Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Think Progress comments on the real cost of "ex-gay" therapy like that performed by Marcus Bachmann:
Beliefs that gay people need to be “cured” of their sexual orientation also contribute to harassment and violence against gay people and anyone else who doesn’t conform to rigid stereotypes of gender and sexuality. In 2008, more than 2,400 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people were victims of crimes perpetrated against them on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Significant underreporting means that the actual number of hate crimes against gay and transgender people is probably much higher than the statistics show. Ex-gay therapy tears at the mental health of gay people while contributing to the poisonous attitudes that mark them as targets for violence and discrimination. And for this “therapy,” it’s society as a whole that foots the bill: every blow at the ability of gay people to take care of themselves and their families has its costs, whether in the loss of a job because of harassment, days missed at school because of bullying, or medical bills for dealing with depression or the aftermath of violence.
"Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay. And so we are not here tonight -- in fact, I wish this whole room was filled with the gay community -- because we'd reach our hand out in love. The Love Won Out conference was here not too long ago in the Twin Cities, and it’s profoundly sad to recognize that almost all, if not all, individuals who have gone into the lifestyle have been abused at one time in their life, either by a male or by a female." - Rep. Michele Bachmann, speaking in 2004.
Mitt Romney has refused to sign the virulently anti-gay pledge that the hate group Iowa Leader is demanding of all GOP presidential candidates.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, told The Associated Press in a written statement Tuesday that Romney "strongly supports traditional marriage," but that the oath "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign." Bachmann and Santorum have been campaigning hard to court the influential social conservatives in Iowa, which holds the nation's first caucuses. Romney's rejection of the pledge reflects his diminished focus on winning Iowa, where he spent $10 million during his 2008 presidential campaign only to finish second. None of the other GOP presidential hopefuls, including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have said whether they will sign the pledge.
It remains unclear whether California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the LGBT history bill approved earlier this month by the state legislature. Brown is under enormous pressure from anti-gay hate groups nationwide. Equality California weighs in:
As a community we must convince Governor Brown to sign the FAIR Education Act (SB 48 - Leno). We don't have a lot of time. Please email him today. http://tinyurl.com/sb48-b . This critical bill would ensure that students in public schools learn about the LGBT civil rights movement and the contributions of LGBT people to other movements and to society. With this bill, we will have the opportunity to define who we are, instead of being defined by harmful messages filled with bigotry that dehumanize us. We believe that learning about the heroic struggles of LGBT individuals and our diverse LGBT communities brings an understanding that prevents violence against our LGBT youth and those perceived as LGBT regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We are shifting the conversation. Instead of being stigmatized, marginalized and demonized, people will understand that we have a proud legacy and heritage of struggle and contribution.Hit this link to sign Equality California's petition to Brown. Or call his office directly: 916.445.2841.