Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler reminds us that marriage equality is inevitable
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler wrote a column all about how his religious freedom is supposedly being stifled by LGBT rights. Because of course he did; people on his side of the debate rarely write anything else these days. That's because they are on an all-out (and obvious) PR campaign in which they are trying to sell the "we're the victims" concept to an American inclined to roll its eyes the moment they hear the wacky idea that people who've spent decades trying to subjugate a minority population's rights are somehow the injured parties in this civil rights conversation.
Anyway, since my patience for the "victims" game is an all-time low, I'm not going to talk about that part of Mohler's commentary. I am, however, going to note his reinforcement of one key truth, which is that full, unfettered, fifty-state marriage equality is now virtually guaranteed. The other shoe has dropped, admits Mohler:
In the Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) and Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor) cases in 2013, the line was extended to advancing the momentum toward the total normalization of homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex marriage. In , Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the imposition of legalized same-sex marriage coast-to-coast was now inevitable. He accused Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, and his colleagues of failing in their willingness to state this boldly. As Scalia anticipated, all we are waiting for now is for the other shoe to drop.
On Oct. 6, 2014, that shoe effectively has dropped. This day in U.S. legal history will be remembered for many years to come as a landmark day toward same-sex marriage. It was the day the nation’s highest court took one of the lowest paths of least resistance. It now seeks to maintain its prestige by avoiding the backlash the Court experienced in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade in 1973. It wants to have its victory without taking further risks to its reputation.
FULL: Erotic liberty v. religious liberty: How the sexual revolution is eclipsing the First Freedom [SBTS]
I mean, at this point anyone who cares to maintain credence as a socio-political commentator pretty much has to state the obvious about marriage equality or else risk the trust readers place in his or her insight. But it's still lovely to hear diehards like Mohler moving into this stage. If they can't learn to accept us and our families and the idea that we too deserve to be treated like American citizens, then the least they can do is accept the fate that has rightly befallen the pro-discrimination cause.
DC ban on 'ex-gay' junk science brings Tony Perkins back to his old school animus
For the past year or so, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has kind of been on his best behavior, at least when it comes to his anti-LGBT rhetoric. I'm not sure if it was the election and the need to be more pragmatic, his increased presence of Fox News, other priorities, or if he's far more spooked by his legacy and the internet's unforgiving memory than he lets on, but he hasn't been quite as Tony Perkins-y in 2014.
But hey, there's still a couple of weeks left. And it seems that the D.C.'s recent effort to limit scientifically discredited "ex-gay" therapy is just the thing to bring Tony back to his animus-driven self. In a galling commentary on the situation, Tony accuses the DC council of encouraging "destructive behavior," of "locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences," and even "opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs." Take a look:
In Washington, D.C., destructive behavior isn’t just encouraged — efforts to stop it are punished! If kids are looking for a way out of their same-sex attractions, they’ll have to start outside of the nation’s capital. Under a measure just passed by the D.C. Council, counselors can lose their license just for offering the kind of therapy these children seek. Like California and New Jersey, the District is radically opposed to helping young people shake the unwanted sexual feelings they have for members of the same sex.
It’s all part of the new Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Act, which makes it a crime for therapists and mental health practitioners to coach children out of the sexual confusion they’re experiencing. Council member and author Mary Cheh insists that the District’s move is “a crucial step in the long battle” against “the counterproductive anti-homosexual mindset.” The fact that children are seeking this help doesn’t seem to matter to D.C., which is intent on locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences. Instead, the District wants to make it an offense to help children come to grips with their natural biology — opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs.
In a twisted irony, the Council made it quite clear that counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex is perfectly acceptable. It’s a ludicrous double standard — one that should draw the ire of every parent who rightly believes they should be the final authority on the kind of treatment their child should receive. As our own Peter Sprigg testified, “Never before has a state outlawed a form of mental health counseling based not upon the techniques used, but solely upon the goal which the client seeks to achieve. This is a shocking violation of the longstanding ethical principle of client autonomy.”
Although the measure hasn’t been signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray, most people believe it’s only a matter of time. Fortunately, the Mayor’s word won’t be the final one. Congress has official jurisdiction over the District of Columbia — a power they should exercise when they return in January to give parents and children the freedom they want and deserve.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
The idea that being gay is devastating, destructive, has societal consequences, and is some sort of club into which we older gay adults must recruit? It is impossible to get any more anti-gay than that. That is the height. When your solution is to "change" gay human beings so as to avoid all of these supposed nasties that you have laid out, that far exceeds simple political activism on a subject like marriage or even public accommodation discrimination. Tony's words are against us, as humans, and directed at our hearts and minds and souls (not to mention families).
Might you care to mention this the next time Tony makes his semi-regular appearance on your primetime Fox News show, Megan Kelly?
Ryan Anderson's priest/preacher conflation shows fundamental misunderstanding of nondiscrimination law
Anti-LGBT activist Ryan T. Anderson took to the blog of his employer, the Heritage Foundation, and further proved that his overall political goals exceed well beyond his key cause of stopping equal civil marriage rights for loving, deserving, peaceful American taxpayers. But while I'm not surprised to hear Ryan extending his fight beyond marriage since anyone who follows him knows that his advocacy goes much further (yesterday he promoted and staunchly defended a piece from an "ex-gay" who claims that "same-sex sexual action harms the dignity of my body"), I am somewhat surprised to hear this completely baseless conflation of faith and public accommodation:
Traditional civil rights include protections for the rights to free speech, religious liberty and free association, as well as the right to vote, own property and enter into contracts. All Americans stand equally before the law and have their civil rights equally protected.
But no one has the right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them, or a certain photographer to capture the first kiss, or a baker to bake the wedding cake. Declining to perform these services doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in a same-sex ceremony, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. The government should not force them to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood.
FULL: Why These Citizens Voted to Repeal a Bad ‘Civil Rights’ Law [Daily Signal]
A minister and a baker and a photographer? To take it back to Sesame Street, Ryan—one of these things is not like the other.
No LGBT activist with any sort of mainstream platform is attempting to force ministers to perform same-sex weddings. Freedom to Marry and HRC, the two largest groups fighting the longest for civil marriage equality, have been clear about this from the get-go. All marriage equality advocates are 100%, in every way willing to let marriages remain as they are now: churches and faith leaders have the right to deny a marriage ceremony to any couple for just about any reason (e.g. prior divorce, interfaith union, atheists, couple fails premarital counseling, etc.), but the state marriage license—which is a requirement for any couple wishing for state and federal recognition of a marriage—is to be granted without such faith tests.
Public accommodations are not in the same boat as churches. By any stretch. Every community has nondiscrimination ordinances that apply to any number of categories (e.g. race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, etc.) and all businesses wishing to serve "all comers" must abide by these policies. This is a notion we've been familiar with for decades now. This is nothing new. The only new part is this truly wacky and wholly disingenuous notion that the game and the stakes are different when its LGBT consumers we are talking about.
Ryan's conflation of priest and baker shows the real problem here. To people who share his thinking, they are kind of one-and-the-same in the sense that the most staunchly conservative people of faith tend to believe that they have a right to brandish their faith as an "out" whenever they wish to put their convictions before the duties of their jobs, their sense of community, or simply the bounds of respectful citizenship. There are far too many of our fellow citizens who are wont to believe that church and state separation is simply a suggestion, at best (and an outright lie, more typically). Sadly, there are also far too many groups like the Heritage Foundation that are willing to service this fundamental misread of fair business practice.
*Oh, and by the way, this is the most-liked comment (as of 12pm EST) that follows Ryan's post:
Just to give you a sense of audience and how these kinds of dog whistle messages tend to play out with the base.
Video: ADF features pro-discrimination advocate in latest fake 'victim' video
Lexington, KY, has an ordinance protecting against discrimination in the areas of Race, Color, Religion, National Origin, Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity, and/or Disability. But of course some anti-LGBt Christians and their political supporters believe they have some sort of entitled right to ignore at least one of those categories, even though they should have known the deal the very day they chose to open a public accommodation.
But for a movement determined to flip the script so that it doesn't seem like the pro-discrimination movement that it truly is, the whole "we're the victim" game is a last grasp move to supporters fearfully riled up. Thus this new video from the organization at the forefront of this disingenuous pro-discrimination advocacy, Alliance Defending Freedom:
There is not one shred of difference between the protections that apply to gay customers and their perfectly fair consumer requests and the protections that apply to Black, Chinese-American, Jewish, straight, disabled, or Christian customers. The only difference is the sense of entitlement that far too many anti-LGBT Christians believe they deserve. And why wouldn't they believe this? There are scores of false witness bearers and false witness-bearing organizations desperate to keep that lie alive.
What the business owners who subject themselves to these efforts don't realize is that groups like the ADF are just exploiting them and their stories for fundraising. They are duping them into believing they have a case. But once they lose the case (and they will because they always do), these business owners are the ones left with the dent in their livelihoods and fair-minded reputations. The ADF just moves on to its next subject. Trust me, latest "victim": I've seen this game repeat itself several times now. I'd get out while there's still time.
Video: Texas Baptist preacher rails against 'dirty f*ggots' who 'are all pedophiles'
Another soft and tender moment from the deep well of Baptist animus:
"I'm not going to let any of these dirty faggots inside my church," Romero said. "They are all pedophiles ... They're always trying to rape and hurt other people. They're relentless. They are relentless. They are predators and given an opportunity to snatch one of your children, they would do it in a heartbeat"
Wow, pastor. Do you kiss Jesus with that mouth?
NOM's bald-face lies about the 2014 midterms
In a hilariously desperate pitch letter (that many of you have sent me today precisely because of its hilarious desperation), National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown makes the following claim:
...the National Organization for Marriage was 100 percent successful in the last Congressional election in defeating targeted supporters of same-sex marriage and electing those who support the truth about marriage.
In all three Congressional contests where Republicans abandoned the truth of marriage we launched campaigns to defeat them—and we did defeat them.
FULL: A Clear, Direct Question [NOM]
While it's true that the three pro-equality Republicans that NOM targeted (Carl DeMaio, Monica Wehby, and Richard Tisei) all lost their races, it is an abject lie that NOM "was 100 percent successful in the last Congressional election in defeating targeted supporters of same-sex marriage and electing those who support the truth about marriage." All three of the aforementioned contests went to pro-LGBT Democrats (Rep. Scott Peters, Sen. Jeff Merkeley, Rep-elect Seth Moulton). These were NOM's big three money races, and their efforts, negligible as they even were, led to three pro-equality Democrats taking/retaining office. (*NOM also tried, unsuccessfully, to oust Carl DeMaio before he even started, but didn't have the clout to get favored candidate Kirk Jorgensen out of the gate.)
Not to mention, the 2014 season actually started even before the official midterm. Let's also remember NOM's summer affair in New York's 22nd, when they backed conservative Republican Claudia Tenney in hopes of ousting pro-equality Republican Rep. Richard Hanna. NOM was also unsuccessful there, with Congressman Hanna, one of the very few pro-equality Republican members of the House (there are three, I believe), retaining his seat.
And there were 2014 losses too, like Jeff Bell. NOM came out early and sustainably for friend Bell, a former staffer with NOM-allied group the American Principles Project (Robert George is behind both), in his effort to defeat pro-equality US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). This was another loss for NOM and another win for equality.
Sure, NOM played marginal roles in the race to elect Senator-elect Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator-elect Tom Cotton (R-AR). But let's be 100% clear: Even in a conservative sweep year, in the races where NOM leant the most time, money, and political capital, pro-equality Democrats won the day. It is a complete and utter lie for NOM to say it was "successful in the last Congressional election in defeating targeted supporters of same-sex marriage and electing those who support the truth about marriage." Completely. And utterly.
But this is NOM we're talking about. Frankly, it's a good day when NOM staffers write out the organization's name without fibbing halfway through.
Video: Meet the self-avowed 'homosexual' who fought to repeal Fayetteville, AR nondiscrimination law
Last night, the town of Fayetteville, Arkansas, narrowly repealed its LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination law (by around five hundred votes). Thomas "I am a homosexual" Baker helped make that happen:
Love and respect yourself, Thomas. You are more deserving than you've seemingly been told.
GLAAD: NOM solicits participation, deletes GLAAD staffer's most 'liked' comment
GLAAD: Accurate representation isn't 'indoctrination'
Another former 'ex-gay' activist repents
Christian Schizzel worked in the "ex-gay" movement, particularly with Janet Boynes Ministries and the Bachmann (yes, that Bachmann) & Associates counseling centers. He also appeared in the media on shows like "Dr Drew" and "Our America with Lisa Ling" talking about supposed "change" and how wonderful it supposedly is:
But like so many "ex-gay" activists, Christian is now repenting of this past. In an exclusive interview with Eliel Cruz for Religion News Service, he is sharing all of the ugly dealings that were dealt his way in the name of God. Here's a snip and link to the full interview:
SCHIZZEL: There was a psychological “breaking-me-down” and isolation process from my friends and family because they were considered unhealthy. They did this to achieve complete domination over me to build me up and mold me from there. I had to do activities that were stereotypically manly and I couldn’t have too many female friends that would encourage me to be effeminate.
I was kept from attending the funeral of the mother of one of my closest friend because, they said, the devil was using this funeral to lure me back out to become reacquainted with non-believers. I didn’t talk to my mom for almost a year and a half. I was told it was my family’s fault I was gay because of how I was raised. They demonized my entire support system until I had no one to turn to except them. After roughly two years of the break down I was finally on the same page as them and I began conforming to their wishes all on my own. Being young and impressionable, I was unknowingly being groomed as the next leader of the next generation of ex-gays. All I was seeking was acceptance.
The most offensive thing out of all this by the Christian community was that they told me that I was gay because of the abuse. They grasped at straws for a “cause” of my homosexuality and they used my sexual abuse against me. Now that I am coming out this second time I have to finally deal with my sexual abuse almost as if for the first time, understanding it didn’t cause my orientation.
FULL: “I won’t be a weapon anymore,” says former symbol of ex-gay movement [RNS]