Thursday, August 9, 2012

Watch out for the church ladies

When church ladies get fired up, things happen. And your first guess in what they did isn't correct. Minnesota has a marriage protection amendment on the ballot this fall. When the ladies of St. Luke Presbyterian church heard it they began working on ideas on how to oppose it. They went out and bought rainbow flags in bulk and distributed them to anyone in the community who would take one, engaging residents in conversation as they did so.

I wrote a while back about a highly flawed research paper by Mark Regnerus that claimed to prove gay families are not as good as straight families. So much criticism was heaped on the editor of the journal where it appeared that he asked for an audit on how the paper was handled. Summary: The paper should not have been published. "It's bull****." In addition to problems in the study itself the audit found conflicts of interest among the reviewers, those who recommend whether a paper be published. There goes the credibility of the journal and the editor. Will he retract the paper? Alas, that will make little difference in the way the anti-gay crowd will use the study to hurt us.

There were objections to the repeal of the ban on gays in the military because, so the claim goes, chaplains would have to compromise their religious beliefs. And thus we get to the curious case of Timothy Wagoner, Southern Baptist chaplain in the Air Force. He is the presiding chaplain at an Air Force chapel in New Jersey where a gay couple got married. Though he stepped aside and let another chaplain officiate, he was willingly in attendance at what was described as a joyous event.

That did not sit well with Wagoner's bosses in the SBC. Though he stated he agreed with the SBC on gay marriage, the authorities decided that wasn't good enough. They wanted him to fight against the gay menace. Wagoner switched denominations. So, yeah, a chaplain experienced restrictions to his religious freedom.

The Calif. gay marriage case is officially on its way to the Supremes. We'll know in October whether they will take the case.

The restaurant chain Chick-fil-a has a chairman who has donated heavily to anti-gay causes. Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin notes that social issue boycotts rarely work because most of it is about personal opinion or belief and most people don't have a problem with that (as long as you aren't the "God Hates Fags" type). So BTB has avoided the chicken wars.

In step Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. They declared August 1 as "Chick-fil-a Customer Appreciation Day." Though the press releases and public comments were very careful to avoid saying the appreciation had anything to do with gay people, because Mike Huckabee made a big deal about it people pay attention. And it doesn't take much effort to understand the whole thing really is about gay people. Which means the chain becomes "the brand of choice for anti-gay people."

Kincaid doesn't need to call a boycott. Huckabee, in a roundabout way, did it for him.

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