Hipster Homophobia: Ezra Klein’s Vox hires Falwell-loving gay-bashing “gay”

Ezra Klein’s new Web media venture, Vox.com, has just hired a controversial gay-bashing “gay” named Brandon Ambrosino to write for the new online publication. (Vox on Facebook, Vox on Twitter.)

Ambrosino matriculated in 2003 at religious-right mothership Liberty University, where he reportedly was also a graduate seminary student in 2013. In the past year, Ambrosino has branched out from being a professional tap-dancer to penning poorly-written pieces critical of gays, gay rights, and gay rights activists.

To give you a sense of Brandon Ambrosino’s approach on gay issues, he’s a fan of his alma mater’s founder Jerry Falwell, who once claimed “God hates homosexuality” and later blamed gays and feminists for 9/11. Ambrosino has defended Falwell’s record on gay rights, claiming that the Moral Majority founder was simply misunderstood.

 

The real Brandon Ambrosino

One of Brandon Ambrosino’s recent articles has him claiming to have “chosen” his sexual orientation.  Ambrosino, rehashing a topic that’s long-since been talked to death, apparently thinks gay people (and one assumes straights as well) choose in advance which gender they’re going to find sexually appealing that day.  (The gay-hating religious right agrees with him.)

Uh, no you really didn't.

No, you really didn’t.

Ambrosino also believes that being transgender is a “choice.”  In fact, he calls being trans a “sexual choice,” which even the most casual observer of transgender issues knows it most certainly is not.

Ambrosino also believes that being gay is about “sexual behavior.”

One of the reasons I think our activism is so insistent on sexual rigidity is because, in our push to make gay rights the new black rights, we’ve conflated the two issues. The result is that we’ve decided that skin color is the same thing as sexual behavior. I don’t think this is true. When we conflate race and sexuality, we overlook how fluid we are learning our sexualities truly are. To say it rather crassly: I’ve convinced a few men to try out my sexuality, but I’ve never managed to get them to try on my skin color. In other words, one’s sexuality isn’t as biologically determined as race.

We’re comparing race to sexual behavior? Jerry Falwell couldn’t have said it better himself.  As I’ve written before, if you want to get technical – another word for “accurate” – being gay is about sexual attraction, not sexual behavior.  A gay priest, who has devoted his life to celibacy, is still gay.  Though, ironically, in another piece Ambrosino claims that even if anti-gay GOP Cong. Aaron Schock were to be found in a shower having sex with another man, that wouldn’t make Schock or his shower-buddy gay.  So being gay is about sexual behavior, until it doesn’t fit Brandon Ambrosino’s gay-rights-advocate-bashing narrative of the day.

Ambrosino also thinks gay activists are mean.  He thinks we should be more like Martin Luther King, who “found a way to condemn evil without condemning the evildoer.”  Except of course that Ambrosino’s fact-free assertion about MLK inconveniently flew in the face of, you know, actual history.  Here’s MLK condemning evildoers:

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

And in another poorly-thought-out piece, Ambrosino suggested that it’s not “anti-gay” to find gay marriage immoral:

Brandon Ambrosino.

Brandon Ambrosino.

As a gay man, I found myself disappointed with this definition—that anyone with any sort of moral reservations about gay marriage is by definition anti-gay. If Raushenbush is right, then that means my parents are anti-gay, many of my religious friends (of all faiths) are anti-gay, the Pope is anti-gay, and—yes, we’ll go here—first-century, Jewish theologian Jesus is anti-gay.

Putting aside for a moment the fact that Jesus never said a word about gay people, let alone gay marriage (much of Ambrosino’s work suffers from the absence of editors), that sing-songy simple style, and the bizarrely unquestioned assumptions (that no one thinks the Pope is anti-gay?), are Ambrosino’s hallmark.  He writes and thinks like a first-year college student – that is to say, not very well.

And I don’t say this to be snarky. I say it because it belies a much larger problem with the media of late.  It’s a problem I call journalistic homophobia.

Journalistic homophobia

When a congressman hires a young secretary who can’t type, isn’t particularly good at his job, and pays him a lot of money for a position that usually takes a heck of a lot of experience to get, reasonable people ask “why.”  The same goes when big-name publications hire a 27-ish year old with little publishing experience, and who isn’t particularly adept at writing or thinking.  There has to be another reason he got the job.  Call it the Jeff Gannon rule: If he’s obviously not qualified, he got hired for another reason.

In Ambrosino’s case, he gets hired to bash gays.

Brandon Ambrosino is a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Ambrosin thinks Falwell's position on gay rights is misunderstood. Among other things, Falwell famously blamed gays (among others) for 9/11

Brandon Ambrosino is a graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Ambrosino thinks Falwell’s position on gay rights is misunderstood. Among other things, Falwell famously blamed gays (among others) for 9/11

Ambrosino is riding a recent wave of journalistic gay-bashing that’s become especially trendy as gays get closer to achieving full and equal status in American society and law.  It’s a trick formerly used by Fox News and the religious right, but now popular with Time, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and Vox.  It’s the “no hetero, no foul” rule of intolerance.  So long as the bigot is gay, it’s okay.

It’s the same tactic Republicans have used for years.  They embrace the most politically extreme African-Americans, Latinos, and to a lesser extent women and gays, in order to claim the mantle of “diversity,” while doing all they can to undermine it. Brandon Ambrosino is the Allen West of homosexuality.  He’s your go-to guy, if your goal has nothing to do with finding a legitimate minority voice on the issues of the day.

Vox is “hiring journalists who really know the topics they cover”

I get that we all needs eyeballs.  It’s been a difficult media market since the economy crashed, and online advertising has never fully come back for many of us.  Add to that ever-increasing competition from social media, and we all feel pressure to get readers.  If we don’t get readers, we don’t get ad revenue, and we don’t survive.  But there’s a limit to how far we should sell our souls in order to guarantee our survival.

Ezra Klein recently promised the world that Vox would be “hiring journalists who really know the topics they cover.”  Well, this guy ain’t it.

General Electric is Vox.com's "launch sponsor."

General Electric is Vox.com’s “launch sponsor.”

While I think Brandon Ambrosino is sloppy, unimaginative, a bad writer, and a not-very-complicated thinker, my biggest concern is that he comes across, to me, as having an agenda that borders on animus.  IMHO, he’s got issues with being gay, knows how to push people’s buttons, and seems to revel in it – with little regard for the damage he does in the process.

By hiring Ambrosino, and lifting his rising star even further, Vox is doing exactly what we routinely criticize the mainstream media for: Leaping before they look, elevating mediocrity, and doing real harm to truth in the process.  In the same way the media loved to put gays on TV against “ex-gays,” now they’re putting gay rights advocates on versus Brandon Ambrosino – a gay vs. “gay” catfight, what could be more fun than that?  (Actually, the video I link to answers that question – what’s “more fun” is Ambrosino defending a homophobic Catholic bigot against Ireland’s most revered gay rights leader.)

Brandon Ambrosino strikes me as a Hipster Homophobe.  And I expected better from Vox, a media entity that promised it would be different.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • fredgill

    What kind of platform were “established and respected” media outlets giving gay journalists in the 1950′s? Do you really trust their ability to always choose wisely which writers they will let us read? I’m a gay man who has been out for many years and frankly this kid’s perspective, while not one I completely agree with, is a welcome relief from the monolithic party line that gay people are all supposed to parrot. The point he is making, intentionally or not, is that gay people are now safe enough to disagree with one another on gay issues. Thank God.

    The American Left seems terribly afraid to lighten up these days. The more victories it wins, the more uptight it gets. Kudos to Ezra Klein for not kowtowing to a dull unanimity of perspective.

  • wmiller

    So, if I go along with the reasoning in your diatribe: one must pass a ‘gay friendly rubric’ in order to write? I quote you, “While I think Brandon Ambrosino is sloppy, unimaginative, a bad writer, and a not-very-complicated thinker, my biggest concern is that he comes across, to me, as having an agenda that borders on animus.” The same can be said of Dan Savage and other gay friendly writers {who really mean others harm}, yet they fit the rubric. Hmm, open-mindenness is certainly not your strong suit.

  • 2karmanot

    “Vox will (of course) be taking GLBT issues seriously.” Seriously?

  • Stev84

    I was referring to the media in general. It’s not like MSNBC, CNN or the big newspapers are any different.

  • Peter McDermott

    Well, well, well Ezra has popped up with a response. And surprise, surprise, Ezra states, this guy wasn’t hired to cover GLBT issues, he is only hired for 12 months, he’ll be writing on all sorts of topics, Vox will (of course) be taking GLBT issues seriously. A possible upside – if they were not going to have someone cover GLBT issues previously, chances are they will now.

  • Stev84

    You must be one of those people who thinks that gay men want to be women and that lesbians want to be men. Because otherwise, this has nothing whatsoever to do with either sex or gender.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    “established and respected media outlets” – what makes you think Vox is either of those?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Yes, because the inability to read the previous writings of your new hire, or even use Google or Bing, bodes so well for the success of your new “journ-o-lism” venture that it will surely be around in “6-12 months,” good idea!

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    I don’t understand. If you don’t like the guy, you should applaud Klein hiring him – he will soon never be heard from again.

    Unless you think Vox is going to be a big hit because of the groundswell of public demand for more rich white privileged elitists to arrogantly tell everyone else what and how to think. In which case, it’ll be boffo!

  • mica nkusi

    How many versions of the bible have you read? “..alot of Christians cherry pick scripture” You mean kinda like you are doing now? You must be the only “Christian” that thinks the bible is ok with same -sex marriage.

  • homogenius

    Facts are inconvenient. The woman was an OWNER of the restaurant which had benefitted from the patronage of LGBT people. She exercised her constitutional right to support a cause she believed in and LGBT people exercised their right to inform their communities and many people chose not to patronize her establishment. Actions have consequences.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    It’s in reference to certain news outlets having an ultra right wing black or latino person in order to say they’re fair and balanced. At least that’s my interpretation on the term. In this case, he’s the gay that tows the hard line against other gays.

  • http://markwickens.ca/ Mark Wickens

    What’s a “legitimate minority voice”?

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    I’ve acutally never been on this website before. Your assumptions are rampant. You attack me, yet, we’re on the same side.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    It’s not contrarian, just an honest observation and assessment to your limiting perspective and attempt to control other people’s speech through intimidation and denigration. All of this “contrarian” labeling has been said in regard to gay rights activists for years. It’s disingenuous and adds nothing at all to the conversation.

  • cleos_mom

    In that context, “slap in the face” does bring a holding of nose and careful drawing aside of skirts to mind.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    So, nothing substantive to say?

  • 2karmanot

    “those that hear our common humanity have the opportunity to generate compassion instead of intolerance.” Very pious, but naive. Take that sweet to the street and tells us that works.

  • 2karmanot

    Well done Becca. You certainly have more patience than I. Mr. Kevin has pulled this Libertarian dog and pony show before on AB.

  • 2karmanot

    Oh come on. Asking a victim to debate his/her imposed status is intellectually dishonest and the kind of Libertarian nonsense so popular among weak ‘thinkers’ today. Nice try……..

  • 2karmanot

    What contrarian BS.

  • Stev84

    And another one who has no idea whatsoever what freedom of speech means. Why am I not surprised? It means the state won’t punish you for saying something or having a certain opinion. That’s all.

    It doesn’t mean you are entitled to a platform for your opinions or that you’re free from criticism. Which is the common definition these days unfortunately.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s really a pity you find civil rights solidarity personally offensive. We can get so much more done when we find reasons to work together, rather than picking at differences.

  • Stev84

    He can create his own blog to publish his opinions. But established and respected media outlets don’t have to give him a platform to create some “controversy” for its own sake. Which is all this is about.

  • nar

    there is no comparison and that is my point. there is no reason to point out equivalencies, because the struggles are valid on their own merits.

    which is why i stated everyone has their own path to walk. i stated my belief and my personal opinion of it being a slap in the face. you took that comment and ran with it. it would be a slap in the face for me to compare what i go through now to what my father and mother went through in the 60′s.

    i stated why the genetic’s science argument is a bad idea. i am not forcing what i believe on other people or trying to shame them into believing as i do.

  • pabarge

    I remember the way gay activists in California treated the woman manager of a restaurant when they found out she donated to the Proposition 8 referendum.

    Never forget. Never forget the monsters. Liberals are creatures of H8.

  • nar

    coretta scott king is one person. she does not speak for an entire race. i would like to think that black people can think for themselves, despite the fact so many people always point to these “black leaders”. he had every right to state her beliefs, but just because she was who she was doesn’t mean all black people should just agree.

    you do not need to try and educate me on world history or u.s. history. i never stated that people were not oppressed based on sexual orientation or gender identification. i NEVER stated that lgbt civil rights movement was any less or more important than the black civil rights movement of the 60′s. i said they were apples and oranges.

    you do not understand the point i am making. i am not saying it isn’t a legitimate civil rights issue. i am saying that ALL civil rights issues are not the same. they are culturally different. ALL discrimination is wrong. be it gender based, race, sexual orientation, religious, or able-body.

    please read everything and don’t pick and choose…

  • nar

    no that is the great thing about reading. i have read the different versions of the bible. i have read the torah and i have also read the quran. the bible is a framework for life. all of those books speak to helping the community and doing good for others. a lot of christians cherry pick scripture. it is a book written by man. man is flawed and fallible. i understand that. i don’t rely on ignorance to educate me. i educate myself.

  • nar

    sir did you even read my comment or scan over it? i said gay rights is an important civil right issue. i also said everyone deserves equal protections underneath the law. you pointing out corretta scott king’s opinion doesn’t amount to a hill of beans to me. she isn’t the spokes person for the entire black race. that is the great thing about this country…everyone is allowed to believe what they want to believe.

  • wmforr

    Civil Rights, my friend, are the birthright of all Americans. They are not a reward granted to those who have suffered the most. Corretta Scott King understood that and stated it explicitly, which is why she supported the gay rights movement.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    That sounds so rational. Thank you for that.

  • Peter McDermott

    I don’t buy the line that this appointment was engineered to generate publicity. Given Ezra’s clear lack of knowledge of GLBT issues and his own confession that he neglected to check this guy, it suggests a momental fuck-up. Surely the easiest and most obvious way out of this mess, is to appoint (in a week or so) a decent journo to cover GLBT issues, specifically. Brandon is employed as a “writing fellow” (whatever that means) and you merely restrict his writings to particular broad topics. Without his schtick to write obnoxious things about our community, and with clinical editing of his work, his pieces become bland. You ease him out in 6-12 months by suggesting that his type of writing doesn’t fit the tone and direction of Vox News.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    Maybe, you’ve just become too bitter about it all. Despite all these people spewing hatred and bigotry for decades, even generations, they’re losing! It’s not something to be scared about.

    If you read the rest of the thread, I’m absolutely not opposed to people expressing their view on Klein’s giving this guy a megaphone.

    The only one expousing people to shut up is actually you, it certainly is not me.

    Not one bit about allowing others to have their say is about everyone getting a trophy. In fact, it’s helpful in showing how ignorant they are. I don’t want a trophy, I want real progress. You can’t make progress without convincing those who disagree with you. Instead of having the discussion, as exhausting as it must be for you, we offer a distraction to their ignorance, which to me I believe allows it to persist much longer than is necessary.

    Why is it so threatening to have others speak their mind? Why do you attack me personally yet know nothing about me? Why do you attack me and not have a rational discussion? Just because you’re right and that he’s wrong? It sounds very similar to what I’ve experienced my entire life. No substance just hysterics. No action just pounding of the chest.

    To me, your position is the predominant one in 2014. That somehow, people can’t figure it out for themselves. just as these people dictated to all of us you now wish to dictate to all of them.

    I get it. It’s been a long road. Maybe, you have no patience left. Maybe, you’ve felt ignored for too long and now wish to do the ignoring.

    You may find it easier to attack me than have a debate. That’s ok. To me, your strategy actually hurts the gay rights movement. It actually creates an environment where the toxic messages of people like Ambrosino or Pat Robertson become their rallying cry instead of the dying wails of ignorance.

  • Dan Cobb

    Again, a great post. Thank you for that!

  • Dan Cobb

    Nice post!

  • Dan Cobb

    No one is saying that he doesn’t have the right to have his perspective on being gay….but people are saying that they don’t believe he should be given a platform for expressing his views. Are you opposed to people expressing the view that Klein should not be giving an anti-gay gay person a platform to discuss gay issues? Should Aravosis et al just shut up? Or be made to shut up?

    Kevin, you are so 2014! So now! You seem to believe that everyone’s opinion has equal value and merits discussion and is worthy. And at the end EVERYONE gets a nice big shiny trophy! Ugh! I am so sick of that nonsense. There are PLENTY of opinions that are NOT worthy of discussion and that have NO merit! You might try watching FOX NEWS some evening and you’ll see what I mean. Kevin, the notion that all opinions are equal and all are meritorious is a statement that only a person who has not lived much (or long) could hold. It is weak, dissolute, decadent and foppish….but mostly, it is uncritical.

    You write: “Just because someone has a completely different perspective than yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not valid or worthy of being shared”. Really?? Every opinion is “valid and worthy of being shared”? My man, you are WAY to young and have lived way too little to have formulated meaningful opinions. I suggest you keep spending your time going to the circuit parties and save yourself the embarrassment of posting on your “thoughts” (such as they are) on line.

  • wmforr

    More to the point: A Jewish holocaust denier. To get “another perspective”.

  • Butch1

    Yes, there is always interference “from on high.”

  • wmforr

    Just popping into the serious discussion with a bit of levity:

    An old definition of Puritan: A person who lives in constant fear that someone, somewhere might be having a good time.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    Everything you say here is absolutely correct. People shouldn’t be exposed to physical or psychological harm. It’s not right, it’s not fair. It’s destructive and dangerous. The laws against physical harm (hate crime laws) are so much easier because it involves actions and obvious results of actions.

    The psychological harm, however, is not so easy to legislate or silence. In fact, I would say it is impossible to ever stop.

    Freedom of speech is vital and important but it’s also a burden. It’s actually how we’ve managed to make progress. Some of the progress we’ve made could only have been accomplished by these types of people having a voice and a platform to spout their irrational anti-gay beliefs.

    Does that mean that Ezra Klein’s vox.com should give this guy a platform? No, but I’m not going to help deepen his support by a public over-reaction either.

    Look at all the progress we’ve made in recent decades while Jerry Falwell was alive, while the religious radical right dominated media, dominated churches and dominated the overall political discussion. It is possible to make great progress while those against us are able to still have their freedom to speak against us.

    I would even say it was the unbridled, unhindered freedom of speech that exposed their perspective for the hateful bigtory that it was and still is. Sunlight is a great disinfectant to ignorance because we are all compassionate creatures.

    Yes, psychological harm is real. No, we cannot stop others from spreading their irrational views. This guy is a distraction. You are right to oppose his hiring, to refute his work.

    To me, though, when it appears that people want to silence another viewpoint, albeit a dangerous one, it tends to bring others to his defense, not in agreement with his perspective, but with his right to say it.

    We will never rid our society of anti-gay hatred, bigotry or violence. When we react so strongly to the messengers of that damaging message, there is a very real risk of sending like-minded believers underground where their hatred, bigotry and violence can fester and grow.

    We just might get more violence toward our community, especially the most vulnerable among us. That’s why we see increasing violence toward the gay community in places like New York City.

    I really feel we agree on just about everything. We certainly agree on the objective, to rid ourselves of these harmful messages. We just disagree on the strategy.

  • Dan Cobb

    I don’t know Ambrosino, but I suspect he is an un-serious, flighty drama queen who must always be the center of attention and the bane of someone’s existence. Only when he’s being a total douche and an utter contrarian does he feel comfortable in his own skin. I’ve known guys like this in the past… they whirl through life dissing everyone they come into contact with while creating dust-ups of drama and silliness at every turn. Adults see the attention-seeking behavior for what it is and just shake their heads and walk away. They’re a waste of time. Klein will figure it out eventually… and Ezra, this sure seems like an absurd PR move. Personally I don’t know anything about VOX –whatever it is– but I do know that I will not be visiting that site.

  • AnthonyLook

    Very disappointing.

  • mica nkusi

    you do understand the difference between sex & gender right?

  • mica nkusi

    I think you are reading the wrong bible buddy!

  • jhr459

    What I was going to say Joe was that, in the same vein, I really think that those darned African Americans have given short shrift of the KKK. Right, Kevin, I mean we need every opinion to truly evaluate and debate reasonably (I’m throwing up in my mouth a little) and come up with solutions that embrace all of societies components. And, if the majority decides that Lyndon went a bit far in 64, well then, maybe it’s time to rethink that little ole CRA.
    For the record, that creep (Ambrosino) makes me ill. Ambrosino – that’s Italian, isn’t it?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I have no problem at all being patient and forgiving for those who might be confused about sexual orientation, or even have false information, as long as they’re open to new information and to the idea that everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and kindness.

    I’ve even had the “this is what it means to be Bi” conversation with many folks, especially older ones, who never learned it doesn’t mean I can’t possibly be monogamous and have uncontrollable nypho-urges to sleep with anybody, anytime. However, it’s impossible to have this conversation with someone who replies, “Whatever, but you’re going to burn forever in Hell for your sins, you monster. And stay away from my kids!!!!!!” (<– there are always multiple exclamation points.)

    The problem as ever though is this isn't just a dry discussion about feelings and whether or not somebody thinks it's okay or not to be gay. Those who felt it was a horrific moral abomination deserving of eternal damnation were, for many centuries, permitted to pass laws to oppress, imprison, and sometimes even to execute gay people.

    Their feelings and heartfelt beliefs resulted in significant physical and psychological harm to others. There comes a time — and I believe that time is now — when these details are given their proper weight in the debate.

    Should a teenaged girl and her girlfriend be shot dead by the first girl's father, and their bodies dropped by a dumpster, because the father feels it's wrong to be a lesbian? According to a story from Texas, that's allegedly what happened, just recently. You seem a decent fellow, so I am 100% positive you would not agree that his feelings were more important that those girls' right to live.

    Or in my own case — and this is a story I've told before — my father was so distraught when I came out of the closet in my early 30s, he then spent the next decade threatening to kill me. According to my family, the police, and my attorneys, these threats were credible, too. Should I have respect for his feelings that it was better I be dead? My father desired the comfort of knowing I no longer existed. I wished very much to continue existing and be left alone.

    Should a Liberty University dancer with no training in LGBT issues or psychology, appalling writing skills, deluded beliefs, and demonstrably false and stereotypically-damaging notions about sexual orientation and gender identity be given national soapbox upon which to spout his nonsense? That part's not up to me since I didn't hire him, but it's not going to be without my vocal (and written) opposition and refutation. (If nothing else, Ezra Klein needs to be told he made a terrible mistake in judgment.)

    In a somewhat less dire circumstance, it should be self-evident that having legal civil marriage rights is a significant tangible benefit for gay and lesbian couples and their families. Yet until recently, in case after case, the intangible — the 'feeling' among those who felt it was wrong to be gay or lesbian — outweighed the tangible.

    The anti-gays were even permitted at times to claim their beliefs were based on the welfare of abstract children, despite the fact real, actual children of gay and lesbian parents were being harmed by anti-equality laws. Fortunately, we're turning that around…at least here in the States. Sadly, the hate-peddlers spread their lies anyway, and have found willing audiences abroad.

    There comes a time when people's discomfort over the unfamiliar should be outweighed by the right of others to be left alone, to live in peace, and to be treated with respect and dignity. Or as I've sometimes put it, a homophobe's right not to be upset knowing there are happy, contented, socially and legally accepted gay people out there does not come close to outweighing the right of gay people to be happy, contented, and socially and legally accepted.

    Anyway — thanks again. It's getting late so I'm going to head out. A good night to you, Kevin.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    I really appreciate the discussion.

    It’s absolutely ok to be rude and impolite about it. You have amazing insight, and that is what’s necessary to broaden support for equal rights. The only way to broaden support is in engaging with others that right now disagree with equality.

    There are so many that aren’t so firm in their beliefs against equal rights for the LBGT community. We should be mindful to not allow our honest and valid feelings to trump the underlying reason for those feelings, to broaden and embolden tolerance within our society. It is those people who know deep inside what they’re doing is wrong. We need only touch within them that which we have in common, our shared humanity, our shared struggle.

    It’s been a very long and very difficult struggle. The brutality is harmful. The negativity is destructive. Our feelings about it are valid. We need to express the results of living in such a toxic, hateful world, not because of what we’ve done but because of who we are. When we do, those that hear our common humanity have the opportunity to generate compassion instead of intolerance.

  • dula

    The issue is not that people have differing experiences and perspectives. It’s that right wingers seek to legislate their opinions by taking rights away from those they don’t understand.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’ve known straight people who experimented with same-sex encounters. The encounters aren’t what makes for sexual orientation.

    It’s attraction. It is, for example, who exactly catches your eye and makes your heart speed up a little when you first see them at a party or other social gathering, or in a film or on TV.

    For someone like me, who knows she is bisexual, it can be either. Many around this blog who’ve seen my comments know I have a bit of a crush on George Clooney. On the other hand, I adore my wife and I am sexually attracted to her and I have no desire to wander, but I can see a strikingly beautiful woman and feel sexual attraction there, too.

    If you were to ask our blog’s proprietor whether he finds women sexually attractive, he’d answer in the negative. That’s because he’s gay. I have no idea if he’s ever slept with a woman, but even if he did, that doesn’t make him Bi or straight.

    Lots of straight people experiment with same-sex sexual activities. More than a few gays and lesbians tried to make a go of trying to be straight before realizing it just wasn’t working out, that it wasn’t who they really were or wanted.

    This is why most legitimate psychological and psychiatric treatment for people with sexual orientation conflicts try to help a person come to terms with what they really want. And it is also why every legitimate psychological and psychiatric organization has determined that ‘sexual orientation reparative therapy’ does far more harm than good — and apparently never actually ‘cures’ anybody of their same-sex attractions.

    Unfortunately, we also have to deal with charlatans like Mark Regnerus, who quite deliberately equated “any same-sex encounter in entire life” with being gay.

    Sexual experiences and experimentation are not the same as orientation or inherent attraction. And so far, the actual legitimate science has been pretty clear: While people’s self-identification and social habits themselves might be somewhat fluid, the base attraction to one gender or another (or both) doesn’t and cannot change by an act of will. Hell, some of the reported therapies include borderline-torture aversion techniques, and most of those who’ve been through them report they don’t work either.

    So no “Clockwork Orange” methods for de-gaying people either.

    I have read Ambrosino’s work, in part because John Aravosis has written several posts about him — and the stuff Ambrosino writes is not only appallingly bad and ignorant, it’s also actively harmful. It’s not just an alternative view. It’s a viewpoint that is being used and cited by the homophobic bigots as an excuse not to treat LGBTs as human beings deserving of equality, dignity, and respect.

    Anyway, thanks for the discussion. However, I’m not going to change my mind about refusing to tolerate intolerance. We tried waiting. We tried being polite and being nice — and were equated with pederasts and animal-fuckers (please excuse the language) for our trouble. I’m too old for patience anymore and too crotchety to care if people object to my being rude or impolite.

  • Hue-Man

    Towleroad (which links back to AmericaBlog) says:

    “Klein commented on the hiring today in an interview with Gabriel Arana at The American Prospect, saying he hadn’t even read his writing when he hired him…” http://www.towleroad.com/2014/03/ambro.html

    Isn’t this dereliction of duty? “No, don’t bother sending me any of your articles; your writing ability is not a factor in my decision to hire or not.”

    The bits of “Ambrosiana” I’ve read ignore an issue argued over numerous times here; in LGBT communications, the words you choose are important and continue to develop over time. Orientation/lifestyle/preference is an obvious example – defining sexual orientation based solely on who you have sex with is one of the more offensive bits of Ambrosiana. I knew who I was attracted to long before I lost my virginity; this simplistic – and erroneous – concept is reminiscent of the “one-drop of blood” racial laws.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    I do really respect what you’ve written here. To me, the difference between it being a choice or being born this way is simple because my entire life is a testament to my being born this way.

    Psychological research is very subjective. Perhaps, there are different kinds of homosexuals. Some, who actually are born that way and others that aren’t.

    I certainly know plenty of homosexuals that have had heterosexual sex. Does that make them bisexual or somehow not homosexual, or did they simply choose to have heterosexual sex? My point is that there is still an element of choice in how one labels themselves that departs from their own sexual history.

    I haven’t read his views on the transgendered community, but I do know that there are hundreds of categories within it, and some don’t feel any of those categories actually describe their truth about their existence. Perhaps, the limited labels of homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual don’t fit for all but for most.

    I do agree that there can be no common ground when there’s no allowance for other perspectives. Let them be the one’s that ridicule and marginalize because ultimately they do that to themselves. Hate doesn’t deserve to be tolerated, but it should be confronted and done so in a tolerant way.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And shouting. Don’t forget the obligatory red-faced shouting. That’s what passes as ‘journalism’ on Faux News.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Ambrosino has a right to his own perspective, sure. But he doesn’t have a right to his own manufactured facts, most of which are at odds with current knowledge and scientific research into the nature of both sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Nor does he have guaranteed right to a job on a nationally promoted website. Absolutely, Ezra Klein has a right to hire whomever he likes, subject to the approval of his bosses and backers.

    But out here in Left Blogistan also have a right to point out that surely Ambrosino was not hired because he’s a brilliant and erudite writer (he’s not, and it shows), or because he has insights in some area of expertise related to LGBT issues (which he doesn’t).

    He attended gay-hating Jerry Falwell’s dubiously named ‘Liberty University.’ Did he study LGBT topics there? No. Does he have a job in sociology or psychology or any field that might lend itself to knowledge of gay issues? No.

    He confuses sexual experiences and experimentation with sexual orientation. He’s demonstrated amply he’s clueless about gender identity and transgender issues. He makes claims that are easily proven false, such as his belief that Jerry Falwell was tolerant and supportive of gay people. And he claims that sexual orientation itself is entirely a matter of choice and further implies that gay people do ‘recruit’ straights, which is (1) not supported by current psychological research and (2) plays right into the hands of the homophobic bigots who want to claim that being gay is a ‘lifestyle choice.’

    There is no common ground with people who deny you are what you are and who say you don’t deserve equal rights. Hate doesn’t deserve to be tolerated, not even when it comes from a self-hating gay man. It deserves to be ridiculed and marginalized.

  • http://ignoranceridding.blogspot.com/ Kevin Gaither

    He has a right to his perspective on being gay. We’re not some homogenous group of people. There are plenty of gays that think, believe and feel similarly. I’m certainly not in agreement with anything he’s said or written. However, to just dismiss him because you disagree with him instead of debate the points he brings up is really the height of hypocrisy. To focus on his writing style instead of the substance is also a distraction.

    Just because someone has a completely different perspective than yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not valid or worthy of being shared. There are plenty of religious right fundamentalist Christians that don’t listen to anything but their very limited perspective. As much as that is wrong, discounting this man simply because you disagree with him is a sad commentary on the political correct culture that intensifies the most toxic elements and doesn’t allow for any common ground. We are better than that.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Adding exclamation points doesn’t make your baseless assertion any less rubbish than it already is.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Really? How about you point to some that wasn’t funded by SPLC-identified anti-gay hate groups then.

    You can’t, because it doesn’t exist.

  • mica nkusi

    That’s what you call proof, really ? That’s not a study- more like a self help book. Infact on the question of sexual orientation, all its says is that there is no consensus. Usually, “no consensus” means, the science is really suppoting someone else’s argument! here is the REAL science http://bit.ly/1nXeNXd.

    You can also read Heather Hoffman’s “The role of conditioning on sexual arousal”

    And if you have the time ” Conditioning and Sexual behavior” James G. Pfaus,1 Tod E. Kippin, and Soraya Centeno.

    While no one doubts that the gay community have had their fair share of suffering one cannot realistically compare it to the black experience. The black civil rights movement was about stopping the oppression of a people based on an immutable trait- skin color. Sexual orientation as we discussed above is something that is learned!!!

  • garysanta

    I’m not going to belabor this issue.

    However, you imply that it is a fact that we are all born gender neutral. That is quite inaccurate and, at best, is your misguided opinion/view. Indeed, there is some compelling evidence that we are born gender specific such that some people are born clearly heterosexual (regardless of their genitals), and others are born homosexual (again, regardless of their genitals). Of course, some people get the best of all worlds since they are born as bisexual. Perhaps you should team up with Marcus Bachmann (whose gender is quite questionable), and he will undoubtedly support your views.

  • Blinknone

    Punish and exclude him! He is not the right kind of gay man!

  • pappyvet

    Exactly. I know people wonder how an LGBT person could ever belong to anything right wing. It’s simple really. One does not have to be straight to be an apologist for greed or to have a chip on the shoulder that demands that someone pay , pay , pay. All of the human weaknesses are at play.

  • mica nkusi

    Apparently the term “gender neutral” was not scientific enough for you! Before you choose to broadcast your ignorance on the internet again, take some time to read ACTUAL scientific research. Most of the research on the subject does conclude sexual orientation is indeed learned!!

  • Professor Internet Smartypants

    My personal pet peeve, or ‘bete noir’ is homo sapiens employing Brobdingnagian words to falsely inflate their intellectual facade vis-a-vis the globally differentiated but interconnected web of binary-based information.

    For example: ‘shibboleth’

    Get a room with your ego.

  • mica nkusi

    Please learn the difference between Sex and gender before you engage here.

  • Han

    No, no it’s really not. Your porn collection notwithstanding…

  • Anonymous

    I would’ve punched my screen, but I’d probably break my hand in the process….

  • jomicur

    People kept mistaking me for Marie Dressler.

  • Michael Bussee

    His bio says he attended Liberty University. There is no mention of actually graduating or obtaining a degree.

  • Michael Bussee

    From his bio:

    “He attended Jerry Falwell’s university where he studied Literature and Philosophy — and then came out. In addition to writing, Brandon is also a dancer, and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.”

    There’s no mention of him actually graduating.

  • BlueIdaho

    Oh my, a good one!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah… I knew we were dealing with a seriously self-deluded fool when, in a fit of massive retrograde man-crush, Ambrosino tried to insist that Jerry Falwell himself would have defended him from anti-gay bigotry, ignoring utterly Falwell’s many decades of homophobic remarks.

  • Stev84

    And you can never trust the prevailing opinion. So you need to get someone who disagrees to shake things up.

  • 2karmanot

    Yum, yum

  • 2karmanot

    rotfl You do got your bitch on honey, but it doesn’t work here in the major leagues.

  • 2karmanot

    Slap, slap

  • 2karmanot

    Bye, bye troll

  • pappyvet

    I do not believe that Ambrosino has a clue about anything concerning LGBT folk.

    It reminds me of so many myths created throughout history to belittle various groups of people. Irish get drunk and start fights , blacks are lazy, and so forth. Many of these stereotypes are considered absolutely true not because they are but because they need to be in order to maintain a level of hatred against the “other.”

  • TomL

    You are still missing the point that sexual behavior does not equate to sexual orientation.

    If Ambrosino thinks he made a choice between sex with men and sex with women, he didn’t choose homosexuality, he’s bisexual and chooses to express his sexuality only with men. (I don’t know Ambrosino, so that is a big “IF” starting that sentence.)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Thanks Boss.

    As a gal not that many years away from Medicare and Social Security eligibility, I had to laugh when today’s special guest troll tried to insist I was ‘a bit younger’ than him and fresh out of college.

    I only wish!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Or Klein was ordered by his financial backers to hire a self-hating gay guy to make Vox ‘fair and balanced.’

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Elvis has left the building permanently :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually being a good writer really is requirement to getting hired by a big print journalism outfit. You don’t get to write for the Atlantic, Time, the New Republic, and then get hired by Vox when you write as poorly as this guy writes. It’s exceptionally sophomoric writing. He got hired, imho, to be controversial.

  • Mike

    No Gumpchun, men in prison are just horny. They’re not choosing to be gay or homosexual, they just want to get off.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL I thought that was spam! You wrote “VOX RIP” – cute

  • anilpetra

    vee oh ex are eye pee

  • DEJ123

    touche

  • Dan Cobb

    Ugh.

  • MileHighJoe

    Yeah, after all, “there’s two sides to every issue.” [/sarcasm off]

  • DEJ123

    How about hiring a holocaust denying anti Semite , Ezra?

  • Butch1

    Only in your myopic word is it “not yet scientifically determined.” I would imagine you still read Dr. Camiren or what ever his name is who would make false information up about gays that was eaten up by all the rabidly right-winged religious groups against gays who would influence law makers, was thrown out of all the legitimate professional organizations. You sound like you are familiar will all of this.

  • Dan Cobb

    And there’s a lot LOT less of that sex than you seem to think.

  • Dan Cobb

    I can tell you’ve never been in a prison. I worked as a prison warden for six years. You sound like a latte swilling bloviator who has no clue what he’s talking about. And as for “enjoying the sex”… no, straight cons do not enjoy the sex… I think you’re projecting from one of your favorite porn movies. Go back to Hollywood.

  • Dan Cobb

    Well, that’s like inviting a flat-earther to a blog on geology. Really, we need that to “shake things up” and to “challenge our own settled views”. You sound like you’re a generation Xer who grew up on Fox News where there are no facts, just opinions.

  • Dan Cobb

    Sadly, I think you’re as clueless as Ambrosino is. Men in prison engage in sexual release. Not love. If that difference escapes you, it means you have never loved and are likely incapable of ever doing so. I suspect you have the same personality lack that Ambrosino suffers from –the simple capacity to understand the lives, emotions and concerns of others. I have a nephew like you two. As for whether or not homosexual orientation is or is not genetic, there is no question but that it is. Ask some gay people, my friend… some gay people who are self-aware enough that they understand their own motivations and inclination…. NOT someone like Ambrosino who hasn’t a clue!

  • Butch1

    What bothers me is not this mediocre, self hating gay it’s what’s wrong with Ezra Kline for being so myopic in choosing this homophobic cretin to write on his staff? Ezra has had plenty of experience with very intelligent and friendly, well adjusted gays. So, why did he choose a homophobic one? Am I being myopic and missing something or is this just Ezra stirring the pot wanting to generate more sales?

  • http://www.rainbowlaw.com/ Carrie Ross-Stone

    Great. Just great. More ammo for the haters.

  • Dan Cobb

    Ambrosino is the type of personality who relishes being the asocial enfant terrible. Every utterance and every word is the expression of a pouting two year old sticking his fingers in the eyes of well-meaining people around him. Blacks, Jews, hispanics all have their own Ambrosinos. . . and the one thing they have in common is that they suck up to power –classic GOP trait, as well. Ambrosino buys into the idea that straight white men should be at the helm of our social heirarchy, and that straight white men are the right people to tell the rest of us how valuable or worthless we are to [their] society –he lists them himself: Jesus, the Pope, his religious friends, etc. Ambrosino has been socialized –without any thought, apparently– into accepting the notion that straight white men determine his value as a person and his value to society. Just look at his statement about gay marriage…. seems he likes to hang out with people who are anti same-sex marriage. I imagine he’s the colorful, flamboyant gay they all love to mock when he’s not around.

    I suspect that Ambrosino would be very comfortable with the social structure of the 1950s, where gays are utter outcasts and beyond the pale of polite society. Seems as though some gays feel more comfortable when society expects nothing from them but detritus.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    You’re getting a down vote for that, John! :P

  • Gumpchun

    Bad writing is hardly a bar to political commentary on the right or left that I can see these days. Klein is hardly an idiot, he would not have chosen this guy if he didn’t bring something interesting to the table. I may not agree with Ambrosino even once, I suspect. But I don’t mind his getting in and shaking things up. We need new ideas and challenges to our own settled views. Adam Gopnik is a similar figure in the tech world. Why drive them from the scene? I like having gadflies or outre thinkers I don’t agree with around.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    “Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!”

    “Bloody peasant!”

    “Oh, what a giveaway! Did you here that, did you here that, eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?”

    (tks to Monty Python)

  • unreligious

    Why would you assume that being gay (if you really are) gives you license to use terms like fop and poof? Especially in the context that you do.

  • Gumpchun

    Most sex in prison is consensual. Rape is something different than what I am talking about.

  • Indigo

    Poor thang

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s called prison rape. And it’s not primarily about sexual release, but about dominance and power in an enforced single-sex environment.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Not everyone is trolling :) As I’ve explained to trans people many times in these comments, it’s our job to educate people, and so long as their heart appears to be in the right place, we should take a breath and try to help them understand. Jeff didn’t seem to be trolling, he simply seemed to be missing the nuance of the larger debate we’d been having on sexual orientation, so I filled him in.

    I find patience isn’t a problem if the person you’re talking is sincere, and not trying to be a jerk.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Buh bye.

  • Gumpchun

    Huh? Looking for sexual release? It’s also called having exclusive sex with men and enjoying it. There are plenty of men in prison who refuse to be gay there. Plus there are plenty of long-term cons who are never going to get out or get with women who will live the rest of their lives having sex with men. But hey, they are outside the drum circle and aren’t one of the club. Spare me.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, I have zero idea what your point is, then. Your first comment didn’t carry any indication of being satirical. And this one reiterates the comment that you claimed was satirical. So, I’ll just let the rest eat you alive.

  • unreligious

    Christian voices like yours have been in very short supply until quite recently. Now they’re just in short supply. Until more of you speak out and counter the claims of the intolerant ones Christians will be perceived to be that way. I might add that the intolerant ones will claim that any who believe as you do are not true Christians. One sees comments like that all the time.

  • Indigo

    Lucky you.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    My comment is more oppressed than yours!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And gender isn’t the same as race, and being jewish and burned to death in the Holocaust isnt’ the same as race, and throwing people with disabilities down wells in Africa isn’t the same as race. And so what? I mean, no two gay people are alike either, so is gay not the same thing as gay? I don’t see the novelty of this debate, other than being an effort to say that one group of aggrieved people is somehow less than another. Corretta Scott King said the two went together, and that’s enough for me.

    http://americablog.com/2011/03/coretta-scott-king-on-the-ties-between-racism-and-homophobia.html

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Corretta Scott King, ignorant racist.

    http://americablog.com/2011/03/coretta-scott-king-on-the-ties-between-racism-and-homophobia.html

    PS Born gender neutral? I was born a boy, plese don’t speak for me, unless you were in the delivery room and my head.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Ezra and Voz are the new “it girls” of the media, and new media. They’re both considered a big deal, whether or not they are. So Ezra and Vox elevating Ambrosino is a big deal.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Well, if you actually bother reading my piece, and the other pieces written about this, you’d see and know that this is about far more than one story the guy wrote about claiming he could switch his sexual orientation at will.

    This additional piece from Gabrile Arana goes into even more detail than I did about Ambrosino’s bizarre writings:
    http://prospect.org/article/ezra-kleins-queer-new-hire

    As for PC thought police, guilty as charged: I don’t like writers who can’t write, can’t get their facts straight, and seem to be in the game to simply get personal publicity regardless of who they harm with their errors. And I don’t like “news” organizations that hire people who can’t write or think.

  • Holistic

    Aha! The old if it doesn’t go my way she is a bigot syndrome.

  • bobcat99

    Men in prison are not raging homosexuals. Most who engage in same sex behavior in prison are looking for sexual release. Sometimes there is consent and sometimes there is not. When these men can express their true sexual desire, they sleep with women. Gumpchun is a dum-dum.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I tried drag once. Everybody just said, “Who’s that cute little lesbian?”

  • http://40yrs.blogspot.com Matthew G. Saroff

    What, Jeff Gannon/Jim Gluckert is not available?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I know. Incredibly sad. Nobody’s struggle for equality and civil rights is a ‘slap in the face’ for anybody else’s struggle.

    I take it as the “How dare you say you’re a victim of discrimination, too!” strategy.

    Are the discrimination and the struggles identical? No. Are they close enough that noting equivalencies and similar situations is a reasonable thing to do? Yes.

    But anyway, it does make me laugh when people say not to compare anti-gay discrimination with the Holocaust — as if blithely ignorant of what happened to gay people during the actual frickin’ Holocaust.

  • Lantor

    You know, thinking back when I first heard that Ezra Klein was doing Vox, I don’t think many gay-themed blogs carried that info. Granted, my memory may fail me on this. However, with that said, all the gay-themed blogs have mentioned Vox now. Furthermore, watching MSNBC, I always felt Mr. Klein was an ally of the community. So, maybe this is the cynic in me, but maybe this is a publicity stunt? Mr. Klein will let him go or let him write a few articles and then fire him?

  • normankelley

    Well, it is obvious what’s this is about: attracting controversy. If some gay people say their struggle is the new “new black” or the “new civil rights,” then they have to get used to the idea that other gay people are going to offer oppositional views, and you can’t shut out people just because they don’t share your views. Look at how the GOP swarms over contrarian blacks such as Ben Carson and Herman Caine.

  • nar

    wait? supremely heterosexual thing to do? as if homosexuals are incapable of ignorant actions? the cool part of this country is he is allowed to believe what he believes. everyone has their own journey in life. teen suicide epidemic and homosexuality aren’t mutually inclusive. any person that ends their own life, because of social pressures should have help. they should have people who care to support them. generalizing all christians or all heterosexual people makes you as ignorant as the people that are against same sex marriage, because they misinterpreted a bible verse. i am a christian and i am heterosexual and i believe love and marriage for every adult regardless of the gender of their mate. my god is a loving god that just wants people to be good to each other. i mean that is the supremely heterosexual christian thing to do…

  • Ninja0980

    I never liked Ezra Klein and him hiring this bozo helps add to it.

  • Sean Roaney

    troll: (noun) someone winning an argument with 2karmanot.
    Seems to me you can dish it out, but you can’t take it.
    And may I remind you–YOU started up with me. Now you’re crying in your fried pork rinds that I’ve b-slapped you right and proper.

    Let this be a lesson to you. Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing. :)

    Oh yeah, and buy a dictionary, ‘my dear.’

  • 2karmanot

    Oh my, feel better, I look like Gold Meier.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    If there’s one thing I absolutely loathe about modern activism, it’s the tendency of them to play oppression Olympics in an attempt to diminish the plight of others.

    That’s just sad.

  • 2karmanot

    20/20 and don’t even go there. Elisabeth Vargas, bigot queen of journalism will tell you all about it.

  • Gumpchun

    What homosexuality is or isn’t is not yet scientifically determined. There are a number of theories and studies but nothing by any means definitive on any side of the ongoing discussion. I may not agree with Ambrosino’s deductions or arguments at all, but that does not mean he is a gay basher if he sees more agency in it than others do. After all, many men in prison are raging homosexuals, until they get out and mainly go back to women. It can indeed be a choice for many reasons.

    There is more than a little overwrought PC in all this thought police stuff. Calling anyone who strays from current beliefs homophobic is the kind of mindlessness we all have to fight against. Having varied gay voices is a good thing. Kudos to Klein.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You do know that the Nazis also exterminated all the gay people they could get their hands on, too, right?

    And that the Christians were burning gays and lesbians at the stake for centuries.

    We’re well acquainted with genocide. The Kenyans very nearly passed a law of their own which would have instituted it formally in their country.

    As for your unsubstantiated claim that ‘the science argument holds no water’, you dismiss the existing science yet offer no proof whatsoever. Here’s mine:

    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

    Equating the civil rights equality of sexual orientation to the racial civil rights movement of the 1960s is a slap in the face of no one. And if you don’t believe it, Coretta Scott King herself spoke out on the subject:

    “I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial
    justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.” – Reuters, March 31, 1998.

  • cg

    Yes he did. Happily…for all of us.

  • 2karmanot

    Mr. Roaney, what a fun lil troll are you, or is that a form of wit?

  • mclarksn9

    no more or less pork chops

  • 2karmanot

    Alternative: Poofta—–a small emission of hot air from nether region.

  • nar

    sexual orientation isn’t a learned behavior, but it isn’t the same as race. it also isn’t the same as gender identification. we should be able to love who we choose to love and marry who we choose to marry. it definitely is a civil rights issue and everyone should have equal protection underneath the law. a large part of physical attraction is driven by social ideals. the science argument holds no water and it only helps bolster ignorant individuals’ belief that same sex attraction is an unnatural mental defect.

    trying to equate sexual orientation to the civil rights struggle of the 60′s is a slap in the face. it would be just as bad equating it to the holocaust or jewish interment by the nazis. they are all very important civil rights issues, but they are also apples and oranges. also, there is a lot of racism within the gay community itself. if anything sexual orientation speaks to religious freedom more so than minority status.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Overt misogyny now, eh? I suspect your stay here on this blog will be rather short.

    You still know nothing about me.

  • 2karmanot

    Silly old cow—-that’s Brit for, well, silly old cow. PUH-leeeze Mary. How about that?

  • Sean Roaney

    And Becca? I’m not in the custom of engaging with Thorazine-deprived, unemployed harridans, so this is my last comment to you.

    1. Get a job.
    2. Get a hobby.
    3. Or else just get SSI, because something is wrong with you if you have time to devote to this silliness.

    See my earlier comment about maladjusted pedants. :)

    Btw, that peace sign is about as original as Che Guevara t-shirt. Talk about trite, and you don’t even know it! That’s what makes you so precious. :)

  • 2karmanot

    Wrong

  • 2karmanot

    “It’s like we women are invisible to him.” Thank Gaia—-it’s like being pigeon proof.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You know nothing about me. Don’t even pretend you do. And lose the shrill, trollish BS attitude already. You’re not fooling anybody.

  • Sean Roaney

    Alternative forms

    poofta
    poofter

    Noun

    pooftah (plural pooftahs)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I think Ambrosino’s outwardly projected dislike for gay people extends to all LGBTs.

    As John pointed out, Ambrosino has NO clue whatsoever about transgender folks, yet Ambrosino is willing to spout the most ignorant nonsense regarding gender identity.

    Ambrosino routinely confuses bisexuality with homosexuality.

    And oddly enough, as is common among homophobes — even the self-hating types — Ambrosino has a barn-door sized blind spot when it comes to lesbians. None of his writings or ill-formed opinions ever makes mention of lesbian women. Or women at all, for that matter. It’s like we women are invisible to him.

  • Erik F.

    Didn’t Jerry Falwell die from auto-erotic asphixiation?

  • Sean Roaney

    Oh get you, all Christiane Amanpour, our little resident media expert!
    Ever hear of Creator’s Syndicate? Do you know what that even is? They run columnists, lots of ‘em! And not all of them are Noam Chomsky caliber.

    Please. You reek of a shrill, pedantic Women’s Studies major who just graduated from Brown last week, believes the entire world is wrong and you probably think that only you can save it.
    Becca, I’m guessing I’m a little older than you, so can I give you some friendly advice? Not much good comes from insisting that you’re the smartest person in the room. People like that, as I fear you may learn, end up universally disliked and alone. Nobody likes a pedant. You would do well to consider that.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Not exactly, no, and I say this as someone who is Bi.

    If you’re in love with someone, did you consciously choose for that to happen? Can you say to yourself, “I’m super attracted to that red-head over there, but I’ve ‘chosen’ only to date blondes so, oh well…”

    We love whom we love, and attraction itself isn’t itself a choice. I didn’t choose my sexual orientation, just as I didn’t choose my gender. It just was.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    To use a phrase from the old counter-culture days: Ezra sold out and went Establishment.

  • Jukesgrrl

    I object to this person being called a “hipster” homophobe. A hipster can be defined as someone who is unusually interested in unconventional styles, perhaps blindly follows the latest trends, and is anti-tradition in a knee-jerk way, and . None of these terms describe homophobia. It’s not unconventional, it’s hateful. And I certainly hope it’s not a trend. Just because he wears big glasses while he spouts Rick Santorum rhetoric that makes him a hipster?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s exactly what this hire is. Click-bait.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    ‘Poofter’ — the correct spelling, by the way, is also an anti-gay slur.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    So it’s rope-a-dope eleventy-dimensional chess?

    Doubtful. Media producers don’t hire people to make their publications look bad, not on purpose.

  • Jerry Roland

    There goes all respect for Ezra Klien.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I think our science-challenged visitor is trying — inexpertly — to assert that sexual orientation is 100% a learned characteristic. Even though it is not.

  • garysanta

    I was born with an intact penis. Indeed, it was there when I came out of the womb. I don’t think that is “gender neutral.”

  • Strepsi

    He’s one of those gay men who hates femmy flaming gay men, because he’s been taught to be ashamed of himself when he looks in the mirror.

  • Sean Roaney

    ‘Poof’ or ‘pooftah’ are British slang words for a gay man. For instance, when I was about 15, I saw Boy George on the Donahue show in London. (If you’re under 40, Phil Donahue was the Oprah of the ’70s and ’80s.) A British woman stood up and asked Mr. Boy, “How old were you when you realized you were a pooftah?” If my understanding is correct, the word is not inherently offensive and degrading like the F word for gay men; it’s somewhere in the middle. A ‘fop’ was a name for a man in 17th century England who was viewed as silly, prissy, fussing over his appearance, probably a really flamey queen. I don’t think the word specifically referred to gay men, but I believe the perception was that they were. And like I said, I’m gay myself, so I can say those words, so I don’t want to hear any back-twaddle about it.

  • Holistic

    Did someone find the Mathew Shepard story to be very bogus??

  • Sean Roaney

    Mr. Aravosis, your condescending reply notwithstanding, you’ve vastly misread my comment.
    Let’s review some things, okay?

    1. To anyone with an IQ of at least algae, it’s evident that Klein is neither stupid nor a frothing, Ann Coulter-like, anti-gay bigot. Call me naive, I just don’t see him joining those nutty Westboro cretins and picketing military funerals. Do you?

    2. This guy is clearly not the next Joan Didion or Susan Sontag. And I suspect he knows that and doesn’t care. I think he’s merely trying to forge a media career for himself, a la Camille Paglia, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin. Perhaps he thinks that an anti-gay gay pundit is his ticket to the big time and a seat on ‘Fox & Fools.’

    3. It’s an unfortunate aspect of news, but what drives readers is provactive, incendiary flapdoodle. It’s dismal and depressing, but there is a market for the extremist, inflammatory, garbage so commonly produced by conservatives– Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin. Love them or hate them, they draw readers. They provoke a response. That is NOT to say that I agree with their garbage. But I don’t think anyone can deny that carnival acts of this nature don’t occupy a prominent space in American commentary.

    4. Do I actually believe that Klein is actively plotting the destruction of the Republican party? No, Mr. Aravosis, to do that I would need to be psychic, and as you can see, my name is Sean Roaney, not Miss Cleo. Perhaps you would do well to read my comment to another reader re: ‘tongue-in-cheek’ musings.

  • Indigo

    It’s like a parody performance. Is he really gay as in a c*cks*ck*r or is he just an LU performance artist?

  • jomicur

    Well, there goes my lunch. It is reassuring, in a way. I never thought anyone could possibly look worse in drag than I do.

  • usagi

    Who is Ezra Klein, what is Vox, and why should I give a fuck?

  • 2karmanot

    Klein assumed he would be on-point.

  • 2karmanot

    Maybe he’ll grow up to be Andrew Sullivan.

  • bluesouth

    Its simple, vox hired a troll to push peoples buttons, and im sure lots of people will be drawn to read this conflicted persons articles.

  • 2karmanot

    Self loathing? He probably looks too natural in drag.

  • wagonjack

    Where’s the petition to fire Ambrosino? I and many thousands of others would be very glad to sign it!

  • 2karmanot

    You are incredibly patient.

  • mica nkusi

    Even thought it wasn’t perfectly done, i am happy someone finally realized that equating the gay rights movement to the black civil rights movement of the 60′s is ignorant and actually a little racist! We are all born gender neutral. The last time i checked our race is permanent!

  • CW

    Who recommended this guy? John McCain’s advance team? Only the braintrust that spotted the blossoming glory of Sarah Palin would’ve thought this was a good move.

  • 2karmanot

    Ambrosinio’s soooo gay he makes Johnny Weir’s sequins blush.

  • 2karmanot

    It is said that it takes 14 Liberty U students to screw in a light bulb in honor of the 12 disciples , Mother Mary, and Ms. bad ass Magdalene.

  • 2karmanot

    Could be that Ezra is totally on board and his views about gays float in the sewer of his projections—hiring a bigot clown.

  • Richard

    I’m really disappointed in Ezra choosing Ambrosino for doing who knows what. But I guess that’s Ezra’s choice to make, and it is my choice to no longer follow Ezra.

  • Sean Roaney

    1. Speaking of Quentin Crisp, so is ‘my dear’ and ‘sooooooooo.’ Almost as bad as ‘PUH-leeeze.’
    2. I suggest you look up the following words: ‘tongue-in-cheek, irony, facetious.’ I suspect you’ll need more more remedial vocabulary lessons, but this will do for now. Don’t blame me if you have the vocabulary of Sarah Palin.

    That’s not my problem, my dear. :)

  • 2karmanot

    Indeed, it might even boost the economy in an upsurge sale of pitch-soaked wooden crosses; white sheets, or miniature replicas of Mathew Shepard’s final denouement. Kein’s sickening cynicism in hiring this clown is contemptible.

  • Richard

    I’m not sure I agree with you on Ezra’s hiring ” this buffoon “. I’m a little disappointed in Erza. Btw, what does ‘poof’ and ‘fop’ mean? Curious.

  • 2karmanot

    Exactly

  • 2karmanot

    The attention rightly deserves to be turned to Ezra Klein’s uber cynicism and sewer enthusiasms. Boooo Ezra!

  • 2karmanot

    My dear, ‘poof’ and ‘fop’ are sooooo Quentin Crisp. You might want to join the rest of us in the 21st century.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I seriously doubt Ezra would hire someone who he thinks will do a bad job and be an embarrassment.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Did he really graduate from LU? From my understanding, he was basically kicked out of he dorms (he left on his own accord but under some cloud) and his Huffpost bio seems to make it seem as if he didn’t graduate.

    I’d love to know his opinion about Mat Staver, Dean of the Law School at Liberty University, who in addition to going on national radio to call a pro-life GOP Senator a cockroach for supporting his Gay son, cheerleads (at best, I’d say endorses) Uganda’s, Nigeria’s, and Russia’s draconian anti-Gay bills.

    I’m not sure if Ambrosino is a graduate of LU. He is, however, an apologist for them.

  • Sean Roaney

    Let’s credit Ezra with a little more intelligence, shall we? Mr. Klein is certainly no fool, nor is he a anti-gay bigot.
    No, I think Ezra has a very sly plan. I think he’s deliberately hired this buffoon with the specific intent of allowing that wacko Ambrosia queen to make a fool of himself and the noxious socio-political movement that spawned him. Give this little crazy poof the chance, and he’ll make the bagger party the laughingstock of all time.

    I mean, really. This fool makes Sarah Palin look like Simone de Beauvoir. Mr. Klein has done nothing more than hire a court fop.

    (And I’m gay, so I can say ‘poof’ and ‘fop’. I don’t wanna hear any flapdoodle that I’m a homophobe.)

  • emjayay

    Oh, he’s truly gay all right. And the pathology you describe is exactly the only interesting thing about his writing.

  • Brand Custodian

    Ezra Klein and Vox are off my lists. Big time screw up by Ezra Klein.

  • Sajwert

    The moment I read that Brandon Ambrosino graduated from Liberty University, I knew that whatever he would write would be another loss of time to read it.
    If he is truly gay and pretends that he ‘chose’ to be gay and was not that way by nature, he is fooling himself and those who believe that a gay person chooses to be gay. Plus, he has to believe that or he would not be able to live with himself. We all tell ourselves lies so as to survive whatever we cannot face without more pain than we can deal with.

  • Ninong

    What will Ezra Klein do next? Will he hire another Liberty University graduate as a science writer who believes in Young Earth creationism to balance all those who think the Earth is 4.5 billion years old? Will he take on a Holocaust denier to write an article claiming that the gas chambers used by the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry did not exist?

    How about a Liberty University climate-change denying geologist to write articles in support of hydraulic fracking? One who believes, like the dearly departed founder of Liberty U., that man is incapable of changing God’s work — the Earth will do just fine until the Rapture, which is expected in our lifetimes!

    Yes, I can see where Ezra is going with this. Hiring an ego-dystonic individual like Brandon Ambrosino to write articles about religion and gay issues is just the start. There are so many other fields where this approach is untapped. Perhaps his vision for Vox is to compete with The Onion?

  • MileHighJoe

    So just another self-loathing queen.

    This is a supremely-heterosexual thing for Klein to pull. Anybody who has any sensitivity to the gay teen suicide epidemic would understand the harm this self-loathing clown will cause. But, hey, click-bait.

  • BlueIdaho

    Just another self-loathing gay christian. He has no relevance.

  • Savage8862

    Oh well, I had high hopes for Ezra’s new venture. Not anymore.

  • AbsintheClock

    This guy is the gay equivalent of Uncle Ruckus.

  • dcinsider

    That’s so true. Mainstream media and the blogs need to give more space for anti-Semites and white supremacists to discuss their ideas as well, because after all, it’s all about diversity of opinion.

  • dcinsider

    I had to find it by going through Ezra Klein’s FB page. Then I sent him a message directly to complain.

  • dcinsider

    Will do in the future!

  • Holistic

    A little diversity in today’s media is what is needed. How intolerant of those who oppose.

  • titanicdave

    Ezra really blew it on this one

  • Rod in Palm Springs

    Obviously, the conservative indoctrination at Liberty University runs very deep. If a supposedly “out gay” person can exhibit such behavior and prescribe to such a philosophy, it says a lot about conservative extremism.
    Ezra Klein has made a serious mistake in hiring this guy. I and many other like minded individuals will do what they must to fight this abhorrent behavior. I had hopes for Ezra’s new venture, but now, not so much. Ezra, “what the hell were you thinking”?

  • skywryter

    Considering how successful Fox has been promoting the lowest common denominator, perhaps Ambrosino has, in addition to being gay, chosen to be…not very bright.

  • Nicko Thime

    Poor choice from Ezra.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    The whole idea is ridiculous because no one chooses their sexuality. But even if one DID chose their sexuality it’s still their choice, so the argument against it is ridiculous either way. Let people sleep with whoever they want regardless of why. And in any case who sleeps with people just because they chose to do so? I mean, sure I don’t like certain foods but I choose to eat them because they’re healthy. That mentality usually doesn’t extend into most people’s sexuality but even if it DID, it would be fine by me. What do I care?

  • cole3244

    this really surprises me it must say his venture is in trouble and any pub is good pub at least i hope that’s the case.

  • emjayay

    His pieces are actually kind of interesting in a what’s wrong with this guy anyway sort of way. And a how did such a bad writer and thinker get paid for this stuff when all kinds of good writers don’t kind of way.

    But ultimately, yes, a big waste of time.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Why make a half effort Ezra?
    Why not Go.All.The.Way. and Hire Robert Oscar Lopez?
    I have seen numerous tweets from Buzzfeed, Mother Jones, Foundations, and the like, “We are hiring an XXXX person” Please re-tweet

    I can’t imagine that Ezra put any work at all into recruitment for a Gay Perspective Write. This is a lazy lazy choice and if this is any indication of the enterprise sure shows how schlocky it will be. And another thing, why not hire a Lesbian? Why does it have to be a man? We need MORE high visibility Lesbians. Or even more rare, a Bi-Sexual Writer. You hardly ever read any articles by people who are bi-sexual.

  • emjayay

    Written response. Oh wait no, rote response.

  • emjayay

    The VOX website gives you a very long video of Ezra reciting a whole load of fact free entirely delusional PR poo, with, rather inexplicably, an old computer in the background. The Facebook page features a bunch of way revolutionary stuff I’ve seen here and elsewhere already, and a long string of entirely anti-Ambrosio comments.

    Ezra seemed like such a nice young wonky Jewish boy. What the hell happened?

  • rerutled

    It should become a wrote response, to anyone who claims, “I chose to be gay”, that they are not gay: they are bisexual. And also, that they probably aren’t very smart.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Why are you bringing logic into this?

  • emjayay

    Ambrosio is the last guy on earth who could make himself ungay.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Got it, okay that’s funny, it’s simply Vox LOL https://www.facebook.com/Vox

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m having a hard time finding their FB page. Good rule for life, if you mention something on the Web, give the URL. :)You’d be surprised how many people send me tips like this – “there’s something misspelled in the article” – and I’m like, uh, which article and what’s misspelled? :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Right Jeff, but even for bisexuals, that’s “choosing” to act on their pre-existing orientation which is an orientation towards both women and men. It’s almost a simplistic point to write an entire essay saying “if you’re bisexual you can choose whether you date the man you like or the woman you like.” I mean, duh. :) That clearly wasn’t his point. He confused the notion of choosing to act on your orientation with choosing your orientation. And it’s one more reason why he’s not a good thinker, and shouldn’t be working at the premiere new media outlet.

  • Lawerence Collins

    I’d tell this lying fraud of a DSSRZS, what I tell all the others. If it’s truly a choice, then he should choose to be straight. I don’t get how people could ever fake, attraction, desire, lust.
    He’s just a eff’d up gay, demonic soulless sociopathic, Rethuglican zombie sheeple! In a world of possibility, sadly that’s his option.

  • Jeff DaPuzzo

    It is disappointing. I think Klein chose him for the controversy. There certainly is a lot of buzz about VOX… IMO, Ambrosino is uncomfortable about “being” gay, I think from much of his writing and interviews, he longs to fit into a straight world and have the acceptance of God and his family (tough stuff if I’m right). Choosing your sexuality is possible. I didn’t choose to be sexually attracted to men, but bisexuals are attracted to both, so they can choose one gender to partner with.

  • jomicur

    I haven’t read any of his pieces, except the brief bits that have been excerpted here (life is way too short), but I have to ask: Has he explained, if being gay is all immoral and like that, why he “chose” to be gay? Why would anyone make a deliberate choice to be evil?

  • kladinvt

    This is an example of hiring the mentally ill.

  • Independence

    Ignore VOX. Simple as that.

  • bkmn

    If Ezra Klein is looking to give people reason not to sign up for Vox, this would be a big one.

  • dcinsider

    Hilarious FB posts. He is getting absolutely clobbered over this, we must keep up the pressure!

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    He also chooses to be a douche.

  • NCMan

    Ambrosino, a recent graduate of religious-right mothership Liberty University, is a professional dancer in Baltimore.

    Ezra Klein recently promised the world that Vox would be “hiring journalists who really know the topics they cover.” Well, this guy ain’t it.

    Maybe he has been hired to cover dance !!!!

  • samiinh

    Comments on VOX Facebook page to this new hire are much like John’s diary. The followers are not happy with this new voice. Hopefully Ezra will make some changes before this goes too far, or his new venture may not be well received.

  • dcinsider

    Well said John. Very disappointed in Klein I thought he had a brain.

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