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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 October, 2010

Jim DeMint channels John Briggs

Timothy Kincaid

October 4th, 2010

In 1978, California State Senator John Briggs sponsored an initiative on the ballot which would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools. Although this initiative was initially successful in the polls, it failed on election night by 58.4% to 41.6%.

While the notion of banning gay people from certain types of employment (other than the military) seems archaic, it certainly isn’t dead. In fact, one of the more prominent voices in the Senate seems to be channeling John Briggs. (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)

[Senator Jim DeMint] said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend — she shouldn’t be in the classroom.

“(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense,” he said. “But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn’t back down. They don’t want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

Undoubtedly DeMint considers himself to be a good Republican. And, as such, undoubtedly he idolizes Ronald Reagan. So perhaps he should consider these words from the man that is credited for turning around public opinion:

Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child’s teachers do not really influence this.

Were DeMints thinking based on Fears About The Children, then he could rest assured that they are baseless. But they aren’t. Rather, DeMint is concerned about that nebulous “freedom to religion” which seems to be defined as the right to force others to do what your religion dictates.

And so Senator DeMint’s objection to gay people teaching is based in something a bit less susceptible to argument or logic: a desire to harm the lives of gay people and to falsely present them as something to be feared or shunned. Because that is consistent with the values of the god he serves.

Far Right gathers for Value Voters weekend

Timothy Kincaid

September 17th, 2010

Earlier this month we discussed the wackadoodle extravaganza which was the Taking America Back convention. But this weekend, that seminar’s cousin the 2010 Value Voters Summit is meeting for roughly the same purpose: rallying the troops to impose their religious beliefs on non-believers by use of governmental force. And while Taking America Back consisted primarily of the delusional, the excitable, and the social misfits, the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit draws “respectable” activists and recognizable politicians.

But make no mistake, the agenda of the Voter Voters Summit is no less radical or unAmerican than that of its low-rent cousin. And no small part of their obsession is on the extent to which gay people should be disallowed from participating in society.

The plenary session presentations consist of:

* We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future
* ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Panel
* We the People: The Tea Party’s Place in American Politics
* Parental Choice Education: Beyond One-Size-Fits-All Schools
* Hollywood Panel

Although only one of the five plenary discussions focuses solely on gay issues, it is without question that much of the other sessions will also be dedicated to “opposing the homosexual agenda”. That is, after all, the number one complaint that social conservatives have with the schools and Hollywood. And for those who really want to spend their weekend on nothing but “evil sodomites”, they can attend Saturday’s 3:30 breakout session entitled The falsehood of the inevitability of same-sex “marriage”.

The entire event will be filled with speeches and presentations by familiar names in the anti-gay movement. But unlike Taking America Back, most of these have social grace and appearance of sanity. With one notable exception: the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer will be speaking tomorrow morning and is likely to spout things that are so irrational as to confuse even that sympathetic audience.

These conferences are useful; they help us separate political opponents from those who truly are devoted enemies of our lives, freedoms and liberties. Many conservative Republicans hold positions that are unfavorable to us, but do so more from ignorance or distorted principle than out of zealous animus. But those who participate at these conferences do so because the believe that they are authorized by God to destroy our cause and our lives.

This year, perhaps even more than most, participation at the Value Voters Summit is a clear indication of animus towards the gay community. And by going there this year, politicians are making a visible statement that they are not just in disagreement with some of our cause but rather that they see us as a threat and an enemy and that they will do whatever they can to harm us.

Most of these names will not surprise us:

Governor Mike Huckabee
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
Governor Mitt Romney
Senator Rick Santorum
Christine O’Donnell
Newt Gingrich
Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)
Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) (via video)
Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)

Sen. DeMint Fears A Gay President

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2009

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), tea-bagger and right-wing GOP insurgent, has ripped Ronald Reagan’s “big tent” to shreds. He’s an ideological purist who will only tolerate fellow ideological purists, and thinks the Republican Party should purge those who aren’t as pure as he. He’s a huge supporter of states’ rights with one exception: same-sex marriage. On that issue, he things the Federal government should usurp states’ traditional role of regulating marriage in favor of a ban on same-sex marriage:

“Governments should not be in the business of promoting a behavior that’s proven to be destructive to our society.”

He cringes at the notion of a gay or lesbian president: “It would be bothersome to me just personally because I consider it immoral.”

Not every kid can dream of growing up to be president.