Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2009

Another Reason To Rejoice

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2009

There’s another reason to rejoice over the LDS Church’s historic support for pro-LGBT legislation in Salt Lake City: it’s causing all sorts of angst among anti-gay extremists. The right-wing group America Forever, whose fundraising ventures included selling worthless ID’s to Mexican immigrants, is incredulous. They charged that the seemingly powerless Church “was placed in this position by the gays from Utah.” That’s right. Gays are more powerful in Utah than the Mormon Church.

Other denunciations were more conventional. The American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn sputtered that the Church’s position was “grossly ignorant.” The Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg charged that the Church was “bend[ing] over backwards to exhibit tolerance toward homosexuals in some way.” Peter LaBarbera wailed that the church’s stance may mark “the ‘official’ split of the American pro-family movement against homosexuality into two camps,” with only one camp holding fast to unadulterated, no-holds-barred, anti-gay warfare — the only stance he finds acceptable. LaBarbera also worries:

If churches back “gay rights” (and the LDS is hardly the first), is there some truth to the idea that those of us who remain opposed to ALL aspects of the “GLBT agenda” are “bigots” or somehow extreme in our worldview?

Increasingly, the answer to LaBarbara’s question is self-evident. If someone opposes ALL aspects (as LaBarbera emphatically stipulates) of recognizing the humanity of any people — whoever they may be — then yes, they are bigots and extremists. That’s pretty much the definition. There’s no other way to put it. And whenever a major denomination like the LDS church can frame a question like this through its actions with such stark clarity, we all benefit.

HRC adds four anti-gay voices to its wall of shame

Gabriel Arana

March 27th, 2009

The Human Rights Campaign has added four entries to its list of anti-gay voices at endtheLies.org. Here are the names, with quips:

America Forever, a Utah-based group, has been faxing hateful flyers denouncing marriage for lesbian and gay couples to businesses in Vermont, where marriage equality legislation is currently under consideration in the state legislature. The group claims that marriage for lesbian and gay couples would trample on the rights of children and that “HRC of the homosexuals is the most powerful lobbying group in the world.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the HRC were in fact the most powerful lobbying group in the world? Maybe, maybe not, but this is certainly not the case. Why the insistence on using the medical term “homosexuality”?

National Organization for Marriage (NOM) created an anti-marriage equality radio ad playing in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. NOM’s website falsely and outlandishly warns that “religious groups may be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage.” The three targeted states are all considering pro-LGBT equality legislation.

I have never understood the fundamentalist Christian persecution complex, which seems to interpret anything in society not in line with its worldview to be an instance of oppression that invariably means a Christian Holocaust is coming.

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, claims that allowing lesbians and gays to serve openly in the military will sanction “inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community” and “the ensuing sexual tension will hurt discipline and morale.”

Is this woman afraid that soldiers sent into battle can’t withstand a catty remark or two?

Hawaii State Minority Leader, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, voted against HB 444, a Hawaii civil unions bill. She said, “If we push to have government certify or make legal a union or marriage between the same sex, I believe that we push what is accepted to what will be promoted.”

When will politicians understand that accepting gay people does not mean there will be more gay people; it will just mean that they aren’t confined to the closet.

Utah’s America Forever Ad Update

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2009

We just found a clean, crisp copy of the America Forever ad that appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Deseret News over the weekend. To see the full sized ad, just click on the thumbnail. This way, you can see what passes for logical thinking and reasoned discourse on the part of our opponents: comparing homosexuality to prostitution, drug use, and so on. In fact, as Timothy Kincaid highlighted yesterday, they just want us to go away altogether. Just by the fact that gays and lesbians are visible “is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy.”

They also claim that they found a “Homosexual Declaration of War,” which, according to the ad, goes like this:

We will sodomize your children. All churches who condemn us will be closed. The family unit eliminated. Any man contaminated with homosexual list, will be automatically barred from any position of influence.

That, of course, is a very loose paraphrase of a satire written in 1987 by one Michael Swift — a nom de plume inspired by the great satirist Jonathan Swift. And in case anyone missed the reference, the author prefaced his satire with this:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

Somehow, anti-gay extremists never include that disclamer when they quote the essay.