Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yay For The Press II: The Sentinel

I am so proud of how the press has handled the campaign to re-legalize discrimination against transgender people.

The Sentinel had a news story and a part of an editorial about this. Here's what editor Brian Karem said about it in his opinion piece:
... Speaking of reading, what is the chance we will actually take the chance to read a petition before we sign it?

Apparently the people at the Citizens for Responsible Government are counting on the fact that you won't because they've got more than 27,000 signatures (so they claim) to repeal a county ordinance that will - according to them - let transgender people as well as pedophiles and transvestites to enter whatever gender restroom they choose.

The only problem, of course, is that the legislation doesn't say anything like that.

Just read the legislation. It's in black and white.

When you bring this up to the good people of the CRG they will squint their eyes, rub their ears and say things like "Well the current law is vague."

No it isn't. The CRG and their pointy-head minions may have their collective hindquarters buried in the sand next to their faces, but the simple fact is that if you read the legislation there's no need for these people to be hassling voters trying to get a referendum on the November ballot.

I admire their pluck, being out there, but detest their questionable methods to promote their agenda.

Just read.

(Read it HERE) It was generous of him to "admire their pluck." I wouldn't go that far, I think they ought to find something constructive to do.

The Sentinel also carried a news story about this. And listen, this is really heartening. They report the news story accurately. I can't tell you how glad I am to see the professionalism of our local media. There is a lot of blood in the water here, staged hoaxes, allegations and excitement, and so far nobody has fallen for it.

I thought you had to pay to read The Sentinel but it appears that part of the paper is outside the paywall. Maybe it's just for a while. I found this story HERE
Several confrontations this weekend at area Giant grocery stores between petitioners and transgender individuals highlighted the building tension between Citizens for A Responsible Government and the transgender community over legislation passed in November and the petition to put it up for a referendum vote.

CRG says it collected more than the 25,000 certified signatures needed by Feb. 19 in order to get a question on the ballot this November about whether the county should repeal bill 23-07. Michelle Turner, the group's spokesperson, said the tally is 27,900 and rising.

Despite being refuted by County officials, CRG maintains that the bill opens public bathrooms and locker rooms to pedophiles and cross-dressing men. County council members, who passed the bill unanimously in November, and County Executive Isiah Leggett say the bill does no such thing.

"The amount of misinformation out there is troubling," Council President Mike Knapp said. "I even got into a dispute at a polling location on Tuesday. The reality is this bill did nothing to change the existing law that pertains to restrooms or locker rooms. They're (The CRG) getting permission to be places based on misinformation."

The misinformation Knapp referred to is a key disagreement in the debate. The bill contains no language relating to public restrooms or locker rooms, but the CRG says the bill doesn't specifically deny access to these places.

"The preexisting law never applied to public bathrooms and locker rooms," Knapp said. "It's still up to the person who runs the facility to decide who is allowed in what bathroom."

Dr. Dana Beyer, a Senior Policy Analyst to Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg, and Marianne Arnow, both transgender individuals, met head-on with members of CRG at area grocery stores over the weekend where members of the group were making a final push for signatures to their petition.

Beyer said that she and a few other supporters went to grocery stores where CRG members were collecting signatures to educate people about what they were signing. "In all but one place we talked to the management of these grocery stores and the management had them removed," Beyer said.

The only store where the manager claimed the group had a right to be there was in Langley Park, Beyer said. "He was wrong, but we couldn't convince him of that," Beyer said.

This telling of the story focuses a little more on the action, the conflicts, okay, that's a pretty good angle for this story.

By the way, I was out there this weekend, too, and most places we went the people with the petitions were nice, we had some pleasant conversations with them. We didn't agree on the issues, but the only place I saw anger was at the Arliss Giant. Well, the lady at the Container Store wasn't very friendly and wouldn't talk to us. But like, we helped them carry their petitions and their table out to the car at the Fallsgrove Safeway, and Maryanne made good friends with them at several places. Mostly it was not confrontation, they wanted signatures and we wanted to give out information. Some people signed their petitions, some listened to us.

There's more. Go read.

Again, this controversy over the nondiscrimination bill has all kinds of opportunities for cheap journalism. I'm afraid I was not optimistic about the media's ability to resist the temptation of a sensational but meaningless story, and I have to say that so far the coverage has been really good.

I won't try to predict, but I do hope the rest of the media will live up to the standard set by The Gazette and The Sentinel. They've shown it is possible to write a good informative story, giving both sides of the issue and some exciting details, introducing some colorful characters, with vivid and engaging quotes ... the whole thing. There's a lot here, let's see our journalists give this a good professional working-over.


Blogger Tish said...

"Pluck" is not the word I would choose for the CRW wacko who put her mouth on my ear so I would be sure I heard her screaming at me at the Westfield Wheaton Giant.

But I am sure she was intimidated by me, what with me being 4'11" and her having to bend over to yell at me and all.

Still, "pluck"? No, that's not the word.

February 21, 2008 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
maybe he meant their lunches?
pluck- noun- the heart, liver, lungs, and trachea of a slaughtered animal, especially as an item of food

February 21, 2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get jealous, people.

You were plucky too. That thing where you went up the table of an elderly gentleman and surrounded it with five people so no one could see or feel comfortable getting to him: that took pluck!

February 21, 2008 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, AnonFreak.

The fact that you made an elderly man believe your hate-filled lies, thus TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HIM is what truly took pluck.

We'll let Montgomery County know just what your radical right-winged agenda is all about: that way-- the truth will be told and you people will be foiled, as it should be.

By the way, AnonFreak-- What happened to that hiatus? Don't you have some type of "ex-gay" retreat to attend to? Go there! Let us know how horrible and traumatic it was (just like it was to one of my great friends who tried committing suicide from attempting to 'turn' from gay to 'ex-gay').

Can you also tell us the difference between "ex-gay" and "straight"????



February 21, 2008 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call up these guys and ask them:

"The largest worldwide Christian outreach to those affected by unwanted same-sex attraction, and their friends and family, is experiencing rapid growth. Exodus International has seen a 71 percent increase in its member agencies, growing from 117 in 2003 to more than 200 in 2008. The ministry also is receiving more requests for resources and speaking engagements.

In 2007, more than half of the attendees at the ministry's annual conference were first-timers. Exodus is planning additional conferences.
Exodus President Alan Chambers said he believes the growth is part of a countercultural revolution.

“People are hungry for a hopeful message about homosexuality that encompasses God's truth, as well as His compassionate heart,” Chambers said. “We are thrilled to be a small part of what God is doing to reach a new generation with His liberating truth.”

Melissa Fryrear, director of the gender issues department at Focus on the Family and a speaker at Love Won Out conferences, said the growth at Exodus is a sign of the times.

“Similar to Exodus' experience, in our Love Won Out ministry we are also hearing from so many men and women who no longer want to live a gay or lesbian identity,” she said. “They are discontented living homosexually, convinced of God's truth about sexuality and desirous for God to radically transform their lives.

"Even as gay-affirming as the culture is today, that doesn't seem to matter to them. They want something different; they want what God has for them instead.”

Since 1976, Exodus has grown to include 150 ministries in 17 countries. Exodus offers the message of freedom from homosexuality through ministry referrals, monthly newsletters, national conferences and resources. In 2006, the ministry launched the Exodus Church Network, a coalition of 70 churches that provides local support to those seeking freedom from homosexuality."

February 21, 2008 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Citizens Link advertisement, except for the fuzzy math. Is it "member agencies, growing from 117 in 2003 to more than 200 in 2008" or "150 ministries in 17 countries?"

Let's forget the Focus on the Family disclaimer:

"Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content."

Maybe this is why FOTF uses a disclaimer:

Teen Suicide Rate: Highest Increase In 15 Years
ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2007) —

Following a decline of more than 28 percent, the suicide rate for 10- to-24-year-olds increased by 8 percent, the largest single-year rise in 15 years, according to a report just released in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The decline took place from 1990 to 2003 (from 9.48 to 6.78 per 100,000 people), and the increase took place from 2003 to 2004, (from 6.78 to 7.32), the report said.

“This is the biggest annual increase that we've seen in 15 years. We don't yet know if this is a short-lived increase or if it's the beginning of a trend,” said Dr. Ileana Arias, director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Either way, it's a harsh reminder that suicide and suicide attempts are affecting too many youth and young adults. We need to make sure suicide prevention efforts are continuous and reaching children and young adults.”

February 21, 2008 6:30 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Yeah, right Red Baron, Alan chambers, "exgay" president of Exodus, the same Alan Chambers who said "Everyday, I wake up and deny what comes naturally to me".

Yeah, there's lots of people wanting that alright.

February 21, 2008 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Besides promoting genocide in the name of Jesus, Exodus International also blames the Holocaust on gays:

And since, according to Exodus, bad parenting is the cause of homosexuality, parents who have gay kids must be responsible for the Holocaust.

February 21, 2008 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say it again; AnonFreak, Theresa Rickman and Ruth Jacobs= SICKOS!!!

February 21, 2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

bad parenting the cause of homosexuality?

i wonder what does that say about beverly and tim lahaye, phyllis schafly, alan keyes and vice president dick cheney.

sorry. i couldn't resist.

February 21, 2008 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to rely on the dishonesty from Citizens Missing-Link for information. Exodus' Form 990 is readily available.

About all that's "growing" at Exodus is their wages bill. A "71% increase" sounds more like Alan Chambers' salary over the years.

(and it's rather more than 30 pieces of silver, but lying to the public is not a career I'd recommend to the kids).

What you can easily find in the Form 990 is ... program service revenues have gone nowhere.

That's right -- despite all the extra "donations" pumped into Exodus via Focus on the Family etc and recycled into false advertising... there has been no growth in "services" to exgays.

It's also interesting to note that the majority of people who contact Exodus are not gay or bisexual men and women. Most contacts are made by anti-gay parents who hope to convince their child to go straight.

Which naturally leads to the most important figures:

Orientations changed, 2003 : nil
Orientations changed, 2008 : nil

Gay men and women who have ever been involved with Exodus: less than 1 in 1000.

Currently active recruits : a few thousand, at most.

Jeez, even CRW get a better result from all their lying than does Exodus.

February 22, 2008 12:52 AM  

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