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04/28/2009

Resisting fellows who get in bed with fellows makes strange, hate-certified bedfellows

by Jeremy Hooper

Is it "ethical" for a Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission VP to stand side-by-side with the leader of an SPLC-certified hate group? Is it responsible for two U.S. Congressman to do the same? And what about one concerned with setting policy for the nation's Christian Schools -- should she keep political company with they whose policies have been deemed hateful enough to earn the rarely disseminated "hate group" label?

Those questions came to our mind after we learned that today, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz), Barrett Duke (VP for public policy and research, Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission), Maureen Wiebe, (legislative director for American Association of Christian Schools), and others stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Louis Sheldon, the head of Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group the Traditional Values Coalition for the cause of stopping inclusive hate crimes legislation. Go check out Right Wing Watch for all the deets:

But it is Sheldon's inclusion that is the real head-scratcher because, generally, members of Congress (and frankly most other leaders of the Religious Right) go out of their way not to be seen in public with the likes of him.
Franks and Gohmert Team Up With the Religious Right [RWW]

Let's remember that it's the Traditional Values Coalition that has most aggressively been pushing the bullshit-laden idea there are "over 30 possible sexual orientations" that could be protected under this hate crimes bill, a wacky idea that we're seeing more groups and individuals than ever before citing as a fact. Also remember that Congressman Gohmert is the one that TVC deliberately lied about during the 2007 version of this debate when they opportunistically flipped a congressional record and then sent it around for other right-wingers (including Gohmert himself) to recite as fact. And most importantly: Let's remember that TVC's rhetoric has gone so far beyond the pale over the years, that they are one of only 12 anti-gay groups in the nation that the SPLC has felt compelled to add to their "hate" list!

But when it comes to the "noble" cause of keeping LGBT vulnerable to bias-motivated crimes, it's looking more and more like right-leaning folks, out of either desperation or genuine enjoyment of each other's company, are willing to partner up with extremism. If they can't educate and debate the bill on its merits, then they will obfuscate by using a radical group's attempts to make "sexual arousal from the stumps of an amputee" a medically sound "sexual orientation." How "Christian."

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