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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Iowa Common Sense Prevails

The same crowd that tries to get Harry Potter books removed from schools because they encourage devil worship is at it again. This time they were unsuccessful and the complaint about the use of gay themed books in a Solon, Iowa middle school has ended with the school board refusing to remove them.

Seven parents in last month demanded that two books teacher Sue Protheroe had put on a booklist be taken off and that Protheroe be ordered not to use gay themed books in the future. Only one of the parents had a child in the class.

The two books in question "Am I Blue?" and "In the Time I Get" are highly acclaimed and recommended by the publishers for children 14 or over. Protheroe teaches grade 8.

"Am I Blue?" features a gay fairy godfather, who helps a boy overcome homophobia at school. The other short story, "In the Time I Get," is about a man who befriends a young man dying of AIDS.

PZ Meyers at Pharyngula comments further.

In this case the local school district decided in favor of keeping the gay themed books in the curriculum - along with policies that notified parents of materials that will be used in the class. The Professional Anti-gay activists will be appealing this to the Iowa State Board of Education. We will see what happens there.

"Family Values" Leader Disses Cheney Family

From Agape Press (American Family Association) Hat Tip: Americablog and Christian Grantham.

A Virginia pro-family advocate says the people who helped re-elect President Bush don't support homosexual relationships -- the administration apparently does. Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, has worked tirelessly for family values, including the fight against legalized homosexual "marriage." He says it was conservative Christians who put the president back in office and who held to the belief that the president shared their views. But Glover says the day after the election, that all seemed to go out the window. "The day after George Bush was elected president again, because of this morals revolution taking place in our country, he allows his vice president to not only put his lesbian daughter on the platform, but to bring her lesbian 'partner' up on the stage with him," Glover says. "It almost seems to be a slap in the face from the get-go against the very conservatives that re-elected the president at a time when he ought to paying them some homage and respect." Glover says the Cheney daughter's open flaunting of her homosexuality is the antithesis of what the administration claims to stand for -- and that the post-election display sends a mixed message to Bush supporters. [Rusty Pugh]


As a Republican, I appreciated seeing that the White House was supporting all Americans - and respecting family values - which means that parents respect and love their children for who they are. Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe helped with the campaign, and supported her father. That's family values. Joe Glover doesn't get it. This mean-spirited sentiment isn't conservative or christian and it sure isn't "pro-family".

Chuck Muth comments in his latest "Muth's Truths".

On the other hand, all this fear-and-loathing about "Jesusland" and the rise of the religious right isn’t completely without merit. Unfortunately, ordinary American church-goers are being broad-brushed into the "Crazy Christian" camp of folks such as Joe Glover, president of an organization called the Family Policy Network. You see, Joe’s really steamed at President Bush. Why? I'll let him explain...

"The day after George Bush was elected president again, because of this morals revolution taking place in our country, he allows his vice president to not only put his lesbian daughter on the platform, but to bring her lesbian 'partner' up on the stage with him," Glover laments. "It almost seems to be a slap in the face from the get-go against the very conservatives that re-elected the president at a time when he ought to be paying them some homage and respect."

Yes, the Chicken Little left is running around yelling, "The Christians are coming! The Christians are coming!" But un-Christian, un-American, homo-centric wing-nuts like Joe Glover - who get their knickers in a knot over the gay daughter of the Vice President of the United States joining her father on a victory stage - are giving the rest of us mainstream live-and-let-live Christian conservatives the bad rap.

It's not just the Democrats who need to reassess their "values."


You can email Joe Glover to let him know what you think. His organization, the Family Policy Network is affiliated with the AFA.

Matthew Shepard Revisited

ABC News is going to air an investigative report on the Matthew Shepard murder which debunks the conventional wisdom on the subject. I'm not surprised. I've always been skeptical about whether the Shepherd murder was really a hate crime in the classic sense.

Andrew Sullivan pretty much says it all:

MATTHEW SHEPARD: I never joined in the sanctification of Matthew Shepard. What happened to him was appalling, evil, horrifying. But what gay rights groups made of it was, in my view, exploitative and crude. I gave up counting the number of direct mail requests for money I received using Matthew Shepard's name. I wrote about my misgivings here. My opposition to hate crime laws is laid out here. Harper's Magazine has already sketched the role that crystal meth may have played in the scenario that led to Shepard's murder. Now ABC News has prepared an important, thorough and debunking review of what happened. I was tangentially involved in the documentary, but wasn't privy to its most closely held findings. I have a feeling it will reveal how dangerous it is to rest an entire political argument on one incident, whose details were always murky and subsequently turned into myth.


If you go to that entry you can read Andrew's essays about Shepard and Hate Crimes legislation. I don't support enhanced penalties for crimes against any group - that includes police and politicians. I see the real problem is that in too many places crimes against gay victims aren't prosecuted agressively. The answer isn't hate crimes laws, the answer for that is to change the hearts and minds of the DAs in those areas - so they start believing that gays are human beings - just like everyone else. However - if there is going to be hate crimes legislation - and it includes racial and religious minorities - it should include gays also. People who oppose hate crimes legislation on principle will oppose all hate crimes legislation - not just excluding gays from hate crimes laws. The folks who oppose hate crimes legislation just for gays - but not for anyone else - in my opinion are driven by anti-gay animus.

I also oppose hate speech codes. That being said, folks like Dobson are hypocritical on this issue - they want hate crimes laws and hate speech codes to apply when they are the ones on the receiving end - but don't want to have them apply when it applies to them.

As a gay woman, I want equal treatment under the law - and that includes the ability to marry a woman and the ability to serve openly in the armed forces. I also want to have access to the courts the same way any other citizen has access to the courts.