Alex Blaze

Good Christians motivated only by their moral values

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 06, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: adoption rights, Florida Family Policy Council, homophobic people, judicial activism, kids, lesbian, LGBT, Melanie Leon, orlando sentinel, parenting, Vanessa Alenier

Donna Pandori posted earlier this week about a lesbian couple in Florida who adopted a child they were fostering and didn't lie on the application. A judge eventually awarded them custody; the best interests of the child and a parent's sexual orientation aren't related, according to the judge.

So of course a local iteration of the standard-issue Religious Right org (here the "Florida Family Policy Council") is mad. A judge, someone with the audacity to both know the law and meet this family, made a decision they didn't like! Judicial activism! And the judicial activism was accompanied by photos of the couple on the left, even though the folks on the right are the couple in question (Melanie Leon and Vanessa Alenier):



This is a particular line of attack that I've seen deployed not a few times against LGBT people - they're not beautiful! Haw haw haw, that means they're not human!

The Orlando Sentinel was the first to notice the photo mix-up, and JMG adds that the incorrect photo is the first Google image result that comes up if someone searches "ugly lesbian." Personally, I hope that the couple in the supposedly "ugly" photo is living in a cave and has no access to the internet - the Florida Family Policy Council isn't just being mean-spirited towards Leon and Alenier, but they're being terribly cruel to the unknown couple in the photo.

While Leon and Alenier are a traditionally beautiful couple, that's just another factor, like their sexual orientation, that's unrelated to their ability to parent. The unknown couple could be loving and responsible parents just as easily, even though the Orlando Sentinel's columnist said:

The couple look so odd (you literally can't tell whether they are male or female) that one might wonder how any judge could place a young child with such a disturbing-looking duo.

I would assume that they were good parents and that the fact that some people are "disturbed" by their appearance didn't play a factor in the decision. And I don't think that the point of the photo was to convince people unsure about the decision that Leon and Alenier are bad parents; rather, the point was to create space for a self-affirming tribal ritual among homophobes where they all get together and laugh at LGBT people for not being as wonderful, beautiful, and gendered as they are.

But the columnist makes it clear that it's not just about beauty, it's about gender. The androgyny of the unknown is meant to imply that "gender confusion" will descend on the children, the bad haircuts and lack of tan makes them seem lower class, and they don't look like feminine women, which means that they don't have maternal instincts or deserve the same rights and protections Real Women have under the law.

The org's president made a shallow apology on the Florida Family Policy Council's website, prefaced by several paragraphs criticizing the Orlando Sentinel for even bringing it up in the first place. They even go so far as to call the Sentinel "judgmental," which, if your organization is devoted to judging LGBT parents as unfit to raise children, takes some chutzpah.

There's a lot going on with switching the photos up, and none of it's related to actually determining whether the couple in question make good parents or not (and I hear they do!). But it's not really shocking to see this coming from the Religious Right. As much as we've been told that they're "values voters" who are just worried about losing the "Culture War" and the direction the "moral values" of America are headed, they're really just people who are, to borrow a phrase from elementary schools across America, "ugly on the inside."

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Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | February 6, 2010 2:44 PM

"...and the murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death..."

Stupid, yes but note how it specifically calls out liars but not gays. The Xians never seem to get that part right. For them, lying is just a means to an end. My biggest regret is not being able to believe in religion because I would love to be able to look forward to some justice being done upon these people.

Any organization with the words "American Family..." or "...Family Policy..." is part of the Talibangelicals which shouldn't get one word of publicity here or anywhere. We should just refer to them as the Talibangelicals and never give power to their names.

The explanation from the "Florida Family Policy Council" still doesn't make sense. They say the picture was from an earlier lesbian adoption case, but they link to the following page: The picture does appear on that page, but the text refers to a gay man who was allowed to adopt. The only woman mentioned is Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman, who issued the ruling. is a gossip site, so it probably isn't reliable, and we still don't know who is in the picture.

The authors of all anti-lgbt propaganda are clearly a bunch of cheap tinhorn anti-christs, who, for all their pretensions, have no legitimate place on earth, nor in heaven. It is long past the time to disfellowship these asinine and evil parasites from their self-appointed lying roles.

Several years ago now, when I was on my quest to find what church or denomination fit into what I read within the pages of the Bible. I happened to be attending a well known denomination which I will not mention other than to say it is often the one which puts up the loudest protests in regard to LGBTQ persons having any rights. This was long before this was even spoken of as an issue and my feelings were very suppressed and closeted. I can recall after the hymns and announcements were done the pastor of this church got up and looked over those in attendance. With a smile on his face and a southern accent, he proclaimed, " I likes you people because you people looks like good Christians". I never attended that or any other church of that denomination again. Even back then when I knew I could fit into the view of that pastor, that one cannot judge books by looking at the cover and you cannot judge people by the outward appearance they are saddled with in this life. Sooner or later people tend to find the truth. It may take time but it generally does come out. We can only hope that the retraction or statement about this "photo mistake" was as widely proclaimed as the protest of those who made it. I did hear something else that has stuck with me. When ever you point your finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at you. Feel sorry for these people who would abuse and condemn as they are often harboring feelings they have not manage to deal with themselves.

Regan DuCasse | February 6, 2010 8:28 PM

As far as I'm concerned, the couple on the left are a teacup and saucer. They are just as good a match to each other.

This is a tough world to find someone to love who loves you back.
More power to them and the pride in which they are showing off their rings with their hands tenderly and protectively placed on one another.

We should all be so lucky as both couples depicted here.

BTW: as was pointed out in the Orlando Sentinel article, Leon and Alenier are the ones raising this little child, NOT the FPC.
And more's the point, he's related to one of the women, FURTHER keeping him in circle of his own blood.
If NOT for these women, he might otherwise be with strangers or the state.

The judge was right.
And the adoption ban is sick and spiteful.

What ever happened to thou shalt not bear false witness?

Or did they erase that commandment from thier bibles?

This is a particular line of attack that I've seen deployed not a few times against LGBT people - they're not beautiful! Haw haw haw, that means they're not human!
Um... it's the standard first line of attack by both Focus on the Family types and GLBs against Trans people.

You've seen it many times - you just haven't noticed.

Actually, Zoe, I think that's what Alex meant by "*not* a few times."

It's not so much in vogue these days, but it's one of my favourite turns of speech. :-)

Yes, but Alex needed to show the "more attractive" couple to reaffirm LGBT people are, in fact, human. I'm not saying he's 'lookist' but he is showing this form of insecurity all attacked groups have when they need to 'reaffirm' their humanity by displaying the more mainstream (properly gendered) attractive people in their community. And Zoe is quite right about LGB people attacking trans identities by referring to their "misgendered ugliness" it happens constantly. I had a lesbian ex-friend who looked at another lesbian's mtf trans partner and snidely remarked "ha, she looks like Keith Richards". I knew exactly what that meant.

Are you saying that I shouldn't have put up the photo of the actual couple, which shows that the FFPC was lying and is kinda the whole point of the post, because.... Because you think that I attach my self-worth to the attractiveness and gender presentation of a couple of lesbians in Florida that I've never met?

When have I ever been about affirming myself through affirming others who share my sexual identity? I usually get accused of quite the opposite. And should I now start to second guess everything I put up here because someone will try to read between the lines to figure out the subtext and motivation behind every little detail, ignoring the obvious and flinging the most counterintuitive and negative theories as attacks?

That picture's there because the post doesn't make sense without it. That's it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Alex, there is a lot of judgement implied about which set of parents would be better, the gender variant-looking left pair or the "more attractive" looking right pair? We both know what's implied by showing them side by side. You could mention the photo substitution without trying to make this visual comparison and therefore, continue the judgement. And, yes, this assumption even exists in your post (but NO, I'm not suggesting what you're doing is comparable to what right-wing extremists are doing).

As Zoe wrote, it is a frequent way G & L cisgender people ridicule the "legitimacy" of trans people (e.g. gender variance = creepy/ugly/funny).

I'm not saying you should second guess all your posts, but you should examine some of the underlying assumptions behind what you put into this one.

Unless I'm mistaken, aren't they specifically charged NOT to "bear false witness" in their Big 10 rules? I'm not sure what else this would be considered. Last I checked it wasn't "thou shalt not bear false witness unless you think it's for a good cause." Ah, the taste of hypocrisy...

twinkie 1 cat | February 7, 2010 11:28 PM

The couple should sue the Florida Family Planning Council for slander and so should the couple pictured erroneously. Neither couple is actually ugly (Google images may need to be notified to remove the search term "Ugly lesbian") It is just that the chosen picture fits the stereotype.

If the Religious Right can be tied up in lawsuits they will have less money to cause problems.

twinkie 1 cat | February 8, 2010 12:02 AM

Good Christians are motivated by their moral values. That is absolutely true because good Christians follow the walk of Jesus Christ and have him in their hearts directing their actions. \
The problem is that groups like these are not "Good Christians". They are political Christians, much like Muslim terrorists. They place their politics before their personal relationship with Jesus Christ (if they have accepted him as their saviour at all) and use religion to oppress minorities of all kinds. A political "christian" is no more working for God than a Taliban is working for Allah and they hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in the world.

The Bible says,"Faith without works is dead. Your faith will be known by your works." Moral values do not include hate and discrimination or abusing children by denying them secure homes with forever families. Those are Satan's values.

I know some of the people who read this website are atheists, agnostics, or have gone to other religions because they do not believe Christianity will accept them. This is not true. It is a lie from Satan. Jesus Christ accepts anyone willing to accept him into their lives. Jesus never once condemned gay people. The Catholic church has in its archives a same sex marriage service and a number of gay martyrs. But they don't talk about that anymore.