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More Lies from David Benkof

Timothy Kincaid

April 14th, 2009

Last summer I started a project of exposing the lies of David Benkof, a man who had been gay (going by David Bianco), then bisexual, then queer with mutable identity, and now is “deliberately living traditionally”.

At that time Benkof was writing articles in straight publications in which he claimed to be a columnist for gay newspapers (he thought it gave credibility to his anti-gay rants). He also briefly had some articles published in some gay magazines until the editors or publishers discovered his intent.

After a bit of observation, it became clear to me that Benkof suffers from what I’ll call “Truth Deficit Disorder”. He found it almost impossible to go more than a few paragraphs without busting into hyperbole, exaggeration, distortion, or just flat-out falsehoods. And David’s favorite subject about which to, ahem, wax creatively was same-sex marriage.

However, David’s desire to support Proposition 8 exposed him to those who were running the effort. And in what was a great surprise to him (but no one else) he discovered that bigots are generous in the extent of their arrogance and animus. Homophobes don’t have much fondness for Jews, either.

And, feeling disillusioned, on July 13 of last year he blogged his final good-bye.

I wished him well and promptly put him out of mind.

Well now he’s back and it seems that his methods haven’t changed much since he saw the ugly side of bigotry. He’s still more than eager to trot out dishonesty and deception as his hallmark and calling card.

Today Benkof has an article in the New York Post in which he uses a false pretext to spread more dishonesty about gay folk. Big surprise.

First Benkof praises Vermont for enacting religious liberty protections in their marriage laws. But the praise is artificial, based on a false premise, and nothing but a vehicle for attacking the gay community. Again, big surprise.

The Green Mountain State’s new law says in its “Public Accommodations” section that religious groups “shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request . . . is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage.” It also bars civil lawsuits against religious groups that refuse to provide goods or services to same-sex weddings.

Benkof sees this as a real difference. It isn’t.

Churches can already deny services, accommodations, advantages, etc. to married couples of the same sex based on their religion. They always have and always will. What the Vermont law does clarify is that religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, may also deny their halls or their facilities for marriage ceremonies.

And this is a clarification that I believe to be beneficial. I think that those religiously affiliated non-profits or fraternal organizations that wish to uphold their religious convictions about orientation or race or religion should be able to do so…. provided, of course, that they are not receiving special benefits from the state for being “open to all”.

But that’s where Benkof and I cease to see eye to eye. What he does next is typical Benkof:

Without serious religious freedom guarantees, disturbing punishments have been meted out to people and groups who have acted consistent with their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and that children are best served with both a mother and a father. The following actions have taken place in states with gay marriage, marriagelike institutions or even strong nondiscrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation:

Now that is a carefully written paragraph. If one cares little for honesty and only wants to try and claim some technical truth, then one can feel all clever with oneself for writing it.

He doesn’t say that what follows has anything to do with marriage. He just implies it by saying that this is how Vermont differs. In other words, deliberate deception rather than a direct lie.

These thing all happened “in states with marriage, marriagelike institutions or strong nondiscrimination laws.”

Or with running water.

Because the truth is that not a single example he lists had ANYTHING to do with marriage. Or with marriage laws – the subject he’s pretending to be talking about.

Then Benkof trots out the usual half-truths of anti-gays about a New Mexico photographer, eHarmony, Boston’s Catholic Charities, and the lesbian denied fertility treatment.

Geez, the average reader – the one that Benkof is counting on reading his piece – would think, “Gosh, that’s all due to gay marriage”. And if they missed that connection, Benkof slams it home by immediately talking about “the courts in Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and Iowa”.

Now we’ve covered all of Benkof’s talking points before. But you may enjoy taking a good look at this video rebuttal by Rob Tisinai to the type of claims that Benkof’s making (including a few of his actual complaints). It shows just how dishonest Benkof and his ilk are and how they will say anything in the advancement of their attack on the lives and freedoms of gay men and women.

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Emily K
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

He regularly appears in the Jerusalem Post I believe, though I might be wrong about this – and his articles are not praised very much by commenters. The usual suspects love his stuff, of course, but a significant part of the audience is opposed.

Honestly, the majority of Jews living in America are socially liberal. This isn’t to say there aren’t Republican conservatives, but the largest denomination, Reform, is quite liberal.

John
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

Not only does he continue to spew lies, but he is also not all that original. He loves to portay himself as so, so much smarter than everyone else.

If he is so smart and original, why does he trot out the same false, unimaginative litany of grievances that every other anti-gay activist has been bemoaning over the last few years. I guess it is easier than coming up with something original.

Same old, same old from Davey Binkopf… nothing original here, everybody move on now.

Jason D
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

“These thing all happened “in states with marriage, marriagelike institutions or strong nondiscrimination laws.”

Or with running water.”

This made laugh.

Or in states that in a vowel or consonant!!

Brady234
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

Benkof has been commenting on a post over at queerty talking about he is pro-traditional marriage and not anti-gay. He finds himself really having to parce words to get around his own half truths, including claiming that the instances he lists aren’t anti-gay discrimination cases, they are making choices based on the coupling status of the people involved, which is somehow both different and better for David.

Attmay
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

He claims to be “pro-traditional marriage”?

If anyone buys that horse hockey, Orwell was right and so was P.T. Barnum.

AdrianT
April 14th, 2009 | LINK

I hope someone has the time to pick up the ‘phone, and ask the NY Post’s editor for a right to reply to this (if not Tim, then maybe mr Tisinai himself, since his rebuttal is also clearly presented?). I think it’s so important to be vigilant, set the record straight and tackle misinformation like this wherever you see it.

Johnson
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

Oh No, not that tired old thing again. Coincidence that since he practically worships Maggie Gallagher, that he is rearing his ugly head just as she has?

Gary
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

Oh good gawd. . .this blowhard is back?

Ugh.

Ben in Oakland
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

Benky is still looking for approval from people who won’t give it to him. Something about a weak or absent father, maybe? who knows.

fannie
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

“Oh No, not that tired old thing again. Coincidence that since he practically worships Maggie Gallagher, that he is rearing his ugly head just as she has?”

Actually, I have wondered for a while now if Gallagher or National Organization for Marriage is reimbursing Benkof in any way for his writings.

If he ventures here to respond to this post, maybe he can answer that.

Timothy Kincaid
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

If he ventures here to respond to this post, maybe he can answer that.

Oh, you can bank on his showing up to parse the language and argue over technicalities. He’s just waiting for Passover to end.

But I wouldn’t expect to get an honest and thorough answer from him.

Emily K
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

I thought he was blocked on this site.

John
April 15th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

You can also expect him to be dishonest, condescending, easily offended and cut off communications with this person or that based on minor or imagined disrespect (including mispelling his name or using contractions of David), to tout his graduate level experience at this or that univeristy, to look down his nose at “less observant” Jews, etc.

I used to think that he had no redeeming qualities, but I have since changed my mind. He has threated to marry (and in all liklihood ruiin the life of) a nice Orthodox Jewish woman. Every month and every year that he puts this off is a truely merciful act. So, I guess even Davey isn’t all bad.

David Benkof
April 16th, 2009 | LINK

It’s obvious from the comments above that I’m not that welcome here, so I won’t linger. But Fannie has always been civil and even friendly to me, so I feel I owe it to her to answer her question.

In 2004, I received $2000 to do some writing for MarriageDebate.com. Since then, I have received no money from Maggie Gallagher or any of the institutions she’s affiliated with. I do think she’s terrific and I’m proud to call her a friend.

The only people who have ever paid me to write op-eds are the newspapers I have written for. If anyone does want to pay me to write op-eds, though, I will gladly take their money.

Allen Lavin
November 21st, 2009 | LINK

David Benkof is a nice guy. Why is everybody on this list so mean to him? I don’t get it.

Timothy Kincaid
November 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Allen,

Being “a nice guy” does not give one license to lie.

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