Tag Archives: Homophobia

Father threatens custody suit after ex-wife befriends “known homosexual”

21 Mar

Here’s one for the books…

Lawyer Paul C. Sullivan penned homophobic letter

Lawyer Paul C. Sullivan penned homophobic letter

A Roman Catholic father in Maryland has asked his lawyer, Paul C. Sullivan to pen one of the most horrific pieces of undeniable bigotry I have seen in recent years.

Ed and Kelly were married, had two children and then divorced (as has been known to happen). Kelly was awarded custody of the children with visitation from Ed. Since then, it seems Kelly has become friends with a gay man – Chris. Kelly has since re-married and she sometimes asks Chris to babysit her kids (as has been known to happen).

Apparently, that’s not okay with Ultra-Catholic Ed. The following letter was sent to Kelly with regards to her parenting. In it, Paul Sullivan engages in a homophobic tirade ignorantly linking being gay to being a child predator, claiming that by having a gay person around the house, Kelly is “encouraging a homosexual lifestyle” and threatens investigations and custody trials should Kelly not reverse the child’s dangerous course.

Additionally, the lawyer and father have been in communication with the Sheriff, the county commissioners, the vice principal and the guidance counselor of the middle school Kelly’s son attends.

Kelly’s friend Chris has no record of being a child predator or really any criminal record whatsoever, but the lawyer’s letter also threatens to pursue criminal proceedings against him – merely for babysitting Kelly’s son.

Some further research and a conversation with Kelly has brought some more information to light. It turns out Ed has released some videos about his wife, “The Drug Slut,” and it turns out their son’s behavior problems include getting detention for talking in class and simply not wanting to participate in the extreme dogma his father tries to force upon him.

Ed’s organization, Maryland’s Fathers Rights League is also known for lobbying against the Violence Against Women Act

If this were 1950, I might understand some of the homophobic and vitriolic things being claimed here by Paul Sullivan, but it’s 2013. Here is the full text of the letter followed by images (emphasis is mine).

Dear Mrs. XXXXXX

I have been retained by Mr. XXX again to address parenting issues related to your two (2) sons. As you know, there has been considerable difficulty recently related to your refusal to support and encourage the children’s Roman Catholic faith and certain biblical precepts related to lifestyle choices. It appears as if you are encouraging a homosexual lifestyle for the children and allowing your eldest, XXXX at age 13 to be placed in an environment where he could, and likely would, be exposed to a child predator.

As you know this case was previously assigned to Judge Kenneth long who is currently the administrative judge for the Washington County Circuit Court in Hagerstown. In the event you continue the destructive parenting that encourages XXXX’ exploration of decadent choices in behavior, we will have no alternative but to file to obtain sole legal custody and sole physical custody of both children. We have been in communication with Sheriff XXXX, the vice principal of XXXX Middle School, the guidance counselor at XXXX Middle School and the president of the XXXX County Commissioners, seeking their assistance and support in helping XXXX change the path which you seem to be encouraging.

It may be necessary for us to file a CINA petition, because the actions taken at his school related to detention do not seem to be having any corrective effect. This child appears to be out of control because of your refusal to co-parent with Mr. XXXX on Saturday, March 16th at 8:30 PM as ordered by the court. It is our understanding that you allowed XXXX to stay overnight at the home of a known homosexual whose probable intentions related to XXXX are suspect. Further investigation may lead to the request for criminal charges against that individual due to XXXX minority.

We’re attempting to obtain additional assistance to help XXXX abate the current course you have encouraged him to travel. You seem not to understand the eventual adverse consequences that may occur for XXXX and which could adversely affect him for a lifetime.

If, however, you would be taking the position in court that you are not encouraging XXXX in the way it is believed you are, and are in fact unable to adequately discipline XXXX or institute and enforce parental boundaries that are needed, you certainly have the option to enter into a consent decree allowing Mr. XXXX to have sole legal and sole physical custody of the children so that he will have the authority, within the bounds of law, to take the corrective action needed to safeguard the best interests of the children.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions concerning this matter. If you are agreeable to the entry of a consent order as suggested above, please call me at your earliest convenience and I will prepare it for your review and signature.

Thank you and kindest regards,

Very truly yours,

Paul C. Sullivan


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Madison Square Garden Apologizes, Pulls Homophobic Ads

7 Nov

When I didn’t think the past 24 hours could get any better…

After winning marriage equality in three states last night and stopping an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment in a fourth state, a little bit of light also comes out of New York City.

Earlier this week, we reported on an ad campaign being run by Madison Square Garden Networks. The ads were intended to get people to not do one thing on Friday night, and instead stay home and watch a New York Knicks game on TV.

The ad, found on a phone booth and posted on facebook by Richard Roland stated:

“It’s Friday night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunction or you can watch real men fly.”

The words were referencing the multi-million dollar musical, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark,” in which actors have been injured, including Christopher Tierney, who fell 30 feet from the air into the orchestra pit in December 2010. Tierney , who sustained four broken ribs and fractured three of his vertebrae, returned to the show four months later.

Others including myself, found the ad to be very thinly-veiled homophobia. Anytime the term “real men” is used in comparison to someone else, it has historically been a way to feminize someone or in essence, call them a “sissy,” or a “fag.”

This afternoon, we heard from ESPN.com reporter Darren Rovell that the ads have been pulled. According to his article,

“Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that the network, which is under the same business umbrella that includes the Knicks, would pull a particular ad after a representative admitted it was “bad judgment” and apologized to anyone who was offended.”

Well done, everyone who contacted MSG and shared the story with your friends. Little victories like this do make a difference!

Madison Square Garden Thinks ‘Real Men’ Don’t Dance in Homophobic Ad

1 Nov

It’s no secret that there’s some homophobia in professional sports, but the tide is turning. With pro athlete heroes like footballers Brendan Ayabendejo and Chris Kluwe, wrestler Hudson Taylor, Hockey player Sean Avery and dozens more speaking out for marriage equality, we can see things are changing.

However, for every few steps forward, there has to be a step back. Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks has released a new ad being seen on phone booths in New York City. The ad reads:

“It’s Friday night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunction or you can watch real men fly.”

Yes, there’s a little dig at Spiderman in there (a little two years ago, but I digress). But take a look at the next part of the ad where it clearly claims that people who work on Broadway aren’t “real men.”

The insinuation that someone who spends a few months a year throwing a ball in a hoop is any more of a man than someone who does 8 shows a week literally breaking their backs as they do their acrobatics on a stage is not only insulting, but it’s utterly false.

As a kid who grew up doing musicals, seeing an ad like this would have hurt me. Gay kids out there who happen to be attracted to something other than athletics are putting up with enough bullying from their peers and in many cases their families. They don’t need it from Madison Square Garden too.

As New York has seen enough trouble this past week, let’s hope MSG quickly issues an apology and pulls down their homophobic ad.

In conversations about this, I’ve found a few people don’t find anything offensive about this. One friend even advised that we shouldn’t get upset about this and we should instead wait until some NBA player calls someone a “fag” and no one does anything about it. The problem with this argument is that when the phrase “Real Man” is used as a pejorative against another person, it is nearly always the same thing as calling someone a “fag.” Everytime that phrase has been used to insult someone in the last 50 years, it has been to question someone’s masculinity and/or their sexuality. That’s why I think this is important to point out. This is essentially the same as an NBA Player shouting “fag” at someone, except this time it’s on a phone booth in New York and no one is saying anything about it.

After some calls to Madison Square Garden, I’ve found it’s an ad for MSG Networks and I’ll update you when I receive a response.

h/t to Richard Roland, who took the photos.

Bert & Ernie Petitions Bring Out the Haters

11 Aug

So there’s a really interesting/ridiculous discussion going on regarding a Change.org petition that was created last week to out the ambiguously gay duo, Bert & Ernie. There is another petition saying they should get married (as Sesame Street is clearly located in New York, and since the puppets from Avenue Q tied the knot, it seems to make sense).

There have been many discussions about whether or not Bert & Ernie are gay. While they adorn the t-shirts of many walking through Chelsea and the West Village, do we have any real evidence? Well last year, regarding the A-Team movie that was released, Bert tweeted:

“Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T’s? The only difference is mine is a little more ‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk.'”

Most assumed this was Bert’s coming out tweet, as “mo” was clearly short for “homo.” No other explanations have been offered. We’re not so sure about Ernie, but they’ve lived together 32 years, so…I think it’s safe to assume.

However the real interesting part came today. Now that the story of these petitions is getting out, it seems it’s ruffling a few feathers. People who are against the famous Muppets coming out of the closet have taken to Change.org to create petitions against the felt nuptials. What’s striking me though, is the anti-gay language that is being used in these new petitions’ comment sections.

Petition Signer Sharon Howell says:

“Im so sick of gay people pushing they’re life style on everyone else, first they wanted acceptance and gay rights, okay they got that, then they wanted gay marraige okay they got that which is ridiculous, and they’re still not satisfied. Is’nt sesame street a children’s show? can’t we leave something pure and untouched for the children for god sake they’re exposed to so much already, I have nothing against gays, but sometimes you guys just go way too far, if you want to push for gay marraige and rights that’s your thing, but leave the children alone please. I really hope the shows creators DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN, children should continue learning AB’CS and 123’s not about adam and steve god created man and woman to marry!!!”

Firstly, maybe Sesame Street should be teaching a little more about use of apostrophes and commas. Secondly, I’m still trying to figure out when we got gay rights and gay marriage. Last I heard, the government was ripping apart a married gay couple because one spouse isn’t a US citizen. Thirdly, in case you missed it – everything she says should be taken with a grain of salt because she “has nothing against gays.” I just love how that little sentence absolves people of being a bigot.

Rachelle Rose says:

UNBELEIVABLE! i have nothing against gays.. i have many friends and bestfriends who are. but my ONE YEAR OLD does not need to be watchin shit like that!, shes to young to even know about any of that!…if they do that i will not put that on for my kid

Again with the “i have nothing against gays.” She has lots of friends and bestfriends who are gay but apparently behind their backs refer to their relationships as “shit.” fun.

Latabitha King says:

“Kids are too young to try to process this type of information PERIOD.”

And here…in this one simple sentence, we have the reason we have lost referendums in 31 states for marriage equality. I just spent a week with hundreds of LGBT families and hundreds of their children. Do you think these children look at their parents and think “I wonder what my moms having sex is like?” I watched Sesame Street as a kid and I knew that Gordon and Susan were married. Did I ONCE consider what was happening in their bedroom? Nope. If there was a gay couple on Sesame Street, who just happened to live in the same apartment and hold hands and sing songs together, will kids automatically start thinking about gay and lesbian sexual relations? I doubt it.

While at first I thought the Ernie and Bert getting married petition was fairly silly, I’m now in support of it. I think the better scenario would be for a human couple to be introduced on the show that happened to be gay, but I’ll take what I can get. Bert & Ernie, I hope to one day be “doin’ the Pigeon” at your reception.

Rabidly Anti-Gay Rocker/Radio Host Sues MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for $50 Million

27 Jul

Bradlee Dean

Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim bigot, Christianist radio host and Michele Bachmann BFF is really upset that Rachel Maddow quoted him directly and played audio of an anti-gay, anti-muslim diatribe he went on. So he’s suing her for $50 million (but it’s not about the money).

Bradlee Dean, who we’ve discussed here before has some deep ties to Republican and Tea Party presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Dean, a heavy metal Christianist rocker and preacher for the “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide Ministry,” has decided to sue MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for a segment she did on Dean, his anti-gay rants and his ties to political candidates in his home state of Minnesota. In the segment, she plays a clip from his radio show where he says:

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

“Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America…they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination…If America won’t enforce the laws, then God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that. That’s what you’re seeing today in America.”

Maddow followed that clip by reading a disclaimer that had been posted on Dean’s Ministry’s website claiming:

“We have never and will never call for the execution of homosexuals.”

Check out Maddow’s report here, where she follows with another clip from Dean’s show where he claims that “on average, [gay people] molest 117 people before they’re found out.”

So as a journalist, Maddow fairly reported the bigot’s response. So why is Bradlee Dean suing?

Here’s the statement from Dean and his anti-gay lawyer, Larry Klayman:

Despite the very clear disclaimer by Bradlee Dean on his ministry’s website and elsewhere regarding the false accusation that he was calling for the execution of homosexuals, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others seized on and accused Dean on her show of supporting the killing of homosexuals, as is the practice in some radical Islamic countries. This seriously has harmed Dean and the ministry, who pride themselves on respect and love for all people…

The lawsuit is filed by attorney Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, in DC Superior Court and seeks in excess of $50 million in damages. However, money is not the issue. “This case is filed as a matter of principle,” stated Klayman. “We need more Bradlee Deans in the world and hateful left wing television commentators must be made to respect not only his mission but the law,” he added.

Here’s Bradlee Dean’s video calling out Rachel Maddow – please note that he leaves out the part where he referred to the people who executed homosexuals as “more moral” than American Christians.

There’s some excellent reporting over at Mother Jones on this topic. Be sure to check out their whole story.

Immediate Arrest of All Homosexuals in Ghana

21 Jul

According to MyJoyOnline, a Ghana news source, The Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the region.

He has enlisted the services of the Bureau of National Investigations in addition to landlords, tenants and anyone else who can “provide reliable information which will lead to the arrest of homosexuals.” According to their report:

“Only yesterday, the Christian Council of Ghana capped months of protestations against the practice of homosexuality with a strongly worded message against the practice and courting Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals.”

“The Western Region has been a beehive of activities linked with homosexuality. A recent media report claimed the Western and Central Regions together have a total of about 8,000 homosexuals and lesbians.”

“That report sparked a series of religious demonstrations with the Moslem and Christian communities in the region hitting the streets to protest what they claim is an ungodly and demonic act.”

Currently in Ghana, homosexual sex between men is illegal while sex between females is legal. And naturally there are no legal protections for same-sex couples, nor against discrimination in Ghana. Back in September, 2006, an LGBT rights conference scheduled to be held in Ghana was banned by the Ghanaian government.

A Change.org petition has been started asking The President of the United States Barack Obama, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald G. Teitelbaum, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, and U.S. State Department Johnnie Carson. We’ve also contacted the incredible International LGBT Rights organization, ALL OUT to see what else is being planned to stop the arrest and possible extermination of homosexuals in Ghana.

Bus Driver Orders Gay Couple to the Back of the Bus

12 Jul

Ari Gold (photo by Jamie McGonnigal, EqualityPhotography.com)

Many activists in the LGBT movement frequently hope and pray for a “Rosa Parks Moment.” By that, they mean a pivotal occurrence where an LGBT person stands up for themselves in a way that ignites a flame that won’t go out until we have our full equality. While this wasn’t exactly the Rosa Parks Moment some hope for, the irony is not to be missed.

According to the Village Voice, this weekend, openly gay performer Ari Gold claims to have been sitting in the front seat of a Short Line bus holding another man’s hand.

The bus driver reportedly told Ari that if they wanted to continue sitting together, they’d need to move to the back of the bus. Channeling Rosa Parks, Ari refused. The driver pulled the bus over and phoned for a state trooper. Upon the trooper’s arrival, the driver said that the couple was making him uncomfortable and he wanted them off the bus. Naturally, the trooper told the driver that nothing they were doing was illegal and he needed to continue the trip.

Ari announced to the bus what had occurred and the bus seemed displeased with the driver’s blatant homophobia. Ari will be filing charges.

We called ShortLine to find out if anything had been done about the situation and we were emailed this statement from George Grieve, President of Hudson Transit Lines:

I am the president of Hudson Transit Lines, Inc. which is the company known as Shortline. I wanted to assure you and your readers that we do not condone or endorse the actions taken by this one driver. His actions are not representative of the management of our Company. We will continue to investigate this incident until we are sure we have all the facts at which time we will take the appropriate disciplinary and remedial action. We apologize for the insensitive action of our driver and can assure you we will take the necessary steps to make sure this does not happen again.

Cee Lo Green Tweets Homophobic Comments Following Negative Review

17 Jun

Cee Lo Green on this year's Grammy Awards

This afternoon, in response to a negative review by City Pages’ Andrea Swennson, Cee Lo Green has taken to twitter.

The review read, in part:

“Though Green has risen to be one of the hottest pop singers of the past year, his set at the Target Center failed to measure up to the fun factor of his recorded material. Green spent most of the set stationed in front of a mic at the center of the stage, barely moving an inch while he sang and flanked by two forgettable back-up singers and a DJ that was all but hidden behind a giant LCD display. “

Green, assuming the reviewer was a man, questioned if the reviewer was “gay” and “offended” by Green’s “masculinity.”

Some of his twitter followers responded with anger at his tweet and he issued a non-apology and clearly did not understand what could be offensive about the things he said.

Green needs to hear immediately from GLAAD and it must be explained to him that his response was not only inappropriate, but harmful. His assumption that gay men could somehow be “offended” by his masculinity intimates that he clearly sees gay men as less masculine than him. He should be introduced to the many gay rugby players, truck drivers, police officers,and fire fighters and be taught that gay is not equal to the stereotypes he seems to assume represent the LGBT community. And maybe he should consider a different costume designer while he’s throwing around his “masculinity.”

As a former fan of Green’s, I can say I am very disappointed at his irresponsible statement which only spreads further intolerance and ignorance. He must be educated on the fact that LGBT people come in all shapes, sizes and shades and they fall on every color of the spectrum of Green’s masculinity scale.

The writer of the review has responded here.

Tracy Morgan Apologizes for Homophobic Rant – Meets With Homeless LGBT Youth

14 Jun

Tracy Morgan

After being one of the first sites to share the news of Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant at his Nashville show last week, we forwarded the story on to GLAAD’s Jarrett Barrios. From there, Jarret and the team at GLAAD worked hard to communicate with Tracy Morgan and his team.

Almost immediately after Truth Wins Out‘s article and some calls from GLAAD, Tracy’s publicist issued what has become a standard form letter apology when it comes to these things.

“I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”

Following that, Tina Fey issued an incredible statement:

“I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments,” Tina Fey said. “Stand-​up comics may have the right to ‘work out’ their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-​threatening issue for the GLBT Community. It also doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-​centered to ever hurt another person.

“I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-​out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket.” Fey added, “The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”

Tracy Morgan, Russell Simmons

GLAAD continued to work with Tracy and his handlers and we’re thrilled to see that some incredible good is coming out of this horrible situation – and it’s all because we stood up and said something when bigotry was being spread. Tracy had a conversation with LGBT advocate, Russell Simmons. The transcript of their conversation is on Simmons’ hip-hop blog. Among the revelations is that Tracy would like to attend a gay marriage rally and wants to work to advance LGBT rights.

GLAAD released a statement from Tracy Morgan yesterday:

“I know how bad bullying can hurt. I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987. My dad wasn’t gay but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans gay, straight, whatever forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this.”

Additionally, Tracy will be doing some personal outreach to help LGBT youth.

-THIS WEEK: In NYC, Tracy will meet with LGBT teens from the Ali Forney Center who were shunned or left homeless by their parents as well parents who lost their children to anti-LGBT hate crimes including Elke Kennedy.

-NEXT WEEK: Tracy will return to Tennessee with GLAAD and Russell Simmons to meet with those offended by his remarks and make a public statement about how he supports LGBT people.

-ALSO: Tracy will film a PSA as part of GLAAD’s upcoming ‘Amplify Your Voice’ PSA campaign

Great work to all involved and let this be a lesson that if you see or hear something that’s not right, speak up about it and change can happen.

Comedian Tracy Morgan’s Anti-Gay Tirade

9 Jun

Should comedians be given a pass when it comes to hatred and bigotry? Historically, comedians have used the “but it’s just a joke” defense of their ignorant comments since before Al Jolson’s black face. But in this day and age, are we to excuse blatant homophobia coming from the mouths of comedians just because they are trying to be funny?

In the case of Tracy Morgan, of SNL and 30 Rock fame – to one audience member, it’s crossed a line. Kevin Rogers saw Morgan’s show in Nashville this past weekend and was expecting some straight-on-gay humor as is standard with a lot of comics. But what Kevin heard was instead a bigoted and homophobic anti-gay tirade at Morgan’s show.

According to a note Kevin posted on Facebook, Morgan’s entire demeanor changed for this portion of the program and after referring to gay people as God’s mistakes, advocated for anti-gay violence against his own family member, (quoting Kevin’s Facebook post): “He said if his son was gay, he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high-pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N—– to death”

Truth Wins Out has called on Morgan to comment on his anti-gay tirade as well as a request for comment on these allegations from equality advocate Tina Fey (whom Morgan has worked with for several years on 30 Rock).

“LGBT people are still fighting for equality all across America, and many of our teens are still very much at risk.  Sadly, reports of gay youth taking their own lives due to anti-gay bullying have become all too common.  Tennessee’s gay teens are in particular danger as the state legislature has endeavored over the past year to make life as difficult as possible for them, going as far as to move a bill prohibiting teachers from even acknowledging their existence in schools.  Tracy Morgan is a role model to many young people, including gay kids.  If these reports are true, Mr. Morgan owes them, and us all, a full apology.”

 

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