Stevie Wonder Apologizes For Frank Ocean Comment
The Advocate reports:
In an exclusive statement to The Advocate, music legend Stevie Wonder apologizes for a previous comment that implied Frank Ocean might be confused about his sexual orientation, saying, “love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man.”
In an interview with the U.K. paper The Guardian, Wonder was asked about the media sensation caused by Ocean, the out hip-hop performer whose acclaimed hit album Channel Orange has drawn numerous comparisons with the veteran musician. “I think honestly, some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused,” Wonder said to the paper. “People can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected, they bond. I’m not saying all [gay people are confused]. Some people have a desire to be with the same sex. But that’s them.”
Wonder now clarifies his comment with an exclusive statement to The Advocate, saying, “I’m sorry that my words about anyone feeling confused about their love were misunderstood. No one has been a greater advocate for the power of love in this world than I; both in my life and in my music. Clearly, love is love, between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man. What I’m not confused about is the world needing much more love, no hate, no prejudice, no bigotry and more unity, peace and understanding. Period.”
Malta: Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Included In Hate Crime Laws
Pink News UK reports:
The Maltese parliament has extended its hate crime laws for the first time to protect citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The amendment to the hate crime laws, which until now made motives based only on religion, race and disability an aggravating factor in a criminal incident, came after a pair of attacks on lesbian women.
In January, a 16-year-old lesbian and her girlfriend were assaulted in a public square. The following month, another lesbian couple were physically attacked on a bus.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement welcomed the law, saying: “We thank both sides of the House for supporting this bill and sending a strong message to society that targeting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable and will incur tougher penalties.
“This Bill was proposed during a protest following the incident against two young lesbians in Hamrun earlier this year and was supported by aditus, We Are, LGBT Labour, Drachma and Drachma Parents, Graffitti, ADZ and Integra Foundation. The courage of these young people to report the crime played an important role in providing the required impetus to move forward with this legislative proposal which had been on MGRM’s agenda for a number of years.”
MGRM said the next step was to ensure police were properly trained in dealing with such crimes and in actively reaching out to the LGBT community to ensure that victims feel safe to come forward and report incidents.
It added: “We also look forward to the passing of a second bill which will extend the remit of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity. This is expected to take place this week. It will allow the Commission to act as mediator and to investigate allegations of discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
A survey by the news agency MaltaToday found support among the population for equal marriage rights among gay couples had risen over recent years to 41 percent with 51 percent opposed, compared with 28 percent support in 2007. Among 18-35s, the support rose to 60 percent.
CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Slams Pastor Curtis Knapp, Clarifies Message On Twitter
On Thursday morning, Early Start co-anchor Ashleigh Banfield felt compelled to weigh in on a story involving New Hope Baptist Church’s Pastor Curtis Knapp, who made headlines for saying that gay individuals should be put to death.
After showing a clip of Knapp sharing his point of view and reading a select passage from Leviticus, Banfield appeared upset over the pastor’s comparison of homosexuality with things like pedophilia and incest… but perhaps not for the reasons most often espoused:
- Pedophilia is not by choice, last I checked. In his sermon, Pastor Knapp blamed the Bush administration for its tolerance of gay people. Says that he claims that set the stage, in fact, for the Obama administration to endorse same-sex marriage.
- Like I said: they can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable. Speechless, right? […]
- Again, we gotta outline here, when he says “they punish incest and pedophilia”… Please. Those things are often not by choice and are crimes. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people; it is voluntary.
Need 2 clarify. Incest and pedophelia are CRIMES & victims have no choice. Being gay is not. Relatnshps r by choice. Way of life not crime.— Ashleigh Banfield (@CNNAshleigh) junio 1, 2012
Being gay is not a choice. Being in consensual relationship is. I support LGBT people. I do not support pastor who says its a crime.— Ashleigh Banfield (@CNNAshleigh) junio 1, 2012
Dan Savage: On “Bullshit” & “Pansy-Assed”
Dan had to issue an apology for using some words on his speech before the National High School Journalism Conference (which I really do not understand why all of the sudden everybody is bitching about, cause really, isn’t it the kind of critique Dan usually delivers, even on National TV?), and now, of course, wingnuts are launching a campaign against him (including those hypocrites at GOProud). Here’s Dan’s full post:
I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-assed move. I wasn’t calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that’s a distinction without a difference—kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they “love the sinner, hate the sin.” They’re often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person’s actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by “love the sinner, hate the sin” because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of “pansy-assed” was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.
As for what I said about the Bible…
A smart Christian friend involved politics writes: “In America today you just can’t refer, even tangentially, to someone’s religion as ‘bullshit.’ You should apologize for using that word.”
I didn’t call anyone’s religion bullshit. I did say that there is bullshit—”untrue words or ideas“—in the Bible. That is being spun as an attack on Christianity. Which is bullshhh… which is untrue. I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying “motivated by faith”)—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else. I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe.
On other occasions I’ve made the same point without using the word bullshit…
- We can learn to ignore what the bible says about gay people the same way we have learned to ignore what the Bible says about clams and figs and farming and personal grooming and menstruation and masturbation and divorce and virginity and adultery and slavery. Let’s take slavery. We ignore what the Bible says about slavery in both the Old and New Testaments. And the authors of the Bible didn’t just fail to condemn slavery. They endorsed slavery: “Slaves obey your masters.” In his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris writes that the Bible got the easiest moral question humanity has ever faced wrong. The Bible got slavery wrong. What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? I’d put those odds at about 100%.
- It shouldn’t be hard for modern Christians to ignore what the bible says about gay people because modern Christians—be they conservative fundamentalists or liberal progressives—already ignore most of what the Bible says about sex and relationships. Divorce is condemned in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus Christ condemned divorce. Yet divorce is legal and there is no movement to amend state constitutions to ban divorce. Deuteronomy says that if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night she shall be dragged to her father’s doorstep and stoned to death. Callista Gingrich lives. And there is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone the third Mrs. Gingrich to death.
…and maybe I shouldn’t have used the word bullshit in this instance. But while it may have been a regrettable word choice, my larger point stands: If believers can ignore what the Bible says about slavery, they can ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality. (The Bible also says some beautiful things that are widely ignored: “Sell what you possess and give to the poor… and come, follow me.” You better get right on that, Joel.)
Finally, here’s Mark Twain on the Bible:
- It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
I’m not guilty of saying anything that hasn’t been said before and—yes—said much better. What is “bullshit” in this context but “upwards of a thousand lies” in modern American English? And while those slamming me most loudly for “pansy-assed” may be on the right, they are also in the right. I see their point and, again, I apologize for describing the walk-out as “pansy-assed.” But they are wrong when they claim that I “attacked Christianity.” There are untrue things in the Bible—and the Koran and the Book of Mormon and every other “sacred” text—and you don’t have to take my word for it: just look at all the biblical “shoulds,” “shall nots,” and “abominations” that religious conservatives already choose to ignore. They know that not everything in the Bible is true.
All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically—and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out.
Dan Savage writes:
Some rightwing religious homophobes—who are probably gay themselves (SCIENCE says so!)—are trying to popularize the term “sodomy-based marriage.” They want their fellow haters and to use it in place of “gay marriage.”
I don’t think of my marriage as “sodomy-based.” I think of it as “sodomy-enhanced”—just like the marriages of millions of straight couples.
Is Some Homophobia Self Phobia?
Science Daily reports:
Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates. The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies. Conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, the research will be published the April issue of theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology. “Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.
Cynthia Nixon: Being Bisexual Is Not A Choice
The Advocate reports:
Actress Cynthia Nixon is bisexual and that “is not a choice,” she said in an exclusive statement to The Advocate.
The former star of Sex and the City who is now on Broadway in Wit has been the focus of heated discussion among the LGBT community because of a comment she made to The New York TimesMagazineearlier this month.
“For me, it is a choice,” she had said of being in a relationship with Christine Marinoni, who she has a child with and plans to marry. In a follow-up interview with The Daily Beast, she revealed that gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson will be marrying the couple.
It was while talking to the Beast that Nixon, who was in a relationship with a man for 15 years and had two children, said she’s bisexual. And she admitted being leery of identifying by any label, especially that one. “Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals,” she told the Beast.
Outrage spread online that Nixon might be saying being gay is not genetic, followed by discussions of whether it even matters. Now Nixon is clarifying her words in a carefully thought-out statement, with the hope that finally what she intended to say comes through.
Read the complete statement below.
“My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can’t and shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:
“While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.
“As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community — as well as the majority of heterosexuals — cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex.
“Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens.”
“I welcome the diversity of opinion between Cynthia Nixon and John Aravosis and others on this topic. But I don’t think Nixon is wrong to “choose” how she defines her own life. If the right wing does use her words as a way to attack our community, I don’t think it will be any more vile than what they already do. They try to “cure” us and deny our civil rights no matter what the basis of our true selves. We have a common enemy here, and it is not Cynthia Nixon, or those like her who come out as proud in their own unique identity.
Yes, some of us may be born this way, and if you believe this, more power to you. But I welcome anyone into our big tent, regardless of their genitals and the genitals they love.”
Talking about the controversy that Cynthia Nixon’s choice of words created when talking about her sexual orientation to The New York Times.