Exclusive: FRC to launch responsibility-shirking ‘Start Debating, Stop Hating’ campaign

We’ve uncovered an unreleased document that the Family Research Council will soon launch as part of a currently-unannounced campaign to spin their placement on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate groups list:



FRC’s ridiculous attempt to spin the SPLC list

At this point, the companion site simply redirects back to FRC’s main site. Which is fitting, since this responsibility-shirking maneuver will surely play out in an echo chamber even after it’s actually launched.

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*Just a brief reminder of how FRC debates: Calls to export and criminalize gays, claims that political opponents are “held captive by the enemy,” and documents that liken same-sex marriage to man-horse sex:



*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]

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*SOURCE: MSNBC

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*SOURCE: The Quest For Change — Tony Perkins [Grace Chapel]

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Page 1 of the Family Research Council’s “Slippery Slope To Same-Sex Marriage” document,

which compares same-sex marriage to bestiality in both graphic and text:

Screen Shot 2010-12-09 At 12.32.39 Pm

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*ALSO: As we’ve stated before: It’s so, so dumb for NOM, the Liberty Counsel, CWA and others to align themselves so closely on this. Because SPLC did not put those three groups on the list. So if they were playing it intelligently, they would look at the carefully documented reasoning and differentiation between what the SPLC sees as simple opposition and what they see as beyond-the-pale advocacy. In a perfect world, these non-listed groups would speak out against the kinds of things that led AFA, FRC, and others to the list, not shoot the messenger.

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**UPDATE: Found another microsite that refers to the campaign as a “print ad.” So heads up. They may be planning to launch this in weekend papers.

Of course the microsite also says the SDSH site will be active by 12/7 — so who knows?




Good As You

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Celebrities ‘Die’ Temporary Twitter, Facebook Deaths in World AIDS Day Campaign

Kardashian

Dying for attention (to AIDS).

Mashable writes:

Millions of people will be deprived of their favorite celebrity musings later this week as the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Seacrest go dark on Twitter and Facebook. The silence will only be temporary, however, as it’s part of a million fundraiser for World AIDS Day, which takes place December 1.

The project was organized by Alicia Keys on behalf of her charity Keep a Child Alive. According to the Associated Press, the celebs — which also include Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson and Serena Williams — will remain silent in the social media universe until the charity raises million.

The effort will be further supported by dramatic videos featuring the celebs in what the AP describes as “lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.” Presumably, those videos will be tweeted out before the celebs sign off to raise awareness.

Dlisted thinks the campaign got it all wrong: "This is NOT how you do it. If Alicia really wants all of us to turn our PayPal pocketbooks upside down and shake the cash into her hands, she should've promised us that Kim will stay off of Twitter forever once million is raised. Where was Don Draper when Alicia really needed him?!"


Towleroad News #gay

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HRC Field Team Deploys for DADT Repeal Grassroots Campaign

With Congress soon back in Washington for the post-election “lame duck” session, HRC’s this week launched an aggressive grassroots campaign to urge Senate action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal before the end of the year.  Field organizers on the ground are focusing on eight key states to amplify the voices of veterans and other fair-minded Americans who know the time is right to repeal this law and strengthen our national security.

“In the waning days of the 111th Congress, Senators have one last chance to follow the advice of the President and top military leaders by sending ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ to the dustbin of history,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It would be a travesty for a small group of senators to continue to hold hostage a bill with critical military equipment and pay raises just because some senators don’t want to even debate repeal.”

HRC organizers are already deploying to eight states critical to repeal – Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.  They are recruiting and mobilizing veterans to speak out, holding public events and blanketing local media with pro-repeal messages to raise the issue’s profile.  The latest grassroots push follows on the successful field campaign to pass repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee in May as well as the organization’s grassroots efforts over the August recess.

With the full House of Representatives and Senate Armed Services Committee having passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with the DADT repeal provision, the next step is for the full Senate to pass the defense bill.  DADT repeal is just one small element of the legislation that authorizes thousands of defense programs critical to our national security. Without Senate action in the lame duck session, it would be the first time in 48 years that Congress failed to act on the NDAA.

Aside from enacting repeal following the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group study on DADT repeal implementation, the bill authorizes 5.9 billion for defense programs in FY 2011.  This includes: funds for a pay raise for the troops, and benefits for severely wounded combat veterans; funds for troop protection in Iraq & Afghanistan including for measures to counter IEDs and to up-armor Humvees; funds for missile defense programs, new aircraft and new vessels; billions for military construction, land acquisition, and military family housing functions; as well as billions for new equipment for National Guard and reserve units. Check out a full analysis of the NDAA.

Even if you don’t live in one of those states, take action now!  A list of things you can do is at our Repeal DADT Action Center.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Fox News Channel’s anti-Obama smear campaign resembles Shakespeare’s Othello

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

(Not necessarily an lgbt issue but our community would do well to pay attention to how Fox News's war on Obama has transpired. The same tactic has been used on us by the religious right.)

Fans of William Shakespeare are familiar with the play Othello in which a black leader (Othello) is done in by a treacherous lieutenant (Iago) constantly whispering in his ear, implying that his new wife (Desdemona) has been unfaithful to him.

In the past two years, this country has been witnessing a sort of recreation of this play in the smearing of President Obama by Fox News.

Ever since the 2008 Presidential election, Fox News hasn't simply registered disapproval with Obama's policies. The network has carried it three steps further by engaging in a personal vendetta and an undeclared campaign of misinformation designed to poison the public against Obama, exploit many Americans' silent uneasiness with electing the first black president, and thereby undermining not only his policies but his legacy as well.

 From Fox News, it has been implied that:

  • Obama hates America because he is a socialist.
  • Obama is a racist seeking “payback” for African-Americans
  • Obama is secretly a Muslim
  • Obama hates the Constitution
  • Obama is running a Justice Department who won't prosecute discrimination cases where whites are the victims and African-Americans are the perpetrators
  • Obama doesn't believe in the free market.
  • Obama is in charge of a huge unethical empire of voter fraud whose base is ACORN
  • Michelle Obama is sort of the reincarnation of the “extravagant” Marie Antoinette
  • Obama is trying to destroy America in pursuit of his father's Keynesian beliefs
  • Obama is always apologizing to foreign countries instead of pushing the idea of “American Exceptionalism (whatever the heck that is) because he is secretly ashamed of this country.

And the latest lie:

  • Obama is spending an unnecessary amount of money (0 million a day) on a trip to India.

 

None of these charges are well-thought-out reasonable opposition to Obama's policies. Rather they are the equivalent of feces thrown by enraged baboons so consumed with hitting their targets that they don't care how deep they have to sink their arms into the gunk.

Now in Othello, Iago's constant hinting, whispering, and nudging drove Othello to a fever pitch, leading him to murder his wife and then commit suicide after realizing that he had been duped.

Some progressives can probably make the case that this is figuratively similar to the 2010 mid-terms where the American people gave control of the House of Representatives back to the Republicans – a party whose policies are responsible for our presently poor financial state, a party who, despite its clarion cry of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” has no concrete plan for job creation or deficit reduction, and a party who seems to want to waste time and attention in a futile war over Obama's health care bill and useless Congressional investigations instead of fulfilling their promises to the American people.

It's not that simple. One can't completely blame Fox News for the 2010 mid-term elections. There is enough blame for the Democrats and Obama himself to absorb a little.

But still, this version of Othello hasn't ended just yet. As long as Obama is in office, Fox News will continue to act as an imp seated on the shoulder of America, whispering in her ear, manifesting fears, and sowing doubts via ugly innuendo camouflaged as legitimate news with every intention of painting our President as a sepia “Manchurian Candidate.”

My hope is that enough Americans will eventually recognize Fox News as the propaganda machine that it is and develop a tin ear to its vitriol.

We have every right not to like our President. At times we should disagree with our President. But no American should ever be made to fear our President. And we should always respect our President.

But the way Fox News is going,  I wouldn't be surprised if some folks ended up using Obama as a boogeyman to get their children to behave.

That's what Fox News's goal seems to be. And there is something dreadfully wrong with that.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Obama administration blocking Courage Campaign site, while Teabagger site is okay

Can’t wait to hear the excuse for this one.

From the Hill:

A progressive activist group in California is complaining that the Pentagon has prevented soldiers from accessing its web site in Iraq.

The group argues that Californians serving in Iraq who will vote on a series of ballot measures on Tuesday do not have access to the Courage Campaign “voters guide,” which might help them make decisions.

The Hill independently confirmed that the Tea Party Express site can be accessed on Defense Department computers while the Courage Campaign site cannot be accessed. Courage campaign said it has received information that web sites affiliated with the Traditional Values Coalition, California Election Forum and Christian Voter Guide through the Defense Department computers in Iraq.

And this had better not be the reason:

However, there could be other possible explanations for the blocked site, such as an automatic filter that sifts through specific words. The Courage Campaign site uses multiple references to “sex” (as in same-sex marriages) and “gay” (as in anti-gay, or gay rights). The site also contains information and action items on the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.

And I don’t want to hear “it’s the Pentagon, not the President.” Is he in charge of his own administration or not?  We’d never have given George Bush a pass for something nasty “an agency” did to us.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Christine O’Donnell Confesses To Using Campaign Money For Personal Expenses

Teabagger loon, “ex-gay” advocate, and not-a-witch Christine O’Donnell has admitted that she’s been illegally using campaign donations to pay her rent.

[O'Donnell] acknowledges using campaign money to pay part of the rent on her current town house. Her attorney maintains someone with the Federal Election Commission approved the arrangement, although the commission’s rules say candidates can’t use campaign money for their mortgage or rent “even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign.”

The watchdog group Citizens For Ethics in Washington responds: “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Iowa For Freedom campaign is wrong-headed, says 1961

The current war against judges who sided with equal protection and due process in removing gender discrimination from marriage may not be exclusively partisan. But if this, one of the very first editorials written about the Iowa judicial retention system, doesn’t sound like a rebuke of the Iowa For Freedom coalition‘s attempt to remove judges based on personal faith objections rather than merit, we don’t know what “Mad Men” era assessment could’ve more ably made the case:

201010211932

**Our complete Iowa For Freedom Archive




Good As You

—  admin

NYT profiles ‘It Gets Better’ campaign

We’ll start today on a positive note.

The “It Gets Better” campaign, launched by Dan Savage, has become a phenomenon. It’s the story of the LGBT community looking out for its own amid a wave of homophobia, anti-gay rantings from politicians and religious leaders and the teen suicides. Today, the NY Times profiles the effort:

The “It Gets Better” idea came to Mr. Savage, 46, while he was riding the AirTrain shuttle to Kennedy International Airport last month and thinking about Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old from Indiana who committed suicide Sept. 9. The local news media reported that Mr. Lucas was bullied regularly.

Days earlier, Mr. Savage had blogged about the suicide, and a reader had written: “My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas. I wish I could have told you that things get better.”

Mr. Savage said he felt the same way. But how to tell them? He gives talks at colleges regularly, but not at middle schools or high schools. “I would never get permission,” he said, blaming a system of “parents, preachers and teachers” who “believe they can terrorize gay children out of being gay as they grow up.”

His realization was this: “I was waiting for permission that — in the era of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook — I didn’t need anymore.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Human Rights Campaign, Courage Campaign Call on IRS to Investigate National Organization for Marriage’s Charitable Arm

IRS complaint demonstrates that Ruth Institute, a project of the NOM Education Fund, has flagrantly violated federal tax law by intervening in political campaigns

The Human Rights Campaign and the Courage Campaign, a 700,000-member online activist network, announced they are filing a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service asking it to immediately investigate the Ruth Institute, part of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Education Fund. The complaint, found here, requests the IRS revoke the Ruth Institute’s tax-exempt status and seek an injunction to prevent future violations by either the Ruth Institute or the NOM Education Fund.

The complaint makes clear the Ruth Institute “has repeatedly and flagrantly violated the political campaign activity prohibition of section 501(c) (3) by intervening and participating in multiple candidate campaigns.  In the past year Ruth Institute resources have illegally been used to advocate for a U.S. Senate candidate as well as local and statewide judicial candidates.” HRC and the Courage Campaign cite the repeated involvement of the Ruth Institute in Carly Fiorina’s Senate race and in judicial elections in California and Iowa as clear violations of federal law.

“The evidence that the Ruth Institute and the NOM Education Fund repeatedly stepped over the line into illegal activity is indisputable,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Even fringe groups like NOM, its associates, and its affiliate groups must abide by federal law. Is the Ruth Institute nothing more than a front and funnel for NOM’s political activities? We trust the IRS can unveil the truth.”

“Time and again, NOM has shown itself as a radical extremist group bent on attacking families and undermining election laws,” said Courage Campaign Chairman and Founder Rick Jacobs.  “By openly flouting IRS regulations governing charities, NOM is effectively forcing taxpayers to subsidize its political activities. This is not just the height of arrogance, it’s against the law.”

Pursuant to the federal tax code, as a charitable organization, the Ruth Institute may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.  Violation of this prohibition can result in stiff penalties against the organization and its officials as well as potential revocation of its tax exempt status by IRS.

The Ruth Institute and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, in her capacity as president of The Ruth Institute, have participated in activities advocating the election of Carly Fiorina to the United States Senate in coordination with NOM, which has already spent close to 0,000 on the race through multiple independent expenditures.  Evidence of the Ruth’s Institute’s participation in these activities includes:

  • A NOM-issued press release titled “National Organization for Marriage and Ruth Institute Join Bus Tour Supporting Carly Fiorina in California.”  The September 28th release stated that “Brian Brown, president of NOM, and Jennifer Roback Morse, president of The Ruth Institute, a project of NOM’s Marriage Education Fund, will both be supporting the “Vota Tus Valores” bus tour as it makes its way around California” and that Morse would appear at a San Diego campaign event on October 4. (NOM has since removed their press release from its web site. It can be found here.)
  • Videotape of the October 4th appearance by Morse at the campaign event for Fiorina. Speaking in front of a bus emblazoned with “Vota Fiorina,” Morse said, “We’re the Ruth Institute … if you go and look at ruthinstitute.org, you’ll find out all about us… We’re here, and we’re here to serve, we’re here to serve the whole body of Christ… That’s what we’re here for, and we’re very proud to be part of this electoral effort (4:50 into the videotape).”
  • A Ruth Institute podcast containing Morse’s speech on behalf of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Values, described on the Ruth Institute website as “an independent expenditure group supporting Carly Fiorina’s bid for California Senator.” (This, too, has been scrubbed. It can be found here.)
  • Ruth Institute website content promoting Fiorina’s candidacy and Morse’s involvement in the campaign effort.

The Ruth Institute has also intervened in campaigns to elect San Diego County judges as part of a candidate slate supported by an organization called Better Courts Now.  Better Courts Now endorsed a slate of four judicial candidates in the California primary election on June 8, 2010. The evidence includes Ruth Institute website content and video endorsing Better Courts Now and encouraging readers to support its candidate slate.

In Iowa, three of the justices of the state Supreme Court face a retention election this November. The Ruth Institute has advocated their recall, which is political intervention in violation of Section 501(c)(3). The Ruth Institute website made the case for “Why the Iowa Judges Have to Go” two days after NOM reported spending 5,000 on independent expenditure television ads calling for the rejection of the justices.

Today’s complaint follows a September 20th Washington Independent story that suggested NOM had funneled millions more in tax-exempt donations from charitable groups into other political campaigns.

NOM is fighting campaign finance laws in a number of states, including New York, Washington, California and Maine, where it remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Watch: Teabagger Carl Paladino’s Campaign Gets Animated

Paladino

Taiwan's Next Media Animation takes on the campaign of New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright