Tag Archives: America

Radio Host Says The New Yorker’s Bert and Ernie’s Cover Promotes Child Abuse.

Bryan Fischer, a Christian radio host in the US has gained notoriety world-wide and stolen some of the media attention around the US Supreme Court historic ruling on Defence Of Marriage Act last week, by saying the New Yorker magazine’s cover “promoted child abuse”, simply by featuring Sesame Street characters cuddling at the news.

the new yorker

This popular and long running New Yorker magazine features Bert and Ernie snuggling up to each other on a sofa, while an image of the US Supreme Court Justices appears on their television screen. It’s simple, it’s cute, it doesn’t have them kissing or in any way acting inappropriately yet that didn’t stop the anti-gay, anti-equality Bryan Fischer spouting out a great deal of hate.

The Christian radio host launched his attack during his Focal Point programme saying the characters were engaged in a “homosexual clinch”. Adding “I don’t know which is which” continuing: “This is grossly irresponsible for The New Yorker to promote this, they really are promoting child endangerment and they are promoting child abuse.”

Fischer also quoted figures from the heavily criticised Regnerus Study, published in July 2012, which was titled “How Different Are The Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”. Its findings were refuted by many and deemed “flawed and misleading” with a lack of fact.

Many have believed that the two Sesame Street characters were a gay couple over the years, some 10,000 people even signed an online petition during 2011, urging the creators to allow the ‘couple’ to get married.

The Sesame Street workshop issued a statement at the time which stated: “Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though the Sesame Street Muppets … possess many human traits and characteristics, they have no sexual orientation.” Of course it had nothing to do with their Christian sponsors threatening to pull out if Bert and Ernie did end up getting hitched to each other.

Just recently the US Supreme Court struck down the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marriage as between one man and one woman. A second case, centred around California’s Proposition 8, the Supreme Court ruled that such a ruling was not in its jurisdiction, nor was it in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court, which previously ruled, therefore deferring the decision to a previous ruling by a district court which decided the ban was unconstitutional.

Thousands Condemn Murder of Mark Carson in New York

Earlier this week thousands of people marched in Manhattan, New York to denounce a stark increase in violence against the gay community in the city and specifically the brutal aggressive shooting on of Mark Carson last weekend.

Openly gay Mark Carson was shot in the face after being followed and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse and slurs in through New York’s Greenwich Village. Witnesses claim the man charged with Carson’s murder, Elliot Morales, asked him “Do you want to die here?” and “What are you, gay wrestlers?” before shooting him in the face.

New York City Police Department chief Ray Kelly said, “It is clear that the victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay,”

Many are shocked by the crime, believing New York, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2011 was a safe place for gay people to live. Indeed the area of Greenwich Village is a well gay friendliness and acceptance. “There aren’t supposed to be anti-gay hate crimes taking place almost in the shadow of the Stonewall Inn,” said political analyst Richard Socarides.

On Monday, thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the shooting. Some of those present carried placards dedicated to “gay angel Mark Carson” whilst some others chanted slogans like “Hate No, Gun Control Yes” and “Homophobia’s got to go”.

The New York Police Department have said anti-gay bias crimes in the area have risen sharply compared to the equivalent period last year, from 14 incidents to 24. However the figures may not tell the whole truth for many believe that only a few anti-gay crimes are actually reported to the police for a number of reasons, not least the fear of not being treated fairly.

Morales has yet make a plea and is currently being held in custody without bail.


Missouri Teen Pleads Guilty To Hate Crime

A Cape Girardeau teenager has pleaded guilty to a ‘hate crime’ charge after beating and robbing a gay neighbour in the Missouri city during July of this year.

Local TV station KFVS 12-TV has reported that prosecutors dropped a burglary charge against 17-year-old Mercedes Ayers in exchange for her pleading guilty of the hate crime charge,  which is expected to carry a lesser sentence, at the Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court on Monday.

41-year-old Jeana Terry was inside her house when the vicious 17 year old Ayers began subjecting her to loud vocal anti-gay abuse.  Ayers then went to Ms Terry’s porch and with two young children present, proceeded to pull Terry outside and aggressively attacked her while making derogatory comments about her sexuality.

Outside court Ms Terry was grateful of the plea and even offered hope for Ayers,  saying  she hopes the teenager will be able to turn her life around and finish high school.

Ayers will be sentenced in November.

Continue reading →

Democrat Party Considers Platforming Gay Marriage.

The US Democrat party look all set to finally embrace same-sex marriage as part of their party platform. Such a move would signify a large shift from the current policy but would be more in line with the beliefs and ideals of President Obama and is a major step forward in American politics.

Democratic Party officials have argued over the contentious issue for quite some time, however at a platform-drafting meeting held in Minneapolis last weekend, they approved the first step to amend their platform, placing the amendment on track for adoption. In two weeks time, the entire platform committee will put it to a vote. Then, if approved as many expect it to be, it will then go before convention delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a final passage in early September.

According to insiders who were briefed on the vote in Minneapolis, there were no objections at all when the issue came up and party officials do not anticipate any major obstacles going forward.

The language used in the platform is crucial and over the last weekend it was clear, they reiterated the party’s disapproval of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriage.

The Democratic Party’s move comes more than two months after President Obama personally backed the rights of same-sex couples to get married. At the time he said his views on the issue were ‘evolving’ as he had previously not supported equal marriage laws. However he is still the only sitting President to publicly support marriage equality and whilst his vocal support carry no legal weight, they are a significant move forward to making a fairer society for all.

Continue reading →

US Federal Gay Employees – Children’s Health Coverage.

A proposed rule would extend health insurance to the children of gay people who are partnered with federal employees. But the domestic partners themselves would still be blocked from coverage because of the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The rule, proposed by the Office of Personnel Management last week, was written in response to a 2009 memo by President Obama that asked the agency’s director to figure out where it was possible to extend benefits to qualified same-sex partners of federal workers and their families under the confines of the current law.

Continue reading →

Scouts Anti-Gay Stand Angers Many

Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their ban on gay members earlier this month, but some scouts are beginning to fight back

Boy Scouts of America uniform

Photograph: Gary Braasch/Corbis

Their motto is “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” but those who have earned the Boy Scouts of America’s highest ranking are starting to recuse themselves from the 102-year-old organization.

Some longstanding members who reached the level of eagle scout are disappointed at the decision by the 2.7 million-person organization to reaffirm its ban on openly gay members.

The website Boing Boing compiled 20 letters sent to the Boy Scouts of America national executive board from members who are rescinding their membership or asking the organization to reconsider their policy. These members are gay, straight and transgender, and represent a growing movement within the scouting community to fight the ban.

As a private organization, Boy Scouts of America is legally permitted to block members based on their sexuality. On 17 July, an 11-member committee completed a two-year review of the matter and unanimously agreed to uphold the ban.

Continue reading →

Amazon Boss Stands Up For Marriage Equality

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday said he was giving $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washington state’s gay marriage law, weighing in on an issue that is hotly debated in many places across the U.S.

With the gift, Washington United for Marriage says it has raised more than $5 million for Referendum 74 on the November ballot. Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmerand co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000.

“It’s a game changer for us,” campaign manager Zach Silk said of the Bezos gift. “It puts us in unique position to win.”

Continue reading →

FDA approve Truvada

There has been a mooted welcome to the announcement from The US Food and Drug Administration confirming it had approved the drug Truvada for use in preventing HIV in high risk groups in the US.

Truvada has been approved for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP, which is the use of antiretroviral drugs to decrease the likelihood of HIV infection in people with a high risk of contracting it. In the announcement the FDA also emphasised the need for other preventative measures such as safe sex practices, risk reduction counselling and regular HIV testing.

Continue reading →

Target Sells Gay Greetings!

In a move that could add even more complexity to its history with the LGBT community, Target is now selling greeting cards honoring same-sex marriages.  As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting, the cards — which are produced by Carlton Cards, a unit of American Greetings, and hit store shelves in June — feature phrases like “Mr. & Mr.” and “Two very special women, one very special love.” The items began appearing on Target’s card racks a month after the Minnesota-based retail giant controversially began selling T-shirts commemorating Gay Pride month.

Continue reading →

Kirk Cameron Hates Again

Homophobic bigot and former US telly child star Kirk Cameron has come out with more gay hate this time with a video for the ultra  homophobic National Organization for Marriage,  the group that seeks to deny equality to all lesbian and gay people.

Cameron is no stranger to gay hate, you might remember him telling CNN’s porky Piers Morgan that homosexuality was “unnatural… I think that it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” earlier this year.

Continue reading →