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09/17/2008

Benkof on ADF: Not fans of gay weddings or the subsequent horahs

by Jeremy Hooper

Do you remember a few weeks back, when gay-identified gay rights opponent David Benkof said he would no longer support California's Proposition 8 campaign because of "disturbing information" he had learned about the measure's supporters? Well according to allegations in a new opinion piece penned by David himself, discriminatory practices were a major part of what led Benkof to Back off. Here's an excerpt:

Discrimination. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, so I supported the man-woman marriage Proposition 8 in California - until I discovered the Proposition 8 campaign tolerates discrimination against Jews. ProtectMarriage.com's legal counsel, the Alliance Defense Fund, has in effect a "No Jews Need Apply" policy for legal and even secretarial positions. They say they're not a law firm, they're a "ministry" and thus have a right to discriminate against Jews and other non-Christians. But even if that's true, Proposition 8 had hundreds of law firms to choose from. The fact they chose one that refuses to hire a Jew like me is very disturbing. Interestingly, Jesus himself was a Jew, so when a group has a policy that would lead them to refuse to hire their own Messiah, you know something's seriously wrong.

Hmm.This is potentially quite explosive, considering California has the section largest Jewish population in the nation (behind New York). But what exactly happened? Did David apply for a position and get turned away? Did he merely ask a question that was met with a nasty answer? Did he invite an ADF attorney for a bagel brunch, only to have the attorney refer to the delicacy as a "Devil's donut"? Is any of it true? We simply do not know. All we have are vague accusations from only one side of the story.

We're gonna write both David and the ADF to ask for some clarity on this, a potentially serious matter that could extend well beyond the Prop 8 fight (considering the ADF is involved in virtually every "pro-family" case in the country, and that an ADF-affilaited attorney even once served as counsel for Gov. Sarah Palin). But neither David nor the ADF are our biggest fans in the world, so it remains to be seen if they'll give us any info. Stay tuned.

*BENKOF'S OPINION PIECE: Right-wing nonsense [Black Hills Pioneer]
*More commentary over at Fannie's Room: Not What Jesus Would Do [Fannie's Room]

**MORE: This is from the ADF's employment page:

Before reviewing currently open positions, please review our Statement of Faith and Guiding Principles and indicate your acceptance and agreement of the principles contained therein.

During working and non-working hours, ADF Team Members, as part of their duties as Team Members, shall: (i) be ready, willing, and able to participate in public and private prayer, chapel or other similar Christian services held or sponsored by ADF, including prayer with and for friends and allies of the ministry; (ii) refrain from statements and conduct that detracts from the biblical standards taught and supported by ADF; (iii) be spiritually ready, willing, and able to fulfill such other ministry functions and requirements as may be requested by ADF; and (iv) abide by the practices and policies of ADF, including without limitation, those that pertain to corporate religious activites, beliefs, and practices.

Statement of Faith

1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity and humanity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His present rule as Head of the Church and in His personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe that all those who die in God’s grace through faith are assured eternal salvation; those who die in a state of sin and unbelief suffer the punishment of Hell.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, with equality across racial, gender, and class differences.

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Your thoughts

What about Florida? Something like 4% of the population of Florida is Jewish. How big is the involvement of ADF in their anti-gay initiative?

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 17, 2008 4:19:00 PM

Dick: Yes, I believe they are affiliated with the Florida fight. Certainly supporters.

And let's not forget that they are fighting to stop out-of-state marriage recognition in my home state of NY, which has the nation's largest Jewish population.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 17, 2008 4:30:37 PM

Sounds more to me like David's just once again flailing for attention.

The GLBT community doesn't want him, and the ADF doesn't want a swishier version of Matt Barber.

Funny how he pushes for discrimination against gay people in every form and fashion, but all hell breaks loose when the queen of looseness is discriminated against.

I doubt this has anything to do with him being a Jew - it's more likely he'd be discriminated against because he tells everyone and their grandma about his personal sexual history.

Posted by: Scott | Sep 17, 2008 6:33:00 PM

So, when I (jokingly) suggested that Benkof was pissed off that his stipend check was late, it may have not been that far from the truth. Though, it's more likely that his application FOR those stipend-checks was rejected. And rejected simply because he happened to be born with too many Jewish genes.

Being on the wrong end of 'the sharp, poking stick' of bigotry does hurt. But when it affects the pocket book... evidently that's enough to piss off the choir.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 17, 2008 8:31:17 PM

Are ad hominem, homophobic attacks (swishy, queen) allowed here? If so, I won't be cooperating with Jeremy any more. Dignity and all that. Ta ta!

Posted by: David Benkof | Sep 17, 2008 9:43:46 PM

David: Comments are not censored here except in the most extreme of cases (libel, threats, extreme profanity, etc.)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 17, 2008 10:23:20 PM

Wait, the people who would take away folks' right to marry in California are *discriminatory*?! GASP! This is shocking!

Posted by: Chris | Sep 18, 2008 12:12:54 PM

Now the ADF wants ministers to defy the law and campaign for "their candidate" from the pulpit. Here's a little more about that from one of their puppets:

http://2thingsyoudontdiscuss.blogspot.com/

There's plenty more that the religious right has in store for this country if you believe people like this.

Posted by: Rosemarie | Sep 18, 2008 1:54:54 PM

"Are ad hominem, homophobic attacks (swishy, queen) allowed here? If so, I won't be cooperating with Jeremy any more. Dignity and all that. Ta ta!"

Dignity - like the last time you were around a couple months ago, threatening to write X amount of anti-gay articles every time you read an unsupportive remark about you, while having most GLBT blogs under surveillance.

Stop acting like you're owed respect.

As for "homophobic" attacks, you no longer have a "gay identity" or whatever - remember? I don't know what you are (nor do I care), but according to you, it isn't homosexual.

Posted by: Scott | Sep 18, 2008 9:26:41 PM

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