As the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off just outside of Washington DC, and all the news networks scramble to cover it, not one is reporting about the fact that ProEnglish, the white nationalist led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference back in 2012, has quietly been allowed to again be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2014.
According to the CPAC 2014 event site, the ProEnglish booth is number 538, sandwiched between the booth for a movie about the IRS “scandal” and the booth for the group, Tradition, Family, Property. The site lists the ProEnglish contact for CPAC as Robert Vandervoort who was the organizer of the white supremacist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois. During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white supremacist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white supremacist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
ProEnglish, was founded by white nationalist John Tanton who also created a network of organizations – the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA – that have profoundly shaped the immigration debate in the United States. A retired Michigan ophthalmologist, Tanton has white nationalist beliefs and has written that to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority” is required.
In His Own Words
“I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
– Dec. 10, 1993, letter to the late Garrett Hardin, a controversial ecology professor.
And there the group sits at CPAC14 while not one major television or print news network has the journalistic integrity or balls to report that they are there.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo this morning interviewed attorney Kellie Fiedorek a representative of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, and formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) about Arizona‘s wide-sweeping anti-gay bill, SB 1062, that would allow “Christians” to legally discriminate against LGBT individuals.
When questioned about the Jim Crow-esque bill Fiedorek told Cuomo there’s “a basic difference between denying someone a cup of coffee or a piece of pizza or selling someone a pencil versus forcing someone to use their creative ability to create a message to support an event, to support an idea that goes against their beliefs.”that a same-sex wedding is not the same as a KKK rally, and asking a photographer to take photos of one is not the same as asking a photographer to take photos of the other.
Cuomo wasn’t having any of it responding: “Counselor, tell me that you’re not analogizing burning a Koran or the KKK with gay marriage? Do you really see those things as the same thing?”
“It will not deny anyone any service. replied Fiedorek. No one will be kicked out of a restaurant or denied a cup of coffee or piece of pizza.”
“What this bill is advocating for is basic freedom, ensuring that everyone is respected and that the government is not allowed to force or to coerce or compel anyone to violate their beliefs or to go against their conscience. This is basically to keep the government from discriminating against people of faith.”
Cuomo aggressively countered: “It allows people to not do business with gays is what it allows. Your organization has a history of trying to hedge the ability to deal with gay marriage and gay rights in the country. All somebody has to do is Google your organization. So let’s just be open and honest about it. Why is dealing with gays or gay marriage out to a substantial burden of someone’s religion? Whose religion does that burden?”
Back2Stonewall.com’s close friend, LGBT activist and editor-in -chief of the Bilerico Project, John M. Becker appeared on CNN yesterday to discuss Johnny Weir and why he remains silent on Russia’s anti-LGBT human rights abuses while in Sochi, and how in doing so he’s actually enabling Putin’s “gay propaganda” ban
Becker appeared along with panelists Nicholas Benton (whoever the hell he is) and Don Lemon (who becomes less attractive the more he opens his mouth) with Benton disagreeing claiming that his tacky outfits were in itself a strong statement against Putin and Lemon calling Wier “fabulous” and talking about the pressure that this subject puts Weir and Olympic athletes under while simultaneously slamming Wier by saying that no one likes a “gay minstrel show”
On Monday’s edition of Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN hosted by Jake Tapper a potyion of the show focused on District Court Judge Clark Waddoups stricking down of a portion of Utah’s anti-polygamy statute which aimed at prohibiting polygamous cohabitation. And of course they invite on Tony Perkins, president of the SPLC hate group certified Family Research Council (FRC), totalk about it and baselessly accuse marriage equality of creating a slippery slope to polygamy after asking him whether the growing acceptance of homosexuality was to blame for the decriminalization of polygamous relationships in Utah.
Perkins, who routinely links homosexuality to pedophilia and refers to homosexuality as a “lifestyle” of “perversion,” was all-too-happy to use this opportunity to revive his organization’s longstanding opposition to Lawrence v. Texas and support for laws criminalizing gay sex.
[Anti-polygamy activist Laurie] Allen, who herself was raised in a polygamous environment and staunchly opposes polygamy, criticized Perkins for attempting to compare polygamous relationships and same-sex relationships, calling his arguments “salacious propaganda.”
Rather than pointing out the absurdity of Perkins’ arguments, however, Tapper went on to quote an FRC statement suggesting that the legalization of same-sex marriage might create a “slippery slope” to the legalization of polygamous marriage in the future, despite the fact that the judge’s ruling did not actually legalize polygamous marriage.
Both Jake Tapper and CNN owe the LGBT community an apology for not only baiting Perkins and setting him up to spread lies about same-sex marriage linking to polygamy and how the Supreme Court really made a mistake when it stopped letting states throw people in jail just for being gay.
Oh, and there’s also the fact that they let a white supremacist linked hate group leader be on the show in the first place. Perhaps next time Tapper could do some real reporting and grill Tony Perkins on that and his outrageous lies against the LGBT community instead of using him as an “expert” on anything and lending him credibility.
If GLAAD is going to be too chicken to call CNN and Tapper out then we as a community must be the ones to do so.
Earlier this week Hallmark made headlines and pissed off many after changing the classic text of a Christmas carol on a new ornament for the 2013 holiday season, replacing the word “gay” from “Deck the Halls” to “fun”.
In an email to Huffington Post Hallmark representative Kristi Ernsting defended the company’s move.
“When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry. Today it has multiple meanings … the trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: ‘fun.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.”
Now after much outrage and backlash from the public, Hallmark has changed suddenly its tune, the AP reports:
The company updated its statement Thursday, saying it was surprised by the public’s response and that it now realized it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics.
“We’ve been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we’re sorry to have caused so much concern,” the statement read. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”
LGBT ally and CNN anchor Carol Costello, took to her Facebook page to chime in on Hallmark’s supposedly “unintentional” homophobia.
“Oh Hallmark. You didn’t. Oh, wait you did. Hallmark’s ‘Holiday Sweater’ ornament is decorated with ‘Don we now our FUN apparel’ instead of “Don we now our GAY apparel.”Why? Hallmark says: ‘When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800’s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry,’ according to a statement released Wednesday. ‘Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.’ Homophobic? I say, yes you are.”
And of course though Hallmark has no plans to stop selling the ornament or re-issue an updated one with the word “gay” instead of “fun”. But that’s okay. No self respecting gay man would ever be seen buying such a tacky ornament anyway.
Last on CNN, OutFront with Erin Burnett hosted Tony Perkins, the President of the the anti-gay and nationally recognized “hate group” The Family Research Council to talk about whackjob Senator Ted Cruz who appeared yesterday at the heavily GOP backed Values Voters Summit 13 and who Perkins calls the “de-facto leader” of the Republican Party.
More than 32,000 people have signed a petition asking CNN to stop hosting anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins to speak on behalf of America’s Christians following Perkins’ appearance on the network to discuss the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decisions. Just minutes after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, CNN invited Perkins – president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC) – to peddle lies about the decision’s impact on religious liberty. No other Christians were interviewed during the segment, despite the fact that a majority of Christians oppose DOMA.
It’s long past time that we stand up and demand integrity and accountability from CNN and other news outlets that host Perkins and portray him as the voice of “Christian American” on political and LGBT subjects when he is not. Would CNN have KKK Grand Wizard David Duke on to discuss the Zimmerman verdict? No. Because the outrage would be far too great. It’s time for us to show some outrage. GLAAD will not ask CNN directly to ban Perkins it might upset the very people who don;t give a damn about us. So if they won’t do it, we must.
Straight talking, straight ally Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe penned one of his great op-eds for CNN in which he talks about when there will be an openly gay NFL player and about how some players might think it be “distraction” to a team. And as usual the awesome Kluwe, does not mince words and lays it all out on the line.
“Instead of looking at an openly gay player as a distraction, ask yourselves — how much better would that player play if he didn’t have to worry about hiding a core part of who he is? How many more sacks would he have, free of that pressure? How many more receptions? How many more rushing yards?
Fans, media — will an openly gay player be a distraction? Only if you make it one. Only if you insist on denying someone the freedom to live his own life on his own terms, instead of under someone else’s control. Stop worrying about who a player dates; worry about his completion percentage, or tackles for loss, or return average. I can promise you, on Sundays the only thing he’s worried about is lining up and doing his job to the best of his ability, or else he’s going to be cut (just like any of us).
Players — Those of you worried about a gay teammate checking out your ass in the shower, or hitting on you in the steam room, or bringing too much attention to the team — I have four simple words for you. Grow the f*** up.
This is our job, we are adults, so would you kindly act like one?”
Do yourself a favor and read the whole op-ed. The man is awesome.
CNN once again showed absolutely no journalistic integrity by hosting the anti-gay Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg on Soledad O’Brien’s Starting Point this morning to discuss President Obama inaugural address and the agenda outlined within it. And of course it was a set up to get Sprigg to talk about the mention of “Stonewall” and “LGBT Euqality.
When O’Brien noted Obama’s vocal support for gay rights of course Sprigg didn’t agree with the president linking the gay rights movement with civil rights for African-Americans and women’s rights. “The irony is,” he contended, “homosexuals already have all the same civil rights as anyone else. But that fact that all people are created equal as individuals does not mean all sexual behavior is equal or that all personal relationships have an equal value to society at large.”
There was no mention of course of the extra protections that people of “religion” receive under the 1964 Civil Rights Act that does not include the lesbian and gay population. And of course CNN did not provide a pro-gay voice counter-point to Sprigg’s crazy accusations.
As far as CNN, MSNBC, and major news outlets are concerned this not only about accountability but also journalistic integrity. Having Peter Sprigg comment on gay issues under the “social conservative” banner is no different than having David Duke of the KKK comment on issues about race under the “republican” banner.
“Perhaps the biggest story related to Kathy Griffin’s salacious stunt on CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper was the almost deadening silence it engendered from any quarter. Does it matter what Griffin did? To put it more generally, does what we see and hear have any effect on our behavior, particularly the behavior of young people? Does it matter? According to the Centers for Disease Control, even though the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex is much lower than from other forms of sexual behavior, ‘numerous studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).’ In other words, people can get chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, genital human papillomavirus, syphilis, and other STDs by having oral sex. This is important because numerous studies have shown that many young people still think they cannot get an STD this way.” – The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, on Griffin’s pretend blowjob on CNN New Years Eve.
Lets go out on a limb here and say that you CANNOT get a STD or AIDS from simulating oral sex
on a gay man while fully clothed on live TV.
The Catholic church has worked so long and hard to prevent any actual sex education or contraception that even a hint of sex throws them into a tizzy.
In my best Kathy impersonation of her mother, “Jesus Christ, Kathleen! Why do have to go & pick on the goddamned Catholics all time for Christ’s sake?”