Category Archives: Intolerance

The Republicans ramp up their war on sex


Porn, gay marriage, and transgender bathrooms they oppose, so-called “gay conversion therapy” they love.

At least that’s the agenda in the platform draft up for approval today, a more puritanical document than that originally proposed by the Republican National Committee,

From the Independent:

Republican delegates have voted unanimously to include an amendment in the party’s draft election platform that describes pornography as “a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions.”

The GOP also condemned porn in its 2012 policy platform, which called for current laws on pornography and obscenity to be “vigorously enforced.” But the amendment introduced to the party’s 2016 platform on Monday uses significantly sterner language.

>snip<

The draft platform also describes as “dangerous” rules imposed by the Obama administration allowing transgender students to use bathrooms according to their gender identity, and urges the US Supreme Court to reverse its 2015 ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

An amendment proposed by Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, endorses so-called “gay conversion therapy” for children, saying: “We support the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children.”

Now if only the Republicans would give up sex altogether and stop reproducing more of themselves the whole world might be better off.

If only the Clintons would do the same.

Map of the day: European views of Muslims


From Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs, a new report from the Pew Research Center:

BLOG Euormuslims

Quote of the day: How a racist’s joke backfired


And won civil rights for women, when a provision was inserted by an aging white Southern congressman as joke he hoped would help defeat the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

From a fascinating essay by ACLU Women’s Rights Project attorney Gillian Thomas posted at Longreads and excerpted from her new book, Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work:

On February 8, 1964, an eighty-year-old segregationist congressman named Howard Smith stepped onto the floor of the House of Representatives and changed the lives of America’s working women forever.

It was the eighth and last day of debate on a bill that would become the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Smith had a proposed amendment to Title VII, the section dealing with equal employment opportunity. The current draft already prohibited discrimination because of race, color, religion, and national origin, but Smith, a Democrat from Virginia, wanted to add one more category. The clerk read Smith’s proposal aloud. “After the word ‘religion’ insert ‘sex’ on pages 68, 69, 70 and 71 of the bill.”

Smith played his “little amendment” for laughs, claiming to have been inspired by a letter he had received from a female constituent. She asked the government to “protect our spinster friends,” who were suffering from a shortage of eligible bachelors. Over guffaws from his virtually all-male audience, Smith concluded, “I read that letter just to illustrate that women have some real grievances and some real rights to be protected. I am serious about this thing.” Emanuel Celler of New York, the bill’s floor manager in the House, joined in the fun. “I can say as a result of forty-nine years of experience—and I celebrate my fiftieth wedding anniversary next year—that women, indeed, are not in the minority in my house,” he said. “I usually have the last two words, and those words are, ‘Yes, dear.’”

Several of the House’s twelve women representatives rose to try to silence the laughter and advocate seriously for the amendment. Martha Griffiths, Democrat of Michigan, was the one who finally succeeded. “I presume that if there had been any necessity to point out that women were a second-class sex,” she said, “the laughter would have proved it.” Griffiths (who supported the bill) made a shrewd appeal to the Civil Rights Act’s opponents, mainly Southern Democrats like Smith. By then, it looked inevitable that the law they hated had enough votes to pass. So she warned that without the sex provision, Title VII would afford more rights to black women than to white women. “A vote against this amendment today by a white man is a vote against his wife, or his widow, or his daughter, or his sister.”

The session eventually dubbed “Ladies Day in the House” had the hallmarks of an impromptu stunt by Smith to try to sink the Civil Rights Act. Civil rights for African Americans might have been palatable to many white legislators now that the horrors of Bull Connor and Birmingham had become national news, but civil rights for women were, literally, a joke.

Outfoxed: Transgender bathroom ad tops Trump


When Donald Trump makes his keynote speech at the Republican convention, he’ll have accompaniment certain to make many of his supporters uptight.

And here it is, via :via the Movement Advancement Project:

‘Restaurant’: TV Ad Depicts Harms Faced by Transgender People in Public Restrooms

Program notes:

This groundbreaking new ad depicts the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms—and highlights the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The ad will have its national TV debut on FOX News Channel next Thursday, July 21, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later.

FairnessUSA is a joint project of the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund, the Movement Advancement Project (which created the ad), the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Equality Ohio Education Fund, with support from the Equality Federation Institute, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Find out more at http://FairnessUSA.org

The story from the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

The national debate over transgender bathroom laws will make its way to the living rooms of Fox News viewers who watch the Republican National Convention next week.

The ad features Alaina Kupec, a transgender woman from North Carolina, a state with a controversial law mandating people use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate rather than the gender with which they identify. It argues that such policies can expose transgender people to harassment and violence during such a routine task.

“It can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender, especially if you’ve never met a transgender person,” Kupec says in the ad. “In most states, our laws don’t protect transgender people from discrimination in public places or when it comes to using the restroom, something we all need to do every day.”

The 60-second spot will air during Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday, July 21, and again during the Democratic National Convention a week later on MSNBC. The ad was paid for by a coalition of groups supporting LGBT rights.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has changed his position on transgender bathroom rights, stating initially that people should be able to make their own decisions about what restroom to use, but then said last week he was “going with the state” when it came to North Carolina’s law restricting transgender bathroom use.

Read the rest.

Chart of the day: A reminder for some perspective


From the Washington Post:, the results of polling conducted 50 years ago:

BLOG Polls

Dead black man found hanging from Atlanta tree


While there’s no official verdict on where he died from suicide or from another Southern lynching, fears and anger are spreading.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In a leafy, urban park, amid a backdrop of gleaming skyscrapers, a black man’s body was found dangling from a tree.

Police officials said the incident early Thursday in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park appeared to be a suicide. The city’s mayor, Kasim Reed, said evidence suggested “no foul play.” Yet the suspicion grew.

With African Americans across the nation on edge after consecutive fatal police shootings of black men – Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota – rumor, and then panic spread. Within hours, the hashtag #PiedmontParkHanging was trending on Twitter.

“Just read that a black man was hung in Atlanta by kkk,” one Twitter user wrote. “And they’re saying it’s a suicide.”

“This was not a suicide,” another declared. “This was a public LYNCHING. AmeriKKKa”

By the afternoon, the tension was so thick that Reed announced he had referred the case to the FBI.

Quote of the day: If it walks like a Duck [Dynasty]


From Advocate journalist Nico Lang, writing for Salon:

Why is A&E still supporting Phil Robertson?

 That’s the question of the day after Robertson, the family patriarch who stars on the channel’s “Duck Dynasty” program, is raising eyebrows yet again for his virulently anti-gay views. Robertson was a keynote speaker at last weekend’s Western Conservative Summit, an annual GOP conference held in Denver. As LGBTQ Nation reported, the self-described “Bible-thumper” likened the LGBT community to murderers in his speech, responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans.

“How many did we lose in Iraq and Afghanistan — with all that firepower?” he asks. “Six or seven thousand. Guess how many were murdered on streets of America during the same time frame? About 160,000. … Sounds like we’ve got a bigger war going on here than over there.”

Robertson claimed that high death rate, which has actually decreased in recent years, is the fault of LGBT people. “When you allow men to determine what’s right and what’s wrong, you get decisions like the five judges who said, ‘I may not know we have 7,000 years of history of men marrying women,” Robertson continued. “A male and a female. For that reason, they’ll leave their father and mother and cleave to one another and become one flesh. I know it’s been that way for 7,000 years, but we know best for what’s everybody.’”

A&E has yet to make a statement on his remarks, but the network isn’t likely to reprimand him. If you have to ask why, a memorable quote from Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky” is here to explain it to you: “What’s the answer to 99 out of 100 questions? Money.”