Iowa Anti-Gay Activists Join Forces

Timothy Kincaid

March 3rd, 2008

hurley-ratliff.jpgChuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center and Keith Ratliff , pastor of Des Moines’ Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, have found a common cause: fear and loathing of the “homosexual agenda”.

Having met in their quest to deny gay couples any protections, the Des Moines Register reports that the two have become closer:

And on this Sunday morning, Ratliff looked up from his pulpit and saw Chuck Hurley, the former state legislator, walk in with his family. A while back, Hurley and his organization, the Iowa Family Policy Center, had organized a rally at which Ratliff spoke against same-sex marriage. They’d become fast friends.

But never before had Hurley brought his family to Ratliff’s mostly black church.

The choir belted out hymns. Hurley’s 10-year-old son, Tim, a vivacious boy who loved to sing and dance, swayed with the music.

The church quieted. Ratliff introduced his friend. Hurley put his hand on his son’s shoulder. The family had been searching for a wholesome, soulful place for Tim to express his God-given talents. They’d found that place.

“This is Tim,” Hurley said. “He’d like to join your kids choir.”

The church erupted in applause.

I do think it admirable that the Hurleys are supportive of their son and seek to find him a way to express himself. However, I wonder where this will lead.

Vivacious young boys who love to sing and dance tend to grow up to be vivacious young men that perform in musicals. And, as such, young Tim Hurley is quite likely to become close friends with a number of gay young men and will come to see that these young men are not the scourge of society nor the enemies of sacred institutions. He may even come to strongly believe that his father’s claim that homosexuality is based in “choice” is, at best, ignorant and hurtful.

Those who love the musical arts frequently are among the most vocal and convicted supporters of equality for gays and lesbians. And for this reason I hope that the love the Hurleys have for their son will be strong enough to overcome their fear and their loathing and that they will come to see that their drive “to speak up against” homosexuality may be based in their own biases and not a command by God.

If not, young Tim Hurley may have a tough row to hoe.


March 3rd, 2008

If not, young Tim Hurley may have a tough row to hoe.

Not to be flip but to play on the metaphor — at least he won’t be sowing seeds of hatred.

Emily K

March 3rd, 2008

He may have a tough row to hoe, if that becomes the case – but at least he will have turned his sword into a plowshare.


March 3rd, 2008

For the kid’s own sake, God forbid that he is gay. I have no idea one way or the other, nor is it any my business anyways, but if he is it will be rough on him.

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