Tag Archives: Anti-Gay Discrimination

Altoona, Pennsylvania

20 Apr

Due to life, I haven’t written in quite some time. And I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but I noticed something tonight I wanted to let you know about.

I’m on the mailing list for the anti-gay hate group, the National Organization for Marriage, which I’ve written about several times. They’re known primarily for spreading lies about LGBT families and screwing up amicus briefs when marriage equality is discussed in our court system. They’re signature event is an anti-gay hate march they hold in Washington DC each year titled “The March for Marriage.” I’ve attended twice and taken photos to show just how few people are showing up for their hate marches. Both years, they’ve publicly inflated their numbers by 1000-2000%.

But today, I received an email from NOM stating:

“I just received a phone call from a lovely couple in Altoona, Pennsylvania, who have chartered a bus and gathered 30 of their friends to come to the March for Marriage next weekend! Isn’t that wonderful?”

It seems like your usual fib. A made up phone call trying to show that anyone from anywhere can bring people to this hate march – but there is something different about this one. Altoona, Pennsylvania. Altoona is a small city, with a population just under 50,000. Nothing to write home about. But to those of us who’ve studied the history of LGBT equality, or just to those of us who saw the movie, “MILK,” Altoona, Pennsylvania seems a touch familiar.

From the tape recording made by Harvey Milk, to be played in the event of his assassination:

“I ask for the movement to continue, for the movement to grow, because last week I got a phone call from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my election gave somebody else, one more person, hope. And after all, that’s what this is all about. It’s not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power — it’s about giving those young people out there in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, hope. You gotta give them hope.”

I’d never heard of Altoona, Pennsylvania before I saw a documentary about Harvey Milk. Is it coincidence that the young man who called Harvey Milk was from the same town that NOM got a mysterious call from as well? Or is NOM purposefully trying to troll LGBT equality organizers by throwing in a dog whistle from a very famous Harvey Milk quote? I’ve certainly got my suspicions.

Photo (c) Danny Nicoletta

Photo (c) Danny Nicoletta

 

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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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TN Pastor Who Ordered Assault on Gay Son, Now Facing Theft Charges

7 Oct

Remember that Tennessee pastor we told you about earlier this week? The one who ordered his deacons to assault his own gay son when he and his partner tried to come to church?

Seems like he’s in the news again. According to local ABC affiliate, WBBJ:

According to Trenton police, they recently arrested Pastor Jerry Pittman, of Fruitland’s Grace Fellowship Church, on charges of stealing from a local business.

“It’s hard enough nowadays to trust people and I just can’t believe that a pastor would even steal anything,” said Trenton resident Hayley Gordon.

Police arrested the 52-year-old on September 21, after his estranged wife told them she had heard from co-workers that he had been stealing from her business.

“Our investigation into the incident that was reported showed that he and another gentleman did scrap copper at a scrap yard here in Trenton,” Lt. James Wilson said.

Investigators said he scrapped the copper at least three different times since August. It was hundreds of pounds, and worth more than $1,000.

“It was quite a bit that they scrapped,” Wilson said.

And, shockingly enough, this “Christian” man has been in trouble with the law before:

This actually is not the first time Pittman has been arrested. Police said he was arrested back in 2006 for a simple assault charge.

“It was over an incident where the daughter and the boyfriend had a joint child,” Wilson said. “There were some accusations involving the father of the child, which was the boyfriend, and he confronted the father of his grandchild at a local grocery store.”

One would think that parishioners would prefer a non-criminal to be leading their church.

Bigoted Judge Signs Order Demanding Gay Dad Keeps Kids From Husband

14 Sep

Bigoted Judge Charley E. Prine Jr.

As reported here a few weeks ago, a Houston judge has ordered Texas father William Flowers to keep his children away from his husband.

The order was signed this week by Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr. and forbids William from leaving his twin daughters and 14-year old son with any man not related by blood or adoption. The judge added that his ex-wife may give permission for this rule to be lifted, but it seems very unlikely that she would allow William’s husband to ever be alone with William’s children.

In the custody proceedings, there have been no allegations of abuse either physically or emotionally from the children’s father or his husband, yet the judge has imposed this bigoted rule based solely on his ignorant beliefs that the children would somehow be in harms way.

Additionally, William’s husband has children of his own with no record of abuse or any problems there, so it seems he would be an ideal care provider.

According to Houston Press’ Hair Balls Blog:

“It’s not totally exclusive,” said Jennifer Broussard, Lacey’s attorney. “Lacey can agree to do otherwise. It’s just these unknown people about whom William will not divulge any information to Lacey — that just can’t happen.”

Was she referring to William Flowers’s husband, Jim Evans? Hair Balls asked.

“Well, he doesn’t have a husband in Texas, dear,” Broussard said.

This reference is of course to the fact that Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. This and other state’s laws discrediting out-of-state marriages is in violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the US Constitution.

Either way, it is clear that Judge Charley Prine Jr. is exercising judicial activism and anti-gay bigotry when deciding this case. Charley Prine’s office number is 713-755-6234. Please call and let him know how you feel about pure, unadulterated bigotry being handed down from the bench.

This decision bears no precedence and needs to be challenged. Happily, William is appealing the bigoted judge’s decision. We can only hope that a judge who actually practices fairness in the law is assigned to his appeal. Our thoughts are with William and his children in this difficult time.

Houston Judge Discriminates Against Married Gay Man

22 Aug

Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr.

In a stunning case of bigotry from Houston Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr., a married gay man has been forbidden from ever leaving his children alone with his husband.

According to the Houston Chronicle, William Flowers married Jim Evans last year in Connecticut. At the time, William’s ex-wife had full custody of the children with William getting regular visitation with them. After William married Jim, he sought to change the custody agreement. The jury decided that the custody agreement should remain as-is.

While there were no allegations of abuse or endangerment of the children in any way, the Judge added a ruling applicable only to William. The Judge’s ruling prohibits him from ever leaving his children alone with any man who is not related to the children “by blood or adoption.”

The article goes on to cite interviews with many practicing law in Houston stating they had never heard of such an injunction in cases not involving abuse or neglect. When William’s ex-wife’s lawyer was interviewed about it, she claimed it was common and referred the reporter to Teresa Waldrop, a member the of the Family Law sections of the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association – Waldrop admitted to never having seen an injunction such as this and referred the reporter to Austin Family Law Attorney Jennifer Cochran.

When Cochran was read the injunction she told the Chronicle the provision is “just not reasonable.” The fact that William can’t leave the children alone with any man to whom they aren’t related by blood or adoption “strikes at the very heart of the fact that he’s gay…it’s judicial activism, legislating from the bench,” and has nothing to do with protecting the best interests of the children, said Cochran.