Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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Conservative Group ALEC in 1985: S&M Accidents Cause 10 Percent of San Francisco's Homicides

| Thu Dec. 5, 2013 7:00 AM EST

Gay people recruit small children in public schools and S&M accidents are a leading cause of death in San Francisco, according to a 1985 newsletter from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the national, corporate-funded conservative group best known for pushing Stand Your Ground laws and union-busting bills.

The report was dug up and highlighted by the liberal watchdog group People for the American Way, which is organizing a protest of this week's ALEC conference in Washington, DC. Titled "Homosexuals: Just Another Minority Group?" the report reads today like the script for a bizarre nature channel program on gay people. In it, ALEC outlines six primary types of gay people: "the blatant"; "the secret lifer"; "the desperate"; "the adjusted"; "the bisexual"; and "the situational." (The "blatant" homosexual "is the obvious 'limp-wristed' individual who typifies stereotype of the 'average' homosexual.")

According to the report, 10 percent of all homicides in San Francisco at one point in the 1980s were "a result of S&M accidents among homosexuals."

The newsletter also serves as a cheat-sheet for gay men or women looking to meet like-minded people. "If a bar scene is preferred, the 'Gayellow Pages,' helps the homosexual find appropriate meeting places for socializing with other homosexuals," the report says. If that doesn't work, the newsletter discusses "public restrooms" and "massage parlors" as havens for "the desperate homosexual." Gay people even had their own language: "The homosexual's vocabulary is another part of their culture that separates them from the heterosexual mainstream."

The ALEC newsletter asserted that homosexuality was not only a choice ("the homosexual makes the conscious choice to pursue members of his/her own sex"), but one that its practitioners often came to regret. "Tom Minnery, who writes for Christianity Today, has written about homosexuals forsaking their homosexuality upon becoming Christian," the newsletter notes. "He says, 'the fact is, many people are experiencing deliverance from homosexuality. The evidence is too great to deny it.'"

But those who refused to abandon their homosexual urges were a risk to public health and children, according to ALEC. "Whatever the type of homosexual, one of the more dominant practices within the homosexual world is pedophilia, the fetish for young children," warned the newsletter. The reason for this was simple. "What is important to remember here is the fact that homosexuals cannot reproduce themselves biologically so they must recruit the young." And gay people came at a significant cost to the taxpayers, in the form of research for infectious diseases and tax-exempt status for LGBT nonprofits. "In addition to federal funding of AIDS research, the federal government has been active in funding the homosexual movement."

The report even took aim at the early stages of gay rights legislation, which the ALEC newsletter warned would force conservatives into uncomfortable and perhaps dangerous situations. Under new anti-discrimination laws for some public employees, "[p]arents will no longer be able to keep their children out from under the tutelage of homosexuals." Bans on LGBT discrimination in housing would mean "landlords will be forced to rent their property to a homosexual couple even if the landlord's family shares the same building." But the most ominous piece legislation concerned a proposal to end LGBT discrimination in immigration: "This bill would permit known homosexuals from other countries to become citizens of the U.S."

The horror.

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Here's Another High School Football Team Promoting the "Trail of Tears"

| Thu Nov. 21, 2013 7:00 AM EST

On Friday, the Dyersburg Trojans beat the visiting Jackson Northside Indians 34-14 to advance in the Tennessee high school football playoffs. But the game wasn't without controversy: A Facebook page managed by the Dyersburg coaching staff proudly highlighted a half-dozen photos of Dyersburg students holding up a giant "Trail of Tears" banner to taunt the visiting Jackson Northside team.

Dyersburg principal Jon Frye said he was not aware of the photos on the football team's Facebook page but would ask moderators to take them down. "I will be leaving here and going to the fieldhouse as soon as you and I are done," he told Mother Jones on Wednesday. Sure enough, the photos have since been removed, but here's a screenshot:

Dyersburg Trojans/Facebook

Frye, who did not attend the playoff game, said he became aware of the signs on Friday and met with students on Monday and hopes this will be the last of it. "Largely I tried to draw a parallel between persecuted population groups," he said. "You would not take African Americans and try to draw a parallel to an event in which a lot of African American people had died."

This is the second recent incident involving fans of a high school football team using "Trail of Tears" signs to taunt "Indian" opponents. That same Friday night, the principal of McAdory High School in McAlla, Alabama, was forced to apologize after his team took the field for their second-round playoff game against the Pinson Valley Indians by running through a paper sign reading "Hey Indians, get ready to leave in a trail of tears."

The incidents come amid a renewed push by activists and lawmakers to persuade the Washington NFL franchise to change its name and logo to something less racially insensitive. On November 5, DC's city council approved a resolution asking the team to change its name. Although supporters of such names say the names are intended to honor American Indian heritage, the lesson of Dyersburg and Jackson Northside may be just the opposite.

"I haven't given that one a ton of thought, I know, but I guess you could make the logical connection if they weren't named Indians then you couldn't have this particular situation," Frye said of the school's opponent. "I suppose there's some truth to that."

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