A virulently anti-gay, “ex-gay” group is misusing scientific research to blast its Christmas hate message on a busy highway billboard.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), a group that promotes false and harmful “ex-gay therapy,” has leased a billboard by a busy Richmond, Virginia highway to spread its Christmas message.Â “Nobody is born gay,” says the billboard drivers on I-95 can easilyÂ read. It suggests thatÂ “identical twins” are identical in every way. “One gay, one not. Nobody is born gay.”
But do they know their interpretation of science is incorrect? The billboard also states, “We believe twins research science shows nobody is born gay.”
Like climate change deniers and creationists, PFOX apparently “believes” that there’s room for interpretation and “belief” in actual science.
On its Facebook page, PFOX claims it “exists to educate, support, and advocate for individuals and parents on the issue of same-sex attraction, and increase othersâ€™ understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.”
A 2008 Scientific American article reviewed a study onÂ identical twins, noting that “experience shows that identical twins are rarely completely the same. Until recently, any differences between twins had largely been attributed to environmental influences (otherwise known as “nurture”), but a recent study contradicts that belief.”
The Huffington Post notes that on PFOX’s “website, the group cites two studies purportedlyÂ denying the existence of a ‘gay gene,‘Â one of which was conducted in 2000 with participants who were twins. (LGBTQ Nation pointed out this interpretation of the 2000 study has beenÂ disputed by the study’s main researcher.)”
Science aside for the moment, the very real issue now is that an entire community has to endure unscientific hate speech during the Christmas season. Young people, especially, are easily influenced by these anti-gay messages that can bring not hope, but despair.
“What we do know is that this type of therapy has caused many people to commit suicide,”Â Bill Harrison with the Richmond Gay Community told NBC12/WWBT.
Image: Screenshot via NBC12/WWBT
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‘Total Breakdown’: House Sends Members Home – Experts Warn ‘Republicans Can’t Govern’ And Have No ‘Working Majority’
Nine days before an increasingly-likely shutdown of the federal government of the United States, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has effectively adjourned the House for the rest of the week, with GOP leadership telling members they may go home and come back next week, after a procedural vote to fund the Dept. of Defense failed for the second time this week.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports, “Note that the House has not officially dismissed everyone.. but everyone expects they are done for the week. Why? They House lacks the VOTES TO ADJOURN.”
He later added that “Things are very fluid,” and “there could be votes TOMORROW or this weekend still in the house. This could be a problem if some members already got on flights.”
Fox News online is reporting, “House abruptly cancels votes for the week without spending deal after series of defeats for GOP leaders,” and notes members are not expected back until Tuesday.
McCarthy this week has repeatedly denigrated and attacked the extremist members of the House Republican conference on camera to reporters, and Thursday was no different, saying, “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) blasted House Republicans upon hearing the House was about to adjourn for the week.
“What you need to understand is that chaos is the point for a big chunk of House Republicans. They came to congress to BURN THE GOVERNMENT TO THE GROUND,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote. “Their goal is a shutdown.”
The sentiment is being echoed by political experts, but many of those are placing the blame on Speaker McCarthy.
Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro Thursday afternoon wrote: “Reminder: Kevin McCarthy could put a clean bill to fund the government on the floor right now and it would pass easily. Instead, he’s sending members home for the weekend with 9 days until a shutdown—all because he’s afraid he’ll lose his job.”
Evidence that the far-right extremist House Republicans, led by U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are effectively in control comes via Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman:
At 1:13 PM ET Sherman posted that Rep. Gaetz had “just emerged from” Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s suite. “Gaetz said that he’s advocating for pausing consideration of the Pentagon spending bill and moving to bills that cut spending. He mentioned: State-Foreign Ops, Agriculture, Energy and Water.”
Sherman noted that Gaetz “said again there are not enough votes” for a continuing resolution, legislation to keep the government open temporarily, possibly 30 days past the September 30 deadline.
“Just to review, the plan right now is to begin passing 11 appropriations bills with relatively open rules allowing for amendments between next tues (possibly wed) and Sunday.”
At 2:40 PM, Sherman added, “This is now the strategy. They’re going to bring up individual approps [appropriations] bills next week, per lawmakers who just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy.”
Others were less pleased.
Veteran foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen wrote: “truly insane. Mccarthy surrendered to Gaetz.”
Even before McCarthy adjourned the House for the rest of the week, political experts had warned the volatile situation was worse than it may have appeared.
Sherman, late Thursday morning, issued this warning on social media after the failed Defense Dept. vote: “Just to put this in context, republicans cannot even agree to debate the pentagon spending bill. This bill usually passes by big margins. It failed twice this week. Kevin mccarthys House Republicans are in a state of crisis.”
Josh Chafetz, Georgetown Law professor of law and politics, responded to Thursday’s failed Defense Dept. procedural vote, writing: “if you can’t pass the procedural stuff you don’t have a working majority.”
Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) is calling the state of the GOP House a “total breakdown.”
“I started working in the House nearly 11 years ago, I’ve seen some crazy days and some chaotic votes but never seen anything like what is happening with this majority. Just a total breakdown,” he wrote Thursday morning.
Professor and American historian Aaron Astor on Thursday asked, “Does the GOP actually have a working majority in the House?”
Veteran journalist John Harwood quickly replied, “clearly not.”
‘Just Want to Burn the Whole Place Down’: McCarthy Rails Against House Republicans as GOP Conference Explodes in Chaos
Speaker Kevin McCarthy unleashed his anger against his own House Republican conference Thursday as chaos erupted after yet another procedural vote on a defense spending bill failed and the clock ticks closer to a GOP-caused shutdown of the federal government.
McCarthy “failed a crucial test Thursday of his ability to unite his fractured Republican caucus as he tries to rally support to pass a spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the month,” CNBC adds.
“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate, and then you got all the amendments and if you don’t like the bill,” McCarthy admitted to reporters in what has increasingly become opportunities for him to trash the most far-right Republicans in the House.
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” he lamented. “It doesn’t work.”
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
— After House Republicans once again failed to pass a basic procedural rule to fund the Pentagon, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hits some members of his own conference pic.twitter.com/Qt4AR71jP3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023
“This is really unheard of,” CNBC’s Emily Wilkins reported. “I mean just a rule going down as a procedural thing, that’s pretty rare as is, and for it to happen twice in one week. Last night Republicans came ut of their all hands on deck Republican meeting. A number of them sounded optimistic about moving forward.”
Thursday failed procedural vote “really did catch Speaker McCarthy by surprise,” Wilkins added.
“He said he did not realize there were not going to be the votes to move forward on this.”
The House failed to pass a procedural rules vote today, @emrwilkins
reports. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “That doesn’t work.” https://t.co/1xf6Y33riV pic.twitter.com/kK31lrHOyr
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 21, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, where he was forced to educate Republicans on a wide variety of topics, from climate change to not needing passports to fly domestically, to subsidies for oil and gas companies.
In one heated back-and-forth, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who has been fighting a subpoena from Special Counsel Jack Smith, blamed Secretary Buttigieg specifically for “killing” the auto industry by supporting electric vehicles.
“I don’t know if you can justify or how you justify forcing my constituents to pay for EVs [electric vehicles] and EV infrastructure for coastal elites and wealthy people, but somehow you do,” Rep. Perry told Secretary Buttigieg.
“Well, I need to point out that wealthy people were specifically excluded from the Inflation Reduction Act,” Buttigieg replied.
“Well,” Perry replied. “Do you dispute that two-thirds of EV owners, are owned by people over 100,000, that make over 100,000?”
Buttigieg explained that the first electric vehicles were expensive, but “that number is going down.” Perry yelled it “doesn’t matter” that the prices of the electric vehicles are going down, his constituents “can’t afford them today,” which led Buttigieg to ask why he is opposed to “cutting their costs?”
“I’m not against cutting the cost. The market should do it,” Perry replied. “But you want the government, you want my taxpayers to pay to cut the cost.”
Buttigieg then asked about subsidies for the oil and gas companies, which cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars annually.
“If you are of the view that there should be no subsidy to propulsion vehicles, then are you against oil and gas subsidies?” Buttigieg asked.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg schools U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) on electric vehicles and the auto industry.
BUTTIGIEG: “If you are of the view that there should be no subsidy to propulsion vehicles, then are you against oil and gas subsidies?” pic.twitter.com/WmqkCroj5C
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) September 20, 2023
During another back-and forth, Buttigieg quelled a Republican Congressman asking him questions as he educated him on electric vehicles and why they are important.
“Nobody wants these electric vehicles unless you’re an elite that can afford them – people in may district sure as hell don’t want them.”
“We’re doing this for three reasons, even though the EV revolution’s going to happen anyway,” Buttigieg told U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA).
“Oh, it’s a ‘revolution’ –” the Congressman interjected, before Buttigieg cut him off.
“I would love to answer your question, Congressman.”
Moments later, when Buttigieg said “climate change is real,” LaMalfa shot back, “This one’s called Autumn.”
Buttigieg made him repeat it before explaining, “yeah, that’s the seasons changing which respectfully is not the same as the climate changing.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “What I can tell you is that climate change is real…”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA): “Yeah, this one’s called autumn.”
Buttigieg: “That’s the seasons changing, which, respectably, is not the same thing as the climate changing.” pic.twitter.com/HNN4NcUIa0
— The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2023
And when U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) appeared to be unprepared with facts and figures, Buttigieg was happy to provide them for him, upending his inquiry into the Transportation Secretary’s “private” flights.
“I knew this might come up, so I brought some numbers,” Secretary Buttigieg told Rep. Burlison. “Since getting the job, I have taken—these are estimates, give or take a couple—but I’ve taken 638 flights.”
“607 of them were commercial, 10 of them were on military aircraft such as Air Force One, and 21 were on FAA aircraft—representing about 3 percent of the flights.”
“I appreciate the chance to discuss this because I can’t help get the sense that some people want to make it sound as if I don’t travel most of the time on commercial aircraft, which of course is untrue,” Buttigieg added.
“Mr. Secretary,” Burlison continued, “I think I think the irony for most people in my district is that they’re being told that they’re going to have to convert to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. And yet, not everyone gets to travel the way that you do.”
“Just once again,” Buttigieg replied, reinforcing what he had said, “the way I usually travel is an economy class aboard an airliner like everybody else, when we do it differently, it’s often because it will save taxpayer money.”
“I’m so glad you asked this,” Buttigieg concluded, saying he was “excited to share” this information.
Oh my god a GOP member of congress actually brought up the bogus “private flights” story to Buttigieg’s face. Immediate regret. pic.twitter.com/8gvPt01a6C
— chyea ok (@chyeaok) September 20, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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