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Posts for October, 2014

Working Through the Five Steps of Grief

Jim Burroway

October 6th, 2014

The first step in the Kübler-Ross model is denial and the second step is anger, but leave it to anti-gay activists to go through the steps in the wrong order. They hit anger first, but now they’re backtracking to denial:

And Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance:

“It is important to note that the Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex ‘marriage.’ They have merely declined to address the issue at this point in time, and that is actually better than imposing their view of marriage on the whole country. Americans are having a robust debate on this important issue, and for the Supreme Court to interrupt that debate and decide the issue for the country would be disastrous.”

And then there’s this, from the Family Policy Institute of Washington:

However, this is certainly not the final word on this subject either in the courts or in the culture. In the courts, there are several other cases working their way up through the system. The Supreme Court could be waiting for one of those cases to delay their final decision a couple of years. Culturally, the conversation over this issue is just getting started. In one sense, proponents of redefining marriage are just finishing their opening argument. Time will afford the chance for a rebuttal.

…In thirty years, it is the children of same-sex relationships who will be arguing most forcefully on our behalf. That is not because those children will hate the same-sex couples who raised them but because they will be immune to the argument that the only possible reason to support natural marriage is because you hate gay people. They will also have a perspective that those who deal only in theory and never in practice will have no response for.

The other steps are bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’m not sure where delusional falls into the scheme of things.

Schadenfreude Alert

Jim Burroway

October 6th, 2014

The Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins says the sky is falling:

“Unfortunately, by failing to take up these marriage cases, the High Court will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage. Even more alarming, lower court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves. This judicially led effort to force same sex ‘marriage’ on people will have negative consequences for our Republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law.

“The Court decision ensures that the debate over natural marriage will continue and the good news is that time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage. As more states are forced to redefine marriage, contrary to nature and directly in conflict with the will of millions, more Americans will see and experience attacks on their religious freedom. Parents will find a wedge being driven between them and their children as school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals parents are teaching their children. As more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, Americans will see the true goal, which is for activists to use the Court to impose a redefinition of natural marriage on the entire nation.

Ryan T. Anderson is not throwing in the towel:

This is an unfortunate setback for sound constitutional self-government and a setback for a healthy marriage culture. …Declining to review these cases does not speak one way or the other to the merits of the cases. But it does leave in place bad rulings from lower courts—and it will make it harder for courts to do the right thing in the future.

Nevertheless, as citizens, we must rally in support of our constitutional authority to pass laws making marriage policy. We must insist that law and culture promote the truth about marriage.

Neither is NOM’s Brian Brown:

…[G]iven what the Supreme Court has allowed to happen, the only alternative to letting unelected judges impose their view of marriage on Americans across the country is to pursue a process that will allow the American people to decide for themselves what is marriage. It is critical not only to marriage but to the republican form of government in this country to amend the Constitution to reaffirm the meaning of marriage. We therefore call on the US Congress to move forward immediately to send a federal marriage amendment to the states for ratification.

“We call upon Americans vigorously to contest this development by turning to the political process, starting with the upcoming mid-term elections. We urge voters to hold politicians accountable and demand to know if they will accept the illegitimate act of attempting to redefine marriage or whether they will stand with the American people to resist. In particular, we urge Republicans to hold their party leaders to account, and to demand that they remain true to their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman which was a pillar of the party’s founding in 1856, and remains essential to society’s well-being today.

Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), which is defending several of these states’ marriage bans, is doing all it can to keep that lipstick on the pig:

US Supreme Court holds off on taking up marriage issue

Monday, October 06, 2014

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Byron Babione regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday declining to hear cases involving marriage laws in several states, including petitions ADF attorneys filed in defense of Oklahoma’s and Virginia’s marriage laws:

“The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue. Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court. ADF will continue to remain a leader in the critical effort for the freedom of the people. The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”

Anti-Gay Extremists Have A Cow Over Obama’s Foreign Policy Memorandum

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2011

"You have the right to be jailed."

Any day our opponents are driven to fits of apoplexy is a good day if you ask me. Family “Research” Council’s Peter Sprigg is positively sputtering over the Obama Administration’s memorandum directing American international agencies to take action in countries where LGBT abuses are taking place. Sprigg’s sputtering, but unfortunately he’s not speechless:

It is startling that President Obama is prepared to throw the full weight and reputation of the United States behind the promotion overseas of the radical ideology of the sexual revolution. If he did the same on other issues, his own liberal allies would undoubtedly accuse him of cultural imperialism. Threats to withhold foreign aid from poor countries unless they conform their laws to the views of Western radicals are unconscionable.

The United Nations, like the United States, remains sharply divided on the issue of whether special rights should be granted on the basis of sexual conduct, sexual orientation or gender identity. No treaty or widely accepted international agreement has established homosexual conduct as a human right, yet the Obama administration’s actions seem guided by this fiction.

Right. Obama shouldn’t be listening to “Western radicals” who think gay people shouldn’t be jailed. And we already know Sprigg’s opinion on that topic, and given the Family “Research” Council’s lobbying Congress against resolutions condemning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it’s safe to say that the rest of FRC shares Sprigg’s position.

Knows a thing or two about foreign intrigue.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber chimes in with his own outrage:

The announced policy, according to Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action, “displays the arrogance of the Obama administration.”

It is “frankly offensive,” says the attorney, that President Obama “feels compelled to export American culture’s decline in morality, and export that immorality to other nations that are trying to adhere to traditional principles relative to human sexuality.”

Barber also notes that the administration is apparently ignoring the fact that foreign nations — like the United States — are sovereign countries. He adds that the U.S. is “using essentially blackmail and the purse strings” of the nation to force countries to change their moral principles.

Speaking of exporting immorality, has anyone seen Lisa Miller lately?

Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg Wants To Throw You In Jail

Jim Burroway

February 2nd, 2010

Don’t believe me? Then check this out:

Peter Sprigg was on Chris Matthews’s Hardball to talk about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on gays in the military. Sprigg, of course, is against ending the ban. But skip ahead  to about the 8:15 mark, and you can see what Sprigg really wants to do:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Peter, do you think people choose to be gay?

SPRIGG: Uh, people do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to have homosexual conduct. And that’s conduct also , which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn’t make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to be violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: Well, I think certainly it’s defensible.

MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.

SPRIGG: Yes.

This is the guy who nearly two years ago said we should “export” gays:

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Another Reason To Rejoice

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2009

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

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

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

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

FRC Disapointed With Donnelly’s Testimony?

Jim Burroway

July 25th, 2008

You bet they are. Yesterday, right on schedule, the Family “Research” Council sent out their daily Washington Update yesterday as they always do. Washington Updates typically consist of three stories, and yesterday’s top story was one which blamed Elaine Donnelly’s utterly deplorable testimony before the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee on “rude congressmen” instead of  Donnelly’s own abysmal incompetence:

Rude Congressmen Tell and Don’t Ask at Hearing

For the first time since Congress beat back Bill Clinton’s effort to bring homosexuals into the military in 1993, there was a hearing on the topic yesterday on Capitol Hill, which FRC’s Vice President for Policy Peter Sprigg and several Witherspoon Fellows attended. The Democrats in Congress are laying the groundwork for action next year, when they hope Barack Obama will be president, to overturn the law which codified the military’s longstanding policy excluding homosexuals. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, and Sgt. Major Brian Jones, a veteran of the Army’s elite Delta Force, ably defended the law in the face of shockingly disrespectful and even abusive questioning by members of the House Military Personnel subcommittee. Particularly egregious was the behavior of Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.), who said that Donnelly’s concern about the impact of HIV-positive soldiers was “dumb” and that her testimony about behaviors common among homosexuals was “bonkers.” Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) used the silly line, “When did you decide to be heterosexual?” The false assumptions that people are “born gay” and can never change, and that homosexuality is equivalent to race, permeated the questioning. Yet no one explained how it would benefit the military to recruit service members who plan to commit acts which are criminal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

This morning, that lame defense of Donnelly is gone, along with the rest of the entire Washington Update for the day.

Peter Sprigg Apologizes

Jim Burroway

March 27th, 2008

Current immigration laws deny the foreign partners of gay Americans the ability to immigrate to the U.S, unlike their heterosexually-married counterparts. A bill is stalled in Congress which would address this problem. Last week, we awarded the LaBarbera Award to the Family “Research” Council’s Peter Sprigg for suggesting that instead of uniting gays and lesbians with their partners, we should export gays instead:

I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.

Today, Peter Sprigg issued an apology:

In response to a question regarding bi-national same-sex couples who are separated by an international border, I used language that trivialized the seriousness of the issue and did not communicate respect for the essential dignity of every human being as a person created in the image of God. I apologize for speaking in a way that did not reflect the standards which the Family Research Council and I embrace.

Of course, the Family “Research” Council’s standards still allow him to cite the discredited “research” of holocaust revisionist Paul Cameron. No apology or retraction for that. Nevertheless, a start is a start.

LaBarbera Award: Peter Sprigg

Jim Burroway

March 20th, 2008

The LaBarbera AwardThese awards have been coming fast and furious lately. It must be spring fever or something. Or Sprigg fever.

Current immigration laws which deny the foreign partners of gay Americans the ability to immigrate to the U.S. A bill is stalled in Congress which would address this problem which forces families apart. The Family “Research” Council’s Peter Sprigg was asked about it and said this:

I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.

Certified CameroniteThis “kick them out” kind of sentiment is definitely worthy of the LaBarbera Award. And today, we get a two-fer. Spriggs is also a Certified Cameronite for citing Holocaust revisionist Paul Cameron’s discredited research in his and Timothy Dailey’s 2004 book, Getting it Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality.

See also:
Family Impact Summit: A Lesbian Shows Peter Sprigg How To Debate

More Anti-Gay Math Problems

Timothy Kincaid

February 26th, 2008

Perhaps we should pity the anti-gays; they have seem to have learning problems. I’m not saying that they are downright stupid, but they certainly do seem to be confused about math.

In response to a booklet created by the NEA and the APA called Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth, the usual suspects jumped in with their indignation and, well, ignorance. And the Christian Post was right there to give them a venue.

“Among the so-called ‘facts’ in the 24-page document is the opinion that homosexuality is ‘a normal expression of human sexuality,'” stated Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), in an email to FRC supporters.

I suppose it is amusing that this statement alone is shocking, shocking I say, to FRC’s supporters. You can almost hear the froth forming at Tony’s lips when he says, “normal”.

But the gem in the piece was this:

“Despite decades of activism and media propaganda promoting acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, and a number of political and judicial victories for the pro-homosexual movement, polls show that a clear majority of Americans still believe that homosexual behavior is ‘morally wrong,” said Paul Sprigg, vice president for policy of the FRC.

Well, unless there are two wacky Spriggs, his name is actually Peter, not Paul (or Mary), and he’s the darling of anti-gays such as PFOX. Sprigg is just chuck full of opinions about gays, all of them vile.

As it turns out, not only is Sprigg a raging loon, he also doesn’t understand mathematics. This is the result of Gallup’s annual poll (May 2007) of public opinion on the morality of homosexuality:

49% believe homosexual relations are morally wrong; 47% believe they are morally acceptable; with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

In other words, the numbers are statistically equal. But even without allowing for sampling error, 49% is not “a clear majority”, it’s a simple plurality. A “clear majority” would be a number above 50% which allows for the sampling error.

And those numbers are a year old. Which, if we look at the chart below, may well make a difference when Gallup runs its poll this May.

gallup.gif

Poor Peter (or Paul or Mary or whoever he is). Not only is it clear that time is his enemy, but he left out the other little facts which show that his battle is nearly over and it’s time for him to start sewing the white flag:

* In general, do you think homosexuals should or should not have equal rights in terms of job opportunities? 89% yes; 9% no

* Do you think homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal? 59% yes; 37% no

* In your view, is homosexuality something a person is born with, (or is homosexuality) due to factors such as upbringing and environment? 42% born; 35% upbringing; 11% both

and even

* Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages? 46% yes; 53% no.

And, as I’m sure you guessed, these trends are not in his favor either. But somehow I think that someone unable to recognize that 49% is not a clear majority also won’t recognize that his brand of demonization and loud (false) accusations is losing badly.

Family Impact Summit: A Lesbian Shows Peter Sprigg How To Debate

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2007

It was last Saturday afternoon, and I had already endured nearly two full days of the Family Impact Summit in Tampa. You can imagine what kind of a mood I was in by then. And as I sat down to enjoy another dose of verbal gay-bashing at a town hall meeting called “Defending Marriage: What’s At Stake?” I overheard two people behind me talking about a small protest by gay activists that was taking place outside.

“Do you think any of them will try to come in here?” the older one asked.

“Nah. They won’t bother because they know they won’t be able to find anyone to have sex with afterwards,” sneered the other.

“Hah! So true!”

Nice crowd. These were the kind of people whose company I enjoyed for most of the weekend.

L-R: Rena Lindevalsen, Peter Sprigg, John Stemberger, Dale O’Leary

Only about 120 people took their seats in the sanctuary for the main even that afternoon. This session was conducted by four B-list speakers: Rena Lindevaldsen, law professor at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and associate director of the Center for Constitutional Litigation and Policy; Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council; John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council which is collecting signatures to put a gay marriage ban on the Florida ballot; and Dale O’Leary, a speaker and author who bills herself as an expert on the “lies” of the gay rights movement.

And when they began their panel, we heard about a two more hours of lies from the anti-gay movement.

I won’t get into all of them here – it would take a book to do it and they aren’t anything you haven’t heard before. But it mostly went like this: we’re all prone to mental illnesses and physical diseases, we’ve all been abused as children, we’re all substance abusers, and we don’t really want marriage because we don’t want it to interfere with our promiscuity. Dale O’Leary put it this way:

And so I think we need to understand is that the desire to live in a nice little cottage with a dog and two children and all the things we think of as parents is not their goal. That is their P.R.

But at least she was nice enough to note, “The fact is, they love the children they acquire.” But after detailing the supposedly horrible childhoods these “acquired” children endure, she concluded, “Nobody should be in the business of making tragedies.”

After the panelists had their say (after about an hour of this, I might add), the “town hall meeting” was finally opened up to questions from the floor. And the second questioner, a brave young woman wearing a red tee-shirt, was a stunner:

Hi. My names is Cathy James and I would like to challenge all of the individuals here listening today to really take a look at some of the rationale and some of the comments that speakers have given in regard to things such as …why government gets involved with personal relationships, that is, for the procreation of children. I think as most of the attorneys will tell you, that civil marriage was created for one purpose only, and that was property and how to divide property.

And so I am a lesbian, I live in the Riverview area with my partner of thirteen years and our son who is seven. And I go to work Monday through Friday and attend church weekly, I volunteer at the school, I volunteer at the homeowners association. And what I have a hard time understanding is why you are interested in keeping a legal framework from us in being able to handle the same things as heterosexual couples and such things as visitation, and hospital…. And how to divide our property in the same way, and how to parent our child?

The stunned silence was amazing. John Stemberger thanked her for coming and tried to stammer out an answer. He said that some forms of discrimination are perfectly legitimate (“home ownership benefits society in the way renters do not.”) and ended by saying, “marriage uniquely benefits society in the way same sex couples do not.” But Cathy remained calm and firm:

But in what way? What’s the difference in the benefit? How does your marriage benefit society more than my relationship with my same gender partner does not?

Peter Sprigg jumped in to assert that “without question” the best family structure was headed by a man and a woman. But Cathy persisted:

…But now you’re devaluing, what, over fifty percent of the children who live with one parent or that one parent as died or that they’re divorced and now they’re just living with one parent. You’re devaluing them and that’s not fair.

By now the panel was speechless, leaving Peter Sprigg to stumble around trying to get his footing. “Each person’s relationship choices serves as an example to the rest of society… and if that example becomes more widespread, more people will make the same choice, more children will suffer.”

So you’re saying a man and a woman in a marriage are valued higher than single people? They’re valued higher than…

Sprigg cut her off and instead of relying on his own outwitted wits, he decided to read from David Blankenhorn’s book, The Future of Marriage. And as he read, his voice rose, becoming more strident, more angry, more sharp with each word. “I would be rich if I had a nickel for every time someone who knows almost nothing about marriage has told me that historically marriage was all about property. That is nonsense!” But as he continued to spit out the words, it slowly dawned on him that Blankenhorn was talking about dowries and gifts to the bride’s family – which had nothing do with Cathy’s questions.

Clearly Sprigg is a man who doesn’t like having his reputation as an “expert” challenged. And it became obvious that he wasn’t up to this particular challenge. But he kept reading, vainly looking for the rescue that he was sure he’d find in Blankenhorn’s book. But it wasn’t there. He finally gave up and Cathy graciously thanked all of the panelists for their time.

For the two and a half days of the summit so-called “experts,” one after another, paraded from one stage to another convincing everyone who would listen that homosexuals would be the downfall of society. The solution? “Ordered Liberty Under God” went the oft-repeated battle cry.

But one brave woman burst through the bluster and showed that the emperors had no clothes. It was a wonderful moment, and for me the greatest highlight of the whole conference.

The “Root Cause” of AIDS

Jim Burroway

October 20th, 2006

Focus on the Family, in an October 19th online CitizenLink article, joins the chorus in denouncing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s remarks at the swearing-in ceremony for Mark Dybul as deputy global AIDS coordinator. Ambassador Dybul, who is openly gay, was joined by his partner Jason Claire, who held the Bible as Secretary Rice administered the oath of office and first lady Laura Bush looked on. Also in attendance was Claire’s mother, who Secretary Rice referred to as Dybul’s mother-in-law.

According to the Focus on the Family report, Secretary Rice’s chief of staff tried to backpeddle a bit, but Focus wasn’t having any of it:

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus on Family, called Rice’s comments “astonishing.”

“This is very provocative,” he said, “and very disappointing.”

In response to inquiries from Focus, Minnery heard from the State Department on Wednesday.

“Secretary Rice’s chief of staff called to say it was a mix-up,” he said. “That somebody should have checked this mother-in-law business, didn’t do it, and it got out.”

Perhaps, but such nuances are Rice’s stock in trade. Besides, she was standing right next to Dybul’s partner as he held the Bible for the swearing-in.

Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, claimed this was evidence that “they’re really rather apathetic about the efforts to defend traditional marriage.” He also went on to cite a “conflict of interest” in having a gay man lead HIV/AIDS prevention efforts:

“If we are not willing to say that men should not engage in sex with other men,” Sprigg noted, “then we are really not willing to tackle the root causes of the AIDS problem.”

Sprigg added it’s unlikely a gay man can effectively articulate that point — if it’s still the point the administration wants to make

Clearly Peter Sprigg needs to be much more educated on the issue. Gay men are quite capable of articulating how to prevent AIDS. What other explaination is there for the dramatic drop in AIDS cases since the mid-1990’s? Since then, new AIDS cases fell by more than 60% in New York and Los Angeles while in San Francisco — that ever famous gay mecca — that drop was more than 80%.

But when it comes to “root causes of the AIDS problem,” it’s not men having sex with men. It’s people of all sexual orientations engaging in unsafe sexual practices. AIDS began as a heterosexually transmitted disease which was quietly killing generations in the Congo River basin of central Africa since the late 1950’s, long before the deaths of five gay men in Los Angeles grabbed the medical community’s attention twenty-five years ago. (You can read more about it in our report Opportunistic Infections.)

Demagoguery surrounding HIV/AIDS has been a persistent obstacle in dealing with AIDS, both here and around the world. Words like these continue to shore up the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. And as long as that stigma continues, real answers to the problem will continue to remain elusive.