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04/19/2007


In Wake of 'Ex-Gay' Story, Gay Cadet Blasts US Air Force Academy Claim That Gays Feel Welcome There

A US Air Force Cadet is speaking out in the wake of the revelations that the US Air Force Academy has a gay conversion therapy advocate overseeing its counseling program, and a subsequent press release from the USAFA about how "happy" the gay cadets are there.

Earlier this week, Americablog broke the story that Dr. Mike Rosebush, an advocate of "gay conversion therapy" with deep ties to organizations like NARTH, Exodus, and other "ex-gay" groups, was overseeing the cadet counseling at the USAFA.

Following those revelations the USAFA issued a press release:

Lt.-Gen.-Michelle-D.-JohnsonRegarding the allegations saying the Air Force’s Academy not being a welcoming place for LGBQ cadets, The Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson (pictured), along with the Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Gregory Lengyel, and the Dean of the Faculty, Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, and Dr. Hans Mueh (Brig. Gen, ret.) Athletic Director recently met with Spectrum, the Academy’s affinity group for LGBQ cadets.

In that forum, the cadets expressed to Academy leaders that they are proud to be in the Air Force and do not feel like the Air Force Academy culture inhibits them in any way.  Rather, they expressed their concerns about the media reports and how those reports may affect the decision of young Americans to attempt to come to the Academy.

One attendee at the forum was Air Force Capt. Michelle L. Reinstatler, an Instructor, Department of English and Fine Arts, and the Officer in Charge of Spectrum.

“During the forum with leadership, the cadets of Spectrum expressed multiple times that the Academy is a safe and validating place to be LGBQ,” Capt. Reinstatler said.  ”Several cadets have told me they are frustrated with the articles disparaging USAFA; these articles do not take into account the extensive support our LGBQ cadets have received from Academy leadership or the reality of the Academy’s inclusive environment.”

The press release has inspired an unidentified gay cadet to send a letter to Mikey Weinstein, the founder and head of  the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group dedicated to maintaining the separation of church and state in the United States military.

UsafHere it is, via the Huff Post:

I am writing this to you today as a client of the MRFF. I happen to be gay. Please keep all of my information confidential as you always do.

I happen to not be out and have no intention of ever being out while I attend USAFA. I am a current cadet at the United States Air Force Academy. I am a Christian. I am also an athlete on one of USAFA's most publicized NCAA intercollegiate teams here. I have been a client of the MRFF for a while now. It's the only help we have and it's a great source of security for me and other gay cadets. So thank you always for that.

I saw USAFA's self serving press release today about how "happy" all the gay cadets are here. How nice of all of the powers that be to meet with the Spectrum Club all of the sudden now that they're in the shits with the media and getting jacked up everywhere for hiring Rosebush. Of course to be in Spectrum you have to out yourself. If I and the many other cadets I know who are LGB came out it would be devastating for our cadet and future Air Force careers. I could never stay on my intercollegiate team. Being LGB here is like not being an "all in" Christian. You're finished.

What a crock that press release is. What a crock the academy leaders are for keeping Rosebush here. Anyways, I don't have time to elaborate. Mikey you know how bad it is because we tell you and you have seen it. Those of us who are LGB live in the worst fear of being outted at any moment and suffering for it. Maybe Rosebush can magically make us all "ungay"? Do you know how it makes us feel to know that our school has a man like that here? And how many other Rosebushes are here? If people can't see it now they never will. Having USAFA keep a person like Rosebush on staff at CCLD here shames all of us. He believes we made a choice to be LGB. He believes us to be "sick" with that gay disease. He believes we are sinning and will go to hell if we don't repent through Jesus and "choose" to be straight. And he has a "counseling" plan to make us all straight? Doesn't anyone of the highger ups here know how that makes us feel? It takes away our dignity as human beings. It takes away everything of value.

MIkey, I have to go study. Have finals. Hope this helps explain how so many of us feel destroyed now. Thank you and the MRFF for calling on the Air Force to fire Rosebush. As if that will ever happen.

The HuffPost's Lila Shapiro also spoke with Edith Disler, the director of LGBT affiars to the MRFF and a former faculty member at the academy, about the press release:

"Do you really think they're going to have an open and engaging conversation? I don't think so."

Disler is gay, which was not publicly known when she taught at the academy because she retired in 2009 before the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. "They've made gestures," she said, of the academy's attempts to obey the new law. "It's a big deal that they have an LGBTQ affinity group, and I'm glad there are some that feel they can attend it, but I think the overarching power structure is unchanged. The power structure is that people are silent."


Advocate of 'Gay Cure Therapy' Overseeing Cadet Counseling At US Air Force Academy

The US Air Force Academy has hired an advocate of harmful 'gay conversion therapy' to oversee its counseling program for young cadets. Dr. Mike Rosebush is the chief of Character and Leadership Coaching at the US Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Americablog reports:

UsafRosebush is the chief of Character and Leadership Coaching at the US Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, putting him in charge of a team of counselors.

Rosebush’s primary counseling experience before coming to the academy was in supposedly “curing” homosexuality and other “sexual addictions” since 1995.  Before that time, he was in the Air Force and also taught at the Academy.  His resume reads like a veritable who’s-who of anti-gay hate and pseudo-science.

Rosebush is a former vice president of one of the lead religious right, and anti-gay activist, organizations, Focus on the Family, which is also headquartered in Colorado Springs.

Rosebush has also served as a clinical member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the lead group of quack scientists who claim to have found the cure for homosexuality....And Rosebush also served as director of the Professional Counselors’ Network of Exodus International, what was once the lead “ex-gay” counseling group.

More at Americablog...

(image source)


Colorado College Defends Use Of 'Queer' On Job Application

ColoradoCollege

Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado has come under fire due to its use of the word "queer" on a job application for a position recently posted on the college's website.

When asked to fill out the section "Voluntary Demographic Data" the application lists five options under "Gender": Not disclosed, Male, Female, Transgender or Queer. John Kichi, a gay Pennsylvania man, brought attention to the college's use of the word after applying for the position of Database Specialist at the school.

ColoAs The Denver Post reports, Kichi was none too pleased with the college's use of the term: "I couldn't believe it. I thought I was going to have a stroke," Kichi said. "It's totally from the Dark Ages...If them including it on applications isn't against the law, it should be." However, Colorado College views the matter differently, believing that offering "Queer" as an option when it comes to gender identity is actually an inclusive move that should appeal to the LGBT community:

As far as Colorado College is concerned, using the term on applications is "intended to represent the college's commitment to and acknowledgment of diversity related to gender," according to a statement from the school. "Colorado College is very much committed to diversity, and is very open about sexual orientation."

The school's office of Minority and International Students uses the following definition of queer in its training: "An umbrella term describing people who have a non-normative gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual anatomy—includes lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, asexual people, transgender people, intersex people, etc."

While the school acknowledges that the term is used as a slur by some, it adds: "Others have reclaimed it and are comfortable using it to describe themselves."

Still some have been quick to point out that the term may be polarizing depending on a person's age:

Kichi, who was angry enough to send a complaint to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, is 66 years old.

Charles Irwin, the executive director of Colorado Springs Pride, a gay rights organization in the city, said that Kichi's age may be the reason behind the differing viewpoints.

"Queer is a challenging word, a word that's in transition," he said. "But today's youth embraces it very well."


Colorado Couple Files Suit Challenging State's Ban on Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Colorado

Dr. Rebecca Brinkman and her partner Margaret Burd have filed a lawsuit challenging Colorado's ban on gay marriage, the Denver Channel reports:

The lawsuit alleges that Article II, Section 31 of the Colorado Constitution, which states that “only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as a marriage,” violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Brinkman and Burd went to the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s office and applied for a marriage license, Ogden said. The deputy clerk said they were not eligible to marry each other because they are both female, and instead offered them an application for a civil union.

"They rejected this offer because civil unions are more akin to a business relationship than to the expression of dignity, love, respect and commitment that married heterosexual couples enjoy because they are married," Ogden stated.

Watch their report, AFTER THE JUMP...

There are currently 30 same-sex marriage lawsuits in 22 states.

Continue reading "Colorado Couple Files Suit Challenging State's Ban on Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


Right-Wingers Claim Trans Colorado Student is 'Visually Raping' Girls in the Locker Room: VIDEO

A transgender high schooler from Colorado who transitioned two years ago is hearing absurd claims from multiple right-wing groups about the "harassment" she is committing in the locker room at her school. The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is leading the charge.

Think Progress reports: Jd

TransAdvocate blogger Cristan Williams has been countering PJI’s claims, and she was able to make contact with the transgender student and her family.

Williams identifies the student as Jane Doe, though her name has been outed by those attempting to villainize her. She spoke with one of Jane’s moms, who provided some new insights into how PJI’s drama has unfolded. Jane transitioned about two years ago, and is now “comfortable with life,” having previously experienced a lot of harassment when she would still use men’s restrooms. Her mom describes her as “shy and timid, “private about everything,”" and also quite afraid of being bullied.

The family only learned about the controversy when the school was bombarded with media requests after some other parents held a poorly attended rally protesting Jane’s use of girls’ facilities. Jane then found PJI’s complaint online, and it caused her anxiety attacks...

As Williams explains, the bigger target behind Jane Doe is California's law protecting transgender children:

The law protecting transgender children, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed in August, says schools must treat transgender students as equal to cisgender students. A coalition of anti-LGBT groups calling itself “Privacy for All Students” has circulated 200,000 anti-trans petitions throughout California. Their goal is to collect 505,000 valid signatures by November 12, 2013. If they collect those signatures, it will stop the trans equality law from taking effect in January and put the civil rights of trans kids up for popular vote in November 2014.

KlingenschmittPJI is still in attack mode despite the obvious distress their statements have caused Jane and her family. In all of his statements, PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds refers to Jane using male pronouns, misgendering and disrespecting her gender identity.

Said McReynolds in a WND interview: "We’ve heard some reports that he’s commented on what girls are wearing or their figure while in the bathroom," adding, "Our students are in a scenario where they’re being told, If you don’t want to be in this situation where this guy walks in while you’re in the bathroom, then you’ve got to confine yourself to one staff bathroom that is very inconvenient..." 

The attack is not confined to PJI, however. Right Wing Watch reported that on his talk show "Pray in Jesus Name," former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt accused Jane "of 'raping, at least visually, these teenage girls by sharing a locker room with them." 

Watch the distasteful video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Right-Wingers Claim Trans Colorado Student is 'Visually Raping' Girls in the Locker Room: VIDEO" »


Pastor Blames Colorado Floods on Gays, Marijuana, and Abortion Rights: AUDIO

Colorado Pastor Kevin Swanson, in a talk with Generations Radio co-host Dave Buehner, blamed the deadly Colorado floods on "decadent homosexual activity" (offering the example of a kiss between Denver House Speaker Mark Ferrandino and his partner which appeared on the front of the Denver Post), abortion and marijuana rights, Right Wing Watch reports.

SwansonSays Swanson:

Let me ask you this: is it a coincidence that this was the worst year politically in the history of Colorado, at least if you use God’s law as a means of determining human ethics, our legislators did the worst possible things this year than I have ever witnessed in the twenty years I’ve been in Colorado. Our legislators committed homosexual acts on the front page of the Denver Post, do you remember that? So here we have the very worst year in Colorado’s year in terms of let’s kill as many babies as possible, let’s make sure we encourage as much decadent homosexual activity as possible, let’s break God’s law with impudence at every single level, at every single level let’s make sure that we offend whoever wrote the Bible, so we have the worst year possible politically in the state of Colorado and it happens to be the worst year ever in terms of flood and fire damage in Colorado’s history. That is a weird coincidence; interesting to say the least.

Swanson then goes on to also name marijuana as another cause.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pastor Blames Colorado Floods on Gays, Marijuana, and Abortion Rights: AUDIO" »


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