has turned the stereotype of witches as warty hags on its head. Now she will reveal her love spells and beauty secrets in a new show, One Enchanted Evening with Fiona Horne.

"It's a cross between Anthony Robbins's motivational tour and Jamie Oliver's cooking show, except I'll be cooking up spells," she says.

"I'll show you how you can create spells to bring positive change in your life. I'll demonstrate general spells anyone could whip up with what they have in the house or get from the supermarket."

Does anyone else find this... I dunno... kinda offensive?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Born gay or made gay
Sadly, there is little good news to report from Iraq
A fascinating article on the bombardier beetle.

And how come people are always thinking of poisoning or drugging a city's water supply, but not just blowing it up? Introducing some truly promiscuous amounts of an alkali metal would do the job nicely.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

From AlterNet, I find these quotes regarding the Valerie Plame leak from actual CIA agents:

We also want to send a clear message to the political “operatives” responsible for “outing” Mrs. Wilson. Such action was treacherous, if not treasonous. ... Such action has allowed the less attractive aspects of politics to supersede the Government's responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation and the individuals who serve in difficult, dangerous covert capacities. This has set a sickening precedent. The “senior Administration officials” who did this have warned all U.S. intelligence officers and the intelligence community that any one individual may be compromised if providing information or factual analysis the White House does not like.


If left unpunished, this cowardly act [blowing Plame's cover] will not only hinder our efforts to recruit qualified individuals into the clandestine service, but it will have a far-reaching, deleterious effect on our ability to recruit foreign intelligence assets overseas. Who in their right mind would ever agree to become a spy for the United States when we cannot even protect our own undercover officers?


Monday, July 11, 2005

According to a Media Matters for America transcription, Bill O'Reilly had the following to say after the London terrorist attacks:

The "Talking Points Memo" this evening is about sanitizing terror. ... Generally speaking, the European media is viciously anti-American when it comes to the war on terror. The garbage these people are throwing out to a largely clueless public is astounding. ... The anti-American press both here and in Europe is actually helping the terrorists by diminishing their threat. "Talking Points" urges you to begin holding people accountable for their position on the terror war. Walk away from media that excuses or sanitizes these brutal acts. USA is not the problem in this world. The terrorists are. And if you don't agree with that, you are helping killers like [Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi. Enough's enough. London should be the last straw.

Which is interesting, considering that whenever people show what the terrorists do on television--such as showing the bodies/coffins of American soldiers, or listing the names of the deceased--they're accused of helping the terrorists by trying to rousing public opinion against the war on terror by showing how much it actually costs us.
Burn, you sanctimonious balding troglodyte!

Friday, July 8, 2005

In the article "State: no evidence of abuse at 'ex-gay' camp", I find the following quote amusing as hell:

John Smid, executive director of Love in Action, defended the program. "We understand people don't have control over what they feel, but we teach them they are able to control what they do," Smid said in a quote published by the AP. "We don't have to act on those desires, even if we feel them."

So basically Smid is admitting that people can't control their orientation--so it obviously is not a choice--and they can do nothing to change people's orientation. The best they can do is get people to repress their orientation by not acting on it.

Monday, July 4, 2005

"Moral leprosy" is a phrase you don't want to hear from a judge.

Friday, July 1, 2005

According to the Attorney General of Massachusetts,
[A]dolescent girls raised by lesbian parents tend to be more sexually active and adventurous than girls raised by opposite-sex parents.... Given the strong state interest in limiting teenage pregnancies, this finding alone could rationally lead the Legislature to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Any bets on just how very flawed this statement is?