Connect with us

Love And Marriage: Hate Groups, Racism, Anti-Semitism, And Lies



It was a week that began with a yawn, thanks to one of the most boring, least gay, and least political Oscar shows in memory –then rapidly descended into ugly days rife with hate speech and hate groups, free speech and lies, racism and anti-semitism. And throughout it all, I kept having to remind myself that oddly, as a writer chronicling the politics of equality, this is supposed to be all about love and marriage.

In an historic first amendment free speech case, the Supreme Court this week ruled that the “God Hates Fags” folks — also known as the Westboro Baptist Church — have the right to picket at or near funerals and say anything they want, including “God hates fags,” “Thank God for 9/11,” “Thank God for AIDS,” and “U R going to hell.”

(The Westboro Baptist Church may have the right to say whatever they want, but since Anonymous took down their Internet sites almost two weeks ago, they’re having issues saying it online. But have no fear; they are promising to quadruple their anti-gay protesting.)

Just because no one likes what the “God Hates Fags” folks have to say, they have the right to say it. As do you. In America, we pay a steep but necessary price for free speech, even when it’s hate speech.

Compare that to Europe, where those who practice hate speech pay a steep price for it.

Especially anti-semitic speech.

The gay, now-former head designer for Christian Dior, John Galliano, was fired after saying in a bar last week, “I love Hitler” … “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed,” which was reportedly followed by, “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead … Fucking Asian bastard, I will kill you.”

Mr. Galliano has apologized, but is facing possible jail time for his anti-semitic hate speech.

Back in America, not facing jail time, but reportedly facing a $10 million defamation lawsuit is anti-union, anti-left and anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, and John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council. Geller is now wearing proudly a self-described “badge of honor” –the designation of her organization, Stop Islamization of America, as a hate group, thanks to the good folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The lawsuit against Geller and Stemberger has motivated Stemberger to join forces with none other than (“exploratory”) GOP presidential candidate, the twice divorced, three-time married serial adulterer and anti-gay politician (and Pope film maker!) Newt Gingrich, along with Southern Baptist ordained minister and liar-about-anything-about-Obama, the devoutly anti-gay GOP presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee. If that weren’t enough theocrats for you, joining them is the intensely homophobic gay-bubble fearing GOP possible presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann.

Gingrich, Huckabee, Bachmann — along with Republican Governor Haley Barbour, and Tony Perkins, president of the certified hate group the Family Research Council (FRC), along with a cast of other extreme right-wing anti-gay conservatives — are hosting a church-based fundraiser for Stemberger that proclaims it will help you “Rediscover God in America.”

Curiously, (perhaps they’ve rediscovered God?), another anti-gay hate group this week actually acknowledged that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional!

Pat Vaughn, general counsel for the American Family Association — a certified hate group — who describes itself as “a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on TV and other media,” said, “the Defense of Marriage Act is probably unconstitutional, particularly … if you attempt to apply it so that to say that a marriage conducted in one state is not in effect in another. That clearly violates the Constitution.”


But guess who’s not saying DOMA is unconstitutional? That’s right, liar-about-anything-about-Obama, the devoutly anti-gay GOP presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee, and GOP possible presidential aspirant, the former reality TV show star, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, former Alaska Governor, former chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, former Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, former “Miss Congeniality,” (seriously,) former sportscaster, and former head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sarah Palin.

Not only did Huckabee lie about Obama growing up in Kenya (he did not,) surrounded by Madrasas (he was not,) he, along with Sarah Palin, lied about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s stance on DOMA.

Obama, who last month announced he will enforce — but no longer defend — DOMA in court, has been consistent (except for that 1996 letter in which he claimed to support marriage equality,) in his position on DOMA, including in August 2007, when Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said, “He supports the complete repeal of DOMA which is the same position he has held since early 2004.”

But Palin told NOM’s Maggie Gallagher this week, “It’s appalling, but not surprising that the President has flip-flopped on yet another issue from his stated position as a candidate to a seemingly opposite position once he was elected.”

And Huckabee last month said Obama “himself didn’t take this position [against DOMA] when he ran for president. I think if he had, he wouldn’t be president,” adding, ”I think he owes the people of America an explanation – was he being disingenuous and dishonest then, is he being dishonest now, or did he change his view and if he did, when and why?”

Um, no. Just no.

You know who else lied about Obama’s DOMA position? Pat Vaughn, general counsel for the American Family Association, who clearly said Obama “lied to people [about DOMA] when he ran.”

As I said in the beginning, this week has been filled with ugly days. And anti-semitism. And charges of it. (And don’t get me started on Charlie Sheen!)

Earlier this week, celebrated Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev came to America to discuss, all across the country, the state of the LGBT equality movement in Russia. Alekseev is best-known for suing for, and winning, the right to hold gay pride parades in Moscow. But a discredited detractor claimed that Alekseev made comments that could be seen as anti-semitic.

(You can see Alekseev deny the charges in a speech he made at Columbia University in New York City this week, and hear his interview with veteran writer and radio host Michelangelo Signorile.)

Anti-semitism, like racism, is ugly, and an ugly charge if not true, and all deserve to be examined and discussed.

But the folks on the west coast who were sponsoring Alekseev’s trip didn’t want much of a discussion, and canceled his appearances. Long story short, Alekseev denied the charges several times. And probably isn’t too keen on some of his American counterparts now.

Just when you thought the marriage equality debate in Maryland was over, and the House was ready to vote (the Senate already did, and this should be the final step,) one Maryland state delegate, Sam Arora, flip-flopped his position on marriage equality.

Arora ran on a platform of full equality, and took a lot of money from the LGBT community. Needless to say, they were non-too pleased, and this became a national event.

Fortunately, Arora at the last minute has changed his mind. A bit. He now says he will vote for the bill, but wants a public referendum on marriage equality in Maryland. (For the record, civil rights are inalienable. No one should ever be allowed to vote on your rights.)

But before Arora switched back, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher got into the mix. And played the race card. Maggie claims she did not mean anything racist. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

In response to an op-ed by veteran Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, Maggie wrote,

“I have two reactions to reading this WaPo columnist’s comments.

“First, if Sam Arora is wavering under this media firestorm, he must be hearing from hundreds of constitutents who do not want him to vote for gay marriage.

“Secondly, as someone married to an Indian-American, I find it interesting that the gay marriage machine appears to be re-focusing its attacks from Black Democrats who oppose gay marriage to an easier target: Indian-Americans.”

Now, who knew (I certainly hadn’t) but it seems that Arora is Indian-American. What difference that makes on anything is unbeknownst to me. Not did I know anyone was attacking Black Democrats. Nor did I know there was a “gay marriage machine.” (Where does one buy that?)

This entire situation came to light when well-known columnist, LGBT activist, and Media Matters guy Karl Frisch — who happens to be a friend of Arora — wrote an open letter demanding his campaign contribution back.

Evidently, a very effective tactic, especially when it’s that personal.

Others followed. Many others. And then word got out and comments on Arora’s Facebook page went into overdrive.

As I’ve said, it’s been an ugly week. But change is sometimes ugly. Battles can be ugly.

But it’s all for a good cause. Love, and marriage. And the civil right to have both. Whatever bumps we feel along the way, no other reward, no other success, will be as sweet.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump



Former Trump vice president Mike Pence on Wednesday officially launched his 2024 campaign for the White House, in a lengthy, polished video carefully constructed to position himself as the torch-bearer of American values, including Christian nationalism, while conveniently all but ignoring his four-plus years spent in service to Donald Trump, who recently was held liable by a jury for sexual abuse, is currently under a 34-count state felony indictment, and expected to soon be facing a slew of federal and state charges amid several other investigations.

“I believe in the American people, and I have faith God is not done with America yet,” Pence tweeted atop his campaign video. “Together, we can bring this Country back, and the best days for the Greatest Nation on Earth are yet to come!”

The well-known presidential historian Michael Beschloss, author of ten books, noted that it will “not be easy for a VP to separate himself from the President he served for four years.”

READ MORE: Double Bombshell: Mark Meadows and Trump’s Secret Service Agents Have Testified, NYT Reports

And he made this critical observation: Pence’s “just-released announcement video cites ‘drag queens’ and Biden-Harris but not a single mention or image of You-Know-Who,” referring to Donald Trump.

In fact, in Pence’s video (below), he falsely claims, “President Joe Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad.”

“The American dream is being crushed under runaway inflation. Wages are dropping, recession is looming. Our southern border is under siege.”

“And the enemies of freedom are on the march around the world,” Pence continues.

READ MORE: Watch: Mike Pence Showed Up to Speak at the NRA Convention – It Didn’t Go Well

“And worse still, timeless American values are under assault as never before,” Pence cries.

As he says those words, the video shows three frames that appear to be clipped from TV news reports. One reads, “VA Parents Push Back Against Critical Race Theory,” one reads, “Controversy Over Female Trans Swimmer,” and the last one reads, “Drag Queens Storm Faith-Based Story Hour in AR.”

Journalist Grace Panetta offered a similar observation, tweeting, “Former VP Mike Pence’s presidential announcement video features faith imagery and headlines about trans athletes and drag queens, but no obvious references to abortion, to which he is staunchly opposed.”

Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama cabinet secretary Julián Castro, went one step further.

“In his announcement,” Hackett writes, “Mike Pence says ‘timeless American values are under assault’ as headlines about drag shows and trans athletes play. But nothing about the armed Trump mob who tried to hang him at the Capitol.”

Watch Pence’s video below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Untrue and Hateful’: Nikki Haley Slammed for ‘Damnable Lie’ of Blaming Teen Girls Contemplating Suicide on Trans Kids

Continue Reading


Fox News’ Sean Hannity Whines Charging Trump With ‘Obscure’ Obstruction Is Unfair



Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested on Tuesday’s edition of his radio show that the possibility of former President Donald Trump getting charged with obstruction of justice is unfair because President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton never had their homes “raided” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“So you know, and here’s the other problem, you know, with top secret classified documents. So what they’re doing here is they’re not going to go after what they thought was the crime. Because they didn’t raid Hillary Clinton’s residences. They didn’t raid Joe Biden’s four places where he had top secret classified information. No,” Hannity complained.

Both Clinton and Biden cooperated with federal investigators. Refusing to do so, or impeding their work, is considered obstruction, which is a felony.

READ MORE: Trump’s attorneys just walked into DOJ amid swelling indictment anticipation

“So they’ll look to something obscure,” Hannity continued. “‘Well, as a result of the investigation, it is alleged that Donald Trump obstructed justice’ — blah blah blah blah blah. Which, by the way, I would argue, legally, he doesn’t have any obligation to cooperate with, and nor can anyone give a real definition of whether or not, you know, exactly how one president is supposed to declassify the materials anyway.”

Trump has claimed that he declassified documents psychically and that they automatically had that status once he took them from the White House. Those statements are not just false — Trump was recorded acknowledging the limits to his power to declassify certain items, such as war plans for an attack on Iran.

Hannity then said that “it’s not going to have anything to do with the documents themselves, except it’ll be a process crime. That is my prediction.”

There are many indicators that Trump could facing an espionage charge (among a litant of others), as recently highlighted by experts.

READ MORE: ‘Nihilistic moron’ Trump heading for another indictment: George Conway

“They’re gonna go down the process crime route and they won’t apply the same standards to Joe, just like they didn’t apply the same standards to the Hillary, and whatever bone they throw you on Hunter is the low-hanging fruit that does not get to the heart of the family business with a multitude of countries that they were paid a fortune from,” Hannity added. “And we still haven’t gotten the final numbers, and clearly, Hunter Biden with no experience was leading up the effort and implicates his own father. They’re gonna stay as far away from the real crux of what legality would impact Joe Biden and just go after Donald Trump, to just continue their policies of politicizing or criminalizing political differences.”

Listen below via Media Matters for America or at this link.

READ MORE: Ex-DOJ official: Trump keeping ‘war plans’ makes it ‘inconceivable’ that he will escape indictment


Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading


Double Bombshell: Mark Meadows and Trump’s Secret Service Agents Have Testified, NYT Reports



The New York Times late Tuesday afternoon published two separate reports revealing previously unknown details from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s double-pronged investigation into Donald Trump’s likely unlawful actions, including that investigators have interviewed or subpoenaed approximately two dozen people who are among those who know the ex-president best: Mark Meadows, Trump’s final White House Chief of Staff, and “more than 20” of the ex-president’s Secret Service agents.

The Times, pointing to the “surprise revelation” that a federal grand jury has been convened in Florida, reports Meadows has testified before the grand jury, presumably in Washington, D.C. The 20 or more members of the ex-president’s Secret Service detail have either testified before the D.C. grand jury or been subpoenaed to do so.

Meadows is a “key witness” who allegedly was intimately aware or involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and he is believed to also have knowledge of the ex-president’s likely unlawful handling of classified and top secret documents.

Suggesting there could be “unknown complexities” with the revelation of a Florida grand jury, The Times reports Special Counsel Jack Smith’s D.C. grand jury appears to have stopped hearing testimony recently from witnesses, while the one in the Sunshine State “began hearing evidence last month,” but has seen “only a handful of witnesses.”

READ MORE: Jim Jordan Demands Merrick Garland Hand Over Documents Authorizing Special Counsel’s Trump Investigation

Based on “people familiar with the matter,” The Times explains, “if both grand juries are in operation, it suggests that prosecutors are considering bringing charges in both Washington and Florida. It is possible that Mr. Trump could be charged in one jurisdiction while other people involved in the case are charged in the other.”

“But if only the Florida grand jury is currently hearing testimony, it suggests two possibilities,” The Times explains. “One is that the investigation in Washington is largely complete and that prosecutors are now poised to make a decision about bringing charges there while still weighing other potential indictments in Florida.”

Other possibilities are that the Special Counsel believes Florida is the proper venue to file charges against Trump, in the documents probe, or even that the Florida grand jury was convened to accommodate “local witnesses.”

But former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman told MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace Tuesday that if the Special Counsel files charges in the wrong venue, the entire case “can go away” and cannot be retried.

READ MORE: Buttigieg: Republicans Are Targeting LGBTQ People Because They ‘Don’t Want to Talk About’ Their Own ‘Radical Positions’

“I think Smith has made all his decisions,” Litman added. “The fact that there was this meeting yesterday, only happens when everything’s final. I think there’s a draft indictment and everything, but a very important strategic decision is venue, and I think that they’re pursuing something separate in the Southern District of Florida.”

Meanwhile, The Times notes that “Mr. Meadows has kept largely out of sight, and some of Mr. Trump’s advisers believe he could be a significant witness in the inquiries.” Apparently, even Trump has “at times asked aides questions about how Mr. Meadows is doing, according to a person familiar with the remarks.”

Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, played coy when asked about his client’s possible grand jury testimony. Terwilliger told The Times, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

In addition to his knowledge, if not participation in efforts to overturn the election, and his knowledge of Trump’s mishandling and possible attempts to obstruct the Dept. of Justice’s investigation into the classified documents, Meadows “tangentially” is involved in a meeting that Special Counsel Smith now has recorded audio of. Although he was not present, that meeting was about Meadows’ book. In the audio, Trump allegedly made clear he knew the highly-classified Pentagon document had not been declassified, shattering his stated defense, and he allegedly said he wanted to share it, which could lead to more legal troubles for him.

Andrew Weissmann, a former top DOJ official, tweeted in response to the Times’ story on Meadows, “Did he plead or was he given immunity?”

Professor of law at NYU Law, Ryan Goodman, a former Special Counsel for the Dept. of Defense, served up this equation:

“Put these 2 things together and what do you have? 1) Meadows ‘has testified before a federal grand jury…in the investigations being led by the special counsel’s office’! 2) Meadow’s actions seem to be kept secret from Trump team! Answer: A cooperator?”


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.