Pooves and closet cases: March 2006 Archives

March 22, 2006

Religious? Unhappy? www.prattle.net

United States: A religious organisation which makes the ridiculous claim that it is possible to convert from homosexuality to heterosexuality is upset that people naturally take the piss out of them. So terrified were Exodus International that the Liberty Counsel sent blogger Justin Watt a cease-and-desist letter asking him to remove an image parodying the organisation's snake oil advertisements.

Fortunately, the ACLU is on Watt's side, along with their lawyers, who argue that the parody image is constitutionally-protected free speech, and fair use.

[Straight? Unhappy? www.gay.com]The moment I saw the billboards last September, I was deeply offended. The inspiration for the parody I created came to me instantly. How would straight people feel if their very being, their sense of self was being so overtly disparaged? said Justin Watt, a blogger from Santa Rosa, California. Their response was to try to intimidate me into taking the image down. It’s troubling that an organization as big as Exodus would go to such great lengths to silence its critics.

The billboard, sponsored by ex-gay ministry Exodus International, read, Gay? Unhappy? www.exodus.to. After seeing a photo of the billboards online, Watt posted an altered version reading, Straight? Unhappy? www.gay.com on his website, Justinsomnia.org. Liberty Counsel, an anti-gay legal group representing Exodus, sent Watt a cease-and-desist letter earlier this month claiming the parody violated Exodus’s intellectual property rights and threatening legal action if the parodies were not removed. In a response sent today to Liberty Counsel, the ACLU’s cooperating attorney, Laurence Pulgram of Fenwick & West, LLP, called upon Exodus to drop its attempts to censor Watt, pointing to case law holding parodies to be Constitutionally protected speech.

Parodies like Justin’s are protected by the First Amendment as a form of political commentary. His point was to make a comment on a very important issue he has strongly held beliefs about: that Exodus’s tactics are wrong, that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, and that being gay doesn’t make you unhappy, said Ann Brick, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. Just as a group like Exodus has a Constitutionally protected right to say whatever it wants to about gay people, even when that view has been roundly condemned by every major psychological and medical organization, Justin has a right to use parody to voice his opposition.

ACLU Defends Blogger's Right to Parody "Ex-Gay" GroupACLU Press Release, 22nd March 2006.

March 21, 2006

God punishes birds over gay rights

Israel: A rabbi has declared that an outbreak of bird flu in Israel is the work of God. According to Rabbi David Basri, God is angry with some of the more left-leaning political parties.

The bird flu outbreak stemmed from far-left political parties strengthening and encouraging homosexuality, Rabbi Basri's son quoted him as saying.

One of the parties aired an election commercial depicting two brides kissing. Some campaign advertisements also called for homosexual marriages to be legalized in Israel

Meanwhile, the same rabbi and his son are being investigated by police on suspicion that they are racist as well as homophobic.

According to suspicions, the Batzris allegedly made the racist comments at the conference which was held to rally support against the establishment of a bilingual school for Jewish and Arab students in the heart of the Pat neighborhood.

Rabbi David Batzri said, the establishment of such a school is a despicable and sinful act. An Arab cannot contaminate what is pure. It is forbidden to blend darkness and light. The nation of Israel is pure and the Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil disaster, an evil devil, and a nasty affliction.

Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri said, The Arabs are donkeys and beasts. They want to take our girls. They are endowed with true filthiness. There is pure and there is impure and they are impure.

Wrath of God behind Israel bird flu?Reuters, 21st March 2006; Mystical sage, son to be probed for suspected racist incitementHa'aretz, 21st March 2006

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Pooves and closet cases category from March 2006.

Pooves and closet cases: January 2006 is the previous archive.

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