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04/23/2010

To get to ENDA stance, Andrea Lafferty had to cross daddy's Briggs

by Jeremy Hooper

The Traditional Values Coalition (which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) is currently getting lots of attention because of mainstream media outlets' continued insistence on booking TVC Exec. Director Andrea "ENDA will allow VA nurses to hit on soldiers with amputated limbs" Lafferty as the voice of opposition to a measure that would do nothing more than secure basic workplace protections for LGBT people. But how far back does the organization's quest to stop certain citizens' rights at every non-straight turn really stretch? Well, consider the following.

Louis Sheldon, Andrea's dad and the founder of TVC, has a history that goes all the way back to one of the most execrable blights on civil rights history to ever muddy California politics. One that would've focused TVC's current fight in the area of workplace protections so that it honed in exclusively on California's LGBT teachers, shutting them out from employment for simply being who they are. One that made Anita Bryant a household name. One that was so heinous and overreaching that even conservative Republican hero Ronald Reagan publicly came out against it.

We're talking about The Briggs Initiative (Prop 6), of course. A cruel initiative for which Papa Sheldon was the campaign chairman! These clips come from vintage California newspapers:

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Is this when the then-seventeen-year-old Andrea began cultivating her belief that pink slips should be granted to anyone who she stereotypically expects to speak with pink lisps? Maybe, maybe not. But this is undeniable proof that Andrea was reared with the exact same kind of mindset that she's pushing on the national stage today. She clearly didn't reject it as wrong, as she, being of her own free will, could have. Instead, Andrea signed up for her father's cause full force, fostering a culture that keeps all of this nation's worker B's (and L's and G's and T's) terminated because of their own "homosexual acts or conduct."

It was a wrong view in 1978. It's a wrong view now.

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