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Audio: 'Hate' label unfair, says she who unfairly labels gays as 'immoral'

by Jeremy Hooper

The Illinois Family Institute's Laurie Higgins appeared on Matt Barber's "Liberty Live" radio show today, where she tried as hard as she could to convince the Southern Poverty Law Center to remove the "hate group" label that they have placed on her employer. Because, you know, her group totally stands against hatred and violence -- except for the fact that they foster the sort of gay-rejecting rhetoric that we all know fuels the same:

"Liberty Live" -- 3/24/09

And of course Laurie's version of truth -- which, remember, she states as the condition on which the "hate" claims hinge -- is based solely in her personal faith views. In her "pro-family" eyes, it seems that unprovable claims about gay immorality are the be-all and end-all of this debate. And since her spiritual claims are unprovable, she knows that she can always hide behind this layer of theological protection. No matter how many local kids get shunned because of something their parents read from the IFI. No matter how many gay kids are set into a spiral of depression because of the forthcoming school walkout that Laurie is spearheading. No matter how many lives and truths are stifled at the hand of the scientifically-discredited/Higgins-supported "ex-gay" movement. Laurie and her allies will simply wash their hands clean of all responsibility, because that is what, they say, Christ would want them to do. No harm (to them), so no foul (despite how many gay people they might have fouled).

Look, we don't use the "hate group" label, because we think that (a) it can be a conversation-ender that destroys all nuance, (b) a time-waster that forces an anti-gay group to defend themselves against the word rather than defend their actions, and (c) a convenient crutch that allows them to flip the conversation to the topic of supposed gay "intolerance." But since the word has been thrown out there, it's completely unfair for Ms. Higgins to use her intentions as the only criteria for whether or not the IFI fits into a hateful category. She has signed on to a machine that demonstrably fuels anti-gay bias. Whether she personally wants to punch a lesbian in the mouth is largely irrelevant. The relevant point is that LGBT people are still the victims of a whole host of wrongs, and her pals are the ones who are pushing the needle in the queer-hostile direction! That is simply undeniable.

**Oh, and what sort of calls do Laurie's thoughts elicit? Calls this like this one from a dude who seems far too supportive of the idea that heavenly figures want us "wiped out":

"Liberty Live" -- 3/24/09


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Your thoughts

I think hate group is an apt description of the group in question. Just because hatred and bigotry are based on religious faith doesn't make them any less hateful or bigoted.

Posted by: libhomo | Mar 25, 2009 7:43:58 PM

Interestingly, the SPLC cites one specific article as reason why the IFI is given the hate group label. It's a 2005 piece that our old buddy Peter LaBarbera put up, in which the work of Paul Cameron is cited as fact:


Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 25, 2009 8:30:19 PM

If memory serves me correctly, wasn't/isn't she a high school counselor in Chicago's District 113? I wonder if they know she's got this gig for the IFI on the side.

Posted by: dave b | Mar 26, 2009 12:15:11 PM

Dave: She either resigned or was let go from Deerfield High. Not sure what went down, but she is def. no longer there.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 26, 2009 12:33:38 PM

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