Monday, June 29, 2009

White House Support of Gays and Lesbians

Today, for the first time ever, the White House held a reception to commemorate the Stonewall riots, an event that is frequently cited as the beginning of the Gay rights movement in the United States.

Today's reception, in combination with other events, shows clear Presidential support for Gays and Lesbians. This support is coming not only in the form of rhetoric or pageantry, but through a very significant appointment in the area of education.

Kevin Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network has been appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education.

Read more about these events and their implication in our latest TwoMinuteBriefing, available by clicking here, or by visiting

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LDS Church Urged to Reconcile with Gays and Lesbians

Describing themselves as "an organization of LDS Members, former members and others who believe in the equal value of every soul regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or worldly condition," the Committee for Reconciliation has launched a website to petition the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to reconcile with gay and lesbians.

Although the site does indicate that individuals who have been hurt by "mistreatment, misunderstanding, or demonization as a consequence of the LDS church's official policies, actions, and teachings" must reject seeking redress through hostility against the Church, most of message is directed at what they feel Church leaders must do.

Essentially they call upon the Church to disavow its teachings of homosexuality as sin, acknowledge that scriptures have been used out of context to condemn homosexuality, and repudiating reparative practices.

The site, called clearly seeks an effectual "apology" from the Church.

The website states that they are not anti-Mormon nor are they affiliated or sympathetic to anti-mormon groups or agends, but rather that they simply wish to affirm their "love and devotion to the Christian principles upon which [the] Church was founded."

This sentance implies, of course, that the Church in taking a position against homosexuality, is not abiding by or has strayed from Christin principles.

Whether intentional or not, the Committee for Reconciliation is using the technique known as "jamming" as described in the TwoMinuteBriefing Selling Homosexuality. In this case, the technique is being used to try to substitute feelings of religious conviction and commitment towards the LDS Church with feelings the the Church is bigoted, unreasonable, and hurtful. They do this by emphasizing their love of everyone, while pointing out how hurtful the Church's policies have been.

To access the Committee for Reconciliation website, click here.

To read the Salt Lake Tribune story on the Committee, click here.

To read the Deseret News story on the Committee, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Presidential Memo Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

Today, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum extending limited benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers.

President Obama acknowledged that under current law (referring to the Defense of Marriage Act) full benefits could not be given to same-sex partners of federal workers. The President then announced his support of a bill entitled the Domestic Partner's Benefits and Obligations Act which would "guarantee these rights for all federal employees".

The President pledged to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that he believed it to be discriminatory and that it interfered with state's rights.

In stating that the memorandum he signed today would pave the way for, "long overdue progress in our nation's pursuit of equality," the President was in a sense echoing the sentiment of the California Supreme Court in its same-sex marriage decision of 2008 (In Re Marriage) in which the Court essentially noted that because all other benefits had been granted to same-sex couples, the state demonstrated that it had no vested interest in not allowing same-sex couples to exist as families, and hence should be granted the right of marriage.

TwoMinuteBriefing believes that the President is correct in saying that the signing of this memorandum today begins the paving of the road that will move us in the direction of granting full rights, including marriage, to same-sex couples at the federal level.

To read the CNN coverage of this story, click here.
To read the ABC News coverage of this story, click here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Transsexual/Transgender Rights Matter

On June 11th, various news sources announced that Chastity Bono, the only daughter of Sonny and Cher, had begun sex change procedures earlier this year.

Although the transsexual/transgender segment of the population is very small, their fight for rights, and the attention they are receiving in the media, are a significant assault both on the traditional family, and on those religious authorities and denominations that proclaim that gender is divinely assigned.

Read about this issue in the TwoMinuteBriefing - Why Transsexual/Transgender Rights Matter.

To access the PDF file, click here.

The (Mormon) Church and Gay Marriage

Time Magazine has published an article online entitled "The Church and Gay Marriage: Are Mormons Misunderstood?" Although already available online, the article is dated Monday, June 22, 2009.

The article describes the involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California Proposition 8 campaign in some detail, including the theological underpinnings for its opposition to same-sex marriage.

In commenting on this article, a posting on's Salt Lake City page agrees that religions should be allowed to "fight for what they view as right". However, the article immediately goes on to quote a talk by Mark E. Peterson given at BYU in 1954 in which he warns against the "Negro" desiring not only equal rights but "absorption with the white race" through intermarriage.

The Examiner article concludes by stating that just as the "morality", as defined by the Church in 1954, opposed civil rights, the Church's "morality" opposes civil rights today. "The arguments haven't changed, only the target of discrimination."

To access the Time Magazine article, click here.
To access the article, click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Hampshire Legalizes Same-sex Marriage

Last week, Governor John Lynch signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire.

The bill signed by the Governor had been revised at his request to specify that religious organization would not be forced to participate in same-sex unions or be required to allow same-sex marriages to occur on their properties.

Still, some felt that the bill did not go far enough to protect those who object to same-sex marriages. For example, whereas religious organizations and their employees are protected from being forced to participate in same-sex marriages, florists, caterers, or photographers are not.

With regard to the signing of the bill, Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is quoted in a New York Times articles as saying, "our culture is moving to equality."

To read the New York Times story, click here.

Summit County, Utah, Will Study Giving Health Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Summit County in Utah is examining the possibility of giving health benefits to unmarried domestic partners of county employees, including same-sex partners.

Some may feel that the granting of health benefits to same-sex partners is relatively innocuous.

However, the Supreme Court of California in its 2008 decision in the In Re Marriage cases specifically sited the existence of same-sex domestic partnerships, and the privileges granted to those partnerships, as the rational for determining that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

To view the Salt Lake Tribune story, click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gay Marriage Supporters Sound the Warning - The Mormons are Coming!

Acting upon their sentiment that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) played a significant role in the passage of Prop. 8 in California, the Group Californians Against Hate have sought to place ads on newspaper web sites in the states of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maine warning readers that "The Mormons are coming!"

The ads were rejected by sites in three of the states, including Maine's Kennebec Journal which the Washington Post reported as feeling that the ad "borders on insulting and denigrating a whole set of people based on their religion."

Fred Karger, formerly a Republican campaign consultant and founder of Californians Against Hate, feels that Mormons are the "nicest people" and that "they do wonderful things." However, his goal "is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims."

As a political strategist, he knows his numbers, and will seek to take advantage of the fact that almost 80% of Americans know or work with a gay person, while slightly less than 50% know a Mormon.

Whereas this could be viewed as a challenge to the LDS Church, it may actually be an opportunity for them to spur their members on to become overall more visible, more openly "Mormon" with their colleagues, their neighbors and their friends.

To read the Washington Post article, click here.
To read Fred Krager's comments on The Huffington Post, click here.

Cheney Favors State-by-State Decisions on Gay Marriage

The Washington Post reported this week that former vice president Richard Cheney has come out in favor of Gay Marriage as decided on a state-by-state basis.

Cheney is quoted as saying, "people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kid of arrangement they wish."

Cheney has a personal interest in the matter, given that his youngest daughter is a lesbian and has a longtime partner.

That someone as prominent in the Republican party would make such a clear statement favoring Gay Marriage brings to mind the issues discussed by TwoMinuteBriefing in its analysis, Moral Right or Political Might which noted that some Republican party insiders were encouraging the party to acquiesce on Gay Marriage in order to stay politically viable.

To read the Washington Post article, click here.
To access the TwoMinuteBriefing analysis Moral Right or Political Might, click here, or visit:

Harvard to Have a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Endowed Chair

A New York Times article reports that Harvard will endow a chair for visiting scholars who are studying sexuality or sexual minorities. It is currently assumed that visiting professors will be invited to teach on campus for one semester.

The position has been made possible by a donation of a reported $1.5 million from the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender studies are relatively new in the U.S. The first university program in this area was started in 1986 at the City University of New York.

Harvard University believes, however, that theirs will be the first endowed, named chair in this subject.

This move by Harvard is another modest indicator of how the acceptability of Homosexuality in U.S. academic circles.

To read the New York Times story, click here.

Catholic Charities Must Allow Gay Adoption in England and Wales

On June 1st, a English Charity Tribunal (administrative court) ruled that Catholic Care must consider same-sex couples as potential foster or adoptive parents, or otherwise they could not continue to operate as an adoption agency.

Catholic Care is the social services agency of the Diocese of Leeds.

The ruling was based on an application of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007.

Most of the 11 other Catholic adoption agencies in England and Wales have chosen to become independent "secular" agencies in order to continue operations while not violating the Catholic Church's stand regarding same-sex unions.

In January of 2007, the Church of England had expressed its opinion that the Catholic Church should be exempt from the application of this Act. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, in a joint letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that the, "rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation."


British court: Church adoption agency must include same-sex couples
Catholic charities breaking law on homosexual adotion
Church of England supports Catholic position on homosexual adoption

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fairfax High in Los Angeles Elects Gay Male Prom Queen

Sergio Garcia, a gay male Fairfax High student, was elected prom queen this month.

Prior to his election, he assured his classmates that if selected, he would not wear a dress. He is quoted as saying:
I will be wearing a suit, but don't be fooled, deep down inside, I am a queen!
Garcia indicated that this all started out as a stunt and challenge, but ended up being a serious effort which generated discussion at the school about gender roles. He told his senior class audience:
At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it's no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes. Sure, I'm not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye.
Although not all Fairfax High students supported Garcia, some, including senior class president Vanessa Lo, felt Garcia's election showed the open-mindedness of the senior class.

Virginia Uribe, founder of Project 10 which is a district wide on-site support program for Gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender youth, felt that Garcia's election is an indication of where society is now on gay rights. She is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, "Gender-bending is just kind of in".

Garcia's success in being elected Prom Queen brings to Robin Byler's statement, posted to this blog on August 20, 2008, in which she declared that the Gay Marriage battle was already won, although perhaps for the next generation, because young people already believed in it.
A solid majority of young people under the age of 24 believe that same gender partners should have the right to marry. So the Supreme Court is just one more battle in a war we have already won, be it for the next generation.” (emphasis added) (Robin Byler, Lesbian News, March 2008, Vol. 33 Issue 8, p. 9)

To read the Los Angeles Times story, click here.
To read the KTLA story, click here.

Additional resource: California Safe Schools Coalition

- TwoMinuteBriefing thanks JP for recommending this story.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Federal Lawsuit Filed to Overturn Prop. 8

On Wednesday May 27, Theodore B. Olson and David Boies held a news conference and announced that they had filed a complaint in federal court requesting a permanent injunction against implementation of Prop. 8 and a judgment that Prop. 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution as well as 42 U.S.C. 1983.

Olson and Boies represented George Bush and Al Gore respectively in the 2000 presidential election case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court. They have joined together and created the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which according to its website, "is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American through legal, policy and political advocacy."

Their first project, is the federal court challange to Prop. 8.


American Foundation for Equal Rights
American Foundation for Equal Rights Facebook on Facebook
American Foundation for Equal Rights Federal Complaint

Church of Scotland Endorses Gay Minister

When Rev. Scott Rennie, who is openly gay, was appointed last year as minister of Queen's Cross Parish Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, a rift began to appear similar to that which has been experienced by the Episcopal Church over the last few years.

Rennie was elected to his post by 86% of the church's congregation, and that vote was ratified by the Presbytery of Aberdeen last January by a vote of 60 to 24.

However, the Presbytery of Lochcarron and Skye filed a motion seeking to exclude homosexuals from ministry in the Church of Scotland. Also, a group called The Fellowship of Confessing Churches collected 5,000 signatures on a petition to "defend Christian Orthodoxy" and to not "condone homosexual practice in general and among its leaders in particular".

On May 24th, CNN reported that the church's ruling body had voted 326 to 267 to support Rev. Rennie's appointment.

Read the London TimesOnline story by clicking here.
Read the CNN story by clicking here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Selling of Homosexuality

The din subsequent to the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 to be issued May 26th at 10:00 a.m. may cause attention to focus on the protests, the protesters, their cause etc. and by doing so, two critical points may become lost: first, the legal decision itself, and second, and perhaps more important, how the protest or celebrations themselves fit into the broader plan of selling homosexuality to America.

Read about how a plan written in 1990 for selling Homosexuality to America is being implemented today in a new TwoMinuteBriefing entitled “The Selling of Homosexuality”.

To access this TwoMinuteBriefing, visit or simply click here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Official - California Supreme Court WILL Issue an Opinion on Proposition 8 on Tuesday

The California Supreme Court website has posted the following information:
The California Supreme Court has announced that it will issue an opinion in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (Strauss v. Horton, S168047; Tyler v. State of California, S168066; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078.) Tuesday at 10 a.m., the opinion will be available on the California Courts Web site at this link:

California Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage Expected Soon

Several news sources are reporting that the California Supreme Court Decision on proposition 8 and the future of Gay Marriage in California is imminent. Some had speculated that the decision would be handed down yesterday, but are now expecting the decision on Tuesday.

Some groups favoring Gay Marriage are anticipating that proposition 8 will be upheld, and are planning accordingly. One of the more interesting approaches is being taken by the group Equality California. They have started a campaign entitled "Win Marriage Back". Their campaign plans to feature a concertedgrass roots effort, along with what they describe as "powerful" TV commercials.


Equality California - Win Marriage Back
San Francisco Bay Times - Here Comes Da Justice! California to Rule Soon
SF City Hall Examiner - Prop 8 Ruling Will Come Out Soon! It's Prediction Time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gay Advocacy Group to Monitor Web Ad Creative

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has announced plans to monitor online ads in order to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are being portrayed in a positive light.

It should be noted that this fits one aspect of a pro-gay campaign designed to make homosexuality acceptable to the general population. Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, in their book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s, discuss the importance of creating a constant flood of gay-related advertising which should be presented in a non-offensive manner. By repeated exposure, the public would eventually become accustomed to having gay-related material in front of them.

In a statement given to ClickZ, an online network for marketers, GLAAD said, "Our goal is to promote more fair, accurate, and inclusive images."

It seems that GLAAD, intentionally or unintentionally, is following the recommendations of Kirk and Madsen.

Read the ClickZ article here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gay-marriage momentum stalls in R.I.

Rhode Island is bucking the trend sweeping New England of accepting same-sex marriage. An AP story posted on MSNBC states that religion is likely the biggest hurdle. Results from a Trinity College survey showed that 46% of Rhode Islanders identify themselves as being Roman Catholic making their state the most Catholic state in the Union.

Bishop of Providence Rhode Island Thomas J. Tobin has been unwaveringly firm in his denunciation of same-sex marriage. He has blamed the progress of same-sex marriage in part on "abysmal" Catholic apathy, has reemphasized Catholic teachings on sexual morality, and has stated that same-sex "marriage" is a threat to religious freedom.

In a Catholic News Agency story, Bishop Tobin is quoted as saying, “The gay culture continues to seep into our popular culture, cleverly claiming credibility."

Whereas some see this as an issue of civil rights, Bishop Tobin is quoted in the AP story as saying, "We don't see it as a civil rights issue because there's never a right to do something that's morally wrong."

As would be expected, some in favor of same-sex marriage see this as just another example of religion teaching bigotry. In a comment posted to the Catholic News Service story, one individual wrote:
The Catholic Church and the Mormon Church need to get together. Oh...they did in California. Never mind that the Mormon leaders call the Catholic Church the "Whore of All the Earth". Believe me I know they do, I was a missionary for the Church...No longer am a member of it, nor of any church. Almost all churches teach hate and I really don't want to be a part of any of them.
To read the AP/MSNBC story, click here.
To read the Catholic News Service story, click here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Girls Kissing Girls

In 2008, pop rocker Katy Perry scored a number one hit with the song, “I Kissed A Girl”.

Shocking as the song and video might seem to those upholding traditional mores and family values, the popularity of this song would seem to illustrate that another traditional value is going by the wayside.

The social acceptability of same-sex intimacy between girls or women is noted to by the fact that Katy Perry’s song remained the number one song on Billboard’s “Hot 100” for seven weeks. The song and video received five MTV Video Music Award nominations, and a Grammy Award nomination.

In terms of its influence on the upcoming generation, it should be noted that the song received a Teen Choice Award nomination, and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award nomination.

But whereas same-sex intimacy might once have been considered a declaration of sexual orientation, this is no longer the case. More voices are stating that girls and women are naturally sexually flexible, and are capable of moving between same-sex and opposite sex relationships. Popular culture is telling girls and women that having a same-sex romantic relationship now, does not preclude their having a heterosexual relationships in the future.

Whereas some might believe that encouraging sexually flexibility among girls and women is liberating, other see this as yet another attack on the traditional family.

For a more complete discussion of this issue, read the complete TwoMinuteBriefing entitled "Sexual Flexibility - Another Attack on the Traditional Family" at

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Domestic Partnerships - Gay Marriage

Susan Estrich, in her commentary entitled The Real World of Gay Marriage states:

But calling it a "domestic partnership" rather than a "marriage" is a slap in the face, either a distinction without a real difference (and thus unjustified) or a sign of inferior status, of lesser rights and second-class citizenship that cannot be justified by any interest of the states. Religions are free to marry whomever they want; what the Bible does or doesn't say, however, is not the province of the State. No one is telling the Mormon Church what it can do with respect to gay marriage. The Mormon Church should not be telling us.

This commentary was headlined in Rasmussen Reports daily public opinion update of March 6, 2009, which of course was the day that arguments were presented before the Supreme Court of California regarding the legality of Proposition 8, passed last November by California voters.

As other states look to pass “domestic partnership” arrangements, Susan Estrich’s statement above and California’s example should be carefully examined. It was California’s then existing “domestic partnership” arrangements that the Supreme Court of California used in part to justify its pro gay marriage decision in the In Re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757 [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384], and which ultimately has led to the Prop 8 battle before the court today.

READ Susn Estrich’s commentary in Rasmussen Report here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Targeting Prop 8 Supporters

Since the November election last year, and the passage of Proposition 8 in California, there have been many news stories of individuals who financially supported Proposition 8 being targeted, and in some cases threatened with boycotts because of their support. While the list of who donated on either side of this issue is a matter of public record, the use of this information to target supporters of Proposition 8 seems antithetical to allowing the political process to function unencumbered from harassment.

A web site now exists which provides a Google map "mashup" with the data of who donated in support of Proposition 8. With the functionality of Google maps, one can pick any town and zoom in and find markers indicating the homes of those donated to pass Proposition 8.

TwoMinuteBriefing believes that this is a highly inappropriate use of this data. The creation of donor lists was for the intent of disclosing whether certain corporations or individuals were seeking to unduly influence the political process through their donations. The creation of donor lists was NOT done for the intent of allowing either side of an issue to then harass those on the other side of an issue.

TwoMinuteBriefing also found that while the owners of most websites use their names or company name when registering a website, the creators of one specific "mashup" map have hidden their names by registering their website through an anonymizer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

PepsiCo Helps Support the Gay Agenda

On January 8th, the American Family Foundation set an email to its Action Alert subscribers with the headline, "PepsiCo gives $1,000,000 to help promote the gay agenda.

The American Family Foundation (AFA)notes that in the last two years, Pepsi has given $500,000 to both the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a pro-gay political action group which describe itself as working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equal rights, and to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

Because PepsiCo is donating to these Gay actions groups is such a significant manner, AFA is calling for a boycott of Pepsi products, including the products of its subsidiaries including Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, and Gatorade.

AFA's email