Equality For All

Moscow Forum Attended By American Activists Ends With Call For More 'Gay Propaganda' Bans

UPDATED

According to the foundation run by Russian oligarch Constantin Malofeev, this week’s international gathering of anti-gay, anti-abortion-rights activists in Moscow ended with delegates issuing a proclamation that blasts liberal social policies in Western countries and calls for Russian-style “homosexual propaganda” bans to be passed throughout the world.

The forum in Moscow was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, which officially “suspended” its planning of the conference after Russia invaded Ukraine, although two World Congress of Families officials were until recently listed as organizers on the event’s website and attended the gathering. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown also spoke at the event yesterday, and American representatives from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Personhood USA, and Family Watch International were also scheduled to speak.

It’s unclear if any of the Americans at the conference officially backed the resolution.

In the resolution — which was posted on the website of a foundation chaired by Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin, which also helped fund the event — the delegates express their “profound concern because certain countries are pursuing  tenacious policies and an unprecedented propaganda campaign, all of which is leading to the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family − an institution that in a civilized society is the foundation of order, state’s prosperity and social peace.”

In the resolution, delegates vow to "uphold the interests of children and to work for the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles” and to support research on “the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples.”

The delegates also vow “demand initiatives and directives from the governments and heads of state to ensure protection of the natural family, childhood, and motherhood in both, domestic and foreign policies.”

UPDATE: Joe Jervis points out that an English translation of the resolution is available. I've updated the quotes above and you can read the whole thing here:

An Urgent APPEAL
To the Nations of the World

To all people of goodwill in the everywhere: To leaders of all faiths, To the architects of public opinion, To those at the helm of professional, women’s and youth organizations, To the UN General Assembly, To the heads of state and legislative bodies and To the mass media.

 We, the Participants of the Moscow International Forum “Large Family and Future of Humanity” (September 10-11, 2014), express our profound concern because certain countries are pursuing  tenacious policies and an unprecedented propaganda campaign, all of which is leading to the ultimate destruction of the Natural Family − an institution that in a civilized society is the foundation of order, state’s prosperity and social peace. 

 The preservation of mankind is based on a system of family and kindred ties that are formed through the bonds of marriage between a male and a female and the children born to them.  This and only this alone, is capable of ensuring the reproduction, stability and continuity of human civilization. All other kinds of sexual relationships or alliances intentionally that exclude the birth of children are meaningless for they are devoid of the notion set down in the very definition of the word “family.” And no political or economic interests can serve as a pretext for replacing the true and time-tested concept of “family” by any kind of surrogate.  

It is precisely this understanding that was set down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the United Nations in 1948), as well as in the constitutions of more than 100 countries and reflected in the holy scriptures of various religions. This understanding determines the philosophy and creativity of humanists and thinkers of the past and the contemporary epoch.

  We regretfully declare that the systemic policy pursued by the ruling elite in the developed countries of the world in order to implement the “theory of the post-modern society” – in essence, a “society of unrestrained consumerism,” a policy of creating a society of individuals who are absolutely unconcerned about the future and who are focused only on satisfying their selfish desires of the moment. Actually, such a society is ultimately aimed at destroying faith in God, as well as belief in good. These post-modern policies focused on the material wealth are destroying what is human in the human being (as created by God), at wrecking the spiritual dimension in Man – all of which are his distinguishing features in Living Nature.

  We appeal to all people who acknowledge the significance and values of the Natural Family for preserving human civilization:

  • To unite before the threat of total dehumanization of society, to set up a barrier on the road of ideology-lined, state-supported interference in the private lives of people, in an attempt to foist specific sexual lifestyles and preferences of the minority upon the majority;
  • To strive to set forth legislative initiatives in the laws and constitutions of all countries that clearly define the naturally predetermined relationships in the Family as relationships between the male and female, their children and their relatives;
  • To advocate and support the Natural Family as the sole source of preserving the civilization, the life of Mankind;
  • To make use of all thematic international Days (…protection of children, the family, etc.) whose slogans and mottos refer to traditional values, for demonstrating their disagreement with and dissent for State-supported destructive tendencies in the sex and family life, especially of the young people, and consolidating the understanding of a Natural Family as the foundation of human life at the level of the individual, society, state and civilization;
  • To oppose  the cynical utilization of women as surrogate mothers in the interests of same-gender liaisons and alliances;
  • To uphold the interests of children and to work for the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships in the environment of children and juveniles;
  • To initiate and support scientific research to study the conditions  and prospects of developing a Natural Family, as well as studying the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples;
  •  To support public efforts aimed at ensuring integrity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, to protect children from influences taken against their individuality, and to uphold the child-rearing rights of parents – both father’s and mother’s;
  • To demand initiatives and directives from the governments and heads of state to ensure protection of the natural family, childhood, and motherhood in both, domestic and foreign policies.

  We  urgently call upon the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General and the UN Supreme Commissioner for Human Rights that, while formulating the programs of the United Nations, to follow the letter and the spirit of Article 16 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which underscores the understanding of the Human Family as the only possible and acceptable notion to human civilization, and to proclaim in the foreseeable future a Special Year or Program in support of the Natural Family.

  We call upon all people who agree with the given Appeal to sign it and support it for the sake of preserving life and civilization on our Earth.

 

 

American Religious Right Leaders Join Moscow Event, May Not Be Able To Avoid Foreign Policy

This week, a number of American Religious Right activists are participating an in international forum on “large families and the future of mankind,” which is organized and funded by a number of close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and kicked off its session at the Kremlin yesterday with the reading of a personal message from Putin himself.

Among the Americans speaking at the forum, according to a preliminary schedule, are the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater and representatives from Personhood USA, the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Janice Shaw Crouse is also scheduled to attend, although possibly no longer as a representative of Concerned Women for America, a group critical of the Moscow conference with which she seems to have parted ways.

The conference was originally organized under the name of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families, but after Russia invaded Ukraine, the group began to lose support from its American allies and announced that it had “suspended planning” on the event, noting that it “takes no position on foreign affairs, except as they affect the natural family.”

In reality, very little but the official name of the conference seems to have changed. World Congress of Families officials Don Feder and Larry Jacobs are attending in their personal capacities, and insist that their group is not “financially sponsoring” the event and would not have its name attached to it. But WCF’s sponsorship was always nominal — the group has a very small budget of its own and instead acts as an agent for bringing together better-funded activists and organizations. Even before WCF dropped its official involvement, it had given credit to a number of Russian allies for funding the conference.

Although the focus of the conference is the promotion of “large families” (and with it the resistance to LGBT equality and abortion rights), it may be impossible for attendees to ignore the foreign policy implications of the event.

As we have noted, Putin played up the supposed dangers of LGBT rights in his efforts to prevent Ukraine from joining the EU — a geopolitical ploy that had dangerous consequences for the LGBT communities in Russian and Ukraine.

Constantin Malofeev, the oligarch who helped to organize and fund the conference this week, brought this up in his speech to the event yesterday, presenting the “propagation of homosexuality and gay parades” as a defining factor in the battle over Ukraine:

In Ukraine, which is our fraternal country, association with European Union was not signed last year because, in this case, the Ukrainians learned that they had to allow propagation of homosexuality and gay parades. So, the new regime in Ukraine, the first thing they did was to allow a gay parade in Kiev. So we are defending our position. We are protecting fathers, mothers and children.

He also attacked the United States for including Yelena Mizulina, the force behind many of Russia’s harsh new anti-gay laws, on its economic sanctions list. (Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin, who along with his wife Natalia also spoke at and helped fund the conference, is another U.S. sanctions target).

And if we are part of the sanctions for Ukraine. But Madam Mizulina was included in the sanctions as one of the first, and this is just because she defends the family values.

And as Richard Bartholomew points out, today’s schedule includes a panel titled “Family Policy in Ukraine: Conclusions and Warnings for Russia.”

An ever-present theme at the first day of the conference was the idea of Russia as a bulwark protecting the world against the U.S. and Europe’s encroaching liberalism. The Moscow Times writes that the theme came up in both Yakunin and Mizulina’s remarks:

In choosing conservative values, Russia represents "the final hope" for the modern world, which has been corrupted by the Western debauchery of individualism, consumerism and globalization, participants of a Moscow forum agreed Wednesday.

Yakunin, whose wife Natalya moderated the proceedings, attended the forum, taking to the stage to talk about Russia's departure from the Western model of development that, according to him, does not lead to either material or spiritual well-being.

Mizulina, who chairs the Duma's committee on family, women and children's issues and has advocated a law requiring women to get their husband's permission in order to have an abortion, lashed out at the West.

"I am sure that in contemporary Europe it would not be possible to hold a forum like this," Mizulina told the audience after reading a welcome note from State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

"Even if they are held there, they are not hosted at the Kremlin, like in Russia, but somewhere on the outskirts," she said.

UPDATED: 'Cancelled' World Congress Of Families Kremlin Conference Begins Today, Possibly With Special Guest Star Brian Brown

Constantin Malofeev’s group has posted photos of one of today’s panels on Facebook, which show that Brian Brown did indeed present at the event.

Steve Deace Heroically Tries To Save Fellow Airplane Passengers From 'Lesbian Make-Out Attempt’

It wasn’t too long ago that the Catholic Family Human Rights Institute’s Austin Ruse was forced to see a lesbian couple call each other “wife” on the Food Network. Now another right-wing activist has reported a harrowing brush with gay people on television.

Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace wrote on Twitter this morning:

A few minutes later he tweeted again about the “lesbian make out attempt” he had been forced to witness:

American Airlines responded to both of Deace’s tweets, promising to “forward” his “concerns,” at which point Deace took to Facebook to congratulate himself as a lone protector of liberty on a flight full of moral cowards:

Now, this is a full-flight, and I'm sure I'm not the only person that finds this programming objectionable. So why was I the only one to say something? When you find the answer to that you'll discover a major reason why we are in the shape we are in as a people. Of course, all those who remained silent now will come to people like me later and ask us to defend them when it's their liberty on the line. Funny how that works.

7th Circuit Says Arguments Against Marriage Equality "Cannot Be Taken Seriously"

Reagan judge Richard Posner concludes that the argument against marriage equality "is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously."
PFAW Foundation

Laurie Higgins: Libraries Need Books About The 'Joy' Kids Feel When Their Gay Parents Die

Illinois Family Institute “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins has had quite enough of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week and the “self-righteous, dissembling librarians” who promote it.

In a blog post for IFI today, Higgins attacks librarians for their “hysteria-fomenting” efforts to prevent the banning of books about families with LGBT parents (or, as Higgins calls them, “children or anthropomorphized animals being raised by parents in homoerotic relationships").

It is in fact the librarians, Higgins writes, who are censoring books by failing to go out of their way to seek “pro-heteronormativity books,” children’s literature that depicts the “harrowing fights” of “lesbian mothers,” or, even better, “picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy.”

Self-righteous, dissembling librarians are seeking once again to foment “book-banning” hysteria through their annual dishonest Banned Books Week campaign (Sept. 21-27) sponsored by the self-righteous, dissembling, and politically partisan American Library Association (ALA).

The ALA pursues its hysteria-fomenting goal chiefly by ridiculing parents who, for example, don’t want their six-year-olds seeing books about children or anthropomorphized animals being raised by parents in homoerotic relationships. (Scorn and woe to those parents who hold the now-censored belief that homoeroticism—even homoeroticism presented in whitewashed, water-colored images—doesn’t belong in the picture books section of public libraries).

Next year, will the Schaumburg librarians display photos of empty shelves where books that challenge Leftist assumptions about the nature and morality of homosexuality should be (you know, pro-heterosexuality/pro-heteronormativity books)?

Will they ask for young adult (YA) novels about teens who feel sadness and resentment about being intentionally deprived of a mother or father and who seek to find their missing biological parents?

Will they ask for dark, angsty novels about teens who are damaged by the promiscuity of their “gay” “fathers” who hold sexual monogamy in disdain?

Will they ask for novels about young adults who are consumed by a sense of loss and bitterness that their politically correct and foolish parents allowed them during the entirety of their childhood to cross-dress, change their names, and take medication to prevent puberty, thus deforming their bodies?

Will they ask for novels about teens who suffer because of the harrowing fights and serial “marriages” of their lesbian mothers?

Will they ask for picture books that show the joy a little birdie experiences when after the West Nile virus deaths of her two daddies, she’s finally adopted by a daddy and mommy?

Surely, there are some teens and children who will identify with such stories.

Louisiana's Marriage Ban Is Upheld By Judge Citing "Lifestyle Choices"

A judge nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1983 writes an opinion that is a throwback to that earlier and less equal time.
PFAW Foundation

TBN Leaders Broadcast From Bahamas Shortly After Anti-Gay Backlash Halts Pride Event

Yesterday, Trinity Broadcasting Network recorded its flagship Praise the Lord program from a waterfront resort in the Bahamas. Among those who joined the broadcast were Religious Right activist Samuel Rodriguez and anti-gay “ex-gay” singer Donnie McClurkin. TBN’s visit to the Bahamas came shortly after a gay pride event scheduled for this past weekend at a private resort in the Bahamas was cut short in response to a backlash that reportedly included death threats and vitriol on local talk shows.

Among those who slammed the pride event and the LGBT movement in general was Dr. Myles Munroe, who heads Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Munroe has hosted shows on TBN in the past and been a guest on some of the network’s major shows. Over the weekend he put out a six-page statement attacking the LGBT rights movement and saying it has “hijacked” and “raped” the civil rights movement. He called the gay pride event a “celebration of insanity.”

“I think the attempt to equate the historical civil rights movement with the demands for the right to dignify, glorify and accept as normal the practice of a lifestyle that could render the human race, for which they sacrificed, extinct is illogical, dishonest, and is the abuse of the blood and imprisonment of many.

“It’s a hijacking of the gains paid for by the blood of honorable men and women for an unnatural, human-destroying behavior.”

story this morning quotes a spokesperson for the resort advertised as the site of the pride event denying that any event had been booked.

The Ministry of Tourism and Manager for Religious Tourism celebrated the TBN visit.  A Ministry of Tourism update in the Bahamas Weekly said that Grand Bahamas “remains the choice destination for repeat International religious events such as Dr. Myles Munroe’s Global Leadership Summit and Angela Pipersburgh’s International Womens Summit.”

Barber: Marriage Equality Took A 'Sledgehammer' To Society, Will Send It 'Tumbling Down'

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber is on high alert after a federal judge issued a final ruling striking down Utah’s ban on polygamous relationships, and joined Janet Mefferd yesterday to discuss the ruling, which he said was just the latest sign that support for same-sex marriage took a “sledgehammer” to our society and will send it all “tumbling down.”

Barber lamented that Americans are too busy to do the careful analysis that would lead them to agree with him and instead are buying into the gay rights movement’s “propaganda.”

“Unfortunately, much of America right now is — you know, we’re all busy, people don’t have time to actually engage the process of analysis on these things and look that A leads to B that leads to C, and take it all the way down to Z, which is disastrous — they don’t have time for that, and people buy into the propaganda,” he said.

“I just hope that people will recognize that when we deviate and try to redefine something that cannot be redefined — particularly when that thing, we’re talking about marriage here, is a fundamental cornerstone of any society — if we take a sledgehammer to that cornerstone, the results are disastrous and everything comes tumbling down.”

Australian Politicians Back Out Of World Congress Of Families Event, Citing Far-Right Ties

A World Congress of Families event in Melbourne this week was supposed to feature speeches by three Australian government officials, including social services minister Kevin Andrews. Instead, all three have backed out in the face of criticism of the Illinois-based group’s promotion of harsh anti-gay and anti-choice laws around the world.

In addition, the Australian politicians had come under fire for the conference’s sponsorship by Catch the Fire ministries, a group run by far-right politician Danny Nalliah who has blamed wildfires on abortion rights and frequently lashes out against "multiculturalism." (Nalliah also happens to be an ally of bizarre birther WND columnist and RWW favorite Lord Monckton).

Andrews’ decision to back out of the WCF event is especially galling since the group had been planning to present him with its “Natural Family Man of the Year” award. In a somewhat confusing statement, Andrews criticized those asking him to back out of trying to “shut down debate” while agreeing with them that the WCF summit represented “intolerance.” The Sydney Morning Herald:

Mr Andrews issued a statement on Friday announcing he had decided not to attend the conference after learning it would be hosted by the far-right Catch the Fire Ministries.

"Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia. It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow," Mr Andrews said in the statement.

"The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left - instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate."

"Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend."

The World Congress of Families will be holding its next big conference in Salt Lake City next year. It will be interesting to see whether American politicians also choose to stay away.

Ex-Gay Activist Warns Homosexuality Is 'Another Step In The Degeneration Of A Culture That Practices Idolatry'

Ex-gay activist David Kyle Foster joined Kevin Swanson on “Generations Radio” today, which inevitably led to a discussion of how God will punish America for homosexuality.

“I’ve wondered if the opening of the Pandora’s box of the 1960s and 70s and the free sex movement that led to the shacking up, the fornication, the massive increase in the availability of pornography, etc. etc….I wonder if the incredible opening up of all these things has led to the next step, and that is homosexuality?” Swanson asked Foster.

Foster agreed that “sexual immorality” such as homosexuality amounts to “idolatry” because it involves “worshipping the creature rather than the creator.”

“Homosexuality in our culture is another step in the degeneration of a culture that practices idolatry,” he concluded.

Linda Harvey Attacks Target For 'Pushing Deviance And Perversion Into Everyone's Lives'

On her “Mission America” radio program yesterday, Linda Harvey weighed in on the National Organization for Marriage’s boycott of Target in response to the company’s filing of a court brief in support of marriage equality.

Harvey echoed NOM in taking particular issue with Target’s characterization of same-sex marriage bans as “bans” and “discrimination.”

“Have you noticed how this is how headlines often read these days?” Harvey said. “They talk about laws on natural marriage as being ‘bans’ on same-sex so-called marriage. And that’s incorrect because people who are male can still marry people who are female. The only obstacle for a few people is the presence of unnatural desires. Those desires can change with a different mind and heart.”

Later in the broadcast, Harvey read from a response she received from Target, in which the company expressed support for the “LGBT community.”

“So where’s the inclusivity for traditional values families? Target also thinks there’s an LGBT community, but what about a Christian morals community? Do they get the fact that most people have had it up to here with pushing deviance and perversion into everyone’s lives in America? That most Americans don’t accept the idea of two men or two women being married when they are obviously not?”

Scott Lively: Vicky Beeching Represents 'The Drawing Back Of The Tide' Before Gay Rights 'Tsunami'

In the days since British Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as a lesbian, anti-gay pastor Scott Lively has been on full alert, confronting Beeching on TV and issuing a pamphlet warning churches that “a dangerous modern heresy called 'gay theology' is infiltrating the Christian church at an alarming pace.”

Lively continued his anti-Beeching crusade in an interview with WorldNetDaily this weekend, in which he warned that the singer represents “the drawing back of the tide before a tsunami” consisting of “attacks on Christians in America like we’ve never seen before.”

An evangelical Christian worship singer who has been urging churches to change their doctrine on homosexual behavior since announcing she is a lesbian is at the forefront of a coming tidal wave of “infiltration” of the church by promoters of the “gay” agenda, contends evangelical attorney, evangelist and activist Scott Lively.

Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, said that with insiders on the offensive such as Vicky Beeching, a British-born artist who has become popular among evangelicals in the U.S., he expects “attacks on Christians in America like we’ve never seen before.”

He explained that after the Stonewall riots in 1969, homosexual activists banded together to oppose every American institution that did not fully accept and promote homosexual behavior.

The first victory was over the American Psychiatric Association, and within 40 years, every other group had been conquered, he said. The Boy Scouts were the latest to fall, just a year ago.

Now, the only organization left is the church, he said.

“All of their battle-hardened activists and enormous resources are all directed at the church,” he said.

The problem is that church leaders haven’t been preparing for such a fight, Lively said, and don’t really know what the movement is about.

Beeching revealed she is a lesbian in an interview last week with the Independent newspaper of London.

“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people,” she said.

Lively, however, said Beeching represents “the drawing back of the tide before a tsunami” and an indicator of “how bad this is going to get.”

Joseph Farah: Being Against Same-Sex Marriage Is A Sexual Orientation

In a WorldNetDaily column today, Joseph Farah came up with a creative argument for exempting businesses that deny services to gay couples from nondiscrimination laws. Opposing same-sex marriage, Farah argues, is itself a “sexual orientation” and therefore a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually discriminatory against the sexual orientation of marriage equality opponents.

Let me pose a hypothetical intellectual challenge: The law that forms the basis for the action against the Giffords in New York is a provision that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet, isn’t that precisely what is happening to the Giffords? Are they not being coerced to accept and approve someone else’s sexual orientation? Are they not permitted to hold their own sexual orientation, one that acknowledges their God’s definition that marriage is a union of one man and one woman?

The Giffords are not campaigning to prevent other people from following their own conscience as to their sexual choices and activities. It’s just the opposite. They are being coerced by the state to take part in the sexual choices and activities of others.

Isn’t that obvious?

Farah finishes things up on more familiar ground, attempting to tie together the gay rights movement and Islamic radicals.

When “non-discrimination” becomes victimization of those with different religious and moral convictions, we literally have the establishment of a state religion and, effectively, the repeal of the First Amendment.

Who wants that?

It’s not Christians.

It’s not Jews.

Just look around and see for yourself.

Some people are trying to get the state to force those with different values, morals and religious idea to serve them in ways that violate their consciences.

I only see that kind of coercion demanded among two groups of people today – those who believe in the unlimited power of the state as their “god” and others who believe their god wants them to kill or subjugate all “infidels.”

Brian Camenker: Gay Rights Activists Orchestrating High School Students Coming Out As Gay

Today, the American Family Associaton’s OneNewsNow interviews Brian Camenker of the Massachusetts anti-gay group MassResistance, who warns that when a high school student comes out as gay it is all part of a strategy carefully orchestrated by gay rights activists “seeking to draw susceptible students into their ranks”:

A Massachusetts family values advocate says it's no accident that so many students announce that they are homosexuals.

Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance says these incidents of students “coming out” are the result of a carefully calculated strategy by homosexual activists. He says, historically, school administrators eagerly work with activists who are seeking to draw susceptible students into their ranks.

“We saw one situation at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the principal actually participated in an assembly where they encouraged kids to announce that they were coming out,” he tells OneNewsNow.

He says the activists prey on pupils who are the most vulnerable.

Camenker says it's not just in Massachusetts - this is happening all across the nation. He says parents need to know about these recruitment programs and demand that they be kept out of their children’s schools.

AFA's Ed Vitigliano Struggles To Understand Why 'Very Pretty Lady' Vicky Beeching Is A Lesbian

In a blog post yesterday, American Family Association research director Ed Vitigliano reacted to the news that Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as a lesbian by trying to provide an empathetic explanation of homosexuality, and failing utterly.

“I think most men would think that Vicky was a very pretty lady,” he wrote, which “makes the subject of sexual orientation rather difficult to understand at times.” After explaining how he has always liked women, Vitigliano wrote that to gay people, being gay “must have appeared just that natural.”

But, he cautioned, gay people are “broken” like the blind and paralyzed and “in order to be Christians they will have to accept that their ‘orientation’ is a manifestation of brokenness, not wholeness.”

I was disappointed to read about yet another Christian artist who has “come out” as a homosexual and claimed that God had a hand in the process. In other words, she stated that God (1) made her a lesbian and (2) led her to declare it unashamedly to all who would listen.

I think most men would think that Vicky was a very pretty lady, and those sorts of appraisals are usually made without thinking. This makes the subject of sexual orientation rather difficult to understand at times.

Since I was five years old I’ve noticed girls. I had my first crush on a neighborhood girl and actually had a dream that I married her! I can remember my second crush in the first grade when I was six: Jill Drowns. Brown eyes, blond hair in braided pigtails. As for my wife of 33 years, well, she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen – and still is.

I don’t know what it’s like to feel that way toward a man. I don’t know what it must have been like to feel that way toward another boy in first grade.

So I feel compassion toward homosexuals. I don’t believe most of them woke up one day and decided they’d be attracted to same sex people. Neither do I believe they’re born that way. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

What causes homosexuality? I think there’s probably a web of causes – some apply to this group, some to that, etc. I believe that some homosexuals have endured sexual abuse or other trauma; others suffer from a deficit of some sort that turned them toward the same sex side of the aisle in an attempt to heal.

At this point I realize I have offended most of the homosexuals reading this. So let me even the score and offend some Christians: I believe some percentage of homosexuals (I have no idea how large or small) simply grew up just like me – only different. Instead of having a crush on an opposite sex person, they experienced a crush on a same sex person. To them it appeared just that natural.

But if there’s a God who designed us – and I believe there is – then we obviously aren’t designed to be attracted to the same sex. With my apologies to the Vicky Beechings of the world, the human race is clearly designed as male and female, with sexually complementary equipment. We are obviously intended to grow through childhood and enter puberty attracted to the opposite sex – because that’s the only thing that makes sense of the biological design inherent in humankind.

So for Vicky and Ray and Jennifer and Clay – how do we explain the fact that their attraction developed in complete disregard for design? Here’s the short answer: They’re broken. Why is that so hard to say? Sexual and romantic attraction was supposed to develop one way and it developed another. Maybe it was because of something that was done to them or around them; maybe it wasn’t. But it is different.

Are we not all broken in small and large ways? As a fallen race, isn't there a web of characteristics about us all that doesn’t reflect the way God designed us? If a child is born blind, does that mean God approves? Isn't it a sign that something is not as intended? Eyes were created to see. To not see is not the same as being able to see. The blind are still human, but their brokenness is still brokenness. But isn't that what we’re doing with homosexuality? Aren't we denying the obvious – that there’s a disconnect between design and operation in the homosexual? Aren’t we applauding as courageous those who declare their brokenness to be wholeness?

Only God can make a broken person whole. Sometimes it is done as a miracle, as when Jesus healed a blind or lame or paralyzed person. Sometimes we must wait for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven, when all brokenness is finally healed. I believe God can make homosexuals whole in this life. Despite the ridicule that follows such a statement, I believe that does happen. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says so. However, for many – or even most – homosexuals, in order to be Christians they will have to accept that their “orientation” is a manifestation of brokenness, not wholeness. Like the rest of us who are broken in some way, they will have to reject that lameness and give it to God. They will hobble through life learning to love Him more and more – and yes, learning to obey Him.

Robert Oscar Lopez: Gay Marriage Is A 'Tidal Wave That Swept Up Children'

In a speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society last month, anti-gay activist Robert Oscar Lopez explained that he would support marriage equality…if it didn’t come with protections for children raised by same-sex parents.

“I supported marriage for a long time,” Lopez said, “but the problem is that the people who have supported gay marriage have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together.”

“That put me in the horrible situation where I have to oppose gay marriage, because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother,” he continued.

“A lot of the people who I might have disagreed with ten years ago, who kept on warning that gay marriage was a portal to new things, unfortunately those people were right and gay marriage became this tidal wave that then swept up children,” he said.

PFAW Foundation YEOs & YP4 Alum Unite with Missouri Protesters to Demand Accountability

Protesters throughout the nation have come out to march and peacefully protest the unjust criminal system that led to Michael Brown being gunned down in Missouri on August 9, including members of the People For the American Way Foundation family.

In Missouri, two members of PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network have taken key roles speaking out for justice. State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal and Alderman Antonio French were both part of the protests in Ferguson; Chappelle-Nadal was tear-gassed, and French was arrested. Other members of the YEO Network have also been organizing national petitions, marching, buying food and water for protestors, trying to dissuade looting, among other things.

Chappelle-Nadal, elected in 2010, represents part of St. Louis County in the Missouri Senate. She has been vocal in her criticism of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and his response to the crisis in her community.

“I never expected to represent a war zone,” she tweeted Thursday.

French, on the other hand, has been documenting the protests through “advocacy journalism.” Born and raised in O’Fallon, French has dedicated his time in public service to improving the quality of life in north St. Louis, often working in conjunction with police to create safer spaces.

During the protests last Wednesday, French was arrested and then released early Thursday, but the reason behind the arrest remained unclear. His arrest, along with his work documenting the protests, have made him a “national voice against the militarization of police.”

In Miami, another PFAW Foundation voice joined the protests. Young People For alum Phillip Agnew, founder of the Dream Defenders, organized a similar demonstration to protest how “police departments around the country will continue to use black and brown bodies for target practice.”

Many Americans are appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri this month. PFAW Foundation is proud of the work being done by members of our leadership networks to build a more equal America.

PFAW Foundation

Molly Smith: Gay Games Were In Fact 'Very Melancholy'

This weekend, Linda Harvey welcomed to her radio show Molly Smith, the Cleveland anti-choice activist who’s heading up a new national splinter group that thinks that the major anti-choice groups aren’t extreme enough. One of the issues that separates Smith from the major anti-choice groups is her insistence on linking anti-gay and anti-choice activism, a divide that came to a head when she was rebuked by National Right to Life Committee for attacking anti-choice advocate Sen. Rob Portman when he came out in favor of marriage equality.

Smith and Harvey discussed the Gay Games, which took place over the weekend in Cleveland and which Smith contended were “not gay” but in fact “very melancholy” because they featured participants in a “sad and destructive lifestyle.”

Later in the interview, Smith lashed out at the Cuyahoga County GOP for officially welcoming the Gay Games, saying that opposition to LGBT rights must always be paired with anti-choice activism because homosexuality is an “anti-family lifestyle.”

Ferguson and the America We Need to Build

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post.

An unarmed teenager gunned down in the street. Peaceful protesters attacked in a military-style assault. Journalists tear-gassed and arrested to prevent them from covering the actions of government officials. This is not the America to which we aspire.

Many Americans are both angry and appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. These actions do not reflect a commitment to the Constitution or to the principles of equal justice under the law and freedom of the press. We applaud the Department of Justice for undertaking an investigation into the violence, and we are grateful that state officials have stepped in to institute a more sensible law enforcement presence. We encourage state and federal officials to continue monitoring the situation and to intervene as necessary to prevent further civil rights violations.

At the center of this controversy is a dead teenager and a grieving family. We recognize that the pain and outrage felt by so many people is grounded in the fact that this kind of killing of young men of color happens far too often. Part of the tragedy is that a killing like this is not surprising. If our commitment to equality and human dignity is to have real meaning, we cannot continue to tolerate conditions that require so many parents to teach their children how to live through a chance encounter with law enforcement.

In the long run, our elected officials must grapple with many complex policy questions, including racial disparities in the administration of justice. Today we support community leaders who are demanding accountability.

PFAW Foundation
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