OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Silly complaints
BioWare, an Edmonton-based game development company, is being targeted by anti-gay groups over the option to make your character gay in their latest video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists,” said Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay lobby group Family Research Council.
Now, I’m not exactly “in” on the whole Star Wars universe, but from what I remember about the movies, isn’t “the Empire” the bad guys? If so—and if Perkins is right—then all you’d need to destroy evil and bring peace to the universe forever is to send wave after wave of homosexual activists at the Empire.
I think I’d like to play that game, actually.
Electronic Arts, the game’s publisher, said they’ve received “thousands of letters” threatening to boycott the title over the mere option to play as a gay character. (And, knowing the demographic that usually writes these kind of letters, I’m sure all of them would have otherwise bought the game and played it for months. Snicker.) In response, Jeff Brown, an EA spokesperson, issued a statement supporting their gay customers, and vowing to end anti-gay harassment that gay gamers often experience online:
EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT charcters in our games [...] However, we have met with LGBT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don’t tolerate hate speech on our forums.”
Good for EA and Bioware! After all, some of us were getting a little tired of saving the princess.
Government officials in Belarus requested to see tapes of Elton John performances before approving a concert in the country, fearing that the popular songwriter would turn audience members gay.
The Belarusian Public Council for Morality requested several tapes, just in case they miss the hidden, gay-inducing laser beams the first few times.
Elton John’s mystical gay powers are actually a common concern. A few years ago, a Caribbean archdeacon pleaded for people to skip out on an Elton John concert in Tobago out of fears it would turn locals gay.
Dragon Age, a mature-rated, Canadian-produced video game is being virtually drawn and quartered by the anti-gay lobby over the possibility for the player to have a male/male liaison.
The scene, described as “far more chaste than Brokeback Mountain” by the New York Times, takes place between a man and an elf named Zevran—if the player chooses to accept various prompts to pursue that sort of interaction.
Bioware, the Canadian studio responsible for the game, said the whole scenario “is designed to celebrate player choice and create a story that is reactive to the way you choose to play it.” World Net Daily, an anti-gay publication based in the U.S., views the whole interaction differently, declaring their objection under the headline “Players have dirty ‘gay’ sex in hit game.”
Anti-gay groups regularly decry gay content in video games, depicting it as some sort of conspiracy to recruit youngsters to the dreaded homosexual lifestyle via inconspicuous toys. (That’s how it started out for me… I ask for one He-Man action figure as a kid, then BAM! I’m living the homosexual lifestyle: Going out for brunch, doing some grocery shopping, and typing a blog entry while my fiancé does the laundry.)
The focus on youth by these groups is a dishonest target; according to the Entertainment Software Foundation, the average age of a video game player is now 35, and the range of story lines offered by games reflects this. Dragon Age, in particular, is rated M by the ERSB, restricting its purchase to anyone over the age of 17, mostly due to its violent fantasy content.
Still, this misdirected focus can border on being amusingly obsessive. The Timothy Plan, an anti-gay lobby group that encourages investors to boycott gay-friendly companies, regularly ranks video games by their “homosexual themes.” Here’s their official warning for a game called Army of Two by Electronic Arts:
Although never spoken of, undertones of homosexuality are present. Weaponry in the game can be decorated to be anything from diamond encrusted to gold plated. You share a parachute, and the riot shield system allows one player to use a shield or car door as portable cover while the other cuddles up close behind and dispenses “lead” from his “iron.”
Boy, if Freud were alive today…
As for Dragon Age, I say good for Bioware! I mean, why should gay gamers always be saving the princess?
A megachurch in Brandon, Florida has removed all of their Pepsi vending machines (ten in total) and replaced them with Coca-Cola machines because they say Pepsi has been “advocating for the normalization of homosexual behaviour in our culture.”
A spokesperson for the church, Terry Kemple, explained that companies like Pepsi are just going hog-wild with all sorts of crazy shenanigans:
These companies were doing anti-family things like distributing pornography and advocating special rights based on a person’s choice of sexual partners. We fight this battle one skirmish at a time. Our forefathers came here for religious liberty, not sexual liberty.
Jenny Schlavone, the Director of Communications for Pepsi, said that the church was actually just referring to small grants made “in direct support of safety and respect in the workplace,” basically anti-discrimination programs to ensure that gay people aren’t fired and mistreated just for being gay. (Although I imagine she went right back to distributing corporate-branded pornography to preschoolers after the interview. Those crazy companies!)
Coca-Cola, incidentally, also supports equality for gay employees. But then again, churches can’t stop selling both major manufacturers of soda beverages! I mean, what would Jesus think?
- Brandon Baptist church pulls plug on Pepsi [Brandon News & Tribune]
- Brandon church claims Pepsi promotes gay lifestyle [ABC News]
Kari Simpson, an anti-gay lobbyist, has lost her Human Rights Complaint against the B.C. Education Ministry, which she claimed had not done enough to help schoolchildren who “suffer from homosexuality and other dysfunctional sexual orientations.”
The amusingly dumb complaint argued that B.C. schools were actively denying students access to “sexual re-orientation therapies.”
No such students joined in on her class-action complaint.
The reparative conversion therapy that Kari refers to, incidentally, has been discredited and condemned by the entire professional medical community, denounced as being actively harmful to healthy development of individuals. Organisations that have gone on record to oppose the ineffective practise include The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, The American Counselling Association, The American Psychiatric Association, among several others.
When I first wrote about Kari’s complaint in March, I said that she likely knew all of this and intended to lose her own complaint, setting herself up for a ridiculous form of martyrdom to a tiny, but obsessive audience of anti-gay activists. Sure enough, she wasted no time playing the victim card, announcing that the decision has laid “the groundwork for a case of systemic discrimination,” and that the Human Rights Commission “conveniently assisted” her to that effect.
Essentially, the complaint—in addition to wasting time and resources from people who have real human rights complaints to launch—was just a selfish attempt to leverage attention and spread the weak myth that gay people don’t exist; that they’re just dysfunctional straight people who need help escaping their sin.
It’s the same, failed strategy with these anti-gay lobbyists. Kari feels no need to stop and reflect on why no student covered by her class-action complaint enthusiastically joined the endeavour, because she knows that no such student exists. It’s all just pretend compassion, used for selfish, political ends.
Alberta is amending its Human Rights Act with a provision that will force school teachers to exclude any student whose parents object to the acknowledgement of sexual orientation in classroom discussions. Failure to pull a student from such a discussion—even ones that arise from student questions—could result in a human rights complaint.
This new provision is similar to Bill 208, a failed private member’s bill headed by Ted Morton, which would have forced teachers to issue warning slips to parents before discussing same-sex marriage in class.
What a novel idea, though! Barring students from hearing or discussing any information that parents disagree with. As if the Debate Club wasn’t uninteresting enough.
Michal Grzes, a conservative politician in western Poland, has publicly spoken out against his local zoo for acquiring Ninio, a ten-year-old elephant that has only shown interest in other male companions.
No longer content with moralizing individuals of his own species, Grzes called Ninio complete waste of money:
We didn’t pay 37 million zlotys (about 14 million Canadian) for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there.
A spokesperson for the zoo said that elephants don’t normally reach sexual maturity until the age of 14, and so he still may not have discovered his sexual orientation.
Opponents are reportedly praying to help stop Ninio’s recruitment of child zoo patrons into the sinful elephant lifestyle.
(Hat tip to James over at Gay Persons of Color.)
The United States government has indicated that it will finally sign a U.N. document denouncing the criminalization of homosexuality worldwide.
This new move will reverse a bizarre decision made by the Bush administration in December, where the United States broke ranks with the majority of U.N. members (including every European country, as well as all North, South, and Central American nations—excluding the island of Saint Lucia) in refusing to sign the symbolic document.
The anti-gay lobby group, Family Research Council, is, of course, enraged:
Adding to the long list of Bush positions that are now history, the Associated Press reports that the Obama administration will reverse Bush’s policy and endorse a nonbinding U.N. declaration to “protect” homosexuals. [...] Press reports emphasize that the declaration calls for the “decriminalization” of homosexuality, a policy already forced on the U.S. by a 2003 Supreme Court decision.
Ah, yes, don’t we all wax nostalgic now and then for the good ol’ days when U.S. laws were more like those of Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea? Those halcyon days when gays like me were simply locked away where no one had to concern themselves over our existence. Surely those were simpler times—before that mean old Obama marched on in, tore that cooling pie right off the window sill, and sucker punched grandma in the ribs.
A super hat tip to JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippie for digging up the story.
- UN Statement on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” [US Department of State]
- Queer Eye for the State Guy? [Family Research Council]
Kari Simpson, an anti-gay activist, has filed a complaint against the B.C. Education Ministry for not doing enough to help students who “suffer from homosexuality and other dysfunctional sexual orientations.”
The bizarre complaint goes on to allege that schools simply aren’t turning enough gay students straight. As Simpson puts it:
Sexual re-orientation therapies have helped thousands of individuals recover from such dysfunctional orientations. School counsellors are being denied the tools to be effective advocates for students in need of sexual re-orientation help and they should have access to resources and training that will equip them to properly counsel students.
Gee, that’s just awful. Think of all those thousands of poor, suffering gays that were denied their right to re-orientation by that callous school board.
Odd, though, don’t you think, that this human rights complaint had to be filed by a Christian activist instead of just one of those thousands of suffering students who were denied a gay cure. (Though, frankly, the only suffering I’ve ever endured as a gay person is from people like Kari.)
See, what Kari already knows—but chooses to ignore—is that all peer-reviewed research into reparative conversion therapy for gays has not only shown that it’s completely ineffective, but that it’s demonstrably harmful to one’s well-being. That’s why every respected medical and professional organisation has gone on record to condemn the very idea, including The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, The American Counselling Association, The American Psychiatric Association, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
If I had to take a gander at it—which I don’t, but it’ll be fun—I’d say that Kari is filing the human rights complaint for two reasons. First, the Human Rights Commission has a history of protecting the rights of gays, and a small subset of religious activists feel it’s at their expense. By launching a destined-to-fail complaint she is setting herself up for some kind of hilarious martyrdom for a tiny, but delightfully obsessed group of nuts, which she can then use to further criticize the commission. Second, she gets a venue in which she can repeat the myth that there’s really no such thing as gay people to begin with: just straight people who need help escaping their sin.
Disingenuous compassion has been a failing strategy for these activists for years. This time won’t be any different. It’s just too bad that she has to waste valuable time from the people who have real human rights violations to report.
A mother has complained to the media after discovering that her daughter was able to select two females as marriage partners in the free trial of The Game of Life, a computer version of the popular Milton Bradley board game.
The game is a relatively dull 1960s carry-over that lets you move a little car around a board, following a generic script starting from graduating school, to marrying, to buying a house, and finally to retirement.
“You know how kids are,” the anonymous complainant told WorldNetDaily, a political website, “My daughter noticed right away—even before I did—and clicked on one of the girls instead of one of the men and then asked ‘Mom, how come I can marry a woman?’”
Gee, that’s awful. Although, really, I’m not sure I see what’s so difficult about saying “some girls marry other girls.” I guess this parent also wanted to inject all her personal objections to gay people alongside the simple, matter-of-fact explanation. Knowing how sex-obsessed anti-gay folks are, that likely involved concepts beyond what a 6-year-old is capable (or ready) to understand.
So, rather than simply omitting her objections and just acknowledging the reality of the situation, the unnamed mother went and did the next easiest thing: She went to the game’s website and tried to persuade the administrators to censor the game. But—the poor dear—her publicly viewable complaints were promptly deleted for being inappropriate. “I had no idea how insidious they were being with pushing the homosexual agenda,” she remarked.
The 1960s version of the game, incidentally, also “pushes the homosexual agenda” by allowing players to put two blue or two pink pegs in their little car.
- Christians Attack “Gay Agenda” in PC Game [The Escapist]
- Conservative Christian site decries Game of Life’s ‘gay agenda’ [Joystiq]
Last week, the world got its first openly gay leader: 66 year-old Johanna Sigurdardottir, the Prime Minister of Iceland. While a lot of people—especially the gay community—are turning somersaults over this rather spiffy milestone, I’ve encountered a somewhat less celebratory reaction across the web and in the traditional media, and it’s not exactly what you’d expect:
Does the hard-working citizen really need to be aware that the new Prime Minister is not heterosexual? Who cares? [...] Whether a politician is gay or straight should be of no interest at all.
Hey, this guy must be from the future!
Here’s the rub: Gay people are still fighting for basic, equal, legal rights in the most developed of nations; less-developed nations still imprison gays, or worse. Gay people struggle every day to gain acceptance from their own families, let alone an entire nation. Having a country overlook sexual orientation and judge a leader based on their governing qualities is freakin’ huge!
A Vancouver woman has complained to the press after discovering a gay magazine while rummaging through a display at American Apparel.
BUTT, a Netherlands-based magazine, was partially sticking out of a backpack in one of the store’s displays when Trina Campbell decided to remove it and leaf through its contents:
I slammed the magazine closed and looked at my daughter in horror. She looked at me and said “What?” I said, “Did you see that?” She said “No.”
I actually started crying.
The magazine, which is available for sale at all American Apparel stores, is not actually pornography; however, it does contain R-rated images, so the store requires proper ID to be shown in order to buy a copy from behind the counter.
Funny. Judging from American Apparel’s all-Lycra stock, I was under the impression that they couldn’t sell anything to minors. My mistake.
Anyway, I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate to have R-rated material stuffed in a display backpack, but then it’s not particularly appropriate to rummage through store displays either. Since the magazine wasn’t very accessible (all sale copies are stored behind the counter), I have a feeling that the complaint has more to do with the fact that a sexually-suggestive magazine was available at American Apparel in the first place. You know, the store where the outfits you buy and the credit card you use to buy them weigh about the same.