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03/13/2013

Man who is destroying the religious right's credibility claims gays are like pedophiles; says neither can marry

by Jeremy Hooper

The American Family Association's most visible face and voice continues to make other conservatives smack their foreheads in frustration:

Here's the thing: I know it's easy to write off Bryan as disconnected from the larger conservative movement. Only problem? He's so not. Bryan's conserva-popular show (Fox News' Todd Starnes has heaped much praise on it) is on AFA Radio, routinely playing host to guests like Sen. Rand Paul. Bryan's AFA show is just an hour before Tony Perkins' own AFA Radio show. Tony Perkins is still a power player with the GOP, with his annual Values Voter Summit serving as a must-attend event for conservatives seeking election (Paul Ryan appeared in '12; Mitt Romney sent a video). Bryan himself has spoken at Values Voter, slated right before Mitt Romney. And so on. The thread begins with Bryan, but it strings throughout the entire conservative movement.

He is not talking in an echo chamber—Bryan wants his listeners, supporters, and conservative compatriots to see people like me as existing on the same moral plane as someone who sexually abuses children. By all means, scoff at his extremities and rightly predict his movement's dwindling support base. But at the same time, you should never forget that (a) there still is a motivated support base, even if shrinking a bit; and (b) Bryan's support is within two or three degrees of separation from just about any other person or group who is working against LGBT equality.

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