Fighting the Right

PFAW Memo: Debunking the GOP’s Disinformation Campaign on Judicial Obstruction

To: Interested Parties
From: Marge Baker, People For the American Way
Date: May 9, 2012
Subject: Debunking the GOP’s Disinformation Campaign on Judicial Obstruction

On Monday, 150 Americans from 27 states met in the White House with senior Administration officials and spent the day lobbying their senators to end the obstruction of qualified judicial nominees. For those Republican senators who may have thought the obstruction that is keeping our court system from functioning properly had gone unnoticed, it must have been an unpleasant surprise to learn their constituents are paying attention.

In response, Senate Republicans are throwing out a lot of irrelevant numbers and misleading comparisons in a desperate attempt to fog the issue, but they are plainly unable to rebut the clear fact that their constituents have noticed: that Republicans are needlessly obstructing judicial nominations.

For instance, because President Bush’s confirmed nominees at this point in his term were processed so much more quickly and fairly than have President Obama’s, the Republican Policy Committee concocts an excuse to ignore that inconvenient truth. They say we should be comparing President Obama’s first term to President Bush’s second term, because both saw two Supreme Court nominations that took up a lot of committee and Senate resources.

That lets them point out that President Obama has had more lower court confirmations in his first term than President Bush did in his second. But there is a reason Bush had fewer judges confirmed in his second term: There were fewer vacancies. When Bush entered office, there were 80 vacancies in the federal courts, a number he cut down to 37 by the end of his first term. In contrast, because of Republican obstruction, the number of vacancies began to climb sharply when President Obama became the person making the nominations, and it has remained at crisis levels his entire time in office.

In addition, although Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were confirmed in 2009 and 2010, the slow-walking of lower court nominations continued in ensuing years. In the 112th Congress, which began five months after Kagan’s confirmation, nominees have been held up on the floor more than three months on average, even if they are unopposed.

Republicans also blame President Obama for not making enough nominations. But the political reality is that the president needs the approval of home state senators if a nomination is to even get a committee hearing. And contrary to the practice of President Bush, the current White House actually consults home state senators in an effort to find consensus nominees. If GOP senators won’t work with the president to identify candidates who they can all agree on, the president is not the one to blame.

In any event, finding a nominee for every vacancy would not solve the bottleneck that Republicans have created at the end of the confirmation process. There are currently 19 nominees on the Senate calendar awaiting votes who could be confirmed today if the Republican leadership gave their consent.

But perhaps the most disingenuous talking point comes from Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. In yesterday’s floor debate on the confirmation of Kristine Baker to a district court in Arkansas – whose nomination has been pending on the floor since February – he says a Bush nominee to the same district was treated far worse:

I would note that President Bush’s nominee, J. Leon Holmes, sat on the executive calendar for more than 14 months awaiting confirmation. From nomination, his confirmation took over 17 months. Again, why was President Bush’s nominee treated worse than this President’s nominee?

Sen. Grassley isn’t comparing apples and oranges – he’s comparing apples and skyscrapers. Holmes was so controversial that even the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee did not approve of his nomination. In a rare step reflecting serious concerns about the merits of the nomination, a sharply divided committee voted 10-9 to forward it to the floor without a formal endorsement. After that, it was the Republicans who then controlled the Senate who delayed the confirmation vote for more than a year, fearing the Senate would reject Holmes. When he was finally confirmed in 2004, it was by a 51-46 vote.

So Republicans delayed a vote on Holmes because he was extremely divisive and lacked support in the Senate. In contrast, Kristine Baker – who cleared committee with a 17-1 vote and was confirmed by a bipartisan voice vote – was delayed by Republicans because of the Sotomayor and Kagan confirmations?

Republicans cannot deny that they are making President Obama’s judicial nominations wait more than 4 times longer for votes than was the case at this point in the Bush presidency, even though most of them are consensus nominees with strong bipartisan support. Their efforts to distract the American people from that stark fact resemble the Wizard of Oz trying to get Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Ultimately, though, this isn’t about statistics. It’s about people. It’s about the people who count on having their day in court, only to learn first-hand that justice delayed is justice denied. It’s the victims of predatory lending practices, consumer fraud, environmental destruction, and civil rights violations. It’s the business owners who can’t get relief from anti-competitive activities, can’t complete their mergers, and can’t enforce their contracts. This is about Americans across the nation who deserve a justice system that works.

Press contact: Miranda Blue, media@pfaw.org, (202) 467-4999

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Pat Robertson Prays to Free People from the 'So-Called Homosexual Lifestyle'

Today the 700 Club aired a story about a woman who claims that after converting to Christianity she quit drinking and the “lesbian lifestyle,” which she said was brought about by child abuse, and married a man. Following the segment televangelist Pat Robertson prayed for gays and lesbians and linked homosexuality to child molestation: “So many people who are in the so-called homosexual lifestyle found that some camp counselor, some coach, some older person, older teenager or whatever, had started them on the road to homosexuality.”

Later, Robertson said those who are “involved in a lesbian relationship or a homosexual relationship or got tendencies” should join him in prayer “to turn away from that which is displeasing in Your sight” and to “set me free from whatever would bind me.”

Watch:

Ken Cuccinelli Praises Far-Right 'LifeSiteNews,' says Website is 'the Homepage for one of the Computers in our House'

The ultraconservative website LifeSiteNews today is boasting that Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia and a leading candidate for Governor, told a gathering of activists from groups such as the American Life League and the Campaign Life Coalition, which founded LifeSiteNews, that he uses the website as part of his anti-choice activism:

Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is one of the rising stars on the national pro-life stage – and he reads and supports LifeSiteNews.com.

LifeSiteNews.com is “the homepage for one of the computers in our house,” the eloquent lawyer and former Virginia state senator told a gathering of influential members of the pro-life movement at the website’s 15 anniversary gala in Herndon, Virginia, on April 28. During his 20-minute speech to a special VIP event before the banquet dinner, he said to advocates for the unborn, “You’ve got to have the tools, the information. That’s what you get from LifeSiteNews.”

He said that often when reading the website’s stories he says to himself, “I haven’t read this anywhere else.”

“I’m very appreciative of that fact,” he said. “And we use it. And we’ve learned from it.”



He closed by thanking LifeSiteNews.com founder Steve Jalsevac by name and “all the reporters…for the work you all do to give us that ammunition to convert the other side in the battle we’re in for life.”

This is the same website that demanded the Catholic Church excommunicate Democratic politicians, maintained that feminists were to blame for the Costa Concordia disaster, compares gays and lesbians to pagans and fervently supports ex-gay ‘reparative’ therapy. Jalsevac even asked for donations to promote “freedom from the homosexual lifestyle”:

With the enthusiastic help of the rich, the powerful, and the famous, and the all-too-willing mainstream media, the tactics of the “gay pride” agenda are proving to be frighteningly successful - to the detriment of the family, traditional sexual ethics…and our freedoms.

Have no doubt about it. Many gay rights activists are not satisfied with mere “tolerance” - they want acceptance, even if it tramples on our basic rights. Already we are seeing devout Christians losing jobs, being fined, and being ostracized, simply for speaking up in defense of the family.



As I was standing watching Sunday’s Gay Pride parade, I was filled with sadness for all the lost, confused souls who were participating in it.

The fact is, despite the unprecedented levels of social acceptance for homosexuality, the gay community continues to be plagued by soaring levels of deadly sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, depression, and suicide. And no wonder!

We know that only God can provide the peace and happiness for which we all crave. What could be more opposed to this than the promiscuous gay lifestyle?

As our editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen, wrote last week, it isn’t acceptance that homosexuals need. It’s freedom from the homosexual lifestyle, and all its dangers and miseries.



So please, for our culture, our children, and for the homosexuals themselves, who are in need of God’s love and freedom from the homosexual lifestyle, please consider making a donation to LSN today.

Fischer 'Apologizes' to Romney, Gives Him Credit for Grenell's Resignation

There is no question that Bryan Fischer played a key role in the resignation of Richard Grenell from his position with Mitt Romney's campaign, as Fischer had  been relentlessly attacking the campaign for having hired an openly gay man to serve as foreign policy and national security spokesman.

And when Grenell finally resigned, Fischer declared it to be a "huge win," saying that the Religious Right had taught Romney a lesson and that the campaign would not make this sort of "mistake again."

And then on Friday, Fischer capped off the crusade by essentially mocking Romney for having caved on this issue to "a yokel like me," saying that his handling of the Grenell situation was now raising questions about Romney's leadership abilities since it showed that he could be "pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America."

But apparently Fischer has since realized that demanding concessions from politicians and then mocking those politicians when then make the very concessions that you demanded might be somewhat hypocritical ... and so yesterday Fischer offered an amazingly back-handed "apology" to Romney, saying that even though the entire fiasco demonstrated Romney's weakness and utter lack of core values, he still deserves credit for having done the right thing in letting Grenell go:

I want to issue what amounts to sort of an apology to Gov. Romney. I was pretty hard on him on Friday and my point on Friday was his waffling when conservatives raised a concern about Richard Grenell - he went silent, he put a bag over Richard Grenell's head, let him fall on his sword, only said supportive things to Richard Grenell after he had resigned - it was an indication of the challenges that we have with Gov. Romney, that he does not seem to have a core set of principles, a core set of values by which he guides himself. And the fact that he could be so - I used the word intimidated or coerced or whatever - could be so influenced by a comparatively small number of conservatives ... and so I think it was illustrative of Gov. Romney's weaknesses and things that we've got to be concerned about.

But, at the end of the day, I didn't make enough of the fact that he did the right thing here. Now, regardless of why he did it - most likely, it was for reasons that are politically expedient - but he did the right thing. He allowed this resignation to take place, probably had some hand in bringing it about; I cannot believe that they were entirely passive in that. But here's the point: at the end of the day, Richard Grenell had stepped down, this homosexual activist, this crusader for gay marriage had stepped down and Romney could have taken a different tack. So I want to give Romney credit for doing that. Now, you'd like to know that he did it on the grounds of principle and conviction and all that - I believe that would kind of be a bridge too far - but nevertheless, Gov. Romney did the thing that he should have done.

Mitt Romney Caved to the Religious Right and This is the Thanks He Gets

Last week, in response to pressure from the Religous Right -- much of which was documented by PFAW's Right Wing Watch -- the Romney campaign forced out an openly gay spokesman who had been on the job for less than two weeks.

While the Romney campaign attempted to deny that right-wing pressure led to the spokesman's resignation, news reports suggested that that is exactly what happened.

But Romney's effort to appease the anti-gay right didn't even work. Right Wing Watch caught a clip of the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, the leading critic of the candidate's decision to hire an openly gay spokesperson, criticizing Romney for listening to him. "How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me?" Fischer demanded.

Earlier this week, Lawrence O'Donnell played and discussed the Fischer clip on his show. Watch:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

PFAW

Maybe She Wishes Romney's Position Wasn't So Clear

The Republican National Committee’s Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclan sparked a mini-firestorm today when she told reporters that she could not comment on Romney’s immigration positions because “he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is.”  She later tried to clean up the mess by tweeting that she was mistaken, and that his position was clear, linking to his website

Unfortunately for Romney and for the RNC’s Hispanic outreach, his position is all too clear: he opposes not only “amnesty” but all “magnets” – such as the DREAM Act or in-state tuition for students whose parents brought them here as children.  Romney has backed legislation, like Arizona’s, that has the goal of making life for undocumented immigrants so miserable that they will choose to “self-deport.”  That’s a bit much even for some right-wing activists, including some of those at the Freedom Federation’s recent Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida, where one speaker called the “self-deportation” approach “cruel” and “unbiblical” and where the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land called the GOP’s positions on immigration policy “dismal” and “indefensible.”

GOP Newsletter Calls for Armed Revolution if Obama Re-Elected

The Greene County, Virginia Republican Committee publishes a monthly newsletter for members called “The Constitutional Conservatives.” The newsletter is heavy on Tea Party rhetoric about how Obama and liberals are ruining America, and so forth. But even by these standards, an item in the March newsletter stands out.

In the “Whitehouse Watchdog” column, editor Ponch McPhee says that America cannot survive four more years under Obama, a “political socialist ideologue” who is “unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.” McPhee argues that Americans will have no option “but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:”
We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.
 
An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.
 
An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.
 
In the coming days and weeks  ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.
 
If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals  ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.
 
The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware  ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
The Greene County GOP apparently realizes that McPhee and the newsletter are a potential liability, judging by the disclaimer on the back page claiming that views expressed are individual only. But that’s a cop-out. They should either stand behind McPhee’s insane views about armed insurrection or find an editor who represents their real views.

 

Wisconsin Republicans Rally Against the Recall

Over the weekend, Republicans and right-wing activists gathered for a rally in Oshkosh, WI. The Oshkosh Northwestern filmed the event, and our friends at We Are Wisconsin PAC clipped some highlights (below).

The rally seems to have consisted of right-wing politicians spewing one distortion after another about the Walker administration’s policies and their opponents’ intentions. The interviews with the audience members unfortunately show a typical “tea party” misunderstanding of the issues, and that Republicans’ talking points about collective bargaining and teachers’ health benefits have taken root with at least the party’s avid supporters.

Some of the highlights included in the video above show U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde angrily railing against public unions (and completely rewriting the history of Scott Walker’s union busting in the process), a downright bizarre song-and-dance number mocking the protests against the Walker administration’s anti-middle class policies and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch noting the national importance of the recall elections. (Kleefisch begins 1:54 into the video.)

You can support PFAW’s Recall the Right campaign to send Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his right-wing cronies packing on June 5 here >>

 

 

 

PFAW

Lila Rose Pledges to 'Take Out Planned Parenthood' and Do Battle with the 'Lie of Satan'

This week anti-choice activist Lila Rose of Live Action, best known for her deceptive attacks against Planned Parenthood, is the featured guest of televangelist James Robison on Life Today, where she called for the church to “rise up” because “this is our country.” Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has reported “a string of suspicious incidents” at their clinics “in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions.” While it is unclear who is behind the hoax visits, it is very similar to Live Action’s visits of Planned Parenthood clinics posing as sex traffickers, which Planned Parenthood reported to the FBI.

Just as Robison and Rose talked about how “the enemy” is trying to make Christians disinterested in politics, Rose told the audience at Awakening 2012 that she is battling the “lie of Satan” that is meant to “discourage us” because “he doesn’t want our nation to be a nation under God.” Rose also claimed that she intends to “take out Planned Parenthood” until “they are no longer operating in our communities.”

Watch:

We’re facing many challenges, I know with the election coming up with our president, we need a new president. We need to take out Planned Parenthood, we need to stop funding them, we need to make sure they are no longer operating in our communities.



The whole lie that we don’t need Christ, or that there’s no hope for us, there’s no hope for the girl that’s struggling, there’s no hope for the trafficking victim, there’s no hope for the unborn child, there’s no hope for our country, it’s a lie. I believe it’s a direct lie, it’s a lie of Satan himself, because he wants to discourage us and because he doesn’t want our nation to be a nation under God.

Perkins: Pray that Dan Savage will Become a 'Modern Day Saul of Tarsus'

Peter LaBarbera was the guest on the American Family Association's "Today's Issues" radio program today where he, Tim Wildmon, and Tony Perkins discussed the Religious Right's on-going campaign against Dan Savage. 

After the interview ended and before the guest for the following segment was introduced, Perkins took a moment to urge listeners to place Savage at the top of their prayer list in hopes that Savage will be "blinded by the light" and become a "modern day Saul of Tarsus":

I would put out this challenge to folks who are listening: to put Dan Savage on the top of your prayer list and pray for him because I believe he has the potential to be a modern day Saul of Tarsus. I mean, just think if the Lord got a hold of his heart and changed him and turned him from persecuting Christians to being an advocate of Christianity and morality, what a huge impact that would have. So don't get angry at Dan Savage; he's doing what people do when they're lost. Pray for him that he would see the light, be blinded by the light, and come to know Christ as his personal savior.

UPDATE: “Gut and go” used to move up proof of citizenship in Kansas

A Kansas Senate committee put the brakes on efforts to move up proof of citizenship for voter registration – until a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” brought it back to life. As of May 8, it’s one step closer to Governor Brownback’s desk.
PFAW Foundation

Mat Staver Warns Anti-Bullying Provisions Will Punish Believers of 'Normal Sexuality'

Today on Faith & Freedom, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber railed against Dan Savage, with Barber reminiscing that “there used to be a time when we arrested middle aged men who got their jollies talking dirty to children” and accusing Savage of trying to “poison” the minds of children. Staver warned that anti-bullying measures will even lead to students who oppose “homosexuality or any kind of deviation outside of normal sexuality” being punished and suspended from school.

Watch:

Barber: You know there used to be a time when we arrested middle aged men who got their jollies talking dirty to children, well Dan Savage does that for a living.... This is a forty-seven year-old self-identified homosexual who advocates publicly, he advocates what he calls non-monogamy, he advocates having the occasional three-way tryst, this is a guy who is a sex columnist who MTV has given a platform to reach out to our children and to put this poison in their minds.



Staver: What he has done here and what I think this really unmasks is what ultimately is behind some of these anti-bullying laws: it is reverse bullying, it is the opportunity to use a club to people who are Christians or have moral convictions with regards to homosexuality or any kind of deviation outside of normal sexuality. Anybody who believes that sexuality outside of normal sexuality with a man and a woman in a husband and wife relationship will ultimately be the target of bullying, they will be ridiculed, they will be attacked, they will be punished, they will be sent to the principal’s office, they will be disciplined, they will be suspended, they will be ultimately forced to accept that agenda and that was exactly what was unmasked here with Dan Savage.

ADF: 'North Carolina Marriage Amendment Will Help Promote' the Decline of Domestic Violence

After Ohio passed a marriage amendment in 2004, which not only enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s Constitution but also barred legal recognition of any union outside of opposite-sex marriage “that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage,” a judge struck down part of the state’s domestic violence law because it “recognizes the relationship between an unmarried offender and victim as one ‘approximating the significance or effect of marriage.’”

Like in Ohio, North Carolina’s Amendment One similarly prohibits the state from recognizing any union besides opposite-sex marriage and could potentially have a devastating impact on domestic violence laws. Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jordan Lorence is out today with a column defending Amendment One, which voters will decide on today, and arguing that banning same-sex marriages and protections for unmarried couples, gay or straight, “would help promote” the goal of stopping domestic violence:

The distorted, fear-mongering claim that the marriage amendment will protect those who batter their unmarried partners from criminal prosecution is simply false and has been effectively refuted. This claim has not come true in any of the 30 states that have approved marriage amendments. Anyone who beats up another he lives with should be prosecuted criminally.

But there is a bigger issue here: multiple studies show that women in unmarried relationships and their children are more likely to suffer domestic violence than women married to the biological father of their children. We as a compassionate people need to warn our neighbors about living arrangements that expose them to physical harm. State authorities must prosecute batterers, but prevention is better. Approving the North Carolina marriage amendment would help promote this goal.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Republican state legislator Paul Stam said the ADF “overruled” an effort to pass “a more narrowly worded amendment.”

Lila Rose: The Church Must 'Rise Up' Because 'This is Our Nation'

Hailed as "the Upton Sinclair of this generation" by her Religious Right elders, Lila Rose has been at the forefront of right-wing video guerrilla activism, targeting groups like Planned Parenthood and then releasing selectively edited footage designed to promote her anti-abortion crusade.

Rose, who believes that all abortions ought to be performed in public, has been the guest on James Robison's "Life Today" television program for the last few days, where the two discussed the need for Christians to take the lead in efforts to outlaw abortion with Robison warning that "the Enemy of life, the Enemy of truth" has politicized the issue in order to intimidate Christians into remaining silent, as Rose declared that it was time for the Church to rise up because "this is our nation":

Robison: Don't you think it is a tactic of the enemy of life, the enemy of truth, to try to get something politicized, even though it is spiritual, moral, it is a matter of life, if they can get it politicized then they think they've discounted, dismissed, or written off or discouraged people in the faith community and those who are committed to family from being involved because it's become a political issue. Don't you think that has kept a lot of people out of the fray, so to speak, and from speaking, that's why a lot of people are not even registered or involved? They just say, look at all the dirty stuff that goes on politically so they stay out of it and it just gets worse. Don't you think that's the biggest mistake believers can make is to stay out of the battle for life and not be involved in choosing our leaders and insists that we make the right decisions and the right choices?

Rose: It's crazy what we've allowed. So I think now more than ever the church does need to rise up. We need leaders of faith to stand up and say, "Enough is enough." This is our nation. This is a nation founded under God for the protection of human life because they are endowed by their creator with these rights and we need to remind people this is a country that is based on Judeo-Christian values. That the reason that we're great is because we value human life; we see human beings as being made in the image of God, human beings as being stamped with that beautiful mark of the creator God, and we need to remind people of that otherwise our nation won't succeed.

Anti-Gay Activist Calls Bill Limiting Reparative Therapy 'Hateful Toward Children'

Last week the Pacific Justice Institute came out against legislation limiting the discredited and harmful “ex-gay” reparative therapy by decrying the bill as a “gross and outrageous violation against humanity” and an “egregious attack on children and youth,” and today Save California president Randy Thomasson is entering the fray. In an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Thomasson dubbed the measure “hateful toward children” that will particularly impact “molested boys or confused boys.” Despite trying to appear as an advocate for children, Thomasson opposed legal protections for children of same-sex couples, calling them “absolute insanity,” and blamed openly gay fifteen year-old Lawerence King for his own murder by a classmate.

A family leader says proponents of a California bill are being "hateful" by preventing patients from receiving the gender counseling they may need.

Today the California Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB 1172, a bill authored by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu that would restrict therapists from offering "sexual orientation-change" counseling even if patients are seeking such help. The bill would ban sexual orientation-change efforts for patients under the age of 18, require a consent form for adults, and penalize professionals who continue with such counseling procedures without informed consent

Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com describes the legislation as "unloving."

"It's actually hateful toward children of stopping parents from seeking help for their molested boys or confused boys, [and] stopping loving Christian professionals from helping people charitably with their hearts and professionally through their services," he explains.

Thomassson also contends the bill would stop psychologists from offering assistance to juveniles who may be struggling with homosexuality and want a way out. "Children with sexual-identity struggles get depressed by someone telling them they are locked into sexual behavior instead of informing them that they have freedom to make healthy choices," he says.

SB 1172, Thomasson warns, will "depress and harm struggling children instead of giving them a chance at freedom."

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has alsocome out against passage of SB 1172, saying it inaccurately represents the science of sexual orientation change efforts, restricts the rights of parents in caring for their minor children, and usurps the role of mental health organizations and licensing boards in providing oversight.

More good news on the voting rights front, this time in Louisiana

Judge Jane Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled in Ferrand that the National Voter Registration Act requires public assistance agencies to offer all clients the opportunity to register to vote, including those that have remote contact, not just those that seek services in-person.
PFAW Foundation

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/7/12

  • North Carolina voters tomorrow will decide the fate of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and all forms of civil unions and domestic partnerships.
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus today said “you can’t federalize” the marriage issue, which contradicts the stance of majority of Republicans and Mitt Romney who back a Federal Marriage Amendment.
  • The Catholic League says it convinced Delta to stop advertising on “The Daily Show,” but Delta insists the group had nothing to do with it.
  • Glenn Beck will address Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Conference in June.

Scott Lively Defends his Anti-Gay Activism in Uganda while Denying Role in Crafting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

In an interview on Friday with Janet Mefferd, Religious Right activist Scott Lively repeatedly maintained that he had no role in crafting Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill, which included a provision requiring capital punishment for gay people, and lashed out at a lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Center for Constitutional Rights over his role in the legislation.

He reiterated his assertion that George Soros and allied “globalists” were trying to “kick off a sexual revolution” in Uganda because they were upset about the growth of Christianity in the country, and said that in response to the “flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country” Ugandan officials “decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already illegal, they needed to strengthen the law [criminalizing homosexuality] and just sort of put their foot down.” Lively said he participated in a 2009 anti-gay conference to “prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill”:

Lively: Uganda after Idi Amin had a Christian revival, they are still having a Christian revival, the president is a Christian, his wife is a very strong Christian, Janet Museveni, and as a result of that they went from having the highest AIDS rate to having the lowest AIDS rate in Africa. And of course that began to make waves around the world and it really upset the apple cart of the globalists, the George Soros types that use the sexual revolution as a way to bring countries under their sway. So when Uganda did this, they began trying to interject themselves into the country and kick off a sexual revolution there, starting with pornography. Back in 2002, I just by divine appointment became the keynote speaker for their first national conference on pro-family issues, it was against pornography and obscenity, it was the top people of the country, Cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices; it was quite an honor to have been there, someone else canceled out and I got a phone call asking if I would go. Because of that, some of my enemies and there’s actually a documentary that labels me the ‘father of the Ugandan pro-family movement’ as a result of that.

What I told them was what I had learned in the United States, where this was coming from, who was behind this effort in their country—which they didn’t know—and how to respond to it. So they began at that point, you know, paying attention and sure enough that was what was going on. Over the next seven years they were not able to stop the flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country as a result of their efforts, and by this time you’ve got homosexual men from the United States and from Europe going into Uganda and messing with the boys, there was a lot of sex tourism now as a result of this. So they decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already legal, they need to strengthen the law and just sort of put their foot down. So this conference in 2009, in March, was to prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill.

Right before a commercial break, Lively suggested that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill law wasn’t as bad as reported because, according to Lively, countries in Africa tend to “have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts”:

Mefferd: It’s very important, as you pointed out, that you opposed this aspect of the bill that would impose the death penalty on a homosexual but this is what they’ve sort of zoned in on that in some respects you’re responsible for that, isn’t that the case?

Lively: That’s true. People need to understand that even though this really sort of offends our sensibilities when we hear of a law that that’s harsh, but it’s very, very typical of Africa, African nations have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts.

Update: Lively later said that he proposed a bill that would make homosexuals either go to so-called ex-gay reparative therapy or face imprisonment, telling them to use an Oregon law that offers people arrested for drunk driving the choice of rehab or jail time as a model:

Mefferd: When you go back to 2009 and what you actually said during the conference, was there anything that you did say at that time that gave them actual fodder for screaming and yelling, do you regret anything you said—

Lively: No, no, no.

Mefferd: Or do you stand by what you said?

Lively: First of all as regards to the bill, the bill hadn’t been written yet, I had an opportunity, I spoke to members of the Ugandan Parliament in their assembly hall, and there was several other speakers and the minister of ethics and integrity was there and he made a few comments. My suggestion was, rather than focusing on punishment, you should focus on therapy. I gave my own personal testimony, before I became a Christian, an instrumental factor was I got arrested for drunk driving and they gave me the option in Oregon of taking diversion, as they called it, or losing my license and going to jail. I chose the therapy option, it was one of the best things that ever happened, it was in that rehab center that I got down on my knees and surrendered my life to Christ, so I gave that as my testimony to the Ugandans saying this is the model you should follow, you could be the first country in the world to offer this as a standard, a national standard, that we want to help people overcome this sin.
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