GOProud, a group for gay conservatives, was bounced from the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 2012 when a coalition of social conservatives pulled out in protest of the group’s participation. This year the group has been “welcomed” back – not in the sense of having a table or other visible presence, but in the sense of GOProud leaders being allowed to attend, according to some news reports, as guests of the ACU. GOProud co-founder Chris Barron criticized the group’s current leaders for touting the conditional return as a victory, saying they were letting themselves be used as “stooges” for anti-gay conservatives.
But even this mild and invisible welcome is too much for Tradition, Family, and Property, the far-right Catholic organization whose members sport bright scarlet capes. Walk by TFP’s table and someone will eagerly hand you a flyer explaining “Why GOProud Does Not Belong at CPAC.” GOProud is memorably portrayed as a rainbow-colored beaver, gnawing away at the social conservative leg of the conservative movement (the other two legs being fiscal and defense-oriented conservatives).
Why is GOProud a welcomed and official guest at CPAC, when it advocates the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” thus undermining the votes and dreams of millions of God-fearing Americans?
How can GOProud consider itself conservative when it directly opposes the work of social conservative activists and contributes to America’s moral ruin, through the weakening of the family – the first and fundamental building block of society?
TFP’s flyer says it protests against GOProud’s efforts to “cast itself as a bone fide member of the conservative movement.” TFP believes:
To be true to itself, the conservative movement must battle on all three conservative fronts (defense, fiscal, and social).
That individuals and organizations who subscribe to only one or two of the conservative movement’s three legs are still welcome to join the coalition, but should refrain from publicly opposing the rest of the movement’s efforts on the leg or legs they disagree on.
TFP says welcoming GOProud into the conservative movement would be like a communist or socialist organization seeking admittance to the conservative movement by claiming to be against abortion. As part of the evidence that TFP marshals to prove that GOProud is not conservative, it notes that the group’s website says it encourages “committed stable, relationships between two people, regardless of sexual orientation, that promote healthy families and create value within our society.” Mercy!
TFP does have some kind words for the ACU, applauding the decision to deny American Atheists a booth at CPAC. But that didn’t prevent American Atheists from distributing a CPAC flyer that says “Christianity’s influence on conservatism is pushing away almost 20 million voters – more than enough to swing an election.”
Ryan Hurst is the membership services program coordinator for affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
Last week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a bill that would have made it legal for businesses and employers to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people if it was due to a “deeply held religious belief.” Many Arizonans and national leaders on both sides of the aisle vehemently opposed it, including members of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network. US Representative Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Arizona State Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar spoke out on MSNBC. Tovar also said in a statement:
SB 1062 permits discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. With the express consent of Republicans in this legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation.
Supporters of SB 1062 and legislation like it have argued that it is necessary to protect the “right” of business owners to deny services to LGBT Americans. Why does fighting this flawed assumption matter? Why would LGBT Americans want to patronize a business that is trying to discriminate against them?
It matters because our values define who we are as a people. Do we want to be an America that permits discrimination because we disagree with someone? An America that legislates away the dignity of a group of our fellow citizens? The desire to have and feel dignity is something that reaches into our very core. It is why African American students refused to get up from lunch counters during the civil rights movement. Though the circumstances behind those heroic acts were different, at least one of the core motivating factors is the same – the desire to have dignity and be valued as a human being.
We as a nation decided to set precedent as a result of the civil rights movement, that we would not allow ourselves to be defined by hate and ignorance, and that discrimination based on race, gender, disability, national origin, and religion would not be tolerated. Why would we hold love to a different standard? Like religion, it is deeply personal and central to who we are, and our freedom regarding that area of our lives is recognized as basic to the very concept of liberty. And we can no more change who we love than change our race, sex, or national origin.
Unfortunately Arizona was not alone in proposing a bill that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT Americans. In all, 12 states had similar bills simultaneously working their way through their state legislatures. In the fallout from SB 1062, most of these states quietly killed these bills with little fanfare. But a few states like Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota are still considering similar legislation, and Oregon is even considering a ballot initiative.
It is time for us as a country to be bold and unapologetic about our rejection of discrimination. It is important for us to have conversations about why our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and neighbors and friends deserve dignity and equality. We must not be afraid to speak out in opposition to these bills if they are introduced in our state, and we must exercise our right to vote by removing elected officials from office that choose to support legislation that diminishes the dignity of others.
World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder writes today in the American Thinker that gays and lesbians in the military, Muslim executive branch officials and a president who’s not “an American in the White House,” threaten American interests more than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Feder writes that he doesn’t blame Putin for resisting Ukraine’s moves toward EU membership, because that implies a “willingness to accept same-sex ‘marriage,’ abortion on demand [and] an anti-religion ethos.” A parallel situation in Canada would bother us too, Feder writes. “It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.”
Feder goes on to list what he actually sees as a “threat to America,” including “Muslims in the Obama White House,” because “a Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.”
Another “threat” he sees to America is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder?... Perhaps we could deploy an elite unit, armed with vibrators, to the Crimea to counter Spetsnaz commandos.”
Putin is a power player who cares more about Russia’s national interests, and Russian minorities in his near abroad, than in that mythical force known as world opinion. Would that America had a president who cared more about our interests than in promoting globalism and the left’s social agenda.
The Russian-backed government in Kiev came to power democratically, but was ousted by the Maidan mob. We’re told that the interim government is pro-Western and pro-EU.
When Reagan was president, the expression pro-Western meant something. It meant pro-representative government, pro-human rights and pro-Western (Judeo-Christian) values.
Today, it means a willingness to accept same-sex “marriage,” abortion on demand, an anti-religion ethos – the agenda of the EU’s cultural commissars -- and the economic dictates of the Brussels bureaucracy.
Putin doesn’t want to see the EU -- and, possibly, NATO --- on his doorstep. Do you blame him? If someone overthrew a democratically elected, pro-American government in Ottawa and replaced it with an interim regime hostile to our interests, that contained neo-Nazi elements and which immediately moved against English-speaking Canadians, it would irritate us too. It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.
But don’t I care about a possible Russian annexation of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine (with its Russian-oriented, Orthodox population), conservatives who are still fighting the Cold War ask me? Not really. I’ll tell you what does concern me:
Obama’s life style-friendly military -- If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder? The headline in the March 2 Stars and Stripes beams: “Gay, lesbian troops perform in drag at Kadena Air Base” in Okinawa. The publication disclosed that the drag show was “in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered troops.” Doubtless, this will do much for the morale of the non-LGBT troops. But as then-Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. said at the time of the Ft. Hood massacre (which the administration still refuses to call a terrorist incident), diversity is the New Action Army’s most important product. Perhaps we could deploy an elite unit, armed with vibrators, to the Crimea to counter Spetsnaz commandos.
Muslims in the Obama White House -- including Arif Alikhan (Deputy Executive Director for Policy in DHS), Mohamed Elibiary (Homeland Security Advisory Council), Rashad Hussain (Special Envoy to the deeply anti-Semitic Organization of the Islamic Conference), Imam Mohamed Magid (Obama’s Sharia Law advisor, on loan from the Islamic Society of North America, with its Brotherhood ties) and Eboo Patel (on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships). A Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.
Obama’s metastasizing autocracy -- We fret about democracy in the Ukraine while Obama treats the Constitution as a series of suggestions. For the president, the three branches of government are him, his pen and his telephone.
Putin is a strong man. Obama is a weak man (except when it comes to bullying our allies). Obama venerates multilateralism. Putin is willing to go it alone. Obama is committed to the entire LGBT agenda (including gay “marriage”). He’s also the only sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, such is his commitment to abortion without borders. Putin believes the foregoing is the road to national annihilation.
Where does the threat to America lie?
Pastor Larry Tomczak wrote a column in Charisma yesterday touting a video that he says “every person in every church needs to watch.” The video in question is a recording of a sermon/PowerPoint presentation on the subject of homosexuality given by none other than Larry Tomscak.
In the sermon, Tomczak claims that we are “in a civil war” surrounding gay rights, promotes the “ex-gay” movement, and repeats myths about how people “become gay,” including, “spousal and child abuse; media influence, pornography; absence of a father; childhood experience; experimentation; seduction and molestation by peers or authority figures; [and] misunderstanding ‘artistic’ bent.”
He later goes into the reasons he opposes same-sex marriage, including claiming that God is punishing gay men and lesbians by making them “effeminate” or “mannish.”
Tomczak cites Romans 1:27 to claim that gays and lesbians “receive in their own bodies the penalty for their sin.”
“Folks, I am not in any way being insensitive here,” he says, “but I have watched people go into a lifestyle, and all of a sudden they become – a man starts to become very effeminate – mannerisms, speech. I’ve seen the reverse, I’ve seen the same thing with women start becoming mannish. What’s going on? They’re taking in their bodies a penalty for deviating from God’s loving design and plan.”
Rep. Steve King of Iowa joined Des Moines’ WHO TV yesterday to discuss Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have strengthened the ability of businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
“When you’re in the private sector and you’re an individual entrepreneur with God-given rights that our founding fathers defined in the Declaration, you should be able to make our own decisions on what you do in that private business,” King said.
He quickly clarified that he saw civil rights laws as an exception to that rule, but one that shouldn’t be expanded to protect LGBT people. “There’s nothing mentioned in [civil rights laws] about self-professed behavior,” he said, “and that’s what they’re trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior.”
Asked whether he thought that being gay is a choice, King responded that he didn’t “know whether it’s a choice or not,” that he imagined some type of “continuum or curve.”
“I don’t know what that curve looks like,” he added. “I think some’s nature and some’s nurture, and some might be purely each. But I think a lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture.”
The congressman went on to imply that LGBT people are making their identities known in order to entrap business owners into discriminating against them.
“The one thing that I reference when I say ‘self-professed,’” he said, “is how do you know who to discriminate against? They have to tell you. And are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance or is it actually about a service that they’d like to have?”
He then implied that homosexuality cannot be “independently verified” and can be “willfully changed.”
“If it’s not specifically protected in the Constitution,” he said of civil rights protections, “then it’s got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and cannot be willfully changed.” He added that this is part of why he opposes hate crimes laws.
As President Obama and world leaders debate whether to go ahead with this year’s planned G-8 meeting in Sochi after Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, American Religious Right leaders are facing a diplomatic dilemma of their own.
In September, social conservative leaders from around the globe, including representatives of several major American Religious Right groups are planning to hold the annual World Congress of Families gathering at the Kremlin. The gathering is supported by political leaders in Russian Orthodox Church and will include a joint session with the Russian parliament.
American social conservatives have rallied – with varying levels of enthusiasm – to support Russian President Vladimir Putin as his government has passed aseries of anti-gay laws and joined with the church to take up other “family values” issues. These activists, in praising Russia’s renewed push on issues such as gay rights, have largely chosen to ignore the role that social issues are playing in Putin's larger plans.
Issues such as gay rights, abortion rights, and population growth aren't a side project for Putin – they're closely entwined with his tightening grip on power and what Julia Ioffe calls his “appetite for expansion.” For instance, as Buzzfeed's Lester Feder has reported extensively, Russia and its allies in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe have riled up anti-gay sentiment as part of a larger agenda of fomenting distrust of the EU and the West. Putin’s anti-gay crackdown has also been useful in promoting nationalist sentiment within Russia and to provide a useful scapegoat as he tightens his grip on power.
When Larry Jacobs of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families gushes that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world” or when former Fox News producer Jack Hanick, who has been active in anti-gay causes in Russia, says that “God called on” Russia to “stand up for traditional values,” they are playing into Putin’s own narrative.
In October, leaders from major U.S. Religious Right groups including the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family traveled to Moscow for a planning meeting for the upcoming conference, where they met with Yelena Mizulina, a member of parliament at the head of the Kremlin's social conservative push and coauthor of the infamous "gay propaganda" bill.
In addition, nearly every major Religious Right group in the country is an official paying “partner” of the World Congress of Families; groups including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage, pay an annual $2,500 fee to support the organization, which is an offshoot of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.
The American Right has found Putin's Russia to be an ally of convenience as they work to build an international movement opposing gay rights, choice, and religious pluralism. But how far are they willing to take the relationship?
Last week, World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder joined Rick Scarborough on a Tea Party Unity conference call, where Feder got to talking about how liberals “intimidate” conservative pastors into not speaking out against gay rights.
As luck would have it, Scarborough was ready with a “very fresh and very real” anecdote to illustrate that this "threat" comes not just from gay rights activists, but from parishioners who don't want to hear about anal sex in church:
Well, let me give you a perspective that’s very fresh and very real. When pastors speak on this issue, it’s not just a threat that comes from the left that they fear.
I spoke in a church the last four days – I don’t recall the name of the church, so maybe somebody on the line listening from that church, if they are, they’re going to be very familiar with what I’m about to say – but in the second service out of five, I mentioned the word ‘anal sex’ illustrating what homosexuality actually is. And I know that that’s a repulsive expression, I know that nobody likes to think about it, but Christians need to understand what we’re talking about. This is not a gay activity, it’s a perversion. And it does carry consequences because of the nature of the act.
The one thing that the homosexual community doesn’t want us to talk about is what they actually do. They love to disguise their activities with euphemisms. And the presentation they always give is some handsome, erudite young man that’s a gift to society, when in fact he’s committing indecent acts with consequences.
But the firestorm that one, two-word expression caused among the Christians in the church was just palpable, and consequently a segment of the church didn’t come to another service of revival and just basically boycotted because they found what I said to be reprehensible. In other words, the church families don’t find what they’re doing reprehensible, but they put such pressure on the preachers not to even mention it that a lot of preachers have gone silent.
So, it’s not just the fear of the left, it’s the fear of the right, because Christians are more concerned about what their sensitive ears have to listen to than what’s taking place at the high school that may be perverting their own children.
So, we’ve got a real challenge. Will the pastor be forced to speak to it? I sure hope so. But the reality is, a lot of the problem is in the pew as well as the pulpit.
Massachusetts pastor Scott Lively joined Dublin radio host Niall Boylan yesterday to discuss Uganda’s passage of a harsh new anti-gay law. The two engaged in an hour-long shouting match, in which Lively accused the gay community of a Marxist plot to “destroy civilization,” insisted that women should be subservient to their husbands, and claimed that marriage equality in Ireland would lead to legalized pedophilia within five years.
Early in the interview, Boylan asked Lively if he was “accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values,” to which Lively replied, “I am.”
Lively faulted the gay rights movement following the Stonewall riot for shifting its focus “from asking for tolerance to demanding the ability and power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream,” which he described as part of a Marxist plot to “break down the nuclear family” and with the purpose of destroying society.
Later in the interview, Lively blamed the high divorce rate among heterosexuals on the gay rights movement: “That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model.”
Boylan: You’re accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values, is that what you’re trying to say?
Lively: I am. And you know, this comes out of…this is straight out of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt school of cultural Marxists. Marxism has always been about destroying civilization so they can rebuild on the ashes their utopian socialist society, which is just a fantasy. But they had an actual strategy, and that strategy was in three parts. And the primary part was to break down the nuclear family. And in the United States, where they implemented this, that’s what they taught.
Now, the original gay movement in the U.S., back that was getting started in the late 1940s, their original goal, articulated by Dale Jennings of the Mattachine Society was quote, ‘The right to be left alone.’ I always supported that. In 1968, with the Stonewall riot on Christopher Street in New York City, they shifted their focus from tolerance, from asking for tolerance, to demanding the ability and the power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream.
The idea that heterosexuals now have a dramatically higher divorce rate, that’s true. That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model. That’s what’s going on.
Later in the interview, Lively said that “if we actually followed what God instructed us to do,” we wouldn’t have “the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today.” When Boylan asked him if that included the biblical view that women should be subservient to their husbands, Lively responded, “Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.”
When pressed, he clarified, “The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president.”
Lively: I believe the Bible, I live by the Bible, I believe that the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today, if we actually followed what God instructed us to do, we wouldn’t have these problems.
Boylan: So, if men turned around and believed that women were subservient, for example, because that’s what the Bible tells men to believe. Do you think we’d have a good society?
Lively: Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.
Boylan: How do you think modern society would work? So, do you think modern society could still work like that? With women of this world who now have, thankfully, careers and rights and they can vote. You believe that they should still be subservient to men?
Lively: See, once again, you’re talking about terminology. When I say ‘submission,’ I don’t mean subservience. The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president. Right? That’s how it works.
Near the end of the interview, Lively launched into the slippery slope argument that legalizing marriage equality will “open the door to lots of other deviant sexual conduct,” like “polygamy, polyamory, incest, pederasty, even pedophilia.”
“You’re not suggesting that if we vote yes for same-sex marriage that in 20 years’ time the world will become so liberal that we will allow people to have sex and marry twelve-year-olds,” Boylan said.
“It won’t be twenty years, it will be five years,” Lively responded.
Lively apparently hasn’t noticed that ten years after his home state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, pedophilia is still illegal.
WASHINGTON – In response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to veto Senate Bill 1062, a measure that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, People For the American Way president Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“Almost four years after Arizona shocked the country with its anti-immigrant ‘show me your papers’ law, yesterday Governor Brewer avoided making her state the national leader, once again, in state-sponsored discrimination.
“In Arizona and across the country, Americans can see through the Right’s continued attempts to cloak anti-gay bigotry in the language of First Amendment rights. We hope that the pushback Arizona received this week will be a message, loud and clear, to the states with similar bills pending. Americans don’t want to live in a country where businesses have free rein to post a ‘No Gays’ sign.”
In the past week, tens of thousands of PFAW members and activists spoke out and urged Governor Brewer to veto the bill.
Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, is a little upset about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision last night to veto a bill that would have expanded the ability of business owners to discriminate against LGBT people and others.
“Tyranny is on the march,” Phillips declares in a piece on the TPN website that he also emailed to members of the group, adding that business owners who are not allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians are “slaves” to the “great liberal state,” aided by “French Republicans” like Brewer.
“The left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness,’” he writes.
Phillips then wonders if business owners will be forced to “create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it,” “create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic],” or “photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior.”
The left and the homosexual lobby in America went into overdrive to kill this bill. Conservatives rallied for this bill and Governor Brewer opted for cowardice instead of courage.
Why is this bill so important and what did it mean for not only Arizona but America?
The issue can be boiled down to one word: Freedom.
A free man or woman controls their labor. A slave has no control over their labor. A free man or woman decides who they will work for and under what conditions. The slave cannot.
The left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of “tolerance” and “inclusiveness.”
Immediately the left and the homosexual lobby went into high dudgeon. Arizona’s SB1062 must be defeated because Americans really are no longer free and must be forced to serve the great liberal state, regardless of their beliefs.
The storm rose against Arizona and Jan Brewer proved she was no Ronald Reagan. She has an honored place in the ranks of the French Republicans.
The left loves to come up with absurd hypotheticals to scream that there must be compliance with their fascism, so how about a couple from our side.
Should a devote baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior? Would they force a Jewish photographer to work a Klan or Nazi event? How about forcing a Muslim caterer to work a pork barbeque dinner?
SB1062 is a bigger story than simply the story of a cowardly governor who has no core beliefs.
SB1062 is the story of liberalism at work in America.
Liberalism is the paranoid belief that leftists have that somewhere, someone may be thinking for themselves. It is the tyrannical belief that no deviation in belief is allowed from the decreed orthodoxy.
It is the antithesis of liberty.
It is tyranny on the march.
WASHINGTON – In response to a federal judge striking down Texas’ ban on marriage for same-sex couples, People For the American Way Foundation president Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is one more strong point in an argument that’s getting clearer and clearer every day: this ain’t the Texas of old.
“In my native Texas and across the nation, Americans are increasingly coming to see that blocking committed couples from the responsibilities and protections of civil marriage causes real, and needless, harm to families. More and more people are coming to the same conclusion: banning same-sex couples from getting married is unfair, dangerous and contrary to the core principles of our Constitution.”
In another win for the marriage equality movement, today U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The judge wrote that "Texas' current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.”
The Washington Post reports:
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did not say gay marriages could be performed immediately. Instead, he stayed the decision, citing a likely appeal.
"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote in his decision. "These Texas laws deny Plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."
Similar bans have been struck down in states across the country – most recently in Virginia less than two weeks ago. Today’s victory in a state with a whopping 26 million residents brings us one important step closer to nationwide marriage equality.
Anti-gay activist Bob Vander Plaats said today that gay rights activists are “always going to throw stones” because Satan “wants to discourage” conservative Christians.
The Family Leader head made the comments in an interview with American Family Radio at the National Religious Broadcasters convention today.
“The opposition is always going to throw stones, and that’s they’re way of discouraging,” he said. “I mean, Satan’s ways are not new under the sun, he wants to discourage, he wants to disappoint.”
Religious Right talk show host Steve Deace has been on a tear recently about Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s lack of response to a federal judge’s ruling striking down his state’s ban on marriage equality, and brought Michael Peroutka of the Institute on the Constitution on to his program today to discuss the issue further.
The two started off with talking about “freedom to discriminate” bill such as the one being considered in Arizona.
“Would Jesus bake a cake for homosexuals wanting to get quote-unquote ‘married’?” Deace asked. “I don’t know, would Jesus drive the getaway car for bank robbers in Christian love, just to be Christ-like, of course, to be relevant, to be hip?”
He continued: “Would Jesus find all the cool places for you to go download porn so you can pleasure yourself while your wife’s not awake? Would Jesus find all the cool lies for you to share with your girlfriend so she can mislead her husband about who she’s doing her time with and what she’s doing with that person? Would Jesus help you be your wingman and find a place to hide your wedding ring while you’re trolling for chicks at the bar when you’re away on a business trip?”
“The fact that there is even a debate shows that there is barely a heartbeat left in this culture,” he concluded. “This is a culture that’s circling the drain as we speak. And now we have an entire movement of people that thinks they get to undo all of Western civilization and rewrite the Constitution based on their definition of equality, which has never existed in human history until now.”
Peroutka agreed, saying “we’re in dangerous times” and blaming churches with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status for being “creatures of the state” and “intimidated out of actually preaching the whole counsel of God.”
Later in the program, discussing the Kentucky marriage decision, Peroutka said, “This whole debate is the reflection of our moral depravity, in that we’re even talking about whether such a perverse, sinful thing can be sanctioned and forced upon us, in this case, by the state. “
“This is such an outrageous situation, that we would be forced, that we would be coerced to declare that which is sinful and immoral – not only that we would declare it to be valid and right, but that we must participate in it,” he continued. “We’ve got to stick our nose in it and smell it and taste it, we’re going to be made to do that. But that’s the way evil is.”
At Deace’s urging, Peroutka went on to suggest that Sen. Paul move toward impeaching the judge who ruled for marriage equality in Kentucky, that he urge Kentuckians to simply ignore the ruling, and that he defund the federal court that made the decision.
Elected officials are our “protectors against those who would force these things on us tyrannically from above,” Peroutka said…which holds particular meaning since he just announced that he will be running for county council this year in his home of Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Scott Lively has been backtracking from his support for Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law, telling the Associated Press that he would “rather the Ugandans had followed the Russian anti-propaganda model.” In a statement published on his website yesterday, Lively repeats his praise of Russia’s “gay propaganda ban” as a way to “avoid the moral degeneracy that has occurred in the U.S. and E.U. due to so-called ‘gay rights.’”
While Lively says the law’s punishments are too harsh, he applauds Uganda for “taking a strong stand against the homosexual abuse of children and the intentional spreading of AIDS through sodomy” and reassures detractors that he doesn’t think the law’s threat of life imprisonment for gays will actually be enforced.
While I respect the right of sovereign nations to legislate sexual morality according to their own cultural standards, I believe the Ugandan anti-homosexuality law takes the wrong approach in dealing with simple homosexuality (as opposed to pederasty and the other sub-categories of “aggravated homosexuality” in the bill). As I said in my comments to the Ugandan Members of Parliament I addressed in March, 2009 before the AHB had been drafted, the focus of a government seeking to protect its people from the homosexual agenda should be on rehabilitation and prevention, not punishment.
I believe the Russian approach of banning homosexual propaganda to children as a preventive measure is a better model for other nations of the world looking avoid the moral degeneracy that has occurred in the U.S. and E.U. due to so-called “gay rights.”
That having been said, I commend Uganda for removing the death penalty in the final version of the law and for taking a strong stand against the homosexual abuse of children and the intentional spreading of AIDS through sodomy. I urge the Ugandans to exercise mercy and compassion for homosexual strugglers in their enforcement of the new law and, on behalf of the pro-family movement in the U.S., stand ready to assist in any future effort to shift the emphasis of the law from punishment to rehabilitation and prevention.
As a final point I think it is important for people to recognize that the Ugandan law is typical of African criminal law across the continent. Poor countries with limited criminal justice systems tend to rely on the harshness of the letter of the law to be a deterrent to offenders. In practice, the sentencing is usually pretty lenient and I expect that will be the case under this new law as well.
Iowa Republican gadfly Bob Vander Plaats attacked Rand Paul on yesterday’s Steve Deace program over the Kentucky senator’s silence on a federal court ruling striking down his state’s same-sex marriage ban.
Vander Plaats, head of The Family Leader, mused (probably correctly) that if Newt Gingrich were in Paul’s place, he would have called for defunding the federal district court that ruled in favor of marriage equality.
If Paul were truly “about liberty,” Vander Plaats said, he would be taking the lead to punish the Kentucky judge who struck down the marriage ban, a decision that Vander Plaats insisted “runs contrary to liberty” and defies the Declaration of Independence.
Vander Plaats: If another good friend of ours, Newt Gingrich, was in his position from the state of Kentucky, I can almost guarantee what Newt’s response would have been. It would have been, ‘We need to defund that court, we need to defund that judge. The Congress still holds the power of the purse. If we have courts, if we have judges operating outside of their constitutional authority, let’s pull their meal ticket away.’
It’s too bad that a senator like Ted Cruz and a senator like Mike Lee have to actually step up for the state of Kentucky when their own senator, Rand Paul, should be doing that.
Deace: What should Rand be doing instead of what he is doing right now, which is basically nothing? What shouldhe be doing instead?
Vander Plaats: Well, I think one thing is that he needs to step up to the microphone. This is his state, this is Kentucky. This is something that runs totally against who he is. I mean, he’s about liberty. And if it’s about liberty, and if you have a judge usurping the will of the people of Kentucky, that runs contrary to liberty. If you believe marriage is a state rights issue and the state of Kentucky says, ‘This is what marriage is to us, one man and one woman, clearly defined,’ then you better stand up to that state rights issue. If you believe what you say you believe, that marriage is foundational and it’s between a man and a woman, which is what he says he believes, then you got to stand up for that, because that’s the law of nature, that’s the law of nature’s God, that’s the Declaration of Independence, which this whole country was founded on.
Ever since Arizona’s legislature passed a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers, pressure has been mounting on Governor Jan Brewer to veto the law.
The bill has drawn sharp criticism from LGBT and human rights groups (in addition to quick witted pizza shop owners and crewmembers of the Starship Enterprise) and now GOP politicians are lining up to call for it to be blocked. Last week, the state’s junior senator, Jeff Flake, tweeted his opposition to the law. This morning he was joined by the state's senior senator, John McCain. As if that weren't enough, TPM reports that state senator Steve Pierce, who voted for the legislation, is reversing himself and calling on Brewer to issue a veto.
It’s clear that the issue isn’t going away soon. Despite the already embarrassing attention that Arizona has received since the law was passed, Governor Brewer still has the opportunity to avoid adding another black mark on her state’s recent history. Millions of Americans are watching closely.
Anti-gay activists Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera held a press conference today to announce the formation of a new Coalition for Family Values to fight the “destructive” LGBT agenda around the world. They were joined by “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan and Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania. Linda Harvey of Mission America sent a supportive statement.
And don’t worry about calling these guys anti-gay. The rationale behind their new coalition seems to be that too many other Religious Right leaders will only speak out against marriage equality but not against homosexuality itself for fear of being labeled a hater or bigot. That approach, said Lively, is “unprincipled.”
The coalition’s statement says:
“…the vast majority of the people of the world do not accept the notion that sexual deviance should be normalized. It is time that these voices are heard on the world stage before the so-called elites of the Western powers impose their inverted morality on everyone through the manipulation of international law, which they clearly intend to do.”
To explain why a new coalition was needed – after all, it’s not as if there aren’t already plenty of groups pushing anti-gay policies overseas -- Lively said:
“We believe that the pro-family movement is not being well represented at the moment. Because most of the people that are in the leadership positions are afraid to speak the plain truth because of the media….We’re not against gay marriage and gay adoption because they’re just bad public policy. We’re against them because homosexuality itself is harmful to the people who practice it and to society.
The organizing statement written by Lively and signed by his new coalition partners says,
“Let us pray for healing for those who choose the LGBT path, and (within reason) respect their right to be wrong in their private lives. But let us not allow the LGBT political movement to transform the world in its own distorted image.”
For Lively, respecting “within reason” people’s right to be “wrong” seems to be limited to society not persecuting gay people who have sex in private. He says he doesn’t believe people should go to jail for what they do in their own bedroom, as long as they aren’t trying to move society away from what he believes is a biblical approach to sexuality – what he calls the “one flesh paradigm.” He said, “And that if you’re going to be engaged in that kind of behavior, then stay in the privacy of your home and not try to transform the mainstream culture according to your sexual values.”
Another point of the press conference was to praise Russian anti-gay laws. Says the coalition statement, “we want to praise the Russian Federation for providing much-needed leadership in restoring family values in public policy, and to encourage the governments of the world to follow the excellent example that the Russian government has set in 2013 and 2014 by banning LGBT propaganda to children and limiting the adoption of children to natural families only.” Peter La Barbera cited a poll saying that 74 percent of Russians say homosexuality should not be accepted in society, adding, “Good for the Russians.”
Lively said his goal is not the criminalization of homosexuality. But, he said, the government has “an affirmative duty to protect the natural family and to discourage all sex outside of marriage.” He says he’d like to return to the days “when adultery was a criminal act.” Such laws, he says, would be lightly enforced, but would help discourage sex outside marriage. What really bothers Lively, he says, is that pro-LGBT ideology has “infiltrated” the government; there needs to be a “separation of LGBT and state” so that the government is not allowed to advocate for “the homosexual perspective.”
Pushed by conservative activist Cliff Kincaid about the ways the anti-gay “propaganda” law in Russia is being used to suppress free speech and freedom of the press, Lively said he didn’t favor that. But he said he was “torn.”
“There is a zero sum equation here – that you’re either going to have society that believes that sex belongs inside of marriage only, or that it’s really anything goes within the principle of mutual consent. Those two ideas are mutually contradictory. In Russia, the Russian policy is to favor the pro-family perspective and suppress the speech of those who are against it. In the United States, it’s the pro-gay perspective that’s favored and anything against that is being suppressed.”
When Kincaid challenged that claim, noting that Lively was holding a news conference and, unlike gay rights advocates in Russia, he wasn’t been arrested or beaten, Lively said, “I wish there was a good balance that could be struck.”
“I try to make all of my policies based on principle, and my principle is, the most important thing in dealing with this issue is that we need to affirm the biblical standard of one-flesh sexuality. All sex outside of marriage is harmful to society. Now, right now, the challenge to the Russians is how far are they going to let aggressive homosexual propagandists get a foothold in their society. And they’re looking at the United States, and they’re seeing what’s happening here.
When we started extending tolerance to these activists -- you know in the 1950s, Dale Jennings of the Mattachine Society said the goal of the gay movement was the right to be left alone – that’s a direct quote. And as soon as we extended tolerance, then they began demanding more, and more, and more. You give ‘em an inch and they take a mile.
If there were some balance we could have, in which people who want to live discretely in a gay subculture can articulate their views in context, in which it’s not going to be tearing down the fabric of society, then I’m all for that. But if the only choice is suppressing a harmful propaganda, and giving it free reign, I’m going to choose the suppression of the harmful propaganda. Because we’ve seen in our country the consequences of not doing that.
Lively complained about businesses being punished for refusing to provide services to same-sex couples. “This is what the homosexual activists do. They are the worst bullies in society. If you dare to stand up to them, even if all you say is that I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, they try to destroy you.”
Lively made a similar point about the anti-gay law in Uganda. He claimed to have encouraged parliamentarians there to focus on “prevention” and “treatment” of homosexuality rather than punishment, and said he believes the law is overly harsh. He even said he had turned down a Ugandan who wanted to join the new coalition. But, he said, he was asked, “If you could only choose between the Ugandan law minus the death penalty, or complete freedom for the homosexual agenda in Uganda, which one would you go with?” His answer: “And I said, well, I would have to with the restriction, because you have to put the children ahead of the adults. And that’s what Russia is doing…it’s the lesser of two evils.”
Both Lively and LaBarbera were contemptuous of the notion that same-sex couples with children could be considered a family. In response to a question about children with gay parents, Lively said he rejects the premise that they are a family.
“I think there’s a false premise in your question, that these are families. I don’t believe that they are families. I think when two people who define themselves by a type of sexual behavior put their own sexual interests ahead of the interests of children, that that is not a family.”
Lively said same-sex couples are “posing” as mothers or fathers. LaBarbera denounced “the bizarre concept of subjecting innocent children to households that are intentionally motherless or intentionally fatherless.”
Gramley from the Pennsylvania AFA affiliate said that children exposed to “homosexual propaganda” in schools, books, video games, and entertainment are like “lab rats” or “guinea pigs.” Said Gramley, “We recognize the outcome of this war on the family will determine the very future of humanity itself.”
Linda Harvey’s written statement sounded a similar tone:
“To be a faithful Christian in many of today’s U.S. public schools means for many students that they walk into a daily atmosphere of sexual anarchy, institutional bigotry and widespread deceit….Our next generation in the U.S. is being deliberately corrupted through such wayward guidance from deviant adults. We applaud the steps Russia is taking to ensure this is not the path for their students, and we encourage more countries to make the same wise choice, to say ‘no’ to homosexual activism.”
Lively seems unwilling to entertain the idea that his years of travelling the world to denounce LGBT people as threats to children could be in any way responsible for violence against LGBT people. “We unequivocally condemn any violence against anyone, including homosexuals,” he said. LaBarbera chimed in to say neither Lively or other activists he works with have ever espoused violence or hatred. Really.
Lively said he only put out the word to get coalition members two days ago and that responses are flooding in from around the world. Among the recognizable Religious Right figures who signed up are Matt Barber, Tim Wildmon, Bryan Fischer, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Janet Porter, and Sally Kern. No haters there.