The following is a guest blog from Zane Ballard, a Fellow in affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For program.
In spite of the nationwide outcry over Arizona’s SB 1062, the “Turn Away the Gays” bill vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last month, some far-right legislators across the country have continued to claim that gay rights present a threat to their religious freedom. In my state of Mississippi, conservative legislators have pushed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 2681), which is similar to the vetoed Arizona law. When the Mississippi State Senate passed SB 2681 on January 31, some senators said they did not even realize its implications. Mississippi Sen. David Blount, for example, said he “was not aware…of this intention or possible result” when he voted – that is, the result of legalizing discrimination.
The version of the bill passed by the Senate would have allowed businesses to deny service to individuals based upon the belief that “state action or an action by any person based on state action shall not burden a person's right to exercise of religion.” It would have allowed broad, almost unchecked discrimination by any business that claimed its “exercise of religion has been burdened or is likely to be burdened” by serving a customer. This could have included refusal to serve LGBT persons, people of color, or those of non-Christian or no faith, all on the basis of an individual exercising their religion.
Yesterday the discriminatory bill faced a major setback when the House voted to replace most of the text of the bill with language establishing a committee to study the issue. The study committee will be examining the bill closely in search of any possible way that the language could be usable without promoting discrimination. But according to the Mississippi ACLU, “Senate Bill 2681 remains a looming threat. The results of the study committee that was established by the amendment that passed the House today may go to conference. If the conference committee reaches an agreement, its report must be approved by both houses by April 2nd.”
In the meantime, advocates on the ground in Mississippi will continue to watch closely as the process unfolds. Last week, I joined students from Mississippi State University and Millsaps College, representatives from Equality Mississippi, and other concerned Mississippians on the steps of the state capitol to demonstrate against the bill. Protestors had also planned to be present during a House Judiciary Committee meeting that day, in hopes that they would be duly represented by those they had elected. However, these concerned Mississippians were unable to sit in on the committee meeting, which ended seven minutes before it was even scheduled to even begin.
Even though the bill has been stalled, the work to keep this discriminatory law off the books continues. The Gulf Coast Lesbian & Gay Community Center in Mississippi has organized an action on the steps of the state capitol for March 26 at 12 pm, to once again draw attention to the bill and to highlight the general lack of protections for LGBT people in our state. In the wake of momentum generated in response to SB 2681, it would not be surprising to see the pro-equality energy of those in the state carrying over into other channels. This could include support for non-discrimination ordinances in cities across Mississippi, or even a statewide piece of legislation preventing discrimination and preserving the real ideal of southern hospitality.
In a conversation with conservative bloggers at CPAC last week, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus promised that he would be “as strong on these social issues” – including choice and marriage equality – as a pastor “on Sunday morning.”
In the wide-ranging conversation, audio of which was posted by LifeSiteNews, Priebus assured his audience that autopsy reports aside, the GOP will not moderate or shy away from its anti-choice or anti-gay stances…while at the same time saying he wasn’t going to be “walking around down the street” proclaiming his opposition to marriage equality.
He said that his attendance at the March for Life this year was a “wake-up call” that “maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party more.”
"We're a pro-life party and I'm not shying away from that at all," he added.
He also said that he tells pastors that “church can’t just be vanilla ice cream and cotton candy on Sunday morning either, and that there’s joint responsibility in talking about issues of faith.”
“I tell a lot of pastors sometimes, in groups like this, I say, ‘Listen, I got a deal for you. I’ll be as strong on these social issues as you’re willing to be on Sunday morning. How about that deal?’”
When an attendee asked him if he considers “opposition to gay marriage still to be a core party issue,” Priebus responded that it was but implied that Republicans should avoid talking about it to much.
“Yeah, I mean, we’re a party that believes that marriage ought to be between one man and one woman, that’s our party platform, it’s a position that I’ve never backed away from,” he said. “What I have said, though, is that we need to treat each other with grace and dignity and respect. And that’s not code language, it comes out of the New Testament. So there should be no confusion about where we stand.”
When the questioner asked if opposition to marriage equality was “something that you want to be reminding people of more,” Priebus answered: “Well, I mean, I’m not like walking around down the street, but if someone wants to ask me like you did, I didn’t dance for you. I mean, I answered the question head-on and very clear.”
Late last week, Don Feder of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families sent out a press release announcing that his group was “concerned about the crisis in Ukraine” and would “pray for world leaders to come together to promote peace and resolve the conflict.” The group also announced that it would go ahead with a planned meeting in Kiev later this year; it did not mention whether its planned summit at the Kremlin in September was still on.
But the World Congress of Families’ involvement in relations between Ukraine, Russia, and the European Union is more complicated than Feder’s release lets on. Although WCF has distanced itself from Feder’s foreign policy opinions, Feder has been very clear where his loyalty lies in Ukraine’s unrest. In a column earlier this month, Feder attacked the “Maidan mob” that had ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and bashed the EU’s “willingness to accept same-sex ‘marriage,’ abortion on demand, and anti-religion ethos.”
Many right-wing groups, including the World Congress of Families, have enthusiastically praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new focus on opposing gay rights and abortion access, promoting large families, and close alliance with the Russian Orthodox church, while conveniently ignoring the role these “family issues” play in his consolidation and expansion of power. When Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine two weeks ago, that dynamic became harder to ignore.
In fact, the World Congress of Families, an offshoot of the Howard Center on Family, Religion and Society, has done more than ally with Russia’s leaders as they seek to impose harsh anti-gay policies in their own country. The group has also brought its advocacy to Ukraine, where it has worked to push anti-gay legislation backed by pro-Russia, anti-EU groups in the lead-up the governmental crisis, which was precipitated by Yanukovych’s decision to back out of an association agreement with the EU in favor of a customs union with Russia. Putin strongly opposed closer ties between EU and Ukraine and offered Yanukovych’s government financial incentives to fortify its relationship with Russia.
In November, Buzzfeed’s Lester Feder (no relation to Don) published an extensive report on how Russia was pushing “homophobic nationalism” in Ukraine as part of its campaign to prevent the country from strengthening its association with the European Union. Those efforts were aided by pro-Russian lawmakers pushing a “homosexual propaganda” ban similar to the one passed last year in Russia. A similar bill had passed in parliament with wide support in 2012, but had become a potential sticking point in negotiations with the EU. An EU parliament member explained to Buzzfeed:
“I don’t think the more pro-Western [politicians] would necessarily be that much in favor of LGBT rights,” said Ulrike Lunacek, a member of the European Parliament from Austria and co-president of its intergroup on LGBT rights and sits on its foreign affairs committee. “But it’s very clear that the more pro-Russian side is using the … propaganda law that [means] you’re not allowed to talk about LGBT rights to enhance their political situation in the country. Very often the politicians in these countries … [use] the argument against LGBT rights to cover up problems that exist on the economic level.”
That is, Ukraine’s proposed “homosexual propaganda” law had support from advocates on both sides of the EU issue; but it was the anti-EU politicians aligned with Putin who were using it as a wedge issue to promote a larger geopolitical agenda.
In July, 2013, a pro-Russia Ukrainian lawmaker reintroduced the “homosexual propaganda” ban. Three months later, in October, WCF announced that Feder, the group's communications director, would travel to Kiev to meet with “key Ukrainian leaders, including members of parliament.” Speaking at a press conference in Kiev in October, Feder warned Ukrainians against following the US into the “abyss” of gay rights.
“Everywhere you look, from Washington to the United Nations to the European Union to the courts, the family is threatened,” he said. “There are forces in your country that want to put you on the road America’s taken. I urge you to resist them.”
He went on to warn that gay rights advances in the United States were leading to legalized pedophilia, “a campaign to abolish gender distinctions,” and ultimately “the criminalization of Christianity.”
“What starts by asking for tolerance ends by demanding obedience,” he warned.
The video below contains Feder's full speech; we have edited out the interjections of a translator.
Feder was surrounded at the news conference by Alexey Komov, WCF’s main organizer in Moscow, Fabrice Sorlin, a far-right French activist allied with WCF who has praised Russia for stopping gay rights advances like it fought off “Mongol hordes,” and by Aleksander Skvortsov of an NGO called the Parents Committee of Ukraine.
Skvortsov’s group doesn’t just oppose gay rights; it also pressed the Ukrainian government to reject an agreement with the EU because, as Skvortsov put it, “it will lead to the inevitable homosexualizing of Ukraine.” A couple of weeks after the press conference with Feder, Skortsov’s group burned a rainbow flag to protest the planned EU agreement. In November, when Yanukovych rejected the EU deal, tens of thousands of Ukrainians marched in protest; but Skortsov helped organize a flash mob dance in celebration of Ukraine’s rejection of "homodictatorship.”
WCF was also involved in the effort to pass the gay “propaganda” bill that threatened to harm EU negotiations. In May, WCF’s “ambassador to European institutions” Pavel Parfentiev worked with Skvortsov’s group to write a memo to the Venice Commission defending the proposed “homosexual propaganda” bills in Russia and Ukraine, claiming such laws are “fully compatible with international human rights law provisions.”
In early November, shortly before Yanukovych rejected the EU deal, Parfentiev joined Skortsov at a press conference urging Ukraine not to sign an association agreement with the EU without amending it to prevent Ukraine from adopting gay rights laws. “I find it surprising that Ukrainian leaders did nothing to protect the family and family values in the Ukraine Association Agreement with the European Union,” Parfentiev reportedly said, adding that EU gay rights protections present “a very real threat to the family and morality in Ukraine.”
“You need to work to change the treaty or simply refuse to accept it,” he said.
At the press conference, Skortsov also announced the creation of a campaign called “Stop It Now,” to counter “homototalitarianism” throughout the world. The campaign’s website contains various colorful materials educating readers about the myriad of dangers gay rights supposedly present to society.
The New York Times reported in December about how pro-government demonstrators were using opposition to gay rights as a wedge against an agreement with the EU:
"We are against the spiritual expansion of the West,” said another protester, Andrei A. Shyropov, a teacher. “We are against the Euro Sodom,” he continued, using a phrase rhyming with and mocking the name the supporters of European integration have given to their movement, the Euromaidan, which means “Eurosquare” in Ukrainian.
Valentin B. Lukyanik, an organizer of the march Friday, said the economic benefits of European trade were outweighed by “the expansion of European values that destroy the family.”
The World Congress of Families and the American groups it allies with– including Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage – seem to be conveniently ignoring the role that anti-gay activism is playing in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionist plans, including his efforts to wrest Ukraine’s loyalties away from the European Union.
GOProud, a group for gay conservatives, was bounced from the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 2012 when a coalition of social conservatives pulled out in protest of the group’s participation. This year the group has been “welcomed” back – not in the sense of having a table or other visible presence, but in the sense of GOProud leaders being allowed to attend, according to some news reports, as guests of the ACU. GOProud co-founder Chris Barron criticized the group’s current leaders for touting the conditional return as a victory, saying they were letting themselves be used as “stooges” for anti-gay conservatives.
But even this mild and invisible welcome is too much for Tradition, Family, and Property, the far-right Catholic organization whose members sport bright scarlet capes. Walk by TFP’s table and someone will eagerly hand you a flyer explaining “Why GOProud Does Not Belong at CPAC.” GOProud is memorably portrayed as a rainbow-colored beaver, gnawing away at the social conservative leg of the conservative movement (the other two legs being fiscal and defense-oriented conservatives).
Why is GOProud a welcomed and official guest at CPAC, when it advocates the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” thus undermining the votes and dreams of millions of God-fearing Americans?
How can GOProud consider itself conservative when it directly opposes the work of social conservative activists and contributes to America’s moral ruin, through the weakening of the family – the first and fundamental building block of society?
TFP’s flyer says it protests against GOProud’s efforts to “cast itself as a bone fide member of the conservative movement.” TFP believes:
To be true to itself, the conservative movement must battle on all three conservative fronts (defense, fiscal, and social).
That individuals and organizations who subscribe to only one or two of the conservative movement’s three legs are still welcome to join the coalition, but should refrain from publicly opposing the rest of the movement’s efforts on the leg or legs they disagree on.
TFP says welcoming GOProud into the conservative movement would be like a communist or socialist organization seeking admittance to the conservative movement by claiming to be against abortion. As part of the evidence that TFP marshals to prove that GOProud is not conservative, it notes that the group’s website says it encourages “committed stable, relationships between two people, regardless of sexual orientation, that promote healthy families and create value within our society.” Mercy!
TFP does have some kind words for the ACU, applauding the decision to deny American Atheists a booth at CPAC. But that didn’t prevent American Atheists from distributing a CPAC flyer that says “Christianity’s influence on conservatism is pushing away almost 20 million voters – more than enough to swing an election.”
Ryan Hurst is the membership services program coordinator for affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
Last week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a bill that would have made it legal for businesses and employers to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people if it was due to a “deeply held religious belief.” Many Arizonans and national leaders on both sides of the aisle vehemently opposed it, including members of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network. US Representative Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Arizona State Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar spoke out on MSNBC. Tovar also said in a statement:
SB 1062 permits discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. With the express consent of Republicans in this legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation.
Supporters of SB 1062 and legislation like it have argued that it is necessary to protect the “right” of business owners to deny services to LGBT Americans. Why does fighting this flawed assumption matter? Why would LGBT Americans want to patronize a business that is trying to discriminate against them?
It matters because our values define who we are as a people. Do we want to be an America that permits discrimination because we disagree with someone? An America that legislates away the dignity of a group of our fellow citizens? The desire to have and feel dignity is something that reaches into our very core. It is why African American students refused to get up from lunch counters during the civil rights movement. Though the circumstances behind those heroic acts were different, at least one of the core motivating factors is the same – the desire to have dignity and be valued as a human being.
We as a nation decided to set precedent as a result of the civil rights movement, that we would not allow ourselves to be defined by hate and ignorance, and that discrimination based on race, gender, disability, national origin, and religion would not be tolerated. Why would we hold love to a different standard? Like religion, it is deeply personal and central to who we are, and our freedom regarding that area of our lives is recognized as basic to the very concept of liberty. And we can no more change who we love than change our race, sex, or national origin.
Unfortunately Arizona was not alone in proposing a bill that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT Americans. In all, 12 states had similar bills simultaneously working their way through their state legislatures. In the fallout from SB 1062, most of these states quietly killed these bills with little fanfare. But a few states like Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota are still considering similar legislation, and Oregon is even considering a ballot initiative.
It is time for us as a country to be bold and unapologetic about our rejection of discrimination. It is important for us to have conversations about why our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and neighbors and friends deserve dignity and equality. We must not be afraid to speak out in opposition to these bills if they are introduced in our state, and we must exercise our right to vote by removing elected officials from office that choose to support legislation that diminishes the dignity of others.
World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder writes today in the American Thinker that gays and lesbians in the military, Muslim executive branch officials and a president who’s not “an American in the White House,” threaten American interests more than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Feder writes that he doesn’t blame Putin for resisting Ukraine’s moves toward EU membership, because that implies a “willingness to accept same-sex ‘marriage,’ abortion on demand [and] an anti-religion ethos.” A parallel situation in Canada would bother us too, Feder writes. “It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.”
Feder goes on to list what he actually sees as a “threat to America,” including “Muslims in the Obama White House,” because “a Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.”
Another “threat” he sees to America is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder?... Perhaps we could deploy an elite unit, armed with vibrators, to the Crimea to counter Spetsnaz commandos.”
Putin is a power player who cares more about Russia’s national interests, and Russian minorities in his near abroad, than in that mythical force known as world opinion. Would that America had a president who cared more about our interests than in promoting globalism and the left’s social agenda.
The Russian-backed government in Kiev came to power democratically, but was ousted by the Maidan mob. We’re told that the interim government is pro-Western and pro-EU.
When Reagan was president, the expression pro-Western meant something. It meant pro-representative government, pro-human rights and pro-Western (Judeo-Christian) values.
Today, it means a willingness to accept same-sex “marriage,” abortion on demand, an anti-religion ethos – the agenda of the EU’s cultural commissars -- and the economic dictates of the Brussels bureaucracy.
Putin doesn’t want to see the EU -- and, possibly, NATO --- on his doorstep. Do you blame him? If someone overthrew a democratically elected, pro-American government in Ottawa and replaced it with an interim regime hostile to our interests, that contained neo-Nazi elements and which immediately moved against English-speaking Canadians, it would irritate us too. It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.
But don’t I care about a possible Russian annexation of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine (with its Russian-oriented, Orthodox population), conservatives who are still fighting the Cold War ask me? Not really. I’ll tell you what does concern me:
Obama’s life style-friendly military -- If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder? The headline in the March 2 Stars and Stripes beams: “Gay, lesbian troops perform in drag at Kadena Air Base” in Okinawa. The publication disclosed that the drag show was “in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered troops.” Doubtless, this will do much for the morale of the non-LGBT troops. But as then-Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. said at the time of the Ft. Hood massacre (which the administration still refuses to call a terrorist incident), diversity is the New Action Army’s most important product. Perhaps we could deploy an elite unit, armed with vibrators, to the Crimea to counter Spetsnaz commandos.
Muslims in the Obama White House -- including Arif Alikhan (Deputy Executive Director for Policy in DHS), Mohamed Elibiary (Homeland Security Advisory Council), Rashad Hussain (Special Envoy to the deeply anti-Semitic Organization of the Islamic Conference), Imam Mohamed Magid (Obama’s Sharia Law advisor, on loan from the Islamic Society of North America, with its Brotherhood ties) and Eboo Patel (on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships). A Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.
Obama’s metastasizing autocracy -- We fret about democracy in the Ukraine while Obama treats the Constitution as a series of suggestions. For the president, the three branches of government are him, his pen and his telephone.
Putin is a strong man. Obama is a weak man (except when it comes to bullying our allies). Obama venerates multilateralism. Putin is willing to go it alone. Obama is committed to the entire LGBT agenda (including gay “marriage”). He’s also the only sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, such is his commitment to abortion without borders. Putin believes the foregoing is the road to national annihilation.
Where does the threat to America lie?
Pastor Larry Tomczak wrote a column in Charisma yesterday touting a video that he says “every person in every church needs to watch.” The video in question is a recording of a sermon/PowerPoint presentation on the subject of homosexuality given by none other than Larry Tomscak.
In the sermon, Tomczak claims that we are “in a civil war” surrounding gay rights, promotes the “ex-gay” movement, and repeats myths about how people “become gay,” including, “spousal and child abuse; media influence, pornography; absence of a father; childhood experience; experimentation; seduction and molestation by peers or authority figures; [and] misunderstanding ‘artistic’ bent.”
He later goes into the reasons he opposes same-sex marriage, including claiming that God is punishing gay men and lesbians by making them “effeminate” or “mannish.”
Tomczak cites Romans 1:27 to claim that gays and lesbians “receive in their own bodies the penalty for their sin.”
“Folks, I am not in any way being insensitive here,” he says, “but I have watched people go into a lifestyle, and all of a sudden they become – a man starts to become very effeminate – mannerisms, speech. I’ve seen the reverse, I’ve seen the same thing with women start becoming mannish. What’s going on? They’re taking in their bodies a penalty for deviating from God’s loving design and plan.”
Rep. Steve King of Iowa joined Des Moines’ WHO TV yesterday to discuss Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have strengthened the ability of businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
“When you’re in the private sector and you’re an individual entrepreneur with God-given rights that our founding fathers defined in the Declaration, you should be able to make our own decisions on what you do in that private business,” King said.
He quickly clarified that he saw civil rights laws as an exception to that rule, but one that shouldn’t be expanded to protect LGBT people. “There’s nothing mentioned in [civil rights laws] about self-professed behavior,” he said, “and that’s what they’re trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior.”
Asked whether he thought that being gay is a choice, King responded that he didn’t “know whether it’s a choice or not,” that he imagined some type of “continuum or curve.”
“I don’t know what that curve looks like,” he added. “I think some’s nature and some’s nurture, and some might be purely each. But I think a lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture.”
The congressman went on to imply that LGBT people are making their identities known in order to entrap business owners into discriminating against them.
“The one thing that I reference when I say ‘self-professed,’” he said, “is how do you know who to discriminate against? They have to tell you. And are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance or is it actually about a service that they’d like to have?”
He then implied that homosexuality cannot be “independently verified” and can be “willfully changed.”
“If it’s not specifically protected in the Constitution,” he said of civil rights protections, “then it’s got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and cannot be willfully changed.” He added that this is part of why he opposes hate crimes laws.
As President Obama and world leaders debate whether to go ahead with this year’s planned G-8 meeting in Sochi after Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, American Religious Right leaders are facing a diplomatic dilemma of their own.
In September, social conservative leaders from around the globe, including representatives of several major American Religious Right groups are planning to hold the annual World Congress of Families gathering at the Kremlin. The gathering is supported by political leaders in Russian Orthodox Church and will include a joint session with the Russian parliament.
American social conservatives have rallied – with varying levels of enthusiasm – to support Russian President Vladimir Putin as his government has passed aseries of anti-gay laws and joined with the church to take up other “family values” issues. These activists, in praising Russia’s renewed push on issues such as gay rights, have largely chosen to ignore the role that social issues are playing in Putin's larger plans.
Issues such as gay rights, abortion rights, and population growth aren't a side project for Putin – they're closely entwined with his tightening grip on power and what Julia Ioffe calls his “appetite for expansion.” For instance, as Buzzfeed's Lester Feder has reported extensively, Russia and its allies in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe have riled up anti-gay sentiment as part of a larger agenda of fomenting distrust of the EU and the West. Putin’s anti-gay crackdown has also been useful in promoting nationalist sentiment within Russia and to provide a useful scapegoat as he tightens his grip on power.
When Larry Jacobs of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families gushes that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world” or when former Fox News producer Jack Hanick, who has been active in anti-gay causes in Russia, says that “God called on” Russia to “stand up for traditional values,” they are playing into Putin’s own narrative.
In October, leaders from major U.S. Religious Right groups including the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family traveled to Moscow for a planning meeting for the upcoming conference, where they met with Yelena Mizulina, a member of parliament at the head of the Kremlin's social conservative push and coauthor of the infamous "gay propaganda" bill.
In addition, nearly every major Religious Right group in the country is an official paying “partner” of the World Congress of Families; groups including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage, pay an annual $2,500 fee to support the organization, which is an offshoot of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.
The American Right has found Putin's Russia to be an ally of convenience as they work to build an international movement opposing gay rights, choice, and religious pluralism. But how far are they willing to take the relationship?
Last week, World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder joined Rick Scarborough on a Tea Party Unity conference call, where Feder got to talking about how liberals “intimidate” conservative pastors into not speaking out against gay rights.
As luck would have it, Scarborough was ready with a “very fresh and very real” anecdote to illustrate that this "threat" comes not just from gay rights activists, but from parishioners who don't want to hear about anal sex in church:
Well, let me give you a perspective that’s very fresh and very real. When pastors speak on this issue, it’s not just a threat that comes from the left that they fear.
I spoke in a church the last four days – I don’t recall the name of the church, so maybe somebody on the line listening from that church, if they are, they’re going to be very familiar with what I’m about to say – but in the second service out of five, I mentioned the word ‘anal sex’ illustrating what homosexuality actually is. And I know that that’s a repulsive expression, I know that nobody likes to think about it, but Christians need to understand what we’re talking about. This is not a gay activity, it’s a perversion. And it does carry consequences because of the nature of the act.
The one thing that the homosexual community doesn’t want us to talk about is what they actually do. They love to disguise their activities with euphemisms. And the presentation they always give is some handsome, erudite young man that’s a gift to society, when in fact he’s committing indecent acts with consequences.
But the firestorm that one, two-word expression caused among the Christians in the church was just palpable, and consequently a segment of the church didn’t come to another service of revival and just basically boycotted because they found what I said to be reprehensible. In other words, the church families don’t find what they’re doing reprehensible, but they put such pressure on the preachers not to even mention it that a lot of preachers have gone silent.
So, it’s not just the fear of the left, it’s the fear of the right, because Christians are more concerned about what their sensitive ears have to listen to than what’s taking place at the high school that may be perverting their own children.
So, we’ve got a real challenge. Will the pastor be forced to speak to it? I sure hope so. But the reality is, a lot of the problem is in the pew as well as the pulpit.
Massachusetts pastor Scott Lively joined Dublin radio host Niall Boylan yesterday to discuss Uganda’s passage of a harsh new anti-gay law. The two engaged in an hour-long shouting match, in which Lively accused the gay community of a Marxist plot to “destroy civilization,” insisted that women should be subservient to their husbands, and claimed that marriage equality in Ireland would lead to legalized pedophilia within five years.
Early in the interview, Boylan asked Lively if he was “accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values,” to which Lively replied, “I am.”
Lively faulted the gay rights movement following the Stonewall riot for shifting its focus “from asking for tolerance to demanding the ability and power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream,” which he described as part of a Marxist plot to “break down the nuclear family” and with the purpose of destroying society.
Later in the interview, Lively blamed the high divorce rate among heterosexuals on the gay rights movement: “That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model.”
Boylan: You’re accusing the gay community of trying to destroy family values, is that what you’re trying to say?
Lively: I am. And you know, this comes out of…this is straight out of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt school of cultural Marxists. Marxism has always been about destroying civilization so they can rebuild on the ashes their utopian socialist society, which is just a fantasy. But they had an actual strategy, and that strategy was in three parts. And the primary part was to break down the nuclear family. And in the United States, where they implemented this, that’s what they taught.
Now, the original gay movement in the U.S., back that was getting started in the late 1940s, their original goal, articulated by Dale Jennings of the Mattachine Society was quote, ‘The right to be left alone.’ I always supported that. In 1968, with the Stonewall riot on Christopher Street in New York City, they shifted their focus from tolerance, from asking for tolerance, to demanding the ability and the power to transform all of society in their own image and to take their model of sexual anarchy into the mainstream.
The idea that heterosexuals now have a dramatically higher divorce rate, that’s true. That’s because, in the 1960s, the gay model of sexual anarchy was introduced and the heterosexuals adopted the gay model. That’s what’s going on.
Later in the interview, Lively said that “if we actually followed what God instructed us to do,” we wouldn’t have “the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today.” When Boylan asked him if that included the biblical view that women should be subservient to their husbands, Lively responded, “Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.”
When pressed, he clarified, “The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president.”
Lively: I believe the Bible, I live by the Bible, I believe that the problems that we’re dealing with in our society today, if we actually followed what God instructed us to do, we wouldn’t have these problems.
Boylan: So, if men turned around and believed that women were subservient, for example, because that’s what the Bible tells men to believe. Do you think we’d have a good society?
Lively: Well, I believe that God did create and order. That Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife, and families that follow that model have beautiful, wonderful lives.
Boylan: How do you think modern society would work? So, do you think modern society could still work like that? With women of this world who now have, thankfully, careers and rights and they can vote. You believe that they should still be subservient to men?
Lively: See, once again, you’re talking about terminology. When I say ‘submission,’ I don’t mean subservience. The Biblical model of men and women, husbands and wives, is not master and servant. It’s president and vice president. Right? That’s how it works.
Near the end of the interview, Lively launched into the slippery slope argument that legalizing marriage equality will “open the door to lots of other deviant sexual conduct,” like “polygamy, polyamory, incest, pederasty, even pedophilia.”
“You’re not suggesting that if we vote yes for same-sex marriage that in 20 years’ time the world will become so liberal that we will allow people to have sex and marry twelve-year-olds,” Boylan said.
“It won’t be twenty years, it will be five years,” Lively responded.
Lively apparently hasn’t noticed that ten years after his home state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, pedophilia is still illegal.
WASHINGTON – In response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to veto Senate Bill 1062, a measure that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, People For the American Way president Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“Almost four years after Arizona shocked the country with its anti-immigrant ‘show me your papers’ law, yesterday Governor Brewer avoided making her state the national leader, once again, in state-sponsored discrimination.
“In Arizona and across the country, Americans can see through the Right’s continued attempts to cloak anti-gay bigotry in the language of First Amendment rights. We hope that the pushback Arizona received this week will be a message, loud and clear, to the states with similar bills pending. Americans don’t want to live in a country where businesses have free rein to post a ‘No Gays’ sign.”
In the past week, tens of thousands of PFAW members and activists spoke out and urged Governor Brewer to veto the bill.
Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, is a little upset about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision last night to veto a bill that would have expanded the ability of business owners to discriminate against LGBT people and others.
“Tyranny is on the march,” Phillips declares in a piece on the TPN website that he also emailed to members of the group, adding that business owners who are not allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians are “slaves” to the “great liberal state,” aided by “French Republicans” like Brewer.
“The left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness,’” he writes.
Phillips then wonders if business owners will be forced to “create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it,” “create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic],” or “photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior.”
The left and the homosexual lobby in America went into overdrive to kill this bill. Conservatives rallied for this bill and Governor Brewer opted for cowardice instead of courage.
Why is this bill so important and what did it mean for not only Arizona but America?
The issue can be boiled down to one word: Freedom.
A free man or woman controls their labor. A slave has no control over their labor. A free man or woman decides who they will work for and under what conditions. The slave cannot.
The left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of “tolerance” and “inclusiveness.”
Immediately the left and the homosexual lobby went into high dudgeon. Arizona’s SB1062 must be defeated because Americans really are no longer free and must be forced to serve the great liberal state, regardless of their beliefs.
The storm rose against Arizona and Jan Brewer proved she was no Ronald Reagan. She has an honored place in the ranks of the French Republicans.
The left loves to come up with absurd hypotheticals to scream that there must be compliance with their fascism, so how about a couple from our side.
Should a devote baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic]? Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior? Would they force a Jewish photographer to work a Klan or Nazi event? How about forcing a Muslim caterer to work a pork barbeque dinner?
SB1062 is a bigger story than simply the story of a cowardly governor who has no core beliefs.
SB1062 is the story of liberalism at work in America.
Liberalism is the paranoid belief that leftists have that somewhere, someone may be thinking for themselves. It is the tyrannical belief that no deviation in belief is allowed from the decreed orthodoxy.
It is the antithesis of liberty.
It is tyranny on the march.
WASHINGTON – In response to a federal judge striking down Texas’ ban on marriage for same-sex couples, People For the American Way Foundation president Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is one more strong point in an argument that’s getting clearer and clearer every day: this ain’t the Texas of old.
“In my native Texas and across the nation, Americans are increasingly coming to see that blocking committed couples from the responsibilities and protections of civil marriage causes real, and needless, harm to families. More and more people are coming to the same conclusion: banning same-sex couples from getting married is unfair, dangerous and contrary to the core principles of our Constitution.”
In another win for the marriage equality movement, today U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The judge wrote that "Texas' current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.”
The Washington Post reports:
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did not say gay marriages could be performed immediately. Instead, he stayed the decision, citing a likely appeal.
"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote in his decision. "These Texas laws deny Plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."
Similar bans have been struck down in states across the country – most recently in Virginia less than two weeks ago. Today’s victory in a state with a whopping 26 million residents brings us one important step closer to nationwide marriage equality.