Audio: Tony Perkins fosters lie that pastors will be forced to marry same-sex couples
No activist, group, or allied organization working in the LGBT rights movement is advocating to change laws so that religious figures will have to perform a wedding ceremony. We have made this perfectly clear, over and over again. Just as faith leaders have always had the freedom to deny a religious ceremony to any kind of opposite-sex couple for any reason (e.g. divorce, interfaith union, fails premarital counseling, etc.), they will retain that right as it applies to same-sex couples. You are hard pressed to find even a lone civil marriage equality advocate who's seeking otherwise, much less a leader or group engaged in the organized movement for marriage equality.
But it doesn't matter how often or firmly we state it, since the movement that has always preferred to tell us who and what we are rather than listening to what we're actually saying will just keep pretending we are liars. Here's Family Research Council president Tony Perkins scaring his listeners with this idea of forced pastors:
[SOURCE: Washington Watch, 3/6/14]
What makes this one so intensely frustrating is that those of us who support this right of pastors are actively supporting religious freedom here. We are acting in good faith here.We are saying that pastors have the right to be against marriage equality, homosexuality, or anything else. We are acknowledging that America supports this right. Even when it goes against us, those of us on this side of these issues have a history of supporting the full and unfettered right of religious people and groups to speak out and act out against us, so long as it doesn't impinge on our civil freedoms or fair accommodation in the public sphere (like with discriminatory business practices).
The problem is that the anti-LGBT movement has so fully convinced itself (and is so determined to convoke its supporters) that we equality supporters are deceivers who never utter an honest word and who never really want a fair and free world. They are so hung up on their self-victimization that they are unwilling to accept any place of agreement. This is a point where we should all be able to come together in commonality; they should applaud us—or at least not denigrate us—for acknowledging and accepting this religious exemption. Doing so, however, might lessen the illusion that we are nasty bullies out to destroy American, religion, and all that is good in the world. So they won't. Ever.
It's one of my biggest professional frustrations. I have spent nine years trying to rise above muck, always staying away from personal attacks; always being forthright in granting my opposition every last freedom that they deserve (which is every freedom); and pushing toward a world where my civil rights will be protected, but so will their right to condemn and their choice to avoid me, my family, and our ceremonies. It simply doesn't matter. To the American "pro-family" movement, the idea that I am wrong, disingenuous, and fit for scorn is a preconceived one, regardless of what I say or how I choose to engage.
In court of law, key anti-gay voice tosses us into Lake of Fire
Pro-discrimination groups like the National Organization For Marriage love to push the "research" of Canadian economist Douglas Allen. In fact, NOM's former associate, the Ruth Institute, lists Allen as one of its "circle of experts."
This is Doug Allen:
Michigan’s gay marriage trial ended on an explosive note today, with the state’s final witness saying he believes unrepentant homosexuals are going to hell.
“Is it accurate that you believe the consequence of engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation?” Mogill asked the state’s expert, then added, “in other words, they’re going to hell?”
“Without repentance, yes,” answered the expert, Canadian economist Douglas Allen, the last witness to testify on behalf of the state in a trial that could make Michigan the 18th state to legalize gay marriage.
FULL: State's last witness says unrepentant homosexuals are going to hell [Detroit Free Press]
I wholeheartedly endorse this testimony! If every anti-LGBT figure would be so honest, we could all move on to other fights.
No word if lawyers on Allen's side will call the Devil to testify to the booming afterlife pride parade he's been hosting for what seems like an eternity. Stay tuned.
GLAAD: The American Family Association's 'culture war' now vastly more literal
NOM still damaging GOP brand with discriminatory, losing marriage fight #CPAC2014
Even as GOP pragmatists start moving away from a fight that they know is over for them, the National Organization For Marriage, which gets the totality of its lifeblood from convincing Americans that marriage equality can and should be stopped, is still showing up at events and telling conservatives that the "protect marriage" fight is a good thing for the Republican party to embrace:
Say hello, NOM? Don't you mean goodbye?
FRC prays against Mitt Romney, John McCain, Jan Brewer, Jeff Flake, any other conservative who 'militantly denies God's natural order'
It's weird, I listened to Family Research Council on all sorts of cable news shows, talking about Arizona on each one, and never once did I hear them talking about "natural order and eternal law" or praying against "dark deception." Nor did they admit that their true war was against the idea "that sinful sexual behavior is an expression of love." And yet when they go on their own websites and speak to the base that they need in order to keep the lights on, they suddenly find their words:
Not for nothing, FRC, but it seems like your "army" was a big part of the problem in AZ. Your loss didn't happen in a vacuum. Groups like FRC made it happen! You did. You built that.
Show us even one LGBT group who hailed this stylist as a hero, NOM!
The National Org for Marriage's (former?) Communications Director Thomas Peters was beating the drum earlier this week, and now NOM itself is trying the idea on for size. Here's the gist, per NOM Blog:
You may have seen an article that has recently been circulating online about a story from 2012 in New Mexico, where Governor Susana Martinez was given the boot by her hair stylist. Why? As the stylist, Antonio Darden, proclaimed on a local news station, because of her support of marriage! In his own words:
Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I'd changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.
So here's the real question: where was the outrage over this!?
When a professional photographer declined to photograph a same-sex ceremony that violated her religious beliefs, she was accused of discrimination and punished by the government. Yet apparently discriminating against a supporter of true marriage — the Governor of the State, no less — is perfectly fine.
I wonder if Gary King, the state Attorney General, ever considered doing what his counterpart in Washington State is currently doing: prosecuting a floral shop that declined to be involved in a same-sex wedding? Or is discrimination simply a one-way street that doesn't apply to supporters of marriage?
What did the New Mexico Human Rights Commission do? Did they investigate the denial of service as they did with Elaine [sic] Photography when those marriage supporters didn't want to photograph a same-sex ceremony?
Did they move to protect the rights of individuals from discrimination and harassment for simply believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman?
Of course they didn’t! It's an embarrassing double standard. And it's only going to get worse unless ordinary citizens like you and me stand up to them!
(1) I personally think the stylist should've cut her hair. While the causes of equality (which the stylist supports) versus discrimination (which businesses like Elane Photography want to make a "right") are and will always be different, I actually do believe that, in most cases, a gay vendor must equally serve a customer despite his or her political views on an issue like marriage. If a stylist wants to deny an anti-equality governor, I think he or she must come up with a valid reason (or lie really well). I don't think this opposing marriage equality can be the one, pointed reason for denying service. Many progressives and legal scholars would indeed agree with me.
(2) and most importantly: NO. LGBT. ORGANIZATION. HAILED. THIS. STYLIST. AS. A. HERO. You didn't have the Human Rights Campaign fundraising off this guy. You didn't see GLAAD writing glowing puff pieces about the stylist and his case. You didn't find Lambda Legal trying to launch a lawsuit based on this guy's story, and you didn't see Sens. Franken and Gillibrand cosponsoring a bill designed to protect this stylist's "freedom." This was a tiny news story, like so many tiny news stories, that came and went. No one in the LGBT movement saw it as a rally cry.
That second point is the big difference here. While people on our side of this issue might agree or disagree (or fall somewhere in the middle) with my first point, the major distinguisher here is that there was no concerted hailing of this stylist, as if her were a martyr for the cause and representative of an entire population of persecuted people. Regardless of individual opinion inside or outside the LGBT political space, the LGBT political movement made no attempt to politicize or build a new phase of our movement around this idea that gay businesses should turn away customers at whim. The anti-LGBT movement is absolutely doing that with the flip idea of turning away LGBT customers whenever you feel too religious to serve them.
NOM desperately wants to turn this into a "double standard" situation because NOM knows that the American public, here in the wake of the crushing defeat of the Arizona bill, is not buying its movement's attempt to sell business discrimination as a "religious freedom" matter. NOM is trying to trip us up in order to make their own chain of tripping seem less noticeable. They're looking for a "gotcha!" because we've so clearly got their number. They need us to be hypocrites because hypocrisy is one of their political movement's definitive traits.
It was a nice try, I guess. But you lose again, NOM. You must be getting used to that by now, right?
It's crazy rhetoric like yours that's helped move polls, Matt Barber
In a new article on the American Family Association's One News Now site, the anti-LGBT group gives rabidly anti-LGBT voice Matt Barber a platform from which to opine on the most recent polling showing broad support for marriage equality. And while Matthew blames Hollywood and propaganda for swaying the polls, he completely ignores a really key factor—even while he himself is giving voice to it.
Here's a pertinent snip:
Barber tells OneNewsNow: "To say that they could have even conceptualized same-sex marriage, much less imagine that there was some kind of constitutional right for sodomy-based marriage, is the ridiculous assertion to radically deconstruct and redefine the institution of marriage."
Barber points out if there is such a right, then there is also a right to incestuous marriage, polygamy, and marriage between an adult and a child .
The factor Matt misses, of course, is the extreme rhetoric that he and his cohorts have been using for the past two decades, mistakenly believing it's a pragmatic way to connect with the American public. Stuff like equating our marriages with incest and pedophilia or belittle our unions as "sodomy-based," while a gross and sad reminder of the cruelty (and insecurity) of the human mind, has surely been good for at least five points in our rapid poll climb (if not more).
Let me be clear: marriage equality would happen even if our opposition operated in good faith, because marriage equality is right, fair, and constitutionally sound. However, had the other side chosen to engage in grownup conversation rather than define its movement with fear mongering hyperbole and mean spirited demonization, I'm not sure those of us who value the freedom to marry would've reached the right side of history as fast as we have/are/will. Folks like Matt Barber have shown the American public the clear contrast between our peaceful movement and their proudly discriminatory one. The rhetoric that has come to define the "protect marriage" (gag) movement is nasty, hostile, crass, and crude. The American public is sick of it. Because it's sick.
Video: While we all debate marriage, 4-year-old shows us why fight will inevitably end
ABC News/WaPo poll: 58% of Americans are tired of lies, fear rhetoric, discrimination
The latest numbers are in from the right side of history. The writing on the wall now reads:
Support for gay marriage reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marking a dramatic change in public attitudes on the subject across the past decade. Fifty-eight percent of Americans now say it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
FULL: Poll Tracks Dramatic Rise In Support for Gay Marriage [ABC News]
As you might have guessed, the highest support is in the 18–29 crowd (81%) while the lowest is in the 65+ (a still-not-terrible-and-steadily-climbing 44%), which explains why the National Organization For Marriage just announced its first annual "March to Raise the National Voting Age to 73."
Anti-gay pastor makes false claim about GLAAD's CAP
Add Stacy Swimp, the Michigan pastor and political activist who is pretty much leading the charge against marriage equality in Michigan, to the list of conservatives who choose to misrepresent GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project. Juts like everyone else on CAP, Mr. Swimp's profile features nothing more than his own sourced words and does not place any sort of branding on him, his organization, or his motivations. But even so, Swimp takes it upon himself to claim that GLAAD has listed him as "leader of a hate group"
If any "weapons" were "formed," then you are the one who formed and fired them, Mr. Swimp. If you are happy with your own words, then you should be sending GLAAD a fruit basket to thank them for helping you spread them!
*Some exchanges I've had with Mr. Swimp: