Showing posts with label Conservative. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservative. Show all posts

February 13, 2017

“You Can’t Be Accepted Coming Out”-an AuntMary Gay Conservative


The day after the American election, my ex-boyfriend messaged me to confess that he had voted for Trump. Hillary Clinton, he thought, just wasn’t trustworthy enough, so instead he opted for a compulsive liar and megalomaniac. As a gay man, I was repulsed by the idea that someone I’d once shared a bed with could now be in bed with our oppressors.

Now, another gay man has decided to “come out” (his words) as a conservative, this time in a piece for the New York Post. Chadwick Moore is a 33-year-old journalist who wrote a fawning profile of the out alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos for Out, one of America’s premier gay men’s magazines.

Yiannopoulos’ Islamophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism are well documented, and that an LGBT publication would give him “neutral” (as Moore claims) coverage rightfully angered many in the community. It was met with swift condemnation from within the community, with dozens of prominent LGBT journalists signing an open letter condemning the article and Out’s decision to publish. 

Moore himself took a lot of flack for writing such a flattering piece of someone who has campaigned against gay marriage and is otherwise an equally deplorable human being. He was attacked on Twitter, but to his surprise, it did not end there. “Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my long time mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’. A dozen or so people unfriended me,” he whinges.  He lost his best friend. People in gay bars wouldn’t talk to him. A guy he chatted up called him a Nazi.

Delicate little snowflake can’t take the heat, it seems.

All of this has led Moore to realise he’s not a liberal after all, but is actually a conservative. Anyone who read his piece on Yiannopoulos could’ve told you that, but apparently it took being criticised for fawning over fascists for Moore to realise his own political predilections. Now he’s standing for far-right gadfly Ann Coulter and hoping that “New Yorkers can be as open-minded and accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.”

Girl, goodnight.

Conservatism in America has literally killed gay people. Thousands lost their lives because of Reagan’s homophobic inaction on Aids. The Vice President of the United States only two years ago signed a license-to-discriminate as governor of Indiana. The right uses religion to deny marriage equality, housing protections, job protections, and even trans peoples’ right to use a public toilet. Conservative Americans are so homophobic and transphobic that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had to issue a travel alert to LGBT Britons going to North Carolina. And unlike the British Conservative Party, the Republican Party has made no overtures towards LGBT people, no apologies for past injustices, and no attempt at including us in their vision for the country.
Donald Trump did say LGBT like he was trying to sound out a Welsh place name though, so these Aunt Marys (a term used to describe gay people who side with the oppressor) suddenly want all of this forgiven.

Gay conservatives aren’t welcome in gay spaces because the people they support are an existential threat to our rights and our community. After all, queer spaces (such as bars, bathhouses, community centres, and even bookstores) were founded and instrumental in radical sexual politics and political engagement. You can’t divorce that from the social aspect, because doing so would deny the history of our community and the present reality of so many vulnerable LGBT people.

Asking that the gay community embrace you and your politics is like one turkey asking another to be okay that he voted for the farmer and Thanksgiving. I don’t care if this hurts someone’s feelings; I’m more concerned with the harm their vote causes. So until American conservatism welcomes queer people, queer people shouldn’t welcome American conservatives. Even if they’re queer themselves.

Sorry, Chad. Maybe Milo will buy you a drink. 

June 10, 2015

Conservatives think Gay Marriage Fight is Over, this is Why


The incredibly swift public opinion battle on same-sex marriage appears to be over -- even moreso than you might think.
new Pew Research Center survey released this week reinforced what we already know: That a clear and growing majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.
But here's something perhaps even more telling: Even those who don't support same-sex marriage (mainly, religious conservatives) also think it's inevitable same-sex marriage will soon be legal across America.

When you consider the overwhelming odds for those who oppose same-sex marriage, this seems reasonable. A recap:
  • Support for legalizing gay marriage is at the nation's highest in 20 years
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia
  • The federal government, including the military, by and large recognizes same sex couples
  • The president of the United States has embraced same-sex marriage
  • A Supreme Court decision expected any day now could expand gay marriage nationwide but almost certainly wouldn't do the opposite
The empathy factor also plays in gay marriage supporters' favor. A majority of Americans now think gays are born that way, according to a recent Gallup Poll. That helps supporters shift the debate to a civil rights issue.
Perhaps most importantly, this week's Pew survey found that nine in 10 Americans know someone who is gay. And simply knowing someone who's gay is a major indicator when it comes to whether people opposed to gay marriage will change their minds, according to the 14 percent of Americans (a large number for such a partisan entrenched issue) who told Pew in 2013 that they changed their mind in support of gay marriage.
"Once Americans became comfortable with gays on a personal level, it became easier to reconcile their opinions toward gays, and shift on gay marriage," Glen Bolger of the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies told our own Chris Cillizza last month.
In the face of all this, social conservatives seem to have moved on to other priorities. A scan of 10  prominent social conservative groups' websites finds only two have mentions of the same-sex marriage debate, and only one on its home page. The upcoming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare subsidies dominates the conservative base's digital ink.
Meanwhile, conservative supporters of same-sex marriage are arguably doing more than opponents. Alex Roarty in National Journal attended one such event recently:
"Even foes such as the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins acknowledge that Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and its allies this year are better organized in this fight than his side."
Republicans, whose official platform is that marriage is between a man and a woman, aren't blasting gay marriage the way they do the president's nuclear deal with Iran or Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal. GOP presidential candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker say they support constitutional amendments that let states define marriage as between one man and one woman, but also say they'd attend or have attended a gay friend or relative's wedding.
All this may not change the minds of social conservatives. But it seems to have convinced them to at least give up the fight.

Amber Phillips writes about politics for The Fix. She was previously the one-woman D.C. bureau for the Las Vegas Sun and has reported from Boston and Taiwan.

April 20, 2014

CNN: Right Wingers in US More Dangerous than Jihadists


On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler" after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now let's do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting "Heil Hitler" after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar." Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.
Yet the death toll in the shootings in Kansas is similar to that of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, where three people were killed and the suspects later killed a police officer as they tried to evade capture. (Many more, of course, were also wounded in the Boston attacks; 16 men, women and children lost limbs.)

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

"Since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies...have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.

(Although a variety of left wing militants and environmental extremists have carried out violent attacks for political reasons against property and individuals since 9/11, none have been linked to a lethal attack, according to research by the New America Foundation.)
Moreover, since 9/11 none of the more than 200 individuals indicted or convicted in the United States of some act of jihadist terrorism have acquired or used chemical or biological weapons or their precursor materials, while 13 individuals motivated by right wing extremist ideology, one individual motivated by left-wing extremist ideology, and two with idiosyncratic beliefs, used or acquired such weapons or their precursors.

Opinion: Why do racists and anti-Semites kill?

A similar attack to the one that Frazier Glenn Cross is accused of in Kansas occurred in August 2012 when Wade Michael Page killed six people in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Page was a member of a white supremacist band and associated with the Hammerskins, a white supremacist group. Page committed suicide during the attack.

Page is not, of course, the only right wing extremist to have used lethal violence to achieve political ends. In 2009, for instance, Shawna Forde, Albert Gaxiola, and Jason Bush raided a house in Arizona, killing Raul Flores and his daughter Brisenia. The three attackers sought to use the burglary to finance their anti-immigration vigilante group, Minutemen American Defense. Forde and Bush were convicted and sentenced to death. Gaxiola was sentenced to life in prison.

Also in 2009, Scott Roeder murdered Dr. George Tiller, who ran an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. In 2010 Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Roeder not only had ties to the extreme anti-abortion movement, but he also had been pulled over while driving with a fake license plate bearing the markings of the Sovereign Citizens, a movement of individuals who deny that the government has authority over them.

 Kansas shooting victim loved to sing Expert: Suspect hated by supremacists Son of shooting victim speaks to CNN
Of course, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, a man with deep ties to far-right militant circles. McVeigh killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995.

Despite this history of deadly violence by individuals motivated by political ideologies other than al Qaeda, it is jihadist violence that continues to dominate the news and the attention of policy makers.
Some of this is quite understandable. After all, on 9/11 al Qaeda's 19 terrorists killed almost 3,000 people in the space of a morning. Since then al Qaeda's branch in Yemen tried to bring down with a bomb secreted on a passenger an American commercial jet flying over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 and al Qaeda's branch in Pakistan tried to launch bombings on the New York subway system a few months earlier. Luckily those plots didn’t succeed, but certainly if they had the death toll would have been on a large scale.

Yet the disparity in media coverage between even failed jihadist terrorist attacks and this latest incident in Kansas is emblematic of a flawed division in the public’s mind between killing that is purportedly committed in the name of Allah and killing that is committed for other political ends, such as neo-Nazi beliefs about the need to kill Jews.

Part of the reason for this disconnect might be that when a Department of Homeland Security report warning of violent right wing extremism was leaked in 2009, it generated a substantial political controversy.

In a 2011 interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Daryl Johnson, the leader of the team that produced the report, argued that following the controversy, DHS's examination of such threats suffered, stating "Since our report was leaked, DHS has not released a single report of its own on this topic. Not anything dealing with non-Islamic domestic extremism—whether it’s anti-abortion extremists, white supremacists, 'sovereign citizens,' eco-terrorists, the whole gamut."

The threat from al Qaeda and its associated forces has changed significantly since 9/11. Today, almost 13 years after 9/11, al Qaeda has not successfully conducted another attack inside the United States. And since 2011, no individual charged with plotting to conduct an al Qaeda-inspired terrorist attack inside the United States has acted with more than one accomplice. This demonstrates the difficulties today of forming a jihadist group sufficiently large enough to conduct a complex attack anything on the scale of 9/11, and is a tribute to the success of law enforcement agencies in detecting and deterring jihadist terrorist activity.

Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.

Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden -- From 9/11 to Abbottabad." David Sterman is a research assistant at the New America Foundation.

Tyler Hite contributed research support for this article.

August 7, 2013

Strange Bedfellows American Conservatives and Gay Bashers in Russia

(This posting comes from Russian Newspaper RIA Novosti)

Politics, it has been said, makes strange bedfellows. 

Now, as US gay rights groups protest against Russia’s new laws on homosexuality, conservatives across America have quietly begun to align themselves with the Russian government in a rare union that defies a long history of animosity.
“Russia could be a great ally for conservatives, on issues like defending the family, abortions, even strengthening marriage and promoting more children,” said Larry Jacobs, managing director the World Congress of Families, an Illinois-based organization that promotes traditional family values in the US and abroad, in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Next year the group plans to hold its eighth annual International Congress in Moscow, a move Jacobs said was “absolutely” an indication of support for Russia’s growing conservative stance on a number of social issues. 
Other conservative groups are also joining what might seem to be an odd alliance.
"We fully support the widespread notion in Russia that homosexuality has no place in the teaching of children. We also welcome the leading role Russia is taking on this issue at the United Nations,” said Austin Ruse, president of theCatholic Family & Human Rights Institute, a US-based non-profit research group that works to defend life and family values around the world, in a statement to RIA Novosti.
“Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth,” said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), a group “dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda,” in a statement on the organization’s website. 
US conservatives have long opposed communist ideology and limitations of freedoms that were once the law of the land in the Soviet Union, a state the late US President Ronald Reagan once called an “evil empire.” 
“For 70 years we fought the communists, and some conservatives still associate Russia with a far left communist country, when the reality is, among the more powerful nations, Russia is one of the most conservative countries in the world,” Jacobs said.
In June, the group endorsed Russia’s ban on the promotion among minors of “non-traditional relationships.” Proponents both in Russia and in the United States argue that it shields children from harmful influences.
But the new law has outraged the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community and its supporters in the United States and elsewhere. They claim it potentially criminalizes everything from wearing a rainbow lapel pin to gay couples holding hands in public and effectively encourages persecution of homosexuals.
“A few marginal figures on the American anti-gay right, having lost the battle to criminalize and stigmatize homosexuality in the US, are now turning to foreign markets which they perceive as more receptive to their agenda,” said Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute and author of “Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.”
“The good news is that they don't have much of a constituency in the US… The not-so-good news is that they're capable of encouraging and legitimizing human-rights violators abroad,” Rauch added in a statement to RIA Novosti.
Conservatives say while they reject homosexuality, they also oppose violence.
"We deplore and condemn all forms of violence visited upon anyone including lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and the transgendered,” said Ruse. 
It is “a strange twist of historical fate” for conservative groups to look to Russia “as the world's foremost defender of traditional values,” said James Kirchick, an international journalist and fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based non-profit policy institute.
“After all, Russia today under the heel of President Vladimir Putin is arguably less free than it was in the late stages of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev,” Kirchick wrote in an article in The Daily Beast
Really, he wrote, the conservative’s new enthusiasm for men inside the Kremlin, “has everything to do with the Russian government’s anti-gay crackdown, a crackdown they relish seeing take place here in America.”
Not so, said Jacobs, the head of the World Congress of Families.
“Russians, a lot of those in the Orthodox Church and pro-family groups, they want to see Russia return to some stability and that only comes thru strong values and a return to morality,” he said, something he would welcome in America.
“But if you’ve ever seen what happens at a gay pride, there is pornography, they mimic sexual acts, there’s nudity. It is not just people wearing rainbow colors. If all they did was wave flags, that’d be great, I just haven’t seen one where that’s the case,” he added. 
  (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) –

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