The Crazy Anti-Gay Bigotry of the Liberty Counsel

The virulently, almost hysterically, anti-gay Liberty Counsel has offered an amicus brief to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Its official purpose is to strike down rulings for same-sex marriage, but it can’t resist pushing one of its favorite notions: that gay men are pedophiles.

I refer to crazy bigotry in my title, but that’s redundant. Bigotry, almost by definition, is an emotional reaction that cuts one off from facts and reason, and that’s what crazy is. You’ll see that in bizarre reasoning used in this brief.

It shows up in what’s almost a throwaway line:

In 2010, young MSB (men having sex with boys, aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72 percent of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24.

“Men having sex with boys.” They got this assertion from the CDC, which worded it more clearly honestly:

In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all gay and bisexual men.

I’m sure you can see the many distortions Liberty Counsel managed to insert as they twisted this information.

  • The CDC did not indicate how many of these young gay and bisexual men were infected via sex. I imagine many were, but Liberty Counsel is insisting they all were.
  • The CDC did not indicate indicate how many of these young gay and bisexual men were infected by men. Again, I imagine some were (no one denies that boys — and girls — get molested), but many were likely infected by their peers.
  • And most obviously — I imagine you’re practically screaming this by now — on what planet do we count 18-24-year-olds as boys? This is more than half that age range, men who can vote and serve in the military, and they are boys? And Liberty Counsel’s source doesn’t indicate what fraction of the group falls in this clearly adult range. The group, in fact, is likely to skew toward the older end.

Liberty Counsel actually anticipates this in a footnote, but it only serves to illuminate how crazy, how divorced from fact and reason, they are:

Since the incubation period for HIV can be 10-12 years, this means that they were first infected when they were 3 to 14 years old.

One obvious rejoinder would that just because the incubation period can be 10-12 years, that doesn’t mean it necessarily is. But that misses the point. The incubation period, of course, is the time from infection to the full onset of AIDS. The CDC, however, is not talking about AIDS, but about the age at initial infection. This whole incubation-period argument is nonsense, along with their “3 to 14 years old” conclusion.

Let me amend that: This whole “men having sex with boys” argument is nonsense, at least as presented in the brief.

That being said, I don’t claim Liberty Counsel is trying to deceive anyone. They may be completely sincere; crazy people often are. I’m also not saying their intentions are innocent. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have staff retreats devoted to nothing but inventing ways to spread vile statements about us. What stunning here is the naked stupidity with which they present their disgusting fantasies. And that, of course, can only be explained by recognizing homophobia truly is a mental and psychological disorder.

And with that, we can dismiss the rest of the brief. Not that I’ve proven it’s wrong from start to finish — I just mean it’s not worth our time. Once you hear the guy on the corner scream out one crazy thing, you don’t stick around to fact-check the rest of his rant. That’s just masochism. And in this case, Liberty Counsel truly is the crazy guy screaming on the corner.

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More questions, more answers (part 2)

This is part 2 of my answers to questions posed by Jason Salamone, who “is a former liberal agnostic, but surrendered to Christ on April 7th, 2011.” You can find part 1 here. It covered his first 11 questions, so let’s pick up with #12. (And I’m afraid this time I wasn’t able to hold back the snark he provokes as we get closer to the end.)

(12.) Not every marriage produces children, but every child has a biological mother and father. By redefining marriage to mean that those biological connections as unnecessary, are we not teaching society that children are commodities for adult desires, and that marriage is not about the children’s needs?

   Read more…

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More questions, more answers (part 1)

I don’t know why I find it so compelling, this anti-gay strategy of asking scary gotcha questions instead of offering substantive arguments, but I always feel a near-irresistible urge to answer them. Apparently it’s always been this way. This is from one of my first-grade teacher evaluations:

Well, finally Bobby remembers to raise his hand to talk. I was so pleased and then he acquired a new twist. Now when he raises his hand he keeps saying my name until I answer. So we are currently working on that.

Yes, I was that kid (“Mrs. Boyer! Mrs. Boyer! Mrs. Boyer!”) who always had to know the answer.

Well, I found another list of questions, this time from Jason Salamone, who “is a former liberal agnostic, but surrendered to Christ on April 7th, 2011.”

I have a few questions for the pro-homosexual practice crowd and same-sex “marriage” advocates. I have no issues with them attempting to actually answer the following questions, feel free, but I’m also respectfully challenging them to ponder these questions themselves…

I actually like this list, because it’s as if he compiled what our opponents considered their best unanswerable gotchas. Might be handy for us to a set of ready-made responses. He’s got 21 questions, so I’ll do 11 today and the rest in my next post.

To begin:    Read more…

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The Best Worst Graphic Ever

I recently saw an anti-gay graphic on JoeMyGod that excels so thoroughly at destroying its own message it feels like the best worst graphic ever.  I’m an instructional designer and a big part of my job is creating direct, clear, effective messaging, so I felt compelled, almost as a professional exercise, to analyze what makes it so perfectly disastrous. This is probably just for my fellow geeks, nerds, and dorks, but have a look at this masterpiece.    Read more…

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Dangerous Medical Experimentation on Teens

Laurie Higgins is the “Cultural Analyst” for the Illinois Family Institute, and she’s quite agitated about the state’s attempt to ban conversion therapy for teens.

…they want minors to be prohibited from even hearing any ideas that may be linked to their unchosen same-sex attraction, because such ideas undermine the unproven, non-factual, self-serving assumptions of homosexual activists and their highly politicized, Leftist mental health community allies.

Such a tizzy. Though I’m not sure exactly what it means. But Laurie clearly thinks it’s a bad idea.

The sponsors of this bill have marshalled an unimpressive array of claims from mental “health” organizations, all of which are loaded with biased and ambiguous language in support of an astoundingly totalitarian bill. If we have any really good critical thinkers and debaters in Springfield, they should be able to shred this bill in a floor debate.

Not just regular totalitarian, like in North Korea or the Soviet Union, but astoundingly so.

Now you might think Laurie is about to shred the bill with facts and careful analysis. But that’s not her style. Laurie would rather just ask questions of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kelly Cassidy. I’ve seen this just askin’ strategy before. It’s lazy and dishonest. Lazy, because it doesn’t require any evidence or even decent reasoning just to ask a question. Dishonest, because it leaves a gullible reader thinking a point’s been made even though nothing’s actually been said. The reader just fills in the missing answers with whatever the author insinuates.

The danger with this strategy, though, is that we can demolish simply by answering the questions. So let’s give that a try. Before we begin, though, let’s establish one thing. There is no evidence conversion therapy works, and a good bit of evidence that it can be harmful, so let’s call it what it is: dangerous medical experimentation on teens. That’s what it is, and that’s what we should always call it. Now, with that out of the way, first question:    Read more…

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The People We'll Never Reach

What I say:

My husband and I went to a gay charity event for L.A. Children’s Hospital, and it was lovely to see all the clothes and toys this group of good people had brought to the party.

What they hear:

My SatanSatanSatan! and I went to a SatanSatanSatan! for L.A. Children’s Hospital and it was lovely to see all the clothes and toys this SatanSatanSatan! had brought to the SatanSatanSatan!

Bonus distortion:

More proof that homosexuals (SatanSatanSatan!) are obsessed with children.

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The Swaggart Legacy:

I’ve long suspected much of the paranoia coming from our opponents is projection: they worry if we gain popular support we’ll start treating them the way they treated us for years decades centuries millennia.  How bad can this paranoia get? Here’s Donnie Swaggart speaking on a Christian channel:

All of this is to shut the Bible up. They want the Bible gone. And I’m going to make a statement: These people that are trying to do this in Houston, the only difference between them and ISIS, those thugs in Iraq, is those here cannot chop our heads off. That’s the only difference. The heart is the same. The heart is the same. If they could silence us that way to intimidate others, that’s exactly what they would do.

To complete the circle, let’s visit with the man who raised Donnie, his father, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, speaking to his congregation almost exactly 10 years earlier:

I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m going to be blunt and plain — if one ever looks at me like that, I’m going to kill him and tell God he died.

Cue applause.

Watch the video. It’s chilling. Swaggart did apologize later…kinda.

It’s a humorous statement that doesn’t mean anything. You can’t lie to God — it’s ridiculous. If it’s an insult, I certainly didn’t think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology.

You have to wonder what does count as an insult in the privacy of Jimmy Swaggart’s home, the home where Donnie grew up.

Of course, for this to be true projection, Donnie would have to feel about us the way he’s accusing us of feeling about him. I haven’t found any direct indication that he does. But saying gays want to murder Christians is a good way of getting his followers to that point.

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A Prediction

A hundred years from now, Christians will proudly recall how they fought for LGBT rights at the beginning of the 21st Century, and if anyone reminds them of Christian opposition to our equality, they will reply, “But that was a FALSE Christianity!” So it happened with slavery, so it will happen with gays.

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I'm getting married today

Today, at 5pm, at the beautiful Los Angeles Arboretum, I’m marrying Will, the love of my life and partner of six and a half years.

I was 46 when I met Will, and resigned to being single forever. But on On April 3, 2008, Will saw me at a country-western bar called Oil Can Harry’s and asked me to two-step. At the end of the night, I gave him my number. Will promised to call the next day, and in a complete break from standard L.A. protocol, did exactly that. We had civil, slightly stilted first date until the subject of Battlestar Galactica came up, which was about to begin a new season. My memory can be a sieve, but Will remembers every damn thing, so we geeked out in excitement as he reminded me where the last season left off, and our chemistry erupted.

I was jaded, though. I had unconsciously decided first dates never go anywhere, so I didn’t follow up. In another gutsy break from protocol, Will called me on Thursday: We had a great time, why didn’t you call? I could have decided he was crazy (and I would have been a little bit right). but instead I asked him out. We spent every weekend together after that. I didn’t know it at the time, but two months later, on the same day I told him I didn’t want to see anyone else, our puppy was born. Another two months after that I told Will I wanted a dog and would he like to come along, and that’s when we rescued an eight-week old pup we named Lucas. It might sound strange, but four months into a relationship is a crucial time for deciding whether to go forward, and Lucas gave us something to focus on that wasn’t just about us. It also gave us a chance to see each other in a new light as we cared for and worried over and loved the hell out of that dog.

In November, Prop 8 passed and I became suddenly political. We carried signs at the in-your-face rallies. In December, though, I somehow got roped into organizing a peaceful, candlelit vigil for marriage equality. Will wanted to help, but he was a full-time student with a full-time job. I didn’t want to burden him so I asked for one thing: the name of the LGBT liaison at the Los Angeles Police Department. Will is Will, so I ended up getting three pages of notes from exhaustive interviews with police staff. At the moment, this confirmed bachelor learned the real difference between a boyfriend and a partner.

In the years that followed, we survived a full kitchen remodel, bicycled from San Francisco to Los Angeles three times for charity, and welcomed into our home Chloe, the other best dog ever. Then on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality in the state of California. That night, one of us (I won’t say who!) emphatically said, You’re going to marry me, and the other replied, Yes I am.

I want to thank all of you for making that happen. We’ve seen a lot of controversy lately among the heavy hitters over who deserves credit for our tidal wave of victory, but I know the answer: You do. I’ve put in thousands of hours toward the cause, and I like to think I’ve had an effect, but it’s likely events would have proceed just the same way without me. And it might have proceeded just the same way without you, too. But it wouldn’t have happened at all without us. If each of us had thought, I’m just one person, what contribution can I make — and many did think exactly that — then none of this would be happening. The chorus of equality might have been able to lose any one voice and still sing on, but our music soared because of the people who did show up. And who kept showing up.

I remember canvassing door-to-door for the right to marriage, and I interviewed one woman who seemed solidly against us. The conversation seemed pointless, until I closed it with the question we’re supposed to ask no matter what: “This may come up again on the ballot. Could we count on your vote?”

“Maybe.”

That stunned me.  “Really?  Why is that?”

“Because I see people fighting for it and I see how important it is to you.”

That was you. Even if you were just one in a crowd chanting a slogan. Even if all you did was share your story at work or bring your partner to an office party. Even if you just stood fast and said, That’s not cool, when someone made a stupid joke about gays.

That was you. So thank you. And please, wish us the best on this most important day of our lives.

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That's Entertainment!

Court decisions on marriage can be inspiring, lovely, even wry, but they’re rarely laugh-out-loud funny. The 7th Circuit’s decision on Indiana and Wisconsin is an exception.

In the bit I’m about to quote, the court takes on the “responsible procreation argument” that the other side so often puts forth — that the purpose of marriage is to encourage responsible procreation, and because only straight couples can accidentally procreate, only straight couples need the bond of marriage to keep them together and set up a home for the kids. Gay couples, who only have kids on purpose, don’t need any such prodding.

Yes, the argument is that ridiculous, but the 7th Circuit demolishes it thus:

Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure.

I see no way of improving on that.

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