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Friday, January 23, 2004

The DNC and the Office of GLBT Outreach

They have been posting on the DNC blog. Here's an example.

First Charles Barkley, now the Log Cabin Republicans

A new ABC News poll shows that most Americans are opposed to an anti-gay constitutional amendment, saying that it should be a matter for individual states to decide. In fact, only 38 percent of those polled support the divisive measure Bush touted in his State of the Union address.

Not only did Bush further alienate Democrats with his intolerance, but he has now also pushed GLBT Republicans too far.

Log Cabin Republicans, welcome to the Democratic Party!

EY: I'm not joining the Democratic Party. I'm not going to let the bigots drive me out of the Republican party. There's nothing the Leviticus Crowd would like more than for LCR and the Republican Unity Coalition to leave the Republican Party. From a recent Minnesota Family Council article on the RUC:

Locally, Minnesota Family Council President Tom Prichard said RUC proposes a troubling worldview of indifference between homosexuality and traditional marriage. He said widespread acceptance of RUC philosophy within the GOP would seriously cripple the party's social conservative wing. "To say any family structure is no different from another is ludicrous and defies logic," said Prichard in reference to RUC's declaration of principles which upholds the "many loving forms families may take in 21st Century America." He said homosexuals "can certainly be part of the party but if their goal is to undermine the integrity of marriage and family and redefine civil rights, that's a problem."

EY: Prichard isn't the one who gets to decide who gets to join the GOP and who doesn't.

Sexual Abuse in Ex-Gay Ministries

This page from the Steven Bennett Ministries used to include the following.

Official Position - "Ex-Gay" Groups

The need and time has arisen to address the issue of our ministry's official position on "Ex-Gay" Groups.

There are many wonderful, godly ex-gay Christian ministries around the country whose main purpose is to help the homosexual man or woman "come out" of their unwanted homosexual lifestyle and behavior. This can be done through biblical counseling and coming to an understanding of why a person has chosen the homosexual path. In most all cases, the homosexual lifestyle and behavior is an outward expression of deeper, underlying root causes, which when dealt with biblically, can lead a person away from their sinful behavior and into a healthy, heterosexual lifestyle. Exodus International is the most well known "ex-gay" organization - an "umbrella" referral ministry, which has many Christian "ex-gay" Exodus approved ministries listed on their website.

We encourage anyone looking to become part of an "ex-gay" group to do so with care and to obtain referrals about the group. If you choose the counseling route, especially if the counselor themselves has come out of the homosexual lifestyle, make sure their spouse is present whenever counseling (a married couple is preferred and recommended). For everyone's integrity involved, we believe "couple" counseling is the best. Tragically, there have been numerous reported first hand incidents to our ministry from around the country of sexual abuse which has occurred between so called 'Christian Counselors' and the one being counseled during one-on-one sessions, as well as 'Christian leaders' of ex-gay groups.

There also are many 'counselors' in this field who unfortunately are in it for 'the money.' Many people have been 'soaked dry' trying to deal with this issue. Please, be wise, and beware. Obtain references - again, there are many excellent biblical counselors out there who truly have your goals and ideals in mind.

If you choose to join in a "group" setting of people looking to come out of homosexuality, do so with caution and seriously pray about this decision. Many people who are weak and struggling, all coming together in a group setting, can possibly cause each other temptation and may lead you to "fall" with another man or woman, struggling with the same issue. If you are struggling with homosexuality, it is best not to share your sexual struggles with others who are struggling, nor is it encouraged for you to listen to their struggles. Problems have arisen because of this. There may be many others in the group, who may not be as committed or devout to seeking change as you are - and if they "fall", they may bring you down with them as well.

Joining a group setting should ONLY be done with much prayer, counseling with your pastor, and with high referrals and recommendations about the group you are seeking to join. Again, there are many excellent groups out there - be sure to research your options fully.

We would encourage you to stay away from groups which claim that you can never be completed "healed" or "set free" from your homosexual thoughts, desires or actions. These groups teach what is know as the "Little h theory" - that one's homosexuality will NEVER go away, just become a little "h" in their life, controllable, easier to deal with. God DOES offer complete change, and this IS His will, desire and purpose for your life.
COMPLETE CHANGE IS COMPLETELY POSSIBLE!

In conclusion, we feel the best possible scenario recommended by our ministry for the person looking for help with 'coming out' of homosexuality, should be found within their local bible believing, preaching church. Biblical counseling should be done with either the Pastor and his wife, or a loving, solid husband and wife team within the church. The problem of course lies with many churches not knowing how to 'deal' with this issue in a biblical, loving, compassionate way. Talk with your pastor about the issue and see if he could help. If your pastor feels he is not properly equipped in this area, together seek a biblical counselor or group, that maybe he or another committed couple would be willing to join you in, to keep you accountable - and to learn about the issues themselves.

Stephen Bennett Ministries is NOT against Christian Counselors or 'ex-gay' groups by any means - we just encourage you to approach this area with extreme caution, prayer, wisdom, referrals, references, and accountability.

Unfortunately, there are 'wolves in sheep's clothing'… your complete change and happiness is what WE at Stephen Bennett Ministries desire to see happen in YOUR life!

Faith Based Funding for Ex-Gay Groups?

The House Committee on Government Reform's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources has scheduled a hearing on faith-based initiatives Friday and reportedly will hear from extreme rightwing groups including one promoting "converting" gays to heterosexuality.

More

ABC News Poll on Gay Marriage

In this ABCNEWS/Washington Post survey, 38 percent of Americans favor amending the U.S. Constitution to make it illegal for homosexual couples to marry, but 58 percent say, instead, that each state should make its own laws on gay marriage.

That's not an endorsement of same-sex marriages — indeed most, 55 percent, say such marriages should be illegal. Instead it suggests a public judgment that the issue doesn't merit pre-empting the states and amending the U.S. Constitution.

Compared to same-sex marriage, this poll finds a closer division in public views on gay civil unions — 51 percent opposed, but 46 percent in favor.

EY: This suggests the numbers found in the CBS News/NY Times Poll might be an anamoly.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

White House seeks to undermine Peer Review

Environmental and health studies conducted for or used by the federal government would require White House approval before their release, under a proposal now under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The plan would also give the White House authority to select which scientists take part in the system known as peer review -- the process by which fellow researchers evaluate the validity and reliability of studies before they are published.

Critics fear such a plan would undermine the impartiality of research that guides government policies and regulations. For example, it would open the door for the Administration to hand-select industry-friendly scientists to review studies that investigate the safety of chemicals in our food and consumer products, or studies that examine the environmental impact of energy plant emissions.


EY: This very much bothers me. It reminds me of when the anti-gay Traditional Values Coalition was trying to micromanage audits of NIH grants.

State of the Union

I was at a meeting, so I missed the first part of the state of the union. I got home in time to see the blame the gays for the decline of the institution of marriage part.

Then I get this in my inbox:

President Bush Reiterates Support for Inserting Bigotry into U.S. Constitution
Washington, D.C. —

Last night in his state of the union address, President Bush reiterated his willingness to support a divisive amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would forever enshrine as second-class citizens gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Americans.

The DNC and all seven of our Presidential candidates are opposed to this mean-spirited constitutional amendment, which would lead to the immediate repeal of state laws providing basic benefits to GLBT Americans, including the right of same-sex couples to visit one another in the hospital.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe responded, "President Bush's willingness to support such a mean-spirited measure shows that he is more interested in pleasing his right-wing base than demonstrating any compassion towards GLBT families. This anti-gay amendment would insert prejudice and discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. To use this country's most cherished document to strip away individual liberty and freedom would be nothing short of a disgrace."


I looked on the DNC website in the press area - and didn't see this statement. I don't appreciate statements that are made that seem "under the radar" to "in the closet". If Terry McAuliffe feels this way - then this should get posted in the press releases section of the DNC site.

After posting this comment on a few lists, I understand the press release is on the DNC site - in the GLBT area. As Bob Roehr points out, neither Nancy Pellosi or Tom Daschle specifically rebut President Bush calling for this bigoted constitutional amendment in their Democratic Response.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bush to address Same Sex Marriage in State of the Union

But it's not enough for them.... from today's daily bleating from the FRC's Tony Perkins....

The Washington Post published a story today about the President's State of the Union address that, if accurate, is very troubling. The Post reported that an Administration official said the President would reiterate his support for the institution of marriage in his State of the Union address but stop short of announcing support for a Federal Marriage Amendment.

>From our communication with Administration officials we remain optimistic that the President will recognize the need for clear leadership on this most fundamental issue. It is time to move beyond the obvious. Poll after poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans see marriage as a sacred and vital institution. What is needed is leadership to protect it from a radical minority that is trying to redefine marriage out of existence.

Social conservatives have stood by the President during his first three years and continue to support his foreign policy initiatives, which are designed to make American families safe in an unsettled world, in spite of the mounting costs. Now with American families feeling a bit safer as stability is building in Iraq, and starting to feel the benefit of an improved economy, we expect the President to provide the same unwavering leadership he displayed in protecting our homeland against terrorists in protecting the home and its foundation - marriage.


EY: As a friend of mine wrote:

Bush is starting to remind me of a kid who burns his finger evey time he touches the stove...but keeps touching the stove expecting to get a different result every time. Isn't that pretty much the definition of insanity, as well? Why can't he just leave this marriage issue ALONE?

Good question.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

"Faith Based Pork"

This was Pat Buchanan's Description of President Bush's Marriage Initiative on the McLaughlin Group this morning. Buchanan also said Bush was trying to buy off the Religious Right with this one. I agree.

Mr Ed/ EdWatch Pushes Creationism in Minnesota Science Standards

Edwatch sent out an alert urging their members to attend the Senate and House meetings on the Science and Social Studies Standards. From the alert:

EdWatch also supports the adoption of the "minority report" in the Science standards which will bring the proposed science standards into compliance with the federal SANTORUM amendment (that controversial issues such as evolution be taught using the full spectrum of scientific information about the controversy), and with state law (that the standards be objective).

Your presence at these hearings is a powerful way to show that the public is watching, involved and ready to respond. The proponents of radical change in education operate well in secrecy and behind closed doors. Show up!

EY: This Santorum Amendment Canard is a lie. The same lie has been pushed by Creationists in other states.

I get Interviewed by Pro-Family News

Got this one in my snail mail inbox.

The Anti-Gay Minnesota Family Council's paper, Pro Family News interviewed me. Rob Barnett the reporter was fair and balanced with the reporting.

Barlett was fair with how he quoted me. (Unlike the CWFA Hit piece about US Queers, myself and Rusty Morris). Barnett sent a note in addition a reprint of the article:

Hi Eva - At long last, my Repubilcan Unity Coalition article has finally come out as enclosed. Congratulations, not only did you make the final cut but I think may have succeeded in having the first direct, explicit castigation of MFC appear in Pro Family News.

Rob B

I was interviewed for this one - back in September I believe.

Eva

One similar Republican group is Log Cabin Republicans, an older, more grassroots-based group that has pressed for homosexual concerns within the GOP. Eva Young, president of Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans, said both bodies have similar goals. "We're trying to get the party to stop the anti-gay stuff. Some segments of the party as well as some organizations like Minnesota Family Council are anti-gay. We are looking at long-term strategy for party growth. You have to have an inclusive message," Young said. "We are also trying to educate the gay community as to what real Republican values are. Among a lot of gays is the thought that Republicans are just a bunch of people who hate gays and that's not true."

Questionaire from the RCCC

This dropped in my snail mail:

Is President Bush right in trying to rein-in the size and scope of the federal government aginst the wishes of the big government Democrats?

EY: I didn't know he was doing that. No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Prescription Drugs - it all looks like Big Government Republicanism to me.