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05/19/2014

Does the 'same position as Pres. Obama' canard make social conservatives feel better? B/c it's completely wrong

by Jeremy Hooper

Every time one of these situations in which an anti-LGBT person is vaulted into the spotlight for stating anti-LGBT views that he or she (or they) try to dance around rather than own, social conservatives jump in with the ridiculous lie that the person or persons in question "has the same position President Obama had just a few years ago." In an exchange with anti-LGBT Fox News reporter Shannon Bream, Concerned Women For America's communications person, Alison Howard (who you might remember as the person who repeatedly screamed "we don't need another Roe" into a microphone at last year's NOM march), becomes one of the latest to try this silly approach:

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 At 9.25.10 Am [@AlisonHoward1]

Hogwash. Enough wash to clean a thousand hogs, in fact!

In this case, it's not even in the ballpark of reality. The Benhams (David, in particular) have said and done some extremely anti-gay things. They've protested Pride parades, routinely cite Satan as influencing homosexuality, have made Nazi comparisons, insist that gay existence constitutes an "agenda," and much more. President Obama is a longtime LGBT ally. This was true even before the President came out for marriage.

But even if the Benhams were just against same-sex marriage rather than viscously opposed to even benign gay existence, this "same position as Obama" line would still be a complete and utter lie. Candidate Obama was opposed to Proposition 8, calling it "divisive and discriminatory;" he called it "unnecessary" and "not what America's about." He was also opposed to the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Once elected, he and the administration always came out against every marriage ban, attempted and implemented. He supported civil unions, always. And more. Even while evolving to his current place of strong advocacy for full marriage equality, the senator/candidate/president was moving in the right direction. That separates him from even a moderate opponent of marriage equality, and it puts him in a whole other realm from anti-gay activists who have said the kinds of things that David Benham and his brother have said!

Do social conservatives who work this lie (and Howard is just the latest in a very long line) actually believe it? Do they just hope others will believe it? Does it somehow soothe them to think that the President is more aligned with their beliefs than he is even close to being? I seriously don't get it. It takes about a ten second Google search to learn the truth. It's not an open debate; the facts are concrete. When they push this out, it just makes them look more disingenuous and/or opportunistic.

I should note, in closing, that Bream, Howard, and the Benhams are all proud alum of the very anti-gay Liberty University. Making one wonder if this school, in addition to having a tone of LGBT hostility that has all but defined its reputation, also has a class, if not a major, in silly talking points that have no basis in reality. That would explain a lot.

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