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White House Speaks Out for Judicial Nominees

After committee approval of several judicial nominees, including for the DC Circuit, the Obama Administration urges Senate action on judges.
PFAW

Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA: Caitlin Copple

DOMA’s Days Are Over
 

This piece is the third in a series of guest blog posts on “Why It’s Time to Dump DOMA.” In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court arguments on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, we’re asking friends of PFAW to share why dumping DOMA matters to them. Be sure to check back soon for the latest post in the series.

All Americans deserve equal treatment under the law. The President has acknowledged that, as have the nine states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow gays and lesbians to marry. A number of other states offer some form of relationship recognition status. But thanks to DOMA, the federal government doesn’t recognize all legally married couples, and states can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.  And in Montana, same-sex couples can’t get married to begin with. That's why I care about dumping DOMA.

I'm queer and would like the chance to marry the person I love someday. Heck, I've got a master's degree and was elected to the City Council at age 28, but I'm not to be trusted with a lifelong commitment? All loving couples should have access to the legal protections they need to take care of each other, and I don't feel like I should have to move to a city to be myself and have the kind of life I want.

I'm a fourth generation Idahoan and now a proud Montanan, and I want to raise my kid in a place where they can hike, climb, backpack, fish, and hunt just a few minutes from home. Most Montanans value fairness and dignity. They judge you more by how you treat your neighbor than what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom. They believe in following the law. I think my fellow Montanans will come around when they see the sky doesn't fall when committed same-sex couples tie the knot.

So let's do it. Let's dump DOMA, and allow all Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love.

Caitlin Copple, Missoula, MT City Councilmember
Member of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network

PFAW

PFAW Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Approval of 13 Nominees, Including D.C. Circuit Court Nominee Caitlin Halligan

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Caitlin Halligan to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit and Patty Shwartz to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.  The Committee also approved nine District Court nominees and two nominees for the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Since 2003 Shwartz has served as a Magistrate Judge on the New Jersey U.S. District Court and includes among her supporters New Jersey governor Chris Christie.   Halligan, an accomplished appellate litigator who has practiced in front of the Supreme Court, is currently General Counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and has strong support from the law enforcement community in New York and around the country.  She was first nominated for the seat on the D.C. Circuit in 2010 and has faced ongoing Republican obstruction despite the Court’s pressing vacancies.  The D.C. Circuit Court, the nation’s second most important court, currently has four vacancies (out of only eleven judgeships).  This has serious ramifications for the caseloads for each of the remaining active judges, which have continued to rise steeply in recent years.

“The need to fill vacancies has never been more pressing,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way.  “We are heartened that two highly qualified women have been approved by the Committee for the Circuit Courts.  Halligan and Shwartz both deserve prompt votes.”

Of the thirteen judicial nominees voted on this morning, eight are women, six are minorities, and one is openly gay.

“These highly capable nominees come from diverse backgrounds,” Baker continued.  “It is encouraging to see a list of judicial nominees who look like America.”

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More Vacancies Mean More Work for DC Circuit Judges

The number of pending cases per active DC Circuit judge is far higher now than when Bush's nominees were confirmed.
PFAW

Hearing for a Diverse Group of Judicial Nominees

The nominees at today's Judiciary Committee hearing exemplify Obama's commitment to increasing personal and professional diversity in the federal judiciary.
PFAW

Ensuring that Desiline Victor, and all Americans, Get to Have Their Say at the Polls

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama used his bully pulpit to ensure that the critically important issue of voting rights is securely on the agenda in 2013. Calling it “our most fundamental right as citizens,” the President announced the formation of a non-partisan commission focused on improving our country’s system of voting.

One woman who was undoubtedly pleased to hear this news was 102-year-old Desiline Victor of Miami, seated in the House visitors’ gallery, who had waited in line for hours to cast a ballot in November’s election.  President Obama noted that the country should follow her determined example: “As time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say,” he said.

After all, that is the issue at the core of a working democracy: whether folks get to have their say. 

Leading up to the election, our affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s leadership programs witnessed and stood up to efforts across the country – ranging from unnecessary registration obstacles to early voting restrictions – to suppress the votes of those who have traditionally been disenfranchised: communities of color, low-income communities, and youth.  In the past two years alone, more than 65 suppressive voter ID bills were introduced in 34 states.

That’s why it is important that President Obama made it clear last night that he is serious about addressing the problems in our election system.  With increased access to early voting and an end to discriminatory voter ID laws, we can ensure that all Americans “get to have their say” at the polls.

PFAW

Senate Holds First Vote On Circuit Court Nominee in Eight Months

Today the Senate held its first vote on a judicial nominee for a Circuit Court since June 2012.  William J. Kayatta, Jr. of Maine was confirmed as U.S. Circuit Judge for the First Circuit Court of Appeals by an 88-12 vote during today’s session.  Despite broad bipartisan support and the support of his state’s senators in both the 112th and 113th Congresses, Kayatta faced ten months of unnecessary delays.

“We applaud Majority Leader Reid for his leadership in pressing for today’s vote,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “We hope that this will be a turning point signaling a shift toward more timely confirmations for judicial nominees.  This needless stalling – and during a time of unprecedented judicial vacancies – has gone on for far too long.  The bottom line is that Americans need a functioning system of justice. They have grown weary with reckless obstruction.”
 

Huelskamp: 70% of Americans Oppose Marriage Equality; Obama Wants to 'Destroy the Family'

While he certainly has a lot of competition serving among the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp is doing his best to position himself as the leading congressman of the anti-gay radical right.

Huelskamp told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview before last night’s State of the Union address that President Obama seeks “to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda.”

This President has a radical social agenda and the media will probably give him a pass when instead of talking about the fact that mom and dad don’t have a job we’re going to talk about how to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda. So we’re going to hear a lot about that, we’re going to hear a lot of blaming and also a lot of talk about how he would solve this and that problem but gosh darn it he’s had four years to do that and he hasn’t solved one and I would argue it’s gotten progressively worse since he took office.

The congressman went on to criticize the Republican leadership for trying to avoid a discussion of social issues. Huelskamp, who last year falsely claimed that 85 percent of people in the U.S. don’t support legalizing same-sex marriage, insisted that Republicans “defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage,” which in Religious Right-speak means oppose marriage equality.

Of course, most polls find that just over half of Americans support same-sex marriage.

Huelskamp went on to call the Department of Defense’s extension of partnership benefits to same-sex couples and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) as “radical ideas” that “most Americans do not accept” because they “specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior.”

Once again, the majority of Americans favor job protections and partnership benefits for gays and lesbians.

The response from the general leadership is: gosh, we can’t talk about social issues. But the President can? Someone has to stand up and defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage, most Americans understand the value of family, they understand it’s under attack and they understand that, they see it, they believe it. So we got to stand up. I’ve always been confused by Republicans that refuse to support a seventy percent position and say, ‘gosh we can’t take our stand there.’ But whether it’s Obamacare, whether it’s these radical DoD [Department of Defense] proposals coming out of the White House or changing all the employment rules to specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior, those are really radical ideas and most Americans do not accept them.

So we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the President but again don’t forget he is a lame duck President, he’s not running for election again and I think this could be the most radical we’ll hear from him in a long time because it is Obama unleashed. We’re going to hear tonight probably exactly what he would like to do and he promised he’s going to change America and he’s still after that agenda and that goal.

The D.C. Circuit Court's Fourth Vacancy

It is essential to fill the growing number of vacancies on the nation's second most important court.
PFAW

PFAW Calls for ‘Strong, Lasting, Comprehensive’ Reform in Senate Hearing on Immigration

“I believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.” 

Last month President Obama shared these words in a speech laying out his vision for fixing our broken immigration system. PFAW applauded the President’s approach to immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a focus on keeping families – including LGBT families – together. 

As the national discussion around immigration reform continues, this morning PFAW submitted testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  The testimony noted:

In 2012, Americans voted in great numbers for candidates who promised workable, common-sense solutions to our immigration crisis. Piecemeal legislation will not fix our system in the long term. Now is the time to pursue strong, lasting, comprehensive reform.

People For the American Way, our members and supporters across the country, and members of our advocacy networks urge you to create a viable comprehensive immigration reform plan that will strengthen our economic security and conform to our national values. Such a plan must provide undocumented workers already in the country with a path to citizenship so they can fully contribute to our economy and society. It must reduce the backlog of individuals seeking residency and citizenship by creating a more robust and flexible visa program. It must recognize that immigrants are an integral part of our labor force by addressing employment-based immigration needs. It must ensure strong worker protections and address our enforcement needs in a manner that is just and consistent with our existing due process and civil rights laws. And it must reunite American families by allowing US citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration to the US, a right that is currently denied based solely on their sexual orientation.


The testimony was jointly submitted by People For the American Way and its advocacy networks YP4 Action, YEO Action, and African American Ministers in Action, each of which represents communities that have experienced the strain of our broken immigration system firsthand.  The testimony explains:

YP4 Action represents youth organizers on campuses across the country, a number of whom have undocumented family members or are themselves undocumented. All of these organizers are leading efforts to create positive social change in their communities and their country, regardless of immigration status. YEO Action represents young, progressive elected officials, who feel the impact of federal immigration policy with their constituents at the state and local level. Finally, African American Ministers in Action represents a multidenominational network of African American clergy, many of whom serve as faith leaders for immigrant communities, in particular those from Africa, Haiti and the Caribbean.


In President Obama’s speech last month, he asked that we “remember that this is not just a debate about policy.  It’s about people.” By the same token, PFAW noted in its testimony that:

Our broken immigration system harms families, communities and our nation as a whole. It creates instability for families, deprives millions of working Americans of civil rights and workplace protections, and prevents many who are providing for their families, paying taxes and contributing to their communities from fully integrating into our country….Together, People For the American Way and its advocacy networks urge you to adopt a comprehensive immigration reform package that creates a healthy, practical, commonsense immigration system worthy of the country it serves.

 

PFAW

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act

Of all the irresponsible obstruction engaged in by the GOP over the last four years, none is as glaringly reprehensible as the Republican campaign to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
PFAW

Tea Party Nation: 'Stalinist' and 'Hitlerian' Obama Building 'A One Party State'

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation tried and failed to block President Obama’s re-election even after he defeated Mitt Romney, and now is asking Republicans to “walk out en mass [sic] to make a statement” against Obama during his State of the Union address. Why? Because, Phillips warns, Obama “is trying to destroy the Republican Party” as part of his “Stalinist” and “Hitlerian” drive to create “a one party state.”

He claims that liberals, especially those in the Obama administration and the gay rights movement, “are looking more and more like Nazis every day” and seek “to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.”

Unfortunately with the left having achieved its goal of political dominance, liberals are looking more and more like Nazis every day.

How could those “tolerant” liberals be so Nazi like?

Liberals love authoritarian governments. And with authoritarians and liberals, there is one thing in common. There can be no dissent.

Disagree with the liberal orthodoxy and liberals will destroy you. In fact, it is the goal of liberals to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.

At the national level, Barack Obama is trying to destroy the Republican Party. In Obama’s world, a one party state is a desirable goal. If he destroys the GOP, he gets his Stalinist wish.

It is not just Obama that wants to destroy all opposition. The examples of components of the great liberal axis of evil going after conservatives are replete.



The Boy Scouts are another good example of what happens to groups that dare to defy the liberal orthodoxy. The Boy Scouts, for very good reasons, exclude gays as scoutmasters and volunteers. For two decades the left has been engaged in a full frontal assault against the Boy Scouts for their position of not allowing homosexual scoutmasters. The left has pressured private groups not to support the Boy Scouts and pressured government entities not to allow the Boy Scouts to use their property for scouting events.

This is the tyranny of the left. There is no room for disagreement. If liberals disagree with the Boy Scouts’ policy they could start their own group. They could create the gay scouts or the diversity scouts or what ever [sic] else they wanted to call it.

But no, liberals do not want to do that. They want to destroy anyone or anything that dares to offer a contrary opinion.

Tonight Barack Obama will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. The address is no longer the State of the Union address. Instead it will be a Hitlerian screed attacking Republicans, Conservatives, The Tea Party and anyone who dares to disagree with him. If the Republicans had any courage, they would walk out en mass [sic] to make a statement. Unfortunately they will not. Obama will stand in front of Congress and blame the Republicans and Bush for all of his failures. He will demand that America double down on his failed policies.

Republicans should blame him for the Great Obama Depression, but they won’t. They should blame him for all of his failures. They won’t.

Those Who Threaten the President’s Life Are Not Welcome at the State of the Union

An Open Letter to Speaker John Boehner


Dear Speaker Boehner:

In the wake of a year teeming with incidents of heartbreaking gun violence, it came as quite a shock to see Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) announce yesterday that he is “excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber” for President Obama’s State of the Union address. 

This so-called “patriot” has repeatedly threatened the life of the president. 

With a gun in each hand, Ted Nugent once publicly called Obama a “piece of shit,” saying he “told him [Obama] to suck on my machine gun” and suggested that Hillary Clinton “might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”  In the same incident, he also threatened Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein with gun violence. 

At an NRA event last year, Nugent infamously warned that he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Obama were re-elected.  After People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch publicized the video of his comments, the Secret Service began an investigation of Nugent. 

The First Amendment protects Ted Nugent’s rights to say offensive things, but that right does not extend to making threats of violence against public officials. And it certainly does not give Nugent a “right” to be granted a privileged position of honor as a guest of the House of Representatives at the President’s State of the Union address.

So today we are calling on you, as Speaker of the House, to disinvite Nugent from attending the State of the Union address. This is not a question of civility; it is a question of whether or not to tolerate violent threats.  We cannot invite those who openly threaten the life of the president to be part of this celebrated tradition.  Allowing Nugent into the House chamber for the address will send a clear message of condoning such threats.

In a country still reeling from recent shooting sprees and striving to find ways to reduce gun violence, it is unconscionable to invite to the State of the Union address a man who has repeatedly threatened to kill our nation’s president. 

Michael Keegan
President, People For the American Way

AFA Livid that Same-Sex Partners of Service Members May Be Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

The Pentagon’s recent decision to extend certain benefits to the same-sex partners of service members following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has provoked the ire of the American Family Association, which is upset that they may now be eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

A new action alert from the AFA asks members to email their representatives in Congress, telling them that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “effectively devastated our nation's military by allowing the ‘gay agenda’ to take priority over national defense.”

The AFA claims that homosexuality “presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion” and that the “most disturbing [thing] is his decision to allow homosexual partners to be buried on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”

This means the military will recognize homosexual lovers as “married” and will give a full slate of benefits, including burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Panetta, at every turn, has exposed the military to open homosexuality, which presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion - qualities essential for combat readiness.

TAKE ACTION

Send a letter to your members of Congress, letting them know that, on their watch, they have allowed the security of our nation to be endangered by focusing on social experimentation, rather than defense.

Under your watch, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has effectively devastated our nation's military by allowing the "gay agenda" to take priority over national defense.

This week, his decision to grant "marriage" benefits to homosexuals in the military presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion - qualities essential for combat readiness.

Most disturbing is his decision to allow homosexual partners to be buried on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

I urge you to do your part in restoring sanity to the Department of Defense and stop social experimentation in the military.

David Horowitz's Winning Formula for the GOP: Be More Like David Horowitz

David Horowitz appeared on Eagle Forum Live with Phyllis Schlafly over the weekend and made the case that the Republican Party continues to lose elections because their candidates aren’t incendiary and combative enough, arguing that Republicans should model themselves after far-right activists like Schlafly and himself if they ever want to win an election again. If not, Horowitz said that Democrats will continue to “oppress” women and minorities and take the U.S. down the path of Nazi Germany.

Horowitz: I think that Obama has awakened conservatives to the fact that they have to get involved in politics in a very serious way. One of the ways they need to, where they are way behind, is in the political battle itself. You can’t just put your principles out there, you have to sell them. The way to sell them is to tap into this basic story that politics is about: the underdog and the people that are keeping the underdogs down. The Democratic Party, the bad-hat has to be put on it. Democrats are the oppressors of women, children, minorities and the poor. Phyllis, you have been so strong and good on the way Democrats oppress women. We have to use their language against them and none of our candidates did that.



Caller: I wonder if you share the same opinion that I see the same thing happening in America slowly that happened in Nazi Germany, quickly.

Horowitz: Yeah, of course I agree with that. They’re the same kind of movement. All these movements: Nazism, communism, socialism, progressivism; they are all substitutes for an authentic religion.

Horowitz maintained that Republicans need to portray the Democratic Party as an “enemy” of people of color that has “declared war on black people and Hispanics and minorities.” “Democrats have their boot heals on the necks of poor black and Hispanic children” through the public school system, Horowitz claimed, “Imagine if the Republican convention was about that instead of just patting themselves on the back for their success stories.”

Horowitz: The Republicans did not mention in that campaign the victims, the black victims, the Hispanic victims of Obama’s policies. If you want to communicate to minority communities who care about them, then you have to take up the battle against their enemies and the Democratic Party is the enemy, it has declared war on black people and Hispanics and minorities.



Horowitz: Democrats have their boot heals on the necks of poor black and Hispanic children. Imagine if the Republican convention was about that instead of just patting themselves on the back for their success stories.

Schlafly: Well I wish they would take some good advice from you.

Don't let the Right fix the next presidential election!

Recent proposals by some lawmakers to apportion electoral votes in presidential elections based on congressional district rather than being awarded in the current winner-take-all fashion by popular vote is outrageously undemocratic and would ignore the will of the voters in these states.

Tell Congress: Listen to Common Sense, NOT the NRA's Lies

NRA officials are waging a campaign of misinformation and fear mongering in opposition to common sense reforms that could reduce gun violence -- many of which the NRA's own members overwhelmingly support.

Gohmert: Military Under Obama Pushing 'Active Discrimination Against Christianity'

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) appeared on today’s edition of Washington Watch Weekly with Tony Perkins in order to criticize the U.S. military for removing a small church steeple and cross-shaped windows at an Afghan base, which he claims means that the military won’t let service members worship.

As NBC News reported, the steeple and cross “violated Army regulations and could reinforce suspicions that the United States is fighting a holy war” against Islam, which is exactly how Taliban insurgents are framing the war.

But Gohmert said that by removing the steeple the military is telling service members that they “can’t have freedom of religion” or have the right to worship. The congressman said that people who “hate anything to do with Christianity” are leading a “witch hunt” in the military by pushing “active discrimination against Christianity.” He even suggested that they are banning chapels, rather than just removing symbols that violate Army regulations.

Gohmert: It is amazing how many people think that the First Amendment means that government must discriminate against Christianity when actually it says we’re supposed to avoid prohibiting the free exercise thereof. We shall make no law respecting any establishment of religion, we get that, but we’re not supposed to prohibit the free exercise thereof. It’s like, ‘oh you’re in the military you can’t have freedom of religion,’ ‘what do you mean I can’t have freedom of religion, I’m fighting for people to have freedom of religion, you’re not going to allow me to worship at the very time I need it most when my life could come to an end? You’re going to deprive me of that? You’re going to take away the symbols of the things I believe in, seriously?’ So we’ve got a witch hunt going on by those who for some reason, and you and I know the reason, but they just hate anything to do with Christianity. They certainly don’t go after Islam or Hindu [sic] or anything like that; heck we’ll let them build a Muslim worship center on Ground Zero but a Christian chapel? ‘No I don’t think so we’re not going to do that.’ There is active discrimination against Christianity.

Later, Gohmert said that suicides among service members are due to a lack of religious belief but the military is “sitting on the results” of a study proving his point.

He also suggested that the Obama administration is refusing to “speak up” about anti-Christian persecution in the Mideast, when actually the administration has repeatedly condemned the detention of pastors in Iran and anti-Christian violence in Egypt.

Perkins: Why is the military pushing out the very thing that could help them solve this problem of suicide?

Gohmert: It’s a great question and it’s because I think people who are so fervently against Christianity that they just want it squelched so the military has kowtowed to them. When you have a President that seems to be fine with us having such an important role in Afghanistan and yet under our watch the last public Christian church has closed, when you have an administration where Christians in Egypt are being pursued and even in Iran you got a Christian pastor just sentenced to eight years in prison and we don’t speak up, we don’t stand up, so the only people that are being heard and being boisterous enough are those who want to eliminate Christianity, as has been tried many times, from the face of the country. So that’s who is most vocal and so they kowtow the them.

But it is so dangerous and I talked to someone who is very familiar with the study that the military had done and now they are sitting on the results. Supposedly there is a good chance unless there’s an uproar that they won’t release them because if they will release them, they will be honest about the results of a study they paid for involving thousands of soldiers and my understanding is the results show that everyone within their study of thousands of military members who ultimately committed suicide, they were in the bottom two percent of being the most atheistic. We’ve been looking for so long, how do we help these service members? It really is just a plague of suicides like we’ve never had from military members, how do we deal with that? Well one thing is we have to be honest about the problem, what is the problem? What do they have in common? How can we address this? I think tearing down steeples and eliminating crosses in windows are not a good way to go.

After Threatening the President's Life, Ted Nugent Rewarded with Ticket to the State of the Union

Texas Republican congressman Steve Stockman announced today that he is “excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber” during President Obama’s State of the Union, once again confirming Stockman’s position as one of the most far-right members of Congress.

Nugent in the past has threatened to kill President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

“I was in Chicago and I said hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these you punk; Obama, he’s a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun,” Nugent screamed during a concert while brandishing two machine guns, “Then I was in New York and I said, ‘Hey Hillary you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch…. Then I was out in California and I thought, Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun, hey Dianne Feinstein ride one of these you worthless whore.”

Nugent at a National Rifle Association gathering said that if Obama and his “vile, evil America-hating administration” win re-election then “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

 

He also told NRA members that Obama and other Democratic officials are “criminals” and like an animal that needs to be shot.

 

Besides threatening to kill U.S. officials, Nugent also claimed that he now wishes that the South had won the Civil War and attacked civil rights leaders over their “ebonic mumbo-jumbo.” He has even denounced what he calls Obama’s “racist agenda” and “liberal jihad.”

But unlike most people who have been visited by the Secret Service over their violent threats to elected officials, Nugent is invited to the State of the Union address.

 

We're Not Saying Gays Are Pedophiles, But…

As soon as the story broke that the Boy Scouts of America was considering a change in its national ban on gay members, Religious Right leaders immediately claimed that such a move would lead to an increase in child abuse in the Scouts.

But in a desperate attempt to play the victim, the very same conservative activists are now upset that they are facing criticism over their attempts to connect homosexuality with pedophilia.

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios invited Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality onto her show today to defend her repeated attempts to link homosexuality with pedophilia, all the while claiming that she didn’t really say it, except that she did.

Rios: The push back to me about this topic, I get emails about ‘how dare you say that,’ they say that I say this, I didn’t, but I am indicating it or hinting at it, that all homosexuals would go into Scouting because they were recruiting, looking for love interests, sexual objects. Is that fair Peter?

LaBarbera: I just think there’s so many levels on the Scout issue. First of all, just the whole thing of biology, I have a thirteen year old daughter, I don’t care how noble a guy is I wouldn’t want him out in a tent with my daughter. Do we want these young boys—and the fact is you read the writings of some of these men, I’m sorry it’s not nice, ‘hairless boys,’ you see this in the writings over the years, do we want that temptation in the Scouts? No. Also it’s already on record. We know that homosexual pedophiles go where the boys are. Whether it’s the Catholic Church, the schools, coaches—

Rios: Shall we say Jerry Sandusky.

LaBarbera: Jerry Sandusky, the Boy Scouts. This is already a record. Homosexuality and the Boy Scouts do not mix and it’s just something that’s not appropriate and parents don’t need that worry. You have the fact of the other problem, which there’s a lot of in homosexual life, is this boy-on-boy predations.

Responding to a listener named Lawrence, Rios said that schools should once again prohibit gays and lesbians from teaching or any job involving children because they have “sexual aberrations in their life,” arguing that openly gay teachers “opened the gates to all kind of stuff” like female teachers who sleep with male students.

After complaining that the media refused to cover the murder of Jesse Dirkhising, who was raped and killed by a gay couple in 1999, Rios and LaBarbera said that Matthew Shepard was not a victim of anti-gay violence. Rios said the facts of the case were “twisted and fabricated” and LaBarbera asserted that its “absurd” to think Shepard was the victim of a hate crime.

Like Rios, Linda Harvey of Mission America also played the victim by explaining that anti-gay discrimination is necessary or otherwise people like her would feel discriminated against.

On her daily radio alert, she said that boys will be “preyed upon” and face “mental, spiritual and possibly physical corruption” if the ban on gay members is lifted, which she says “would amount to blatant anti-Christian, anti-common sense discrimination.”

Many would cave in and allow homosexual identity and attraction to be respected and welcomed among their boys; that would mean mental, spiritual and possibly physical corruption plain and simple. Parents and grandparents the nation over are appalled at the irresponsibility of this potential move and the delay is not necessarily a good sign. What the national Boy Scouts may be hoping for is more dialogue, in other words, ways to pressure local troop leaders and national Christian groups threatening to disaffiliate if this new policy goes through. The delay also allows homosexual groups to mount bigger nationwide campaigns to spin the issue as a matter of hate versus love and tolerance. Those of us with experience with these folks know this does not reflect reality.

The Scouts may have homosexuals on staff pushing for this change. We do know that the far-left Huffington Post has been encouraging companies like Intel and UPS to drop corporate Boy Scout donations. Boy Scout board members Randall Stephenson of AT&T and Ernst & Young’s James Turley have been openly pushing for this change, and of course Barack Obama also did so in a recent speech. For our young men it amounts to saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no way’ to the idea of two guys dating, kissing and even having sexual contact. It means leaders who have these attractions. It’s a matter of saying ‘yes’ to other boys in their troop calling themselves gay. A boy in these new homosexually-affirming troops won’t be able to object or say it’s not acceptable nor respectable. In other words this policy would amount to blatant anti-Christian, anti-common sense discrimination. It’s also a threat to boys who may be preyed upon by their own peers or older boys or by adults, all of whom would have more access to those whom they are attracted.
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