PFLAG has kept me sane lately! What a great organization. I should have joined YEARS ago. Here is a bit of the latest newsletter:
Certainly, gay and lesbian Americans went to bed Tuesday night somewhat depressed over the rout at the polls. By morning, however, the political dust settled and many of these citizens kissed their life partners and went to work, just as they always have.
The defeat did not magically turn gay people into heterosexuals, nor did any same-sex couples break- up because of these referendums. And surely the gay bars and restaurants will be as crowded as ever.
So, nothing really changed; the 1950's didn't suddenly reappear. Gay people are here to stay and no Amendment or conservative political posturing is going to return gay people to the closet. - Wayne Besen
At the very core of our being we know that we all, each and every one, deserve to be treated with equal respect and dignity in every aspect of our lives regardless of our real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of our family members and loved ones. We all deserve, without exception, all the rights, privileges and obligations of full citizenship in these United States. We know that there is no rational, scientific, biological, or sociological basis - and no moral basis whatsoever for anything less. ...
I call upon each of you to speak your truth, to tell your story. Always, our own experience, our own strength and our own hope are our most powerful tools in this struggle. Sometimes they are our only tools.
Let us stand up, link arms, and march forward together. Truth is on our side. Time is on our side. We will win. We will win, but only if we are willing to engage, if we are each willing to speak our truth, to stand up and be counted. - Sam Thoron, President
What the hell has been happening to the mass media lately! 51% of the US votes for Bush, and all of a sudden, we need to go back to the Bad Old Days when attacking gays was A-OK? Some stuff from the latest PFLAG newsletter:
ABC's 20/20 on Matthew Shepard's Murder
Many of you saw NBC's 20/20 program challenging the facts behind Matthew Shepard's murder. PFLAG National has worked with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the family of Matthew Shepard to combat the inaccuracies in 20/20's broadcast. Here is a statement prepared by GLAAD on behalf of the GLBT coalition including PFLAG.
"This piece says much, much more about 20/20 than it does about the murder of Matthew Shepard," said GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry. "20/20's misleading oversimplifications and distortions do a tremendous disservice to a complicated case. This simply is not a credible piece of journalism." ... Judy Shepard says:
"Dennis and I were dismayed and saddened by the tabloid nature of the show and its lack of serious reporting of facts in evidence....though I was not permitted by 20/20 to view the segment, the copy made available to the press left all of my relevant comments regarding the direction of the show and the facts in this case on the cutting room floor. My remarks were reduced to a few very personal maternal comments taken out of context to make it appear as if I agreed with 20/20's theories. Nothing could be farther from the truth."
It is hard to believe that the United Church of Christ's gentle advertisement welcoming gay and lesbian families and other minorities was rejected as "too controversial" by major television networks ABC, NBC and CBS. Please visit www.stillspeakin g.com to view the 30 second ad - you will understand why many people across the country can't fathom why the networks' refusal.
In fact, some of the reasons given for the rejection of the UCC's ad are more contentious than the ad itself. Here's what CBS said:
"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."
We must require that CBS answer for its alarming response to the ad. GLAAD writes, "For CBS to suggest that it would not run an ad because its message conflicts with anti-gay legislation put forward by the Bush Administration calls into serious question the independence of CBS' actions and business practices." [Valorie says -- AMEN to that!]
Ron Schlittler, PFLAG's Executive Director, spoke with Ron Buford, the UCC's director of the ad campaign. Mr. Buford shared these points with PFLAG:
1) The UCC did not design these ads to position ourselves as better than other denominations. We view the ads as an invitation to other religious groups to be more inclusive.
2) Some people are saying, "Plenty of churches welcome gay people - they just want them to change or be 'cured'." The UCC accepts GLBT persons as they are. The UCC knows PFLAG parents understand that churches proclaiming to "Love the sinner but hate the sin" are delivering a message that comes off as disingenuous or very misguided - it is not a message of embracing, but a destructive message of rejection for a core part of who our loved ones are as children of God.
3) Mr. Buford asked that PFLAG members send comments of support for the UCC's ad campaign to firstname.lastname@example.org .
4) Mr. Buford also asked that PFLAG members write and call your local ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates. When you call your local stations, tell them you'd like to see the ads on television and ask them to pass along your complaint to the national headquarters of the networks.
Anti-gay bias is not limited to television. The Washington Post included a supplemental advertising magazine in last Sunday's issue titled "Both Sides." We can assure you, there was no discussion or equality about this homophobic look at marriage. In fact, this magazine was designed by the religious right to incite the African-American community to anti-gay bigotry.
The best way to understand the revolting nature of this supplement is to view it for yourself. Please go to http://rawstory.com/images/pdfs/BothSidesS mall.pdf and download a copy.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. - Andre Gide