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Being viciously anti-gay qualifies one for congressional testimony: Mat Staver edition

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 At 1.18.55 PmLiberty Counsel's Mat Staver regularly portrays homosexuality as destructive, knocks gay families, pushes so-called "ex-gay" therapy, and has on multiple occasions suggested that people who hold his view should rise up and fight a new form of American Revolutionary War against marriage equality. You can find some of that here, but there's certainly more Staver-crafted animus out there than one single page could possibly ever enshrine.

Today, this very same Mat Staver will testify before the United States Congress, with a large portion of his testimony dedicated to the rights and protections of a population of American citizens of whom he clearly and admittedly is no fan (i.e. us):

Washington, DC - Today Mat Staver will testify before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice regarding the state of religious liberty in the United States. The 2:00 hearing will be held in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. You can view the live stream of today’s subcommittee hearing at 2:00 here or view the archived video after the hearing. All of these links are available at the Judiciary website under Multimedia, “Live and Archived Webcasts.” Staver is Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law and Founder & Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The threats to religious liberty are unprecedented,” Mat Staver will tell the committee. The primary areas of his testimony will focus on religious liberty conflicts involving the sanctity of human life, same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, and gender identity. On the sanctity of human life, the ObamaCare HHS abortion drug and device mandate presents a clear and direct threat to religious liberty. And, laws regarding same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, and gender identity also present clear conflicts with religious liberty. “The ObamaCare abortion mandate, the threats presented by same-sex marriage, and laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity are unprecedented because they are coercive and force compliance despite sincere religious objections to the contrary,” Staver will tell the committee.
Liberty Counsel

I've said it before and I'll likely say it a million more times before our opponents inevitably give up and admit defeat: If you have made it clear that you do not like or support homosexuality, and in fact think that gay people should "change," then there is very little chance that you are going to support even a minor LGBT rights protection. Someone like Mat Staver will never agree that LGBT people should fall under fair nondiscrimination law because Mat Staver does not want LGBT people operating freely and happily in American society. He'd rather "convert" us all into "ex-gays."

This is the lens throughout which the Judiciary Subcommittee should address this participant. Being exceedingly against a minority population is not a scholarly position with deep intellectual heft. When someone is so anti-gay that he believes LGBT rights constitutes "the abolition of civil rights" and thinks that negotiating with LGBT rights activists is "almost like negotiating with terrorists," he is never going to accept fair freedoms that apply to us. It is not only okay for members of the U.S. Congress to say as much—it is imperative that they do!

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