A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country’s “200 top” homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday’s signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights” and warned that Washington could cut aid to the government of the East African nation.
Few Ugandans identify themselves as gay, and the tabloid’s publication of alleged homosexuals recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays. A Ugandan judge later condemned the outing of homosexuals in a country where gays face severe discrimination, saying it amounted to an invasion of privacy. A prominent Ugandan gay activist was killed after that list came out, and activists said at the time that they believed David Kato was targeted because of his work promoting gay rights in Uganda.
The new law punishes gay sex with up to life in jail — a measure criticized as draconian in a country where homosexuality already had been criminalized. The bill originally proposed the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults and acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV.
Sorry for asking, but doesn’t jail time just exacerbate the problem?
Anyhow, who can disagree with John Kerry (this time)?
“Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values,” Kerry said in a statement.
Just one point, Mr. Secretary: Arabs use just such hateful and inciting language toward Jews. All the time. When will that internal review commence?
A closeted gay student living in West Monroe, Louisiana has written a powerful essay, criticizing the town’s most famous residents – Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.
Robertson made headlines after issuing homophobic comments in a GQ article, at one point comparing gay sex to bestiality, which got him put on suspension by the A&E network. But the network announced yesterday that they would be reinstating Robertson to the show, who so far has remained unapologetic about the comments.
In an essay posted on Times-Picuyne columnist Robert Mann’s blog, the communications student writes that Robertson probably didn’t mean to hurt anyone with his statements, he nonetheless created a hostile environment.
‘He encouraged – hopefully unintentionally – a two-week-long “fag bashing” in Monroe and around the world. He made me feel unsafe in my own home. I can’t count how many times I heard “faggot” over the Christmas visit home.’
The author says he’s never met Robertson but was raised by a man just like him, revealing that his father called him an asshole for coming out to his mother and told him that his boyfriend would never be welcomed at his house.
‘My Phil Robertson threatened my life because I had the audacity to be who I am,’ he wrote.
You’ve never met him, but you know all about him? Who’s prejudiced now?
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
The next time I watch Duck Dynasty will be the first time. I do not share much theologically with Phil Robertson (and not much more politically).
But I cannot stand people who play the victim. You kept your reputation to yourself, but had no problem smearing Robertson’s, ascribing beliefs, words, behaviors to him opposite to those he seems to hold. Weak. Very weak.
Did Robertson put the F-word in your family’s mouth? No, they did that. Sorry, sucks to be you, I guess, but it’s nothing to do with Robertson. You’ve got family problems, we get it, but you don’t know Robertson and he doesn’t know you.
Any sympathy I might have felt is reversed into contempt for the way you went about this.
A study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — performed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies — has found that there is no benefit of reducing salt intake to below one teaspoon per day. The report reviewed the health benefits of reducing salt intake, as salt consumption was previously considered a substantial health hazard, particularly to those with high blood pressure.
The study, entitled “Sodium Intake In Populations: Assessment of Evidence,” confirms that there is no evidence substantial enough to limit sodium consumption to less than 2,300 milligram daily for Americans. Researchers concluded that one-and-a-half to three tablespoons of salt per day is not detrimental to a person’s health, contrary to past belief.
Previous to this study, a low-salt diet was thought to be as sacrosanct as global warming. Just saying.
On Friday, gay men in 53 cities across the country lined up outside Red Cross centers to give blood, and to get turned away, intentionally. Since 1983, the Food and Drug Administration has banned gay and bisexual men from donating, a policy activists and, on June 18, the American Medical Association, say is discriminatory and reflects outdated medical assumptions.
In Boston, 21 men arrived at the Red Cross donor center on Tremont Street Friday afternoon, got tested for HIV, and brought their results, all negative, with them to try to donate. When they were turned away, they all left quietly, thanking Red Cross screeners politely.
“It isn’t really a sexy LGBT issue,” said Ryan Yezak, a 26-year-old Los Angeles filmmaker who organized the demonstration just weeks after the Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Yezak will count the number of gay men turned away Friday and send the men’s negative HIV tests to the FDA to ask for a change in the policy.
But for Yezak, the ban recalls rhetoric that called homosexuality a disease and society’s disgusted reaction to gay men during the early years of the AIDS crisis.
When potential donors fill out a medical history survey, male donors are asked if they have “had sexual contact with another man since 1977, even once.”
That means the FDA automatically excludes more than 4 million Americans from donor lists, the number of men identifying as gay or bisexual, according to a 2011 report by the Williams Institute, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal research group. And the number of men reporting any same-sex activity during their lives is higher, the report said.
The FDA regulates donors based on medical history, whether they have traveled somewhere with dangerous blood illnesses recently, and their behavior. A spokeswoman for the agency said in an e-mail that gay men fall under the last category, along with “intravenous drug abusers and commercial sex workers.”
She said the agency opposes donations from gay men who test negative because the virus is difficult to detect in its early stages. The policy is “currently under evaluation,” the spokeswoman said, and the FDA may “consider new approaches.”
Having lived in the UK (20 years ago), my blood is traif too: exposure to mad cow disease. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I’m sure it would to a blood recipient. I’m being “discriminated against” for having eaten British beef, not for having lived in Britain—just as these men are being “discriminated against” for behavior that may have inadvertently infected them, not for for being gay. We both exposed ourselves to pathogens no one else wants. Pretty simple.
Two street preachers were brutally beaten — punched and kicked — by a crowd at a gay pride festival in Seattle and the entire melee was captured on video.
The preachers were holding signs reading “Repent or Else” and “Jesus Saves From Sin.” The video shows a group of people initially screaming and threatening the men during Pridefest at the Seattle Space Needle.
Television station KOMO reported that some of the attackers belonged to a group called NOH8. [Ha!]
A group of women tried to steal their signs but were unsuccessful. The video then shows a group of men grabbing onto one of the preacher’s signs and dragging him to the ground. At some point he was punched in the back of the head a number of times while others can be seen kicking the man.
Another preacher was sucker punched in the back of the head.
Police arrested two suspects – one of whom has a long rap sheet.
It’s not the first time Christians have been attacked by pro-gay activists.
Last August a gunman opened fire inside the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Floyd Lee Corkins, Jr. pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism on the pro-family organization.
The man who opened fire inside the headquarters of the Family Research Center last August pleaded guilty today to committing an act of terrorism.
Corkins shot FRC security guard Leo Johnson – and intended to shoot others – but Johnson was able to disarm the man.
Last year a group called “Angry Queers” caused thousands of dollars in damage to the Portland, Ore. campus of Mars Hill Church. The vandals hurled stones through stain glass windows, LifeSiteNews reported.
The “Angry Queers” sent an e-mail to television station KOIN defending their criminal acts because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”
Aren’t you “proud”, Angry Queers (and others)? You used to take the beatings, now you give them. Is this a great country, or what?
May I suggest some other names befitting your recently emerged butch-ery? SS, for Sweet Stuff; Ton Ton Macuties; even LGBT can be repurposed to mean Lash, Gouge, Bite, Tug (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). But I want to thank those Northwest Nazis: the image of a gay pride march turning into an anti-Christian pogrom is not one I will ever forget. Yet more proof that liberalism is just the first step toward fascism.
A day after the Supreme Court granted victories to same-sex couples in the U.S., President Obama’s visit to Africa got off to a rough start when his call for tolerance of gays on the continent was rebuffed publicly by the president of Senegal, where homosexuality is a crime.
“People should be treated equally,” Mr. Obama said Thursday at a news conference in Dakar, Senegal, on the first full day of his three-nation tour of the continent.
He said that although Africans have a variety of religions and customs and “we have to respect the diversity of views” of people who personally oppose gay rights, the laws of African nations must grant all people equal protection, regardless of sexual orientation.
“I want the African people just to hear what I believe … when it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally,” Mr. Obama said.
That view was promptly rejected by Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who was sharing the stage with Mr. Obama.
“We are still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality,” Mr. Sall said. “I’ve already said it in the past. We’re still not ready to change the law. This does not mean that we are all homophobic.”
Homophobic attacks have reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop, Amnesty International has said in a report.
Governments are increasingly criminalising “homosexual acts” by seeking to impose new laws and draconian penalties, it adds.
This sends the “toxic message” that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are criminals, the report says.
Some of the continent’s leaders say homosexuality is un-African.
In 2011, the US and UK hinted that they could withdraw from countries which did not respect homosexual rights on the socially conservative continent.
However, Amnesty said US religious groups “actively fund and promote homophobia in Africa”, while many of the laws were inherited from the colonial era.
Nice try blaming whitey. Suggesting that Africans are in thrall to white colonial prejudices is out-and-out racist. They can think for themselves, even if they think badly (according to you—and me too). Infantilizing Africans is better than enslaving them, but not by much.
A California Chick-fil-A surprised gay marriage supporters at a rally by passing out free meals coupons, despite the fast food chain’s COO’s outspoken stance against same-sex marriage.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports Corey Braun, the owner and operator of a franchise in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., says he felt the gathering was an opportunity to show hospitality to members of his community, regardless of their beliefs.
“I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against anybody,” Braun told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We serve everyone. We’re happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever.”
Eden Anderson, who is a board member for a local LGBT rights group, called Braun’s actions “surreal.”
“What I experienced with the community, is when people are open and apologetic and accepting, it’s touching to us,” Anderson told the Los Angeles Daily News. “It feels like acceptance and we just want to be accepted and engaged in society, so when it’s confirmed, I think the overall reaction was, yes, certainly that Chick-fil-A in Rancho Cucamonga is welcoming to us.”
Imagine what could be accomplished over a platter of really tasty guacamole! The chunky kind, with lightly salted tortilla chips. Washed down with a couple of Dos Equis. Yum! I bet even North Korea would come to the table over a meal like that. Certainly their starving citizens would.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman gave his only on-camera interview about the change in his position on same-sex marriage to CNN’s Dana Bash on Thursday. He also discussed it with a few print reporters from Ohio and wrote an editorial explaining the change that appeared Friday in The Columbus Dispatch.
“I’m announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples’ opportunity to marry,” Portman told CNN.
It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay,” said Portman.
Will Portman told his father and mother he is gay two years ago, when he was a freshman at Yale University.
“My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us that he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that it’s just part of who he is, and that’s who he’d been that way for as long as he could remember,” said Portman.
What was the Republican senator’s reaction?
“Love. Support,” responded Portman.
I guess I can see how this is news, even if (especially if) it’s personal. Certainly Portman treated it as news.
“I have been crystal clear about my position on Iran possessing a nuclear weapon. That is a red line for us. It is not only something that would be dangerous for Israel. It would be dangerous for the world,” Obama told CNN affiliate Israeli Channel 2 TV before a scheduled visit next week to the country.
“…I’ve also said there is a window — not an infinite period time, but a window of time — where we can resolve this diplomatically.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Obama to establish a clear line that Iran cannot cross with its nuclear program, if it wants to avoid war.
Obama has resisted such a move, and Netanyahu has shown growing impatience with what he has previously called a lack of clarity by the Obama administration on articulating red lines over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
U.S. intelligence officials have said they do not believe Iran has decided to develop a nuclear weapon, even as evidence continues to mount that the country is improving its ability to do so.
When pushed during the interview to define those options, the president responded: “When I say all options are on the table, all options are on the table. The United States obviously has significant capabilities.”
Translation: we’re going to bomb the shiite out of you. Again, glad to hear it. Welcome to Planet Reality, sir.
But what took so long? Wasn’t it mere moths ago that Vice President Bite Me ridiculed the very idea of employing such “significant capabilities”?
The media has played the Obama administration tune all along. Keeping the truth of Benghazi under cover, leaving Biden’s misstatements and evasions unchallenged. Now, President Obama confesses that the sanctions have left Iran perhaps a year away from possessing a nuclear weapon.
Yet again, I’m glad Obama and Biden have swung around to the Bush/Cheney position in the war on terror: drones a-swarming, Gitmo open for business, extrajudicial executions, red lines on Iran. But if they had been a little more honest, and the media a little more responsible, we might have actually elected Republicans in 2008 and 2012, and not just Republican policies.
PS: Maybe this poll helped convince the president. Most polls do:
Americans’ sympathies for Israel matched an all time high according to a Gallup poll released Friday, just five days before US President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit Israel for the first time as president.
According to the poll, Americans’ sympathies lean heavily toward the Israelis over the Palestinians, 64 percent vs. 12%.
Republicans (78%) were much more likely to sympathize with Israel than Democrats (55%), according to the poll. Democratic support for Israel has increased by four percent since 2001, while Republican support for the Jewish state has jumped 18 percentage points in the same period.
The percentage of respondents favoring the Palestinians increases with formal education, ranging from 8% of those with no college experience to 20% of postgraduates.
“Palestinians receive the highest sympathy from Democrats, liberals, and postgraduates, but even among these, support tops off at 24%,” according to Gallup.
Romney could have gone after Cookie Monster and received Mayor Blooberg’s blessing, but he had to take a swipe at Big Bird instead.
And Elmo! Imagine what he could have said about Elmo:
Salacious details emerged in the case against the voice behind the beloved “Sesame Street” character Elmo, who took a leave of absence from the show after he was accused of having a relationship with an underage male.
Kevin Clash, who has been the voice of Elmo for 26 years, admitted that he had a relationship with the unknown male, but that it did not begin until after he was 18.
“I’m sorry that I keep talking about sex with you, its driving me insane,” Clash wrote.
He continued, “I want you to know that I love you and I will never hurt you. I’m here to protect you and make sure your dreams come true,” and ”I’ll have my assistant book a ticket for you to come to NY and we can talk about this in person.”
The accuser filed a complaint with Sesame Street Workshop in June when he was 23, alleging that he had a sexual relationship when he was 16 and Clash was 45.
A fifty-something year old man who earns his living voicing a pre-pubescent furry red monster. I think it’s important that we underwrite that way of life, don’t you? Who are we to judge love?
It wouldn’t be the first time there was interspecies love on Sesame Street.
Long time readers will know how much I treasure this video.
The Philippines on Wednesday protested China’s move placing virtually the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), including the Philippine territory of Macclesfield Bank and its surrounding waters, under the jurisdiction of a newly created city.
Manila’s protest came as the latest sour turn in relations between the Philippines and China, which have yet to find a temporary solution to their dispute over Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a resource-rich reef in the West Philippine Sea just west of Zambales province.
Also on Thursday, Philippine President Aquino III urged the Chinese authorities to “balance [their] statements with the truth” in response to their accusation that he was trying to stir tension in the West Philippine Sea by asking for US help in monitoring the disputed waters.
Oh yeah, I’m sure Obama “has your back”, Philippines.
A group of prominent Chinese scholars issued an open letter on Thursday calling for a rethink of the country’s one-child policy, the second high-profile challenge to the long-standing law this week.
The group argued that the policy in its current form is incompatible with China’s increasing respect for human rights and need for sustainable economic development. The letter comes less than a month after the story of a woman who was forced to undergo an abortion of her seven-month-old fetus ignited public anger.
“The birth-approval system built on the idea of controlling population size as emphasized in the current ‘Population and Family Planning Law’ does not accord with provisions on the protection of human rights contained in the nation’s constitution,” the authors of Thursday’s letter wrote, adding that a rewriting of the law was “imperative.”
Imperative, but too late, I wonder. Forget about the human rights angle (this is China, remember), who’s going to support the aged parents in their dotage if there are no young people (and fewer young women than men)?
Again, Aggie and I support gay marriage (as recognized by the state—churches are on their own), but we don’t go mincing and prancing around boasting how evolved we are. No one calls us the first “gay blog” (well, maybe some unevolved critics).
But if you think Newspuke only went gay after being absorbed into The Daily Beast, you don’t remember. Senior correspondent Jonathan Alter had a book deal before the election returns were counted to deliver a hagiography on the first 100 days. I think it sold fewer than 100 copies, but they’ve been in the bag (his bag) from the beginning.
PS: There goes Obama claiming credit again for something he didn’t do (see Aggie’s post below). Even if Obama were as gay as Tom Cruise at an Elton John concert, he’d still be the second gay president. Abraham Lincoln allegedly got there (so to speak) first. (Third, if you believe the rumors about James K. Polk.)