North Carolina pastor supports violence against gay children

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:

By Alvin McEwen
May 1, 2012


The following is just plain sick. Pam Spaulding describes the scene:

There are many, many people of faith, progressive houses of worship fighting out and proud against Amendment One in solidarity with their LGBT neighbors who will be hurt by it, should it pass. On the other side? A man reveling in shooting up an anti-amendment sign, and now this news of a pastor in Fayetteville, Sean Harris, of Berean Baptist Church, whose loving message for parents of a child who might be gay — just beat it out of him.  Sickening. (Via JMG and Good As You):

For video follow link:

Transcript (courtesy of Jeremy Hooper):

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting to Butch you reign her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”

You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent?”

Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to do that.”

You may hear folks laughing in the background, but this is hardly funny. Perhaps Harris (I refuse to dignify this sick man by calling him a pastor) should read about children beaten and murdered for being gay or suspected of being gay,

Pay attention particular attention to the story of Ronnie Harris:

Ronnie Paris Jr. was a three-year-old boy who died after repeated abuse from his father, who feared that the boy was gay. The abuse that eventually led to the death started as early as when the boy was one year old. In May 2002, Paris was removed from his parents’ home after the Florida Department of Children and Family Services found him malnourished and with a broken arm.

More than two years later, Paris was returned to his birth parents and the abuse continued. Just six weeks after he was moved back into his parents’ home, Paris slipped into a coma while the parents were at a bible study. The child remained on life support for six days before the support was removed and he died.

Paris’ mother, Nysheera Paris, told authorities that the boy’s father, Ronnie Paris Jr. abused the boy because he was afraid that the son would grow up gay. This conversion abuse involved father-son boxing matches to toughen up the child but was nothing more than slapping and hitting Paris until he would cry and shake.

If Amendment One passes, that would mean North Carolina would supposedly “save marriage,” right?

Then who is going to save our children from the supposed “defenders of marriage?”

(Editor’s note – if this makes you mad, then good. But I implore you not to trade evil for evil. Do what you can to bring attention to this awful mess. Blast this all over!)

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Transgender Man Beaten In Memphis

Some times it really pays to not post every story of an attack or assault immediately.  This story sat in my tray for a couple of days.

Sunday night I saw a bunch of outrage over the “misgendering” and thought, “Well I knew I was going to have to rewrite this one.”

I also wondered why The Advocate, an LGBT paper that should have a little sensitivity basically dragged and dropped the original story.

Good thing I had a bunch of other stuff I ran instead because it turned out the victim actually was a transgender man, as in a brother.

From The Advocate:

BY Josh Hinkle
April 28 2012

A Memphis transgender man was taken to a nearby hospital with bruises and a concussion after being beaten Saturday night.

A suspect in Memphis, Tenn., faces aggravated assault charges after sending a transgender man to Methodist Germantown hospital with bruises and a concussion.

Eighteen-year-old Chase Mason Kelley attacked the man Saturday night, punching him repeatedly until the victim was unconscious reported WREG. The police report says the brother of the perpetrator also tried to hit the victim with his Jeep, but failed.

The victim is expected to make a full recovery WREG reports. Kelley, however, could face more charges. “If a hate bias based on gender identity can be proven, the attacker may be subject to stronger penalties under the Matthew Shepard, James Byrd hate crimes law that passed in 2009,” Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project told WREG.

UPDATE: To clarify, the news report on the victim’s gender by WREG seems to be inaccurate. Our information on the assault victim’s gender was obtained by a screenshot of the police report, featured in the video. We apologize for any confusion.

But Wait there is yet another update

This time from From The Transwomen’s Anti-Violence Project:

Correction: Trans man bashed in Memphis Saturday before last

WREG Memphis news broadcast and website reported last week that a man was attacked by two teenage cis brothers, one identified in the report as 18-years-old Chase Mason Kelley, after the bothers learned that the victims was a trans man. While the story correctly identifies the victim as a male and uses the appropriate pronouns, the anchor in the video from the TV broadcast wrongly says, “the motive for the beating: the victim’s decision to change from a man to a woman.” This is twisted, as the victim identifies as FTM, not the other way around. Adding to the confusion, headline for the news story originally read, “Teen Charged With Beating Transgender Male,” but male was changed to “person” about three and a half hours after it was originally posted.

The Advocate also posted a report on the bashing this past Saturday, a week after the man was attacked. The Advocate’s story follows closely on the WREG report and correctly identifies the victim as a trans man.

Unfortunately, the inconsistencies in the original report seem to have led the Transadvocate blog to wrongly identify the victim as a trans woman while referring to the two previously mentioned reports as “transphobic.”

The Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project was contacted by an individual familiar with the case after reposting the information from the Transadvocate. This person confirmed that the victim is in fact a trans man who was intentionally targeted by two cis brothers and their cis sister. The two brothers severely beat the victim causing a concussion, extensive bruising and injures requiring a visit to an ER and numerous stitches.

The post with the incorrect information has since been removed and I apologize for not originally fact checking this story better.

Is there a lesson in all this?

Maybe the idea that we need an all inclusive term is more problematic than if there are different terms for the different groups represented under this imaginary umbrella.  Transman would have been much clearer than transgender man was.  Just as transwoman is much clearer when used to describe either a pre-op transsexual or transgender person living in the gender associated with females.

Get over the dogma arguments and address the problems.


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The Internationale

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Expect Us!

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Friends say murder of transgender woman in Oakland was a hate crime

As is too often the case the victim was a woman of color.

From LGBTQ Nation:

Monday, April 30, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — A transgender woman was shot to death in downtown Oakland, Calif., over the weekend, and friends believe her killing was a hate crime.

According to a witness, Brandy Martell, 37, was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 a.m. Sunday when one or two men walked up and began a conversation, reported KGO-TV.

The witness told KGO-TV the conversation was cordial, but then a few minutes later, one of the men became angry and fired into the car where Martell was sitting.

Watch a report from KGO-TV:

Go to the article to see the video:

Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at a health center in Fremont, Calif., which serves the transgender and transsexual community.

Community organizations have said they believe the shooting was motivated by hate. According to Oakland Occupy Patriarchy, a branch of Occupy Oakland, Brandy was shot by a man who had “become enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans,” reported the SF Weekly.

“When you don’t provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don’t provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it’s socializing or services, this is what happens,” said Tiffany Woods, a friend of Martell’s.

Police are still investigating the murder and said it could be considered a hate crime if they find out that the assailant was motivated by Martell’s actual or perceived gender identity.

Gay marriage: Pope representatives calls for Catholic alliance with Muslim and Jewish groups

From The Telegraph UK:

The Pope’s representative in Britain has urged Roman Catholic leaders to form a united front with their Muslim and Jewish counterparts to oppose gay marriage.

27 Apr 2012

Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio, called for closer co-operation with other faiths as well as Christian denominations to put pressure on the Government over its plans to allow same-sex couples to marry.

In an address to Catholic bishops from England and Wales, he echoed the recent comments of Pope Benedict who said the Church faced “powerful political and cultural currents” in favour of redefining marriage.

His comments come after a series of high-level interventions by some Muslim and Jewish leaders last month after the Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone, launched a national consultation on how same-sex marriage might be introduced.

Last month the Muslim Council of Britain voiced opposition to the plans, describing it as “unnecessary and unhelpful”.But, as the Islamic faith in Britain does not have the same hierarchical structures as Christian Churches, much of the Muslim opposition has been voiced through local alliances.

In Scotland, the Council of Glasgow Imams recently agreed a joint resolution describing same-sex marriage as an “attack” on their faith and fundamental beliefs.

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Save the Rich (Official Video) by Garfunkel and Oates

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Lawmaker gets only 1 donation after ‘lesbian’ Girls Scouts remark

Just goes to show that being a foul mouthed Nazi douche nozzle doesn’t pay in the long run.

From Raw Story:

By David Edwards
Monday, April 30, 2012

An Indiana lawmaker has only received a single donation in the months since he accused the Girl Scouts of becoming a “radicalized organization” that promotes the “homosexual lifestyle.”

The latest campaign finance report indicates that Republican state Rep. Bob Morris received only one donation after his February remarks, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. The single $5,000 contribution came from the right-leaning Northeast Indiana PAC for Better Government on April 10.

In February, Morris had sent a letter to his fellow House Republicans explaining why he wouldn’t sign on to a resolution to honor the Girl Scouts 100th birthday.

“After talking to some well-informed constituents, I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing,” Morris wrote. “[A]bundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood.”

“Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles,” the lawmaker opined. “In fact, the Girl Scouts education seminar girls are directed to study the example of role models. Of the fifty role models listed, only three have a briefly-mentioned religious background—all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists. … Boys who decide to claim a ‘transgender’ or cross-dressing life-style are permitted to become a member of a Girl Scout troop, performing crafts with the girls and participate in overnight and camping activities—just like any
real girl.”

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Get Ready For Some Right Wing May Day Hysteria

From PoliticusUSA:

By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
April 30, 2012

You’d think it was the War of the Worlds. Orson Wells surprised everyone with that; but it’s no secret May Day is a big Occupy event. It’s not like it’s coming like a thief in the night, like Jesus. Everyone pretty much knows what to expect, right? like other Occupy sites even gives you the full schedule of events, the where and the when. Nothing much to get excited about: most violent overthrows of the capitalist system don’t start with a “meet & greet.”

Well, unless you are part of the conservative economic power structure that is strangling the life’s blood out of working class Americans. Look, to use another example here, nobody is storming the Bastille. No government is being overthrown. These are working class people embracing their right of free speech to be heard in protest of policies and practices that are hurting them and all Americans.

Not that you’d know that from the reaction so far. And May Day! Seattle’s mayor is actually warning of possible violence. From World Net Daily’s typically hysterical portrayal of this you’d think the crowd would be carrying hammers and sickles and posters of Marx and Lenin on their way to a new October Revolution: “Mayor Warns Occupy May Day Could Turn Violent” WND proclaims.” We are told that the mayor of Seattle “has warned that protesters may use Tuesday’s Occupy May Day events to ‘commit violence, damage property and disrupt peaceful free speech activity.”

The thing is, the mayor isn’t talking about the Occupy protestors themselves but about “others” who may also attend the gathering. Not that you’d know that from the tone of the WND article.

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Taking Back May Day: What to Expect on the Nationwide Day of Rallies, Strikes and Actions

From Alternet:

Organizers and activists have planned direct actions and mass rallies, marches and blockades, as well as mutual aid and concerts to include as many people as possible.

By Sarah Jaffe
April 29, 2012

The stickers, posters and graffiti have been popping up for months on subway walls, street signs, pay phones, and abandoned buildings, all with the same message: “May 1: Strike!”

Some are gorgeously designed or illustrated works of art. Some list the activities in which one shouldn’t participate: no housework, banking or work. Others rattle off the types of workers who should strike—freelance and union workers, students and teachers. But they all have the same date: May 1st. Long celebrated as International Workers’ Day, long forgotten in the United States and replaced with the defanged Labor Day, May Day is once again shaping up to be a national day of action for the “99 percent,” thanks to the Occupy movement.

The last time May 1 brought coordinated action across the country was in 2006, when immigrant workers took to the streets to remind the country what it would be like without them in the famous “Day Without an Immigrant.” May 1, 2012 has been called a general strike, but also, in direct reference to and solidarity with the immigrant rights actions of 2006, “A Day Without the 99%.” Organizers and activists, aware that actually pulling off a nationwide general strike will take years, not months, of work, have planned direct actions and mass rallies, marches and blockades, as well as mutual aid, concerts, and other events to include as wide a swath of the population as possible, providing workers who can’t strike with other ways to take part.

“I hope this brings in a new history to May Day; instead of being one struggle or another struggle each year, to really just be a movement struggle,” Nelini Stamp, an organizer with the Working Families Party and Occupy Wall Street, told AlterNet. “May Day has grit to it that I think is really beautiful and really inspiring and has that direct action piece ingrained with it.”

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Pink Slime and Mad Cow Just the Tip of the Iceberg

From Civil Eats:

By Paula Crossfield
April 27th, 2012

Following on the heels of pink slime, mad cow disease (AKA bovine spongiform encephalopathy—or BSE) is back this week after a California dairy cow destined for a rendering plant that makes pet food was found to have the disease. So far, it looks like the beef industry is playing down the finding, hoping to dodge a loss in sales at home and abroad. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to tell Americans that our food supply is entirely safe.

But the re-emergence of mad cow and the conversation around pink slime has re-opened questions about our food system. It has exposed how food safety falls inevitably through the cracks in a country where over 9 billion animals are being slaughtered per year and budgets for the departments that oversee these processes are being slashed. The incredible media coverage of both issues reflects a growing consumer interest in more transparency in what we’re eating and how it’s being produced.

While this is only the fourth case of mad cow in the U.S. to date, experts argue that finding it this time was a stroke of luck. Of the 34 million cows we slaughter annually in the U.S., 40,000 are being tested by USDA for the disease, down from nearly 500,000 in 2005—about one tenth of one percent.

Some would like the media focus on mad cow to be re-directed to other ongoing and serious food safety issues. Dr. Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of Safe Food, is among those connecting this finding of mad cow to other unfortunately routine (and in some cases, deadly) food safety issues. “The risk of you getting this disease from eating beef is extremely small,” she said.

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United Against the War on Women

From Huffington Post:

April 30, 2012

The history of American democracy, to say the least, has been checkered. Our nation was founded at a time when people of African descent were held in bondage. After slavery was abolished, they were forced to endure legal discrimination for another 100 years.

When our country was formed, women were not just second-class citizens. They were third- or fourth-class citizens. Women couldn’t vote or play a significant role in the political life of the nation. Women, in many cases, couldn’t own property and were legally regarded as subservient in marriage. The educational and economic opportunities open to women were extremely limited. And, of course, women were unable to have control over their own bodies.

In the last 50 years, as the result of an enormous amount of effort on the part of the women’s movement and its male allies, we as a nation have made significant progress in the fight for gender equality. Clearly, much, much more needs to be done, but few would deny that our country has come a very long way in this struggle. In Vermont, Governor Madeleine Kunin has given years of service to our state after becoming the state’s first female governor in 1985. She is an inspiration to girls throughout Vermont and the country in allowing them to know that the opportunities they have are unlimited.

At rallies in Vermont and across the country this weekend, our message was clear. We are not going back. Not only are we not going to retreat on women’s rights, we are going to expand them. We are going forward, not backward.

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Vancouver mayor prepares to fight against pipeline expansion

From Global BC:

Global News
Thursday, April 26, 2012

The city of Vancouver is ramping up its opposition to the planned expansion of the trans-mountain pipeline from Alberta to the Burnaby end of Vancouver harbour.

That expansion could result in five times more oil tanker traffic in the inner harbour and increased fears of a major spill.

If Kinder Morgan had its way, there would one tanker a day filled with crude travelling through Vancouver waters headed to China.

Gregor Robertson is vehemently opposed to the plan.

Next week, both the park board and city council will be voting on motions to fight the pipeline expansion, and city staff will be asked to come up with a bylaw that would hold pipeline operators and oil tanker owners legally and financially responsible in the event anything goes wrong.

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The Tea Party: American Nazis?

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Unexceptionalism: A Primer

From The New York Times:

Published: April 28, 2012

TO achieve unexceptionalism, the political ideal that would render the United States indistinguishable from the impoverished, traditionally undemocratic, brutal or catatonic countries of the world, do the following:


If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, ignore the first sacrament of a democracy and suspend the counting of ballots in a presidential election. Appoint the candidate of your choice as president.

If you’re the newly anointed president, react to a terrorist attack by invading a nonterrorist country. Despite the loss or disablement of untold numbers of lives, manage your war so that its results will be indeterminate.

Using the state of war as justification, order secret surveillance of American citizens, data mine their phone calls and e-mail, make business, medical and public library records available to government agencies, perform illegal warrantless searches of homes and offices.

Take to torturing terrorism suspects, here or abroad, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment. Unilaterally abrogate the Convention Against Torture as well as the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war. Commit to indeterminate detention without trial those you decide are enemies. For good measure, trust that legislative supporters will eventually apply this policy as well to American citizens.

Suspend progressive taxation so that the wealthiest pay less proportionately than the middle class. See to it that the wealth of the country accumulates to a small fraction of the population so that the gap between rich and poor widens exponentially.

By cutting taxes and raising wartime expenditures, deplete the national treasury so that Congress and state and municipal legislatures cut back on domestic services, ensuring that there will be less money for the education of the young, for government health programs, for the care of veterans, for the maintenance of roads and bridges, for free public libraries, and so forth.

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Why This May Day Matters

From Yes Magazine:

This year, the day is about occupying the space and the time to create a different world.

by Sarah van Gelder
posted Apr 27, 2012

If the mainstream media was confused about Occupy Wall Street in its early days in Zuccotti Park, they’re bound to be completely befuddled this May Day.

May Day already has a lot piled on it. In pre-Christian Europe, May Day was a time to dance, light bonfires, sing, and carry on in celebration of the changing seasons. May Day also marks the anniversary of the 1886 Haymarket massacre, which occurred during a Chicago strike for the eight-hour work day. Also called International Workers’ Day, it’s a holiday in more than 80 countries.

And most recently, the U.S. immigrants right movement has used May 1st for massive street demonstrations and strikes aimed at reforming laws and policies that result in imprisonment, deportation, and discrimination against undocumented people.

This May Day, the Occupy movement is getting involved, calling it “The day without the 99 percent.” What will May Day look like with so many traditions riding on it?

May Day Collaborations—from Bike Caravan to Free University

The way plans are shaping up, in at least some locations around the United States, it could be big, festive, and importantly, include elements of all the May Day traditions. And it could be profoundly different than the big days of action we’ve seen in the past. In the weeks leading up to May Day, various movements have been collaborating. And people will not only be protesting, they’ll be liberating spaces for education, the arts, general assemblies, and teach-ins.

There will be marches, of course. Some permitted, planned, and predictable. Others will be spontaneous, possibly disruptive. In spite of all the police planning (and collaboration with Wall Street private security forces) law enforcement will be kept guessing.

There will be fairs, free food, teach-ins, music, bicycling, marches, and fiestas.

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