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On Rivka, Robert and their dirty, self-victimizing, anti-intellectual blame game

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.59.25 AMAnti-equality devotee Robert Oscar Lopez has found yet another anti-gay conservative outlet to publish yet another of the same kind of piece that he keeps writing. The gist: He is the victim of gay activists and anyone who dares make note of his years of public engagement—which includes multiple rally appearances, testifying several times before state legislatures, filing sores of amicus briefs against equality, running a website mostly geared toward opposing LGBT rights/parenting, etc.—is vicious and negligent for pushing back against his own work.

Yesterday he wrote something for The Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal focusing on the fact that an HRC report examining his work had the unfortunate timing of coming out the day his wife gave birth. Now he's placed another piece at First Things, and yet again I'm named (he's kind of into me lately). Here's a snip and link to his full piece:

After I visited the European Union in Brussels with leaders of the French family movement, Manif pour Tous, the organizers of a gender studies conference at Lille University I was to attend told me the university administration did not want me on campus. More disinvitations followed. Three other universities had invited me to speak, but canceled over the concerns of administrators over hate speech.

GLAAD placed me on their “Commentator Accountability Project.” The Human Rights Campaign classified me as an “exporter of hate.” Days after GLAAD added me to their CAP list, my brother was approached at a dinner party and heckled over my status as a gay-hater.

After a year of my being banned from speaking on college campuses, courageous students at Notre Dame and Stanford succeeded in bringing me to campus over the objections of LGBT student groups. The police had to patrol the April 3 event at Notre Dame, while the Stanford event on April 5 transpired in a firestorm of controversy. Both groups that brought me to campus were banished from the student activities boards after I left.
A Tale of Targeting [First Things]

So let me first say that I have noting to do with the Human Rights Campaign (I contracted with them on a NOM project for two years but that ended in 2013, save for one month of work around this year's March For Marriage) or their "exporters of hate" initiative. But I do have everything to do with GLAAD's CAP. And I know for a fact that Robert's inclusion in that project consists solely of his own words, most of which are linked back to HIS VERY OWN WEBSITE! Here's his CAP profile:

-- Professor (CA State University Northridge) and conservative commentator

-- Headline speaker at various marriage rallies, testified in favor of various state marriage bans, and filed amicus briefs arguing against marriage equality at the state and federal level


-- Claims the LGBT rights movement has "become an engine of world-historical evil": "When you see a movement as unprincipled and ruthless as the gay lobby is, you must be clear that you have an enemy.  The gay lobby is not your friend.  Any friendliness from them is likely manipulation and subterfuge.  Remember: your end goal is to pour burning coals on his head, not to have tea and crumpets and reminisce about the good old days when you were classmates at Dartmouth.  When they invite you to dinner with the kids they conceived with a surrogate, they are trying to brainwash you, as they’ve already brainwashed the kids.  Remember that."

-- Claims "The Gay Movement is an International War on Black People"

-- Says that by siding with the majority to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor failed to connect the dots between same-sex parenting and slavery: "Incidentally, through my Puerto Rican roots I am also the descendant of African slaves, as I would guess Sotomayor might be as well. The scars inflicted on the survivors of slavery are tied to the fact that our ancestors were bought, sold, and robbed of a link to our biological roots. This is precisely what gay parenting does to kids through baby farming, adoption on demand, insemination, and surrogacy. You don't solve the historical trauma of such uprooting by vindicating the purveyor of the trauma -- in the case of slavery, white negreros, and in the case of same-sex parenting, gay activists who selfishly placed their desire for a family over children's needs for a mom and a dad. Slavery isn't the only past crime against humanity that offers warnings against shielding "parents" from scrutiny of their deprivation of children's roots. Did it protect the children born as slaves to keep slavery legal? Does it protect children deprived of their fathers to make it legal for the lesbians who have sequestered them to continue excluding them from contact with their fathers? Is the wise Latina awake? Paying attention? Just not connecting the dots? Hello!!"  (**UPDATE: Mr. Lopez has deleted this post, which is something he has a habit of doing.)

-- Directly compares gay parents to slaveowners: "Slavery is the buying and selling of children. In US history, people whose families weren't large enough to work their own land paid slave owners to breed their male and female slaves, then bought their babies and raised them, presumably as beloved members of their family. Gay couples are no better when they arrange such things, even if they lie to themselves and say it's for love. To love a child you have to love yourself and the other biological parent; it all goes hand in hand. Otherwise you're being selfish and abusive. You are selfish and abusive in the way you put forth fraudulent arguments to justify the sale of human chattel and give over to modern slavery in the name of gay liberation."

-- Accuses a lesbian couple fighting in court for marriage of "us[ing] their special-needs children as propaganda to force gay marriage on a state"

-- Writes of gay men and their sex lives: "I have often wondered if a very large percentage of gay men have chronic PTSD that one would expect of rape victims."

-- In open letter to a theoretical lesbian couple with a child, refers to same-sex parenting as "this crime": "Why engage in debate with me at all if you are going to limit our vocabulary to brainless platitudes like "my family counts," "my family exists," and "I am as good as you"? Do you plan to keep your daughter in this Orwellian state of dumbed-down doublespeak for her entire life, lest she suddenly realize that you deprived her of a dad and spent much of her childhood trying to deflect blame for this crime onto other people?"  Adds: "Do you ever plan to apologize to the girl you are raising for violating her basic human rights, severing her from her father and denying her a father and controlling her for your own quest for validation?"

-- Equates same-sex adoption with "cultural genocide once used against blacks and Indians": "The gay community is now entirely allied to the cultural genocide practices once used against blacks and Indians, since they are determined to say that, in the words of Nancy Polikoff, genetics doesn't matter as long as an adoptive couple can sway the powers that be to award them children. It all feels new and shiny to the gay community, because to them it's a way to overcome past inequality. But they are repeating the same genocidal practices of the past."

-- Yet another slavery comparison:"Gay marriage has caused slavery to return to the United States and the nation's courts and lawyers are ignoring the 13th Amendment. We are failing as a society."

-- Without any evidence, claims that the late Tyler Clementi probably "had liaisons with men who were older than eighteen and committing statutory rape.

-- Described the anti-bullying "It Gets Better" project as "expressly designed for delivery to vulnerable minors in a state of potential nervous breakdown;" added that the late Tyler Clementi's parents "need to step up and show true courage; rather than allow their son to be exploited by the very same subculture that actually caused his death, they need to take the LGBT movement to task."

-- Slurs same-sex parents as "slavers buying children from poor surrogate mums overseas": "The testimonials from happy children of same-sex couples are obviously handpicked and staged to maximize the value of propaganda, but a gullible populace won't ask what isn't being printed or broadcast. A gullible populace prefers ingesting whatever is printed or broadcast. 'Love' is a meaningless mantra, like 'nobody is really listening to your phone calls' or "we need drones for national security purposes" out of the mouth of Obama; but in a country where people are swayed by Obama's silky voice, why would people not be swayed by gay couples saying, 'we aren't slavers buying children from poor surrogate mums overseas, we love our kids'?

-- Claims the Human Rights Campaign "abets chattel slavery in the form of gestational surrogacy

-- Claims Disney Channel show featuring lesbian parents is meant to "anesthetize us to cruelty"

-- Says of LGBT activists: "Dear God, these wacko LGBT full-body totalitarians don't know when to stop. They must control ALL forms of government record-keeping, ALL possible conversations between doctors and patients, ALL lessons in EVERY classroom, ALL jokes made in EVERY military barracks, ALL tweets, ALL florists and cake-bakers and photographers and....Dear God, they are taking over the whole world!!!! God help us."

-- Says neighbors should intervene in lesbian households "to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up": "Listen, lesbian moms out there -- cut the crap. You went out of your way to place helpless children into a fatherless home. You knew your household was going to be controversial. You shouldn't have created this situation in the first place. Now that you created it, we all have to make the best of it. Your loved ones and neighbors should be intervening in your household to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up." 

-- Claims gay people who use reproductive assistance are "re-pathologizing" homosexuality: "If it's normal to engage in homosexual relationships then you can't justify using sperm banks or surrogacy to procreate, in cases where a gay man's testicles are functioning perfectly and a lesbian's uterus and eggs are fit for action. The fact that you're not interested in matching functioning testicles to a functioning uterus because you're gay is supposed to be NORMAL; if we start involving medical treatments for you, then you are reinforcing the notion that homosexuality is a defect. That undoes the whole de-pathologizing move of forty years ago."

-- On same-sex parenting: "Lesbian moms allow the sources of their children's sperm to run off and be unbothered, saying to themselves, 'those two dykes will care for my kid, shit, I don't owe the world anything.' Gay dads are just two pairs of men running off to live in a world of men, avoiding the hassles and PMS and demands of the women who bear them children. Both forms of same-sex parenting pass on more broken family ties, cause more erasure, sever children from their origins, and teach men to be fatherless and feckless all at once."

-- Accuses "the gay lobby" of "pushing internationally to bring back chattel slavery in the form of gestational surrogacy" and  "carrying out a systematic cover-up of the community's global pederastic sex trade"

-- Claims "support for gay marriage means supporting the view of children as COMMODITIES FOR PURCHASE, otherwise known as SLAVES."

-- In downright nasty (and vulgar) take on Edie Windsor's forty year relationship, Lopez reduces her shared decades with her late wife as being all about sex: "So it goes with Edith Windsor and the woman she was having sex with. She went to the Supreme Court and demanded that American taxpayers reward her for having lesbian sex by issuing her a back check for $300,000+. This is what civil marriage is based on. The country pays you to have sex. When it's a man and a woman having sex, it makes sense -- we need men to have sex with women so that we procreate. Why do we need Edith Windsor to have sex with another lady? What is the public interest in their sex life? They have the freedom to engage in sex because after Lawrence v. Texas, anti-sodomy laws have been deemed unconstitutional. So it's not possible for the state to prevent Edith Windsor from jumping into the sack with another sexy senior female and using dildos, dental dams, frottage, or whatever stimulating activities might send them into erotic thrall. They are free to do that. Once they are legally married, however, and they want the state to pay them for this mutually gratifying sexual activity, they are now no longer free to stop having sex. If Edith and her partner were to keep their clothes on for twenty years and not even do anything erotic at all, her partner could sue for divorce and claim sexual neglect. They would have to go to divorce court. Judges would have to know facts and figures about how they serviced or didn't service each other's erogenous zones."

-- Equates same-sex parents with abusers: "So the kid is basically a victim of two gay adults, who are now (without realizing it) rubbing it in the kid's face. 'See! Everyone says what I did is okay! You have NO reason to complain!' This is the way abusers often treat the people they abuse: They send flowers and apologize, justify themselves, make their victims feel it's all in their heads, publicly force their victims to say they're happy and nothing's wrong...I hate seeing kids be exploited and placed in traumatically uncomfortable positions. I hate seeing them be crushed into submission with the emotional tricks of abusive adults."

-- Claims surrogacy, adoption, and other paths same-sex parents take toward parenting recall "many of the worst vices against humanity that have been committed in past eras"

-- Published fiction books bashing gay life

-- Blames America's LGBT rights movement for other nation's draconian bans on homosexuality: "If we do not clean up what's going on in our own backyard, we will only make the problem worse, increase the alarm overseas, and incite ever-increasing levels of antigay backlash. No, I am not excusing antigay backlash that goes this far -- but I am saying that we can't ignore what's happening at home because, in fact, the best way for us to help counteract the antigay backlash overseas is to reform our own gay lobby and inspire other nations with examples of a country that can find a reasonable middle ground of acceptance and support for homosexuals, rather than blatant antigay repression on one end, or the tyranny of LGBT social engineering on the other end."

-- Says "I think polygamy is far preferable to same-sex marriage because at least there is a father and a mother in a polygamous household, irrespective of how many additional fathers or mothers there might be."

Robert Oscar Lopez [GLAAD CAP]

He's quite free-flowing with his attacks, and there is little room for misinterpretation (but all of the quotes are sourced, so feel free to read on for context). But if you read Robert's First Things piece, or just about any of the similarly toned pieces that he keeps convincing conservative editors to publish, you will notice that he doesn't really mention any of the shocking things he's actually said about us. He doesn't consider the question of why anyone who works in LGBT politics even knows who he is or why people who stand for marriage equality and LGBT welfare might have a thing to say about the vicious things he has written and spoken (and the above is only a sample). He certainly doesn't take real and considered responsibility. Instead, he plays that "victim" card that the anti-LGBT movement has adopted as its one and only strategy. He plays in a particularly unusual way considering how dedicated and sharp-tongued he chooses to be.

I've been dealing with Robert and his crowd for the past two weeks in a really weird and creepy way, as they've gone all around the internet trying to lay a gazillion insane charges at my feet. First there was Robert's pseudonymous friend "Rivka Edelman," the anti-trans activist who serves on the advisory council of his organization, who, despite her editors at Public Discourse having to correct initial commentary targeting me (and publicly apologize to me for the defamation), has continued to go around the conservative blogosphere with more attempts to connect the words and actions of one or two of my commenters—people I do not know other than as readers of my site—to my own work (her latest is here). Even though there is legal precedent (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) and much common sense making it clear that a site owner/operator is not liable for comments he or she did not create or sufficiently edit (the only grey area is when actual criminal acts stem from the comments, and even then most scholars believe the site owner to be immune), even though some of their major complaints are simply that certain people chose to say things they simply don't like (they're all really pissed at Janna Darnelle's husband for coming on here and responding to her public commentary attacking him and his parenting), even though the Disqus system allows users to flag and typically eliminate comments that are truly offensive, and even though I cannot even find some of the comments that they insist are there (I cannot find any comment that reveals "Rivka's" address, which she keeps insisting is on the site somewhere; please, someone show it to me and I'll gladly removed it), they keep trying to connect my name to things I never did (e.g. write employers and harass families) and people I've never met (and whose actions I have even repudiated. Just like Robert doesn't tend to mention the actual things he has said and done, Rivka and Robert and and their pal Katy Faust (who wrote a fallacious post about me then refused to let me comment on the post, telling me in email that she saw no reason to do so) rarely to never quote things I actually said in my commentary pushing back against them or Janna Darnelle or anyone else. Instead, they say "Jeremy "published" comments and therefore is a horrible person" [paraphrased]. They keep insisting that to allow a mostly unmoderated forum is to "publish" and that I am a demon for doing so. In fact, Robert said yesterday that he hopes someone sues me. Austin Ruse, in his own twisted take where he also attempts to link other people's actions to my name, called for me to publicly shamed. All for words I didn't write and actions I didn't (and wouldn't) perform. Like I said: insane.

The truly ironic thing is that since they've been on this crusade, I have been subjected to jaw-dropping comments both here and elsewhere. Here are some of them:


Trust me, I have a thick skin and am pretty tough to ruffle, so this stuff doesn't bother me. I am a public person and I signed up for it. But it is interesting that, in ten years of doing this, I am now seeing worst comments than I have ever experienced. And all because I am supposedly a mean person who dares to do what a million other website owners and Disqus users do: allow people to have largely unmoderated free speech.

But don't worry, Robert, Rivka, et. al. I won't try to connect these people right back to you. After all, you did not write these words and hopefully do not know these people. Why would I try to blame you for random internet commenters? That would be the height of anti-intellectualism.

But I will keep challenging the words you put in print as you continue your public engagement. That's actually how this whole discourse thing works. You say some stuff; I say some stuff. When you make a point to equate gay parents like me to slave owners, you better believe I will respond. And if you accuse me of doing vicious things online and I then learn that you yourself have made fun of people's appearances, engaged in horrid misandry, and given tacit approval to people's suicides in your own comments, then I might say that. But I really don't care about you, the person. Meaning, I don't care to come after you, the person. I only care about your words and actions. I care about what you say and do in the public sphere, not how you live your life in private. Our public engagement is always fair game. We all signed up for this the day we chose to enter this "culture war."

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