Filling in for right-wing talk show host Janet Mefferd on Friday, Randy Thomasson of Save California warned that marriage equality laws amount to slavery and totalitarianism.
“It’s tyranny, it’s intolerance, it’s attack, it’s a form of slavery even, that you cannot even have freedom, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and this is leading away from mere opposition to oppression with coming persecution,” Thomasson said.
Thomasson also interviewed Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera and introduced him by comparing transgender people to people who believe they are actually horses.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry attempted to dodge questions today about his comparison of homosexuality to alcohol abuse, telling CNBC that he will leave the efficacy of ex-gay therapy — recently endorsed by the Texas GOP — “to the psychologists and the doctors.”
Perry also told host Joe Kernan that he “respects” decisions to legalize same-sex marriage in states like New York. “This conversation has always been about states’ rights on this host of issue” and about rebuking “this idea that Washington should be given total and full ability to make these decisions,” he said.
Of course, when he was running for president, Perry supported the federal government intervening on same-sex marriage, endorsing the Federal Marriage Amendment.
But the Texas governor was for the right of states to pass marriage equality laws before he was against it and then for it again.
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” he said in July of 2011. “If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
Now it seems that Perry has reversed himself once again and is going back to his original position…or, maybe he just doesn’t understand how the Federal Marriage Amendment would work.
Buried in a National Catholic Register report on the biannual meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops this week is the surprising revelation that Brad Wilcox, one of the researchers behind Mark Regnerus’ infamously flawed study of same-sex parenting, admitted to attendees that most social scientists have found “no difference” between “a stable same-sex family and a stable heterosexual family.”
And when a Washington state bishop compared same-sex marriage to cohabitation, Wilcox responded that data suggests “when same-sex marriage is legalized and it is given cultural support, it will be as stable as heterosexual marriage" and that married same-sex couples “are more likely to have stable relationships when the legal regime is more supportive of their relationships.”
Following his talk, Wilcox took a number of questions from bishops on the floor of the meeting. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput asked why, if marriage is so valuable for economic success, same-sex marriage is being legalized in so many states.
"Most of the scientists would say that there's no difference ... between a stable same-sex family and a stable heterosexual family," replied Wilcox, noting that those scientists might consider stability the "key factor, not other issues that might relate to a child's well-being."
Yakima, Wash., Bishop Joseph Tyson asked why same-sex marriage is not considered by the studies Wilcox cited to be as dangerous as cohabitation.
"I think that the assumption ... is that when same-sex marriage is legalized and it is given cultural support, it will be as stable as heterosexual marriage," Wilcox replied.
"Is there data to back that?" Tyson asked.
"The data suggest that same-sex couples -- and this is really preliminary -- are more likely to have stable relationships when the legal regime is more supportive of their relationships," Wilcox replied.
This acknowledgment of mainstream social science’s assessment of gay and lesbian parenting is important coming from someone who helped to shape the Regnerus study, the discredited attack on same-sex parenting that is still cited widely by marriage equality opponents. We wrote last year:
Documents obtained by the American Independent this year revealed that the Witherspoon Institute was closely involved in Regnerus’ work through the go-between of W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor at the University of Virginia who at the time ran Witherspoon’s program on family, marriage and democracy, which had recruited Regnerus to conduct the study on LGBT parents. Regnerus in turn hired Wilcox on contract to assist him with data analysis on the study. Along with working with Regnerus on his skewed interpretation of the data, Wilcox urged Regnerus to release the study in time to influence the U.S. Supreme Court in its upcoming marriage equality cases. (Regnerus later signed onto an amicus brief seeking to influence both cases, which extensively cited his own research).
Wilcox’s remark echo the Proposition 8 trial testimony of David Blankenhorn, in which he acknowledged the stability provided by marriage for same-sex couples. Blankenhorn later became a full-fledged marriage equality advocate.
UPDATE: The bishops’ group has posted video of the conference. It’s clear from the video that Wilcox isn’t completely on board with the social science on same-sex marriage, but does acknowledge the consensus among his colleagues.
Interestingly, Wilcox did not mention same-sex marriage at all until it was brought up in the question-and-answer session.
WASHINGTON – Right-wing groups that oppose advances in marriage equality and reproductive justice have increasingly embraced a new tactic to push their agenda: the claim that opposition to them on policy amounts to oppression of their religious beliefs. A new report from People For the American Way exposes how the anti-gay, anti-choice Religious Right uses false and misleading stories to portray itself as a victim of religious persecution and intolerance.
The report, “The Persecution Complex: The Religious Right’s Deceptive Rallying Cry,” illustrates how Religious Right activists and elected officials have attempted to portray the increasing unpopularity of their stances on a number of cultural issues as evidence of oppression of their religious faith and represent themselves as the only holdouts in a society that is turning its back on moral values.
“Religious Right leaders hold themselves up as the victims,” stated People For the American Way’s President Michael B. Keegan. “This is a powerful talking point, even if not true. We need to expose these distortions for what they really are—an attempt to protect the Right’s ability to discriminate and push its policy preferences on the rest of us.”
The report explores a number of myths that have become widespread on the Religious Right, despite having little or no basis in reality:
None of these stories is true.
These unfounded stories feed into a narrative that portrays conservative Christians as the victims of LGBT rights, reproductive justice, religious pluralism and secular government. This narrative, in turn, has fueled the legislative and legal efforts to turn back any progressive advances.
“Using the resonant rhetoric of religious persecution, bolstered by often-bogus stories of purported anti-Christian activities, the Religious Right has attempted to tip the balance away from pluralism and accommodation to a legal system that allows individuals and businesses to broadly exempt themselves from policies they disagree with,” the report states. “Even when that means trampling on the religious rights of others.”
Read the full report here.
Since last Friday’s ruling by Federal Judge Barbara Crabb that Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, hundreds of same-sex couples have lined up to get marriage licenses across the Badger State. Immediately after receiving the ruling, clerks in Dane and Milwaukee counties began issuing marriage licenses, and in both areas, facilities stayed open late on Friday and continued issuing licenses on Saturday. Officiants, including judges, ministers, and commissioners, married couples on-site at their respective county courthouses.
Similar to actions in other states where courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans, Wisconsin’s right-leaning GOP Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed multiple motions to “preserve the status quo” attempting to stop same-sex marriages from happening.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 48 of the state’s 72 counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the ongoing legal battle. Wisconsin’s Vital Records Office is accepting the licenses, but holding them until they receive further guidance from Van Hollen.
For its part, the ACLU filed a proposal of how to implement same-sex marriage in the state. If approved, the plan would force Governor Scott Walker, Attorney General Van Hollen, and county clerks across the state to treat all same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally under the law.
Judge Crabb is set to have another hearing on June 19th.
Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.
Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.
Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.
At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”
Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”
The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”
“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”
Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.
Vic Eliason of the Wisconsin-based group Voice of Christian Youth America was not pleased with a federal judge’s decision last week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a point which he expounded on at length on yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk.”
“This same-sex marriage is a branch off of — it’s promiscuity, it’s passion out of control, it’s a violation of natural order, it’s a violation of literally — you cannot procreate — and they have literally defiled the very definitions of who people are and turned them into perverts,” he said.
Eliason’s guest, Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action, agreed with his assessment and claimed the judge effectively said she “knows better than God Almighty.”
Comparing the anti-gay movement to the fights against slavery and the Maccabees, right-wing pastor and Prop 8 organizer Jim Garlow appeared on “The Janet Mefferd Show” Friday to warn that “it’s going to be the loss of America if marriage goes down.”
“It’s going to be the destruction of our nation, the ultimate nail in the coffin,” Garlow said. “Marriage will survive ultimately, America will not.”
Garlow previously held President Obama personally responsible for “tip[ping] the scales in a destructive direction” with his endorsement of marriage equality.
Last year the National Organization for Marriage sued the IRS over a clerk’s mistaken release in 2012 of a tax form that by law should have had the group’s donors redacted but didn’t. When gay rights activists published the list of major donors, NOM portrayed the release as a sinister political plot by the Obama administration that was “reminiscent of Watergate” and “part of a deliberate attempt to chill the First Amendment activity of NOM, its donors, and others who associate with NOM.” Based on this conspiracy theory, NOM sued the IRS for punitive damages.
Last week a federal judge harshly rejected NOM’s claims that the release was willful or a result of gross negligence, but NOM is trying to spin the humiliating rejection of its false charges as some kind of victory.
In reviewing the facts of the case, the judge said it is clear that the IRS clerk, who was responding to a public records request, sent a copy without the donors redacted by mistake. The government readily admits the accidental release. But NOM lawyers absurdly tried to claim that IRS supervisors investigating the incident were somehow breaking the law by reviewing the group’s forms.
“NOM has proffered no evidence that its unredacted tax information was willfully disclosed,” wrote Judge James Cacheris. In fact, the judge’s ruling says, the clerk had no idea who was requesting the information or what NOM was about. David Badash at the New Civil Rights movement nicely summarized the tone of the judge’s dismissal on summary judgment of the charges that the release was due to a political plot or gross negligence:
United States District Court Judge James C. Cacheris in his Tuesday ruling against NOM used terms like, “NOM has failed to produce a shred of proof,” NOM’s argument “misses the mark,” is “unconvincing,” “is unpersuasive,” and “[t]o find that NOM could prevail from this scintilla of evidence … is not appropriate.”
The one part of NOM’s lawsuit the judge did not throw out was NOM’s claim for attorney’s fees and funds for any actual damages it can prove resulted from the mistaken release. NOM will get to make the case for those damages in court.
That was enough for NOM to spin the decision as a victory. In an email to supporters on Sunday evening, NOM’s Brian Brown wrote:
First, the IRS news you've been waiting to hear — they finally admitted we were right and they were wrong! This week the IRS was forced to admit that they were the ones who unlawfully released our confidential donor information to a gay activist who promptly gave it to our political opponents, and opponents of marriage, the Human Rights Campaign.
Brown’s email makes it sound as if the government was trying to cover up the mistaken release, and it was only the pressure from grassroots activists and the Act Right Legal Foundation (which Brown chairs) that pushed members of Congress to “keep the IRS scandal in the public view and to dig into the truth of what happened to NOM and its donors.”
The truth is much less exciting than NOM’s claims. But NOM seems likely to get the government to pay some legal fees related to the mistaken release. Also to be considered by the court will be the government’s argument that any damages NOM can prove should be offset by money NOM raised by falsely portraying themselves as the victims of political persecution.
NOM’s lawyers, of course, have plenty to keep them busy.
A District Court judge ruled today that Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Judge Barbara Crabb relied on equal protection law to strike down the ban:
"My task under federal law is to decide the claims presented by the plaintiffs in this case now, applying the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court," she said. "Because my review of that law convinces me that plaintiffs are entitled to the same treatment as any heterosexual couple, I conclude that the Wisconsin laws banning marriage between same-sex couples are unconstitutional."
Congratulate Wisconsinites by sharing our graphic below:
As RWW and others have documented, American Religious Right figures are part of a global anti-equality movement. Groups like the American Center for Law and Justice, National Organization for Marriage and World Congress of Families are working with right-wing movements in Europe to resist advances in LGBT Equality.
Today, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel praises this week’s passage of an anti-marriage-equality constitutional amendment in Slovakia, where there is no legal recognition of same-sex civil unions.
While the U.S. seems bound and determined to destroy natural marriage and family, other nations around the world have figured out that radically deconstructing these fundamental cornerstone institutions – institutions necessary to the survival of any healthy society – will have devastating effects in the long-term.
Slovakia is the latest such nation. Lawmakers there have constitutionally banned counterfeit “same-sex marriage.”
...Let’s pray that this pro-family trend across the world continues. As the radical “LGBT” agenda continues to weaken America, obliterate religious liberty and hurt and confuse countless children and families, we can at least take solace in the fact that much of the world has not been duped by this demonic incursion of sexual anarchy.
We have already heard from right-wing leaders about how blocking immigration reform is needed to preserve gun rights, but now one anti-gay activist argues that opposition to marriage equality is also linked to gun issues.
Former Pennsylvania lawmaker Sam Rohrer, who now leads the American Pastors Network, held a press conference yesterday demanding that Gov. Tom Corbett appeal a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality, suggesting that the governor’s refusal to do so may jeopardize gun rights:
“If the federal government comes back and says, ‘We’re going to take away your guns – Second Amendment,’ and eviscerate that, or, ‘We’re going to take away private property rights,’ do you think this legislature or this governor is going to stand up and say, ‘Well, that’s fine, go ahead and do it’? Because if we do, we don’t live in a republic anymore.”
Rohrer blasted the court’s decision as “tyranny” and called for the removal of Judge John E. Jones III, who was appointed by George W. Bush and backed by then-Sen. Rick Santorum.
He also accused Jones of thinking that he is God:
"Let's be clear, this ruling was made by one man - a federal district judge unelected and unaccountable. Politically appointed, never facing the voters and never answering to the press, many people in this position when unrestrained by moral truth, perceive themselves to be above the law," said Rohrer, who held the press conference in the Rotunda of the state Capitol. "Indeed, their arrogance makes them appear as if they think they are God."
Rohrer accused Jones - who in ruling the former ban on gay marriage as a violation of constitutional rights said the law should be "discarded into the ash heap of history"...because "we are better people than these laws" - of aggressive ideological elitism. The pastor added that Jones seemed to have an "undeveloped or distorted understanding" of the basis for civil law, adding that the judge may have been motivated by an intentional defiance of God.
One pastor who joined Rohrer at the press conference said the ban on same-sex marriage was needed to stop crime in the African-American community:
The Rev. Todd Johnson, pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, said the future welfare of the black community hinged on the protection of traditional marriage.
"Marriage is biblical and sacred honor between one man and one woman," he said. "In the African-American community, the statistics are overwhelming: in traditional families anchored by the marriage of one man and one woman, children are less likely to commit a crime, less likely to have babies out of wedlock, more likely to graduate from school, and more likely to participate in the workforce in a meaningful way."
Johnson said the uptick in negative statistics in the black community has coincided with the dismantling of the nuclear family.
"Governor Corbett's decision shows a lack of traditional moral leadership, and in the end, it will have a tremendously negative impact on the already declining family structure in the urban African-American community," Johnson said.
“The press, throughout the annals of modern history, has been used by the enemies of God to change culture and by using cultural change or influencing cultural change, the enemies of God have been able to create a moral collapse in our society and in our political realm,” Swimp said, before railing against “ravaged activist judges.”
Swimp has recently protested a Michigan court ruling in favor of marriage equality and a recent push to include sexual orientation protections in anti-discrimination laws.
On Friday, televangelist James Robison slammed efforts to “redefine marriage” as “wars against the creation itself” that “we should oppose with all our might.”
Robison wrote on his website that the campaign for marriage equality is a “totalitarian” push to quash religious expression and increase the size of government.
Conjugal marriage and the family are the two most basic human institutions. They exist in every time and place, and they pre-exist the state. The state does not determine what marriage and family are, but they must recognize them. That’s why political attempts to redefine marriage and family are not tolerant but totalitarian. They are wars against the creation itself, and we should oppose them with all our might.
At the same time we must support policies that encourage healthy families. This requires discernment, since every half-baked bill proposed in Congress claims to be pro-family. But many policies create incentives that harm the family. Divorce rates, out-of-wedlock births, and fatherless homes have risen in every class in the United States in the last fifty years, but the decay has been catastrophic in poor communities where the welfare state has mostly replaced the traditional roles of the father and the church. This tragic unintended consequence suggests a rule of thumb: If a policy surrenders territory to the state that ought to be part of civil society, that policy will harm rather than help families in the long run.
Secularism and progressivism, however, deny that we can know God and morality. They seek to quarantine both to a ghetto of private religious faith. This has created a secular and relativistic public square, which is exactly the opposite of what the Founders intended. We must reverse this trend and defend the truth that man has real moral knowledge, which is the foundation of just government.
Faith encourages the virtues that help sustain the free society. It gives us hope in the future, which is under the providence of God, while preventing us from falling for utopian fantasies like the communist illusions that killed scores of millions of people in the twentieth century.
We must correct the false stereotype that faith feeds theocracy and defend the freedom of believers to apply their faith to the concerns of the day.
Tony Perkins, who has previously claimed that marriage equality will lead to a “revolution” and “break this nation apart,” told Janet Mefferd yesterday that he believes advances in gay rights are bringing about the “dissolution of the republic.”
The Family Research Council president told Mefferd that the marriage debate is “is literally about the entire culture: it’s about the rule of law, it’s about the country, it’s about our future, it’s about redefining the curriculum in our schools, it’s about driving a wedge between parent and child, it’s about the loss of religious freedom, it’s about the inability to be who we are as a people.”
Perkins said gay rights advocates are “sowing the seeds of the disillusion of our republic.”
“Once we lose the rule of law, we’ve lost what holds us together and I think there’s coming a point that they’re going to push Christians to a point where they’re not going to be pushed anymore and I think we’re very quickly coming to that point,” he said.
Recently, gay rights opponents have touted two polls which they claim prove that Americans are turning against marriage equality: one of the polls only surveyed districts with competitive elections, the other polled Republicans and Republican-leaning independents .
But a new actually representative Gallup poll today confirms what several other recent national polls have shown: support for marriage equality is moving past the 50 percent mark and is especially high among young voters.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they supported legalizing same-sex marriage, including 78 percent of people ages 18 to 29 years old.
Marriage equality also has majority support in each region of the country except for the South, where support stands at 48 percent.
But don’t worry, today’s Gallup survey will most likely be promptly dismissed by Religious Right leaders as another “cooked” poll that misrepresents the view of the real majority of Americans who are being “bullied” by a small clique of gay rights advocates and “activist judges.”
Religious Right leaders Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer commissioned a poll last month of Republican and Republican-leaning voters which found, unsurprisingly, that most Republicans oppose marriage equality. Bauer, while speaking on Perkins’ radio show the next day, predictably misrepresented the poll and pointed to it as proof that “most Americans” are against legalizing same-sex marriage.
Today, Perkins tweeted that a “majority of Americans oppose redefining marriage,” linking to a new Politico poll.
In fact, the poll surveys 867 likely voters in only certain areas of the country, namely “states with competitive Senate elections” and “competitive House districts.”
Likely voters were surveyed in the following states with competitive Senate elections: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.
Additionally, likely voters were surveyed in the following competitive House districts: Arizona-01, Arizona-02, Arizona-09, Arkansas-02, Arkansas-04, California-07, California-10, California-21, California-25, California-26, California-31, California-36, California-52, Colorado-06, Connecticut-05, Florida-02, Florida-13, Florida-18, Florida-26, Georgia-12, Illinois-10, Illinois-11, Illinois-12, Illinois-13, Illinois-17, Indiana-02, Iowa-01, Iowa-03, Maine-02, Massachusetts-06, Michigan-01, Michigan-04, Michigan-07, Michigan-08, Michigan-11, Minnesota-02, Minnesota-07, Minnesota-08, Montana-AL, Nebraska-02, Nevada-03, Nevada-04, New Hampshire-01, New Hampshire-02, New Jersey-02, New Jersey-03, New Mexico-02, New York-01, New York-11, New York-18, New York-19, New York-21, New York-23, New York-24, North Carolina-07, Ohio-06, Ohio-14, Oregon-05, Pennsylvania-06, Pennsylvania-08, Texas-23, Utah-04, Virginia-02, Virginia-10, West Virginia-01, West Virginia-02, West Virginia-03 and Wisconsin-06.