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Victim Or Victimizer? Catholic Church, Diaz’s Gay Equality Intolerance



Victim Or Victimizer? Friend or foe?

Hard at work painting itself as the victim in a public debate on marriage equality, The New York State Catholic Conference, along with New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, are instead victimizing the gay community.

Guest post by New York City-​based novelist and freelance journalist Scott Rose, who frequently writes about human rights.

The New York State Catholic Conference, which bills itself as “the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in New York State,” knows absolutely no shame in its efforts to perpetuate sexual orientation apartheid in New York State. Last week the Catholic Conference published a press release titled, “A Note on Intolerance” in which it painted itself and New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, Sr. — a Pentecostal minister and sadistic opponent of LGBT civil rights — as victims of hysterical and vulgar attack from the marriage equality movement. In fact, gay rights foes are, indeed, the bullies. Merely consider which group has full, equal, constitutionally-protected civil rights, and which does not.

I sent the author of that press release, Richard E. Barnes — who, coincidentially, was quoted Sunday in an AP article, “Some gay-rights foes claim they now are bullied” – and other leading figures in the Catholic Conference an e-mail, objecting that their presentation of information surrounding the marriage equality movement was calculated to smear gay people. I specifically offered to help to do what Mr. Barnes had not at all done – that is, to present within the press release a well-reasoned, intellectual statement explaining just what about state-sanctioned sexual orientation apartheid in the matter of marriage is so hurtful, backwards and ignorant. I did not receive the courtesy of a reply.

The appearance is that the New York State Catholic Conference, whose web site states it “was founded to translate Catholic teachings into action in the public policy arena” — in clear, direct conflict of the U.S.  Constitution’s separation of church and state – wants to keep attention centered on that handful of LGBTers who in outrage and frustration over being oppressed, do something goofy, like decide to hold an F*!% Ruben Díaz Festival.

The core issues surrounding marriage equality have nothing whatsoever to do with such diversions. For that matter, the arguments involving marriage equality, as a politician like New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz presents them, also have nothing to do with those core issues. Díaz and his anti-gay co-conspirators in the Catholic Conference have their minds closed shut, like safes with nothing but cobwebs and anti-gay vindictiveness inside. The arguments they present against equality have all been resoundingly debunked.

To cite but one example from the Catholic Conference’s press release, they allege that marriage equality would take away their “religious liberty.” That is absolute hooey. The Catholic Church has a special interest in keeping gay people oppressed. Its noxious set-up in the past has been to persecute gays and lesbians over their sexual orientation as they are growing up, drive them to the utter depths of social despair and then offer to them as the only apparent workable option for living out their lives a sexless enslavement to the Church.

The nuns in particular get hidden away, doing the dirty work and the laundry for the men up through to those towards the top of the hierarchy like the Catholic Conference’s Barnes who exploit them to live cushy privileged existences. Where anti-gay bigotry is eliminated, where gay people’s long-term relationships are validated, where gay youth are shown hope for love and intimacy in their futures, the Catholic Church loses many potential candidates that it otherwise might have been able to terrorize into becoming slavish priests or nuns.

The Catholic Conference’s press release duplicitously alleges that the organization has a “love for all of God’s children, gay or straight.” Exactly what, according to these duplicitous anti-gay bullies, are the gay and lesbian people that these Catholics allegedly love supposed to do upon reaching a marrying age? Force themselves into impossible relationships with heterosexuals? Resign themselves to permanent second-class citizenship with a mate? Part of what caused the bullycide of Tyler Clementi when he jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge last year was Tyler’s knowledge that his society irrationally hated him so strongly for who he was that it would not permit him to marry a man.

What, incidentally, but not insignificantly, is the source of anti-gay bullies in our schools?  Anti-gay bullies do not grow under cabbages, nor do they come from families that teach good strong acceptance values. Anti-gay bullies in the schools come from households where parents teach children fraudulent notions that there is something inherently “wrong” with homosexual human beings. The way the unrelenting anti-gay bully the Pope states it, actually, is that homosexual people are “objectively disordered.” That is rich, coming from a man who maintains his grip on power by alleging belief in a “virgin birth.”

The Catholic Conference’s press release also attempts to make all LGBT people accountable for supposed credible threats made against Diaz. None of those threats, however, have come from any leader of the push for marriage equality, such as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Senator Thomas Duane. By contrast, during an anti-gay hate rally Díaz held in the Bronx on May 15, his co-conspirator in anti-gay oppression, the Reverend Ariel Torres Ortega, hollered at an anti-LGBT mob that God says that gay people are “worthy of death.” Not only has Diaz not apologized for that, he and his associates have tried to excuse it away, with any number of repugnantly disingenuous defenses of it.

The arguments that Ruben Díaz and Richard Barnes would make against Cuomo, Bloomberg and Duane in their defenses of equality do not bear intellectual scrutiny. The intellectual bankruptcy of Díaz’s and Barnes’s anti-gay bigotry, furthermore, is thrown into heightened relief against all the religious leaders today — not to mention, Whole churches! Whole branches of Judaism! – that favor marriage equality.  It bears repeating here that in 2009, Saqib Ali, the first Muslim Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly, explained why he voted for marriage equality. “I recognize that I represent people of all faiths and no faith at all. If I tried to enforce religion by law – as in a theocracy – I would be doing a disservice both to my constituents and to my religion.”

Díaz is to be condemned for more than just endorsing the idea that God says gays are “worthy of death.”  He calculatingly scheduled his May 15 anti-gay hate rally on the same day as this year’s annual New York Aids Walk, so people would not be available to protest at his anti-gay hate rally — forcing some to choose between their love of their brand of religion and their love of a loved one. More heterosexual than lesbian women are living with HIV or AIDS, yet lesbians of course give priority to participating in the AIDS walk over protesting Díaz’s anti-gay hate rally. The New York State Catholic Conference should be ashamed of its attacks on LGBT New Yorkers and equally ashamed of its preposterous presentation of the maliciously anti-gay Reverend-Senator Díaz as a victim.

Diaz and the Church are not the victims. Indeed, they are the victimizers.

(Image, top: Catholics at the Capitol, buttons from a March, 2011 religious lobbying effort by the New York State Catholic Conference.)

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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate



The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.




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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate



Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General


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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden



Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.


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