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John Stemberger's obvious game: turning all pushes for nondiscrimination into 'promotion'

by Jeremy Hooper

It's John Stemberger's way to suggest that LGBT people are seeking more than just basic inclusion, instead making it sound as if our mere existences constitute some sort of "promotion" of some supposed "agenda." For instance, when opposing a basic nondiscrimination ordinance in his home state of Florida, Stemberger said of LGBT equality proponents:

"These are not just people who have a same sex attraction and want to be left alone to freely define themselves. This is a radical group of political operatives who want to force their aberrant views on human sexuality upon the rest of society by the mandate and penalty of law."

He cemented his opposes to this ordinance with a claim that it fosters "the artificial social construct called gay":

Same-sex attraction has always been with us since the beginning of time. That’s nothing new. … What is new, and what is dangerous and what we oppose, is this artificial, social construct called gay,” Stemberger said. “It’s in your face; it’s shoving down your throat; and it’s intimidation. It’s not just, ‘let’s be left alone and let’s just have rights.’ It’s now forcing everyone else to agree—by the force of law and lawsuits with money damages. That’s what we oppose.

Disconnecting gays from our attractions is his M.O. That's probably why his organization, the Florida Family Policy Council, runs an extensive resource page on "leaving the gay lifestyle." He thinks we can and should.

Now listen to this same John Stemberger, who is currently leading a charge to keep the Boy Scouts discriminatory, pretend that inclusive scouting constitutes "bullying," "promotion" of a "behavior," driven by Hollywood, and anything other than the push for nondiscrimination that it truly is:

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This is "Pro-Family Politicking 101." They know that being against LGBT humans is far more likely to come across as mean-spirited, so even though it's obvious that LGBT humans are the object of scorn (Stemberger has also called marriage equality "affirmatively harmful—to children, to culture and to the common good of society" and has said gay families are "an objectively inferior choice"), Mr. Stemberger cowardly hides his true motivations behind this absurd idea that one's living of one's life constitutes "promotion." It's something the other side has been trying to do to us for years, in hopes that they will disconnect their discriminatory actions from the human person. It's essentially the political version of "love the sinner, hate the sin," with our "sin" being nothing more than our insistence on living truthful lives.

For all of Mr. Stemberger's talk of courage, he sure does engage in weak-kneed rhetorical tactics. Come on, John: Say what you mean! You want to discriminate against people like Jen Tyrell. Own it, buddy. If you want to call your organization "on my honor," at least be honorable enough to take responsibility for what you are putting out into the world. Your opponent is not Hollywood, liberals, or any kind of agenda—it's this nation's population of LGBT people. You might think you are doing a good job of hiding that, but you are sooooooo not. Since you insist on stumping for your merit badge in Bias, at least have the fortitude to admit it.

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