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07/15/2011

NE marriage ban proves locals think gay's a 'sin'? Weird, I don't remember that campaign ad

by Jeremy Hooper

The Nebraska group "Family First" is a satellite affiliate of the Focus on the Family national body. A "fully associated" one in fact:

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Focus on the Family's state groups

So since they are so connected to the group that is so active in so many "protect marriage" campaigns, this little blip from the American Family Association's One News Now really caught the eye:

A group of Omaha pastors has issued a proclamation that states homosexuality is not a sin.

More than 100 ordained Christian ministers have signed the proclamation, including leaders from Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

David Bydalek is executive director of Family First, the family policy council for the state of Nebraska. He deems this effort troubling for many Nebraskans and contends the ministers involved are from liberal denominations that do not respect the orthodox biblical teaching on homosexuality.

"When they come out with this sort of statement, I think they really do not reflect the mainstream feeling in the state of Nebraska," Bydalek suggests. "When we passed our marriage amendment years ago, we had about 70 percent of those in Nebraska who opposed gay marriage."

Pastors: Homosexuality not a sin [ONN]

So here's why it's interesting: In every single marriage amendment campaign, the "protect marriage" crowd always denies animus. The official campaign certainly denies that they are casting opinions about "sinfulness" or asking others to do the same, instead framing it all around the "traditional marriage"/"protect kids"/"defend religious freedoms" narrative. And again: Focus on the Family is a major backer of all of these campaigns, from Prop 8 on down.

But look at what he have here from Mr, Bydaleck. When confronted with progressive, inclusive people of faith who question the idea of "homosexual sin," the Family First E.D. immediately jumps to the profession that Nebraskans do think homosexuality is sin, and specifically cites the marriage amendment as proof of that. Clearly this is what he believes. Hell, it's what most of these "culture warriors" believe, obviously. It's the very reason why they try to ban our CIVIL marriages -- because they think we are immoral sinners, and believe that their personal faith views should take precedent.

And you know what? I'm fine with them thinking that, as far as it goes. But when these folks engage in public referenda, it's time they start admitting what they always admit before and after we are in electoral contention. I'm not fine with the electoral games! Rather than wait until after a vote to say that a ballot cast for a marriage amendment is a vote for declaring homosexuality to be a sin, I want to see this claim put before the public as part of the campaign. In an ad. Put it out there and let the conversation play out as it should. Because let's get real: That *is* the conversation they are having about us. It's time for the "protect marriage" crowd to own their beliefs, even when moderate fence-sitters, news crews, and a broad voting public are watching with heightened interest!

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