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This and that – open thread

* New anti-gay junk science from Dr. Paul Cameron of the  Family Research Institute: Homosexuality More Dangerous Than Smoking.

“The consistency of reduced lifespan for those engaging in homosexuality is significant,” said Dr. Cameron. “The same pattern of early death turned up whether we looked at obituaries in the U.S. or deaths in marriage. Given the greatly reduced lifespan for homosexuals, school children should be strongly and consistently warned about the dangers of homosexuality even more so than smoking. Those school districts which are introducing pro-gay curricula need to rethink their priorities.”

* Blender and Soulforce Equality Rider Matt Hill Comer sent an alert from the road about one of the pet projects of organizations like the ADF — derailing gay-straight alliances in schools. In NC the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted last year to prohibit  “sex-based clubs” (code for any groups that would serve as advocacy/affinity groups for LGBTQ students and allies). The ALCU of NC is organizing a Day of Silence protest on April 16th at the Rowan-Salisbury County Board of Ed.

* NC blogger Scrutiny Hooligans has unshackled from Blogger and is now at new WordPress digs: www.scrutinyhooligans.us.

* Learn more about the enemy in Army of God: The Legal Muscle Leading the Fight to End the Separation of Church and State, a piece by Sarah Posner in The Washington Spectator about the Alliance Defense Fund.

Over the past several years, ADF has seized on “viewpoint discrimination” to put the gay rights movement in its cross hairs. Gay rights, in ADF’s view, cannot coexist with its version of Christianity. Anti-harassment codes at schools and universities, gay rights events, and other expressions of freedom or equal rights for LGBT people, necessarily silence Christians, who, ADF insists, are biblically compelled to condemn homosexuality. The “homosexual agenda,” then, is ipso facto anti-Christian. Alan Sears, ADF’s president, told the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit last fall that “the homosexual agenda and religious freedom are on a collision course.” He scoffed at what he called “propaganda about so-called oppression” of gays, countering that the “homosexual agenda” not only seeks to silence religious speech but it “probably includes the abolition of marriage.”

* Blender Rev. Jerry Maneker posts on the Silence about Bush’s Iraq folly and LGBT rights.

* Minnesota Monitor’s Andy Birkey covers A Day in One Man’s Bold Protest for Equality.

Before each session of the Minnesota House and Senate, soft-spoken Doug Benson arrives half an hour early, unfurls his shower curtain and educates legislators, lobbyists and Capitol visitors about marriage equality.

Using latex-painted shower curtains, which he says “make great, cheap, waterproof banners,” he stands just outside the entrance to the House and Senate chambers with messages like “Let Me Marry My Partner of 16 Years.” His other signs include “Gay Parents Need Access to Marriage,” “Civil Marriage is a Civil Right and Human Right” and “Make My Family Legal.” I visited Doug on a rainy Friday in March to find out more about why he spends his days at the Capitol and what impact he is having on the same-sex marriage debate.

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Pam Spaulding

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