Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem
Posts tagged "LGBTQ"

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, was not claimed by any NFL team after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, was not claimed by any NFL team after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday.
Getty Images / Marc Serota

Once the Rams dropped Sam from their final roster, he was on “waivers,” meaning that other NFL teams had until noon today to take him. Based on last year’s win-loss record, the worst team in the league had the first chance to pick him up, and the best team had the last chance.

Still, Sam can sign to the practice squad for any NFL team — and the Rams are expected to sign him to their 10-man practice unit, according to league sources cited by ESPN.

Michael Sam has not been told of any teams that claimed him on waivers. Appears he went unclaimed. Now free to sign with a practice squad.

Update - Sep. 1, 4:08 p.m., ET: Michael Sam is not a part of the St. Louis Rams’ 10-player practice squad. The club made an announcement this afternoon, naming their practice squad roster. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Montreal Alouettes are interested in signing Sam, potentially sending him to the Canadian Football League.

By the way, the @MTLAlouettes of the #CFL own the rights to DE Michael Sam. They have reached out to him, no word yet though.

We will continue to update this post as the situation develops.

Source: Logan Rhoades for Buzzfeed Sports

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Michael Sam’s chances of playing in the NFL got worse today as every team let the window close on a chance to pick him up, reportsESPN.

The Rams cut the out defensive end from its roster on Saturday in favor of another rookie, Ethan Westbrooks, who had been undrafted. After putting Sam on waiver, teams had 24 hours to sign him, but none did. 

Now ESPN reports that Sam must focus on making a practice squad. Even there, the Rams won’t say if they will take Sam.

Sam reacted to Saturday’s news in a statement shared on social media, seeming hopeful about eventually making a team. 

"The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known," he said. "The journey continues."

Whether Sam deserved a spot on the Rams or another NFL team is hotly debated. Outsports described the Rams’ decision as solely based on which positions were available but said homophobia did “play a role” in his being passed over by the other 31 teams.

"Sam has proven he can play in the NFL," wrote the site’s co-founders, Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler, in a joint editorial. “Only a couple other players have more sacks this preseason than his three. In a league that places a high value on pass rushers, and continues to develop rules that help passing offenses, guys like Sam are coveted. Sacks aside, he’s played well or very well in each of his three preseason games.”

Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy made headlines for saying in Juy that he wouldn’t have taken Sam if he still led a team. Dungy said Sam “should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

Sam’s preseason has obviously not been devoid of homophobia. In one of the clearest incidents, happening in the week before Sam was cut, ESPN reported on whether fellow Rams players were showering with their openly gay teammate. The network apologized afterward and some on the team publicly voiced disappointment with the coverage, which included anonymous worries by Rams players about showering together. 

When Sam was drafted at number 249 of 256 players, the first uproar started because he kissed his boyfriend to celebrate while ESPN was broadcasting live. An online kiss-in started over the aggressively homophobic reaction that the kiss sparked across social media.

Almost immediately, Sam’s jersey for the Rams was a top-seller, showing his huge support. Even One Direction member Harry Styles sported a jersey during a concert in St. Louis. It was ranked second among rookies in sales only to star Johnny Manziel — who Sam sacked during the preseason. And Outmagazine put Sam on the cover of its sports issue.

Sam has been the target of the usual antigay voices. When the antigay Westboro Church picketed a basketball game that Sam was attending, thousands of supporters lined up outside to counter. Peter LaBarbera, president of the antigay organization Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, wrote an open letter encouraging Sam to get so-called reparative therapy and warned against his influence on black youth. A right-wing lobbyist named Jack Burkman pushed for national legislation that would ban any professional sports team from employing a player who “has openly declared himself to be a homosexual.” 

But even with all of that, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters yet again on Saturday, according to The New York Times, that Sam wasn’t a distraction. “He’s not about drawing attention to himself,” he said. “He kept his head down and worked and you can’t ask anything more out of any player for that matter.”

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Another young person has been thrown out of his home for coming out as gay.

I have written about this on a number of occasions covering such events in the United StatesNigeria and Uganda.

This time the event was recorded. Trying to imagine the evil some people can impart on their children is no longer necessary. Now we can hear them in their own self righteous voices

It started when the family called 20-year-old Daniel Pierce to an “intervention.” He left his phone recorder going during the confrontation and was later posted online as “How not to react when your child tells you he is gay.” It has now gone viral.

In the video, Daniel explains to what sounds like his mother, step-mother and father that he is gay. The choices this set of parents makes as a reaction are almost as bad as they possibly could be.

His mother makes a statement at the outset that becomes increasingly shocking as the video proceeds and the parenting adults collectively verbally attack and physically abuse the young man.

The mother’s statement is: “I have known since you were a young boy that you were gay.” If there was ever clear pointed evidence that Daniel was “born that way,” her comment would be it.

She knows who her child is, yet due to her own personal agenda she pretends he is making a choice and coldly rejects him as a result.

Watch:

This is my open letter to Daniel’s parents.

To Daniel’s family:

Now you know.

You have handled this badly. I don’t know you, and I don’t know of what you are capable, good or bad. I hope that there are better people within each one of you than those displayed on that video.

I am a parent as you are. For me, contributing to my sons’ welfare, personal joy and life success is my purpose and mission in this world. I hope that somehow in your own warped way, that you want that for Daniel. I have written to children killed by parents who feared they might grow up as gay, and I can’t be sure those aren’t individuals who share your mindset.

To Daniel’s dad: I hear great frustration of not being thanked for having provided the food and “roof over the head” of a child for twenty years. Accomplishing that is no small feat — I have two sons, 11 and 12, and I provide for them. I have to. I will not get thanked for it. It’s cool, it is the gig I signed up for. Part of being a parent is being your child’s oxygen. They need us to survive, but they do not thank us as they take each breath. We just have to provide for them, because being a parent means you do that.

We seek to inspire our children to be the best they can be, and to do that, we have to know who they are. You all now know Daniel.

Choice is relevant here, but not for Daniel. It is for you. You are choosing only to accept him if he is as you want him to be, rather than who he really is. Instead of embracing this child that you nurtured through life, you cling to a bastardized concept of “the word of God” that has turned a religious practice into an exercise of superstition.

Where exactly you get this religious mandate is itself a mystery. The Bible does not define itself as being “the word of God.” It defines Jesus, and Jesus alone as being “The Word.” Jesus never once claims that gay people choose to be gay. The Bible directs us to the covenant of God, under Jesus, as written on one’s own HEART and HIS MIND (Hebrews 8).

I believe that Daniel DID ask God, and God wrote back on Daniel’s heart and mind, “I made you gay.” God generally does not cc others so, you getting a copy of that directive is unlikely. That is what the Bible says and you can choose to believe it if you want.

To Daniel’s Mom: At the beginning of the recording you tell him you love him. He says he believes you. I don’t believe you.

For me, my sons come first — before my dogma, before my standing in the local community, before anything. If I was Abraham in the desert and Jason and Jesse were strapped to a stone slab, and a big voice in the sky was telling me to make a sacrifice of them to Him, I would turn to the heavens and say “Screw you.”

That’s how monumental my kids are to me — they are beyond biblical proportions of importance. All the real parents I know feel the same about their kids.

Daniel has very little choice here. He is who he is, and now thanks to your rejection, he will do what he has to in order to survive. Our community will come around him, love him support him. He will be our son now and we will give him healthy alternatives. Many in his situation do not get that chance. They end up on the street and within weeks are surviving through less than savory means.

We will watch Daniel, and encourage him to grow. We will give him hope for his life, and a vision for an inspiring purpose. That purpose for him may or may not include a family of his own. We will show him how to find joy and fulfillment, and he will do it without you. Unlike you, we will let him know he can be his authentic true self.

Your choices are important ones that will affect the rest of your lives. Rejecting is a choice. Not caring for Daniel is a choice. Saving your face in the community over the well being of your son is a choice. What is your best possible choice? That would be a sincere re-evaluation of your priorities, bringing him home, and working towards a level of acceptance.

Whatever you choose, it will define you forever. You will either be defined as the people who worked to grow as parents, or the people who should never have been parents in the first place.

If you do have any love in you at all, it will fester and one day you will find yourself sitting upright in bed, having a better educated sense about the nature of the true God, and realize that you have made a horrific and terrible mistake. One that, at that point, you may not be able to fix.

You may truly be cold loveless shells. Certainly, it appears that one or more of you deserves to be in jail right now for assault. Instead of looking for healing, you may launch into a further tirade of homophobia and tell us about the vengeful God that you emulate.

You will not need to preach to us about hell, however. We will see it in your eyes.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Georgia 20-Year-Old Secretly Records His Coming Out As Gay To His Parents, What Happened Next Is Extremely Violent & Uncalled For [TW: Abuse, Neglect, Verbal Abuse, Physical Abuse, Anti-LGBT Bigotry, Homophobia, Right-Wing Extremism]

Daniel Ashley Pierce from Georgia posted a video to his Facebook page Tuesday. That video, which was later posted to Reddit and YouTube, has gone viral, with almost 850,000 views in just two days. It depicts his family’s response to him coming out. In the video, Daniel’s mother says she knew since he was “a tiny little boy” that he is gay, but she also say that he has “made a choice” to be gay.

Daniel’s boyfriend set up a GoFundMe page to help Daniel with living expenses. The New Civil Rights Movement has been told by a person in touch with Daniel that he is safe, living with a trusted relative, and he’s “overwhelmed” by all that’s happened.

The video begins with a woman, possibly Daniel’s mother, saying, “Daniel, I want to tell you before I say anything else, that I love you.”

WATCH: Secretly-Recorded Coming Out Video That Is Almost Every LGBT Child’s Nightmare Goes Viral

"You can deny it all you want to," the woman continues, "but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way," Daniel’s mother tells him. "It’s a path that you have chosen to choose."

Daniel, who is 20, talks about his biology and psychology classes. He tells his family he believes that “scientific proof trumps the word of God.”

"You go by all the scientific stuff you want to," she responds. "I’m going by the word of God."

The woman then says, “we will not support you any longer.”

"You will need to move out, and find wherever you can to live," she adds. "Because I will not let people believe that I condone what you do."

As the exchange heats up, there sounds like a slap, the camera is jarred, and Daniel says, “You’re not going to fucking hit me.”

Someone else says, “Son of a bitch,” and it sounds like a physical altercation is underway.

Daniel is called “a damn queer,” ”a disgrace,” and “a little piece of shit.”

Someone, likely a woman, says, “I’ll beat you…” 

In the end, the family disowns Daniel, some members appear to get physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive, and they hide behind their Bible.

In an email, Daniel told the Huffington Post today why he started to record the video. ”I wanted to make sure there was evidence in case something happened.”

The Huffington Post adds that Daniel “came out as gay last October. At the time, his father was unresponsive and his stepmother seemed supportive. However, things took a turn for the worse Wednesday when Pierce found himself a part of what he describes as a ‘delayed intervention’ involving his father, stepmother and grandparents. He apparently captured footage of the interaction on camera.”

"Their reaction was pretty much expected [once] I chose to leave instead of pray because they have always been very vocal about not supporting the gay lifestyle," he told HuffPost. "My [stepmother’s] reaction was the most surprising and hurtful."

The family members involved in the intervention, which he says was “driven by my grandparents,” have not contacted the media, but they left Pierce a voicemail telling him to remove the video of the incident from YouTube. Pierce also says he did not contact police over the apparent altercation in the video.

Daniel’s boyfriend posted the video to Reddit. A friend of Daniel’s posted it to YouTube, and Dan Savage posted it on his blog, followed by Joe.My.God. and The New Civil Rights Movement. Soon after other sites, including the Backlot and The Advocate, had published it as well.

Here’s the video again.

(Caution: trigger warning.)

And here’s the GoFundMe page Daniel’s boyfriend set up for him. Daniel now has control of the page we’re told, and we have been told he will be the one who gets all the proceeds from the page, which currently stand at over $23,000.

Please remember, if you are an LGBT child or teen in need of help, the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUNAWAY can help you. The Ali Forney Center has a local and national LGBT youth online resource guide. In the Atlanta, Georgia area Lost-n-Found Youth serves LGBT homeless youth. They’re also on Facebook.

Source: David Badash for The New Civil Rights Movement

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

h/t: David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement

Daniel Pierce is a hero for standing up to homophobic bigots who wanted to demean his sexual orientation. 

h/t: Cavan Sieczkowski at HuffPost Gay Voices 

440K views in one day of this YouTube clip in which a kid comes out to his family, only to have them curse him because Jesus, then physically attack him. Dan Savage writes

"That was hard to listen to. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. My heart breaks for that poor, brave, tough kid. What the fuck is wrong with these people? We could have a fundraiser up and running for this poor kid by morning—if we knew who he was and where he was."

Stay out of the YouTube comments, seriously.

UPDATE: A fundraiser has been set up.

Pictures:



H/T: Joe.My.God

Today, HRC Foundation released a new report that exposes one of the most influential groups in America promoting and coordinating the exportation of anti-LGBT bigotry, ideology, and legislation abroad: The World Congress of Families.

Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and active in several nations across five continents, the Rockford, IL-based World Congress of Families (WCF) has organized large international “pro-family” conventions that bring together the most fringe activists engaged in anti-LGBT extremism since 1997.  In July, WCF announced that its next annual international convention will take place in Salt Lake City, making it the first ever hosted on American soil.

“The World Congress of Families coordinates a dangerous group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting laws and policies that criminalize LGBT people and the speech of those who support them,” said Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s Director of Global Engagement.  “They praise Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for traditional ‘family values’ and honored a Nigerian activist who claims LGBT advocates conspire with the terrorist group Boko Haram with a “Woman of the Year” award.  Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond.  Hate is not an American value, and we must expose and work to stop the World Congress of Families and their extremist allies.”

HRC Foundation’s report documents: WCF’s origins and founding members; a timeline of its major international events; affiliations with prominent American officials, political groups, and religious organizations; engagement and lobbying with leaders and lawmakers abroad; and the primary regions in which the group has been most active.

Uganda, Russia, and Nigeria have enacted horrific anti-LGBT laws within the past year, and LGBT people in those countries have suffered vicious and violent backlashes in their wake. This includes harassment, discrimination, prosecution, public beatings, and murder. WCF and its affiliates are connected to anti-LGBT advocacy in each of the three countries, among many others.

WCF affiliate Scott Lively traveled repeatedly to Uganda claiming that LGBT people are responsible for the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the spread of HIV/AIDS.  Some Ugandan officials credit Lively with the idea of introducing new legislation to further criminalize homosexuality in the country, and prominent Ugandan LGBT activists say the “bill is essentially his creation.”  WCF also forcefully advocated for the draconian anti-LGBT Russian law, met with the law’s author in the Russian Duma, and released a public letter in support of the measure. WCF has also repeatedly hosted events in Nigeria with “pro-family” activists from Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.

“This organization and their affiliates’ global advocacy have corresponded with a dangerous rise in anti-LGBT laws, discrimination, and even violence around the world,” said Cobb.  “Their harmful impact is being felt in nearly every corner of the globe, and we urge all fair-minded Americans to reject the World Congress of Families and their exportation of anti-LGBT hate.”

See Also: PDF report on the World Congress of Families

H/T: Human Rights Campaign

The fight against LGBT equality in Florida is being spearheaded by John Stemberger, a man who claims homosexuality is a “pathology” and believes marriage equality will indoctrinate “schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle.”

Stemberger, who is president of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), made national headlines this month after he asserted that “inner city” residents “have almost a barbarian society” due to the decline of marriage. During a July 30 interview on 100.7 WFLA, Stemberger suggested that allowing gay people to marry would ultimately destroy the institution of marriage, saying:

STEMBERGER: Marriage is a unique institution that does many, many things that are productive, so you want to encourage marriage. In the inner city right now we see what happens when marriage is gone. You have almost a barbarian society. It’s a very simple society. When marriage is gone, bad things happen in society.

His remarks were condemned as racist, but they’re just the latest in a long line of inflammatory comments from Stemberger. Through his work at the FFPC, frequent media appearances, and his founding of an anti-gay alternative to the Boy Scouts, Stemberger has emerged as one of the most virulently anti-gay social conservatives in the country.

The Florida Family Policy Council

Established in 2004, the FFPC is a state chapter of Focus on the Family, with a self-proclaimed mission ”to strengthen Florida’s families through public policy education, issue research, and grassroots advocacy.” While not formally affiliated with the organization, the FFPC is also closely tied to the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been branded an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

As one of the best-funded social conservative organizations in the state - the FFPC was among the anti-gay groups to receive funding from Chick-fil-A’s charitable division - the FFPC boasts ties to prominent Florida conservatives, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who keynoted the group’s Policy Awards Dinner in 2013. The FFPC focuses its efforts on advocating the teaching of creationism in public schools, abstinence-only sex education, and school vouchers, in addition to its crusades against reproductive rights, stem cell research, and LGBT equality.

The group is also a vehicle for a distinctly theocratic brand of conservatism. Stemberger has said that “no religion can save [America] except for Christians” and declared that public policy should be guided by “scripture.”

Most recently, the FFPC featured prominently in the debate over Florida’s anti-gay marriage amendment, which a federal judge struck down on August 21. Despite having slammed Republican state attorney general Pam Bondi in 2010 for being childless and “liv[ing] with her 60-year-old doctor boyfriend,” the FFPC lauded her defense of the state’s marriage equality ban in court, hailing Bondi as “an example of courage and responsible stewardship of her authority as the highest law enforcement officer in the state.”

The FFPC’s anti-gay agenda extends far beyond opposing marriage equality. The organization opposes gay 
adoption, calling same-sex parents “objectively inferior" to married heterosexual parents, despite study after study demonstrating that children of same-sex parents fare as well or better than those raised by opposite-sex parents. Moreover, the FFPC supports discredited ”ex-gay” therapy programs, with a page on its website listing resources for “leaving [the] gay lifestyle.”

Meanwhile, the FFPC’s “gay rights" page provides links to rabidly anti-gay commentary, featuring articles like "What Homosexuals Want" (courtesy of the anti-LGBT hate group the American Family Association) and “The Gay Agenda and Manipulation.” The page also links to an FRC pamphlet which asserts that homosexuality is linked to higher rates of pedophilia - a claim with no empirical basis.

Stemberger’s Anti-Gay Bigotry

After a decade at the helm of the FFPC, Stemberger has produced a lengthy track record of anti-gay rhetoric, including referring to homosexuality a “pathology.”

Among Stemberger’s most persistent fixations is how gay men express their sexuality. He finds “in-your-face” gay men particularly irksome. Denouncing “the social construct called ‘gay,’” Stemberger once defined that “construct” as “in your face, it’s shoving down your throat, and it’s intimidation.” During the run-up to the Boy Scouts’ 2013 vote on allowing openly gay members, Stemberger, in a Washington Times column, deemed those “who have same-sex attractions” acceptable members of the Scouts, but only if they were “discreet” and not “loud and proud.”

That fear of proud gay men may stem from Stemberger’s fondness for the anti-gay trope that gay men want to “recruit” young boys - an assertion he made during a July 2013 interview with hate group leader Peter LaBarbera:

Similarly, as Florida prepared to vote on its anti-gay marriage amendment in 2008, Stemberger justified the ban by stating that allowing gay marriages in the state “could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle.” Stemberger also sees a plot against young innocents in Walt Disney World’s Gay Days, which he has assailed as an opportunity for gay men to “flaunt” themselves in front of children while they enjoy “unbridled debauchery.”

Trail Life USA

Perhaps the seminal moment in Stemberger’s career of anti-gay extremism came during the debate over the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) policy banning gay scouts. Stemberger became one of the most prominent supporters of the BSA’s gay ban, appearing on CNN and Fox News to defend the policy.

Stemberger’s argued that accepting gay scouts would sexualize the organization and cause churches to pull their support for the organization. Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon, he predicted that allowing for gay scouts would “literally destroy the program.”

Speaking with LaBarbera, Stemberger also predicted that allowing openly gay Scouts would ”increase sexual abuse” between boys:

When the BSA decided to end its ban on gay scouts, Stemberger lamented that it had been “one of the sadest [sic] days of my life”:

Stemberger responded to the vote by founding Trail Life USA, an anti-gay alternative to the BSA. In a September 2013 interview with right-wing radio host Janet Mefferd, Stemberger said that Trail life would not “tolerate activists. We’re not going to tolerate somebody who’s, you know, here and queer, loud and proud, all of that nonsense”:

Trail Life launched to much fanfare, with Fox News host Mike Huckabee delivering the keynote address at the group’s inaugural convention. The group’s membership policy appears to bar not only gay participants, but also gay rights supporters, stating that “[w]e grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind.” Although chapters had been established in 40 states by March, an assessment by the Associated Press deemed Trail Life a “tiny movement" overall.

Local media has rightly lambasted Stemberger for his “barbarian” comment, but his record of extreme and offensive rhetoric is far more extensive than is being reported. As the legal battle over Florida’s marriage ban intensifies, outlets are likely to continue turning to Stemberger for a “conservative” voice on LGBT issues. If and when they do, they should be prepared to shine a light on the animus and extremism that motivate his work. 

Previously:

Orlando Sentinel Whitewashes Boy Scout Alternative’s Anti-Gay Bigotry

Trail Life USA’s John Stemberger: Affirming Gay Youth Is “Tantamount To Abuse … Absolutely Nonsense”

Fox’s Huckabee To Keynote Event For Anti-Gay Boy Scouts Alternative

h/t: Luke Brinker and Coleman Lowndes at Equality Matters

H/T: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church have announced that it plans to protest the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, the New Civil Rights Movement reports.

According to a flyer posted on the Topeka-based church’s official Twitter account, the reason for their protest has nothing to do with the tragic death of Michael Brown, because “[r]egardless of the details [of the shooting], the cause was from the Lord!”

“Missouri has made itself known worldwide for three things,” the flyer states, “Fags (e.g. Michael Sam); bestiality; and shredding the constitution in order to remove the Word of God from their streets.”

Now you reap what you have so diligently sown, Missouri!” the flyer continues. “Your streets resemble a Middle Eastern warzone! Those same lawless citizens that you turned loose on WBC now riot and loot; those same oath-breaking cops gun down unarmed citizens in the streets, and then cower behind weapons of war…All evidence points to Michael [Brown] now being in Hell. It’s your fault, Missouri! His blood is on your hands!”

Last week, the church announced plans to picket the funeral of the late comedian Robin Williams, telling its followers “to remember, Robin Williams hung himself. That is cause for shame and mourning.”

View the entire flyer via Twitter below.

Embedded image permalink