August 20th, 2007
See Update below
A “pro-family” crowd is gathering in Florida next month at something called the Family Impact Summit to “inform and empower involved Christian citizenship”. They’ll be talking about religious freedom, racial reconciliation, global warming (is it global whining?), and life issues. Oh yes, and homosexuality.
Lots and lots and lots and LOTS of homosexuality. In fact, there isn’t a panel period that doesn’t have at least one discussion on homosexuality including:
And who will be there? The speakers list includes some of the most strident homophobes in the conservative movement. Let me be clear – these are not just people who oppose homosexuality or same-sex couples for religious reasons. No, these are people who actively seek to dehumize gay persons by using derogatory language, lies, and false accusations. These are people who regularly campaign to exclude gay persons from the civil liberties and freedoms that they demand for themselves.
Let them speak in their own words:
Tom Minnery (Focus on the Family): There has been a recent attack on the freedoms of gay citizens in Poland. News reports indicate that many gay Poles are so fearful of the increasing violence and homophobia that they are leaving the country. In May, Minnery told a Polish “family” gathering, “[A]t this conference, we have taken great encouragement from the determination of the Polish people to honor the definition of the family. It is your strength that we have taken great hope from.”
Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) – “homosexual men are more likely to abuse children than straight men” and “homosexual behavior is a “death-style” that is sending young people to an early grave.”
Gary Bauer (American Values) –”Homosexual activity is not a civil right, it is a lethal and immoral behavior, and opposition to homosexual behavior is not a discrimination issue, but a moral one.” Bauer supports sodomy laws and not only opposes anti-discrimination laws because of “threats to religious freedom” but actually supports anti-gay hiring and renting practices. Bauer is believed to be one of the principal reasons that the Reagan administration was not proactive in combating AIDS.
Ken Blackwell (failed Ohio gubernatorial candidate) – Homosexuality “is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed. I think it’s a transgression against God’s law, God’s will.” Blackwell also compared same-sex marriage to barnyard animals, saying “I don’t know how many of you have a farming background but I can tell you right now that notion even defies barnyard logic … the barnyard knows better.”
Don Wildmon (American Family Association) – this is the guy who lead the boycott against Disney for allowing gay people to organize Gay Days (an unofficial event) and against Ford for advertising in gay magazines. In the process he makes wild exagerations and unsubstantiated claims. His group also publishes the highly fictional and virulently anti-gay OneNewsNow. They push the video, “It’s Not Gay“, a rant about the evils of homosexuality masked as an ex-gay presentation. This video featured Michael Johnston who was later exposed as engaging in unsafe drug-fueled orgies while claiming to have overcome his same sex attractions.
Catherine Harris (Failed Florida Senatorial Candidate) – claimed the separation of church and state is “a lie”. “Civil rights have to do with individual rights and I don’t think they apply to the gay issues. I have not supported gay marriage and I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality.”
Bob Knight (Media Research Center) – for many years Knight was the voice of Concerned Women for America. There was never an anti-gay position too extreme or a notion to ridiculous for Bob Knight to spout it out in the press. “They are luring kids into a homosexual behavior” and “There is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture.”
Linda Harvey (Mission America) – “Professed homosexuals should not be allowed to teach or lead groups of youth” and “Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected” and “The vast majority of people involved in homosexuality are projected by many studies to be people that are employed sporadically, because of their lifestyle. They are more unstable.”
Bill Federer (author) – “statistics show 300% greater incidents of child abuse in homosexual households versus traditional marriage homes” and “There would be no way to protect children from sexual predators if homosexuals were allowed to marry and adopt”.
Mike Heath (Christian Civic League) – this is the guy who tried to get others to help him identify elected officials who were suspected of being gay. “Homosexuality is a sin that arouses God’s anger in a special way” and “Individuals who speak out against the homosexual agenda often lose their livelihoods. Worse, gay activists have attacked, beaten, and spat upon individuals who protest their politically-correct celebrations of ‘diversity.'”
Peter Sprigg (Family Research Council) – “research clearly shows that homosexual behavior specifically and the homosexual lifestyle generally are associated with serious threats to the physical and mental health of those who engage in them”. His book, Outrage, reveals “the tangible harms and significant costs to society wrought by homosexuality — including higher rates of promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse” and “Homosexuality is harmful to society, and young people have no business committing to a sexual identity until they’re adults.”
Get the idea?
Along with this virtual Who’s Who of Homophobia there are a number of other speakers who seem to have been selected due to the one thing they have in common – extremist credentials. Surely, no one who is seeking to reach out to same-sex attracted people would want to have anything to do with this hate-fest.
Yet into that mix are added Scott Davis, Mike Ensley, and Alan Chambers of Exodus International and Dr. Warren Throckmorton.
But aren’t these the same guys who claim over and over and over that the church needs to welcome homosexuals and help them reclaim their heterosexuality? Don’t they say that anti-gay language and bigotry have to go?
Huh? How does that fit with joining in a conference of noted homophobes which seems obsessed with a political agenda against the rights of gay people?
What do you have to say, guys?
UPDATE: Dr. Warren Throckmorton has responded indicating that he will not be attending the Summit. See his comments below.
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