Woman pleads guilty in case of videotaped beating of trans woman at McDonald’s

Teona Brown, 19, has pled guilty Thursday, Aug. 4, to first degree assault charges and a hate crime charge in connection with the beating of transgender woman Chrissy Polis last April in Towson,

Chrissy Polis

Md. The attack was captured on video by a McDonald’s employee — who filmed the assault rather than step in and try to stop it — last April. The video went viral online and was used, along with new footage from a surveillance camera, in court hearings this week. CBS Baltimore has this report on the plea.

Conviction on a first degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a hate crime conviction could add another 10 years. Because Brown pled guilty to the attack, prosecutors are recommending that the judge sentence her to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for next month.

Polis was present in court on Thursday, but told reporters she was nervous about being there and had no comment. “I just want to lay low and keep my life as normal as possible,” she said.

A second person charged in the attack was 14 at the time and has been charged with assault as a juvenile. Because she is a minor, her identity has not been released.

Below is a video of a news report aired on the Washington, D.C., Fox news program when the attack happened. It includes video of the attack and, as State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said this week, “The severity of the beating is much easier to understand when you see a video. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, a video’s worth a million.”

—  admin

Sally Kern: Gays (and Gaga) are the real haters!

Rep. Sally Kern

In case you missed Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s appearance on Tim Wildmon’s American Family Radio, she was on promoting her new book, The Stoning of Sally Kern.

Wildmon is the president of the hate group the American Family Association. Kern is the legislator whose district includes a large number of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, but who says that homosexuals are a bigger threat to this country than terrorists.

On the show, Wildmon said, “Nobody hates the individual homosexual.”

That’s great to know.

“To me what is hateful is when those people who say ‘you’re born this way, there’s no hope in change, you’re stuck in this, deal with it,’ that is hate,” Kern responded. “There’s no hope in that.”

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Police release description of missing vehicle belonging to NE Dallas murder victim

Earlier we told you about the two men found dead in a burned Northeast Dallas apartment. Police are still not releasing the victims’ names because their bodies were so badly damaged in the fire that they’re waiting on the medical examiner to positively identify them. However, police have now released a description of the vehicle belonging to one of the victims, which is apparently missing. The vehicle is a silver, four-door 2002 Saturn L200, with a license number of 5CVDN. If you see it, call 911.

Again, police have confirmed that they believe the two victims were a gay couple, but they aren’t treating the murders as a hate crime. Police also say they don’t know the motive for the crime, prompting some to question how a hate crime can be ruled out. We posed this question to DPD Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse:

“Detectives will not elaborate at this time,” Janse told Instant Tea. “It may hamper the investigation.”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Maryland Senate kills gender identity bill; anti-gay hate crime at UNC

Quinn Matney was attacked and severely burned in an anti-gay hate crime at the University of North Carolina.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. For a third straight week, LGBT advocates plan to speak during the Dallas County Commissioners Court’s meeting today and call on commissioners to add transgender employees to the county’s nondiscrimination policy. Last month, commissioners voted to add sexual orientation but not gender identity to the policy. The Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 411 Elm St.

2. The Maryland Senate on Monday voted to kill a measure that would have protected transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment and credit — but not public accommodations. The vote marks the second major disappointment this year for LGBT advocates in Maryland, where the House thwarted a marriage equality bill last month.

3. A University of North Carolina freshman says he was attacked and severely burned in an anti-gay hate crime on the school’s campus last week. The UNC administration, which failed to notify students until a week after the attack occurred, now says it plans to report the incident as an anti-gay hate crime to the federal government.

—  John Wright

Peter Sprigg won’t address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Photobucket Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council has yet to address the charges lodged against his group by the Southern Poverty Law Center regarding how they spread propaganda and junk science or misrepresent legitimate science to demonize the lgbt community.

But apparently he isn't too busy to continue misrepresenting legitimate science against the lgbt community.

Yesterday, a piece of his, Federal Report Confirms 'Nuclear Family' Best for Children's Health, was published in The Christian Post.

In this piece, Sprigg claims that nonpartisan groups support theories lodged by himself and FRC regarding the best households to raise children – i.e. the notion that two-parent heterosexual families are the best places to raise children as opposed to same-sex families:

 

During such debates, Family Research Council and other pro-family groups note social science evidence showing children raised by their own mother and father, who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage, are happier (experience better mental health), healthier (have better physical health), and more prosperous (attain higher socioeconomic status) than children raised in any other household setting. For example, the non-partisan research group Child Trends summarized the evidence this way:

“Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

We point to this evidence in support of policies which would discourage divorce, cohabitation, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, while encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage-as well as in opposing efforts to change the fundamental definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Yet more evidence along these lines can be found in a recently published federal study on “Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States.” The report compares health outcomes on a variety of measures by family structure. Seven different categories of “families” are identified-“nuclear,” “single-parent,” “unmarried biological or adoptive,” “blended,” “cohabiting,” “extended,” and “other.”

Like with so many other times Sprigg refers to legitimate science to quantify his theories, there are several things wrong with his citations of these studies.

The first study he cited – The Child Trends study – was published in 2002.  And it never even addressed same-sex households.
The second study he cited – The Family Structure and Children's Health in the United States study – looked at  findings from the National Health Interview Survey between the years of 2001 and 2007. And it looked at married familes vs. unmarried families. Same-sex households was not specifically mentioned. The following classifications – seven different categories of “families” are identified-“nuclear,” “single-parent,” “unmarried biological or adoptive,” “blended,” “cohabiting,” “extended,” and “other” – are extremely vague at best in dealing with same-sex households because there is no specificity.

With these two studies, Sprigg seems to be following a pattern very familiar with him, i.e. twisting legitimate science to prove his theories even when said studies don't address his theories or contradict what he is trying to prove.

Last year, he published  The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality. In this piece, he used the statements of an lgbt health organization to prove that the lgbt orientation itself is indicative of negative behaviors, i.e. depression, alcohol and drug abuse:

Even the pro-homosexual Gay& Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:

• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”

The GLMA also confirms that:

• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”

Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense.

But strange enough, the source which he cited – the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association – said that homophobia is the reason for many of these health problems. Sprigg deliberately omitted information pointing this out:

Sprigg:

“Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”

GMLA:

Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. The likelihood of depression or anxiety may be greater, and the problem may be more severe for those men who remain in the closet or who do not have adequate social supports. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide because of these concerns.

Sprigg:

“ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.

GMLA:

Research indicates that lesbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women. This may be due to added stressors in lesbian lives from discrimination. Lesbians need support from each other and from health care providers to find healthy releases, quality recreation, stress reduction, and coping techniques.

What Sprigg is doing now with these two studies regarding households raising children is simply more of the same.

It's worth mentioning that Sprigg is fastly becoming the “point man” who is called in front of state legislative committees to speak against marriage equality.

Pretty soon, the question regarding Sprigg's intentional distortion of scientific work will no longer be “how can he continue to get away with this?”

The question is going to become “how can someone professing to believe in Jesus continue to engage in such blatant deceptions?”

And “how can an organization claiming to stand up for morality and values (the Family Research Council) condone such behavior?”

Related posts:

Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?

Same-sex couples can be effective parents, researchers find 
 
Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

NC: Gruesome hate crime in Hickory – man on 911 call claims Mucinex, gay panic made him do it

Not. Again. And the novel addition is that the cough medicine made him do it.

In the 911 call a suspect made after the death of his roommate, he claims he overdosed on cough medicine, causing him to kill him and mutilate the body.

At about 4:45 a.m., 19-year-old Michael Anderson called 911, saying he murdered his roommate, Stephen Starr, at the home they shared on Ruth Road in Mountain View.

In the call, the teenager told the telecommunicator, “I did some things to his body that you don’t want them to see. You’re not going to know who it is.”

…”I Od’d on Mucinex DM. Dextromethorphan makes me feel a little weird and I took too many,” Anderson said.

That this is going to be the defense is laughable if it wasn’t so digusting – he’s basically saying he has an gay “on-off” switch. And when it’s off, apparently he’s violent.

About 4 minutes and 30 seconds into the call, the telecommunicator asks what sparked the attack. Anderson said it was because he was straight, and Starr was gay. According to him, the two met at a gay club. Anderson said he was straight, but went to the club to experiment.

“I met him and went to his house and he took me in and I turned straight again. And he wanted to touch me and stuff and I wouldn’t let him, and he kept trying. And I waited until he went to sleep and then I shot him three times. And I mutilated him very badly and I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Oh God, please help me.”

Good luck with that defense, Anderson; even in Hickory, that sounds like a flaming pile of crap. The comments at the news site are interesting, btw. Here’s the call.

H/t, SNT.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

My self-assessment after reading the Glamour survey on women and “I hate my body” thoughts

Glamour breathlessly announced findings in its survey on body image and I’m not sure what there is to be stunned about – women are bombarded 24/7 with images of idealized bodies that don’t reflect the reality of the average woman’s size, shape, fitness level (or color for that matter):

Read these words: “You are a fat, worthless pig.” “You’re too thin. No man is ever going to want you.” “Ugly. Big. Gross.” Horrifying comments on some awful website? The rant of an abusive, controlling boyfriend? No; shockingly, these are the actual words young women are saying to themselves on any typical day. For some, such thoughts are fleeting, but for others, this dialogue plays on a constant, punishing loop, according to a new exclusive Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes. Our research found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily-nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

…”That is a lot, yet I’m not totally surprised,” says Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D., a Cincinnati psychologist who specializes in body image and helped Glamour design the survey. “It’s become such an accepted norm to put yourself down that if someone says she likes her body, she’s the odd woman out. I was in a group discussion recently, and when one woman said, ‘I actually feel OK about the way I look,’ another woman scrunched up her face and said, ‘I have never in my whole life heard anyone say that-and I’m not sure I even believe you.’ That’s how pervasive this negative body talk is. It’s actually more acceptable to insult your body than to praise it.”

And we seem to be well aware of how hard we are on ourselves. Nearly 63 percent of Glamour’s survey respondents said they had roughly the same number of negative thoughts as they expected. But few realized how venomous those thoughts were until they were down on paper. So how has this become OK?

Our unattainable cultural beauty ideals, our celebrity worship-those all play a part, says Kearney-Cooke. But another big reason is that we’ve actually trained ourselves to be this way. “Neuroscience has shown that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, that neural pathway becomes stronger-and those thoughts become habitual,” she explains. “Imagine a concert pianist. Her brain would have stronger neural pathways that support musicality and dexterity than someone who hadn’t spent her life practicing.”

OK, so it’s our broken brains that we’ve trained to cycle in these self-loathing thoughts. You can read the rest of the article for more; I was just dropping this in as a topic. I’m sure that the level of harsh self-evaluation, particularly when it comes to gay men, may be disproportionally high, given all the hardbodies you see in magazines directed at that demo. Some of the actual comments by survey participants are truly vile:

  • “Fat-ass. Lazy bitch. I hate my thighs. I hate my stomach. I hate my arms.”
  • “Your stomach is fat. That is why you are alone.”
  • “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to have sex with this.”
  • “Huge legs, fat stomach, not pretty enough to attract anyone, ugly in comparison to others.”
  • “I look disgusting with my cottage cheese legs and stretch-mark hips. Nasty. No one would want to touch me.”

I’m racking my brain to think about how often I do this each day. I’ve inherited my mom’s side of the family when it comes to over-ample boobage and I’ve accepted “the girls” for what they are. My legs are short and muscular, I’ve accepted those. Honestly, I only think about where I express self-criticism is when getting dressed, usually on the problem areas for my apple-shape – abdomen, arms. I don’t carry it in my hips.

The hysterectomy, which causes “swelly belly” for some women, makes it uncomfortable to wear jeans (and it does for me), so it sort of exacerbated my issues on that front.

My operation also made me realize why a lot of women in midlife choose the often fashionista-decried “mommy jeans” that sit just above your natural waist, or those with elasticized backs (or now, jeggings) – many have had reproductive issues — hysterectomies, cancer, even multiple caesareans that make wearing low-slung tight jeans a thing of the past. Yet women who choose some level of comfort out of necessity are made to feel undesireable or the butt of jokes as a fashion outlier.

Anyway, from my POV I know I can be stylish and not a size 0, and choose things that flatter. Now whether anyone laughs at me or considers me “less-than” in terms of attractiveness – I can’t change what someone who doesn’t even know me thinks about whether I qualify for their personal beauty standard. But you do really have to figure out how to deal with your own internal critic first.

It seems like step 1 for some women would be to throw out all of the magazines idolizing the unrealistic standard.

Q of the day: So how often do you have self-critical thoughts about your body/body image?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Bishop Harry Jackson Begs CPAC: Don’t Throw Us Hate Groups Under The Bus

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Pawlenty sharpening up anti-gay credentials with hate group

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

just adding to Pam's excellent diary

pawlenty

As we all know, the American Family Assocation has been called an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and mostly because of comments made by Bryan Fischer.

Fisher has:

Argued that we should“impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse.” (2/3/2010)

Wrote: “The inescapable conclusion is that gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism.” (6/10/2010)

Said: “Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.” (5/25/2010)

However former Minnesota Governor and prospective presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty was only interested in playing nice with Fischer while appearing on his radio show today, even to the point of talking positively of reinstating Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Let's be clear about something – if Fischer's comments had been racist or anti-Semitic, Pawlenty wouldn't have dared to come on his program.

But since they pertaining to the lgbt community, some folks may think that these comments and Pawlenty's appearance on the program of the person making then are both okay.

And it's par for the course for Pawlenty.

Ever since the buzz about his presidential aspirations was made public, Pawlenty seems to have been on a mission to establish his so-called “conservative credentials” on the backs of the lgbt community.

On May of last year, he vetoed a bill aimed at giving same-sex partners the same end-of-life rights as married couples.

In December of 2009, he backtracked from pro-gay legislation that he signed, claiming that the bill would led to third-graders being taught by “cross-dressing” teachers.

No doubt Pawlenty's mind is on the 2004 election, when anti-gay marriage amendments sent conservative voters to the polls and gave President Bush a second term.

Someone should inform Pawlenty that the lgbt community aren't exactly as compliant as we were back then. And we won't wait until someone uses us as scapegoats before we fight back.

In other words, if Pawlenty thinks he is going to get to the White House on the backs of the lgbt community, someone told him wrong.

Related posts:

Perhaps anti-gay hate groups should put a muzzle on Bryan Fischer

Family Research Council's 'we are not a hate group' campaign gets destroyed on two fronts

American Family Association will not confront reason why its considered a hate group

Hat tip to PFAW for providing the list of Fischer's comments.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

GOPer Pawlenty engages in political gay-bashing on hate group radio show

Alvin McEwen from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters sent this news about prospective GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty jumping on the gay bashing bandwagon while on the radio show of the designated hate group American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. Pawlenty uttered all the usual anti-gay talking points. And, he also said he’d reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. You know, because only 80% of the American people support ending that policy. Right Wing Watch got it on video:

Alvin provided some context and excellent commentary:

As we all know, the AFA has been called an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and mostly because of comments made by [AFA's Bryan] Fischer.

However Pawlenty was only interested in playing nice with Fischer, even to the point of talking positively of reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There’s a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

Now why a prospective presidential candidate would grace a program from someone who voices such awful opinions is beyond me. Let’s be clear about something – if Fischer’s comments had been racist or anti-Semitic, Pawlenty wouldn’t have dared to come on his program.

But since they pertaining to the lgbt community, some folks may think that these comments and Pawlenty’s appearance on the program of the person making then are both okay.

And it’s par for the course for Pawlenty.

And, it will be par for the course for most of the GOP presidential candidates — except Fred Karger — as the campaign unfolds.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin