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Posts for December, 2009

Two Anti-Gay BFF’s Mend Their Near-Falling Out

Jim Burroway

December 21st, 2009

Matt Barber is patching things up with Peter LaBarbera over a statement by Barber posted on LaBarbera’s web site. It was a bit touchy there for a while, with Barber’s employer, the Liberty Counsel, getting involved with the dust-up. But now things are all smiles.

It all began when Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera was trying to build support over a proposed boycott of the Conservative Political Action Conference over its co-sponsorship by GOProud, which describes itself as  “the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies.” LaBarbera is completely beside himself over this, and when he gets beside himself, his rhetoric becomes even more intemperate than normal (if you can imagine that). This time, I guess words failed him, so he turned to his good friend Matt Barber to supply the pithy line:

Matt BarberIt boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home.

That got Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas’ attention, and that, in turned, spurred a letter by Exodus president Alan Chambers to Matt Barber’s employer, the Liberty Counsel. (You see? Exodus International really is capable of rapid response when they want to call others on the carpet, but not when it comes to keeping their own house in order.) That letter led to a response from the Liberty Counsel, which essentially called Peter LaBarbera a liar:

Neither Matt Barber nor anyone with Liberty Counsel wrote or made any such public statement that is being alleged in this blog. Liberty Counsel promotes the traditional family of one man and one woman because we believe that such relationships are best for society and for children. While we strongly disagree with the sexual politics and agenda of activist organizations and individuals, we also believe that each person is entitled to respect. While there are some that hate us because of our message of sexual integrity, redemption, change, and hope, we have never, and will never, confuse the person with the agenda. We have never sought to dehumanize people to promote our message. Our message is one of redemption through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Nice huh? Barber would never really say anything like that, would he? After all, that would be dehumanizing. LaBarbera defends himself in a comment on the Exodus blog:

Peter LaBarberaThe quotation in question by Matt Barber — a brutally honest and necessarily accurate description of homosexual sodomy — is printed verbatim and was made in conversation between the two of us years ago — long before he went to work for Liberty Counsel. I asked Matt at the time if I could quote him on it and he gave me permission to use it, and ultimately I did — in the context of showing how CPAC or any organization that defends sodomy (as GOProud and countless other GLBT organizations implicitly and explicitly do) cannot call itself “conservative.”

LaBarbera also denounced Exodus for being unbiblical. I guess Exodus is too “nice” for LaBarbera’s taste. LaBarbera has also followed up with this on his own web site, and he wants the world to  know that he quoted Barber correctly with this clarification from Barber himself:

“This is for clarification only. As affirmed in Liberty Counsel’s statement, neither I nor anyone with Liberty Counsel ever publicly ‘wrote or made’ the comment in question – an unapologetically direct and accurate depiction of the sin of sodomy (a sin that God directly and accurately calls both an ‘abomination’ and ‘detestable’). Some years before I began working with Liberty Counsel, I made the comment in private conversation with Peter LaBarbera. At the time, Peter asked if he could ‘quote me on it’ and I said yes.

Now that Barber is happy to claim ownership to the quote that his own employer characterized as dehumanizing, can we expect another “clarification” from the Liberty Counsel? It looks like the ball is back in their court now.

Liberty Counsel and The Peter call the FBI

Timothy Kincaid

November 10th, 2009

lababs2You know how anti-gay activists can rant all day long about the (imagined) evils of homosexuality? How they can make up nonsense and stretch every fetish by some lone gay person into evidence of depravity and perversity? You know how no lie is too extreme, no accusation too foul, no denunciation beyond the bar?

And you know how for those who live day in and day out in a constant state of anti-gay hysteria that any comment, however ironic or benign, that is remotely critical of the bile and venom they spew is an Attack On Christianity, America, and Jesus Himself?

Sadly, some of these nuts have started to believe their own rantings. And to act on them.

Joe. My. God. reports of a reaction by Peter LaBarbera to some comments made on his website.

In response to “Fritz”, a commenter, warning that if social equality is not achieved democratically then some gay extremists might respond with violence, “Tex” said:

“Fritz … you say this like it’s a bad thing?

“Maybe a bit of well-organized terrorism is just what we need, er, I mean ‘civil disobedience.’”

Is the comment tacky? Yes.
Is it silly? Yes.
Is it a credible threat of terrorism? Only a fool would think so.

But LaBarbera is a fool. Because he either believes his own rhetoric or he has decided to use the Federal Bureau of Investigation as his own personal political plaything.

From LaBarbera’s Americans for Truth About Homosexuality site:

The pro-family Christian defense organization Liberty Counsel has contacted the FBI regarding the threatening post.

Peter is accustomed to wild exaggeration and seeking to use any means possible to present himself as a martyr to the nefarious machinations of a sinister gay agenda. And he’s used to those in authority rolling their eyes and laughing off his extremism and hyperbole.

But I think that by involving the FBI he may have overplayed his hand.

The FBI is not known for their sense of humor. And they do not lightly take efforts to distract them from their real job of protecting the nation. Peter’s bogus claims of “terrorism” may work well on an emailed fundraising appeal, but distractions of this sort are not likely to be viewed benignly by overworked investigators.

If, of course, the FBI was really called. LaBarbera isn’t exactly known for his honesty or integrity.

Some Folks Are Never Satisfied

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2009

You know, just when I think anti-gay nutcases can’t surprise me anymore, Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber proves that there just isn’t enough hatred — yes, Peter and Matt! I’m calling you out on hatred now — for some of these people. Anti-gay activists won their contest in Maine, denying marriage to LGBT citizens of that state. You’d think that LaBarbera and Barber would be thrilled at that victory.

Guess again. They’re mad that even though Stand for Marriage Maine won, they weren’t hateful enough:

Christians PROMOTING homosexual relationships and “gay civil rights”? Above is a frame from the Stand for Marriage Maine TV ad “It’s Possible,” effectively endorsing the state’s “domestic partnership” law and “civil rights” based on homosexuality. See controversial text of ad below, and view the full ad HERE.

I agree with my good friend Matt Barber, who is also a Board Member of Americans For Truth in addition to his important work at Liberty Counsel. It is not ethical nor good strategy for the “pro-family” movement to promote one evil and public-policy disaster (changeable and sinful behavior as a government-backed “civil right”) to fight another (homosexual “marriage”). Yet that is precisely what the Yes on 1 campaign’s pro-domestic partnership ad called “It’s Possible” did. …We who claim to follow God are lacking in integrity if we promote the normalization of homosexuality as part of some (perhaps well-intentioned) utilitarian plan to ostensibly “save” traditional marriage. [Garish colors and boldface in the original]

Don’t you get the idea that nothing could possibly make these two happy? I don’t know about you, but I would love for these two to run a p0liical campaign. It would seriously make my day.

Exposing the Children, Oh My!!

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2009

Matt Barber is not exactly an intellectual giant. While some anti-gays present logical, thoughtful, and principled defenses of their ideological beliefs, Matt is a bit more inclined to lean to the hyperbolic and histronic.

Sometimes he’s so illogical and ridiculous that you just have to laugh. His latest, a rant against Home Depot, is one such situation.

Barber is upset that Home Depot sponsors a children’s craft area at Nashville Gay Pride and at pride events in other cities. Here’s a snippet from OneNewsNow:

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow the home improvement store is facilitating the exposure of children to sinful behavior.

“Out of some kind of notion of political correctness and being tolerant, Home Depot is contributing to all of this,” he notes. “They’re contributing to the corruption of children, and they need to answer for that.”

Many parents are already outraged and are taking action, according to Barber. “I would tell parents to go tell Home Depot that they don’t appreciate it and that if they continue it, they’re going to take their business elsewhere,” he adds.

But wait. Exactly what children are being “exposed to sinful behavior?” What children are being corrupted? Is it the children of outraged parents?

No.

There aren’t any children wandering in off the street at Nashville Pride. Unlike, say, Vacation Bible School, events of this sort generally don’t let unaccompanied children wander in.

The only children being “exposed” are those attending with their parents. It is either children of gay parents or of those who support our rights.

As for the parents of children “exposed” at Nashville Pride being “outraged”, they no more exist than the bumper-sticker woman in Pennsylvania.

(hat tip Jeremy Hooper)

Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #2: “A Danger To Religious Freedom”

Jim Burroway

July 16th, 2009

Among the many claims of opponents to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R.1913) — known in the Senate as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S.909) — is the contention that this bill represents a danger to religious freedoms. The proposed legislation would expand the already existing federal hate crime law to include violent crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and/or disability. The current law already covers actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color and religion. This is very important to remember because it makes the “danger to religious freedom” argument particularly illogical.

That argument, as promulgated by anti-gay activists, insists that the proposed hate crimes prevention act will effectively criminalize religious objections to homosexuality and will “muzzle” pastors. Here’s how the Family Research Council recently put it:

Let’s say you preach from Genesis 19 or Romans 1, referencing the homosexual agenda or lifestyle. Your sermon could be heard by an individual who applies it in a way prohibited by a hate crimes law. Not only would the offender be prosecuted under this law, but you could also be prosecuted for conspiracy. Consequently, hate crimes laws would radically impact our freedom of speech as Christians.

Matt Barber puts it this way:

This creates both a sociopolitical and legal environment wherein traditional sexual morality officially becomes the new racism. Those who publically [sic] express medical, moral or religious opposition to the homosexual lifestyle are tagged by the government as “homophobic bigots” to be treated no differently by law enforcement, the courts or larger society than the KKK or neo-Nazis.

Barber’s warning is particularly relevant. What would happen if “homophobic bigots” were treated exactly the same as the KKK or neo-Nazis?

Well, to answer that, we could well ask how does the current hate crimes law treat the KKK and neo-Nazis?

The KKK at the Minnesota state Capital, August 2001

The KKK at the Minnesota state Capital, August 2001

The federal hate crime law already protects against crimes motivated by hatred of religious groups, but that didn’t keep neo-Nazis from winning the right to march in predominantly Jewish Skokie, Illinois (with the ACLU’s help, I might add). The current hate crime law also protects against crimes motivated by racial hatred, but that didn’t stop the KKK from marching and shouting slogans in Cleveland (again with the ACLU’s help). Hate groups have rallied at state houses in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Carolina, In fact, White Supremacist groups have held nearly a hundred rallies, demonstrations and meetings across America in this year alone — and the existing hate crime law at both the state and federal level have deterred none of it. And yes, they’ve even protested gay pride parades as well, something that they have in common with more than a few conservative Christian groups.

“Pastor” James Wickstrom

“Pastor” James Wickstrom

Extremist hate groups are also free to practice their hate speech, including when they do so under the guise of religious belief. There are some three dozen racist Christian Identity groups active in America right now. Some even operate radio broadcasts and “prison ministries.” One such “pastor,” James Wickstrom, argued that Jews should be beaten, thrown into a wood chipper, and “give them the holocaust they rightly deserve.” This, even though current hate crime laws already protect on the basis of religion.

Now if “pastor” Wickstrom can say something as offensive and dangerous as that with the existing hate crime laws in place under the guise of his religious beliefs, then there’s nothing that Matt Barber can say now that can’t be said should the Matthew Shepard bill become law. And that’s because the First Amendment to our constitution provides a pretty ironclad guarantee of freedoms of speech and of religion:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And under that Ironclad guarantee of freedom of speech and religion, some pretty unsavory groups have freely spouted their unsavory beliefs. Our First Amendment protects our right to say pretty much anything we want, no matter how ugly, hateful, or factually wrong we may be. And no law — not even this proposed hate crimes law — can get in the way of that.

But that’s not what opponents to the hate crimes bill would have you believe:

If we do not act decisively at this time, S.909 will make illegal every word in the Bible describing the destruction wrought by this vile behavior, and prepare the way for total censorship of the Gospel of Christ. Our children will pay a horrible price for our cowardice.” Rev. Flip Benham, National Director, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America

But S.909, the senate version of the bill, won’t make illegal any words whatsoever, because it only expands the current hate crimes law to cover sexual orientation. And the current hate crimes law doesn’t make illegal any words either. And in case there’s any confusion about this, the version of the Matthew Shepard act which passed the House says so specifically:

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by, the Constitution.

And the Senate version is even more expansive in its assurances:

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

Now notice what I just did. I linked directly to both the House and Senate versions of the act so you can read it for yourself. Ever wonder why our opponents won’t do the same when they make these outlandish claims?

But What About Pastors in Sweden, Britain and Canada?
Anti-gay opponents often bring up examples from other countries, claiming that what can happen over there can happen here. Focus On the Family has a so-called “Facts Sheet” which claims (PDF: 44KB/2 pages):

In Sweden, Canada and Great Britain, “hate crimes” laws have been used to prosecute Christians speaking their disapproval of homosexual behavior, posing a serious threat to religious liberty and free speech.

The Family Research Council adds:

Don’t believe it? Just Just ask Pastor Ake Green who was charged and sentenced on June 29, 2004 to one month in jail for showing “disrespect” against homosexuals because of a grace and truth filled sermon delivered in Borgholm, Sweden on July 20, 2003 . Thanks to the efforts of our friends at ADF, that sentence was overturned on appeal, but you can see what a chilling effect that hate crimes laws would have on the freedom of speech and religion.

But Sweden’s example simply doesn’t apply here. Sweden has a hate speech law that goes back to 1948, when it was originally written in response to the Holocaust. Laws which limit hate speech are quite common in many European countries. But that’s because their constitutions allow such laws to exist. Ours doesn’t. Swedish journalist Tor Billgren, who writes the blog Antigayretorik, reminds us that no preacher has been fined or jailed for quoting the Bible:

Pastor Åke Green was sentenced to 1 month imprisonment by the district court, but was acquitted by the court of appeal and the supreme court. He wasn’t jailed. There’s another case as well: Leif Liljeström, a Christian (not a preacher) who owned a discussion forum on the web. He was sentenced to 1 month for things another person wrote on the forum (according to the Swedish law the owner of the forum is responsible). However, this wasn’t quotes from the Bible, but extreme hate speech. This case will be dealt with by the Supreme Court. He hasn’t been jailed.

Britain is often cited as another example by anti-gay activists. But the U.K. has no written constitution, nor does it have a Bill of Rights like ours which enumerates inviolable rights among its citizenry. (If I remember, that was one of the sore points between us more than two hundred years ago.) Consequently, Britain has a long history of banning all sorts of speech. As recently as 1988, Margaret Thatcher’s government banned the broadcast of all appearances and interviews of members of Sinn Fein and the IRA. (According to the BBC, “instead of hearing Gerry Adams, viewers and listeners would hear an actor’s voice reading a transcript of the Sinn Fein leader’s words.”) You just try to get that past our Constitution here.

Canada also has a hate speech law. Bill C-250 criminalizes certain types of hate speech towards persons of any sexual orientation: homosexuals, bisexuals, or heterosexuals. In other words, it protects everyone equally. But there is a clause which specifically exempts religiously motivated speech. In other words, religious freedom always trumps hate speech in Canada according to this particular law. But again, Canada’s constitution does not prohibit curbs on speech the way the American constitution does.

But What About the “Philadelphia Eleven”?
But some claim that just such a curb on freedom of speech has actually happened here:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer claims the legislation “does not affect free speech or punish beliefs or thoughts. It only seeks to punish violent acts.”  But Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, says Hoyer is ignoring the case of eleven Christians in Philadelphia who were charged with hate crimes for sharing Scripture verses at a homosexual pride rally.

“Ask the Philadelphia 11. We know what these supposed ‘hate crime’ laws are meant to do. In Philadelphia, Christians were arrested and jailed based on hate crime law,” she points out. “So we know that what the other side is saying — that it will not affect pastors or youth pastors or Christians — we know that is not true.”

Philadelphia organizers, participants, and police were willing to tolerate the signs and taunts from a group of Repent America protesters when they remained at the edge of the event’s grounds. But then those protesters pushed their way onto the festival grounds to try to forcibly disrupt the event, they were surrounded by Outfest supporters armed with pink whistles and eight-foot-tall pink-colored boards mounted on sticks.

Repent America, who didn’t have a permit for their gathering, was trying to disrupt an OutFest rally which did have a valid permit. So police were called, and they instructed the demonstrators to go back out to the the edge of the Outfest area. The demonstrators ignored three separate orders to move. When they were told by police they would be arrested if they refused to move, they sat down, forcing the police to arrest them.

Prosecutors charged the protesters with violating several laws including the state’s hate crime law. But the court dismissed those charges, calling them an infringement on the protester’s First Amendment rights.That’s right. Just like with with the Klan and the neo-Nazis, Repent America’s actions were protected by the First Amendment.

This may be a case of overzealous prosecutors misapplying the law. But that doesn’t mean the law itself is flawed. We’ve had cases where overzealous prosecutors have pinned far worse charges on innocent people. Some have even ended up on death row for wrongful murder convictions. The answer to that problem isn’t the elimination of laws against murder, but to ensure that everyone has a speedy and fair trial — which is another of our cherished constitutionally protected rights.

And in this particular case, the problem wasn’t with the police who removed Repent America from OutFest; it was with the prosecutor’s decision to charge them under the state’s hate crimes law. In fact, when Repent America tried to sue the city of Philadelphia for wrongful arrest, that court ruled that the police acted properly. It was Repent America’s disruptive actions which led to their arrests, not the content of their speech.

Those who claim that the proposed hate crimes bill is a danger to free speech or religious freedoms need to not only dust off their copy of the Bill of Rights, but also look around at what a lot of people are already getting by with under the current hate crime law. Even if Repent America, Focus On the Family, or the American Family Association were to wind up in the same classy company of the KKK and neo-Nazis as Matt Barber fears, they will still be free to say whatever they damn well please.

See also:
Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #2: “A Danger To Religious Freedom”
Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #1: “The Thirty Sexual Orientations”

Carrie Prejean’s New Career: Anti-Gay Activist

Timothy Kincaid

April 29th, 2009

When Carrie Prejean, Miss California, bumblingly told the Miss USA audience that she chooses “opposite marriage” and believes that “a marriage should be between a man and a woman”, I mostly ignored the situation. We tend to pay less attention to the ignorance of the misinformed and focus more on the deliberate deceptions of anti-gay activists.

However, as the story lingered way beyond its freshness date I wrote a commentary noting that Prejean was startlingly ignorant on a number of issues surrounding sexual orientation. Yet still I thought the story was but momentary and not particularly relevant to our efforts.

But now it seems that Prejean may be taking steps to turn her moment of foolishness into a career of hostility and bigotry.

And that brings her into our spotlight.

What Carrie Prejean believes

To understand Prejean’s motivations, we have to understand what she believes.

We know that she opposes marriage equality and believes that homosexuality is “a behavior that develops over time”. But her opinions have been developed in a stew of bigotry that goes far beyond misinformation about the bases of orientation.

Carrie Prejean attends a church that has strong opinions on the subject of sexuality and marriage. Miles McPherson, a football player turned pastor, was one of the driving forces behind the evangelical support for Proposition 8. In addition to anti-gay rallies at his church, McPherson was a proponent of the notoriously untruthful website for youth, iProtectMarriage.com.

Miles McPherson, one of Prop 8’s proponents and senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, says the site aims to reach out to all young voters, especially those who support same-sex marriage for the wrong reasons.

“Right now they’re driven by the wrong information and a lot of emotion,” said McPherson, a former NFL player with the San Diego Chargers. “They’ll say, ‘I don’t want to be called a bigot. I don’t want to discriminate,'” said McPherson.

It seems that McPherson falls into the camp of Christians that believe that honesty and truth are optional and far subsidiary to “fighting the homosexual agenda”. In a message in February 2008, he said,

The homosexual agenda is being pushed upon this nation, to the point where it may become illegal for pastors to preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, that is where even such preaching is deemed a crime. In some countries this is already the case. Keep in mind this battle is not about gay people, rather it is a spiritual battle in which we are fighting the devil!

And it was in this imagery of spiritual battle against evil that Prejean formed her “biblical correctness”. And it is among his youthful warriors (the average attendant’s age is under 30), that Carrie takes her place.

And McPherson is not hesitant to equip his warriors with the tools of political victory, with unvarnished lies a chief weapon. In addition to the blatant falsehoods on the Prop 8 website, McPherson’s church, The Rock in San Diego, says the following about gays in a piece written by McPherson entitled Sodom and Gomorrah, A City Inflamed

Consequences of a Homosexual Lifestyle

God’s Word tells us differently and He provides us of the evidence that homosexuality is not natural or normal. There are physiological repercussions from homosexual behavior; male homosexuals are 430 times more likely to contract HIV than a heterosexual, while heterosexuals have a 1-in-750,000 chance of contracting the virus responsible for HIV, a male homosexual has a 1-in-165 chance of getting HIV. A 20 year old gay male has a 30% chance of either dying or contracting AIDS before the age of 30. They are also 23 times more likely to get other sexually transmitted diseases than a heterosexual.

There are also moral repercussions stemming from homosexual behavior as evidenced by the fact that one third of all sexual crimes against children are committed by homosexuals even though they are representative of only one percent of the population. Pedophilia has even been called central to the gay lifestyle. The agenda of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is to lower the age of consent so that sex with children will be legal.

I wrote to several pastors at the church earlier in the week to inform them that their claims about AIDS were mathematically impossible and in conflict with the literature and statistics provided by health organizations. I also corrected their false claims about child molestation and informed them that equating the gay community to NAMBLA is comparable to equating all of Christianity to the Phelps family.

I’ve not received a reply.

The website is unchanged.

The Cultivation of a Victim Image

Since losing the crown on the 19th, Prejean has been seeking every opportunity to discuss her story in the media and to craft an image as a Christian victim of vile homosexual activists.

The essential premise of this image is that Carrie was the front-runner and that her dream of being Miss USA was stolen from her when she bravely stood up for her faith. Prejean set up that premise in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC Today,

Ms. PREJEAN: … You know what, Matt, I was on that stage that night and I was so excited to be there. I was competing for Miss USA, and I was called into the top 10 and to the top five. And I was standing there and, you know, I was ready for my question. And when I heard it from him, I knew at that moment after I had answered the question, I knew that I was not going to win because of my answer.

LAUER: Because you had spoken from your heart.

Ms. PREJEAN: Because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs and for my God.

Prejean further fed that perception in an interview with FOXNews

FOXNews.com: Before “the question,” did you think you would win Miss USA?

Carrie Prejean: There was a lot of talk about me, people saying I was the frontrunner. During the whole two-week experience leading up to the pageant, I was very confident and relaxed. Not too nervous.

However, that premise does not appear to fit the facts. In viewing the final competition scores, it appears that Prejean was not the front-runner going into the question. In fact, unless Kristen Dalton, Miss North Carolina, flubbed badly and Prejean was brilliant there was no way that she could win.

As Brook Lee, a former Miss Universe who was at the event and spoke to the judges, put it, “for her to go in the press and say she lost the crown because of her answer is playing with the truth.”

She has also been pushing the story that the Miss California franchise tried to manipulate her into recanting her testimony.

Prejean said Sunday that her state sponsors urged her to apologize afterward but she rejected the advice and says officials from the Miss California USA pageant were worried that her comments would cost their contest financial backing and tried to prepare her for a string of post-pageant media interviews by discouraging her from discussing her religious beliefs.

“You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith. This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand,'” Prejean recalled being told. “I was representing California. I was representing the majority of people in California.”

This accusation was soundly denounced by the Miss California pageant officials.

[P]ublic relations representative Roger Neal today called those claims lies. Neal says he was one of the people who attempted to advise the Prejean. According to him, Prejean was urged to reiterate she didn’t mean to offend anyone, and to use the national spotlight “to heal some wounds.”

Even Prejean’s claim that her sister is “a gay rights activist” who “supports gay marriage” appears to be a fiction.

McPherson’s Influence

But perhaps we should not be surprised that truth has played so small a part in the establishment of her martyr myth. She is being coached and guided by her religious mentor, Mile McPherson.

The Rock’s site claimed that the Rock’s Senior Pastor Miles McPherson “spent time with Prejean in the critical hours following the pageant”. This coaching was further confirmed when Rex Wockner asked if she’d be willing to have coffee with Perez Hilton, the gay blogger who asked her the question in the pageant.

Carrie: Um, I’m not sure if I would have coffee with him. If I did, I’d bring Miles with me.

And McPherson’s influence may be directing Prejean in a new and troubling direction.

If anything, Prejean has solidified her stance in the last week. McPherson, who preaches against homosexuality, has been acting as her adviser and encouraging her to use her newfound fame to persuade other evangelical Christians to share their views, even if they are unpopular.

“I learned that God has a bigger crown than any man can give you,” she said.

Prejean Joins the Anti-Gay Activists

I’m not sure why conservative Christians would be so anxious to align their movement with a young woman whose sole claim to fame is to walk her fake breasts down a runway hoping that her appeal to vanity and lust will result in adoration and personal gain. But the political operatives of that movement often leave me shaking my head in wonder.

Nevertheless, they have welcomed Prejean with open arms, and she has leapt at the opportunity to turn her beauty queen status into the face of anti-gay activism.

Prejean has been lauded by some mainstream conservative leaders for standing for her beliefs. She was commended by the Alabama state legislature and today she made a special appearance at Liberty University’s convocation.

But it is troubling that Prejean has decided to align herself with the most extremist and demonizing of professional anti-gay activists. Later today she will be join Mat Staver and Matt Barber in a radio interview, both of whom are known for their virulent homophobic positions.

And Prejean is willing to go further than give interviews. Yesterday Maggie Gallagher, the head of National Organization for Marriage (of Gathering Storm fame) had breakfast with Miss California. Maggie had plans for the meeting.

And I would like to nominate Miss California as the new face of the marriage movement. Much better than mine! “Truth and love will prevail over lies and hate.”

But beauty never hurt.

And, indeed, Gallager’s nomination was accepted. The National Organization for Marriage has announced that a new NOM ad will feature Prejean. And a source close to the group says the campaign includes ads that “will focus on how standing up for marriage elicits attacks from the left and homosexual rights activists.”

My Predictions

The Miss California pageant almost certainly will remove Carrie Prejean’s title and take her crown. They cannot afford to have Miss California headlining political ads that seek to criticize “the left and homosexual activists”. Indeed, the negative publicity she’s already generated – along with demonizing the organization – probably has the administration thinking ahead for the best time to let her go.

Surely this ad seals the deal.

And Prejean will get another round of playing the martyr when that happens.

However, her expected attempt to exploit the removal of her title will likely not elicit the same sympathy. While folks can feel badly for a girl who just “spoke her opinion”, they aren’t as inclined to think that running anti-gay advertising is in line with her duties as Miss California. In fact, any attempt to play the victim may well turn against her those who currently see her as such.

Which is ironic, because Carrie Prejean truly is a victim. She’s the pawn of those who want to use her 15 minutes of fame to advance their own anti-gay agenda.

The whirl of controversy – coupled with anti-gay activism – has killed any sponsorship or modeling career she may have been seeking. No one will want their product associated with a woman who is reviled by half the population.

And, unlike Matt Barber who lost his job for tying his employer’s name to his anti-gay screeds, Prejean does not appear to have the qualifications required to become a full time paid anti-gay activist. She’s not articulate and she isn’t passionate.

At most, she can for a brief while show up at anti-gay functions as a token of ‘homosexual intolerance’.

In the long run, Carrie Prejean’s decision to join anti-gay ranks is not to her benefit.

McPherson will go on with his church and Maggie Gallagher will go on with her activism. But when Carrie’s usefulness has run out, she’ll find herself without a title, a crown, a career, or the respect of her peers.

Wingers On Parade: Reactions To Vermont

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2009

We did this following the Iowa Supreme Court decision. Now it’s time to look at reactions to the Vermont legislature’s decision to allow same-sex marriage. Wouldn’t it be great if this could become a regular series?

Anti-gay activists pounced immediately with their talking points when the Iowa Supreme Court released their opinion, but Right Wing Watch noticed that it took quite a while for anti-gay activists to react to the Vermont vote. Probably because couldn’t reflexively blame “activist judges.”

But several hours later, reactions slowly began to trickle in. So guess what? It’s not “activist judges,” it’s a breakdown in democracy. Focus On the Family detects a “mysterious” conspiracy afoot:

Thanks to several legislators who mysteriously changed their votes over the weekend, Vermont has become the first state to radically change the definition of marriage through the legislative process.

Sounds nefarious, doesn’t it. Like it’s some sort of threat to destroy democracy or something. The Liberty Counsel’s Matt Staver is also reading from the same playbook, calling a vote by two legislative chambers made up of duly elected representatives of the people “tyranny”:

By redefining marriage, the Vermont legislature removed the cornerstone of society and the foundation of government. The consequences will rest on their shoulders and upon those passive objectors who know what to do but lack the courage to stand against this form of tyranny.

The Catholic League’s reaction defines the word “apoplectic.” Vermont’s exercise in democracy apparently doesn’t count because it’s Vermont:

Vermont is a lily-white state populated by left-wingers who are anti-traditional marriage and anti-family. Exactly what we would expect of a population where more people believe in nothing than anywhere else in the nation.

But not everyone was on the same page. Austin R. Nimocks, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, took a different route.

The institution of marriage has predated the legislature and government and the United States, and it’s not the prerogative of anybody to redefine it. It is the prerogative of every state and U.S. citizen to uphold the institution as it has always been defined, as one man and one woman.”

As it was always defined? I think Nimocks needs to study up on his Bible, because just off the top of my head I know that King David, who unlike Nimocks was divinely appointment, had eight wives. Solomon had seven hundred.

Matt Barber isn’t thinking representative democracy either. He labors under the mistaken impression that we’re in a theocracy:

“How long can a nation founded on the laws of nature and nature’s God expect to find favor in his eyes when we continue to mock God?”

…”I believe that the purveyors of evil around the country feel emboldened right now with the current political climate in Washington, DC,” Barber states, what with both the Oval Office and Congress inhabited by “people who are bent on thumbing their nose at God.”

But at least we can count on Peter LaBarbera to know exactly where to lay the blame. It’s not activist judges or rogue legislators. It’s the American people:

A northeastern state, Vermont, has voted in homosexual “marriage” — through an override of the governor’s veto, no less.  This profane legislative act cannot be blamed on reckless judges or “unelected courts.” No, this instead is reckless, godless liberalism in action…

Most Americans have gotten too comfortable with same-sex perversion (we at AFTAH reject the activist concept of innocuous, innate “sexual orientation”) and extramarital sex. … It’s asking too much of God to “bless America” when America is blessing the counter-Biblical idea of state-sanctioned, homosexually-redefined “marriage.

Wingers On Parade: Reactions To Iowa

Jim Burroway

April 3rd, 2009

Today’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling, which struck down the portion of that state’s marriage law restricting marriage to heterosexuals, has provoked an entertaining assortment of reactions from the usual characters. Here are just a few examples.

First up, Matt Barber. He now has a title that is longer than the queen of England (“Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, and Associate Dean with Liberty University School of Law”). I like his reaction because it fits perfectly with other ridiculous arguments which inspired the very name of this web site. Barber blathers:

U.S. Supreme Court long ago rejected the untenable notion that ‘equal protection’ requires two biologically incompatible persons to be permitted to ‘marry.’ Marriage, of course, by its very spiritual, historical and biological nature, requires binary compatibility. It is no more discriminatory to disallow two men from marrying each other, than it is to prohibit a man from marrying his house plant.

That’s right. We now have the potted plant argument, which I guess is appropriate coming from him. Since the Box Turtle reference may be getting old, maybe we should rename this web site “Pansies for Pansies.com” in Barber’s honor.

Next up, Randy Thomasson. He’s demanding the most rigorous constitutional amendment ever devised by man or beast:

…Iowans should write a rock-solid marriage amendment, one that is much stronger than amendments in California, Oregon and Washington, which still allowed counterfeit marriages and immoral policies forcing insurance plans and private businesses to subsidize pseudo-marriages. Iowans should also take care to prevent the civil institution of marriage from being someday abolished, and must biologically define a man and a woman to ensure that the distinct, God-given genders of a husband and wife cannot be perverted.

owa Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron) wants more than just a constitutional amendment. He also wants to prevent Iowa from becoming a “gay marriage Mecca”:

Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.

Concerned Women for America aren’t interested in tinkering with laws or constitutions. Instead, they call for the establishment of a theocracy:

Until we rightly handle these issues in God’s house, we will continue to fail in the court house, the state house and the school house. George Washington warned us it would be impossible to rightly govern without the Bible, until we repent and return to those same principles, we will fail to properly govern and succeed as a nation.

And finally, our favorite. Peter LaBarbera gets a two-fer. First, there’s this post on his web site:

Today Iowa becomes the first state not on either of the nation’s two liberal coasts to impose counterfeit, homosexual ‘marriage’ or its mischievous twin, ‘civil unions’ on its citizens through judicial tyranny. To call this decision bankrupt is to understate its perniciousness. The evil genius of the pro-sodomy movement is that it targets noble institutions like marriage and adoption in the name of ‘rights,’ and then perverts and uses them to normalize aberrant and destructible behaviors.

In LaBarbara’s mass email which also included the above statement, he added:

If the people do not respond in righteous anger coupled with effective action, the downfall of our beloved nation is assured — because God (who invented marriage) is not mocked.

Iowa protester Craig Overton (Rodney White / Des Moines Register)

Iowa protester Craig Overton (Rodney White / Des Moines Register)

You know, there’s a reason we have an award named for him. One excellent nominee for that award might be one Craig Overton, whose sign was so embarrassing to gay rights opponents that they urged him to put the sign down. It read “Same sex animals don’t mate. God Bless. Culver man up.” Overton refused to put the sign down.

Matt Barber Supports Jailing Married Same-Sex Couples

Jim Burroway

February 1st, 2009

Nigeria has one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the books. Right now, consenting gay sex is punishable by up to 14 year in prison with hard labor. Now, Nigerian lawmakers are upping the ante with a new anti-gay bill which would make same-sex marriage punishable by up to three years in prison. The bill also would imprison anyone who attends a gay wedding with up to five years behind bars.

The anti-same-sex marriage bill goes beyond mere same-sex marriage. It also gives police the right to raid any public or private gatherings of any group of people suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

And it goes beyond Nigerian citizens, posing a threat to non-Nigerians as well. Anyone who married anywhere and returned to Nigeria, as well as anyone who is married to a same-sex partner who travels to Nigeria — including foreign business people — can be jailed.

In other words, there are some 36,000 Californians who face up to three years imprisonment with hard labor if they should step foot in Nigeria.

Matt Barber, of the Liberty Counsel, is completely on board with that:

Barber believes Nigeria and any other country ought to be free to express its own culture without outside interference.

“We have the Defense of Marriage Act on the books [in the United States]; why aren’t they coming after the U.S.? Well, because what bullies do is they pick on someone that is weaker than they are,” he notes. “So the European Union is trying to make an example out of Nigeria because they are in a position of influence and power, yet they will not pick the same fight with the United States because they know it would be to no avail.”

Matt surely knows there is a huge difference in how American laws and Nigerian laws treat LGBT people. One merely provides governmental non-recognition of same-sex marriage while the other imposes harsh prison terms in a Central African prison for anyone, including non-citizens and visitors, who are married.

Why would Barber overlook this massive difference? Maybe he wishes that difference wasn’t really there. His vigorous defense of the Nigerian bill, one that could even jeopardize American visitors, suggests that he sees imprisoning LGBT Americans and others around the world as nothing short of progress. Or at the very least, entirely defensible.

Newsweek Essay Draws Howls of Protest

Jim Burroway

December 9th, 2008

Anti-gay activists are pulling their hair out over Lisa Miller’s essay in Newsweek, in which she lays out a religious case for same-sex marriage. She opens her essay by saying, “Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.”

As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well with one particular segment of Christianity. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a member of the Focus on the Family Board of Directors, wrote:

Many observers believe that the main obstacle to this agenda [of allowing same-sex marriage] is a resolute opposition grounded in Christian conviction. Newsweek clearly intends to reduce that opposition.”

That was one of the calmer reactions. Tony Perkins of the Family “Research” Council denounced it as “yet another attack on orthodox Christianity.” The Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association called it “one of the most biased and distorted pieces concerning homosexual marriage ever published by any major news organization.” Not surprisingly, he also is calling on his followers to inundate Newsweek with emails.

And Peter LaBarbera, not one to be outdone, called the essay a “scandalous hit piece” and an “embarrassing attempt to make a Biblical case for sodomy-based ‘marriage.'” (See why we have an award named in his honor?) And Peter’s pal, Matt Barber responded, “You know, scripture says woe to those who call evil good and good evil, and I say woe to Newsweek for even printing this drivel.”

Part of the outrage stems from the fact that anti-gay activists have tried for years to couch their opposition to same-sex marriage on sociological research to make their point — research that, as we have pointed out many times, they have distorted with amazing consistency. But by calling on science instead of the Bible, they seek to inoculate themselves from charges of trying to impose their religious views on others. “See? We’re not religious zealots. Science supports us,” they like to say. Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, repeated this line in saying, “The arguments that are used are often not biblical arguments. They are secular arguments, arguing about marriage as being a civic and a social institution, and that societies have a right to define marriage.” And Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, claimed, “We’re not trying to take the Bible and put a bill number on it and legislate it.”

But when they are talking among themselves, religious arguments are firmly at the fore, whether it’s LDS Elder M. Russell Ballard speaking of the “central doctrine of eternal marriage” or Richard Land himself explaining with an apparently straight face that what he calls the global warning “hoax” is simply due to “cycles of nature that God has allowed in the cosmos.” Neither of these positions sound very scientific to me.

But the religious face is not the public face that these religiously-motivated leaders want to present. And by having to respond to Lisa Miller’s essay, they are forced to publicly defend the religious basis for their beliefs, which annoys a few of them to no end.  Watch how Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse pivots when asked about the Newsweek essay:

“Beyond the Scriptural distortion, the article distorts the pro-marriage and pro-family movement that is solidly grounded on sociological research about family structures that contribute to the well-being of women and children.”

She then goes on to mischaracterize what “experts agree.”

But the other part of the outrage also seems clearly aimed at someone who really did intrude onto their home turf. After all, in the same-sex marriage debates, only one small group of Christians are presumed to be allowed to use the Bible — when they think nobody else is looking. Anti-gay activists behave as though the Bible is solely their possession and no one else’s — including other Christians who read the same Bible and come to different conclusions. It’s okay for anti-gay opponents to turn outside their own sphere of authority — science — to make their point. But now that Lisa Miller has taken them on in their own home turf, they’ve let loose with their persecution complex and complained that they– and by extension all of Christianity, since they presume to speak for all Christians — have been “attacked.” 

Which reminds me of a great and appropriate graphic making its way around the Internet:

Frothing Lunacy

Timothy Kincaid

July 28th, 2008

barber.jpgSometimes the anti-gays come out with something so ludicrous, so froth-at-the-mouth insane, so raving lunatic that it’s worthy of Lewis Carroll. Except, of course, they believe themselves… or the less sane among them do.

And one such trader in fantasy is J. Matt “Bam Bam” Barber, formerly the voice of Concerned Women for America. Barber always manages to amuse and, in his critique of McDonalds and the AFA boycott, Barber delivers in spades.

You can almost see the spittle and hear his rapid breathing as he writes:

Unfortunately, the radical San Francisco-style policies both the NGLCC and McDonald’s advocate run directly counter to the best interests of the vast majority of Americans outside California’s “Sodom on the Bay.” For example, under communist-tested, McDonald’s-approved “hate speech” legislation, such as the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Christians and other business owners with traditional values would be forced – under penalty of law – to abandon sincerely held religious beliefs and adopt McDonald’s own secular-humanist, moral-relativist view of right and wrong.

It’s not often that you can get “communist”, “Sodom”, and “McDonalds” in the same paragraph. You’ve got to hand it to him. When it comes to nutbaggery, it just doesn’t get much more bat-poopish than Barber.

Oh but he doesn’t stop there

Yet McDonald’s has now thrown its full weight, brand name and presently tarnished reputation behind the push for “gay marriage” in all 50 states.

All because they contributed a $20,000 pittance to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, an organization that doesn’t even mention marriage in their mission or programs. Ah, but if we were looking for logic and sanity we wouldn’t look to Barber, now would we?

But it is this doozie that I really love. Barber sarcastically proclaims

If you happen to support the historical definition of marriage – which is, and has always been male-female – then you’re a drooling, inbred hatemonger.

Well, Matt… not everyone who supports the historical definition…

Some day the anti-gays may realize that lunatic ranting doesn’t win hearts, minds, or Culture Wars. Let’s hope it’s too late by then. And in the mean time, someone give Bam Bam a word processor.

Most Pathetic Protest Ever

Jim Burroway

July 17th, 2008

The AFA’s McDonalds boycott has started off with a resounding thud. Have you ever seen anything more sad?

YouTube Preview Image

Peter LaBarbera Celebrates Memorial Weekend at Leather Event

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2008

lababs2.jpg This past weekend I went to Disneyland. It was a little rainy so the lines were short and we had a wonderful time. The next day we went to The Magic Castle for a great meal and to be amazed by prestidigitation. Throw in dinner at Saddleranch (so my friends could ride the mechanical bull), a walk on Venice Beach, and a showing of Indiana Jones and it was quite the gay weekend.

Meanwhile, Peter LaBarbera was living up to his nickname and having quite another type of gay weekend. He spent his Memorial Day celebration at the International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago. IML is an event, mostly for gay men, that celebrates the leather community. It also appeals to fetishists including those whose sexual tastes run to the unconventional or peculiar.

IML really isn’t my cup of tea – I tend to think leather is best when made into a belt or a pair of shoes. So it would never cross my mind to trek out to Chicago and spend my time in a hotel ballroom gawking at fetish porn.

But LaBarbera never misses a year.

And, yet again, Memorial Weekend found him oogling men in leather regalia and taking pictures of every bare butt cheek or risque poster he could find. Pete could hardly wait to get back to tell his buddy Matt “Bam Bam” Barber about all of the pig sex and watersports and “sodomy on steroids” that he found. Just think, gasp, of all the raunchy sex that was going on right in the very hotel where he was standing! Pete and Bam Bam almost worked themselves into a froth going on about anal sex and fetishes and all sorts of “satanic, depraved sodomitic orgies involving feces and urine”.

Now I’m a tolerant guy. If you’d rather check out the Pecs and Personality contest than sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s no business of mine. If your idea of fun is a boot shining contest rather than watching a really impressive card trick, who am I to complain?

But if you go, I have a word of advice: avoid getting your picture taken by LaBarbera. I don’t even want to think about how Pete uses those pictures. Ick.

See also:
LaBarbera Blames Gays for Heterosexual Beastiality Porn

Racists Gain More Allies from the Anti-Gay Movement

Timothy Kincaid

May 12th, 2008

The defense of homophobic violence that started with an article by Ted Pike on David Duke’s virulently racist and anti-Semitic website has now been taken by Peter LaBarbera to his fellow anti-gays: Concerned Women for America (CWA)’s Matt Barber, and Bob Knight of the Culture and Media Institute.

Bob Knight and Peter LaBarbera are old friends from when they were part of Concerned Women, but I really don’t know if either Barber or Knight also share Pike and Duke’s racist and anti-Semitic agenda. They may just have been brought into the alliance by LaBarbera.

Pot, Meet Kettle

Jim Burroway

May 8th, 2008

Pot, Meet KettleThose so-called “professional journalists” at Focus On the Family’s CitizenLink are repeating that tired old theme again — that the “homosexual lobby” is so incredibly well-funded that its a miracle that anti-gay activists can get a word in edgewise. If only it were true.

This time, they’re upset over the Human Rights Campaign’s “Year to Win” initiative, specifically HRC’s plan to train 1,500 advocates in thirteen cities to participate in the upcoming elections.

Wow. Thirteen cities. Imagine that.

CitizenLink then enlisted Matt Barber to complain:

“Their main purpose for existence is to influence public policy and politics, and to get people elected to office who are going to push their militant homosexual agenda,” said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America.

Of course, nobody at Focus and none of the Concerned Women are at all interested in public policy, politics or getting people elected.

Oh, wait a minute. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that the world held its collective breath wondering who Dobson would endorse for the GOP primaries?

And isn’t Focus On the Family in its third year of flogging its own so-called “Truth Project”, a series of regional and local training sessions they’ve been putting on across the country? And what about Dobson’s radio program and Focus’ own “Family News In Focus” program, both going out daily to hundreds of radio stations across the country — all of it to push their militant anti-gay agenda?

But then, HRC does have a weekly radio program on XM Satellite, or so I hear. I don’t get satellite radio.

But that’s not the only thing that CitizenLink is worried about. They’re terribly upset over HRC’s massive bankroll:

Brad Miller, director of the Family Policy Council department at Focus on the Family Action, said family advocates could face an uphill battle. HRC has an annual budget of more than $50 million.

True, when you add up the revenues of the Human Rights Campaign, Inc and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, you end up with a figure of about $50 million.

But go to GuideStar and look up the financial statements from Focus On the Family and Focus On the Family Action. Add those figures together and you’ll end up with revenues in 2006 of some $157 million.

That’s more than three times the size of HRC’s combined budget.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe two will help.

Bar chart
Pie chart

I think Focus On the Family should spend some of their money on math lessons.

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