Friday, January 23, 2009

This is just a reminder to my readers to try and watch the Lifetime movie Prayers for Bobby, based on the true story of Mary Griffith and her son, Bobby Griffith. The Boston Globe says this film "takes on Christian fundamentalist intolerance of homosexuality with point-blank directness."

Mary Griffith, now 74, says that parents "have to know that it's OK to challenge their religious beliefs and church doctrine, especially when the health and welfare of their child is one the line."

Mary says that her campaign to "cure" her son of being gay "wasn't something I did out of malice" but because "I was truly ignorant."

A somewhat shocking review of the film is that from Joanne Ostrow of The Denver Post. She says: "It may be helpful to remember that this true tale of religious intolerance occurred in the 1970s. Keep that in mind, view this as ancient history, and you can perhaps forgive Mary's ignorance." Ignorance, I fear is an ever present reality. The sort of religious intolerance portrayed in this film is not "ancient history" by any means. It is alive and well in the pews of the hundreds of thousands of fundamentalist churches that blight the American landscape. It is an intolerance that infests the hearts of tens of millions of believers. It is the kind of prejudice that inspired Mormons to empty their wallets and go door-to-door in California to strip one group of people of the right to marry. Anyone who thinks ignorance is ancient history is themself proof that it is alive and well.

Prayers for Bobby airs on the Lifetime network, Jan. 24 at 9 PM ET/PT. It will repeat on Jan. 25 at 8 pm and Jan 27 at 9 PM ET/PT.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mormons say no to gay equality again

Because of the prominent role played by the Mormon Church is stripping California’s same-sex couples of their marriages the issue of same-sex relationships has heated up in Utah, home for the cult. The Salt Lake Tribune has polled the public on the matter of recognizing the equal rights of gay people and what it found shows a profound difference between Utahans in general and Mormons.

Without exceptions the Mormons are far less tolerant and far more likely to demand that gays be treated as second class citizens.

A plurality of non-Mormons in Utah support a measure to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. In the general public this breaks down to 48% in favor and 43% opposed. But when it comes to Mormons only 12% will even allow gay couples a civil union, let alone marriage equality.

A majority of non-Mormons say that gay couples should be allowed to adopt or be foster parents, only 30% oppose equality in this matter. Among Mormons 67% want gays at the back of the adoption bus -- actually they think they should be kicked off the bus.

So what about issues like allowing visitation rights in the hospital for gay couples? Half of the Mormons surveyed said that the same-sex partner of someone in hospital should not be allowed to visit. This is astounding. But when asked about issues like the right to inherit from their partner, or visit them in hospital, half the Mormons would deny even those rights to gay couples. Only about a quarter of the non-Mormons felt the same way.

One Mormon told the pollsters expressed the views of many Mormons: “I don’t believe they should have any rights at all,” said Maureen Johnson of South Jordan, Utah. Indeed, stripping people of their rights, in order to conform with the wacky theology of Mormonism does seem to be high on the Mormon agenda. Of course, even the Mormons have progressed. At one time in history they slit the throats of sinners now they just treat them like dirt. More amazingly the Mormons then whine when people protest this treatment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In defense of Sam Adams or Fuck the Media

Here we have another example of America's Puritanical hysteria regarding sex. The bigot brigade is braying for the head of Portland's new mayor, Sam Adams. Adams, who is gay, is in the crossfires because a few years ago he had a relationship with a young man. The young man was 18 years old at the time, above the age of consent. The relationship was consenting. There was no coercion used. Nor did Adams have any professional relationship with the young man to muddy the waters.

That isn't stopping the hysterics from demanding that Adams step down from office. For what? Being sexual?

Here are the facts. Adams, was not the mayor in 2005 when this relationship began. Nor was he in a relationship, as he is now. He was single. Adams was a city commissioner. The young man, Beau Breedlove was an intern working in the state legislature for a Republican (now that's kinky). Breedlove already knew he was gay and approached Adams, who he knew was gay and struck up a conversation.

The newspapers, in order to fan the hysteria, now refers to Adams as a "mentor" to Breedlove, which generally implies a professional relationship. However, that is a distortion of the facts. They both worked in two different areas and had no professional relationship at all.

Breedlove was just under 18-years-old when he met Adams but no relationship started then. However, conservatives spread the lie that this was the case during the last election when Adams won office. Adams had attended Breedlove's 18th birthday party with a date, which also indicates no relationship started. But the papers, if you can trust them, report that aides had joked to Adams that Breedlove had romantic intentions.

Breedlove has issued a statement to blood-thirsty press saying that:
Sam Adams has always been a positive influence and friend to me. He has many outstanding qualities to bring to his position as Mayor of the City of Portland and I wish nothing but the best for him. I hope this subject can ultimately be put to rest and I sincerely believe in Sam Adams and what he can do for the city of Portland as Mayor.
The media began asking Adams if he had a relationship with Breedlove when he was campaigning. The one thing that Adams did, which might be wrong, was deny it. My view is that since they were asking Adams who he was dating, and since there was no question that his date was below the age of consent, then the media had no business asking. It is the sort of prurient interest that busybodies have in the sex lives of other people. Adams faced a dilemma. An honest answer would have made a total irrelevancy into a major issue just because some scummy reporters can't get over other people having sex lives. To tell the truth faced immediate disaster. To lie postponed the disaster. Adams chose the later and Breedlove himself lied to the press about it.

Adams apparently believed that certain political forces would use any admission to press the claim that the relationship began before Breedlove was legally an adult. This sounds plausible to me. Adams thought that it would be assumed he had seduced an underage youth and it would needlessly destroy his political career. Whether there are other reasons why Adams shouldn't be in office I can't say, but this surely isn't one.

The two men dated for a couple of months and Breedlove moved out of state. Since then he has returned to Portland and is clearly unhappy that his private life is being used to crucify someone he clearly believes to be a friend.

Had Adams used a position of authority over Breedlove to instigate a sexual relationship there would be problems. But, in spite of the media calling him Breedlove's mentor, the two were friends. Adams had no professional relationship with the young man. Since there is zero evidence the relationship violated age of consent laws that also eliminates a reason for the media being all over this "story". In other words this is non-story except for purely prurient purposes.

All reporters have is that Adams didn't tell them the truth when they started prying into his sex life. There are just some things that the media has no right prying into. By that I mean no right in terms of morality and decency. The media certainly has the legal right to publish trite, unimportant, salacious material. That is a right that they engage in with great relish. But when the media bastards start prying into relationships between consenting adults then they aren't reporting the news, they're writing pornography. Under those circumstances it is the right of all decent individuals to lie to the buggers. Considering how the media regularly twists facts there is a certain justice inherent in all lies told them.

Apparently two legal adults can't have a private sex life without the media hounds thinking they have a right to pry into things. Does an elected official always have the obligation to answer any question the media puts to him? I can't see how anyone can argue he does. Personally I would have turned the question on the reporter. Adams should have demanded that reporters asking him such questions provide him with a detailed listing of their masturbatory fantasies. Of course the reporters would scream that is an invasion of their privacy. And it would be. But it would be no less an invasion than what they were doing to Adams and Breedlove. And we must remember that while Adams was a minor public official at the time, Breedlove was not. He was just someone that wanted to date someone he found attractive. The media couldn't pry into Adams' bedroom activities without prying into Breedlove's private life as well. And there is simply no justification to do that to him.

Why is the media doing this? There is one main reason. It sells newspapers or boosts the ratings. There is a constituency of antigay types who will eat this up just because this supposedly proves one of their bigoted theories right -- though how it is hard to see. Add in the antisex types to this mix and it means the story will attract a lot of attention.

One thing I've discovered over the years is that the antisex types are actually rather obsessed with the subject. The reason they tend to get so hysterical about sexual issues in public is usually because, in private, they have a lot of fantasies or activities, that they are deeply ashamed of. For many of them that shame is with good cause. The typical Puritan is most often guilty of the very sins he preaches against the loudest. And when others "sin" (and they consider all sex outside marriage to be sin) the story gives them an excuse to feed their own fantasies. They can't wait to read about the sex lives of others as a form of pornography. They get off on it.

The media knows these people are out there. And, under the excuse of the "public's right to know" these reporters become amateur pornographers detailing the private lives of others. I don't know which group disgusts me the most? Is it those who want the details about the sex life of Mr. Adams, because of their own sexual pathologies, or the greedy reporters who think nothing of dragging someone through the mud in order to sell a few newspapers?

Actually I find all this far worse than any real porn. Porn is produced with willing performers or models who produce materia to give other people pleasure. The media "porn" like this is done with unwilling individuals. And the main intention is to hurt some people so that others can get their jollies. In cases like this I have far more respect for the Larry Flynts of the world than I do the bott0m-feeding media types who are eating this story up.