At the beginning of last year, freedom to marry for same-sex couples was the law of the land in only six states and DC. Now, in less than a two-week span, Illinois and Hawaii have become the 15th and 16th states set to join a fast-growing list.
State senators in Hawaii today gave final approval to a marriage equality bill, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he will sign it into law. Following his signature, same-sex couples will be able to marry in Hawaii beginning Dec. 2. Civil unions have been available since January of last year, and The Advocate reports that it will be possible to convert those unions into marriages online if couples so choose.
Today’s news is not only a major victory for committed couples in Hawaii, but also an exciting step in the march toward equality nationwide.
On Tuesday, the Illinois legislature voted to make their state the 15th to allow marriage equality.
The marriage law’s primary opponent, the Illinois Family Institute, did not take it well.
In a blog post emailed to the group’s supporters last night, IFI “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins offers her “random thoughts” on the “tragic marriage vote,” which range from warning that “public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways” to declaring that “plural unions” are now “inevitable” to lashing out at pro-equality Christians to comparing marriage equality to slavery, segregation, and “Hitler’s reign of terror.”
We can only hope that Illinois will escape the fate of Maine, which IFI told us invoked the wrath of God when it legalized marriage equality.
Random Thoughts on Tragic Marriage Vote
Written By Laurie Higgins | 11.06.13
My random thoughts following the vote on marriage:
1.) Tuesday, cowardly and/or ignorant Illinois lawmakers in defiance of truth, history, logic, compassion, and in some cases, their own religious traditions voted to legally recognize non-marital unions as marriages. In so doing, they have expanded the role of government in the lives of Americans, diminished religious liberty, rendered inevitable the legalization of plural unions, and harmed children in incalculable ways. They have given their stamp of approval on the practice of denying children’s inherent right to have both a mother and father. And they have assured that public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways to children from kindergarten on up.
4.) The Left makes the non-sequitur claim that because heterosexual marriages are failing, homosexual unions should be recognized as marriages. By that “logic,” one could argue that because marriages composed of two people are failing, we should legally recognize plural unions as marriages. Or because marriages composed of biologically unrelated people are failing, we should legalize incestuous marriages. Or because marriages between people of major age are failing, we should legalize marriage between adults and children.
5.) Far too many Christians and their religious leaders were missing in action on this battle and have been for a very, very long time. Churches are not educating either their adult members or their youth on the issue of homosexuality in general and marriage in particular, and this dereliction of duty leaves Christians either confused or, worse, persuaded by the lies of the world.
6.) Far too many religious leaders claim the church should not be involved in “political issues.” But what if political issues are first biblical issues? During the slave era, should churches have remained silent as Scripture was twisted to justify slave-holding (just as it is twisted today to justify same-sex pseudo-marriage)? Was it right that so many Christians refused to stand for truth during Hitler’s reign of terror? Should Christians have refrained from participating in the Civil Rights marches in the 1960’s?
It’s been an exciting few days for supporters of LGBT equality. Following last night’s Senate cloture vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, today the Illinois House passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, setting the stage for Illinois to become the 15th state in the nation with full marriage equality. One version of the bill has already been passed by the Illinois Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign it. When he does, thirty percent of our nation’s states will have marriage equality.
PFAW has been on the ground in Illinois, supporting the push for marriage equality in any way we can. In addition to providing lobbying training materials so Illinois voters could bring their support for equality directly to their elected officials through calls, emails, and in-person visits, PFAW members joined thousands of friends in the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality last month.
In what the CEO of Equality Illinois has called the “national march toward full recognition of the dignity of all gay and lesbian couples,” Illinois has brought us one state closer to full marriage equality nationwide. And while 15 states represents real momentum, we won’t stop until every committed couple in the country has access to the legal protections they need to take care of each other and their families.
On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt interviewed Will Perkins, a long-time anti-gay activist in Colorado who was instrumental in the passage of the state's infamous Amendment 2.
During the discussion, Klingenschmitt and Perkins asserted that "homosexuality is not normal" because humanity would die out of everyone were gay. And since gays cannot reproduce, they must seek to recruit the children of heterosexuals.
"And that's why they're so interested in marriage," Perkins said. "For the access to children."
Klingenschmitt agreed, saying that if gays are allowed to marry "then they would be able to adopt the children of heterosexuals and therefore that increases their ability to recruit."
"That's the main reason" gays want to get married, Perkins asserted. "It isn't for their welfare; it's for their recruitment":
Even as Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli tries to downplay his far-right record on reproductive rights and LGBT equality, his allies are quietly using that record to try to turn out voters.
Virginia business consultant Shaun Dakin has posted a recording of a robocall paid for by The Catholic Association that calls Democrat Terry McAuliffe an “extremist” for his pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights positions and praises Cuccinelli as a "pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate." McAuliffe is pro-choice and has said he would sign a bill repealing Virginia’s marriage equality ban but wouldn’t use the governor's office to campaign for repeal. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli has led efforts to criminalize homosexuality, all abortion and even forms of birth control.
I’m calling from the Catholic Association. November 5 is coming quickly, and Ken Cuccinelli needs your vote. Terry McAuliffe is an extremist who shockingly supports taxpayer funding of late-term abortion and abortion on demand for any reason. He wants to repeal Virginia’s constitutional protection for marriage. Ken Cuccinelli is a staunch pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom advocate who works to defend our shared values for the common good.
On a cold, wet Tuesday this week, People For members joined an estimated 2,000 marriage equality supporters at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield for the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. For two full hours prior to marching around the capitol complex, activists rallied for same-sex marriage, with major news cameras rolling. Scores of activists, entertainers, politicians, and faith leaders called on the Illinois House of Representatives to pass SB 10, a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples which was passed by the Illinois State Senate early in 2013.
Highlights from the rally included out gay country singer Steve Grand performing his hit “All American Boy,” the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and Windy City Gay Choirs, and independent artist Sonia; along with a lineup of other performers and speakers demanding that House Speaker Michael Madigan hold a vote on SB 10. In the middle of the event, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made an appearance. With a pen in hand, Quinn said he was ready to sign the bill into law as soon as the House passes it, evoking a roar from the 2,000 attendees. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (daughter of the Speaker), State Comptroller Judy Barr-Topinka, and Secretary of State Jesse White all voiced their endorsements of SB 10.
But the biggest reaction of the day came from keynote speaker Bishop Carlton D. Pearson of the Churches of God In Christ, who called on the Illinois Legislature to “pass the damn bill” and foster a society of fairness, social justice, and inclusion in Illinois. In the style of a sermon, Pearson delivered a powerful address, apologizing to the LGBT community on behalf of the evangelical Christian community for the lack of compassion previously given to them by some Christian leaders.
Following Pearson’s rousing speech, marchers funneled to the sidewalks surrounding the Capitol Building, at one point nearly completely encircling the complex with their numbers. Check out this gallery of photos from the rally, and the recorded livestream of the event.
Grove City College professor Paul Kengor, author of Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, has more to say on the issue of duping in a WorldNetDaily column published yesterday.
Kengor claims that progressives have “long been hell-bent on taking down the family” and “at long last seem to have found the vehicle to make it happen: gay marriage.” In promoting marriage equality, Kengor argues, are pursuing “totalitarianism” with the “unwitting support of a huge swath of clueless citizens and voters”:
“Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.”
– Karl Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”
That quotation from Karl Marx appears in his 1848 “Communist Manifesto.” Yes, even way back then, the extreme left was looking to abolish the family, with marriage (the center of the family) specifically in its sights. Really, it’s a battle that goes back to the Garden of Eden, where a sinister force first tried tear asunder the male-female union the Creator had ordained. Fortunately, better angels prevailed, including Natural Law and common sense, which, by tradition and experience, enabled civilization to keep male-female marriage and the traditional family together.
Nonetheless, that hasn’t deterred the far left, which has long been hell-bent on taking down the family. Leftists have made their arguments and tried different tactics, but they at long last seem to have found the vehicle to make it happen: gay marriage. Once advocates of gay marriage succeed in redefining marriage as anything but one man and one woman, there will be no end to the redefinition. The current liberal/progressive standard that consulting adults who love each other ought to be entitled to “marriage rights” cannot, by logical consistency, prohibit polygamous marriages, group marriages and even inter-family marriages (mother married to son or daughter or stepson or stepdaughter, dad to son or daughter or stepson or stepdaughter). By the left’s new insistent standard for what rises to the level of “marriage,” any and all of these are fair game. Liberals in their hearts know this; it’s undeniable. It will be a mess – a mess of marriage.
And what will have initiated this fundamental transformation of this onetime pillar of human civilization? Again, the answer is this altogether entirely new 21st century phenomenon called “gay marriage.”
This is an exciting time for extreme leftists. They are genuinely transforming human nature. (That, by the way, is the textbook definition of totalitarianism: to transform human nature.) And they’re doing it with the unwitting support of a huge swath of clueless citizens and voters.
Kengor includes in this “huge swath of clueless citizens and voters” gay people themselves, who he claims are “being used, duped, by a deeper, sinister force” and have been “enlisted in the radical left’s unyielding centuries-old attempt to undermine the family”:
I recently got an email from a Townhall reader responding to one of my articles on gay marriage. He was once part of the “gay left.” He told me that most gay people, who are either not political at all or nowhere near as political as the far left, have no idea how their gay-marriage advocacy fits and fuels the far left’s anti-family agenda, and specifically the far left’s longtime take-down strategy aimed at the nuclear family.
The emailer is exactly right. Most of the gay people I have known are Republicans, not leftists. Generally, I’ve always had no problem easily dialoguing with gay people, though it’s now getting more difficult, as liberals are doing their usual bang-up job convincing a certain group (this time gays) that I as a conservative Republican hate them. Even when socially liberal – and, even then, mainly on matters like gay rights – the gay people I’ve met have been economic conservatives. But in signing on the dotted line for gay marriage, they have also, whether they realize it or not (actually, they don’t), enlisted in the radical left’s unyielding centuries-old attempt to undermine the family. They are being used, duped, by a deeper, sinister force. For that matter, so are Republicans and “conservatives” who support gay marriage, so are libertarians, and so are the independents/”moderates” swimming (as they usually do) with the cultural tide.
Speaking of whom, here’s a quick news flash: There’s nothing conservative or moderate about suddenly redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, especially with an idea not even as old as my Windows phone. Sorry, folks, but that’s radical, extreme; that’s the kind of thing radicals and extremists do.
What kind of radicals and extremists? That brings me back to our pal Karl Marx and his loyal followers.
But it’s not just gay people who have been “duped” by the gay marriage agenda! Kengor claims that President Obama too has been tricked by communists into supporting marriage equality:
The 1960s were a huge boost to the destruction of traditional marriage in the West. In radical circles in the ’60s (and into the ’70s), “smashing monogamy” was the buzzword; it was all the rage. For an enlightening and sickening read on this, get a copy of the late Larry Grathwohl’s classic “Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen.” Grathwohl, who just died last summer, had penetrated the Weathermen in the 1970s. Day after day for month upon month, this Vietnam vet and war hero had to buddy around with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and crew. His horrible task meant doing what they did, living like they lived. A thread throughout Grathwohl’s account is how the Weathermen – who, of course, were communists – were hell-bent on abolishing monogamous marriage, which they viewed as a repressive remnant of male and white supremacy.
How ironic that Ayers and Dohrn would come to know and work with Barack Obama, serving on boards with him in Chicago and infamously giving him their political blessing from their Hyde Park living room in 1995. And even more ironic, Obama, who today is a dupe for what Ayers and Dohrn once recklessly pursued, is, by all accounts, a good husband committed to monogamous marriage.
Kengor concludes that in marriage equality the left has at last found its “wrecking ball” and its “Trojan horse for its longtime goal of destroying traditional marriage and the traditional family.” This is all “unnecessarily divisive,” he claims, because “if gays and their supporters had simply pushed for some form of civil unions or partnerships, rather than insisting on literally redefining marriage – smashing and changing its very meaning – none of this acrimony we’re seeing now would be occurring.” But, of course, “that’s what the Marxists and the radicals have always done: divide and destroy.”
And yet, even then, having survived the ’60s radicals, the communists, the Soviets, Karl Marx and all else, the core notion of marriage as being between one man and one woman remained intact in America. It was the ideal. It was the standard. It was the definition of marriage. It hung on. It prevailed. Battered and beaten, it was not defeated.
Could anything break it? Could anything cut it down?
Alas, yes. The answer is finally upon us. The left, in the West generally and America specifically, has found its hammer and its sickle to smash and undercut marriage. Under the banner of “gay rights” and feel-good slogans like “tolerance,” “freedom,” “marriage rights” and “equality,” and, on the flip side, accusations of intolerance, bigotry, “hatred” and “homophobia” slung at opponents, the left has seized upon gay marriage with a downright stunning and relentless abandon. The left has its wrecking ball.
The far left has finally found its Trojan horse for its longtime goal of destroying traditional marriage and the traditional family. Advocates of gay marriage are now dupes in that deeper process, whether they know it or not.
And sadly, it’s all so damned unnecessary. As one thoughtful liberal told me, if gays and their supporters had simply pushed for some form of civil unions or partnerships, rather than insisting on literally redefining marriage – smashing and changing its very meaning – none of this acrimony we’re seeing now would be occurring. This is all so unnecessarily divisive. Yet, that’s what the Marxists and the radicals have always done: divide and destroy. And now, they have gay-rights supporters unwittingly enlisting in their mission.
So what’s the source of this gay-rights totalitarian communist wrecking ball, Kengor asks. “Is it liberals, socialists, or ‘progressives’? Or is it something even darker, deeper, older, roots as old as the Garden of Eden, and more sinister?”
Alas, I must ask: Who or what is truly the ultimate source of the duping? Is it the communist left? Is it what we can only generally call the extreme or far left? Is it liberals, socialists, or “progressives”? Or is it something even darker, deeper, older, roots as old as the Garden of Eden, and more sinister? Is it really anything new?
Last week, we reported that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown had just gotten back from a Moscow planning meeting for the 2014 World Congress of Families gathering in Russia. Brown confirmed his participation to Rachel Maddow, telling her “we are proud to work with our allies in Russia and around the world to protect marriage as the union as one man and one woman.”
We now have a clearer idea of who those allies are. In a press release yesterday, the World Congress listed many of the participants in last week’s planning meeting. They included leaders of several major American religious right groups including Brown, Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Justin Murff of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).
Also on the list is Fabrice Sorlin, the far-right French activist who led a delegation joined by Brown to testify before the Russian parliament in May in favor of a broad ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples and single people living in countries that allow same-sex marriage. Sorlin is the one who told members of the Duma that Russia’s efforts to repel advances in gay rights (or “the suicide of our civilization”) was just like its role protecting Europe from the “the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan” in the 13th century.
Also attending the meeting was Jack Hanick, the former Fox News employee who has surfaced as an activist and “consultant” in Russia.
According to the World Congress’ press release, these activists not only discussed topics for the upcoming summit (including “declining fertility and the origins of the sexual revolution, the ideological roots of the anti-family lobby, the protection and promotion of marriage [and] countering the radical sexual rights agenda”) but also met with Russian legislator Yelena Mizulina to discuss a “WCF parliamentary forum” for September 2014.
Mizulina is the head of the Duma’s committee for family, women and children and coauthor of Russia’s new ban on speech in favor of gay rights to minors. The World Congress has been one of the most vocal international defenders of that law. The fact that the World Congress and its members are working directly with her to plan an exchange with members of the Russian parliament shows that the summit’s location in Moscow isn’t just an accident of geography.
In fact, as we have reported, WCF has built up a structure of activists in Russia to push anti-gay, anti-choice policies throughout Eastern Europe in the year’s leading up to the 2014 summit, and it was “activists working with the World Congress of Families” who invited Brown to speak to the Duma in favor of the adoption ban.
WCF’s managing director went so far as to say, shortly before Russia’s parliament passed the “gay propaganda” bill, that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world.” As Political Research Associates has noted, the very idea for the World Congress of Families came from a meeting of the group's founder with Russian Orthodox activists, so the upcoming events in Moscow are something of a homecoming for the group.
The American Family Association’s Illinois affiliate is calling in the big guns in its effort to defeat a proposed marriage equality bill in the state. The Illinois Family Institute sent out a fundraising email today with a message from Michael Heath, a leading anti-gay figure in Maine. In his message, Heath warns Illinoisans that since passing marriage equality legislation by popular referendum last year, Maine has “handed the sodomy movement the keys to Maine’s home” and is now experiencing God’s “judgment and destruction.”
Heath last made headlines when he held a press conference applauding Gov. Paul LePage for his notorious “Vaseline” comment.
In the late 1980′s God placed me at the Christian Civic League of Maine. Formed in 1897 by clergy, laymen and academics the League fought throughout the 20th century to keep Christianity at life’s center in Maine. I was often told by politicians that the League is the conscience of Maine.
Shortly after my arrival at the League the men who led the ministry, all of them respected leaders in their communities, decided that the matter of “gay” rights must be addressed by the League. We realized that Satan was rapidly undermining sexual rules — written and unwritten — that protected all the people of Maine.
Adding the phrase “sexual orientation” to other minority designations in our human rights laws would lead only to mischief. We noted that no other institution was stepping up to defend common sense.
To their credit these men put the League on the firing line in this battle. Throughout the 1990′s we remained firm in our resolve to resist. Our efforts bore much fruit.
Homosexuality was hotly debated for twenty years. The Christian Civic League of Maine proved to be the only institution with the will to fight. Overwhelmed, wearied and confused by years of attacks of all kinds a slim majority of Mainers grudgingly handed the sodomy movement the keys to Maine’s home.
Tragically marriage, family, decency and common sense are all collapsing in the Pine Tree State. The truths of Genesis 19 and Romans 1 are becoming evident.
I am encouraged by the efforts of Dave Smith and the Illinois Family Institute to avert this same disaster in the Midwest.
Fourteen states have fallen to the radical homosexual agenda. New Jersey is the latest state to pledge obeisance to this evil. And make no mistake, a society’s decision to turn it’s back on God’s definition of marriage can end only one way.
Judgment and destruction.
Now is the time for Christians everywhere to increase their commitment to groups like the Illinois Family Institute. No matter what happens this year with the marriage debate Christians must deepen their resolve to live as Christians in our modern world. We must choose to do this out of love for God and our fellow man.
Sexual sin is a destroyer. Jesus Christ is the creator. We are His creation, and we must defend and assert this proposition relentlessly in America.
In God we Trust.
National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown hasn’t been doing a very good job boasting about his involvement in promoting anti-gay laws in Russia. First, in June, he went to Moscow at the invitation of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families to testify before Russia’s parliament in favor of a ban on adoptions to gay people, but didn’t think to tell anyone about it until we reported his involvement this month.
Now, we find out that he was back in Russia this week, likely helping the World Congress to organize their annual world conference that will be in Moscow next year. Once again, Brown didn’t think to announce this publicly, but on a webcast with Jim Garlow yesterday afternoon mentioned that he “just got back from Russia last night” after Garlow thanked him for changing his flight schedule to be on the program. (The exchange is about 15:45 into this video.)
Brown didn’t say what he was in Russia for, but we can guess that he was at the World Congress of Families’ planning meeting along with anti-gay activist Scott Lively. Brown is an enthusiastic supporter of the group, which pushes anti-gay and anti-choice measures abroad and has been a strong cheerleader for Russia’s recent anti-gay crackdown.
The World Congress’ “hosting committee” includes the group’s “representative in Russia” Alexey Komov and philanthropist Konstantin Malofeev, who hosted a meeting that Brown attended with members of the Duma in June.
Now, Brown has no obligation to announce to the world every time he takes a trip overseas, but we find it curious that he’s been so quiet about his work in Russia. After all, NOM tries to portray itself as a kinder, gentler anti-gay group that’s just about preserving “traditional marriage” in the United States. Hanging out with people like Scott Lively and egging on the Russian parliament as they pass a spate of vicious anti-gay bills doesn’t exactly bolster that image.
UPDATE: Brown confirmed to Rachel Maddow that he was indeed in Russia for the World Congress of Families meeting.
David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, a state affiliate of the American Family Association, sent out a fundraising appeal today warning that if anti-gay activists fail to stop marriage equality legislation in Illinois, “America will collapse” like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Smith compared his own fight against the "evil agenda" of gay rights to that of American soldiers in World War II: “We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen. If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.”
As a father of six children, I often wonder what Illinois will be like in twenty years. What will it be like for your children and grandchildren?
We cannot know for sure. We can’t predict the future. Only God knows for certain.
I do know, however, that things are sure to be worse, much worse for our children, if we don’t do something now to stop the moral collapse, which will be hastened if our lawmakers undermine marriage by legalizing same-sex “marriage.”
I am doing everything in my power to prevent that from happening. I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my car and logged weeks away from my family to fight this evil agenda in 2013, and I need your help today.
I’m not alone in making sacrifices. Many courageous people are stepping up and doing their part, including the staff and a dozen or so dedicated volunteers at IFI. I need you to do your part today.
The Chicago Sun Times admitted this week that Leftists are still “shy” of the votes they need to pass homosexual “marriage.” And that is because you have refused to stay silent. Now we must finish what we started earlier this year. We must show up in Springfield again. The politicians need to know how strongly you feel about this attack on common sense, reason, and decency. They have to understand that marriage redefinition isn’t as popular as some politicians and media pundits want you to believe it is.
And our politicians need to know that we aren’t going to allow them to ignore the best interests and rights of children and individual religious liberties without a fight. I can do no less for my children. It is my duty. It is our duty.
A friend told me about a group of WWII veterans from Iowa that drove all the way to Washington D.C. this week. They risked arrest by passing through the barricades set up by the president to keep veterans from viewing their monuments. We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen. If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit. America will collapse. It is only a matter of time. Read Genesis 19.
(Emphases are ours.)
Concerned Women for America communications director Alison Howard joined CBN’s David Brody this week to talk about what it’s like to be a young person advocating against gay rights.
Howard told Brody that she sees the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key part of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in light of Roe v. Wade in that both will somehow deprive the world of mothers and fathers.
"Forty years ago, our parents faced a very big decision in Roe v. Wade," Howard said. "They decided at that point to allow the Supreme Court, nine people in black robes, to step in and try to decide for the entire nation the right to abortion. Forty years later, we see the consequences, don’t we? We see men and women hurt, 55 million children lost. And we’re dealing with that as individuals and our families, knowing everyone has a story of someone they know who has been affected."
“For 55 million children lost, you think about how many moms and dads, potential moms and dads, there were there that lost their motherhood or their fatherhood,” she added.
She predicted that the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision would create the same kind of “pain.”
“Conservatives and christians,” she said, will “have to deal with this, in 40 years maybe, the pain that comes from this, of what we have to deal with with children and hurt women and hurt men.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett hasn’t been helping his own approval ratings lately.
A Corbett administration legal brief filed on August 28th regarding the state’s same-sex marriage ban seemed to argue that same-sex marriage is analogous to the marriage of two 12-year-olds. Corbett rejected that argument after the fact in a written statement, but then in a TV interview made an even worse analogy.
On WHY-TV’s ‘Ask The Governor” segment Friday morning, a smirking Corbett called his legal advisors’ analogy ‘inappropriate,’ but then asked the news anchor interviewing him ‘I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister, don’t you?”
The shocked news anchor didn’t quite know what to say other than “I don’t know,” and attempted to move on to the next question after saying she was going to leave the comments to Corbett.
Things didn’t get much better from there, with Corbett saying Federal courts shouldn’t get involved in Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage cases because the U.S. Supreme Court left that decision up to the states, failing to specify what court case to which he was referring. Later Friday morning Corbett then was forced to apologize for his offensive comparison of same-sex marriage and sibling incest. Corbett’s approval ratings continue to drop after a stream of self-inflicted gaffes he has made, even when given questions in advance; leading Philadelphia Independent and Watchdog.org reporter Eric Boehm to label the Governor ‘Gaffe-tastic.’
This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.
This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.
On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.
Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”
Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.
But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.
Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:
American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.
In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.