The LaBarbera-Birther-Dominionist link
March 11th, 2010
To paraphrase a common phrase, “wackadoodle extremist nutcakes of a feather flock together”. So it should be no surprise to find anti-gay activists dancing the tango with “birthers” and other fringe political gadflies.
Currently anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is waging war on Dr. Warren Throckmorton. Throckmorton engages in the grievous sin of believing that therapists – even Christian therapists – should allow same-sex attracted clients who are seeking congruence with their religion to determine their path without overlaying the therapists’ views, even if it means that “some religious individuals will determine that their religious beliefs may become modified to allow integration of same-sex eroticism within their valued identity.”
But Throckmorton infuriates LaBarbera even more by questioning the efficacy of reparative therapy and noting that “it appears from the research that change is infrequent in attractions”. LaBarbera sees this as heresy or, in his words, Throckmorton has “lost his faith in God’s ability to change people.”
LaBarbera has begun a letter and media campaign seeking to threaten Throckmorton’s employment at Grove City College. And he’s rounded up a number of “concerned citizens” to assist in his quest. Not surprisingly, they are as, ummm, colorful as is Peter himself.
But, for those who may not know the extent of Linda’s animus and how it goes to the very core of her self definition, these words from her “testimony” might shed some light.
It was 1992. I had spent months reading the Bible seriously for the first time in my life, and I was trembling on the brink of a stunning decision: to become a Christian, but not just another pew-warmer. I was increasingly tempted beyond all conventional wisdom — to accept the Bible as true, which would make me one of “those” Christians.
So I continued on, hopeful in the joy of discovery. Plodding through the morality code passages in Leviticus lambs being sacrificed, how to deal with boils and leprosy– I concluded some of the messages were symbolic, some were particular to that specific ancient time, while other messages were timeless. It was one of those timeless verses that stopped me cold.
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
Whoa. If ever there was a definitive statement, this was it. I read it again, then continued on a little farther, looking for the escape clause. Not finding any, I read the passage again. Then I did some cross-referencing to find relevant verses about homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments. This led me to Leviticus 20, Romans 1, and 1 Corinthians 6, passages conveying a consistent platform, strong and uncompromising. I mulled it over for a while, recognizing that it was probably a sub-category of the commandment against adultery. And for a woman thoroughly grounded in heterosexual desires, I had a very interesting reaction. I closed the Bible and stopped reading it for several weeks.
A troubling internal debate threatened my new faith. Even back then in 1992 ancient history in the “gay rights” movement I had absorbed the notion that only obtuse bigots opposed homosexuality. Every enlightened person knew that the freedom to practice homosexuality –responsibly, of course — would surely not threaten the mainstream, but would simply meet the needs of a small, harmless and kind of pitiful minority.
For several weeks I stewed about this, strongly tempted to return to the comfort of my familiar plastic beliefs. Opposing forces wrestled for authority in my mind and heart as I considered first one, then an alternative view of “truth.” What was the reality behind this issue? It was the first time, but not the last, where I would encounter a Joshua 24 moment. I needed to “choose this day whom I would serve.” I didn’t recognize the moving of the Holy Spirit yet, how He presents evidence before each of us in unique ways to drive us toward understanding. In deciding what to believe, or even how to sort it all out, I would be starting a journey toward either one or the other kingdom of two completely different masters.
Linda’s very essence – as “Christian not a pew-warmer” – is grounded in the rejection of the idea that gay people are non-threatening and the adoption as literal, relevant, and objectively true a Scriptural passage that calls for the execution of gay men. To Linda, this was the separation between “plastic beliefs” and choosing to serve God; her entire “journey” is based on the belief in death for homosexuals.
Next up was Steve Baldwin, “the former Executive Director of the Council for National Policy, a former State Assemblyman in California, and a longtime conservative Republican activist.” Baldwin wrote Grove City College’s president, seeking to discredit Throckmorton and threated to “no longer be recommending Grove City College” to “hundreds of conservative high school students” who ask him for a recommendation.
As might be expected, Baldwin is no friend of the gay community. His article written for the Regent University Law Review, Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement, is a recitation of fabrications and oft-repeated but debunked demonizations.
It is difficult to convey the dark side of the homosexual culture without appearing harsh. However, it is time to acknowledge that homosexual behavior threatens the foundation of Western civilization the nuclear family. An unmistakable manifestation of the attack on the family unit is the homosexual community’s efforts to target children both for their own sexual pleasure and to enlarge the homosexual movement. The homosexual community and its allies in the media scoff at this argument. They insist it is merely a tactic to demonize the homosexual movement. After all, they argue, heterosexual molestation is a far more serious problem.
Unfortunately, the truth is stranger than fiction. Research confirms that homosexuals molest children at a rate vastly higher than heterosexuals, and the mainstream homosexual culture commonly promotes sex with children. Homosexual leaders repeatedly argue for the freedom to engage in consensual sex with children, and blind surveys reveal a shockingly high number of homosexuals admit to sexual contact with minors. Indeed, the homosexual community is driving the worldwide campaign to lower the legal age of consent.
The thesis is breathtaking in its dishonesty.
As we have shown, the premises behind such claims are based on the false assumption that every adult who molests a child of the same sex is, by default, homosexual even if he identifies as heterosexual, is married, and has a long string of opposite sex victims.
Of course, activists like Baldwin don’t limit their extremist to gays. He also advocates for library censorship. But his greatest influence was as the executive director of the Council for National Policy, a dominionist secretive right-wing umbrella group.
After Baldwin was Priscilla Smith, “a freelance writer based in Indiana”. Smith disapproved of an email that was purportedly sent by “David Bier, Grove City College Senior” to LaBarbera in which he states, “Your recent article on Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton is yet another of your pathetic attempts to mislead otherwise moral individuals into the belief that God disapproves of homosexuality.”
This convenient email – whether genuine or contrived – was Smith’s jumping off point. She ranted:
They are about to graduate a young man from their so-called Christian institution without teaching him that God not only disapproves of homosexuality, but He describes it as an abomination, unnatural, dishonorable, perversion, depravity.
I don’t know much about Ms. Smith. If she is a freelance writer, she’s rather selective about making her writings available.
After the elusive Ms. Smith, the Peter ran a commentary by Michael Glazte. As readers may recall, Glatze had been a gay activist (though few knew who he was, he thought of himself as a “rising star”) who became ex-gay and converted to Mormonism before settling on conservative Christianity while working at a Buddhist retreat. Currently he seems to hold a grudge against Throckmorton, and lent his voice to the attack.
I have experienced Professor Throckmorton’s forked tongue, as he has pretended to seek “my side” of the story various times, then turned around and told a biased side of the same story, in a public sphere, with the intention of discrediting my testimony and shaming my stance for Gospel truth. As we have all seen, throughout Christian history, it is quite easy for people to create false worlds, to skew human perception, to persecute Christian truth. Sadly, this professor at a seemingly-reputable Christian school, has engaged in these tactics, with the outcome of persecuting the very truth he supposedly is teaching, atop his perch.
Aside from Glatze’s bitterness, he betrays a worldview that heightens the concerns that have been expressed about his mental stability. He seems to think that “objective” and “subjective” are filtered through dogma rather than observations so that “objective truth” becomes that which he’s been taught and now believes.
It is funny. In this world, truth seems to almost be subjective. Then, you meet Jesus. In Jesus, truth is objective. It is from this vantage point that I write this.
Such a way of thinking lends itself easily to cults and manipulation. It certainly has led to some peculiar political views. After advocating for bullying in schools (“Bullying in schools is a part of life, a part of growth“) and making some racists comments about President Obama, even NARTH removed him from their site.
But the very latest participant in LaBarbera’s campaign of personal destruction is also perhaps the most peculiar. Margaret Hemenway, described by the Peter as “a Virginia parent”. She pretended to be the mother of a 16 year-old girl who, after attending Catholic school, was considering attending the evangelical Grove City College.
We want our children to grow up to be healthy and happy–enjoying a wholesome college experience–not one which will undermine their years in a safe and nurturing Catholic educational environment. It is remarkable that the College would permit this professor, given your school’s Biblical charter, to crusade on behalf of homosexuality–would you also allow your staff to advocate openly for adultery, pornography or prostitution–other sexual sins? Where do you draw the line and how is the professor’s conduct and activity consistent with your Christian mission? We would look forward to your reply.
Hemenway first blipped my radar in 2008 when she claimed in an article hosted by Human Events that her daughter’s first grade teacher told her class that she was marrying another woman and “read aloud, “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” about two male “gay” guinea pigs, promoted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Lobby for children.” She claims to have lodged a complaint.
But Margaret Calhoun Hemenway is no Virginia parent new to politics. Her bio states
Mrs. Hemenway spent 15 years on Capitol Hill in various staff positions in the Senate and the House, followed by five years in the Pentagon. She is married to a native of Washington, D.C. and is a proud parent of three school-age children.
And Hemenway is not shy in expressing her views. Currently she contributes to FamilySecurityMatters.org. And it is from her writings there that we find Hemenway’s more peculiar political activism.
It seems that Hemenway’s father-in-law, John D. Hemenway, is a lawyer heavily involved with the “Birther” movement, a collection of conspiracy theorists who believe that President Obama is not eligible to be President because he was not born in the United States.
That problem is this: the man now occupying the White House is likely Constitutionally unqualified to hold the office.
As an attorney, I facilitated a lawsuit (Hollister vs. Soetoro et al.) in the United States District Court (D.C. Circuit) demanding that Obama produce his birth certificate or satisfactory substitute evidence.
But I am not trying to peg Margaret with guilt by association. She has written or her own faith in the birther movement.
Mr. Obama’s lawyers are now threatening my 84-year-old father-in-law, through Judge Robertson, with penalties of legal fees for pursuing the truth about Mr. Obama’s birth. This threat of financial sanctions is meant to silence all of us who remain unsatisfied with equivocations by the Obama camp about his legal qualifications to become President, and to punish us for pursuing our Constitutionally-guaranteed right to redress.
The Obama campaign, with questions about his birth in Kenya to his Kenyan father (a British citizen), and his years in Indonesia where he was known as Barry Soetoro (taking the surname of his stepfather), was not nearly as forthcoming as the McCain campaign. What was posted in support of Mr. Obama’s eligibility was not a birth certificate, but something that resembles a “Certification of Live Birth” or COLB, which, even if authentic, does not prove “natural born” U.S. citizenship. In Hawaii, a Certification of Live Birth is issued within a year of a child’s birth to those who register a birth overseas or one that takes place outside of a hospital.
So in his desire to punish and discredit Dr. Throckmorton, anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera has surrounded himself with a most fascinating collection of characters: a woman who’s very identity is defined by her adoption of death-penalty based Levitical prohibition on homosexuality, a dominionist whose writings on homosexuality mirror those of Paul Cameron, an unknown freelance writer named Smith, an ex-gay with a grudge and a history of sporadic religious associations and a questionable worldview, and a Birther.
As history progresses and even conservatives begin to see gay people as human – as their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers – those who are left behind are increasingly appearing as fringe and, frankly, more than a little weird. And these are just the ones that Peter is taking public.
“Elaine’s List” of 1,100 officers doesn’t represent today’s Military
March 9th, 2010
Elaine Donnelly, despite her best efforts, continuously illustrates that the case for keeping openly gay servicemembers from the US Military is based on bias, animus, fear, and irrationality.
Whether she’s being laughed out of Congress for her fears or marauding gangs of lesbians, babbling ineptly opposite Dan Choi on CNN, or claiming that retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili called for the repeal of the law because he’d suffered from a stroke, Elaine can always be counted on to make a fool of herself and her cause in ways we never could.
Yet in April 2009 when she came up with her declaration that “1,100 high-ranking retired Flag and General Officers for the Military have personally signed a statement expressing support for the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military”, I bought it. I figured that Elaine had found a way to link into a network of conservative former military officers who were now free to state their opposition to equality. Considering that military personnel generally are more conservative politically, and considering that those now retiring might reflect somewhat older perspectives, how hard would it be to get a legitimate and relevant list?
And I’m not the only one to assume that her 1,100 officers were representative of some segment of recent members of the Military. John McCain has been waving around this list in the Senate claiming that it represents the views of those who know best. But both McCain and I should have known better. This is Elaine Donnelly, after all.
But Servicemembers United wasn’t fooled; they took a closer look. They’ve not yet gotten through the entire list, but they’ve looked at 200 officers and have issued a preliminary report telling us a bit more about “Elaine’s List.”
So who are these 1,100 Officers?
Well, to start with, some of them make John McCain look like a spring chicken. The average age of their sample was 74, with the oldest living signatory being about 99. “Living signatory” you ask? Well, yes. Because at least one of them “signed” the letter after he died and several more are no longer living.
Others have no recollection of being asked about the list, several indignantly stating that they didn’t authorize the use of their name, and some saying that they don’t support the ban on gay servicemembers.
And then there was the scoundrel problem. Some of her glorious officers left service under some not-so-glorious circumstances. While most signatories were honorable, Elaine had no problem including the fellow who gave false testimony to Congress about an anthrax vaccine, the guy who severely threatened relations with Japan, or various other men of poor judgment.
But whether or not her officers are alive, lucid, and of good character, few were qualified to offer an opinion. Most had left the military long before DADT was put in place.
These guys hail from the good ol’ days when ‘darkies’ knew their place, obedient wives met you at the door with a cocktail in hand, whores were discreet, and an open attack on a fellow soldier suspected of being gay was not only socially acceptable but a sign of your own manhood. Although Captain Jim Jefferis never made it high enough in rank to sign Elaine’s List, his postcard from the 1940′s published at Peter LaBarbera’s site gives us an idea of the mindset of a few of these good ol’ boys.
During my enlisted service, homosexuals seemed to be a clumsy lot. They had a tendency to repeatedly fall headfirst down an engineroom ladder. Some were even known to trip on deck and “fall” overboard.
Yes, no doubt. But everything I’ve heard from service men and women today is that they are too busy fighting a complicated war to decide which of their fellow soldiers they were going to murder next. If today’s American soldiers share Jefferis’ appalling lack of character, then we have bigger worries than the Taliban.
So yes, Elaine has done it again. She’s proven again to be a valuable asset to our community. Now that opponents of open service are relying so strongly on Elaine’s List, the exposure of who’s on the list may well drive the nails into DADT’s coffin.
Linda Harvey takes purer-than-pure to a whole new level
March 8th, 2010
Most social conservatives are not wild eyed hate-filled bigots who would like nothing more than to see gay folks burnt at the stake. Most folks who don’t support civil equality for their gay fellow-citizens really don’t know much about gay folk and don’t actually wish us individual harm. It’s more of a “them liberals” kind of thing.
And over the past decade Americans – including many folks who think of themselves as conservative – have began the process of seeing gay folk as human. We are neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family. We no longer are “confirmed bachelors” and “maiden aunts” living with “lifelong friends” who are a shameful secret, but instead are respected and acknowledged parts of our community.
And, as such, it is no longer socially acceptable to just oppose anything and everything to do with our lives. Yes, polls suggest that the nation isn’t quite ready to joyously celebrate marriage equality, but blatant discrimination is frowned on, even in right-wing circles. Especially if it sounds too hateful.
Ah, but not everyone is on board with the “treat ‘em like human” idea. As we saw with the recent brouhaha at CPAC, some folks can’t even be in the same room with gay folk – even those who agree with most of their agenda. The uber-conservative CPAC crowd got a taste of excitement when the purer-than-pure conservatives attacked their brethren for not being adequately anti-gay.
But no one has ever accused Linda Harvey of noting being adequately anti-gay. In fact, few can live up to her standard. And now Linda is letting conservatives know just how pure she is, in the offensive over-the-top inflammatory language she’s know for.
Linda has decided that some people aren’t really conservative because they “support homosexuality”. And by “support homosexuality”, Linda means pretty much anything other than venom-spewing declarations of disgust and intolerance. Anything short of piling up the firewood and calling for the torches is seen by Linda as selling out.
And the list of “Conservatives who aren’t” is pretty impressive. Folks who just aren’t as pure as Lina include:
- CPAC, for allowing GOPride to be there
- “Bill O’Reilly and his feebly-informed culture warrior, Margaret Hoover” because they ” endorse repealing the ban on homosexuality in the military”
- Charles Krauthammer, who thinks that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is discriminatory
- Dick Cheney, for “listening to a self-declared ‘born-that-way’ homosexual relative”
- “Cindy McCain and her silly daughter” for backing same-sex unions
- Mitt Romney, because ” in 2004, ordered reluctant clerks to issue marriage licenses to Party A and Party B. A genuine conservative might have held off until forced.”
- Ted Olson, for the obvious
- Stand for Marriage Maine, for saying “we want to be tolerant of gays”
- Maggie Gallagher, because she can’t be depended on to “always articulate clear objections to homosexual behavior. Sometimes, she bows the knee to the vaunted ‘identity’”
- The Catholic Church, because it says that it “respects and accepts gays”
Oh yes, when it comes to being a real conservative, Linda is purer-than-purer-than-pure.
It’s behavior, it can be changed and it’s always wrong.
Teach kids to “respect” this behavior? No! Respect for others, yes, but people are born with the anatomy for heterosexuality, not homosexuality. Genuine respect involves telling the truth, and citing the risks, limitations and sinfulness of this perversion.
Ah, but lovely Linda has an extra-special place in her contempt for one fellow who is worse than anyone: Warren Throckmorton. Ya see, Warren actually thinks that you should treat gay people the way you want to be treated. Such heresy!!
And Warren has gone so far as to suggest that instead of storming out of school on the Day of Silence, conservative Christian kids should observe the Golden Rule and hand out the following message.
This is what I’m doing:
I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.
Will you join me in this pledge?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31).
But not Linda. She’s having none of that.
If I were a parent who discovered my minor child had been counseled in this way, I’d bring the largest and most aggressive medical malpractice suit I could launch against this counselor at Grove City.
Golden Rule? Not on your life.
And so now Warren is the pet project for Linda and her buddy Peter LaBarbera. LaBarbera has run a series of denunciations of “heretical” Dr. Throckmorton and has asked his readers to
TAKE ACTION: Contact Grove City College (President Richard Jewell: 724-458-2500; firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask them if GCC professor Warren Throckmorton’s unorthodox views on homosexuality represent “authentically Christian” teachings on this issue. (GCC advertises itself as a solid, “authentically Christian” institution.) Request a written response as to whether Throckmorton’s writings on and approach toward homosexuality honor Grove City’s Christian charter “rejecting relativism and secularism.”
Yes, it looks like Warren should be fired; he just can’t be counted on to be a hater. Nor Bill O’Reilly. Nor even the Catholic Church. Or at least not up to Linda’s and Pete’s standards. It’s a sad sad world.
But at least Linda and Pete have each other. And Pete’s porn collection.
Peter LaBarbera Running For GOP Seat
March 3rd, 2010
Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera has announced via his “Republicans for Family Values” web site that he is running for the Republican State Central Committeeman for the 13 Congressional District of Illinois. And get this, he styles himself as a “fiscal and social conservative in the model of Illinois’ own Ronald Reagan.”
You know, the very same Ronald Reagan who opposed California’s Brigg’s Amendment. That’s the proposed amendment to California’s constitution that would have banned gay people from teaching in public schools. According to the Wikipedia entry, “Reagan issued an informal letter of opposition to the initiative, answered reporters’ questions about the initiative by saying he was against, and, a week before the election, wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner opposing it.
Whatever gripes many may have against Ronald Reagan — and there are many to be had — one thing is clear: Labarbara’s no Ronald Reagan.
Peter’s Little Problem
January 21st, 2010
[Hat tip: Joe.My.God]
Peter LaBarbera Wants To Kill Gay People
January 21st, 2010
… and he wants to get a Christian professor who thinks that is a bad idea fired. He also admits that he has no idea what Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill would actually do, but apparently thinks it can’t be all bad.
Those are the highlights of Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera’s latest broadside, who thinks that no one has the right to condemn Uganda’s effort to legislate LGBT people out of existence:
Folks, I’ve been trying to avoid the Ugandan “Culture War” on homosexuality because I figure we’re busy enough with our own here in the USA. But that hasn’t stopped American homosexual activists and fellow travelers like Professor Warren Throckmorton of the “evangelical” Grove City College from insinuating themselves into the Ugandan situation. …
…Tell me: does Uganda have something to learn from Christian “defectors” like the opportunistic Prof. Throckmorton — who is now a de facto promoter of homosexuality as normal, natural and healthy while ostensibly still claiming some sort of “Christian” mission at GCC? (Grove City College boasts in evangelical circles that it is “authentically Christian” — an advertising claim of diminishing accuracy the longer it abides likes of Throckmorton.)
And from there, LaBarbera goes on to urge his dozens of readers to harass Grove City College into firing Dr. Throckmorton over his efforts to prevent innocent people being killed in Uganda or thrown into prison for the rest of their lives. (When it comes to Ugandan prisons, is there really any difference?)
In typical LaBarbera fashion, he fired off his missive without having a clue about what the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill would do. Most amazingly, he even brags about his ignorance:
Nope. What we’re seeing here is sheer Western activist arrogance. … I haven’t yet studied the proposed Ugandan legislation but I agree with Bob Knight’s analysis below — and AFTAH is clearly on record opposing draconian penalties for homosexuality like those imposed by jihadist Islamic radicals.
No Peter, arrogance is going off half-cocked without knowing what you’re even talking about. But them that’s exactly par for the course. It’s just good to see that for once you admit it.
Okay, so Peter doesn’t want to see gay people tortured with electric drills and surgical glues before they are killed. Good to know. But other than that, what does he support?
We have posted the full text of the proposed bill here, and with that we have a challenge for LaBarbera — a challenge that we will issue to anyone who criticizes those who condemn the bill. What parts do you disagree with, and which provisions do you think are a grand idea?
- It expands the definitions for homosexual acts, making conviction easier. Current law requires evidence of penetration. The new law would expand the definition of homosexual activity to”touch(ing) another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.” Touching itself is defined as “touching—(a) with any part of the body; (b) with anything else; (c) through anything; and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ. anus or mouth.”
- Affirms Uganda’s lifetime imprisonment for those convicted of homosexuality.
- Defines a new crime of “aggravated homosexuality” for those who engage in sex with someone under the age of 18, who are HIV-positive, who is a “repeat offender” (so broadly defined as to include anyone who has had a relationship with more than one person, or who had sex with the same person more than once), or who had sex with a disabled person (consensual or not). The penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” is death by hanging.
- Requires anyone arrested on suspicion of homosexuality to undergo HIV testing to determine the individual’s qualification for prosecution of “aggravated homosexuality.”
- Criminalizes “attempted homosexuality” with imprisonment for seven years.
- Criminalizes “promoting” homosexuality with fines and imprisonment for between five and seven years. This overly-broad provision would criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda . It would also criminalize any attempt to repeal or modify the law in the future, as those moves could also be seen as “promoting” homosexuality.
- Criminalizes “aiding and abetting homosexuality” with seven years imprisonment. This provision could be used against anyone extending counseling, medical care, or otherwise providing aid to gay people.
- Criminalizes the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.
- Adds a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment for up to three years.
- Penalizes people who run “brothels” with five to seven years imprisonment for renting to LGBT people. However, it defines a brothel as “a house, room, set of rooms or place of any kind for the purposes of homosexuality” instead of the more normal definition of a place where commercial sex work takes place. Anyone’s bedroom would be a “brothel” under this definition, placing landlords and hotel owners in jeopardy for renting to LGBT people.
- Adds an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.
- Voids all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.
The ball’s in your court, Peter. Do you have the balls to answer?
Your humble Grinch
December 21st, 2009
I have been nominated for an award. I am among a small selection of gay individuals for whom a unique recognition is being considered. By Peter LaBarbera.
LaBarbera, an anti-gay activist who runs the ironically named Americans for Truth About Homosexuality organization, has created the Gay Grinch of the Year award which he promises to “mak[e] light of the bald-faced hypocrisy of homosexual activists, who demand tolerance for themselves even as they maliciously attack and victimize their critics.” It is reserved for “the meanest, most deceitful, most socially destructive and/or most blasphemous “gay” activist of the year.”
The nominees are (drum roll please…)
- Perez Hilton – for his vulgar, bigoted rant against Miss California Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA 2009 pageant
- Wayne Besen — for his ongoing hatred and harassment of former homosexuals and Christians who help “gays” leave the lifestyle
- Frank Kameny — for proclaiming that the God of the Bible is a “sinful homophobic bigot” who needs to repent
- Rachel Maddow — for suggesting that rather than tossing two tomatoes at Sarah Palin, an activist in Minnesota should have thrown a pie at the former Alaska governor
- ChadMichael Morrisette and Mito Aviles — for a parody at Halloween in which they propped up a nude female mannequin with “LIAR” written on the belly and a copy of the face of pro-traditional-marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher attached as the head
- Timothy Kincaid — for preposterously accusing pro-family advocate Laurie Higgins of wanting to see students harmed
- George Fornero — a superintendent of school District 113 in the northern suburbs of Chicago who wrote gossipy e-mails about the same Laurie Higgins
Me? Gosh, I hardly know what to say.
I suppose in fairness I should reveal that I didn’t actually say that Laurie Higgins wanted to see students harmed, something LaBarbera repeats several times in his interview with Concerned Women for America. What I said was that Higgins “believes it is a Christian kid’s duty to bully his gay classmates” and later that Laurie “sees her goal as defending the culture of disapproval and condemnation.”
But, shhhhh, don’t tell The Peter.
I’m sure there are a great many reasons that LaBarbera could find for determining any of the authors at Box Turtle Bulletin to be the “meanest or most blasphemous gay activist”. But the selection of my criticism of Laurie Higgins is fitting. After all, we did award Higgins with the Peter LaBarbera Award for the “most outrageous, offensive, malevolent, crazy, or excessive statement or claim.” So, in a way, this closes the circle.
And I am proud that we exposed the extremism in Higgins’ writings. I am glad that we revealed that she expresses no concern whatsoever for the real and measurable harm resulting from her rhetoric and that she believes it the duty of Christian students to disregard the concerns of their gay schoolmates.
But I’m realistic.
How could I possibly win when the competition includes Perez Hilton, Wayne Besen, and Rachel Maddow? With such formidable competition, it seems unlikely that I have a even a small chance. Surely this is how Kathy Griffin felt when she learned was being considered for a comedy album Grammy, only to hear that she was up against the recently deceased George Carlin.
But with this year being the inaugural year I say, as countless awards nominees have said before me, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
UPDATE: Dan Savage has now been added as a nominee for past extremism and not seeming to comprehend the radical difference between evolving reforms within marriage and the revolutionary homosexualization of “marriage” that essentially redefines the institution to mean anything.
Whew, that’s quite an accomplishment. Now I have no chance whatsoever.
Two Anti-Gay BFF’s Mend Their Near-Falling Out
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:
It 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:
The 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.
Another Reason To Rejoice
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.
Carrie Prejean’s Closeup
November 13th, 2009
Ah yes. It seems like only yesterday:
- Peter LaBarbera hailed Carrie Prejean as one who “sought to please God rather than politically-correct man.”
- Randy Thomasson gushed that she “is the #1 voice in America educating people that there is a war against free speech and against marriage.”
- Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily called Prejean “an example for all believers torn between conformity to the world’s standards and honoring God’s standards.”
- The National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher signed her up as spokesperson for the organization, saying she was, “very proud of [Carrie] and look forward to cheering from the sidelines about all the important things she will accomplish and all the people she will inspire to speak truth to power.”
- Brian Brown boasted that “She’s a young woman of great beauty who chose truth over the glittering tiara that Hollywood offers… her values are in the right place.”
I guess that “right place” must be her chicha, if her 30 nude photos and eight sex tapes are any indication:
On one tape Carrie is wearing just a flowing white blouse as she touches her own body in an alluring manner. Carrie can be heard moaning on a few of the tapes.
In her newly released book Carrie wrote, “God gave us our bodies, and it’s perfectly right that we use them in ways where we can give glory to God by making our bodies, our temples of the Holy Spirit, strong and fast.”
Liberty Counsel and The Peter call the FBI
November 10th, 2009
You 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
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.
Hate Group Holds Press Conference At Maine Statehouse For Question 1
October 28th, 2009
Brian Camenker of MassResistance, one of only eleven anti-gay hate groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a rally and press conference in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House in Augusta. He will be joined by two other anti-gay extremists, Peter (“Porno Pete“) LaBarbera and Paul Madore of the Maine Grassroots Coalition.
According to the group’s press release, “Speakers at the press conference will expose the hidden aspects of the radical homosexual agenda, and will reveal how Maine is being manipulated into voting No on 1.”
Brian Camenker certainly has a knack for making the news. Last October, he an an accomplice, Michael Olivio, were chased by Andover, Mass., police who were responding to 911 calls from parents who were concerned about two men taking pictures at a middle school. For some reason, Olivio thought it would be smart to begin stripping his clothes while running through neighbors’ backyards during the chase:
We don’t know what his intention and purpose was around the school and the kids,” said police Lt. James Hashem.
But Michael Olivio’s employer has come forward to back up his story. Olivio, 48, works for the anti-gay rights group MassResistance.org. Brian Camenker, head of the group, said Olivio mistakenly went to West Middle School Tuesday to snap pictures instead of the high school.
Camenker said Olivio was to get pictures of the high school because the state Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered Youth held a meeting there Monday night.
“I figured I would do a write-up for the Web site and I wanted a picture of the high school,” Camenker said.
All three extremists have plenty of buffoonery in their history. Peter LaBarbera is particularly responsible for publishing among the most vile anti-gay tracts in the entire movement. He has long defended the discredited research of Paul Cameron, who has advocated the quarantining and medical extermination of gay people; he has deep connections with Holocauset revisionist Scott Lively, who insists that Nazism was, at its core, a homosexual movement; and he has openly defended White Supremacists when they assault LGBT people.
This press conference comes squarely on the heals of Stand for Marriage Maine’s attempt to project a softer and kinder image. Jeff Connely Jesse Connolly, Campaign manager for Protect Maine Equality issued a press release denouncing the true face of the anti-gay crowd:
This is not the new face of the Yes campaign, it’s been there all along. They can swap out their TV ads from attacks that have been called baseless by the Maine Attorney General and Maine newspapers across the state, to a gentler, softer approach, but the result is the same. They don’t believe in treating all Maine families equally and these national and local spokespeople represent some of the most vitriolic, anti-gay voices in the country.
“They can’t have it both ways — to pretend to back civil rights, yet stand behind a group like Mass Resistance which is one of only 11 designated anti-gay hate groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And they can’t stand behind Peter LaBarbera who has attacked Ben & Jerry’s, supported rescinding women’s right to vote and believes we should return to the Old Testament where gay people were stoned. And they can’t stand behind Paul Madore and the Maine Grassroots Coalition which is behind some of the most anti-gay hate speech over the last 20 years.
“Disney Elevates Homosexual”
October 13th, 2009
That’s the headline the American Family Association plastered above their post about Disney’s naming Rich Ross as studio chief. Ross was awarded his position after having revived the Disney Channel. I guess he’s gay and doesn’t want to live in the closet, which is an unforgivable affront to these people. And not hiding in the closet is what makes him an “activist” according to Peter LaBarbera:
“The sad reality is that whenever you see a homosexual activist at the top, nine times out of ten they end up pushing that gay agenda using their influence to push it wherever they can,” states LaBarbera.
“It’s the way the homosexual movement ends up influencing the country far beyond its tiny numbers,” he explains. “They get in key positions of power, and then they use that power to advance their agenda.”
A man does his job well and is rewarded for it, but anti-gay activists see it as “pushing that gay agenda.” I smell a boycott. Imagine the outcry if he had been named to a post in the Department of Education or something.
Anti-Gay Roundup on Obama at HRC: “He Will Lose His Soul To Damnation”
October 11th, 2009
While I’m still disappointed in the President, I liked the speech for the reasons listed here. But I left out a reason: President Barack Obama’s remarks before the Human Rights Campaign have anti-gay activists in a tizzy. For example:
Peter LaBarbera: “Obama’s Expanding Anti-Christian Agenda… President Obama used the bully pulpit tonight to defy the Creator, by brazenly declaring before a homosexual activist audience that homosexuality-based relationships are ‘just as real and admirable’ as normal relationships between a man and a woman..”
Family “Research” Council: “President Obama Ignores Election Mandate, Pushes Radical Social Policies”
Maine pastor Grant Swank: “Because of his double-tongued speech, he is not of the God of the Bible but of the demonic. There is no in-between. One is either in league with the Holy Spirit or the unholy spirit. …He will lose his soul to damnation if he continues on that course.”
The Peter Discovers Bisexuals
August 21st, 2009
That’s right. There are bisexuals among us. And Peter LaBarbera found a “homosexual newspaper” that was willing to admit it. One can only guess what Peter thought the “B” in LGBT stood for. At any rate, it seems he’s still struggling with the concept. His headline? “Half of Homosexuals Are Bisexual”.
Follow Up on Brett Vanasdlen
July 16th, 2009
During the attention given to the debate in Congress over the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill, I was reminded of the story of Brett Vanasdlen, the young man in Champaign, Illinois, who was charged with a hate crime in 2008.
We reported the story, but we didn’t fully follow up. Here’s where we left it:
- Stephen Velasquez was walking with friends at 1:00 am. Another young man, Brett Vanasdlen, saw him and made a bigoted remark.
- According to Velasquez, he responded, “How ignorant was that?” and kept walking. According to Vanasdlen, Velasquez grabbed him and started screaming, “What did you say” in his face.
- In both stories, Vanasdlen threw Velasquez to the ground where he was knocked out, suffered head trauma, and was taken to the hospital.
- Vanasdlen was arrested and charged with a hate crime.
- Vanasdlen’s mother appealed to Anti-Semite Ted Pike and former KKK leader David Dukes for support and they ran her version of events on Dukes’ white supremacist website. Peter LaBarbera picked up the story from them (changing Pike to a “pro-family activist”) and sold it to conservative circles. The story spread as an example of how a conservative Christian “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” was victimized by a homosexual with brown skin through the use of hate crimes legislation.
White supremacists and anti-Semites throughout the country began including Vanasdlen as an example of the current indignities suffered by the “white race”. Anti-gay religious groups used it as an example of why gay people should not be protected by hate crimes.
Peter LaBarbera was probably most vocal about this story. And he was quite critical of the skepticism expressed by those of us who doubted Vanasdlen’s saintliness.
We’ll see how this story plays out as Tim, ExGayWatch, BTB, Pam and the rest of the “queer” spin machine so eagerly paint a false picture of young Brett as a violent “gay basher” to further their misguided crusade.
Peter pledged to one and all that “AFTAH will be following this case closely.”
So today I turned to LaBarbera’s site to see whatever happened to Brett Vanasdlen and his campaign to clear his name. But I found nothing. No mention at all of the outcome.
So what happened? Did the courts clear him? Did witnesses come forward to declare that the “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” had actually been the victim and brown homosexual Velasquez was the “the real aggressor“?
On September 9, 2008 Brett Vanasdlen pled guilty to battery and the hate crime charge was dropped.
Defendant ordered to pay restitution in the amount to be determined at a later date.
Sentence: Fines and/or Cost/Penalties and Fees
Sentence: Court Supervision 24Mos Supervised Court Service
Sentence: Anti-Crime Assessment Fee
Sentence: Public Service 200Hrs Supervised Court Service
Sentence: Substance Abuse Treatment/Evaluation 60Days
Sentence: Partner Abuse Intervention Program 60Days
Sentence: Count(s) dismissed.
I guess it’s no wonder that LaBarbera kept silent about the resolution to this case. Martyrs are much less effective when they plead guilty.
Welcome to My Fraudulent Religion, Please Pay Tithes
June 4th, 2009
In a moment of bitter spitefulness, Peter LaBarbera sent an email to Jeremy Hooper, our friend who humorously tracks (and mocks) the nuttiness that is the hallmark of anti-gay activism at his site GoodAsYou.org:
After offering his ill-wishes for Jeremy’s upcoming wedding (yes, really), LaBarbera takes a swipe at gay Christians:
Homosexual behavior is always wrong, which is why the phrase “gay Christian” is so odd. Attaching it to the noble institution of marriage only compounds the sin. Just remember that it’s never to late to repent of this behavior, to humble yourself and embrace Jesus Christ through faith – and move on with your life in a way that is pleasing to God. Tim Kincaid’s pro-“gay” version of (c)hristianity is a fraud – don’t believe it. God bless.
I have my own fraudulent pro-”gay” version of (c)hristianity? Where’s my mega-church? When do I get to buy three mansions and a lear jet?
But no. Alas. I’ve not started my own religion – with or without odd spelling and scare quotes. I just report my observations on the scholarly work of others, the conflict between Christ’s commandments to love and anti-gay theology’s political campaigns to make the lives of gay people more difficult, and the ever growing movement towards full inclusion of gay men and women into the life of the mainstream Christian church.
However, if you feel the need to send tithes to me, I won’t argue with you.
MAINE GETS MARRIAGE
May 6th, 2009
Governor Balducci signed the marriage bill.
From the San Jose Mercury News (who, for some reason reported the story first)
Gov. John Baldacci has signed a bill making Maine the fifth state to allow gay marriage.
Earlier in the day, the Maine Legislature gave final approval to gay marriage and sent the bill to Baldacci, who had been undecided on the issue.
What Happens Next
If this were a bill without opposition, it would come into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session. However Michael Heath, executive director of the Maine Family Policy Council, has already announced that he will seek a “people’s veto” of the legislation.
A people’s veto works like this: After the end of the legislative session (probably some time in June), Heath can begin collecting signatures. He needs 10% of the last gubernatorial vote, or 55,087 valid signatures. If Heath gets enough signatures, the bill will not go into effect until it has been presented on the November ballot for an up or down vote. Yes means keep the bill, No means veto it.
Although Heath will have 90 days to collect signatures, he must present the signatures no later than 60 days before the vote, around September 3rd. Thus, may be a strange window in which signatures can be collected but in which they will not count towards forcing a vote.
Which raises a question. Were Heath to present signatures on, say, September 5 and were that day within 90 days of the end of the legislative session, would that place a stay on the enactment of the bill until the following election in the spring of 2010? While that might be a “dirty trick” that could momentarily work in Heath’s favor, it may in the long run prove to be detrimental. As time goes by, it is increasingly likely that attitudes in Maine will favor equality. This will be especially true as no dire consequences result in Vermont, Connecticut, or Massachusetts. Heath’s window of possible success may close.
As it is, Heath may have a rough go. Attitudes seem fairly even in Maine but Heath has a rather bad reputation in the state dating from his attempts to identify and out gay legislators. His requests for “tips, rumors, speculation and facts” resulted in a temporary ouster from the Christian Civic League (a previous name of the Maine Family Policy Council) and a significant amount of bad press.
Heath may well be an advantage for us. He tends towards extremism and outrageous hyperbole. Additionally, it looks as though Peter LaBarbera may be a part of the effort.
Day of Silence and Various Responses
April 13th, 2009
In an effort to reduce bullying and to encourage tolerance, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network created a program called The Day of Silence in which students show their sympathy for harassed gay students by pledging to be silent for a day. Those who “oppose the homosexual agenda” have responded in a number of ways.
I will briefly compare the various responses:
Sponsor: Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
Participants: Hundreds of thousands of students in over 8,000 schools
Purpose: The Day of Silence’s purpose is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses.
Date: Friday, April 17, 2009
Length of Program: Thirteenth year
Process: Participants take a day long vow of silence and distribute or wear speaking cards with information about anti-LGBT bias and ways for students and others to “end the silence.” Through Breaking the Silence events, which are typically held at the end of the school day, students can speak out against harassment and demand change for their schools and communities. Students do speak when required by class participation.
Message: What are you doing to end the Silence?
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the fi rst step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.
What are you going to do to end the Silence?
Response to Objection: In high schools, approval from the principal or other appropriate staff is important when student organizers are working on any project. When approaching your school’s administration, it helps to have the backing of a student club and its advisor(s). If your administration does not approve of or support the Day of Silence, you may want to consider planning a community event outside of school, in the morning or evening.
Theme: To draw attention to the abuse or bullying of GLBT people who are often silenced by social disapproval and unable to defend themselves alone.
Sponsor: Created by the Alliance Defense Fund. Currently administered by ex-gay group Exodus International.
Participants: Up to 13,000 students
Length of Program: Fifth year
Stated Purpose: The Day of Truth was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective. (It is a direct response to the Day of Silence).
Date: The Day of Truth is scheduled for April 20, 2009. This is three days after GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) will sponsor the “Day of Silence.”
Process: Participating students are encouraged to wear Day of Truth T-shirts, pass out cards, tell students about the evils of homosexuality, and inform same-sex attracted students about reorientation programs.
Message: It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There’s freedom to change if you want to. The truth cannot be silenced.
I’m speaking the Truth to break the silence.
True tolerance means that people with differing — even opposing — viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other.
It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There’s freedom to change if you want to.
Response to Objection: If the principal or other school official asks you to stop, stop immediately. Please call 1-800-TELL-ADF so that we can help resolve the situation quickly.
Theme: Rather than encourage gay-specific anti-bullying programs, gay students should be encouraged to enter ex-gay programs.
Sponsor: A long list of anti-gay activist groups including Americans for Truth (Peter LaBarbera), Liberty Counsel (Matt Barber), Mission: America (Linda Harvey), and SPLC-listed hate groups MassResistance, Illinois Family Institute (Laurie Higgins), and Abiding Truth Ministries (Scott Lively).
Participants: unknown number of parents. In 2008, 600 students were kept home from a school in Washington
Length of Program: uncertain, perhaps second year
Stated Purpose: To actively oppose this hijacking of the classroom for political purposes and no longer passively accept the political usurpation of taxpayer funded public school classrooms through student silence
Date: April 17, 2009, the same day as the Day of Silence
Process: Parents are encouraged to express their opposition to the Day of Silence by calling their children out of school on that day and sending letters of explanation to their administrators, their children’s teachers, and all school board members.
Public school teachers are encouraged to plan activities for this day that involve student speech: Schedule speeches or oral exams; ask questions; or plan discussion-based activities
that require participation from all students.
Church leadership is encouraged to follow the bold example of Pastor Ken Hutcherson who vocally opposed the “Day of Silence” in his community in Redmond, Washington. (Hutcherson is threatening to oppose school bonds if Mt. Si allows students to participate in the Day of Silence again this year).
Message: Students being silent is disruptive and ought not be tolerated.
Handout: none indicated.
Response to Objection: Explain that school districts lose money for every absence, which may help convince administrations and school boards that it is not merely unethical but fiscally irresponsible to allow the classroom to be used for political purposes.
Theme: Fighting the homosexual agenda.
Sponsor: Dr. Warren Throckmorton, with some support from Campus Crusade for Christ Regional Director, Michael Frey and Bob Stith, National Strategist for Gender Issues, Southern Baptist Convention.
Length of Program: Second year
Stated Purpose: To provide a response for Christian and conservative students who do not affirm homosexual behavior but also loathe disrespect, harassment or violence toward any one, including their GLBT peers.
Date: April 17, 2009, the same day as the Day of Silence
Process: To answer the Day of Silence’s question with a commitment the safety of GLBT students and peers as well as other who appear different based on the teachings of Christ.
A variety of options exist on the DOS, including silence. Whatever option one chooses, we do not encourage protests, divisive actions or criticism of others. One way to live out our faith is to treat others fairly and with respect.
Message: Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31).
This is what I’m doing:
I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.
Will you join me in this pledge?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31).
Response to Objection: None indicated.
Theme: To draw attention to the appropriate response of Christians when they are asked for respect and protection.
UPDATE: The previous version listed Americans for Truth (Peter LaBarbera) as a hate group and did not list Illinois Family Institute (Laurie Higgins) as such. These have now been reversed.