Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, said last week that LGBT rights activist are “un-American” in their opposition to laws that permit anti-LGBT discrimination, claiming that these activists want to “punish people for holding traditional moral views.”
Sprigg joined the Alabama Christian radio station Faith Radio on April 8 to discuss a new law in Mississippi that allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT people if they do so because of their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
“The irony here,” he said, “is that for all the howling about discrimination against LGBT people, since this bill is about preventing government discrimination against religious believers and people of faith and people with traditional moral values, anybody who opposes this bill is essentially saying: ‘We think it’s okay for government to discriminate against those people. We think it’s okay for government to punish people for holding traditional moral views. In fact, we think that government should punish people in order to do everything it can to wipe those views out of existence.’”
“That’s basically the point of view of the LGBT movement at this point in history,” he claimed. “It’s shocking and it’s un-American, it’s contrary to our traditions, which are to protect the views of all people, including the people who agree with you and the people who disagree with you.”
Sprigg so cares about protecting the liberty of all people that he has said he wants to outlaw “homosexual behavior” and once opposed a bill that would allow gay people to be united with their foreign partners by saying that he “would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States.”
Pat Robertson's CBN News posted an article today featuring several anti-gay activists complaining that gains in equality are leading to "growing anti-Christian" persecution in America, with MassResistance's Brian Camenker likening the situation to Nazi Germany:
Some say American Christians are paranoid, that they're feeling targeted and persecuted. But is it possible America is facing a growing anti-Christian agenda?
Some on the frontline of the culture wars have responded with a resounding "yes." They feel it up close and personal – right in their faces.
"I'm particularly sensitive to that because I'm Jewish," Brian Camenker, with Mass Resistance, told CBN News.
"I saw what happened to Jews in the 1930s and 40s and much of that same thing is happening to Christians now," he said. "There's an organized movement to demonize Christians."
Maggie Gallagher, with the American Principles Project, agreed.
"What we're seeing very clearly is an effort to target them [Christians] legally when possible and then to humiliate or deprive them of social respect," she said.
Much of this comes from abortion and gay rights groups and their supporters.
"They see Christianity as refusing to affirm the things they wish to indulge in," said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.
Both Sprigg and Rev. Bill Owens, with the Coalition of African-American Pastors, are frequent targets of gay rights groups.
"They cannot accept any moral code that says what they do is wrong and in order to avoid any sort of guilt that might come upon them if anyone says that what they're doing is wrong, they want to eliminate that kind of communication from the culture altogether," Sprigg explained.
Owens continued, "There's a strong agenda to silence Christians. You see it every day. You can't walk out of your house and not see something anti-Christian."
FRC's Peter Sprigg says that "the pro-homosexual movement is dedicated to putting a straightjacket on people and making it impossible for them to even express the view that marriage is the union of a man and a woman or that children do better with a mom and a dad."
Charisma magazine founder Steve Strang explains why he's endorsing Ted Cruz: "Christians must rise up and vote to place leaders in office who will make the needed changes or America will cease to be a shining light on a hill that has protected liberty around the world and given us the freedom to propagate the gospel around the world."
Finally, John McTernan warns that Islam is totalitarian because Muslims think that God's law must always triumph over secular law. That is, of course, exactly the same position held by everyone in the Religious Right.
Liberty Counsel stands ready and willing to lead the fight in the War on Thanksgiving: "Liberty Counsel recognizes that Thanksgiving is a religious holiday. Despite society’s attempt to minimize religious expression and the Christ-centered focus of this holiday season. If your religious rights are being challenged this Thanksgiving Day, or Thanksgiving time, contact Liberty Counsel at 407-875-1776."
His scandals appear to have finally caught up with him, as Republican Sen. David Vitter lost his bid to become governor of Louisiana.
Alex McFarland says President Obama's Syrian refugee policy is "empowering and aiding and abetting terrorists -- this amounts to treason. It is borderline treasonous!"
Larry Klayman says there is only one hope for America: "The bottom line, dear and fellow patriots: If the Republicans do not act and fail to institute meaningful impeachment and conviction proceedings to legally remove the Muslim sympathizer in the White House before it is too late, then We the People should demand that those responsible, Republican House and Senate leaders themselves be impeached and convicted."
Finally, FRC's Peter Sprigg is not happy about companies adopting gay-friendly policies: "I'm not sure that all of these policies have been adopted because these companies think that it helps to operate their businesses better. I think it's more of a matter of bowing to political correctness and, in some cases, actually wanting to avoid the threat of being accused of bigotry. So, I question the sincerity of some of these policies."
The two were upset that LGBT advocacy groups have criticized the World Congress of Families, with Perkins insisting that criticism of the event amounts to an attempt to “silence” conservative Christians and Sprigg laughably asserting that “the vast majority” of the discussions at the Utah conference “really don’t have anything to do with homosexuality.”
This is a tad ironic, since the World Congress of Families actually backeda Russian law censoring pro-LGBT speech.
The group, an offshoot of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, signed on to a statement [PDF] defending the notorious speech law, which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors and has been used to criminalize speech in favor of LGBT rights:
We acknowledge that the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties. With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated "values" aggressively imposed in many modern societies. We also note that the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are not outlined in the existing binding international treaties and agreements.
We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.
World Congress of Families spokesman Larry Jacobs hailed the law as a “great idea,” and Alexey Komov, the organization’s representative in Russia, similarly boasted that “a huge number of people and human rights organizations around the world are supporting Russia in an effort to protect their children and their family values from aggressive immoral propaganda.”
So while Sprigg and Perkins are attacking groups for merely criticizing the World Congress of Families, it is the World Congress of Families that has actually supported efforts to censor speech.
Turnout was small — about 50 during the day, a bit more in the evening — and the lunchtime press conference was delivered to a room devoid of press, but organizers filmed the speakers in hopes of turning the footage into a documentary or other resource for anti-gay activists.
Sprigg, who is also scheduled to speak at WCF on Wednesday, set the tone for the day by challenging the “gay identity paradigm” and urging social conservatives to avoid as much as possible using the words “gay” and “lesbian” because he said they refer to someone’s innate identity. Sprigg urged activists to separate sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and a person’s self-identification and instead to focus on gay relationships, which he called “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
He was also one of many speakers who insisted that advocacy for anti-gay policies is not motivated by hate but by love. For example, Sprigg said that while he mourns the gay men who died of AIDS, “the reason they died is because they chose to have sex with men, not because conservatives told them not to. We do no one a kindness by denying the truth.”
Sprigg, who argued against legal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, was one of several speakers who spoke, directly or indirectly, in opposition to this year’s “Utah compromise,” in which the Mormon Church agreed to support passage of limited LGBT nondiscrimination protections in return for religious liberty exemptions. Sprigg warned that compromise with the LGBT rights movement is “unwise” and “unsustainable.”
Also arguing for an uncompromising stance and “zero affirmation of the gay rights paradigm” was Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, who urged anti-gay activists to stop playing defense and go on the offense, reclaiming the moral high ground by always opposing homosexual behavior. One way to go on offense, he said, would be by proposing state bans on hormone therapy and surgery for transgender youth.
Other notable anti-gay activists who addressed the gathering included Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver (via video) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Camenker said he respectfully disagreed with those who called for always speaking the truth in love. “I think there is a place for being insulting and degrading, and I think I can back that up by scripture,” he said. “I think we have to look at this as a war, not as, you know, a church service.” Rios agreed, saying, “I do think that evangelicals have gotten a little bit soft and not understood warfare.”
Camenker said that in the Old Testament, “God has two sets of laws regarding how you treat your fellow man.” One is how you treat your neighbor, who you might work with and forgive. “There’s a whole different set of rules for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immorality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” That set of rules is “very brutal,” he said. “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”
He said the LGBT movement is a “house of cards” that is “held together by force, intimidation, and propaganda” and can be destroyed by standing up to it, the way communism was. “We are in a war,” he repeated, saying of gay-rights advocates, “They would send us to concentration camps if they could.”
One premise of the #Stand4Truth gathering is that the LGBT movement and their allies in the media suppress evidence about the causes of homosexuality, the medical and mental health harms associated with it, and the possibility of change through “authentic” ex-gay therapy. The evening session began with a panel seemingly designed to portray LGBT people as lost and miserable: a few “ex-gays,” a person who experienced “transgender regret” and Canadian activist Dawn Stefanowicz, an author whose book “Out From Under” recounts growing up with a gay father and his many sex partners and is portrayed as a cautionary tale against gay parenting.
This is the second in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here.
The World Congress of Families has been stung by intensecriticism over its promotion of anti-gay bias and policies around the world, and has mounted a public relations campaign portraying itself as interested in civil discourse and uninterested in slamming gay people. If only it were true.
WCF Executive Director Janet Shaw Crouse has said the group’s support for traditional notions of family “does not mean disrespect for anyone else.” Crouse says, “We do not and will not engage in ‘gay-bashing’ or ‘hate’ language." In its 2014 “Call for Civic Dialogue” WCF said:
In its history, the WCF has never taken a position for or against anti-sodomy laws, nor has it attempted to roll back the rights gained by these individuals and organizations…. The WCF never has and never will advocate for any policy that brings harm to innocent individuals….
These assertions are grossly disingenuous and deceptive. WCF depends on, and celebrates, its association with what it calls “exemplary”anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Alliance Defending Freedom, and many others who aggressively resist the advance of LGBT equality in the U.S. and overseas -- and promote policies that most definitely bring harm to innocent individuals. For example, WCF and its allies played a significant role in organizing the stridently anti-gay “pro-family” movement in Russia. And not taking a position on laws that subject LGBT people to long jail terms and worse is hardly something to brag about.
Sadly, Cruz is not an outlier. WCF and the speakers it provides with a platform have a long record of resisting protections for the rights of LGBT people. Last year WCF initiated a letter signed by 120 Religious Right figures from around the world in “vigorous protest” of the U.S. Embassy’s participation in a gay pride celebration in the Czech Republic. It refers to marriage equality as a “pseudo-right” that debases human freedom and dignity. The letter concludes, “We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the ‘gay’ agenda on societies with traditional values.”
More to the point, WCF’s own Africa regional director, Theresa Okafor, who is being honored at the event, supported a harsh anti-gay law in Nigeria that not only provides for long jail sentences for gay sex, but also bans gay people from meeting in groups. Okafor has suggested that pro-equality groups from the west are allied with the violent Islamist Boko Haram in a conspiracy to silence Christians.
WCF Executive Director Crouse has her own track record. She has said children being raised by gay couples are being “used as guinea pigs.” She has praised Russia’s anti-gay right, saying approvingly, “I wouldn’t bet on the Russians capitulating to western LGBTIQ fascists without a fight.” At a 2013 Howard Center press conference, Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” She praised anti-gay activists in France, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. And while Crouse portrays American gays as enemies of free speech, she enthusiastically backed the prosecution and jailing of Pussy Riot activists over their anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.
Among other anti-gay speakers who will be given a platform at WCF:
Peter Sprigg represents the stridently anti-gay Family Research Council, whose leader Tony Perkins once defended Uganda’s notorious “kill the gays” bill as an effort to uphold morality. Sprigg, who once said he would like to “export” homosexuals from the U.S., complained this year about Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for traveling to Uganda and Jamaica. Sprigg criticized the Obama administration for trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” like Uganda, “which is one of the countries that has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”
Robert Knight, a Religious Right pundit and former FRC staffer, has argued that judges who rule in favor of marriage equality should be impeached.
Errol Naidoo received training from the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C before founding the Family Policy Institute in South Africa in response to the legalization of marriage equality, which he had lobbied against. He blames abortion and “the homosexual agenda” for creating a “culture of death” that is “slowly killing off the human family in Western civilization.”
Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, says the “sexual revolution” is a “totalitarian” movement” and “a pagan ideology” that Christians should refuse to compromise with. She says “the only reason we’re dealing with gay marriage now is because we never faced up to the harms that have already been inflicted by feminism.”
Frank Schubert is a political communications strategist notorious as the mastermind of the strategy to ground the campaign for California’s Prop 8 in fear-mongering about gay people and couples being a threat to children. Schubert was paid handsomely to take that destructive strategy to other states.
The World Congress of Families sent out a press release today announcing that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes will both address the group’s upcoming convention in Salt Lake City.
The presence of two of Utah’s top elected officials lends legitimacy to the gathering of opponents of reproductive rights and LGBT equality from around the world. Among the speakers are the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, Peter Sprigg and Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council, Sharon Slater of Family Watch International and Mark Regnerus, whose faulty research on gay parents has been used to justify anti-LGBT discrimination around the world.
But most troubling is the World Congress of Families itself, which is a project of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society. The Howard Center and the World Congress of Families were founded by Allan Carlson, an adherent of the anti-contraception, anti-women’s-rights “Quiverfull” ideology.
The World Congress of Families exists to promote what Carlson calls the “natural family” — something that does not include LGBT people, reproductive rights or, often, women working outside the home.
In their “Natural Family: A Manifesto,” Carlson and Paul Mero, then the president of the Sutherland Institute, which is hosting next month’s event in Utah, laid out their vision of a world full of homes “open to a quiver of children,” with “young women growing into wives, homemakers, and mothers” and “young men growing into husbands, homebuilders, and fathers.” They call for “more babies and larger families” to counter the “war on human fertility”; gay marriage bans and tight divorce restrictions to “end the war of the sexual hedonists on marriage”; and the abolition of “state programs that indoctrinate children … youth, and adults into the contraceptive mentality.”
“We will craft schooling that gives positive images of chastity, marriage, fidelity, motherhood, fatherhood, husbandry, and housewifery. We will end the corruption of children through state ‘sex education’ programs,” they add.
The World Congress of Families exists to unite activists who are pushing this “natural family” ideology throughout the world. Notably, the group has served as a cheerleader for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on LGBT people, with one WCF official calling Russia “ the Christian saviors of the world.” The group planned to hold its last World Congress at the Kremlin, funded by top Putin allies. It formally cancelled the event after Russia invaded Ukraine, but the Congress went ahead with WCF leaders in attendance. The main organizer of the conference, WCF’s Russian representative Alexey Komov, will be offering a workshop on “Hosting a WCF Conference” at the Salt Lake City event.
Despite the debacle in Russia, WCF has hardly turned down its activism. At a recent event in Belgrade, World Congress of Families official Don Feder, who will also be speaking at the Salt Lake City conference, explains that contraception leads to “death” by “preventing life from happening" and will ultimately cause to the "extinction" of humanity:
The far-right outlet WorldNetDaily is outraged that “three new cable television shows portraying transgenders in a positive light debuted this summer,” and its reporter Greg Corombos asked the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg yesterday what parents should do about it.
“This is another good argument for parents to be very active in using the filtering systems on their TV and on their cable systems and so forth to perhaps block some of these shows, block some of these networks so that their children can’t just stumble across them while they’re surfing through the cable channels,” Sprigg said.
He told parents to explain to their kids that transgender people need “to find psychological counseling” and that “we shouldn’t be affirming them in this confusion.”
Sprigg warned that trans rights, gay rights and feminism amount to “an assault on the sexes,” adding that transgender people are typically “unconvincing and disturbing in appearance.”
Janet Mefferd warns that anti-gay Christians should not be having dialogues with pro-gay Christians: "We are to have no fellowship with darkness. We can’t 'dialogue' with any professing Christian who’s in open rebellion against the Word of God. We can’t 'dialogue' with anybody who is deceiving and misleading the Body of Christ on any sin while claiming to be a Christian!"
Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty says there is "an almost cult-like determination to advance the hyper-homosexualization of the military."
And FRC's Travis Weber agrees, declaring that the government is "requiring certain beliefs about homosexuality," which is a violation of Constitution's prohibition on religious tests for holding public office.
FRC's Peter Sprigg is not happy with U2's Bono for celebrating Ireland's vote to legalize gay
Speaking of FRC, the organization will be joining Sen. Mike Lee and others for a press conference next week to express their "deep concern
about the potential loss of tax-exempt status for educational institutions should the Supreme Court find constitutional legitimacy
for same-sex marriage."
Another well-reasoned column from BarbWire's Gina Miller: "We have a man in the White House
who has done more than any past president to push the devilish radical homosexual agenda. Countless millions of dollars have
been spent on the homosexualist propaganda campaign, which has also been exported around the world from the United States.
This does not end well."
Citizenlink's Stuart Shepard warns that gay marriage is like a tornado ... or
Finally, Dana Loesch claims that
we here at Right Wing Watch are "known for just fabricating quotes, fabricating legislation, fabricating things said in
Several years ago, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins strongly defended a Uganda bill, which at the time included a measure making homosexuality in some cases a capital offense. While the provision was dropped, the Ugandan government still increased the draconian penalties punishing people for being.
So it came as no surprise that on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg — who once called for the U.S. to “ export homosexuals” — criticized Randy Berry, the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for reportedly traveling to travel to Uganda and Jamaica, where homosexuality is also criminalized.
Sprigg said that Berry and the Obama administration are trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” such as Uganda, “which is one of the countries which has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”
Family Research Council spokesman Peter Sprigg defended sexual orientation conversion therapy yesterday by insisting that homosexuality is the result of “developmental issues in childhood and adolescence” such as “sexual abuse” and “poor bonding with a same-sex parent or peers.”
Sprigg told his FRC colleague Craig James, who was guest hosting the group’s “Washington Watch” radio program, that “while same-sex attractions are not a sin, they are a temptation to sin and same-sex sexual conduct, homosexual conduct, is the sin.” Sprigg, upset with President Obama’s recent statement condemning the pseudo-scientific therapy, which has been discredited by major medical and social worker groups, insisted that gay people can “overcome their sinful temptations.”
He dismissed “this idea that these therapists are forcing change on people who are perfectly happy to be gay” as “just a fantasy,” claiming that the therapy benefits even reluctant clients since it helps them “with underlying issues, with their depression, with their relationship issues.”
“And what they sometimes find is if the underlying psychological problems are addressed, the same-sex attractions actually begin to go away,” he said.
James agreed, complaining that Americans are “being forced to accept” bans on “conversion therapy” when in reality “many” have “chosen a heterosexual lifestyle.”
Sprigg — who travelled to Idaho earlier this week to testify against the measure — celebrated the decision, saying that banning employment and housing discrimination against LGBT people “would increase the power of government to interfere with the operation of private businesses and private organizations” and would place the government in the position of “taking sides” on a “controversial issue.” (We weren’t aware that the FRC opposed the government taking sides on controversial issues!)
Sprigg said that what the Idaho legislature should really do is remain “morally neutral” in order for “the marketplace of ideas” to sort out whether or not it’s okay to discriminate against LGBT people, rather than making “a legal statement that it is morally wrong to disapprove of homosexual conduct and morally wrong to disapprove of people presenting themselves as the opposite of their biological sex.”
Later in the program, Perkins took a call from a listener who complained that he had seen a picture on Facebook of “two naked guys sitting on each other” and that when he complained about it to Facebook “in a nice, respectful, Christian way,” he was treated like “the biggest bigot out there.”
“I think we need to pray for them, maybe they’ll turn their lives around,” the caller said.
Perkins agreed that “Jesus said that we are to pray for our enemies, for those who persecute us, that would be those who mock and ridicule us, absolutely we should pray for them.”
Citing a mentally disturbed man who tried to stage an attack on FRC headquarters, Perkins contended that LGBT rights proponents are the real intolerant “haters” because they’re “projecting.”
“We’ve had them come into our building with guns, shooting, to try to kill us,” he said. “We harbor no bitterness in our hearts toward them, which is something they can’t understand. They want to project and that’s why they like to call us haters and so on and so forth, but they’re projecting.”
He added that he is very tolerant of gay people and doesn’t mind if they “live together, do whatever they want to do” as long as they don’t “redefine all of society for the rest of us.”
“I think more and more Americans are waking up because they’re seeing it,” he said. “This is being shoved into people’s faces, and if, like you, they say, 'I don’t want this on my Facebook page, I don’t want this, I don’t want to see this, look, do whatever you want to do but don’t involve me in that' — that’s not good enough, there’s this effort of forced acceptance and affirmation. And we just can’t do that.”
Family Research Council spokesmen Peter Sprigg and Craig James of the Family Research Council have an innovative new plan to promote limited government: pass a constitutional amendment regulating gender identity!
On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” James explained how transgender rights issues will likely be the next issue that the Religious Right will have to “combat in this war that we’re on with the LGBT community.”
“I think the ideal policy for government with respect to [trans rights] is that your sex is your biological sex,” Sprigg said. “My view is, that if your biological sex is unambiguous at birth -- if your internal sex organs, your external genitalia, and your chromosomal makeup all are unequivocal in declaring you to be of one sex – then that is your sex for life, and that is your only sexual identity that the government will recognize.”
He continued on to lament how state and local governments have capitulated to the interests of transgender advocates instead of imposing more stringent legal definitions of gender. “Unfortunately, we never codified [these distinctions]. And I think a lot of states just kind of through erosion, through response to pressure from the transgender movement, have gotten to the point where they, first of all, recognize sex changes in terms of people’s identity documents…But now, they’re going further and actually punishing people who also don’t affirm this myth, this fiction, that people can change their sex.”
James even suggested that conservatives might have to consider launching a movement to pass a constitutional amendment regulating gender identity, asking Sprigg, “Might Congress — might there be a need for us to have a constitutional movement, an amendment, to identify a person’s sex: it is what you are at birth?”
Shortly after Russia passed its new spate of anti-gay laws, Glenn Beck said he was so offended by one Russian commentator who called for the mass killing of gays and lesbians that he would “stand with GLAAD” against the growing tide of anti-gay bigotry and “hetero-fascism” in the country.
Then, this weekend, Beck took the same stand against growing Russian “hetero-fascism” in his closing speech at the Values Voter Summit, even though many of the summit’s sponsors and his fellow speakers have openly backed harsh anti-gay laws in Russia and throughout the world.
To begin with, Tony Perkins, the president of the summit’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, defended Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill when it included provisions making homosexuality a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death.
Maybe Beck was trying to hold Religious Right leaders at the summit to task for their support of brutal anti-gay policies. But if that’s the case, Beck should start confronting them directly when they come on his show, rather than singing their praises and appearing at their conferences while calling policies they support “fascist.”
Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg, who once advocated for the deportation of gay people from the U.S. to stop them from destroying society, fielded a call on the “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday from a listener named Janet, who recounted a heart wrenching story of her daughter coming out as gay.
Janet explained to Sprigg how she still supports her daughter and is sustained by her faith in Jesus Christ.
I want you to understand that I am a Christian, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but I do have a quandary. I have a daughter who has been married for seven years and she came to me in tears and said, ‘Mother, I can’t live this way, it’s not who I am, I’m gay.’ I was astounded because I didn’t see it, we talked about it, we’ve done everything. My daughter was raised in the church. The thing that we talked about was — I asked, ‘Well why did you marry if you felt this way?’ She said, ‘Because I wanted to be like everybody else.’ I said, ‘Well how long have you know this?’ She said, ‘Mother, I’ve known this since I was a little kid, I’ve always been different from everybody else.’
I’m not turning my back on my daughter, I’m not ashamed of my daughter, I am deeply hurt that there is no church that my daughter can go to and not hear what an awful, sinful, against-God life that she feels that she is. I don’t think that the Jesus I grew up with and learned to love is a resentful or any kind of God that would want to cause pain. I don’t know why my daughter feels the way she does, but she does and she doesn’t lie to me and I know in her heart that this is how she feels. The only thing that I know that I’m supposed to do is to pray for my fellow people in this world, love everybody just as Jesus loves me and I think I have hurt so much because all I hear is what a God-forsaken life they are living. Well God didn’t forsake my daughter, He didn’t.
Sprigg, unsurprisingly, responded to this call by recommending the mother turn to two groups THAT espouse ex-gay therapy: National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX).
If she does indeed do research on such groups, she will find out that ex-gay therapy has been completely discredited by the mainstream scientific community and has been rejected by many Christian groups, including many former ex-gays.
President Obama has reportedly decided to sign an executive order to bar federal government contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The news did not sit well with Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.
In a statement on behalf of the FRC today, Sprigg warns that the executive order will undermine “religious and constitutional liberties” and lead to a flood of lawsuits.
This political gesture reflects the president's repeated disregard for the legislative process. Congress has not passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or similar provisions, despite activists' pressure to do so, because of the detrimental impact on employers' and employees' constitutional freedoms of religion, speech, and association. Historically, these kinds of provisions have not been applied to conduct-based distinctions that are not found in the Constitution.
Today's announced executive order will give activists a license to challenge their employers whenever they feel aggrieved, exposing those employers to threats of costly legal proceedings and the potential of jeopardizing future contracts. Furthermore, by requiring federal contractors to consider characteristics and behaviors related to a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, this policy will make contractors liable for protecting actual or perceived self-disclosed and fluid identities that may not even be known.
The timing of this announcement is clearly designed to curry favor with activist organizations. While the president prepares to address a New York gathering of gay rights supporters, the American people will be left to sort out the costs to religious and constitutional liberties resulting from this executive order.