The Gay Curmudgeon
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Mar 20, 2012 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on The Dutch Catholic Church.
@4: I think the actions of the church hiding the crimes of priests and other religious orders against children, moving offenders from parish to parish without disclosing their crimes, obstructing justice in investigations, claiming that the church is exempt from local laws, and seeking to silence, discredit, and marginalize the survivors is a pattern that has been seen around the world.

Given the history and the power of the church in the 50's castration as a punishment for survivors reporting their sexual abuse by priests fails to surprise.

The church itself is clear that sins of ommission are as wrong of sins of commission, so the idea that they did nothing wrong because they did not "encourage child rape" while allowing it to happen, actively hiding the perpetrators, and allowing children to be physically mutilated after being raped is patently absurd.

1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. For those of them who were abused by the religious the distinction between what was "allowed" and what was "encouraged" is meaningless.
Jan 14, 2012 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Catholic Leaders Lash Out at Gay-Marriage Bill, but Do Seattle's Liberal Catholics Have the Courage to Lash Back?.
The very least Washington Catholics who support Civil Marriage Equality can do is stand facing away from the priest with their heads bowed in silent protest and prayer as this unjust and hurtful letter is read.

Oh, and please sit up the front so everyone else at mass can see you.

For extra credit, tear your empty offering envelope in half and drop it in the collection plate.
Jan 13, 2012 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on The Marriage Bill Arrives With 23 Senate Sponsors (And Two More Votes Needed).
It looks like the provisions with the 2014 date only refer to the conversion of existing domestic partnerships to marriages, and the circumstances under which that will and won't occur.

Laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the session, unless specified otherwise or challenged by referendum, so my read is that if we get the votes and can win the inevitable referendum campaign we'll have equal civil marriage in Washington this year.
Dec 2, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Movement in Australia on Marriage Equality.
The ALP just voted to change the National Platform removing the current text of 142 and adding the following:

‘‘Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life’’.

However, at the same same time a motion was passed for a conscience vote to be allowed for MPs on the issue of Marriage Equality. Under PM Gillard, the government is unlikely to move a bill to change the Marriage Act, although a private members bill could be brought to the floor. If that were to happen, MPs can now vote their conscience on the issue rather than follow the ALP platform so the change to the platform is effectively non-binding.
Dec 2, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Movement in Australia on Marriage Equality.
There is movement and it seems that the ALP Left has the votes to make a change but let's not count our chickens before they hatch, Joe de Bruyn and the ALP Right aren't laying down yet. The thing that Australian Labour Party delegates will be voting on changing is the National Platform and Constitution and will be debated this morning Sydney time. Here's the 2009 version of the section where the change needs to be made (Note: It sounds pretty great until you get to the end of the section):

"Removing discrimination against same-sex couples:

137 Labor supports the enactment of legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation or gender status, and the removal of such discrimination from Commonwealth legislation

138 Labor believes that people are entitled to respect, equality, dignity and the opportunity to participate in society free of hatred or harassment and receive the protection of the law regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. Consistent with this belief, in 2007 Labor audited Commonwealth laws to identify discrimination against same sex couples. In 2008, laws were passed to remove discrimination from 84 pieces of Commonwealth legislation.

139 Labor will ensure that all couples whether married or de facto do not suffer discrimination.

140 Labor will take action to ensure the development of a nationally consistent framework that provides:
• The opportunity for all couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared life to have their relationship officially recognized.
• Equal rights for all couples in federal and state laws.

141 Labor will review relationship recognition arrangements to ensure national consistency.

142 These reforms are to be implemented consistently with Labor's commitment to maintaining the definition of marriage as currently set out in the Marriage Act."
Nov 21, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Jamie Kilstein's Amazing Gay Parenting Rant.
@28: I read that our Mormon friends are running a charm offensive to rehab their public image. I don't find the timing coincidental with a Romney bid for the presidency. I'll be interested to see what the LDS Church gets up to in Washington as the Marriage Equality Bill and campaign spins up. There were LDS observers at the Referendum 71 validation process run by the SoS Elections Division.
Nov 12, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Why Coach Paterno, Not the Witness, Is to Blame for Not Reporting Child Rape to Police.
We'd all like to think that we would do the right thing in situations like this. Research from Australia (which is likely a good proxy for the US) trying to understand how people might react when presented with different abuse situations doesn't give us any reason to feel great about ourselves.

Given the hypothetical scenario of a twelve year old child, who is a member of your extended family, telling you that an adult relative has been touching them on their genitals only 34% of respondents would definitely call the police. Focusing on "definitely" responses only, 76% would discuss it with a friend or partner, 49% would contact the families/child protection department, and 42% would talk to the parents (assuming one of them isn't the hypothetical abuser).

Women were more likely to respond definitely to most or all responses and the more contact respondents had with children at work, the more likely they were to say that they definitely would contact the families and/or child protection department, and the less likely they would discuss it with their partner or a friend. The younger the respondent, the more likely they would definitely call the police - 45 years and above 28%; 35 to 44 years 35%; and under 35 years 39%.

Let's recap - when a child reaches out for help after being sexually abused 66% of people would *not* call the police, 51% *wouldn't* call families/child protective services, and 58% *wouldn't* talk to the parents. Note that using hypotheticals means you get an idealized response so it's likely that many definite action measures to protect the child are actually lower in real-world cases.

When looking at the factors that *definitely* stop people taking action when they suspect child abuse or neglect, 49% are worried they may be wrong, 44% are worried what would happen to them if they talked about it, 42% don't think it's their business, 38% don't know what to do, 33% don't want to cause problems for the child, 30% don't want to upset the parents, and 22% don't want to admit things like sexual abuse happen.

If you combine "definitely stops them taking action" and "possibly stops them taking action" the factors driving inaction start at 98% and go no lower than 89%.

I'm surprised that no one can imagine what it might have been like for McQueary to see what he did, to imagine him going into shock and reacting with fight or flight in that moment. It's not hard to imagine him calling people afterwards to try and process what he'd seen, not believing it, not wanting to believe it, and then once the shock had passed reporting it in the power structure he lived inside trusting them to know what to do. Less than ideal, certainly, but in light of the data in this study it's clearly more than many other people might have done.

It's easy to read horror stories like these and fall into a black and white certainty that we would each have done "the right thing" but the human reality is much more nuanced.

What isn't nuanced is how pervasive child abuse is - 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the time they are 18. In fact, it's pretty much a statistical certainty that someone you know is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It's an epidemic and there is a wall of fear, shame, and silence around the sexual abuse of children that must be broken for children to be safe in our homes and communities.

Our primary focus needs to be getting these now adult survivors of child sexual abuse the resources they need to heal. Awareness, prevention, and counseling programs and resources for children and survivors were few and far between even before the financial crisis.

As good as a cathartic purge of our collective anger and disgust at McQueary might make us feel, it only serves to give us a completely unfounded sense that we would have done better in his place. That energy would be better spent driving the outcomes that directly help protect children and heal survivors, now and in the future.

The data come from the '“Help Break Down the Wall” Community Attitudes Survey' from June 2010 which can be found here:…
Nov 9, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Jamie Kilstein's Amazing Gay Parenting Rant.
If you head on over to view this clip on YouTube, you'll notice something interesting. On the right in the top related video slot is a "Promoted Video" and it's "Wife, Mother, Mormon" from the official Mormon YouTube channel. Coincidence or deliberate keyword targeting?
May 4, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on Um. How Best to Respond to a Thing Like This?.
I'd go with the thank you note and a thoughtfully inscribed copy of "Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women".
Mar 10, 2011 The Gay Curmudgeon commented on You Can't Pray Away the Gay....
The received wisdom after more than 20 years of ex-gay therapy is simply this...

There is no "ex-gay", there's only "no-sex-gay".