Equality For All

PFAW Applauds Senate Cloture Vote on ENDA

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today applauded the Senate’s vote to end a Republican filibuster on proceeding to consider the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“Today’s Senate vote is a huge victory in the ongoing fight to end discrimination in all its forms. Passing ENDA is simply common sense – no one should be fired because of who they are or who they love. These basic workplace protections are so in line with American values that most of the country believes that these protections are already the law of the land.

“Sadly, anti-gay extremists on the right have resorted to dangerous fear mongering and flat-out lies in their push against this important legislation. From American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer’s declaration that ENDA would ‘represent the return of Jim Crow laws’ to Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver’s warning that ENDA would result in the ‘death of some individuals,’ their outrageous claims make clear just how far away their views are from those of everyday Americans.

“I trust that the Senate will soon pass ENDA. The question then becomes whether House Republican leadership will stand on the side of anti-gay extremists or on the side of common sense and decency by allowing the bill to be taken up and passed.” 

For more information on the far right and ENDA, see People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch round-up of the top ten Religious Right claims about the legislation: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated

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Discrimination Has No Place In Our Hearts or Our Workplaces

The following is a guest post by Rev. Dorothy Chaney, a licensed Baptist minister in Miami and a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action.

I have lived in Florida all my life, but here’s something I didn’t always know: in my state, you can be fired for being gay.

It’s true – although most of us don’t realize it. Here in Florida, we lack both a state and federal law protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. That means that even if you are the most dedicated employee – always on time, always going that extra mile – you can still be fired because of who you are or who you love.

That’s not right.

Why? First of all, because ensuring that all of us have the opportunity to provide for our families is a core American value. Passing a bill in Congress called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would help make sure that LGBT workers across the country are protected from workplace mistreatment. It’s simple – if you work hard, you shouldn’t be fired because of attributes that have nothing to do with your work performance.

Second, my religious beliefs mean I am dedicated to supporting those in need. As Bishop Gene Robinson pointed out in 2011, “The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are filled with admonitions that we will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable members.” He wrote that we are “morally bound” to take care of those who are marginalized, such as LGBT Americans.

He’s right. As a Christian minister, I have worked for many years to lift up those most vulnerable in our communities, from counseling women facing unplanned pregnancies to speaking out in support of those needing access to health care. I have come to see that in order to continue my work for justice, I also need to speak out in support of employment protections for LGBT members of my community. Though faith traditions and leaders may have differing beliefs about sexuality, surely we can agree that every person should be treated with dignity in their place of work. Every person should be able to be open about who they are without fearing for their job.

Finally, not only is passing ENDA the moral thing to do, it’s also the popular thing to do.  That’s true here in Florida and also across the country. New polling estimates that more than 60% of Floridians support ENDA.

Unfortunately, those who don’t support these protections are using dishonest arguments to try to mislead the public about the legislation. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, for example, has claimed that if ENDA is passed, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”  This is certainly not true. The ENDA bill even carves out a specific exemption so it will not apply to religious corporations, societies, associations, and schools.  The fact is, it goes the extra mile to protect religious liberty, and it is supported by a broad array of religious groups. The bottom line is that ENDA is in no way an attack on religious liberty any more than existing anti-discrimination laws are.

Others are using repugnant arguments in an attempt not just to defeat the bill, but to attack and malign LGBT members of my community. Last year, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition went as far as using the Newtown tragedy in a misguided attempt to turn public opinion against ENDA. Referencing a school district anti-discrimination policy in nearby Orange County, Florida, Lafferty argued that while parents are concerned about “protecting our children” in the wake of the Newtown shooting, they should be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as “people with some real issues [play] out their personal problems in the classroom.” These kinds of lies about our LGBT neighbors underscore why the discrimination protections are needed in the first place.

It is my hope that all of our elected officials will choose to stand on the side of pro-equality majorities rather than with those pushing hurtful lies about LGBT Americans. I was heartened to see that Sen. Nelson has signed on as a cosponsor. Now it’s time for Sen. Rubio to step up to the plate, as well.

Because at the end of the day, discrimination is discrimination.  It has no place in our hearts and no place in our workplaces.
 

PFAW

Youth Leaders and Faith Leaders Urge Support for ENDA

UPDATE: Following the Senate's successful 64-32 vote to pass ENDA on 11/07/2013, PFAW and AAMIA sent their support letters to the House. YEO Action, now with 34 members, and YP4 action, now with 51 members and allies, did the same.
PFAW

Why We Need ENDA

Guest post by Enbar Cohen, City of Aventura Commissioner and member of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
PFAW

The ENDA is Near: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (UPDATED)

With the Senate expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before Thanksgiving, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common sense legislation that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death. As the vote approaches, senators will have to choose whether they will cast their lot with anti-gay extremists or with common sense.

10. Matt Barber: ENDA And Hate Crimes Laws Will Be Used To Protect Pedophiles (October 2013)

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be used to protect pedophiles:

“When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among those who cannot be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation.”

9. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

8. Rep. Louie Gohmert Misleads on ENDA, Criticizes Faith Groups that Affirm Gays and Lesbians 'Despite the Plumbing that God Created' (June 2012)

While speaking on Today’s Issues, the Texas congressman said the anti-discrimination legislation is “part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” and asserted that Muslims would also oppose the bill as well. However, Gohmert lamented the growth of Christian and Jewish denominations and organizations that affirm gays and lesbians and defend their rights, saying that they do so “despite the plumbing that God created.”

7. Mat Staver: ENDA ‘Will Harm Women and Children’ (July 2013)

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver in a Freedom’s Call radio alert said that the ENDA bill is a “farce” that will “harm women and children.” How? Because employers “will be forced to hire cross-dressers,” whom Staver believes will go on to molest and assault kids.

6. Linda Harvey: Gays Deserve To Be Fired Because They ‘Insist On Displaying [Their] Lifestyles To Everyone’ (May 2013)

Mission America’s Linda Harvey stated her belief that schools, and employers in general, should have the right to fire LGBT personnel and urged them to exercise that right. She said that the only person to blame for getting fired is the LGBT employee who refuses to accept their employer’s “high moral standards” and “insist[s] on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance.” She said that “no one needs to be involved in homosexuality” and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is incompatible with being “an excellent employee” as it “shows a disrespect” to others.

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

4. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

3. Gordon Klingenschmitt: Under ENDA, ‘Christians Will Be Bankrupted’ And ‘Starve To Death’ (September 2013)

Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project warning that Christians may face unemployment and starvation if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passes.

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,” Klingenschmitt writes. “I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.”

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

Cross-posted from People For the American Way.

 

The ENDA is Near: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (UPDATED)

With the Senate expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before Thanksgiving, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common sense legislation that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death. As the vote approaches, senators will have to choose whether they will cast their lot with anti-gay extremists or with common sense.

10. Matt Barber: ENDA And Hate Crimes Laws Will Be Used To Protect Pedophiles (October 2013)

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be used to protect pedophiles:

“When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among those who cannot be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation.”

9. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

8. Rep. Louie Gohmert Misleads on ENDA, Criticizes Faith Groups that Affirm Gays and Lesbians 'Despite the Plumbing that God Created' (June 2012)

While speaking on Today’s Issues, the Texas congressman said the anti-discrimination legislation is “part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” and asserted that Muslims would also oppose the bill as well. However, Gohmert lamented the growth of Christian and Jewish denominations and organizations that affirm gays and lesbians and defend their rights, saying that they do so “despite the plumbing that God created.”

7. Mat Staver: ENDA ‘Will Harm Women and Children’ (July 2013)

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver in a Freedom’s Call radio alert said that the ENDA bill is a “farce” that will “harm women and children.” How? Because employers “will be forced to hire cross-dressers,” whom Staver believes will go on to molest and assault kids.

6. Linda Harvey: Gays Deserve To Be Fired Because They ‘Insist On Displaying [Their] Lifestyles To Everyone’ (May 2013)

Mission America’s Linda Harvey stated her belief that schools, and employers in general, should have the right to fire LGBT personnel and urged them to exercise that right. She said that the only person to blame for getting fired is the LGBT employee who refuses to accept their employer’s “high moral standards” and “insist[s] on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance.” She said that “no one needs to be involved in homosexuality” and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is incompatible with being “an excellent employee” as it “shows a disrespect” to others.

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

4. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

3. Gordon Klingenschmitt: Under ENDA, ‘Christians Will Be Bankrupted’ And ‘Starve To Death’ (September 2013)

Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project warning that Christians may face unemployment and starvation if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passes.

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,” Klingenschmitt writes. “I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.”

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

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Senators Pryor and Manchin join list of ENDA supporters, contact your senators now

ENDA and workplace fairness for all have a clear majority on their side, but every vote is still critical. Thank those already in support for protecting LGBT workers. Tell those who aren't yet on board to say yes to common sense and no to anti-gay extremists.
PFAW

Senator Nelson cosponsors ENDA, leaves 3 votes to go, contact your senators now

Every vote will be critical to passage. Thank those already in support for protecting LGBT workers. Tell those who aren't yet on board to say yes to common sense and no to anti-gay extremists.
PFAW

Leader Reid announces ENDA vote – contact Senate now

Every vote will be critical to passage. Thank those already in support for protecting LGBT workers. Tell those who aren't yet on board to say yes to common sense and no to anti-gay extremists.
PFAW

Pro-Cuccinelli Robocall Plays Up Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Positions

Even as Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli tries to downplay his far-right record on reproductive rights and LGBT equality, his allies are quietly using that record to try to turn out voters.

Virginia business consultant Shaun Dakin has posted a recording of a robocall paid for by The Catholic Association that calls Democrat Terry McAuliffe an “extremist” for his pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights positions and praises Cuccinelli as a "pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate." McAuliffe is pro-choice and has said he would sign a bill repealing Virginia’s marriage equality ban but wouldn’t use the governor's office to campaign for repeal. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli has led efforts to criminalize homosexuality, all abortion and even forms of birth control.
 

I’m calling from the Catholic Association. November 5 is coming quickly, and Ken Cuccinelli needs your vote. Terry McAuliffe is an extremist who shockingly supports taxpayer funding of late-term abortion and abortion on demand for any reason. He wants to repeal Virginia’s constitutional protection for marriage. Ken Cuccinelli is a staunch pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate who works to defend our shared values for the common good.

 

Thousands March, Demand Illinois House Vote On Marriage Equality Bill

On a cold, wet Tuesday this week, People For members joined an estimated 2,000 marriage equality supporters at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield for the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. For two full hours prior to marching around the capitol complex, activists rallied for same-sex marriage, with major news cameras rolling.  Scores of activists, entertainers, politicians, and faith leaders called on the Illinois House of Representatives to pass SB 10, a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples which was passed by the Illinois State Senate early in 2013.


Highlights from the rally included out gay country singer Steve Grand performing his hit “All American Boy,” the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and Windy City Gay Choirs, and independent artist Sonia; along with a lineup of other performers and speakers demanding that House Speaker Michael Madigan hold a vote on SB 10.  In the middle of the event, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made an appearance.  With a pen in hand, Quinn said he was ready to sign the bill into law as soon as the House passes it, evoking a roar from the 2,000 attendees.  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (daughter of the Speaker), State Comptroller Judy Barr-Topinka, and Secretary of State Jesse White all voiced their endorsements of SB 10.

But the biggest reaction of the day came from keynote speaker Bishop Carlton D. Pearson of the Churches of God In Christ, who called on the Illinois Legislature to “pass the damn bill” and foster a society of fairness, social justice, and inclusion in Illinois.  In the style of a sermon, Pearson delivered a powerful address, apologizing to the LGBT community on behalf of the evangelical Christian community for the lack of compassion previously given to them by some Christian leaders.


Following Pearson’s rousing speech, marchers funneled to the sidewalks surrounding the Capitol Building, at one point nearly completely encircling the complex with their numbers.  Check out this gallery of photos from the rally, and the recorded livestream of the event.

PFAW

Kengor: Satan Duped Gay People Into Supporting Marxist Marriage Equality

Grove City College professor Paul Kengor, author of Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, has more to say on the issue of duping in a WorldNetDaily column published yesterday.

Kengor claims that progressives have “long been hell-bent on taking down the family” and “at long last seem to have found the vehicle to make it happen: gay marriage.” In promoting marriage equality, Kengor argues, are pursuing “totalitarianism” with the “unwitting support of a huge swath of clueless citizens and voters”:

“Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.”
– Karl Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”

That quotation from Karl Marx appears in his 1848 “Communist Manifesto.” Yes, even way back then, the extreme left was looking to abolish the family, with marriage (the center of the family) specifically in its sights. Really, it’s a battle that goes back to the Garden of Eden, where a sinister force first tried tear asunder the male-female union the Creator had ordained. Fortunately, better angels prevailed, including Natural Law and common sense, which, by tradition and experience, enabled civilization to keep male-female marriage and the traditional family together.

Nonetheless, that hasn’t deterred the far left, which has long been hell-bent on taking down the family. Leftists have made their arguments and tried different tactics, but they at long last seem to have found the vehicle to make it happen: gay marriage. Once advocates of gay marriage succeed in redefining marriage as anything but one man and one woman, there will be no end to the redefinition. The current liberal/progressive standard that consulting adults who love each other ought to be entitled to “marriage rights” cannot, by logical consistency, prohibit polygamous marriages, group marriages and even inter-family marriages (mother married to son or daughter or stepson or stepdaughter, dad to son or daughter or stepson or stepdaughter). By the left’s new insistent standard for what rises to the level of “marriage,” any and all of these are fair game. Liberals in their hearts know this; it’s undeniable. It will be a mess – a mess of marriage.

And what will have initiated this fundamental transformation of this onetime pillar of human civilization? Again, the answer is this altogether entirely new 21st century phenomenon called “gay marriage.”

This is an exciting time for extreme leftists. They are genuinely transforming human nature. (That, by the way, is the textbook definition of totalitarianism: to transform human nature.) And they’re doing it with the unwitting support of a huge swath of clueless citizens and voters.

Kengor includes in this “huge swath of clueless citizens and voters” gay people themselves, who he claims are “being used, duped, by a deeper, sinister force” and have been “enlisted in the radical left’s unyielding centuries-old attempt to undermine the family”:

I recently got an email from a Townhall reader responding to one of my articles on gay marriage. He was once part of the “gay left.” He told me that most gay people, who are either not political at all or nowhere near as political as the far left, have no idea how their gay-marriage advocacy fits and fuels the far left’s anti-family agenda, and specifically the far left’s longtime take-down strategy aimed at the nuclear family.

The emailer is exactly right. Most of the gay people I have known are Republicans, not leftists. Generally, I’ve always had no problem easily dialoguing with gay people, though it’s now getting more difficult, as liberals are doing their usual bang-up job convincing a certain group (this time gays) that I as a conservative Republican hate them. Even when socially liberal – and, even then, mainly on matters like gay rights – the gay people I’ve met have been economic conservatives. But in signing on the dotted line for gay marriage, they have also, whether they realize it or not (actually, they don’t), enlisted in the radical left’s unyielding centuries-old attempt to undermine the family. They are being used, duped, by a deeper, sinister force. For that matter, so are Republicans and “conservatives” who support gay marriage, so are libertarians, and so are the independents/”moderates” swimming (as they usually do) with the cultural tide.

Speaking of whom, here’s a quick news flash: There’s nothing conservative or moderate about suddenly redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, especially with an idea not even as old as my Windows phone. Sorry, folks, but that’s radical, extreme; that’s the kind of thing radicals and extremists do.

What kind of radicals and extremists? That brings me back to our pal Karl Marx and his loyal followers.

But it’s not just gay people who have been “duped” by the gay marriage agenda! Kengor claims that President Obama too has been tricked by communists into supporting marriage equality:

The 1960s were a huge boost to the destruction of traditional marriage in the West. In radical circles in the ’60s (and into the ’70s), “smashing monogamy” was the buzzword; it was all the rage. For an enlightening and sickening read on this, get a copy of the late Larry Grathwohl’s classic “Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen.” Grathwohl, who just died last summer, had penetrated the Weathermen in the 1970s. Day after day for month upon month, this Vietnam vet and war hero had to buddy around with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and crew. His horrible task meant doing what they did, living like they lived. A thread throughout Grathwohl’s account is how the Weathermen – who, of course, were communists – were hell-bent on abolishing monogamous marriage, which they viewed as a repressive remnant of male and white supremacy.

How ironic that Ayers and Dohrn would come to know and work with Barack Obama, serving on boards with him in Chicago and infamously giving him their political blessing from their Hyde Park living room in 1995. And even more ironic, Obama, who today is a dupe for what Ayers and Dohrn once recklessly pursued, is, by all accounts, a good husband committed to monogamous marriage.

Kengor concludes that in marriage equality the left has at last found its “wrecking ball” and its “Trojan horse for its longtime goal of destroying traditional marriage and the traditional family.” This is all “unnecessarily divisive,” he claims, because “if gays and their supporters had simply pushed for some form of civil unions or partnerships, rather than insisting on literally redefining marriage – smashing and changing its very meaning – none of this acrimony we’re seeing now would be occurring.” But, of course, “that’s what the Marxists and the radicals have always done: divide and destroy.”

And yet, even then, having survived the ’60s radicals, the communists, the Soviets, Karl Marx and all else, the core notion of marriage as being between one man and one woman remained intact in America. It was the ideal. It was the standard. It was the definition of marriage. It hung on. It prevailed. Battered and beaten, it was not defeated.

Could anything break it? Could anything cut it down?

Alas, yes. The answer is finally upon us. The left, in the West generally and America specifically, has found its hammer and its sickle to smash and undercut marriage. Under the banner of “gay rights” and feel-good slogans like “tolerance,” “freedom,” “marriage rights” and “equality,” and, on the flip side, accusations of intolerance, bigotry, “hatred” and “homophobia” slung at opponents, the left has seized upon gay marriage with a downright stunning and relentless abandon. The left has its wrecking ball.

The far left has finally found its Trojan horse for its longtime goal of destroying traditional marriage and the traditional family. Advocates of gay marriage are now dupes in that deeper process, whether they know it or not.

And sadly, it’s all so damned unnecessary. As one thoughtful liberal told me, if gays and their supporters had simply pushed for some form of civil unions or partnerships, rather than insisting on literally redefining marriage – smashing and changing its very meaning – none of this acrimony we’re seeing now would be occurring. This is all so unnecessarily divisive. Yet, that’s what the Marxists and the radicals have always done: divide and destroy. And now, they have gay-rights supporters unwittingly enlisting in their mission.

So what’s the source of this gay-rights totalitarian communist wrecking ball, Kengor asks. “Is it liberals, socialists, or ‘progressives’? Or is it something even darker, deeper, older, roots as old as the Garden of Eden, and more sinister?”

Alas, I must ask: Who or what is truly the ultimate source of the duping? Is it the communist left? Is it what we can only generally call the extreme or far left? Is it liberals, socialists, or “progressives”? Or is it something even darker, deeper, older, roots as old as the Garden of Eden, and more sinister? Is it really anything new?
 

Focus On The Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, NOM Leaders Reportedly Met With Author Of Russian 'Homosexual Propaganda' Bill

Last week, we reported that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown had just gotten back from a Moscow planning meeting for the 2014 World Congress of Families gathering in Russia. Brown confirmed his participation to Rachel Maddow, telling her “we are proud to work with our allies in Russia and around the world to protect marriage as the union as one man and one woman.”

We now have a clearer idea of who those allies are. In a press release yesterday, the World Congress listed many of the participants in last week’s planning meeting. They included leaders of several major American religious right groups including Brown, Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Justin Murff of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).

Also on the list is Fabrice Sorlin, the far-right French activist who led a delegation joined by Brown to testify before the Russian parliament in May in favor of a broad ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples and single people living in countries that allow same-sex marriage. Sorlin is the one who told members of the Duma that Russia’s efforts to repel advances in gay rights (or “the suicide of our civilization”) was just like its role protecting Europe from the “the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan” in the 13th century.

Also attending the meeting was Jack Hanick, the former Fox News employee who has surfaced as an activist and “consultant” in Russia.

According to the World Congress’ press release, these activists not only discussed topics for the upcoming summit (including “declining fertility and the origins of the sexual revolution, the ideological roots of the anti-family lobby, the protection and promotion of marriage [and] countering the radical sexual rights agenda”) but also met with Russian legislator Yelena Mizulina to discuss a “WCF parliamentary forum” for September 2014.

Mizulina is the head of the Duma’s committee for family, women and children and coauthor of Russia’s new ban on speech in favor of gay rights to minors. The World Congress has been one of the most vocal international defenders of that law. The fact that the World Congress and its members are working directly with her to plan an exchange with members of the Russian parliament shows that the summit’s location in Moscow isn’t just an accident of geography.

In fact, as we have reported, WCF has built up a structure of activists in Russia to push anti-gay, anti-choice policies throughout Eastern Europe in the year’s leading up to the 2014 summit, and it was “activists working with the World Congress of Families” who invited Brown to speak to the Duma in favor of the adoption ban.

WCF’s managing director went so far as to say, shortly before Russia’s parliament passed the “gay propaganda” bill, that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world.” As Political Research Associates has noted, the very idea for the World Congress of Families came from a meeting of the group's founder with Russian Orthodox activists, so the upcoming events in Moscow are something of a homecoming for the group.

Did You Know that Marriage Equality Has Invited the Wrath of God on Maine?

The American Family Association’s Illinois affiliate is calling in the big guns in its effort to defeat a proposed marriage equality bill in the state. The Illinois Family Institute sent out a fundraising email today with a message from Michael Heath, a leading anti-gay figure in Maine. In his message, Heath warns Illinoisans that since passing marriage equality legislation by popular referendum last year, Maine has “handed the sodomy movement the keys to Maine’s home” and is now experiencing God’s “judgment and destruction.”

Heath last made headlines when he held a press conference applauding Gov. Paul LePage for his notorious “Vaseline” comment.

In the late 1980′s God placed me at the Christian Civic League of Maine.  Formed in 1897 by clergy, laymen and academics the League fought throughout the 20th century to keep Christianity at life’s center in Maine.  I was often told by politicians that the League is the conscience of Maine.

Shortly after my arrival at the League the men who led the ministry, all of them respected leaders in their communities, decided that the matter of “gay” rights must be addressed by the League.  We realized that Satan was rapidly undermining sexual rules — written and unwritten — that protected all the people of Maine.

Adding the phrase “sexual orientation” to other minority designations in our human rights laws would lead only to mischief.  We noted that no other institution was stepping up to defend common sense.

To their credit these men put the League on the firing line in this battle.  Throughout the 1990′s we remained firm in our resolve to resist.  Our efforts bore much fruit.

Homosexuality was hotly debated for twenty years.  The Christian Civic League of Maine proved to be the only institution with the will to fight.  Overwhelmed, wearied and confused by years of  attacks of all kinds a slim majority of Mainers grudgingly handed the sodomy movement the keys to Maine’s home. 

Tragically marriage, family, decency and common sense are all collapsing in the Pine Tree State.  The truths of Genesis 19 and Romans 1 are becoming evident.

I am encouraged by the efforts of Dave Smith and the Illinois Family Institute to avert this same disaster in the Midwest.

Fourteen states have fallen to the radical homosexual agenda.  New Jersey is the latest state to pledge obeisance to this evil.  And make no mistake, a society’s decision to turn it’s back on God’s definition of marriage can end only one way. 

Judgment and destruction.

Now is the time for Christians everywhere to increase their commitment to groups like the Illinois Family Institute.  No matter what happens this year with the marriage debate Christians must deepen their resolve to live as Christians in our modern world.  We must choose to do this out of love for God and our fellow man.

Sexual sin is a destroyer.  Jesus Christ is the creator.  We are His creation, and we must defend and assert this proposition relentlessly in America.

In God we Trust.

Guess Who's Back In Moscow?

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown hasn’t been doing a very good job boasting about his involvement in promoting anti-gay laws in Russia. First, in June, he went to Moscow at the invitation of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families to testify before Russia’s parliament in favor of a ban on adoptions to gay people, but didn’t think to tell anyone about it until we reported his involvement this month.

Now, we find out that he was back in Russia this week, likely helping the World Congress to organize their annual world conference that will be in Moscow next year. Once again, Brown didn’t think to announce this publicly, but on a webcast with Jim Garlow yesterday afternoon mentioned that he “just got back from Russia last night” after Garlow thanked him for changing his flight schedule to be on the program. (The exchange is about 15:45 into this video.)

Brown didn’t say what he was in Russia for, but we can guess that he was at the World Congress of Families’ planning meeting along with anti-gay activist Scott Lively. Brown is an enthusiastic supporter of the group, which pushes anti-gay and anti-choice measures abroad and has been a strong cheerleader for Russia’s recent anti-gay crackdown.

The World Congress’ “hosting committee” includes the group’s “representative in Russia” Alexey Komov and philanthropist Konstantin Malofeev, who hosted a meeting that Brown attended with members of the Duma in June.

Now, Brown has no obligation to announce to the world every time he takes a trip overseas, but we find it curious that he’s been so quiet about his work in Russia. After all, NOM tries to portray itself as a kinder, gentler anti-gay group that’s just about preserving “traditional marriage” in the United States. Hanging out with people like Scott Lively and egging on the Russian parliament as they pass a spate of vicious anti-gay bills doesn’t exactly bolster that image.

UPDATE: Brown confirmed to Rachel Maddow that he was indeed in Russia for the World Congress of Families meeting.

Breaking News: Marriage Equality Coming to New Jersey

Just moments ago we heard that the New Jersey Supreme Court has refused to stay that ruling – meaning that marriage equality comes to New Jersey at 12:01 am this Monday, October 21.
PFAW

Illinois Anti-Marriage Activist Compares Himself To WWII Veterans, Claims 'America Will Collapse' Under Marriage Equality

David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, a state affiliate of the American Family Association, sent out a fundraising appeal today warning that if anti-gay activists fail to stop marriage equality legislation in Illinois, “America will collapse” like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Smith compared his own fight against the "evil agenda" of gay rights to that of American soldiers in World War II: “We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.”

As a father of six children, I often wonder what Illinois will be like in twenty years.  What will it be like for your children and grandchildren?

We cannot know for sure.  We can’t predict the future.  Only God knows for certain.

I do know, however, that things are sure to be worse, much worse for our children, if we don’t do something now to stop the moral collapse, which will be hastened if our lawmakers undermine marriage by legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

I am doing everything in my power to prevent that from happening.  I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my car and logged weeks away from my family to fight this evil agenda in 2013, and I need your help today.

I’m not alone in making sacrifices.  Many courageous people are stepping up and doing their part, including the staff and a dozen or so dedicated volunteers at IFI.  I need you to do your part today.

The Chicago Sun Times admitted this week that Leftists are still “shy” of the votes they need to pass homosexual “marriage.”  And that is because you have refused to stay silent.  Now we must finish what we started earlier this year.  We must show up in Springfield again.  The politicians need to know how strongly you feel about this attack on common sense, reason, and decency.  They have to understand that marriage redefinition isn’t as popular as some politicians and media pundits want you to believe it is.

And our politicians need to know that we aren’t going to allow them to ignore the best interests and rights of children and individual religious liberties without a fight.  I can do no less for my children.  It is my duty.  It is our duty.

A friend told me about a group of WWII veterans from Iowa that drove all the way to Washington D.C. this week. They risked arrest by passing through the barricades set up by the president to keep veterans from viewing their monuments. We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.  America will collapse.  It is only a matter of time.  Read Genesis 19.

(Emphases are ours.)

World Congress of Families Plans New Push For Anti-Gay Policies in Ukraine

Earlier this month, Ukraine’s parliament took the first step toward passing a law, similar to one recently passed in Russia, that would ban the “promotion of homosexuality” – essentially a gag rule on any LGBT rights advocacy.

The Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families provided support for both laws: In May, the group’s two representatives in Russia, Alekey Komov and Pavel Parfentiev, sent a detailed memo defending the laws to the Council of Europe’s human rights commission. World Congress of Families has also joined an international coalition of groups defending Russia’s law.

In addition, it was representatives of the World Congress of Families who arranged for National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown to testify before a committee of Russia’s parliament in support of a law banning gay couples and single people in countries that allow marriage equality to adopt Russian orphans.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that before its upcoming world conference in Moscow, World Congress of Families representatives plan to meet with Ukrainian lawmakers to discuss “pro-family policies.” In a press release, World Congress managing director Larry Jacobs boasts of his group’s “support” for Russia’s “child protection law” (the “propaganda” ban) and adds that he’ll soon be taking his advocacy to Ukraine:

Prior to the Moscow meeting, Komov and WCF Communications Director Don Feder, along with Srdjan Nogo of the Serbian group Dveri (WCF’s newest Partner) and French pro-marriage activist Fabrice Sorlin, will be in Kiev for meetings with key Ukrainian leaders, including members of parliament.

Along with WCF spokesman Don Feder and Komov, the visitors to Ukraine will include Srdjan Nogo, the leader of the Serbian group that worked with WCF to get a recent gay pride parade cancelled in Belgrade, and Fabrice Sorlin, one of the far-right French activists (and a former Front National candidate) who accompanied NOM’s Brown to Moscow.
 

Honoring Matthew Shepard means remembering all those silenced by hate

They and countless others, names familiar and not, lost their lives at the hands of hate. Their void is ours to fill. We must stand up. Think. Share. Act.
PFAW

CWA Spokeswoman: DOMA Decision Will Cause 'Pain,' 'Hurt Women And Hurt Men'

Concerned Women for America communications director Alison Howard joined CBN’s David Brody this week to talk about what it’s like to be a young person advocating against gay rights.

Howard told Brody that she sees the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key part of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in light of Roe v. Wade in that both will somehow deprive the world of mothers and fathers.

"Forty years ago, our parents faced a very big decision in Roe v. Wade," Howard said. "They decided at that point to allow the Supreme Court, nine people in black robes, to step in and try to decide for the entire nation the right to abortion. Forty years later, we see the consequences, don’t we? We see men and women hurt, 55 million children lost. And we’re dealing with that as individuals and our families, knowing everyone has a story of someone they know who has been affected."

“For 55 million children lost, you think about how many moms and dads, potential moms and dads, there were there that lost their motherhood or their fatherhood,” she added.

She predicted that the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision would create the same kind of “pain.”

“Conservatives and christians,” she said, will “have to deal with this, in 40 years maybe, the pain that comes from this, of what we have to deal with with children and hurt women and hurt men.”

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