The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Evangelical crusader Scott Lively, who is credited with inspiring anti-gay legislation in both Uganda and Russia, was interviewed last week on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” program by host Michel Martin to discuss Uganda’s harsh new statute outlawing homosexuality. The interview, which lasted over 10 minutes, included the usual doses of Lively’s incendiary rhetoric, including his assertion that “sodomy is not a human right.”
Lively also justified anti-gay discrimination by comparing it to other forms of bigotry: “Gender, race, ethnicity – these are all morally neutral. But homosexuality is – involves voluntary sexual conduct with serious public health, social, sociological implications. It’s not irrational to discriminate on that basis.”
The interview sparked a strong negative reaction from NPR listeners, who took to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to chastise the network and Martin for broadcasting the interview. Among them was Ted Allen of the Food Network, who commented: “Can’t believe ears: Why is @NPR legitimizing anti-gay Scott Lively on @TellMeMoreNPR?!”
Others commented at NPR’s website, chastising NPR along similar lines: “Real people are dying because of this man’s work. I am offended by this man’s hate-speech. Truly offended. Why give him a platform for his propaganda? Why not the Westboro Baptist Church? Or the White Rights movement?”
Martin and editor Amita Parashar Kelly responded on-air Monday: “Now of course, we’ve thought about those questions,” said Kelly. “But our mission is to bring listeners stories that affect people’s lives. And we know that what Pastor Lively says is offensive to a lot of people. But the fact is that he has a huge reach around the world. People in Uganda are listening to him, and Uganda’s parliament is listening. So we wanted to hear what he had to say.” ( continue to full post… )
Christhiaon Coie has spent 43 years waiting for the day when the brutal, Catholic- and gay-hating cult leader who she says raped her and numerous other girls, some of them as young as 8, would get his just desserts.
Last week, that day finally arrived.
In Miller County, Ark., a judge ordered a church run by 79-year-old Tony Alamo, who is serving a 175-year sentence on 10 counts of sex trafficking minors, to pay seven women abused by him as girls $525 million in actual and punitive damages. The women sued after Alamo’s criminal conviction in Arkansas in 2009.
Coie was not a plaintiff in the case, but she has spent much of her life traumatized by her rape at age 13 or 14 by Alamo, who was then married to her mother, Susan Alamo. She finally fled her home in 1971, and since that day she has done what she could to battle Alamo, a bizarre man who had followers pray for Susan’s resurrection for months after her 1982 death from cancer. Coie even had to sue Alamo to force him to return her mother’s body, which he hid for years.
“I just went, ‘Oh, thank you, God, if you’re up there, thank you, thank you, thank you,’” Coie told Hatewatch today, recounting the beating and sexual abuse suffered by children at the hands of the leader of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. “These women are telling the absolute truth about what happened to them as little girls. The children suffered and suffered and suffered. I know that as sure as I breathe oxygen.”
“Once Tony loses every piece of property, he’s a paper tiger,” she said, adding that she was nevertheless still afraid after years of hiding from Alamo. “We still go to sleep with one eye open; the other one’s partially open, too. Once he realizes there’s nothing left, I think he may try to come after me and a lot of other people who had the guts to stand up. I’d be a fool to say I’m not afraid.”
Unlike many cases with such huge awards, the plaintiffs in this case may actually see most of what they won in the default judgment last week. That’s because the arm of the Alamo Ministries that lost the case, Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, owns property in California that reportedly has valuable water rights. The LA Times reported that the plaintiffs’ lawyer, David Carter, said the rights could bring in as much as $1 billion when they are sold to satisfy the judgment. ( continue to full post… )
It’s been a busy couple of days for University of Texas at Austin sociology professor Mark Regnerus, whose methodologically flawed and thoroughly discredited study with suspect ties has provided ammunition for anti-LGBT groups and policies since its 2012 publication in the United States and around the world. The study even appeared on flyers used by a Polish group with neo-Nazi ties.
Yesterday he testified for three hours as an “expert witness” for the state of Michigan in the court proceedings of a lesbian couple who filed suit against a state law that prevents them from adopting each other’s children. They’ve also taken on the state’s ban on marriage equality, which was approved by voters as a constitutional amendment in 2004.
The Human Rights Campaign linked to tweets by Tresa Baldas, a staff writer for the Detroit Free Press, who noted that Regnerus admitted that he is “not a fan” of same-sex marriage and that adoption and foster-parenting are “not the ideal” and that he is “not a fan” of in vitro fertilization because in his view, it “reduces kinship.” Baldas also tweeted that Regnerus denied creating the study to derail same-sex marriage but said that a group that funded it wanted to use it before the Supreme Court.
While there was predictable outrage from many right-wing quarters this week over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of S.B. 1062 — a bill that would have legalized discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of protecting the “religious freedom” of people who did not wish to do business with them — the overwhelming reaction by most Arizonans, particularly its business people, was one of relief.
After all, the state is still recovering from the economic blowback wrought by another piece of far-right legislation – the infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 legislation that put local law officers in the business of enforcing federal immigration law. The damage inflicted by the law itself, worsened by boycotts and other economic retaliation provoked by that legislation, remain fresh in the minds of the state’s business leaders, who pleaded with Brewer to boycott the law, as did the state’s entire congressional delegation and even a few of the legislators who had originally voted for the bill.
For now, the legislation appears to be dead in Arizona. But it is only one of several states in which the “religious freedom” legislation has made its presence felt, and in several states it may yet be approved. ( continue to full post… )
The man suspected of attempting to burn down a crowded Seattle gay bar on New Year’s Eve reportedly told a confidant that he hated gay and lesbian people and thought “homosexuals should be exterminated,” according to a Seattle TV station. He may also have been planning other terrorist activity, the confidant said.
KIRO-TV reported over the weekend that a friend of Musab Masmari, the Libyan immigrant arrested in early February by detectives as he attempted to flee the country, told FBI agents that Masmari had a “deep distaste for homosexual people,” despite living for several years at an apartment in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s best-known gay neighborhood.
The informant said he had met Masmari at a café near a mosque both attended and that Masmari had laid out his hatred of gay people over the course of the conversation. He said Masmari told him he had obtained a rifle, and he added that he feared that Masmari might have been planning other terrorist acts in addition to the attempted arson at Neighbours Tavern on Capitol Hill at about midnight of New Year’s Eve.
Quick action by alert patrons of the tavern put out the fire, which was set on a stairway leading to the crowded upstairs club, before any of the 750 people inside could be harmed. Masmari’s image was captured on security cameras carrying what appeared to be the gasoline container that was used in the arson attempt, and he was identified by a number of his former neighbors. Detectives questioned him and released him initially, but when he was caught heading to Sea-Tac Airport with a boarding pass for a flight to Turkey, they arrested him and charged him with attempted arson.
The FBI announced that it was investigating the case as a bias crime. If this latest evidence becomes part of the case, hate-crime charges are likely pending.
The virulently anti-LGBT Family Research Council (FRC) is good at the reusing and recycling part, but not so much the reducing. The group’s website currently features a piece titled “The Negative Effects of Homosexuality” by Timothy Dailey in its “Trending” section.
Filled with anti-LGBT junk science and distortions of legitimate sources, the article appears to be lifted from the 2004 book Dailey co-wrote with FRC colleague Peter Sprigg, called Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality. Specifically Chapter Four, which is titled “Is Homosexuality a Health Risk?”
The article makes myriad false claims, including that gay men are promiscuous and STD-ridden, that lesbians are “compulsive” and that gay and lesbian relationships are more violent than heterosexual relationships. The piece also claims “reduced lifespans” among LGBT people and says LGBT people are mentally ill. The article also makes a reference to “Gay Bowel Syndrome,” a term first coined in 1976 to describe a collection of ailments that was popularized on the anti-gay right by thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron. This term has not been in use among legitimate medical authorities since the 1980s.
Indeed, many of the sources the Dailey article cites have not been in use since then, either. The most recent source in the piece is dated 2001. “Trending”? Hardly.
FRC has a long history of making outrageous claims about LGBT people, and an equally long history of using either discredited and outdated sources to support them. They also distort legitimate research (see here, here, and here), even when those researchers demand that the organization stop using their work in such a way. The authors of one study cited in the Dailey article to support the FRC claim about “reduced lifespans” even issued a public statement about the misuse of their research by religious right groups.
But that hasn’t stopped the FRC in its ongoing misinformation campaign against LGBT people. For them, it’s reuse, recycle, repeat.
In an interview earlier this week with Jorge Ramos on Fusion TV, Ben Shapiro, Breitbart’s editor-at-large, said that, “[t]his is not a country that discriminates against homosexuals” and that “there is a vastly minute amount of discrimination against gays in this country.” To back up his argument, Shapiro cited the fact that the FBI’s hate crime statistics “show there are about the same number of attacks on Jews in this country as there are homosexuals.”
Oh, Ben. Ye of little math skills.
If Shapiro had taken the time to account for the share of the population that the LGBT community makes up, he would have discovered that the community suffers violent hate crimes at rates far higher than other targeted populations. In fact, an analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center of 15 years of FBI hate crimes data showed that the LGBT community is far more likely than any other minority group in the United States to be victimized by violent hate crime.
Unlike Shapiro, we did the math. You can see it here. While we are talking about hate crimes, let us note as well that the FBI numbers greatly, greatly undercount hate crimes in this country. And that’s by a factor of about 20, according to research conducted by the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics last year.
Let’s not forget, too, as Media Matters rightly points out, that there is also the fact that the LGBT community is “still at an increased risk for discrimination in housing, healthcare, public accommodations, and employment” and they “often earn far less than similarly qualified heterosexual employees.” And of course they can’t marry in 33 states and in another 29 it’s perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay.
Two American anti-LGBT activists met with government, business, and media officials in Belize last Wednesday, most likely to advance the anti-gay political agenda that has in recent years led to hostility and violence against the tiny Caribbean nation’s LGBT population.
The activists, Extreme Prophetic Ministries head Patricia King and Scott Stirm, an affiliated missionary, were joined by a Canadian pastor, Wesley Campbell, who was once sanctioned for connections to a Ponzi scheme. Though their Facebook posts were short on detail, the activists said they had a “breakthrough day” and that “God is raising up a mighty group of Belizean leaders.”
Sources tell SPLC that Patrick Jason Andrews, a Belizean politician and conservative Christian media personality, was among those who met with the activists. Andrews will represent Belize’s capital city, Belmopan, for Belize’s main opposition party, the People’s United Party, in the next general elections.
As we detailed in our report on the anti-LGBT movement in Belize, King and Stirm have extensive records of working to deny human rights to LGBT people. Together with Belizean anti-LGBT activists and the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a hardline Christian legal organization founded in 1994 as the Alliance Defense Fund, they have been fighting to keep intact Section 53 of Belize’s criminal code, which prescribes a 10-year sentence for “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.”
King is a “prophetic personality” who claims the ability to “literally raise people from the dead like Jesus did” – watch her here in 2010. Stirm claims that gay tourists come to Belize for “a new exotic location in which to corrupt local youth” and warns that male-on-male rape will become legal if Belize’s anti-sodomy laws are repealed. Meanwhile Campbell was banned in 2006 from participating in British Columbia’s capital markets for two years after selling unregistered securities to church members who believed their investments had been approved by God.
King, Campbell and Stirm are adherents of the “Seven Mountains” movement, a Christian ideology whose proponents believe they are called to take back the “seven mountains of culture” – arts and entertainment, business, family, government, media, religion, and entertainment – from demonic forces that currently possess them.
In 2010, a Belizean LGBT rights activist named Caleb Orozco, backed by United Belizean Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), filed suit in Belize’s highest national court, arguing that Section 53 violates provisions of the Constitution of Belize that recognize individual rights to human dignity, to be free from arbitrary or unlawful interference with one’s privacy, and to equal protection under the law.
As with Russia and Uganda, American anti-LGBT activists began working to win culture wars abroad that they had lost at home. The result in Belize has been increased hostility against the country’s LGBT population: Orozco, as its most prominent spokesman, has personally been subjected to violence. Both he and his lawyer fear for his life.
Though King, Stirm, et al., have long been actively engaged in stirring up anti-LGBT sentiments in Belize, you’d never know it from their effervescent Facebook posts about their recent Caribbean adventures, which included stops in Cozumel and the Cayman Islands and a Super Bowl party on the high seas. Together with a group of fellow-travelers, they just wrapped up a Caribbean “ministry cruise” run by Campbell’s Eyes and Wings School of Supernatural Ministry, among whose goals is “empower the student to fulfill their God given commission: to heal the sick, raise the dead etc.”
The arson attempt, in which gasoline was spilled down a stairway entrance and lit, occurred shortly after midnight on a night when the Capitol Hill bar, Neighbours, was packed with 750 people. Alert patrons averted a potential catastrophe by dousing the flames before they spread.
After video stills were released showing a bearded man police believed was carrying the gas can used in the attempt, neighbors of the man directed police to Musab Musmari, a 30-year-old Libyan immigrant who had been involved in a series of unusual encounters with people on Capitol Hill, where he rented an apartment. Police and FBI agents, working as part of a Joint Terrorism Task Force, interviewed Musmari last week but did not arrest him.
On Saturday, Musmari was arrested en route to SeaTac Airport with a boarding pass for a flight to Turkey. He is being held on suspicion of arson. On Tuesday, a King County judge set his bail at $1 million, citing the risk of flight, but prosecutors have not yet charged him. The FBI told Hatewatch on Wednesday that it continues to investigate the case as a possible hate crime. ( continue to full post… )
For the anti-gay movement, call it the gift that keeps on giving. The thoroughly discredited study by University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus that was released July 2012 has turned up yet again, this time in the initial brief filed on behalf of the state of Utah in its fight against marriage equality. A federal judge ruled in December that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court granted a stay in January, and the lawsuit is currently wending its way through the appeals process.
The brief, filed by the state’s legal team late last night (beating the deadline by 30 minutes), suggests that children will somehow be endangered by marriage equality, and the Regnerus study is supposed to lend credence to the false claim that children raised in same-sex households fare worse in many ways than in households with opposite-sex couples.
However, Regnerus’ data does not support that conclusion, as he himself has admitted. Hundreds of sociologists have noted the study’s flawed methodology while the American Sociological Association slammed the study in a March 2013 amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, documents obtained by the American Independent suggest that Regnerus was recruited to conduct the study in order to use its findings to influence possible Supreme Court decisions regarding marriage equality and in fact may also have been coached about how to discuss the study publicly. ( continue to full post… )