Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during December, 2010
Well, I’m headed out west for the holidays, visiting family in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria. That means no updates until the new year, I’m afraid.
Until then, have a super Christmanukkahwanza, and a fantastically amazing new year! Feel free to interact with me and other Slap fans on the Slap Facebook Page, and on Twitter. Also, here’s a zombie Santa.
The United States Senate voted on Saturday to finally end their ban on having gays serve openly in the military. This is an important step toward full equality, so congratulations to all my stateside friends!
Anti-gay politicians and lobbyists are positively terrified, having already begun predicting consequences of an impossibly dire nature. The arguments mostly involve something about straight soldiers being distracted by their (now openly) gay colleagues, becoming overwhelmed with concern about whether or not other soliders are checking them out—and a distracted solider, they say, can cost lives.
Personally, I’d say bad soliders cost lives, and anyone who is more concerned about what their gay colleagues may or may not be thinking—instead of, say, incoming fire—sounds like a pretty bad solider to me.
If anything, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell probably left the military more vulnerable to blackmail, as learning that someone is gay instantly gives anyone with shady motives leverage over a gay service member’s military career. But opponents are entitled to their own narratives, I suppose…
Canada, by the way, ended its ban in 1992.
- U.S. Senate votes to drop military gay ban [CBC News]
The Czech Republic has announced that they will stop hooking up gay refugee claimants to a penile plethysmograph and showing them heterosexual porn. The procedure, dubbed “phallometric testing,” which works in exactly the way it sounds, was used to czech if claimants were gay or not. The idea was that if a guy is measurably aroused by straight porn, then he’s not gay.
Say, here’s a flaw: Heterosexual porn still has guys in it. Just sayin’.
Efficacy aside, The European Agency for Fundamental Rights slammed the test in a report last month, calling it humiliating and potentially in violation of human rights clauses banning inhumane treatment. The agency suggested a slightly less novel replacement: An interview. (Don’t let the word fool you; inter-views aren’t as high tech or expensive as they sound.)
Phallometric testing, incidentally, was invented in Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s.
They must be very proud.
(Hat tip to Slap Reader Chris for the story.)
- Czech Republic defends test of gay asylum seekers despite EU criticism [Toronto Star]
- Czechs to end tests of gay asylum seekers [Sify News]
Hundreds of dollars worth of gay-themed library books that were found soaked in urine at Harvard is no longer being treated as a hate crime, according to university investigators.
The 36 books, which covered GLBT topics ranging from coming out to equal marriage rights, were found by a library staff member in late November. Urine had been poured over each of the books, ruining them completely. An almost empty bottle (the smoking gun, so to speak) was found nearby.
The Harvard University Police Department reacted quickly, launching an investigation. Their findings: The damage was an accident, caused by a library staff member who inadvertently tipped over a bottle of urine that was sitting on the bookshelf. With the conclusion of their investigation, the incident is no longer being considered an act of vandalism or a hate crime.
Ah. Case closed, then. Good work.
A mishap like this was probably inevitable, actually, considering how libraries always store their bookshelf urine in inordinately tall bottles with rounded bottoms. A bump is all it takes.
I’m not even sure why they store that stuff there in the first place, come to think of it.
- Damaged LGBT Books in Lamont Not Result of Hate Crime, Dean Says [The Harvard Crimson]
TV just got a lot more intelligent! Charles McVety, president of Canada’s largest anti-gay lobby group, the Canada Family Action Coalition, had his television program, Word TV, yanked from the air by its own distributer after McVety was found to have repeatedly violated industry broadcast standards.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, a self-regulatory body created by the broadcast industry, developed codes of ethics in 1990 to which all members have agreed to adhere. Responding to a complaint, this council investigated McVety’s program, discovering multiple violations of these codes.
While the CBSC panel went out of its way to affirm that McVety is free to disagree with gay people and voice this disagreement on the air, they found that he had breached journalistic standards against purposefully misrepresenting truth as well as those prohibiting blanket attacks on identifiable groups. This included statements that the Ontario school curriculum was designed to turn children into homosexuals, that gay people have an “insatiable appetite for sex, especially with young people,” that it is illegal in Canada to speak out against homosexuality, and that the Toronto Pride celebrations promoted sex with children; all verifiable lies.
“McVety,” the CBSC wrote, “may not like homosexuality. That is his entitlement, but to leave the totally unsubstantiated impression that gay and lesbian adults have a predilection toward young, underage people is insidious and unacceptable.” In all, the panel found that McVety violated several clauses from three different broadcast codes.
McVety, of course, has learned nothing from this experience, informing supporters that his program was pulled “for using the term ‘sex parade’ and opposing the proposed Ontario Sex Ed curriculum,” painting himself as a martyr for having opinions.
Defending distortions with bigger, more easily verifiable distortions. It’s a little like rebuilding a snowman with a blowtorch, isn’t it? Then again, that’s our Charles McVety!
In early September, I posted a call to action regarding the registered charitable status of Exodus Global Alliance, a religious organisation that promotes “freedom from homosexuality” through prayer and something they call sexual reorientation therapy.
The medical and scientific community flatly rejects the activities of Exodus, condemning them as dangerous and capable of serious psychological harm. Yet, as a registered charity in Canada, Exodus doesn’t pay taxes and all individuals who donate money can write it off on their annual income tax forms. Worse still, Exodus dishonestly hides their principal activities when reporting annually to the Canada Revenue Agency, omitting all mentions of homosexuality and instead declaring that they “help families and individuals in pain.” (A statement, it should be noted, that is completely contradicted by medical consensus.)
The Slap Into Action campaign was started in early September to help let the CRA know that Exodus has not been honestly reporting their activities and that their mission appears to be in discord with the CRA’s own regulations.
It’s been going wonderfully.
Since autumn, hundreds of letters are estimated to have been sent to the Canada Revenue Agency from people like you. Of particular note, a letter drafted by Stuart Holtby, MD has been circulated and signed by numerous medical professionals, including doctors, psychologists, academics, psychiatrists, and even the head of psychiatry at a major city hospital. We’ve also got the attention of the mainstream media across the country. I’ve been personally interviewed for newspapers and on the radio, but others have gone even further. Recently, the Québec section of the federal New Democratic Party adopted our campaign’s position as official policy under the advice of NDP member Matt McLauchlin.
Which brings me to the next steps.
Phase Two: Strengthen The CRA’s Investigative Procedures
Exodus was awarded charitable status in Canada by slipping through the CRA’s public benefit rules. Exodus dishonestly represents themselves, repeatedly hiding their principal activities on tax forms. Unfortunately, the investigative tools and procedures within the CRA assumes that these kinds of situations aren’t possible, making the investigation into Exodus slow and opaque.
This needs the attention of parliament.
When investigating charities, the CRA appears to be primarily equipped to deal with violations of the tax act, including failure to file, misrepresenting expenditures, and other financial violations. The standard procedure begins by communicating with charities under investigation to review their books and warns frequent violators of the tax act to clean up their reporting. If violations continue, revocation is considered only as a last resort.
While the CRA officially requires that all charities must continue to uphold the articles of registration (including the public benefit test that Exodus so dutifully dodges with clever filing), their investigative procedures don’t reflect this closely enough, giving Exodus leeway to continue their dangerous, unscientific activities with full charitable benefits.
It’s time to write to your local MP. Let them know that an organisation which causes demonstrable harm according to long-established medical consensus, is operating as a charity in Canada—and that the CRA, while investigating matters dutifully according to procedure, appears to be ill-equipped to handle cases like this efficiently.
I’ve also added new materials on the page, including Stuart Holtby’s letter from the medical community and a wonderful sidebar badge suggested and created by the late Bruce McDonald of Canuck Attitude. (R.I.P, Bruce; I regret taking for granted that there’s normally time to let people like you know how much I appreciate them.)
Please get involved, contact your MP, and Slap Into Action again!
Xtra, a gay community newspaper published by Pink Triangle Press and distributed nationwide, has been targeted by vandals in the Toronto area. Several distribution boxes have been spray painted with homophobic slurs, glued shut, turned upside down, filled with garbage, and set on fire.
This isn’t the first time the publisher has been hit by homophobic vandals. “This has been going on since 1993 or 1994,” noted Ted Hawkins, a distributer for the newspaper. “It seems to be a crazy homophobic group that has a vendetta for our magazines,” he said.
Sounds like a costly problem. My suggestion: Make the boxes look like adorable, fluffy kittens with big, watery eyes. They’ll meow softly and paw at your legs each time someone takes an issue. Don’t get me wrong: Violent homophobes are probably just as likely to burn kittens, but it should look sufficiently horrifying that witnesses would be more likely to report it.
Just an idea.
Invasive airport security pat-downs are part of a “wide-scale homosexual agenda,” at least according to Eugene Delgaudio, an elected Virginia politician.
In an email alert sent from the Public Advocate, an anti-gay lobby group, Delgaudio said the pat-downs were the natural next step in the TSA’s non-discrimination hiring policy: “The next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down,'” he wrote, “could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”
Egad! They’re on to us, kids! Delgaudio has somehow gotten a hold of pages 287 and 288 of the Gay Agenda and is fast discovering that everything that annoys him is all the gays’ fault. It would be wise, at this point, to quickly dispose of any physical copies of The Agenda; we’ll discuss what to do to correct and contain this leak at our biannual meeting in January. See you then!
(Special thanks to Slap readers Allan and Konrad for the story.)
Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya, has declared his intentions to arrest gay people in the country. “We want a country that is clean,” the Prime Minister said during a speech on Sunday, “a clean way of doing thing [sic] has clean mannerisms; we do not want things to do with sodomy.”
Odinga then justified his threat by citing data from August’s census, which showed the population was split exactly between men and women. With such an even proportion, he argued, there was “no need” for homosexuality in the country.
Uh, I… Ugh.
Regardless of his reasoning, Odinga may actually be quite capable of following through on his threats. Kenyan law forbids “sex outside the order of nature,” carrying a sentence of up to fourteen years in jail.
I’m not sure, mind you, how sex outside the order of nature is interpreted as gay sex, unless there aren’t any documented instances of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Speaking of which, has anyone witnessed an animal politician enforcing sexuality laws binding on all members of its species within some well-defined governing region? If not, then human politicians might be unnatural; we should have laws against them.