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Ted Haggard: Broke and crazy as hell

I don’t know how many times Ted Haggard has to do something so insane. He just keeps pushing the envelope to new extremes. He and his wife will be the subject of a two-art episode of “Divorce Court” the first two days of April (h/t PageOneQ):

Disgraced American pastor Ted Haggard says he wanted his wife to divorce him after a sex scandal involving another man, but she refused.

Haggard made the comments in a two-part episode of the syndicated television show Divorce Court, to be broadcast April 1-2. The show released a partial transcript on Tuesday.

The couple was paid “an undisclosed amount” of cash for the appearance.

I’m just wondering: When will it get bad enough for Haggard to have to whore himself out on the streets? I mean, he’s already proven he’s crazy enough to do anything for money, right?

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Two-day agenda

The next two days will prove to be very busy, indeed.

I’m headed to Raleigh today to hunt down some gay-owned business and retail owners for an upcoming article. I’ll break away this evening for some drinks with old college friends. Tomorrow is EqualityNC’s Day of Action at the N.C. Legislature. Photos and more will be posted over at Q-Notes.com.

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AFA and OneNewsNow contradicting itself?

On March 15, the radically anti-gay American Family Association-backed OneNewsNow.com reports that abstinence-only education is working (past post):

“The teen pregnancy rate has dropped by a third since abstinence education was started,” he points out, “and the teen abortion rate has been cut in half.”

Seven days later, it isn’t working as thought and more of it needs to be taught:

“We have said to a whole generation, almost two generations now, of young people, ‘Just be careful and use a condom,’ and that’s the only advice we are giving them,” she adds, “and I think that’s so unfair and it’s so misleading for our young people because we’re downplaying the consequences of casual sex.”

Consistency is certainly not a principle that this “news” site  and writer Charlie Butts values.

The March 21 print issue of Q-Notes‘ feature piece is “Stamp of Approval.” A researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is calling into question the perfect 100 rating of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American, Inc. (corporate parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company) in the Human Right’s Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The researcher says the company’s direct marketing to LGBT consumers has helped to create a “health inequality” and shows poor corporate responsibility to LGBT consumers and the LGBT community.

Q-Notes has an in-depth story. Be sure to check it out: www.q-notes.com/2009/03/21/stamp-of-approval/

This was a fabulously fun piece for me to write, being a native of Winston-Salem (a graduate of the R.J. Reynolds High School even). I wrote an “inside look” of the article at the Q-Notes blog.

Our QPoll this time around: Should companies promoting addictive and unhealthy products (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) be included in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index?

All is not calm on the American Family Association front. Their “news” website, OneNewsNow.com, published a “story” (read: horrible piece of journalism) on the issue of comprehensive or abstinence-only sex education in North Carolina.

While the writer, Charlie Butts, gives plenty of speaking time for the N.C. Policy Research Council’s Jere Royall (nice guy, by the way) to spout out some talking points, Butts fails to mention why the story is even a story: The N.C. General Assembly is currently hearing a bill called the Healthy Youth Act. It has already passed through some preliminary committee hearings. If it becomes law it will replace North Carolina’s abstinence-only education with abstinence-based comprehensive sex education.

But, the real story of the OneNewsNow.com piece lies in the comments. It seems all the blind sheep at AFA’s propaganda machine aren’t all blind:

Preaching abstinence is not education, it is preaching. And it does not work. All the information that is available needs to be supplied to children. The role of the parent and educator is to supply information and teach them to make good decisions, not to withhold information.

More sticking their heads in the sand as states with abstinence only educations have the highest teen pregnancy rates.

In Gaston County, North Carolina, 500 teens became pregnant 2007. Gaston County students are only exposed to abstinence education, and contraception options are not added to the curriculum. Even the Gaston County Health Director, Colleen Bridger, admits that without better sex education, teen pregnancy numbers in the county will not drop. Bridger goes on to say: “Counties in North Carolina that teach comprehensive sex education have lower teen pregnancy rates than Gaston County. Research shows abstinence-only education doesn’t work, and I think it is time for Gaston County to try what the research shows works.”

Oddly enough, 9 out of the top 10 states with the highest teen pregnancy rates were red states which leaned heavily on abstinance-only education. They also were southern “Bible-belt” states.

There’s really no way to know if these are conservative folks making comments or progressive folks. I’m just suprised they haven’t been censored away yet.

thenewtwenty

Check it out… www.thenewtwentymovie.com

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. will sign on to a U.N. declaration on the decriminalization of homosexuality. Officials have notified the French sponsors of the intent to sign on. George Bush had refused to sign the statement, leaving the U.S. as the only Western nation refusing to do so. Read more.

(h/t Bilerico, UKGayNews)

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D.C.’s HIV blame game

Two D.C. bloggers are battling it out over the new HIV number released for Washington, D.C. Three percent of the total population there is now living with HIV.

Black Informant says the cause is risky sexual behavior among the gay and lesbian community. The Washington City Paper‘s Sexist blogger says the cause is more complex than that, pushed upward by increasing rates of new infections among heterosexuals.

I wonder how Black Informant would feel if someone took these numbers and twisted them to say African-Americans were to blame:

And continuing a grim trend from the 2007 report, African Americans are bearing the brunt of this epidemic: 4.3 percent of African Americans in the District are living with HIV/AIDS; 6.5 percent of black men in the city have the disease, and African Americans account for 76 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in the District.

This HIV blame game is stupid and dangerous. It is the reason why the federal government ignored the crisis for so long in the 1980s. Anyone can find a number or statistic, put it in bold text, twist it and use it to attack a minority or community. But that’s not being brave, as Black Informant suggests. Being brave would mean actually doing something to end the crisis, not increase paranoia and prejudice.

While Black Informant is busy trying to find a scapegoat, people are getting infected and infecting others. His energy would be better spent finding a way to end the crisis.

The radically conservative Christian Action League continues to foam at the mouth, lying through their teeth in order to scare the jeepers out of their blind followers.

In a “news” piece on their website, the League claims that the North Carolina School Violence Prevention Act (a.k.a. “the anti-bullying bill”) will require schools to teach that homosexuality is normal:

The bill requires local school boards to amend their existing bullying policies to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.” The measure would not only create a protected status in North Carolina’s public schools for homosexuality, bisexuality, cross dressing and other alternative sexual behaviors, but would also require schools to teach that these behaviors are normal and acceptable.

Although I’d certainly have no problem with such a bill, the cold, hard truth is none like that exists. The School Violence Prevention Act in no way mentions anything about teaching students about homosexuality or LGBT issues. Read the bill for yourself.

On the Healthy Youth Act, a bill that would implement comprehensive sex ed in schools, the Christian Action League claims, erroneously, that the bill would require students to learn about homosexuality. Why on earth are us queer folks always the punching bag for these blowhards?

It’s sad, really, that groups like the “Christian” Action League have to resort to lies in order to prove their case. I’m pretty sure that lying was one of those commandments from God Moses delivered to the people. Maybe the Christian Action League got an abridged version.

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Not all newspapers going bust

eldiariolaprensaNPR’s “On the Media” interviewed the editor of El Diario La Prensa, a New York City-based Hispanic and Latino community newspaper.

It seems not all papers are going under. Editor Alberto Vourvoulias says his paper has been among the fastest growing newspapers in the past two of three years.

A lot of great insights in the interview. Vourvoulias says ethnic newspapers are doing a lot of great things and that the English-language press isn’t covering ethnic communities as well as it should.

Take a listen.