Anti-LGBT, bestiality-suggestive Navy videos produced by captain — with your tax dollars

Wow. And to think that the Pentagon was tiptoeing over whether gays and lesbians can openly serve. Jeebus H… I can’t believe this disgusting behavior by a commanding officer in the name of “fun.”

No wonder the military has a problem dealing with changing its culture – it’s not the homos in the ranks that are the issue; it’s Porky’s mentality. (Military.com):

In one scene, two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. They joke about how they should get six minutes under the water instead of the mandated three.

In other skits, sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey.

They’re all part of a series of short movies produced aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Enterprise in 2006 and 2007 and broadcast to its nearly 6,000 sailors and Marines. The man who masterminded and starred in them is Capt. Owen Honors — now the commander of the carrier, which is weeks away from deploying.

What an irony – a captain named “Honors” — there sure isn’t any in this news. By the way, do you feel a bit lighter in your pocket? It’s the sensation of Honors and his charges pickpocketing your tax dollars to produce this shite.


The videos, obtained by The Virginian-Pilot this week, were shot and edited with government equipment, many of them while the Enterprise was deployed supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the time, Honors was the carrier’s executive officer, or XO, the commanding officer’s deputy. He took command of the ship in May.

In the videos, Honors indicates that he’s trying to entertain the crew. They were shown roughly once a week on closed-circuit shipwide television, according to a handful of sailors who were assigned to the Enterprise at the time. The sailors requested anonymity for fear of retribution.

Honors called the showing of these videos “XO Movie Night.” One of those who handled the video shoots said “He was the one coming up with scripts and the jokes. He was the one planning it.”

Please go read the rest. It’s extremely disturbing giving how much time, effort and tax dollars were spent just in 2010 to stall movement on DADT repeal with that long-winded, freepable study about “concerns” of service members re: gay and lesbian troops.

The videos with Capt. Owen Honors were shot and edited with government equipment in 2006 and 2007. Here is one featured on the Pilot’s web site.


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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SPLC hate groups: 5 more anti-LGBT orgs to enter annals

Holy crap:

Via Truth Wins Out, we see that the Southern Poverty Law Center has released a piece profiling Of 18 anti-gay organizations and has announced that they will be adding 5 new organizations to their list of active anti-gay hate groups.

The new additions are:

1. American Family Association

2. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

3. Dove World Outreach Center

4. Family Research Council

5. Illinois Family Institute

The other anti-gay groups profiled by the SPLC but not officially designated as hate groups are:

1. Christian Anti-Defamation Commission

2. Concerned Women for America

3. Coral Ridge Ministries

4. Liberty Counsel

5. National Organization for Marriage


FRC, AFA Among New Organization Designated “Anti-Gay Hate Groups” SPLC [Right Wing Watch]

To us, Family Research Council is the most notable addition. Because while AFA is incredibly incendiary and AFTAH’s attacks have hit a highly personal note for this site and its writer, it’s FRC that holds the most conservative credence, hands down. Remember: Tony “gays are ‘held captive the enemy’” Perkins and the rest of his FRC crew routinely get booked on/in mainstream media outlets, usually presented as mere “from the right” voices (Just this past weekend, Peter “Let’s export and/or criminalize gays” Sprigg was booked on MSNBC).

Plus there’s the presidential factor, with all of the major hopefuls showing up in every election year to speak at FRC’s annual Values Voters Summit. Huckabee, Romney, McCain, Giuliani — they were all there in the run up to ’08. Other hopefuls like Rep. Mike Pence (Far R-IN) were on hand this year, doing their best to turn anti-gay politicking into a viable White House path.

So highlighting FRC comes with just a little more weight. Weight that SPLC now highlights as being among the most crushing in all of the “culture war” landscape. Weight that should be seen as an albatross for those in the GOP who are seeking fair, respectful, adult discourse.




Good As You

—  admin

Dept of Education moves to aggressively curb anti-LGBT bullying

Today the Department of Education is sending out a letter to 15,000 school districts, colleges and universities nationwide providing new guidance on schools’ obligations under the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972 with respect to how those obligations apply to sex discrimination and sexual harassment directed at students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
In several cases over the last decade victims of anti-LGBT bullying have sued their schools over the discrimination and harassment they have suffered. The cases were the product of the intersection of two important Supreme Court cases from the late 1990′s: Davis v Monroe County Board of Education finding schools can be liable under Title IX for student on student harassment and Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Services finding sexual harassment can include harassment where the harasser and victim are of the same sex. Almost immediately, federal courts began finding some forms of discrimination and harassment of students by other students on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation can violate Title IX. See for example Montgomery v. Independent School District No. 709, Flores v Morgan Hill Unified School District, Theno v Tonganoxie Unified School District, Ray v Antioch Unified School District and Schroeder v Maumee Board of Education.

In 1998, before both Supreme Court cases, the Dept of Education’s Office of Civil Rights had already pursued action based on Title IX in the matter of a formal complaint against an Arkansas school filed by the parents of a student who suffered anti-LGBT bullying and harassment so severe, his parents removed him from school. As a result, the school district changed a number of their policies and was required to better train faculty and staff to address harassment and bullying in the future.

But with today’s action, the Department of Education is trying to make such policy improvements nationwide by reminding schools of their obligations under the law and stressing the potential negative consequences of ignoring it, which include loss of federal funding and liability for damages in a lawsuit. From the letter being sent out:


Title IX prohibits harassment of both male and female students regardless of the sex of the harasser-i.e., even if the harasser and target are members of the same sex. It also prohibits gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping. Thus, it can be sex discrimination if students are harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for their sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment and gender-based harassment of all students, regardless of the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the harasser or target.

Although Title IX does not prohibit discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, Title IX does protect all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, from sex discrimination. When students are subjected to harassment on the basis of their LGBT status, they may also [...] be subjected to forms of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX. The fact that the harassment includes anti-LGBT comments or is partly based on the target’s actual or perceived sexual orientation does not relieve a school of its obligation under Title IX to investigate and remedy overlapping sexual harassment or gender-based harassment.

On Monday, the Department of Education announced the move and hosted a conference call with several members of the LGBT press.

Kerry Eleveld of the Advocate reports


“A lot of bullying experienced by LGBT kids is accompanied by or in the form of sexual harassment or gender-based harassment because students are perceived as not conforming to traditional gender roles,” explained the department’s assistant secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali. “We want to be sure that recipients understand that that kind of discrimination and harassment can very much be a violation of Title IX in federal civil rights laws.”



Institutions that receive complaints but fail to take action to protect students who are being unlawfully bullied or harassed could face legal action or financial penalties. Ali said those cases could be referred to the Department of Justice to go to court or they could result “in the withdrawal or termination or conditioning of all federal funds received from the Department of Education.”

Administration officials said the effort was a response to a rash of recent bullying episodes resulting in a series of suicides that have grabbed front-page headlines. Although DOE officials said 44 states have enacted basic anti-bullying laws, only 14 have laws protecting students on the basis of either their sexual orientation and gender identity, with another three protecting sexual orientation only according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Asst Secretary Ali stressed the importance and timing of the measure. In remarks reported by Dana Rudolph of Keen News Service, Ali said, “If students don’t feel safe in school, they simply cannot learn.”

Rudolph also noted “The U.S. Justice Department also intervened in January in the case of a New York teen who was bullied and physically hurt for being effeminate. Justice Department lawyers argued that the federal law against gender-based discrimination also applied to gender expression. In an out-of-court settlement, the school district agreed to pay the boy ,000, legal fees, and the cost of therapy.”

Asst Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Kevin Jennings, said that resources for schools, students and parents would be available at the web site bullyinginfo.org. Twenty years ago, Jennings, a former educator, founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a group dedicated to addressing homophobia, discrimination and bullying in schools and a key resource for many student lead Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) around the country that promote tolerance in schools. According to Eleveld, Jennings said the administration is trying to take a proactive role in protecting LGBTQ youth, especially in light of recent events:

“In this administration, we plan to apply the letter of the law to fullest extent of the law in order to extend the greatest level of protections humanly possible to LGBT students,” Jennings said.

There are currently two bills pending in Congress that are relevant to the topic of bullying of LGBTQ youth: the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) which is sponsored by openly gay Colorado U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. When asked by Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly whether the administration supports the bills, Asst Sec Ali responded, “We certainly support the goals of both Polis’s bill and the bill on safe and healthy schools,” but declined to give either an endorsement. “Today, though, is about using the tools at our disposal now.”


This is precisely the kind of move on LGBT issues the Administration has needed to make for a long time. Just two months ago, I said as much in a diary on Daily Kos on the administration’s lack of coherent messaging compounding a lack of sufficient action on the issues. Hopefully this won’t be the only “proactive” move the administration intends to make on LGBT issues. Several people on twitter late yesterday tweeted that a meeting would take place today between top White House officials and gay rights groups (used in plural, so hopefully that means more than just HRC is invited). Just yesterday, HRC President Joe Solmonese changed course and joined the growing chorus lead by GETEqual and Dan Choi calling for the President to drop the appeal of the DADT case and/or issues a stop loss order to halt DADT discharges. See indiemcemopants’ diary for more info on that “shocking” turn of events. Could we be in store for a new aggressive move to insure the authorization of a potential repeal of DADT in passed in Congress and some sort of plan B if attempts to pass the legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act fail? Stay tuned.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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In wake of anti-lgbt youth climate, Focus on the Family attacks GLSEN

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family just released a critique of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)'s recent school climate report.

GLSEN's report found that in 2009:

 . . . 7,261 middle and high school students found that at school nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation. Nearly a third of LGBT students skipped at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.

Naturally, Cushman and Focus on the Family disputes this. To make a long story short, Cushman is claiming that GLSEN's report is inaccurate because it:

 . . . lists four authors—all of whom are employed by GLSEN, including Emily A. Greytak, who became involved with a GLSEN chapter 12 years ago and has worked for the organization since 2006; Elizabeth M. Diaz, who, as a GLSEN employee since 2004, conducts workshops opposing abstinence education; and GLSEN employee Mark J. Bartkiewicz, whose “research interests include LGBT students’ access to comprehensive sexual health education and the effects of inclusive LGBT curricula.”

Hardly what you’d call an objective research team—and then there’s the little fact that they are paid by an organization that has openly acknowledged its goal of getting gay, lesbian and transgender themes “fully integrated into curricula across a variety of subject areas and grade levels.”

Cushman is pushing the same old lie that GLSEN is trying to "introduce homosexual themes" into schools in order to "indoctrinate" children.

 

It's the standard lie she and Focus on the Family pushes and it's nothing new.

But the sad thing is that this attack is coming in a climate in which we have seen a recent outbreak of bullying and suicides of young lgbts including:

An 11-year-old sixth grader in Ohio had his arm broken by teenagers who called him a queer and a sissy because he wanted to be a cheerleader.

There's the suicide, by hanging, of 13-year-old Seth Walsh, in California.

The suicide, by means of his father's Beretta, of 13-year-old Asher Brown, in Texas.

and finally, the suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi, which needs no introduction because we know the story.

 In the long run, it doesn't matter who backed the GLSEN report or who created it.

Because based on recent events, the report has a degree of accuracy.

If Cushman or Focus on the Family really cared about the children, they would realize this instead of releasing a ridiculous critique that does nothing but demonstrate how uncaring and clueless they really are.

Related posts:

Focus on the Family's attack on anti-bullying efforts take centerstage on AC 360

Focus on the Family cites George Rekers in fighting anti-bullying efforts

The Problems With Focus On The Family’s And The Alliance Defense Fund’s Model Anti-Bullying Policy

AFA Highlights/Recycles FOTF Campaign Against Perceived Gay Public School Agenda
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Anti-LGBT Leaders Fail in Court Challenge of Hate Crimes Law

Yesterday, Judge Thomas Ludington of the U.S. Federal Court for the District of Eastern Michigan dismissed the case of three plaintiffs seeking to strike the criminal provisions of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The court challenge by three anti-LGBT clergy from Michigan made the ridiculous claim that the hate crimes statute creates “a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior.”   They claimed that this law – so important in protecting the rights of LGBT persons across the country – violated their First Amendment rights, their guarantee of Equal Protection, the Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause.  Their arguments mirrored the ones made urging Congress to defeat the legislation last year.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sought the dismissal, claiming that the law does not violate the Constitution and further, that the plaintiffs do not have the right to bring such a suit regarding a theoretical harm, since none have yet been prosecuted under the act, nor is there any evidence they ever will be.  The Judge agreed, dismissing the case on all counts.

Thanks to HRC Law Fellow Adam Thomas for his contributions to this post.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

EQME Call To Action: Smith Outlines LePage’s Anti-LGBT Positions

Go, Betsy, Go!

She's right- as the polls stand right now, LePage is leading in the Maine gubernatorial race. But we have enough time to gather together up here and work HARD to elect a Governor who will not only defend our 2005 anti-discrimination law, but who has already voted for marriage equality in Maine and worked hard with us all.

WE MUST ELECT LIBBY MITCHELL. WE MUST. 

 ~                                ~                            ~                           ~

Check out this email blast:

 

 Please join us for a Community Conversation in your area — beginning tonight in southern York County and tomorrow night in Hancock County.

It's time to talk about the harsh reality — that winning marriage equality in Maine hinges on what happens on November 2, 2010. That's when Maine voters will decide who to elect to the legislature and who will be the next governor.

It's not hard to imagine what happens to our plans to win marriage equality if Mainers elect Paul LePage as governor. This is the man who will not only veto a marriage bill but wants to repeal the Maine Human Rights Act. Think we're kidding? Not at all.

Repealing the Maine Human Rights Act would end basic non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, which we finally won — with overwhelming support from Maine voters — in 2005. After coming so close to winning marriage equality, Paul LePage would take us back to the dark ages.

But the fact is, Paul LePage leads in every single poll. If the election were held today, Paul LePage would be our next governor.

The good news is, if we mobilize like we did for marriage equality last year, we can change the outcome of this race.

Please join us at a Community Conversation to learn about how we can influence the outcome of this election, both in the governor's race and in the legislature.

Bring your friends and family. This is a call to action.

Sincerely,

Betsy Smith, Executive Director

 

 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright