Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sex Scandals Galore

In addition to the US Attorney from Tallahassee who wanted to have sex with a 5 year old (read more), here are some more recent sex scandals involving Christians and supposed "ex-gay" counselors (thanks to Dan Savage's column and blog for much of this info):

Ex-Jeff Co. pastor faces child-sex counts, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Authorities in California have charged a Baptist minister who once served in Jefferson County with 107 felony counts of sexually molesting two girls under the age of 14.


Youth Minister Pleads Guilty, from the Amador (CA) Ledger-Dispatch:
John Magsayo, 28, pled guilty Friday to two felony counts for oral copulation of minors under 16 and 18, respectively, for which he will receive five years felony probation.

Formerly an intern youth pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Jackson, Magsayo was found in a van with three underage girls by an Amador County Sheriff's Office deputy on Electra Road on Dec. 17, 2006. He avoided alcohol-related charges that could have doubled the seven years he originally faced.


And not to be outdone: "Ex-Gay" Counselor Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Male Client as reported on Gay Rights Watch:
Truth Wins Out expressed relief today that Christopher Austin, an 'ex-gay' counselor in Irving, Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting a client. Austin was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received seven years probation, had to register as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Employment Non Discrimination Act

The ENDA comes up for a vote on the House floor soon. Section 4 of HR 2015 says:

(a) Employer Practices- It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer--
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the individual, because of such individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the employees or applicants for employment of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment or otherwise adversely affect the status of the individual as an employee, because of such individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The same practices mentioned for employers hold true for employment agencies, labor organizations, and training programs.

Of course, this act is being seen as a threat to all good Christians, if by good Christians one means Evangelicals like the borderline insane James Dobson of Focus on the Family. An FotF press release of 9/14/07 calls for action to prevent HR 2015 from becoming law, calling it a "dangerous legislation [that] would put homosexuals' rights above employers." R. Britton Brown Jr., Chairman of the Board of the Christian Business Association (CBA) adds: "It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to rise up and speak the truth in love. Individual rights of homosexuals do not supersede the individual rights of Christians, and especially not those who own a business and provide jobs to our nation." It is ironic though, that when one goes to the CBAs website and click on the link to Christian Business Tips, they get this little nugget of advice, from Psalms 16:11: "The Lord demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard." Fairness, apparently does not apply to the GLBT community however.

The name of this blog notwithstanding, not all Christians are opposed to the ENDA - just the right wing nut jobs like James Dobson. Religious Tolerance calls the FotF criticism flat out wrong, saying of the wording in ENDA:

"A covered entity, in connection with employment or employment opportunities, shall not --
1. subject an individual to different standards or treatment on the basis of sexual orientation;
2. discriminate against an individual based on the sexual orientation of persons with whom such an individual is believed to associate or to have associated; or
3. otherwise discriminate against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation"

The bill would ban any affirmative action policy which might benefit gays and lesbians. The Military, religious organizations, and employers with fewer than 15 employees would be allowed to continue to discriminate against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation. In practice, this would victimize bisexuals and homosexuals

They add: "Many opponents of ENDA are either hopelessly misinformed or intentionally lie about the bill's precise contents. It is worth noting that the bill will protect the rights of heterosexual and bisexual workers as well as gays and lesbians."

HR 2015 will come to the floor of the House soon. I encourage you to contact your Representative and ask them to support the passage of the bill. If you do not already know who your Representative is, you can find that information by clicking here.

Don't give in to the James Dobson's of the world, support the Employment Non Discrimination Act. There are several petitions online that you can sign; one, supported by the Human Rights Campaign, can be accessed here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why this blog and why now?

If you have been following the rants and raves section of the Iowa City Craigslist, you already know the answer to the question. If you are offended by rabidly homophobic, highly bigoted, and inarticulate and irrational outbursts from hypocrites hiding behind their Bibles, then don't read the section.

I for one however, am tired of Christians slamming their agenda down the throats of the rest of America. And so, this blog.

I encourage you to bird-dog the candidates and ask them if they truly believe in the Constitutional restraints quoted at the bottom of this blog. It would at least be a start to a more rational dialog.