Tag Archives: HRC

Pro-gay web site tells real story of the Matthew Shepard murder

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery
I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

A fascinating article from the pro-gay The Advocate.

Excerpt:

What if nearly everything you thought you knew about Matthew Shepard’s murder was wrong? What if our most fiercely held convictions about the circumstances of that fatal night of October 6, 1998, have obscured other, more critical, aspects of the case? How do people sold on one version of history react to being told that facts are slippery — that thinking of Shepard’s murder as a hate crime does not mean it was a hate crime? And how does it color our understanding of such a crime if the perpetrator and victim not only knew each other but also had sex together, bought drugs from one another, and partied together?

None of this is idle speculation; it’s the fruit of years of dogged investigation by journalist Stephen Jimenez, himself gay. In the course of his reporting, Jimenez interviewed over 100 subjects, including friends of Shepard and of his convicted killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, as well as the killers themselves (though by the book’s end you may have more questions than answers about the extent of Henderson’s complicity).  In the process, he amassed enough anecdotal evidence to build a persuasive case that Shepard’s sexuality was, if not incidental, certainly less central than popular consensus has lead us to believe.

And here are the details:

But in what circumstances does someone slam a seven-inch gun barrel into their victim’s head so violently as to crush his brain stem? That’s not just flipping out, that’s psychotic — literally psychotic, to anyone familiar with the long-term effects of methamphetamine. In court, both the prosecutor and the plaintiffs had compelling reasons to ignore this thread, but for Jimenez it is the central context for understanding not only the brutality of the crime but the milieu in which both Shepard and McKinney lived and operated.

By several accounts, McKinney had been on a meth bender for five days prior to the murder, and spent much of October 6 trying to find more drugs. By the evening he was so wound up that he attacked three other men in addition to Shepard. Even Cal Rerucha, the prosecutor who had pushed for the death sentence for McKinney and Henderson, would later concede on ABC’s 20/20 that “it was a murder that was driven by drugs.”
No one was talking much about meth abuse in 1998, though it was rapidly establishing itself in small-town America, as well as in metropolitan gay clubs, where it would leave a catastrophic legacy. In Wyoming in the late 1990s, eighth graders were using meth at a higher rate than 12th graders nationwide. It’s hardly surprising to learn from Jimenez that Shepard was also a routine drug user, and — according to some of his friends — an experienced dealer. (Although there is no real evidence for supposing that Shepard was using drugs himself on the night of his murder).

Despite the many interviews, Jimenez does not entirely resolve the true nature of McKinney’s relationship to Shepard, partly because of his unreliable chief witness. McKinney presents himself as a “straight hustler” turning tricks for money or drugs, but others characterize him as bisexual. A former lover of Shepard’s confirms that Shepard and McKinney had sex while doing drugs in the back of a limo owned by a shady Laramie figure, Doc O’Connor. Another subject, Elaine Baker, tells Jimenez that Shepard and McKinney were friends who had been in sexual threesome with O’Connor. A manager of a gay bar in Denver recalls seeing photos of McKinney and Henderson in the papers and recognizing them as patrons of his bar. He recounts his shock at realizing “these guys who killed that kid came from inside our own community.”

Not everyone is interested in hearing these alternative theories. When 20/20 engaged Jimenez to work on a segment revisiting the case in 2004, GLAAD bridled at what the organization saw as an attempt to undermine the notion that anti-gay bias was a factor; Moises Kaufman, the director and co-writer of The Laramie Project, denounced it as “terrible journalism,” though the segment went on to win an award from the Writers Guild of America for best news analysis of the year.

There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness. In his book, Flagrant Conduct, Dale Carpenter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, similarly unpicks the notorious case of Lawrence v. Texas, in which the arrest of two men for having sex in their own bedroom became a vehicle for affirming the right of gay couples to have consensual sex in private. Except that the two men were not having sex, and were not even a couple. Yet this non-story, carefully edited and taken all the way to the Supreme Court, changed America.

In different ways, the Shepard story we’ve come to embrace was just as necessary for shaping the history of gay rights as Lawrence v. Texas; it galvanized a generation of LGBT youth and stung lawmakers into action. President Obama, who signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named for Shepard and James Byrd Jr., into law on October 28, 2009, credited Judy Shepard for making him “passionate” about LGBT equality.

I think that it’s good that The Advocate posted this correction to the story. I admire them for being willing to tell the truth about the story. However, note that the author is not sorry that a fake version of the case was used to push the gay agenda forward. Now what if the same willingness to twist the truth was shared by the gay activists who are redefining the issues in the culture as a whole? What if the people who are pushing the gay agenda in schools, in the media, in the workplace, and elsewhere, had the same willingness to twist the truth in order to advance their cause?

It’s also helpful to understand the media bias angle of this story. Are they really interested in telling the truth? Or is there something else going on there? How much of a story was the attack on the Family Research Council building by a gun-wielding gay activist compared to the Matthew Shepard story? How much of a story is the persecution of Christians in the Middle East compared to the Matthew Shepard story? How much of a story is the loss of basic human rights like free speech and religious liberty here at home when compared to the Matthew Shepard story?

Breitbart has more about what really happened to Matthew Shepard.

Quebec’s Bill 59 criminalizes speech or writings that hurt anyone’s feelings

Election results 2011: Dark blue = conservative, Red = socialist, Orange = English Communists, Light blue = French communists
Canada federal election results 2011: Red = socialists, Blue = conservatives, Orange = English communists, Cyan = French communists, Green = Enviro-communists

(Note: in the image above, “QC” is the province of Quebec)

Here’s an article about the latest restrictions on free speech written by the editors of the centrist National Post, one of Canada’s two national newspapers.

Excerpt:

In mid-June, when Quebecers’ thoughts were more attuned to summer plans than politics, Premier Philippe Couillard introduced two new bills in the National Assembly. One was long anticipated and non-controversial (in Quebec). The other was a bit of a bombshell.

The first, Bill 62, would shore up “religious neutrality” in Quebec. Its principal provision, the proscription of face coverings in the public sector, is largely pointless but relatively mild, as curtailments on religious freedom go, compared to the broader ban on religious garb the Parti Québécois had contemplated.

Bill 59, on which consultations are to start next week, is far more worrisome. Bill 59 assigns new powers to the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) to combat hate speech, as well as a variety of other provisions meant to protect against extremism, by censoring speech that promotes “fear of the other.” Ominously, the bill would allow the QHRC to pursue websites that in its estimation describe and denounce Islamism.

[…]The details of Bill 59 are chilling. Article 6 would “give the QHRC the power to initiate legal proceedings before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal without having to wait for complaints from the public.” Article 3 allows members of an identifiable group as well as people outside the group to make complaints triggering suits for hate speech before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.

If this has a déjà vu quality to it, it should. Bill 59 would pave the same well-travelled road to suppression of speech and opinion that led, via the similar Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, to the infamous pursuit of journalists Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant by Muslim activists determined to stifle normative expressions of opinion. The public’s disgust at such bureaucratic despotism happily led to its repeal at the federal level.

A  Toronto Sun article talks about the driving force behind Bill 59 – to criminalize speech that offends Muslims, in particular:

In plainspeak, the new bill, if passed, would give the QHRC the authority to commence witch hunts on its own accord, on the broadest and flimsiest of excuses, and hold people guilty based on someone’s – anyone’s – say-so that statements or postings caused fear for their equality.

If this sounds like an ultra-progressive attempt to shut up any person or shut down any website that radical Muslims find offensive, that’s because it is exactly that.

Time and again commission President Jacques Frémont has said he believes Islamophobia is one of the greatest human rights scourges in Canada.

He is convinced all sorts of people, groups and governments have used the 9/11 attacks as a pretense to single out Muslims and abuse their basic human rights.

Fremont has even admitted (boasted?) that if the Quebec National Assembly passes Bill 59, he and his human rights police intend to use the law to convict “people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page.”

According to an analysis conducted for the Canadian Bar Association, “the Québec bill goes further than similar provisions in other provinces, such as that which the Supreme Court upheld in Saskatchewan v. Whatcott.”

The Quebec legislation even mimics recommendations to censor the Internet brought to the United Nations by the organization representing the world’s Muslim-majority nations.

Now, it’s true that Quebec is the ultimate have-not province. It is the least intelligent, least religious, least moral province in Canada, and it only survives because it collects money from provinces where people still have morality and a work ethic. But that doesn’t stop them from digging their pit lower and lower. They are the Greece / Scotland of Canada.

If you happen to find yourself living in Canada, and you value free speech and freedom of conscience, for goodness sake, get out now and stay out. There is no free speech, religious freedom or freedom of conscience in Canada. There is no First Amendment in Canada. Anything you say that anyone finds offensive is liable to land you in front of a kangaroo court run by the secular left.

By the way, if you worry that things like that are coming to the United States, then you are right to be worried. The secular left is taking aim at religious freedom, and their champion is Barack Obama. Canada is just 10 years ahead of us. These things are coming here.

Democrats’ “Equality Act” will threaten religious liberty in all 50 states

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

First, let’s get the news from the left-leaning U.S. News and World Report.

It says:

Hoping to harness the momentum generated by the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing gay marriage, congressional Democrats on Thursday unveiled sweeping legislation that would extend additional rights to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Equality Act – introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in the upper chamber and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., in the House – seeks to expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s protections against racial and sex-based discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

[…]The measure would prohibit discrimination against LGBT persons in categories ranging from employment and housing to education and jury service, and would broaden where discrimination would be illegal in a “public accommodation” to include everything from shopping centers and banks to travel agencies and funeral parlors.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for greater LGBT rights, 31 states do not have laws that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill has 190 Democrats sponsors, and 0 Republican sponsors.

In a previous post, I explained that only states that have “non-discrimination” laws are able to punish Christian bakers, photographers, florists, etc. We are seeing the punishment of pro-marriage people in the states with these “non-discrimination” laws, e.g. – Oregon, New Mexico, Washington and so on. See the map below for more.

States with non-discrimination laws
States with non-discrimination laws

But this “Equality Act” bill would make all 50 states allow these kinds of punishments against people who disagree with same-sex marriage. The laws really are anti-religious-liberty laws, because they force you to agree with the gay agenda, or else face consequences. They force you to violate your conscience, just because you don’t agree with redefining marriage. If this law passes, it means that anyone who disagrees with gay marriage being the same as child-centered natural marriage would be a potential target for the federal government.

Marriage defender Ryan T. Anderson writes about a new law crafted by the Human Rights Campaign, which I’ll talk more about later.

Ryan says:

Politico is reporting that the so-called “Equality Act” will be introduced today in Congress. The bill is the brainchild of the Human Rights Campaign—an influential, sophisticated and lavishly funded LGBT activist organization.

The “Equality Act” is a misnomer. The bill does not protect equality before the law, but unnecessarily and unjustly violates freedom by creating special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This proposed legislation would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) to more or less every federal law that protects on the basis of race. It goes well beyond the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)—which would have added SOGI only to employment law.

ENDA, which was first introduced in Congress in 1994, has been defeated each and every Congress. When it was first introduced, ENDA included only “sexual orientation,” but in 2007 “gender identity” was added to the bill. Thankfully, ENDA has never been made law.

Nevertheless, having expanded the bill from including sexual orientation to also including gender identity, activists have also extended this misguided policy well beyond employment—to “credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations.” These SOGI laws must be resisted, as I explain in chapter six of my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.”

The Advocate reports that the “Equality Act’s” special privileges would apply to “public accommodations, public education, employment, housing, federal funding, jury service, legal protections, and credit. The bill would also clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be used to defend” people who believe that marriage is the union of man and woman. That’s right: the bill says that religious freedom needs to take a back seat to special SOGI protections.

The Advocate also reports that the “Equality Act” would require that “sex-segregated facilities must admit individuals in accordance to their gender identity.” That’s right: the bill would require biological males who identify as women to be able to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.

[…]SOGI laws can have serious unintended consequences. They threaten small-business owners with liability for alleged “discrimination” based not on objective traits, but on subjective and unverifiable identities. They expand state interference in labor markets, potentially discouraging job creation. They endanger religious liberty and freedom of speech. And they mandate employment policies that, with regard to many workplace conditions, violate common sense.

The ENDA bill is a nightmare for religious liberty. If Anderson thinks this bill is worse, that should tell you something about how far the left is willing to go to compel celebration of same-sex marriage.

I want to remind my readers of two things about the Human Rights Campaign, which Anderson said is behind the bill.

First, as I blogged about earlier this week, their co-founder Terry Bean has been charged with child sexual buse.

Second, after a gay activist named Floyd Lee Corkins attacked the Family Research Council with guns, the Human Rights Campaign pronounced the Family Research Council a “hate group”. The FRC is a respected conservative, pro-life, pro-family think tank. Corkins was convicted for domestic terrorism for attacking them with guns. And the HRC called the FRC a “hate group”, even after the attack. And now they are supporting this “Equality Act” bill.

We ought to be concerned.

Christian-owned pizza business shuts down after death threats from gay activists

Crystal O'Connor, victim of bullying by gay activists
Crystal O’Connor, victim of bullying by gay activists

I read a lot of articles on this, and Todd Starnes’ on Fox News was the most detailed.

He writes:

A small town, family-owned pizzeria has become the latest target of an angry mob of modern-day fascists — hell-bent on silencing anyone who opposes gay marriage.

Kevin O’Connor and his daughter Crystal own Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind. — just a hop, skip and a jump southwest of South Bend.

Mr. O’Connor and his family have been forced into hiding and had to temporarily shut down their store after they told a local television reporter that they would not cater a gay wedding.

“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal told ABC 57 on Tuesday.

Neither Crystal nor her father realized they were about to become the LGBT community’s Public Enemy No. 1.

“I’m a born-again Christian,” Kevin O’Connor told me in an exclusive telephone interview Thursday. “My faith is the base of my business.”

And the O’Connor family’s faith teaches them that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman.

“I would not participate in a gay marriage,” Kevin O’Connor said. “To condone a gay wedding to me is just wrong. I could not put my stamp of approval on a gay wedding.”

The television station labeled Memories Pizza as the “first business to publicly deny same-sex service,” in the aftermath of the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Washington Post reported.

But the O’Connors said they have never denied a same-sex couple a pepperoni pie.

“I have never turned anybody away from my store,” Kevin O’Connor said. “If they come in there with clothes barely hanging on their back – I don’t turn anybody away. I don’t care what their beliefs are.”

The hell storm this 61-year-old grandfather faced as a result of his Christian faith is simply beyond belief.

The family business came under fierce assault by LGBT activists and their cronies — accusing them of being anti-gay bigots. Their Facebook pages were smeared with gay pornography. Their phones were overwhelmed by vulgar and profane threats.

A high school softball coach in Concord, Ind., was suspended after posting an arson threat on Twitter.

“Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Coach Jess Dooley tweeted.

[…]The events of the past few days have been incredibly troubling for the O’Connor family. During my interview with Kevin — he became quite emotional.

“It’s been pretty tough, yeah,” he said. “It’s been hard.”

It was his lifelong dream to own a business. That dream came true when he opened the pizzeria in 2006, when he started the business from scratch.

And his Christian faith is evident in the restaurant.

“We get together and pray every day when the store opens,” he said. “We have a box for customers to put prayer requests in. We don’t push it. We don’t try to preach.”

He doesn’t force his religion on anyone.

“We treat them like we want to be treated,” he said.

Kevin told me he was especially thankful for the support he’s received from fellow Christians around the nation — including a group that launched a fundraising drive.

He also wants other Christian business owners to be encouraged.

“Trust the Lord,” he said. “Pray. Even though we don’t see where He’s taking us, He’s got control. And He will make it work for His good and our good.”

Kevin said he hopes to reopen the pizzeria sooner rather than later – but an exact date is unclear.

Right now, he’s trying to console his 21-year-old daughter – who has shouldered a mountain of hateful threats.

“Crystal needs some time,” Kevin said. “This scared her pretty good.”

There is some good news, from the Washington Times:

Supporters of the Indiana family under attack for refusing to cater a hypothetical gay wedding stepped up Thursday, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and dropping by Memories Pizza even though it remained closed after a rash of threats.

A crowdfunding campaign launched by conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch and her staff had collected more than $410,000 in 24 hours for the O’Connor family to help with “the financial loss endured by the proprietors’ stand for faith,” said a statement on the GoFundMe.com page.

The O’Connors shut down the restaurant after being bombarded Wednesday with angry phone calls and social media posts, a reaction to co-owner Crystal O’Connor telling ABC57 that the family would not cater a same-sex wedding ceremony for religious reasons — not that they had been asked to do so.

At one point, the family had even considered leaving town over the uproar, but Ms. O’Connor, 21, said on Ms. Loesch’s Twitter on Thursday, “It’s totally different today than it was yesterday. We’re not leaving.”

Try to remember which side the gay activists are on in the next election, by the way:

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

The thing about this is that we are on defense here. We are using up our funding to play defense.  We should be filing lawsuits and taking the fascists to court. Not waiting for them to bully us in the courts. See the related posts for some of the gay activism that Democrats never speak out against.

Related posts

Host a same-sex wedding on your property or pay a $13,000 fine

From the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding?

In a free society, the answer is no. Family farms should be free to operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners. Government shouldn’t be able to fine citizens for acting in the market according to their own—rather than the government’s—values, unless there is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way possible.

But the New York State Division of Human Rights doesn’t see things this way. On August 8, it fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration. The Human Rights Commission ruled that “the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law also warrants a penalty.”

[…]Here’s the back story. In 2012, Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy contacted the Giffords to rent the family’s barn for their same-sex wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford responded that she and her husband would have to decline their request as they felt they could not in good conscience host a same-sex wedding ceremony at their home. The Giffords live on the second and third floor of the barn and, when they host weddings on the first floor, they open part of the second floor as a bridal suite.

[…][The Giffords] do not object to gay or lesbian customers attending the fall festivals, or going berry picking, or doing any of the other activities that the farm facilitates. The Giffords’ only objection is to being forced to abide by the government’s views on sexuality and host a same-sex wedding. The Human Rights Commission has now declared this historic belief about marriage to be “discrimination.”

The Giffords must pay a $1,500 mental anguish fine to each of the women and pay $10,000 in civil damages penalty to New York State. If they can’t pay in 60 days, a nine percent interest rate will be added to that total. Like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Giffords must also institute anti-discriminationre-education classes and procedures for their staff.

How would gay marriage affect your marriage? Well, you would have to go to court, be found guilty, be re-educated, pay the gay people you offended, and then pay the government for punishing you. And remember, you’re already paying for the government to prosecute you for your views on marriage every time you pay taxes. We pay the salaries of our own executioners. How did it come to this?

Well, may I suggest that Christian pastors who drive a wedge of separation between the Christian faith and public knowledge are to blame. What I find in church is that pastors preach the same shallow gospel sermon every week, week in and week out. Everything is assumed to be true without examination, no alternatives or critical viewpoints are presented and defeated, and nothing in the sermon is ever connected to evidence in the real world. There is no emphasis on defining the Christian worldview, or on criticizing other worldviews like postmodernism, naturalism, pluralism or relativism. It’s all mystical privatized fundamentalist anti-intellectual emotional piety.

The net result of this is that when Christians go out into the world, they are not equipped to discern the dangers posed by non-Christian ideologies, and they often vote for the very policies that later come back to destroy them – because secular leftists make their policies sound so nice. Who could be against “affordable health care” – until you realize that you’re going to be paying for someone else’s abortion drugs. Maybe pastors need to do a better job of connecting the Bible to real world knowledge and policies so that we don’t just retreat from the field and let secular leftists rule over us.