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03/10/2011

Truth v. FearMongering: ADF warns of faith-based jailing

by Jeremy Hooper

The Alliance Defense Fund's latest claim:

First, a federal court in California ruled in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that the teachings of Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics indicating homosexual behavior is sinful are “harmful” to those engaging in this conduct. The court went on to hold a California law preserving marriage as between a man and a woman violates the federal constitution. A court ruling a church’s doctrine is harmful is just one step away from saying it’s illegal. [SOURCE]

Right. Except not. At all. Even kind of.

Yes, Judge Walker did accept the idea that gay couples have been harmed by Prop 8 -- in terms of stigmatization and in terms of pure economics. And yes, he found that religious animus was a huge part of proponents' push. And yes, he found that Prop 8 was in violation of the constitution. But he did not make the logic leap that ADF is claiming. He didn't say that religious beliefs or church doctrine themselves are illegal, only that they are not valid reasons to support civil discrimination!

The truth is that LGBT people and allies, by and large, support true religious freedom more than any other generalized crew. Just look at the recent Snyder v. Phelps decision. Virtually to a person, the LGBT commentariat supported the fairness and even cruciality of the ruling. This despite the fact that LGBT people have far and away been the Phelps family's biggest target over the past couple of decades (even if the MSM didn't start caring all that much until the Phelpses started targeting soldier funerals). And as we've mentioned several times before: Openly gay Rep. Barney Frank was one of three members of Congress to vote against the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act, a piece of legislation specifically designed to limit the Phelps family's novel form of religious expression. This despite that he has been personally targeted by the "God Hates Fags" crew on a number of occasions (as has yours truly, but I still ardently support the Snyder v. Phelps ruling).

Modern anti-LGBT evangelicals have this weird idea that we homo folk are all sitting around scheming ways that we can stop personal faith and its expression. This is a bizarre, misrepresentative, and factually incorrect position to take. We would defend the Alliance Defend Fund's right to stand outside our apartment window, on the public NYC sidewalk, carrying signs condemning our lives, loves, and/or drapes. But we will not -- WE. WILL. NOT. -- allow these personally-held condemnations to stymy our *civil* rights under our shared constitution. This distinction matters greatly, and it's way past time groups like ADF start respecting it.

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