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Peter LaBarbera is right; In other news: Yes, you read prior sentence correctly

by Jeremy Hooper

PeterPeter LaBarbera has done us all a service today. For reals. Because in a passionate letter that he has fired off to the entire "pro-family" community, Pete has pointed out the great divisions and abject hypocrisy that will soon dismantle the anti-gay religious right. The same kinds of things we point out every single day, albeit from Pete's decidedly anti-everything-we-stand-for perspective.

On the hypocrisy front: He highlights the truth, which is that the "mainstream" anti-LGBT groups absolutely use their more rogue allies whenever it's convenient, yet toss them aside like day-old holy water:

If churches back “gay rights” (and the LDS is hardly the first), is there some truth to the idea that those of us who remain opposed to ALL aspects of the “GLBT agenda” are “bigots” or somehow extreme in our worldview? And let’s be honest: our movement has already begun to ostracize its most principled warriors: I notice that everyone [in the pro-family movement] loves to use Brian Camenker’s and Amy Contrada’s indispensable, firsthand research but strangely some fail to credit MassResistance for their work. (They’re too “homophobic,” I guess.)

Pete's totally right about this willingness for his movement to embrace and drop its players with opportunistic ease, something that his pal Linda Harvey also pointed out this week. It's just like we saw in Maine. In February of 2009, the "mainstream" Family Research Council and most all of the key players of what would eventually become the Stand For Marriage Maine coalition were on hand at a banquet to fete Mike Heath and his decidedly more extreme Christian Civil League/Maine Family Policy Council group. But then when the campaign began in earnest, they could not get rid of Mike fast enough (a point not lost on Heath himself).

Or just look at the aforementioned MassResistance group. The organized anti-marriage troops have built two campaigns now around the story of Robb and Robin Wirthlin. Well guess who discovered and brought the Wirhtlins into public light. Yes, that's right: MR's Brian Camenker and Amy Contrada. But you will never see MassResistance (which the SPLC designates as a hate group) used in any of the fallacious education ads that the opposition uses against marriage equality advocates. Why do you think that is? If they have nothing to hide, then why do they insist on hiding their most willing troops (some of whom dedicate far more to the anti-LGBT cause than do the paycheck-collecters at groups like FRC or FOF)?

Or just look at Peter himself. On the same day that he held his "yes on 1" press conference in Maine, earning the ire and repudiation of the "official" campaign, Peter appeared on Janet Proter's homo-hostile radio show. And who was Pete's fellow guest on that very same day? Yes, that's right: Maggie Gallagher, the lead figurehead of the National Organization For Marriage, who we all know was the "yes on 1" campaign's largest donor. How is anyone supposed to determine who is the "nice" backer of bias, and who is the "extreme" one?!

It's a whole host of hypocrisy that leads us to ask questions similar to one that Pete raises in his letter:

If homosexuality (sodomy) is truly a crime against nature (and implicitly nature’s God), as Noah Webster defined it in 1828, and liberties truly come from God as I trust we all believe, then how can we possibly acquiesce to “rights” based on sin and perversion and keep our credibility as truth-tellers?

Our adjusted questions: Do the organized "pro-family" players truly believe that we gay folk are crimes against nature? Do they believe that even minor rights are out of line? Do they support the principles of Peter and his more-willing-to-enrage brethren? And the most important question of all:

When will the movement that prides itself on moral high ground have the fortitude to dance with the ones who brung 'em?

*Peter's full letter: Mormon Church Decision to Embrace Pro-Homosexual Laws Could Presage Split in Pro-Family Movement [AFTAH]

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Your thoughts

The other big elephant in the room is, now that the anti-gays have "decided" that "gay is ok", or at least that "vile LaBarBearian anti-gay hatred is not ok", how can they continue to deny us the rights, responsibilities and protections of marriage? They can't sell Peter's brand of hatred to the public, (and increasingly, not even to their own hordes), so how soon will it be that they are no longer able to sell their equally vile, and unsupportable brand of bias?

Posted by: Dick Mills | Nov 13, 2009 4:42:09 PM


He's right.

His allies are moving away from The Peter's brand of extremism. And in the not too distant future they will be as polarizing and radical as Paul Cameron.

Because ultimately even the anti-gays who are genuinely driven by their religious beliefs won't want to put up with lies and hatred. That conflicts with the way they see themselves.

Currently religious anti-gays don't want to be associated with the rhetoric of the wing-nuts, but they still are willing to accept their claims as Christian Truth. Just as for a while they shunned Cameron but repeated his bogus lies.

But as MASSresistence and The Peter come to be recognized as motivated by hatred, other anti-gays will be less likely to accept their claims at face value. And when they look into the real stories of the Wirthlins and the Parkers, soon those stories will drop from the litany of horrors that marriage equality will produce.

And in time, Peter loses. Because his entire campaign is based on dishonesty, hatred, and combative non-Christian behavior. And in time, good people - even those who do not yet agree with us - will want nothing to do with him.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Nov 13, 2009 5:30:09 PM

Anyone else notice LaBarbera's connecting Homosexuality and sodomy? By definition they are not one and the same and LaBarbera openly contradicts that truth... and his supporters are not only ignorant to that, but they agree with him as well!

Linking being gay to gay sex (which many heteros - and some homos - find icky!) is the true issue that needs to addressed.

Posted by: Tommy | Nov 13, 2009 6:44:24 PM

"Linking being gay to gay sex (which many heteros - and some homos - find icky!) is the true issue that needs to addressed". What?

Posted by: BGryphon | Nov 13, 2009 7:32:20 PM

As they say at JMG...Fuck him....fuck him in the ear!

Posted by: Hdtex | Nov 13, 2009 10:28:57 PM

"Do the organized "pro-family" players truly believe that we gay folk are crimes against nature?"

I've have always found the "against nature" argument to be a rather foolish one. It's based on the premise that if something doesn't occur in nature then that something goes against natural law, or as LaBarbera puts it, is a crime against nature.

Considering the fact that homosexuality has indeed been documented in some 1500 species, one only needs to compare that to the number of species in which religion has been documented in to follow that premise to it's rather ironic conclusion...

Posted by: Mitchell Devlin | Nov 13, 2009 10:41:25 PM

Fuck him ... fuck him in the ear?

Are you saying that you want him to have a prick up his ear? Shades of Joe Orton!

Posted by: ross | Nov 14, 2009 3:07:37 AM

You know what else is against nature? Mechanical refrigeration! And toilets! I'll take my human freewill over Mr. LaBarbera's pronouncements (likely typed - gasp - on a computer) any day.

Posted by: Sykler | Nov 14, 2009 8:11:30 AM

They may be moving away from Peter's brand of bigotry, but that just means that they are moving into the brand of bigotry that has plagued races and nationalities since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and it is subtle heterosexism disguised as concern for the welfare of others while stabbing them in the back legislatively with corrosive acts such as state constitutional amendments.

Posted by: Mykelb | Nov 16, 2009 10:04:19 AM

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