- October 2021
Campus Pride has released its list of the worst colleges and universities nationwide for LGBT youth.
It's no surprise that most of the schools on the list are Christian. After all, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus famously urged, "Judge often, and judge early, lest someone else get there first."
Some of the names on the list are predictable, like Liberty University, Bob Jones University and Oral Roberts University. Then there are the smaller Christian schools without a national profile.
Consider Corban University in Oregon, which in 2014 chose a professor specializing in "unwanted same-sex attractions" to chair the psychology department. At Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri, the employee handbook states, "Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but will not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts."
Always makes my day when sexual assault and homosexuality get equal billing.
To earn a spot on Campus Pride's list of the worst, these 180 institutions had to demonstrate a history of anti-LGBTQ practices, or have sought a Title IX religious exemption to discriminate against LGBTQ youth.
In other words, scattershot discrimination isn't sufficient. When it comes to bigotry, these are the schools that have distinguished themselves by giving it the old college try.
- September 2021
In her new memoir, Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, reveals she's been in a relationship with a woman for almost 20 years.
The time it'll take for Pat Robertson to draw a direct line between homosexuality and all things satanic, ghoulish and spooky? About the time it takes to devour a Reese's peanut butter pumpkin.
In the lead-up to today, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I've heard frequent laments for the national unity we Americans felt and displayed in the days after the attacks. This isn't surprising, considering we're now a nation of fissures.
I remember that feeling. A complete wuss where needles are concerned, even I was prepared to give blood. As much as they needed. As long as they knocked me out first.
But I also remember that, for some, unity wasn't on the agenda.
Two days after the planes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Jerry Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" TV show, and offered this: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Robertson heartily agreed. During a period of monumental national sorrow, America's two most prominent conservative Christian leaders chose to demonize queer people and our fellow travelers.
After an outcry, Robertson blamed Falwell. The televangelists couldn't even manage unity in their disunity.
Looking back, I suspect the issue was partly timing. The nation was too raw. If they'd waited a month to blame gays and feminists and liberals, they might've been better received, not come across as heartless, vicious toadstools.
I guess they just got caught up in their enthusiasm for sharing God's love.
- July 2021
The LGBTQ community just received a gift.
Of the many individuals renowned for battling queer rights over the years, Anita Bryant stands out for the virulence of her attack, her Christian smugness and the fact that she was a whole lot better-looking than Jerry Falwell.
When Florida's Miami-Dade County banned employment and housing discrimination against gays in 1977, Bryant formed Save Our Children, famously reasoning that "Homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they must recruit."
The beauty queen and singer, who called gays "human garbage," flogged fears of kids being indoctrinated and molested. "Before I yield to this insidious attack on God and His laws, I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before," said Joan of Arc with a bouffant.
This week, Anita Bryant's granddaughter announced her engagement to a woman.
Bryant turned many people off religion, but hearing she has a lesbian granddaughter might bring them back again.
- June 2021
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