Pam Spaulding

The Peter is flipping out about the gay nom for Office of Personnel Management

Filed By Pam Spaulding | February 03, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, fundies, hypocritical motherfuckers, John Berry, Office of Personnel Management, Peter Labarbera

As Josh at Right Wing Watch puts it, Peter LaBarbera sees the nomination of openly gay John Berry to head up the Office of Personnel Management as some sort of "gay mole", one with a sinister plot to homosexualize the federal government.

Professional anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is miffed because ... you guessed it ... Berry is gay:

Homosexual activist groups are predicting that if nominated and confirmed, Berry would work to expand benefits for same-sex couples -- something he did while he worked in the Interior Department.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says Berry has been flouting the spirit if not the letter of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars spousal recognition for same-sex couples.

"First of all, looking at Mr. Berry's track record, it's obvious that he's a homosexual activist within the federal government, doing a lot of things within a Republican administration that most people never were aware of," he contends. "So, what we have is sort of a subversive -- if you could call it that -- homosexual activist, and now he's going to have an even much more visible and powerful role at OPM, which is a very powerful job in Washington. And it just shows what's going to happen under the Obama administration."

Peter is soiling his Pampers because Berry will -- ahem -- work to eliminate discriminatory practices.

[Berry served as assistant secretary for policy, management and budget at the Interior Department during the Clinton administration and his accomplishments include] overseeing the creation of a grievance procedure for employees who experience discrimination because of their sexual orientation; expanding relocation benefits and counseling services to the domestic partners of Interior employees; establishing a liaison to gay and lesbian employees; and eliminating discriminatory provisions of the National Park Service's law enforcement standards, including bans on security clearances for gay and lesbian employees.

This is insane. Then again, since the election, Americans for Truth Against Homosexuality has featured utterly desperate content. Some sample headlines:

* National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Talks of 'Moral Leadership' while Honoring Homosexual S&M Pornographer

* Pervert4Mayor in Fort Lauderdale: Earl Rynerson - Would he whip the city into shape? (LaBarbera is incensed that two gay men are running to fill the seat being vacated by the infamous "pro-family hero Jim Naugle" of the six-figure robo-potty.)

* Change We Cannot Believe in - Judge Roy Moore lists reasons Christians should beware of new presidency. 'Shocking that homosexual bishop was asked to pray at all'

* Nobody Hates Like the 'Gay' Left, No. 127 -- Infantile 'Joe.My.God' Blog Post Attacks AFTAH. What an honor, Joe!

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Peter LaBarbera, like Fred Phelps, is of course a major nutcase, just with somewhat better manners than Fred Phelps.

That said, I think it's appalling for NGLTF to have such a thing as a "Leather Leadership Award." There is zero connection between someone being gay and lesbian and someone being "into leather." Yes, some gays and lesbians are into leather, but of course some straights, as well, are into leather. They are independent phenomena.

To me, it would be equally valid for NGLTF to have a "Foot Fetishist Community Leadership Award."

This may be the best gift the LGBT community could give Peter LaBarbera. It's not something out of his crazy, sex-obsessed imagination. He can really say: A major national gay organization literally gives a dedicated award to a practitioner of S&M, i.e., sex that acts out abuse, each year. And if that weren't damning enough, LaBarbera can accurately share that the most recent bestowee is a pornographer!!! Great!

Let's just give Peter LaBarbera a cow that squirts cash from its udders and poops out gold doubloons.

The poor judgment here makes me want to puke. My sexual/affectional orientation is an entirely different matter from sexual predilections that I, or other gay or lesbian people, may or may not happen to have.

Certainly I would not give one penny to NGLTF.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 3, 2009 11:18 PM

Wow, since Obama's victory, the religious fundies really have their knickers in a twist!!

When their sturm und drang isn't about them being closet cases, I think it's about fund-raising. "God, queers and guns," you know, fills the donation plate.

Such hypocrites.

By opposing a gay man who is clearly qualified for the position simply because he is gay, these people are showing their true colors for sure. They don't even have "the children" to stand behind here. The more they talk, the less that whole "we love the sinner but hate the sin" idea gains traction. I'm sort of glad for that.

By the way, I am a fan of the pandas at the National Zoo. (You can view them anywhere via their live cam.) I can tell you Berry's done an excellent job there, overseeing a number of improvements and finding creative (in the good sense of the word) ways to raise money and awareness. I believe I will share this with other National Zoo panda fans--and yes, there are online communities for them!--just in case anyone starts taking these objections seriously.

One small caveat--it's not only "since the election" that AFTAH has featured "utterly despicable content." ;-)

steve tabarez | February 4, 2009 9:26 AM

I have concerns, too. Though not from our right of the far rights' angle. As happy as I am to see many in our communities get jobs in this new administration, I fear that many of us will settle for that,
thinking that it is a sign we have made it. The elevation of a few, does raise us all. Equality under the law will.

I just keep waiting for my own rightwing nutjob stalker like Pam and Joe have in Peter. *sigh* Always a bridesmaid... :)

Well, there is a solution. Write to your favorite rightwing nutjob and start ranting, and keep doing it until they see you as their personal thorn in their side. Things like this just don't fall out of the sky into your lap. You got to work for them. Just ask Steve Ralls. He's been working on Elaine Donnely for years.

Steve, re-read the post. Porno Pete's main problem with Berry is that he's used his position(s) to help other LGBT people. He will be in an excellent position to end discriminatory practices within our government as head of the Office of Personnel Management. He's basically going to be the American government's HR manager.

Berry's and others' appointments will not end homophobia any more than Obama's election ended racism. However, we can celebrate steps when they happen.

steve tabarez | February 4, 2009 3:14 PM

I read it right the first time. I understand the angle, here. And, I do celebrate that some have been hired in government, and laud companies such as CAMPBELL'S SOUP and GOOGLE, etc. I only serve to remind people that not eveyone can work for the government. Moreover,
those policies could change when another president takes charge. Besides not advocating an incrementalist approach to attaning FULL CIVIL RIGHTS, I also feel that we not get too enthused over a few being elevated when what is needed is the possibility of advancement for us all. And,
equal protection under the law. Recent reports show that already backing away from ENDA, DADT, as well as many others. A few folks in the Whitehouse won't take the place
of those acts. I stand by what I said: The elevation of a few, doesn't raise us all.