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Florida pro-discrimination activist John Stemberger's history leaves no room for LGBT people

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 At 8.51.01 Am John Stemberger is an aggressively anti-LGBT man who has been responsible for most of the hostile efforts we've faced in the Sunshine State over the past decade. He's also the founder of the anti-gay scouting group that launched simply because the Boy Scouts began accepting gay youth. So it's no surprise that that he's unhappy with the fifth ruling in his state—four state courts and one latest federal decision—to declare the discriminatory marriage amendment that he championed to be unconstitutional.

But Stemberger, in characteristic fashion, is taking his pity party just a step further. He is essentially coming out and saying that gay people and gay-headed families have no place in history, at least not on its right side:

"People ask me, are you on the wrong side of history? To me, this issue will never be on the wrong side of history because it's rooted in the human experience,” Stemberger told the News Service of Florida on Thursday night.

“A little boy who longs to have a father in the inner city – that will never be on the wrong side of history,” he said. “The little girl who has two dads and doesn't have a mom and she wants someone to guide her through the changes that a woman's body goes through – that's never going to be on the wrong side of history. And the beauty of how a man and woman come together and life is born, that's never going to be on the wrong side of history.”
[SOURCE: Tampa Tribune]

Of course Stemberger is describing a vision that has no place for LGBT (or at least LGB) people. He describes a little boy longing for a father, when in fact that little boy could very much be longing for a parent. Or two parents. Two parents of the same sex being one possibility.

He describes a little girl who seeks pubescent guidance, as if his one vision is the only possibility. What about the gay dads who pre-plan for such an event (as I, the gay father of an infant daughter, already am) and ensure that their little girl has all of the information, resources, guidance, and compassionate ears she needs to understand her body? What about the lesbian moms who are doubly prepared for this time of life? What about the single straight dads who are woefully unprepared? And so on and so forth. There are of course countless possibilities, yet Stemberger only lays out one in which gay parents supposedly fail their kid.

And then he cites man-woman reproduction as a good. I agree: it's a good thing that is certainly not on the wrong side of history. But it's not the only thing. There are more than few men and women who have children the cannot or are not willing to rear, and who seek loving parents who do have the means and the desire. There are men and women who have no intention to reproduce. There are gay people who do take measures to have biologically-connected children. And there a LGBT people here in our overpopulated world who have no intention nor desire for kids but who have amazing things to contribute to the society, choosing to better the world rather than add to its population. It is all part of our earth and it is all good.

But that's exactly the point: John Stemberger doesn't want a world that sees certain types of people and certain types of unions as a good. His "right side of history" is one that smites the worth of those fellow humans who he just doesn't want around. For him (and most people on his side), it's about far more than just the civil marriage contract and respect for gay-headed families. Let's be 100% clear here: John Stemberger's fight is to make us and our equality, well—history.

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