Marriage Equality

Pat Robertson's Thanksgiving Message: Gay Rights Are Leading To America's Destruction

“The 700 Club” today ran a story about the religious faith of the pilgrims, which prompted Pat Robertson to warn that everything that the pilgrims and the founding fathers worked to build would be destroyed by the success of gay rights — or “aberrant lifestyles” — in the courts.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our warning should be today, we can’t lose that,” he said. “And when you have courts that are taking away the very essence of our democracy, the ground from which this great country came, when courts are saying that is unconstitutional, when they’re exulting aberrant lifestyles and saying that’s constitutional, when they’re defying the very essence of this nation, they are sowing the seeds, not of a new, prosperous nation but the destruction of the one that’s already here.”

 

In Mississippi Marriage Ruling, Judge Gives History Lesson on Anti-Gay Discrimination

The federal court ruling striking down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples getting married is worth reading for many reasons. Paul wrote earlier at People For the American Way's blog about U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’s compelling explanation of the role of the courts in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights. The ruling is also filled with rich historical detail about the extent to which the state of Mississippi and the federal government have discriminated against LGBT citizens over the years, as well as the ways in which groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the notorious Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission used anti-gay rhetoric and innuendo in their attacks on African American civil rights leaders and institutions.

This history is an important rebuttal to bogus claims by anti-gay activists that gay people do not need to have their rights protected in law because they have never suffered from discrimination.

Quotes from the opinion, with citations removed for readability:

Any claim that Mississippians quietly accommodated gay and lesbian citizens could no longer be made in the 1960s, when prejudice against homosexuals (and other groups) became more visible during the civil rights movement. Segregationists called their opponents “racial  perverts,” while U.S. Marshals – summoned to enforce civil rights – were labeled “sadists and  perverts.” Klan propaganda tied together “Communists, homosexuals, and Jews, fornicators and liberals and angry blacks – infidels all.”

One Klan photo showed a black man touching the crotch of the white man sitting next to him, attempting to make the link between racial equality and homosexuality explicit.

Civil rights leaders had predicted the attack. In selecting the Freedom Riders, James Farmer had conducted interviews to weed out “Communists, homosexuals, [and] drug addicts.” “We had to screen them very carefully because we knew that if they found anything to throw at us, they would throw it,” he explained.

This reflected society’s notion that homosexuals were “undesirables.” It also placed civil rights leaders in the position of seeking rights for one disenfranchised group while simultaneously seeking to avoid association with another disenfranchised group. Mississippians opposed to integration harassed several civil rights leaders for their homosexuality. Bill Higgs was a prominent gay Mississippi civil rights lawyer. He was targeted for his activism, convicted in absentia of delinquency of a minor, and threatened with “unlimited  jailings” should he ever return to Mississippi.

He never did.

Reeves also discusses the case of Bayard Rustin, the openly gay African American civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The most interesting part of Rustin’s story, though – and the reason why he merits more discussion here – is that he was subjected to anti-gay discrimination by both white and black people, majority and minority alike. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, a black Democrat, threatened to feed the media a false story that Rustin was having an affair with Martin Luther King, Jr., unless Dr. King canceled a protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Other persons within the civil rights movement were similarly “put off by Rustin’s homosexuality.” Roy Wilkins, an NAACP executive, “was particularly nasty to Bayard Rustin – very hostile,” in part because he “was very nervous about Bayard’s homosexuality.” Dr. King eventually had Rustin resign “because of persistent criticism of Rustin’s homosexuality and Communist ties and because of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell’s threat.”

Rustin reemerged years later as one of the principal organizers of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph and Dr. King wanted Rustin as the march’s chief organizer, but Wilkins pushed back “because [Rustin] was gay . . . something which in particular would offend J. Edgar Hoover.” The group ultimately “decided Randolph would be in charge of the march, that Rustin would be the principal organizer, but that he would stay somewhat in the background.”

The concern about offending Hoover was prescient, as the FBI Director and other top officials soon moved to use Rustin’s homosexuality against him. In August 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and President John F. Kennedy urgently reviewed the transcript of a FBI wiretap in which Dr. King acknowledged Rustin’s homosexuality. A day later, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina “rose in the Senate to denounce Rustin for sexual perversion, vagrancy, and lewdness.” FBI “headquarters badgered the field offices for new details” of Rustin’s sex life for months.

As Reeves makes clear, this kind of persecution was not only reserved for civil rights activists.

Rustin’s story speaks to the long tradition of Americans from all walks of life uniting to discriminate against homosexuals. It did not matter if one was liberal or conservative, segregationist or civil rights leader, Democrat or Republican; homosexuals were “the other.” Being homosexual invited scrutiny and professional consequences.

These consequences befell quite a few Mississippians. Ted Russell, the conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, lost his job and his Belhaven College faculty position after he was caught in a gay sex sting by the Jackson Police Department. In the early 1980s, Congressman Jon Hinson drew scrutiny for frequenting an X-rated gay movie theater in Washington, D.C., and although he won reelection, he resigned when he returned to Washington and was caught performing gay sex acts in a Capitol Hill bathroom. As early as 1950, the State’s flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Mississippi, “forced three homosexual students and one faculty member to leave the university” because it “did not tolerate homosexuality.” Lesbian instructors at Mississippi University for Women were pushed out of their jobs, while students at other Mississippi public universities were expelled for their homosexuality. A 1979 article on gay Jacksonians said “most” remained closeted because “they fear losing their jobs, friends and families.”

Reeves discusses the anti-gay actions of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which was created in 1956 to maintain racial segregation by any means necessary.

Sovereignty Commission “[i]nvestigators and local officials also targeted local blacks and outsiders involved in civil rights activities as being sexually deviant.” They singled out Rust College, a private historically black institution, on reports that instructors there were “homosexuals and racial agitators.”

Those with power took smaller, yet meaningful, actions to discourage gay organizing and association in Mississippi. The State refused to let gay rights organizations incorporate as nonprofits. The newspaper at Mississippi State University – student-led, with an elected editor – refused to print a gay organization’s advertisement notifying gay and lesbian students of an off-campus “Gay Center” offering “counseling, legal aid and a library of homosexual literature. An advisor to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that the Jackson Police Department took “a series . . . of maneuvers to harass members of Jackson’s gay community.” “As of 1985 not a single university campus in Mississippi recognized a lesbian and gay student group.”

Reeves’s ruling also makes clear that official discrimination is not only in the state’s past.

In 1990, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who declared that a mother, who was a lesbian, could not visit her children in the presence of her female partner. In Weigand v. Houghton, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who refused residential custody to a father in large part because he was in a long-term relationship with another man. A dissent complained that the father’s sexuality had impaired the court’s judgment, since the child would now have to live with “the unemployed stepfather [who] is a convicted felon, drinker, drug-taker, adulterer, wife-beater, and child-threatener, and . . . the mother [who] has been transitory, works two jobs, and has limited time with the child.”

In 2002, one of Mississippi’s justice court judges, frustrated with advances in gay rights in California, Vermont, and Hawaii, “opined that homosexuals belong in mental institutions.” Although he was reprimanded and fined by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated the sanctions. It was more important for gay citizens to know that their judge was biased and seek his recusal than to “forc[e] judges to conceal their prejudice against gays and lesbians,” it wrote. The “Commission urges us to ‘calm the waters’ when, as the guardians of this state’s judicial system, we should be helping our citizens to spot the crocodiles.”

Reeves details a number of recent complaints and lawsuits challenging discriminatory treatment by state and local governments as well as legal inequities such as the fact that Mississippi law permits a single person to adopt a child but not gay or lesbian couples.

This kind of restriction was once supported by pseudoscience. We now recognize that it actually “harms the children, by telling them they don’t have two parents, like other children, and harms the parent who is not the adoptive parent by depriving him or her of the legal status of a parent.”

Reeves concludes the historical section of the ruling this way:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That is as true here as anywhere else. Seven centuries of strong objections to homosexual conduct have resulted in a constellation of State laws that treat gay and lesbian Mississippians as lesser, “other” people. Thus, it is easy to conclude that they have suffered through a long and unfortunate history of discrimination.

Federal Judge Gives History Lesson on Anti-Gay Discrimination

The federal court ruling striking down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples getting married is worth reading for many reasons. Paul wrote earlier about U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’s compelling explanation of the role of the courts in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights. The ruling is also filled with rich historical detail about the extent to which the state of Mississippi and the federal government have discriminated against LGBT citizens over the years, as well as the ways in which groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the notorious Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission used anti-gay rhetoric and innuendo in their attacks on African American civil rights leaders and institutions.

This history is an important rebuttal to bogus claims by anti-gay activists that gay people do not need to have their rights protected in law because they have never suffered from discrimination.

Quotes from the opinion, with citations removed for readability:

Any claim that Mississippians quietly accommodated gay and lesbian citizens could no longer be made in the 1960s, when prejudice against homosexuals (and other groups) became more visible during the civil rights movement. Segregationists called their opponents “racial  perverts,” while U.S. Marshals – summoned to enforce civil rights – were labeled “sadists and  perverts.” Klan propaganda tied together “Communists, homosexuals, and Jews, fornicators and liberals and angry blacks – infidels all.”

One Klan photo showed a black man touching the crotch of the white man sitting next to him, attempting to make the link between racial equality and homosexuality explicit.

Civil rights leaders had predicted the attack. In selecting the Freedom Riders, James Farmer had conducted interviews to weed out “Communists, homosexuals, [and] drug addicts.” “We had to screen them very carefully because we knew that if they found anything to throw at us, they would throw it,” he explained.

This reflected society’s notion that homosexuals were “undesirables.” It also placed civil rights leaders in the position of seeking rights for one disenfranchised group while simultaneously seeking to avoid association with another disenfranchised group. Mississippians opposed to integration harassed several civil rights leaders for their homosexuality. Bill Higgs was a prominent gay Mississippi civil rights lawyer. He was targeted for his activism, convicted in absentia of delinquency of a minor, and threatened with “unlimited  jailings” should he ever return to Mississippi.

He never did.

Reeves also discusses the case of Bayard Rustin, the openly gay African American civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The most interesting part of Rustin’s story, though – and the reason why he merits more discussion here – is that he was subjected to anti-gay discrimination by both white and black people, majority and minority alike. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, a black Democrat, threatened to feed the media a false story that Rustin was having an affair with Martin Luther King, Jr., unless Dr. King canceled a protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Other persons within the civil rights movement were similarly “put off by Rustin’s homosexuality.” Roy Wilkins, an NAACP executive, “was particularly nasty to Bayard Rustin – very hostile,” in part because he “was very nervous about Bayard’s homosexuality.” Dr. King eventually had Rustin resign “because of persistent criticism of Rustin’s homosexuality and Communist ties and because of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell’s threat.”

Rustin reemerged years later as one of the principal organizers of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph and Dr. King wanted Rustin as the march’s chief organizer, but Wilkins pushed back “because [Rustin] was gay . . . something which in particular would offend J. Edgar Hoover.” The group ultimately “decided Randolph would be in charge of the march, that Rustin would be the principal organizer, but that he would stay somewhat in the background.”

The concern about offending Hoover was prescient, as the FBI Director and other top officials soon moved to use Rustin’s homosexuality against him. In August 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and President John F. Kennedy urgently reviewed the transcript of a FBI wiretap in which Dr. King acknowledged Rustin’s homosexuality. A day later, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina “rose in the Senate to denounce Rustin for sexual perversion, vagrancy, and lewdness.” FBI “headquarters badgered the field offices for new details” of Rustin’s sex life for months.

As Reeves makes clear, this kind of persecution was not only reserved for civil rights activists.

Rustin’s story speaks to the long tradition of Americans from all walks of life uniting to discriminate against homosexuals. It did not matter if one was liberal or conservative, segregationist or civil rights leader, Democrat or Republican; homosexuals were “the other.” Being homosexual invited scrutiny and professional consequences.

These consequences befell quite a few Mississippians. Ted Russell, the conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, lost his job and his Belhaven College faculty position after he was caught in a gay sex sting by the Jackson Police Department. In the early 1980s, Congressman Jon Hinson drew scrutiny for frequenting an X-rated gay movie theater in Washington, D.C., and although he won reelection, he resigned when he returned to Washington and was caught performing gay sex acts in a Capitol Hill bathroom. As early as 1950, the State’s flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Mississippi, “forced three homosexual students and one faculty member to leave the university” because it “did not tolerate homosexuality.” Lesbian instructors at Mississippi University for Women were pushed out of their jobs, while students at other Mississippi public universities were expelled for their homosexuality. A 1979 article on gay Jacksonians said “most” remained closeted because “they fear losing their jobs, friends and families.”

Reeves discusses the anti-gay actions of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which was created in 1956 to maintain racial segregation by any means necessary.

Sovereignty Commission “[i]nvestigators and local officials also targeted local blacks and outsiders involved in civil rights activities as being sexually deviant.” They singled out Rust College, a private historically black institution, on reports that instructors there were “homosexuals and racial agitators.”

Those with power took smaller, yet meaningful, actions to discourage gay organizing and association in Mississippi. The State refused to let gay rights organizations incorporate as nonprofits. The newspaper at Mississippi State University – student-led, with an elected editor – refused to print a gay organization’s advertisement notifying gay and lesbian students of an off-campus “Gay Center” offering “counseling, legal aid and a library of homosexual literature. An advisor to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that the Jackson Police Department took “a series . . . of maneuvers to harass members of Jackson’s gay community.” “As of 1985 not a single university campus in Mississippi recognized a lesbian and gay student group.”

Reeves’s ruling also makes clear that official discrimination is not only in the state’s past.

In 1990, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who declared that a mother, who was a lesbian, could not visit her children in the presence of her female partner. In Weigand v. Houghton, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who refused residential custody to a father in large part because he was in a long-term relationship with another man. A dissent complained that the father’s sexuality had impaired the court’s judgment, since the child would now have to live with “the unemployed stepfather [who] is a convicted felon, drinker, drug-taker, adulterer, wife-beater, and child-threatener, and . . . the mother [who] has been transitory, works two jobs, and has limited time with the child.”

 In 2002, one of Mississippi’s justice court judges, frustrated with advances in gay rights in California, Vermont, and Hawaii, “opined that homosexuals belong in mental institutions.” Although he was reprimanded and fined by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated the sanctions. It was more important for gay citizens to know that their judge was biased and seek his recusal than to “forc[e] judges to conceal their prejudice against gays and lesbians,” it wrote. The “Commission urges us to ‘calm the waters’ when, as the guardians of this state’s judicial system, we should be helping our citizens to spot the crocodiles.”

Reeves details a number of recent complaints and lawsuits challenging discriminatory treatment by state and local governments as well as legal inequities such as the fact that Mississippi law permits a single person to adopt a child but not gay or lesbian couples.

This kind of restriction was once supported by pseudoscience. We now recognize that it actually “harms the children, by telling them they don’t have two parents, like other children, and harms the parent who is not the adoptive parent by depriving him or her of the legal status of a parent.”

Reeves concludes the historical section of the ruling this way:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That is as true here as anywhere else. Seven centuries of strong objections to homosexual conduct have resulted in a constellation of State laws that treat gay and lesbian Mississippians as lesser, “other” people. Thus, it is easy to conclude that they have suffered through a long and unfortunate history of discrimination.

PFAW Foundation

Mississippi Judge Striking Down Marriage Ban Explains the Role of Courts

Judge Carlton Reeves explains the importance of the courts while demonstrating how important it is who serves on them.
PFAW Foundation

Tony Perkins: Gay People Are 'Excluding Themselves' From 'Divine And Natural Reality' Of Marriage

Tony Perkins, back from the interfaith conference at the Vatican which he attended along with American anti-gay religious leaders including Rick Warren and Russell Moore, gave an interview reflecting on the experience to the National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez yesterday.

The Family Research Council president told Lopez that at the conference, “Apart from the pope, almost all of the standing ovations were received by American evangelicals.” When Lopez pressed him on whether the Religious Right should soften its stance on gay rights and marriage equality in order to build a movement going forward, Perkins disagreed.

“It is not that religious groups or groups in society are excluding particular individuals” from marriage, Perkins said, “it is that those who reject such complementarity [between men and women] are essentially excluding themselves from this divine and natural reality.”

He added that it's not insulting to imply that homosexuality is "unnatural" because "when it comes to marriage it is contrary to nature.”

Q: It seems difficult if not near impossible these days to talk about men and women and marriage without sounding like you’re excluding those who are attracted to the same sex. Is it in fact an impossible task?

A: I believe this is why the focus of the colloquium was on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” It is not that religious groups or groups in society are excluding particular individuals; it is that those who reject such complementarity are essentially excluding themselves from this divine and natural reality.

Q: When you talk about a natural order, isn’t there a danger of making it seem some are unnatural? That could seem the case with those with same-sex attraction and those who are not married.

A: When it comes to marriage it is contrary to nature.

Q: It still escapes a lot of people why same-sex marriage is a threat to any man and woman’s marriage or marriage itself. If marriage and family are in crisis, why not open it up to more?

A: The crisis in marriage has grown in proportion to the degree to which society has allowed it to deviate from what it was designed to be, a life-long monogamous relationship between one man and one woman.

Tony Perkins Will Join Anti-Gay Leaders At Vatican Marriage Meeting

Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.

The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.

Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.

“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”

He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”

On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.

Peroutka Opponent Hit With Nasty Anti-LGBT Robocall In Final Days Of Campaign

The Democratic opponent of prominent Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist Michael Peroutka in the race for a county council seat in Maryland was reportedly hit with a nasty anti-LGBT robocall in the final days of the campaign.

The robocall, purportedly from a group called “Marylanders for Transgenders” asked recipients to call Peroutka’s openly gay opponent, Patrick Armstrong, and thank him for “coming out of the closet” and for supporting an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination bill that the robocall says allows “transgenders” to “openly and freely go into any bathroom of their choice based on their confused gender identity.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, the call provided the phone number to the home Armstrong shares with his parents.

Peroutka has denied that he or anybody connected to him was behind the calls, which were first reported by the Seventh State blog. Local elections officials referred the matter to state prosecutors.

In one possible clue as to the call’s origin, the speaker mispronounces “Anne Arundel.”

Here’s the audio of the call, courtesy of the Sun:

PFAW Activists Protest Kentucky’s Marriage Equality Ban

People For the American Way joined local activists at a park in downtown Louisville on Friday to protest Kentucky's ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples. 

The "Love Will Win" rally came in response to last week's federal appeals court decision that upheld laws against same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Currently the Commonwealth doesn't even have to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

Protesters are hopeful this setback will pave the way for a Supreme Court reversal, bringing marriage equality to the South and the rest of the nation.

Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said that he’s disappointed by the decision but pleased by the prospects of getting a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I think we all knew the sixth circuit was going to rule against LGBT freedom to marry,” Hartman said. “The sixth circuit is the most overturned circuit at the Supreme Court in the entire nation."

Thus far, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.

PFAW

Scott Lively Defeats Baal With Massachusetts 'Victory'

Anti-gay activist Scott Lively managed to capture more than 19,000 votes in his race to become governor of Massachusetts, which, he wrote on his website yesterday, represents a “HUGE VICTORY” in that those 19,000 voters “have not bowed their knee to Baal.”

Boasting in the third person that “he (by conservative accounts) handily won the two major debates in which he appeared” and “refused to engage in negative campaigning (except to criticize the other candidates for pandering, and for supporting abortion and sodomy),” Lively reported that he was changing his party registration back to Republican and would henceforth dedicate himself to helping “the Christian conservatives take the GOP back from the RINOs.”

“I will likely run for another office in 2016 as part of this effort,” he added.

In Massachusetts 19,192 Voters Have Not Bowed Their Knee to Baal

God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” Romans 11:2-5

In the times we live in, it has become commonplace for believers to substitute their own reasoning for the wisdom of God. But there is nothing new under the sun. This was the same in Elijah’s time. So in this election we have seen Christian and pro-family voters across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, both Protestant and Catholic, deliberately cast their votes for Charlie Baker, a man whose hands drip with the blood of the innocent unborn babies and whose tongue rationalizes the promotion of sexual perversion to school-children. They have chosen to support what they believe is the “lesser evil” rather than trust God and stand on His truth.

But 19,192 voters did not bow their knee to evil. And in that remnant there is great hope.

So, looking at the big picture, to have interjected authentic Biblical values and plain-spoken conservative principles and policies (articulately and unapologetically), into the most politically-correct, most un-churched electorate in America, on live, unedited television (and radio) to hundreds of thousands if not millions of viewers is — in a word — PRICELESS!

We have scored a HUGE VICTORY and all those who prayed, donated or volunteered have a share in that blessing. God, of course, gets the glory!

We have a remnant of nearly 20,000 people who have proved by their vote that they trust God, not their own human reasoning, to heal our land. We have a core of trustworthy men and women with whom to work to restore the commonwealth.

Today I changed my affiliation from unenrolled to Republican. Starting today my role in Massachusetts (in addition to serving as pastor) will be to help the Christian conservatives take the GOP back from the RINOs. After the first of the year I will make myself available as a motivator and organizer to help create a state-wide grassroots network of conservative activists. This was what I did in Oregon in the late 80s and early 90s as Communications Director for the Oregon Citizens Alliance, the most extensive political network of Christian activists I’ve ever seen. Pat Robertson came to Oregon to examine our organizational model before he created the Christian Coalition. I was the #2 man in OCA for several years and want to offer that experience to the conservative movement here.

I will likely run for another office in 2016 as part of this effort.

Laurie Higgins: GOP Establishment Is Like Tolkein's Gollum

In a blog post today, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute (state affiliate of the American Family Association) turns to a colorful analogy to describe the Republican Party’s internal conflicts.

Higgins contends that the establishment GOP, which worked this year to stamp out some of the more vocally extreme candidates in its ranks this year, is like Tolkein’s Gollum, so captivated by a shiny object that it ends up destroying itself and those it loves. (In The Lord of the Rings, the shiny object is the One Ring. In contemporary politics, it’s presumably voters who support LGBT equality and abortion rights.)

Just to be clear, Higgins also compares the party establishment to Cain, who in the Bible kills his brother Abel.

The GOP is slowly transmogrifying into the political incarnation of Tolkien's Gollum:

Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring, a finger still thrust within its circle. "Precious, precious, precious!" Gollum cried. "My Precious! O my Precious!" And with that, even as his eyes were lifted up to gloat on his prize, he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail precious, and he was gone.

Illinoisans should fully expect to hear immoderates and perhaps even dispirited conservatives say, "See, Bruce Rauner/Mark Kirk-type of Republican is the only kind of Republican who can get elected in Illinois." But soon, they won't be tacking on "in Illinois."

Four years ago, the U.S. Senator-elect from Colorado, Cory Gardner, supported the Personhood Amendment and even circulated petitions to gather signatures for it. Then this year, the GOP establishment got to him. Just weeks before Gardner announced his candidacy, pro-life activists in Colorado got wind of the news that he would be renouncing his support for the Personhood Amendment.

Karl Rove deceitfully wrote this last May: "in Colorado, tea-party favorite and front-runner Ken Buck stepped aside when Mr. Gardner entered the race, recognizing he was better able to enthuse all the party." So, in May Rove implied that Buck just freely stepped aside because of his own uncoerced epiphany that Gardner would be the best candidate for "enthusing" the party.

That's interesting, because late last night on FOX News election coverage, Karl Rove boasted that his Super PAC told the Colorado GOP that no Super Pac money would got to support Ken Buck for U.S. Senate. I'm speculating here, but I suspect that Rove et al told Gardner they would support him as long as he retreated from the Personhood Amendment.

Immoderate Republicans accuse conservatives who agree with Robert George of turning on their Republican brethren and "forming a circular firing squad." But who really is Cain in this contemporary narrative? Who is Sméagol and who is Déagol?

Religious Right Leaders Join Vatican Man-Woman Marriage Event

Fresh off the synod on the family, at which conservative Catholic bishops rallied to assert ideological domination over the final report, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition) has announced that it will be hosting a colloquium this month on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” Trekking to Vatican City for the event will be some American anti-equality advocates: Rick Warren, the Southern Baptists’ Russell Moore, right-wing Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The November 17-19 event will be co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The announcement of the colloquium says it will feature representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries. Among them is Nicholas Okoh, the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, who has called homosexuality a manifestation of the devil and praised Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “courage” in signing a harsh anti-gay law last December. Okoh said in January that people who oppose the law will face “disaster.”

The event will also premiere six short films about marriage; a trailer for the series is online now.

UPDATE: Russell Moore has explained why he's going to the Vatican:

Here’s what I hope comes out of the meeting. I hope that this gathering of religious leaders can stand in solidarity on the common grace, creational mandate of marriage and family as necessary for human flourishing and social good. I also hope that we can learn from one another about where these matters stand around the world. And I hope that those of us from the believers’ church tradition can represent well our views of how marriage is more than just a natural good (although it is never less than that), but is a picture of the gospel one-flesh union of Christ and his church.

FRC Fellow: 'The Whole Country’s Being Conscripted Into A Pride Parade'

In an interview with Ohio Religious Right activist Molly Smith last week, Family Research Council Senior Fellow Bob Morrison compared the LGBT rights movement to the Vietnam draft, lamenting that “the whole country’s being conscripted into a pride parade.”

“Now we’re finding out that it’s not just about defending marriage, as important as that is,” Morrison told Smith. “It’s a question of defending liberty itself, because they can’t violate the laws of nature and of nature’s God, as the Declaration talks about, they can’t violate those laws without trampling religious freedom and political liberty at the same time.”

Speaking of nondiscrimination laws that prevent businesses from discriminating against LGBT people, he argued, “They’re not exercising discrimination, what they’re doing, what you’re doing is conscripting them. You’re forcing them to take part in your gay pride parade.”

“When I was a young guy, the draft was a hot issue,” he added. “Okay, well we’re being conscripted, the whole country’s being conscripted into a pride parade, and I don’t want to be in that parade.”

Turek: States Should Defend The Institution Of Marriage Just Like The South Defended Slavery

Christian apologist and Religious Right anti-gay activist Frank Turek was a guest on the AFA's "Today's Issues" radio broadcast yesterday, discussing his most recent column where he stated that the fight against gay marriage is a states' rights issue, just like slavery was during the Civil War.

Turek was advocating for a governor to simply refuse to recognize or enforce any federal court ruling striking down their state's gay marriage ban, much like how Andrew Jackson refused to enforce a Supreme Court ruling concerning relations with Native Americans. He predicted that if they were to do so, President Obama would then send out the National Guard to arrest them, at which point Christians would rally around the governor, resulting in all of them ending up in jail.

When hosts Tim Wildmon and Ed Vitagliano wondered just where they might find a governor courageous enough to take such a stand, Turek suggested that South Carolina would be a perfect choice because that state has a history of being willing to fight for states' rights, as demonstrated by the Civil War.

"It started in South Carolina with the Civil War as you know," Turek said, "for the same kind of issue: states' rights. Obviously the issue is different. I mean, slavery was different than obviously this. But, I mean, it was a states' rights issue":

Religious Right Pundit: Marriage Equality Paves The Way For Adult-Child Marriages

Anti-gay activist Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s “In Focus” talk show with host Jim Schneider several weeks ago to discuss the implications of recent same-sex marriage rulings across the country, including one in Wisconsin, warning viewers that a “redefinition” of marriage would erode America’s moral compass and lead to the sanctioning and acceptance of other “sexual sins.”

“The nature of sexual sin is, it kind of wraps its cords around you until you become completely identified by it,” she explained. “That’s when the giving up happens, because you become sort of ensnared by it, and it defines the people. And that’s when people are ripe to have their conscience seared, and they are no longer able to distinguish between right and wrong and good and bad.”

Schneider later chimed in with the well-worn slippery slope argument, claiming that same-sex marriage sets a precedent for legalizing pedophilia and polygamy.

“Once you change that which is unchangeable, there’s no limit to how far you can go,” he said. “Multiple partners…what about foursomes? What about an adult who says, ‘I want to marry this underage child. It’s discriminatory — I love this child, this child loves me, why can we not be married, that’s discriminatory.’ The arguments they use…justifying same-sex marriage are the same arguments they’re going to use to justify polygamy, threesomes, adult-child relationships.”

Appling added that the success of the gay rights movement will help groups like NAMBLA.

 

Robert Oscar Lopez: Gay Parents Put Kids At Risk By Encouraging Them To 'Dabble In That World'

In an interview with Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute last month, marriage equality opponent and author of gay erotica Robert Oscar Lopez said that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are “more likely to be bisexual” and “more likely to experiment,” leading them into “a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”

“I have to be realistic that when you enter into homosexual relationships, you’re entering into the gay culture, and that social setting has very high rates of eating disorders and suicidal tendencies, it has very high rates of addictions of all kinds, domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, steroid abuse, sexually transmitted diseases,” he said. “There’s a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”

“So I think to the extent that people can avoid it, I think it’s better if you’re not going to be gay over the longer course of your life then there’s really no reason to dabble in that world, because there are social consequences that might hurt you. So, there’s really no reason to experiment,” he said.

Dacus agreed, adding that children of gay and lesbian parents are victims of “this agenda that has now been thrust upon them and they just want to live normal lives.”

Earlier in the interview, Lopez noted with alarm that when he was growing up, most gay and lesbian couples who were raising children had been divorced from their previous spouses, whereas today he sees gay men intentionally breaking up marriages in order to get custody of children.

“There was a clear shift by the 2000s where now gay couples now wanted to go out and adopt or they wanted to get children through sperm banking or through surrogacy contracts,” he said. “And I did come across cases where I know with gay men, they intentionally broke up an existing marriage so they could get together with the husband and then sue for custody of the children.”

“Oh wow,” Dacus gasped.

Barton: 'We Have An Inalienable Right To Marriage To Be A Man And A Woman And No Other Combination'

On a "Believer's Voice of Victory" episode scheduled to air on Thursday, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that no government can ever legalize same-sex marriage because "we have an inalienable right to marriage to be a man and a woman and no other combination."

Barton said that the institution of marriage was created by God long before government ever existed, and therefore "government can't get over into God's jurisdiction."

"Whatever God did in Genesis 1-8, government will protect but it cannot redefine, it cannot change," he said:

Brad Dacus: Gay Greeting Cards Could Lead Children To Make 'Potentially Deadly Decisions'

In his weekly radio broadcast earlier this month, the Pacific Justice Institute’s Brad Dacus interviewed Randy Sharp, who runs the American Family Association’s programs targeting retail stores and television shows that the group deems too pro-gay or insufficiently celebratory of Christmas.

The two were full of praise for Chick-fil-A and WalMart, but were not so happy with Target. In fact, Dacus told Sharp a harrowing story about a time when his family had been browsing greeting cards at Target and his children had encountered some cards designed for married gay and lesbian couples.

He then decided that he would no longer shop at the chain because he did not want to support this greeting card “propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.”

My wife and kids were in Target and they were looking for some birthday cards and they saw a category — at a very low level, so little kids could read them — cards that were, you know like “husband to wife,” but this was like “husband to husband,” “wife to wife.” Right there at the lower level. And you know, we complain, but they don’t do anything and they’re all about being PC and just assuming that people are going to continue to shop there.

And I told my wife, I said, you know what, let’s avoid Target. If this is their agenda, if this is what they’re going to push, then why am I going to give them my money to push and be a part of the propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.

James Dobson: God Will Destroy America For Legalizing 'Sexual Perversion'

In his October newsletter, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has a pretty clear message: Because of gay rights, America is at risk of joining Pompeii and Ancient Rome in the ranks of societies “so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them.”

“We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed,” Dobson warns, citing the Supreme Court’s decision striking down “sodomy” laws and subsequent lower court decisions preventing marriage discrimination.

“His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course,” Dobson declares.

Modernists, libertarians and atheists today recognize no condemnation of sexual perversion in the Bible. However, this historical account illustrates how God views it. The outrageous behavior of the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah sealed their doom. Fire and brimstone fell from the sky on both cities and utterly destroyed them. Henceforth, men who commit homosexual acts have been called “Sodomites,” although that term has become politically offensive since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized and protected sexual perversion.

The story of Abraham and Lot also illustrates how entire societies can become so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them, or they simply fade away. It happened to the people of Greece, Rome, Pompeii and other cities and cultures where wickedness became the order of the day. One thing is certain. God is the holy Sovereign Lord of all heaven and earth, and He will not be mocked. His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course.

Why have I chosen to recount this biblical story from so long ago? Because I am convinced that America and other Western Nations are sliding in the same direction. We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed. Judge Robert Bork, the brilliant jurist who was shamefully denied a seat on the Supreme Court, wrote a book about this danger 18 years ago. It was titled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. I think he had it right.

Many influential men and women of the judiciary are leading us toward perdition. One of them is Judge Richard Posner, a federal judge sitting on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He became a hero of the pro-gay marriage community by helping to “discover” a provision in the Constitution that laid the foundation for legalizing same-sex marriage. The American people in thirty-one states voted that their Constitutions would henceforth define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. Posner and other imperious judges and Justices had a better idea. They simply overrode the will of the people and issued “court made law.” Whatever happened to Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg in which he said this government is designed to be “Of the people, for the people, and by the people?” It’s no longer true.

I will tell you personally the preservation of the family is the Cause for which I was born. I knew it when I was 20 years old. Today, I have a continuing, unrelenting burden for today’s children and young adults who are being warped and twisted by those who would “fundamentally change” the world in which they are growing up. Everything we have known and valued is being swept away.

Dobson also quotes at length from the virulently anti-gay group Mass Resistance to warn parents of “LGBT propaganda” in schools: “Well, how about it, parents? Are you willing to send your children off to a public school that is required by law to teach LBGT propaganda to students? I pray not.”

West Virginia AFA Affiliate: Marriage Equality Will Force Schools To 'Provide New Gay Recruits'

Earlier this month, West Virginia started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the state’s Republican attorney general conceded that an appeals court ruling striking down the state’s marriage ban was “final and binding.”

This did not sit well with the West Virginia Family Foundation — a state affiliate of the American Family Association — which sent out an email to supporters today with the headline, “November Election & Gay Agenda Is Upon Us!”

The group’s chairman, Ray Lambert, writes in the breathless email that the state’s refusal to keep fighting marriage equality in court means that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin “cast his lot with Sodom and Obama” and that his “legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior.”

“Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia?” Lambert asks. “The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous.” Not only that, he warns, but schools will be forced to “provide new gay recruits.”

Lambert refers readers to Brian Camenker’s anti-gay group MassResistance for confirmation of his claims and to learn more about “the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.”

On the issue of Gay Marriage, West Virginians have been betrayed by our Governor, liberal federal judges and our own liberal West Virginia (WV) legislators!

I'm especially alarmed at how fast Governor Tomblin "threw in the towel" on our state's DOMA law which opened up our state to gay marriages. His announcement was fast and very unexpected. I think our Governor wrongly believes that homosexuality is worthy of special considerations. Governor Tomblin's legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior. He could have been known as the Governor who strengthened our state's marriage law but, sadly, he has cast his lot with Sodom and Obama. I believe it was done for political favor from his party.

Senate Speaker Jeffrey Kessler, from Wayne county, is eager to pass pro-homosexual laws. His pet law requires Christian and conservative business owners, and landlords, to employ or rent to men and women who practice sodomy. He overlooks existing civil rights law that guarantee us all freedom of religion. His view is that "gay rights" trumps Christians' rights.

Called the Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA), his legislation grants civil rights status to those who commit sodomy. This has far reaching ramifications, especially for Christians, whose Bible identifies sodomy sin. Abusing one's self through sodomy is a behavior, just like someone abusing tobacco, drugs, alcohol or even body piercings. Human behaviors can change and many step out of the gay lifestyle altogether. And because their "behavior" is mutable, unlike race, origin, age, etc. which is immutable. Society reserves civil rights protections for what we are, not the ever changing what we do.

Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia? The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous. Our schools will provide new gay recruits, just as it's being done today in Massachusetts' LGBT Conferences. More proof can be seen at the first annual Appalachian Queer Film Festival in Lewisburg. This four day event, going on now, brings Anne Sprinkle in to headline the event. Anne is characterized as the most vile and depraved lesbian in America by Peter LeBarbara, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Will Lewisburg become the Key West or San Francisco of Appalachia. Isn't it strange that our WV newspapers aren't covering this "queer event"? Could it have something to do with the nearing election? I think so; just more media manipulation of the masses.

To see where WV is headed, visit Mass Resistance's web site. It's a conservative Massachusetts organization that's been fighting against sexual perversion for ten years since Governor Romney brought gay marriage to their state. You'll see WV's future if we don't stand firm against the gay agenda in our state. Educate yourself with these web sites plus one more, Family Research Institute. This organization brings scientific facts on homosexuality that counters the liberal media's sanitizing of homosexuality. You'll be amazed at the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.

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