Jeb!’s still pushing ‘religious freedom’ over fairness for LGBT Americans

Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4RHAO
Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Freedom vs Equality…what a “sticky wicket”.


Despite reports to the contrary, Jeb Bush hasn’t changed one iota in his position that a florist shouldn’t have to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding if it violates her or his religious beliefs. But since Jeb! was visiting a liberal Silicon Valley start-up Thursday, he emphasized a different portion of his message when asked about by an employee, Jake Poses.

“I don’t think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,” he replied.

Except …

But he said that the objecting florist should not be required to participate in the wedding, a fine line that he hopes will appeal to all sides of the debate.

If you want a long rant about how florists and bakers don’t “participate” in weddings, I wrote ithere. That’s why you pay vendors for their services, they’re not “participating,” they’re vending. But since Bush totally rejects discrimination—”Period.”—how about supporting LGBT federal nondiscrimination legislation?

“I think this should be done state-by-state,” he said.

So, no, you don’t support that. Having a patchwork of states in which only 19 prohibit discrimination on the basis of both gender identity and sexual orientation is way better. It avoids what Bush calls “coercive federal power.”

Don’t worry, though, Bush has you covered:

“The fact that there wasn’t a law doesn’t necessarily mean you would have been discriminated against.”

No law ≠ discrimination. Phew. And what happens if you do experience discrimination? Suck it—you’re on your own. “Period.” Let’s revisit the real source of Jeb’s inspiration around fairness for LGBT Americans:

“My belief is that religious now is under attack in ways that we have never seen before.”

He said that while giving a prepared speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference. That’s his inner North Star. But when he was visiting Silicon Valley, Jeb did the same thing he had done in New Hampshire: moderate his responses.

Kerry Eleveld

WTH is going on? – To some conservatives, Vladimir Putin is ‘the defender of Christian civilization’

Yes, that Putin. No, really.

Daily Kos

Oh look, the radical conservative American quote-unquote-“pastor” who helped form a vicious anti-gay movement in Uganda that led to the killing of publicly outed gay Ugandans is a huge fan of Vladimir Putin.

Last month a federal judge allowed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit to proceed against [Scott Lively] that alleges the pastor persecuted gays in Uganda and committed a potential “crime against humanity” — one that contributed to a bill that would have made homosexuality an act punishable by death. And yet the grey-haired 57-year-old has refused to quiet down.On his blog this month, Lively praised Putin as “the defender of Christian civilization” for signing this summer a ban on information that treats being gay as valid or attractive — and traced the idea to his own tour of Russia in 2006-7. Last week, Lively suggested Russian officials foil gay activists planning to rainbow-bomb the Olympics by flying a rainbow banner over the games so “the global homosexual movement” would be reminded that “the rainbow belongs to God!”

What the hell is going on? Have we abandoned irony forever, now that the staunch conservatives that saw communism as the be-all, end-all threat to humanity have shuffled into embracing the rather unambiguously creepy Russian leader and the nation’s latest restrictions of human rights—nay, even bragging about their connections to Russian politics? Is there anyone who was alive for even the smallest portion of the Cold War that thought Red Dawnconservatism would move into being pro-Russian-government?

Nope, apparently the hatred of gay Americans is greater than all those old fears of the creeping communist menace. John McCain and other old-schoolers keep trying to get them worked up about Russian plots and dangers and diplomatic machinations, but the social conservatives are too worked up about the Gays and the Muslims and the Obamas to even remember what they were supposed to be worked up about in the before-times. The enemy of my enemy isawesome.

Vladimir Putin, the “defender of Christian civilization.” There’s really no way of making fun of these people anymore, they do it to themselves before you ever get the chance.

The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District

Michele Bachmann Official Photo circa 2007
Image via Wikipedia

Michelle Bachmann has been absolutely silent on this issue…

Mother Jones

Two years. Nine suicides. Why critics blame the congresswoman’s anti-gay allies for contributing to a mental health crisis.

The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.

Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an “earthquake issue,” and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the “homosexual agenda.” They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle.

But in 2008, when Michele Johnson and her daughter, Samantha, moved from rural North Dakota into the 38,000-student Anoka-Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota, they had no idea they were landing on ground zero of that culture war. Coming from a rural small town, Samantha barely knew what the word gay meant when she arrived at Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts) as a seventh-grader. But by the fall of 2009, the 13-year-old was at the epicenter of the public school fight over gay rights.

Continue reading here…

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Michele & Marcus Bachmann’s Clinic Targeted In Glitter Prank (VIDEO)

I think Marcus Bachmann brought this on himself.  If you call average American citizens, who’s sexual orientation is their business, “barbarians”, those words will come back to bite you in the butt!

H/t: Kato

Huffington Post

A group of gay rights activists targeted a Minnesota clinic owned by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus in a prank involving glitter on Thursday.

The situation that unfolded at Bachmann & Associates Inc. comes in the wake of reports on controversial therapy methods allegedly practiced at the center. The Nation recently reported that the clinic offers reparative therapy, which the publication explains treats being gay as a curable disorder.

Earlier this month, when a reporter for Iowa-based station WQAD asked Bachmann to weigh in on such practices and whether they are used at the Minnesota clinic, the conservative congresswomandeclined to address the matter.

Here’s an excerpt of a release issued by the activists involved in the prank at the clinic:

Today a horde of gay barbarians descended upon Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s “pray away the gay” clinic and demanded that Marcus come out and discipline them for their “deviant” behavior.

Marcus Bachmann, who conducts “reparative therapy” at the clinic intended to convert homosexuals, has said that gays are “barbarians who need to be disciplined.” The horde requested to speak directly with Bachmann and experience some “discipline” for themselves.

When Marcus was no where to be found, the barbarians glittered the empty waiting room and reception area while chanting, “You can’t pray away the gay — baby, I was born this way!”

The action was organized by the same young man who threw glitter on Newt Gingrich, starting a national trend in political protest of anti-LGBT sentiments from political candidates and campaigns.

 “Michele and Marcus Bachmann think gay people are barbarians?” asked LGBT activist Nick Espinosa. “I think its clear to everyone who the real barbarians are, based on the Bachmanns’ archaic views on LGBT equality.”

Espinosa, who the Associated Press notes has also used the name Robert Erickson, posted videoof the incident online. In May, he pulled a similar stunt on GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista in Minneapolis.


Bachmann And The ‘Barbarians’

I have just one question…why did it take Marcus Bachmann a week to respond to the contents of the tape?


Blogger Who Posted ‘Barbarian’ Tape Denies It Was ‘Doctored’

The blogger who first surfaced Marcus Bachmann’s “barbarians” audio from 2010 says in no uncertain terms that the clip of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) husband saying gays “need to be disciplined” was not altered whatsoever.

“I didn’t doctor a damn a thing,” blogger Ken Avidor told New York magazine.

Bachmann and one of the counselors at his clinic are distancing themselves from the controversial remarks by saying, in essence, that they never happened.

Not so says Avidor, who first posted the audio clip from Christian talk radio show “Point of View” back in May, 2010. It was later picked up by ThinkProgress and went viral.

The show’s not talking — it didn’t respond to requests from New York or the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which published Bachmann’s quote about it being doctored this morning.

The show also didn’t immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on the issue.

Bachmann told the Star-Tribune he was talking about children, not gay people, when he referred to “barbarians” something Avidor — an avid follower of all things Bachmann — told New York could be the case.

Here’s the original question from the transcript of the clip posted by New York:

Question: Today The Wall Street Journal came out with an article, “What do you say when your teenager is gay?” What do you say to Christian parents who come up with this?

Bachmann: Well, I think you clearly say, what is the understanding of God’s word on homosexuality. And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly adolescents, will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time. But I don’t think we should take that as, because we wonder or we think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality —

Question: Could you add the word experiment to that?

Bachmann: Well, certainly, there’s that curiosity. But again, we, like, you know, it is as if we have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it, doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to go down that road. That’s what’s called the sinful nature. And we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

Avidor says he’s heard Bachmann say “children are barbarians” before, and often says “things need to be “civilized out of them.” So he does acknowledge that Bachmann may have been taken — at least somewhat — out of context.

Read the full New York post, including Avidor’s take on the quote in context, here.

Jon Stewart: Dr. Bachmann Cures Gays ‘So He Can Hoard All The Gayness For Himself’

It appears that several people in the media and in entertainment have claimed that their “gaydar” goes on alert when watching Dr. Marcus Bachmann dance with his wife Michele or when listening to him speak.

As I mentioned last week, I’ll reserve my judgment until there’s actual proof that Marcus Bachmann is gay.

However, I couldn’t resist publishing this comedy routine from The Daily Show.  Jon Stewart is really funny in the video below:


Michele Bachmann refuses to answer questions about her husband’s clinic

It seems that Michele Bachmann does not want to say anything that might stop the state of Minnesota from funding her husband’s clinic with Medicaid payments for patients he sees in therapy.

Raw Story

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) has remained silent on her husband’s Christian counseling center, which reportedly practices a discredited “reparative therapy” aimed at converting patients into heterosexuals.

ABC News presented undercover video Monday that confirms the clinic owned by Bachmann and her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, does indeed try to “pray away the gay.”

When News8 anchor RaeChelle Davis asked Bachmann on Monday about the hidden camera video, the congresswoman refused to answer the question.

“Well, I’m running for the presidency of the United States and I am here today to talk about job creation,” she said.

When pressed for an answer, Bachmann against responded: “Well, I’m here to run for the presidency of the United States,” adding she was “very proud” of her and her husband’s business.

When ABC News confronted Bachmann about reparative therapy being practiced at her clinic, she again refused to talk about it.

“I’m focusing on turning the economy around and on jobs so that’s what I’m focusing on,” she responded.

Continued here…


Michele Bachmann Clinic: Where You Can Pray Away the Gay?

ABC News – The Blotter

A former patient who sought help from the Christian counseling clinic owned by GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, told ABC News he was advised that prayer could rid him of his homosexual urges and he could eventually be “re-oriented.”

“[One counselor’s] path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, pray to God that I would no longer be gay,” said Andrew Ramirez, who was 17-years-old at the time he sought help from Bachmann & Associates in suburban Minneapolis in 2004. “And God would forgive me if I were straight.”

In the past, Marcus Bachmann has disputed the clinic has treated gay patients this way. But Ramirez’s account, which was first reported by The Nation, is similar to the counseling session that appears on new undercover video shot by a gay rights advocacy group last month. That footage shows another counselor at the Bachmann clinic telling a gay man posing as a patient that, with prayer and effort, he could eventually learn to be attracted to women and rid himself of his gay urges.

The disclosures have provided fresh insight into what Michele Bachmann has called her family business — the primary source of income for her family as she left her law practice to move into politics. The counseling center has factored into Bachmann’s campaign narrative, as well — evidence, she said, of her ability to understand what it takes to create jobs and run a small business.


See video here

Barney Frank Makes a Fool Out of Conservative Reporter Over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (VIDEO)

Ya gotta love Rep. Barney Frank’s retort…

TPM Live Wire – Gawker

A conservative reporter from right-leaning CNS News thought he would play gotcha journalist and ask gay Congressman Barney Frank about gay and straight soldiers showering together. Big mistake. Huge. Barney totally eviscerates the guy and exposes him as a fool.

Now that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is as much as repealed, conservatives are going back to their silly old defense that gay men and straight men can’t possibly be naked together without everyone being turned into pillars of salt and the moon exploding or something. The Distinguished Gentleman from Massachusetts, our favorite defender of the “radical homosexual agenda,” immediately goes on the offensive and dismisses the question with mock horror and then says that gay men and straight men have already been showering together for years, including when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was in effect. Can we finally put this lame defense to rest for good now?
It really is amazing to watch the fearless and witty Frank completely dismantle an opponent. The only thing that’s missing is him snapping his fingers and saying, “You got served!” Still good on CNS for putting this up on its website for the rest of us to enjoy. Since Barney’s too classy to say it, we’re gonna going to. You got served, Mary!



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Georgia Megachurch Pastor Comes Out Of Closet – For An Unselfish Reason

I admire Pastor Swilley for “coming out”.  Whatever his motive and whatever kept him closeted for so long is now irrelevant.  The fact that he has taken a stand and outed himself (as opposed to someone suing him for “improper behavior with teens…) and the fact that he wanted to help young gay kids in his congregation is honest and admirable.  In this age of political and religious pontification about “homosexuality being a curse”, this story, in my opinion is a refreshing one!  Kudos to Pastor Jim Swilley.


ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — The pastor of a Rockdale County megachurch has publicly announced he is gay.   Jim Swilley, bishop of Conyers’ Church in the Now, said he hopes his coming out will change attitudes toward homosexuality.   “I know a lot of straight people think it is a choice. It is not,” Swilley told Channel 2’s Diana Davis.

Swilley, 52, founded the church 25 years ago. He seemed the stereotypical picture of a pastor, with four kids and a wife who doubled as his associate pastor. But Swilley said he’s known he was gay since he was little boy. He said his wife, Debye, also knew his secret from the start.

“I think some women marry gay men because they really think they can change them,” Swilley said.

The now-divorced couple kept their secret for 21 years, but earlier this year, Swilley said Debye told him it was time to stop living a lie. 

She said he should practice what he preaches and follow the church’s motto, “Real people experiencing a real God in the real world.” 

So, Swilley came out to his kids and his congregation. He said he knew he might risk everything, but the recent rash of gay teen suicides pushed him over the edge.  

“As a father, thinking about your 16, 17 year old killing themselves. I thought somebody needed to say something,” Swilley said through tears. 

He says he’s received support from many in his congregation, but at least one conservative Christian blog has called him sick, twisted, unclean and an instrument of the devil. 

“I know all the hateful stuff that’s being written about me online, whatever,” Swilley said. “To think about saving a teenager yeah, I’ll risk my reputation for that.”

h/t neonzx