September 16th, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage recently spread a warning that gays want to “discourage or criminalize the expression of certain Catholic beliefs as ‘hate speech.'”
It’s a favorite tactic of the far right in their war against hate crime laws and marriage equality — this fear that it could be soon be illegal to profess simple religious beliefs (about sinful and hellbound gays). They support this by citing cases from outside the US, conveniently ignoring America’s First Amendment.
Now, though, we have a chance to test NOM’s commitment to freedom of expression. The UK has banned an ad because it mocks Roman Catholic beliefs (the faith in which I was raised and the faith of many NOMmers, including Maggie herself). Will NOM speak out against this tyranny?
An ice cream company banned from using an advert displaying a pregnant nun has vowed to position similar posters in London in time for the Pope’s visit.
Antonio Federici’s advert showed a pregnant nun eating ice cream in a church, together with the strap line “immaculately conceived”.
The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered it to be discontinued, saying it mocked Roman Catholic beliefs.
As it happens, I oppose hate speech laws and have decried their use in other countries. My question is: Will NOM show the same consistency? Will they stand up for the right of people to say offensive things about gays and about Catholics (and about gay Catholics, for that matter)? Are they fighting for everyone’s freedom of speech and religion — or only freedom for anti-gays?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Two more (sultry) ads from the campaign below.
UPDATE AND CORRECTION: As a commenter below has noted: The ad is being published by UK media. You can find it on the BBC website. No one’s freedom of speech has been in any way curtailed. The ASA is an industry regulatory body: advertising is self-regulated. The company can no longer run their ad as an ad, but that doesn’t mean newspapers can’t print it. And newspapers do print it, because it’s a news story. VoilA : free advertising!
Sorry for the error. Looks like we’ll have to wait for another test case.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.