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09/30/2011

Seeing the Forresters for their truth-obfuscating trees

by Jeremy Hooper

With North Carolina state senator Jim Forrester under great fire for his choice to falsify credentials, I just want to remind folks that public rebuking of false claims runs in the Forrester family's political family. To wit: In 2008, Mary Frances Picture 5-118-1Forrester, Jim's wife, penned a column that was so over-the-top in its tone and Paul Cameron-quoting inaccuracies, that even the far-right Christian Action League, where the piece had been posted, felt compelled to write a followup acknowledging some (but not all) of the misstatements:

Because, unfortunately, there were some inaccuracies in the writing, it becomes only proper those errors be addressed.
...
Forrester erroneously stated that the average lifespan of a homosexual is 39
...
Forrester stated: “Read your social history and you will find that most societies that condoned homosexual behavior did not survive past one generation.” Though the Christian right has often bandied about such statements, it really is an impossible position to defend.

Responding to Criticisms of Mary Francis Forrester’s Op-Ed [Christian Action League]

That sort of apology, even if still coupled with condemnations and undue credence, almost NEVER happens with the religious right. But it did happen with Mary Frances Forrester, because the inaccuracies were just too great to go unmentioned without the host organization suffering irreparable reputation-scars.

And the remedy didn't even end at the corrections: The Christian Action League also proceeded to pull the piece from its site. Forrester's column is unavailable everywhere. It's not in Google cache, not in the Wayback Machine. The only place one can even find snippets from the column is on sites that covered it at the time (Interstate Q, most throughly), which tells us that the social conservatives were even more unhappy with it (and the negative attention it received) than even they let on. Perhaps it was Mary's outrageous claim that the average gays and lesbians only live to 39 years-old that did the trick.

As North Carolina enters into the next many months of a marriage debate, I think it's important that we all note what, exactly, two of the state's most prominent backers of this ban choose to say and do in the name of their agendas. In their quest to stop folks from standing witness to our weddings, they can at the very least stop bearing false witness.

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*And just how connected are the Forresters? Well, Mary Frances spoke at NOM's 2010 marriage rally, alongside people like Brian Brown and local top dog Bill Brooks:

Raleigh, North Carolina
Summer for Marriage Tour Stop:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm
State Capitol, South Side
Morgan Steet
Raleigh, NC 27601

Speakers:
Brian Brown, President, National Organization for Marriage
Bill Brooks, Executive Director, North Carolina Family Policy Council
Mary Frances Forrester, wife of Senator James Forrester- sponsor of the marriage amendment for the last seven years and Concerned Women for America member
Mark Creech, Executive Director, Christian Action League
Pastor, Olden Thornton, Raleigh International Church

NOM Marriage Tour

And in May, both Forresters spoke at an extremely hostile local marriage rally, alongside national figures like Tony Perkins.

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