Maggie Gallagher is savvy. She leads her followers away from the truth, but usually through distortion, misdirection, obscure language, misinterpretation, and sins of omission. It’s rare to catch her in a simple, direct lie. But she must be in a snit, because the Southern Poverty Law Center has added 13 anti-gay organizations to their list of hate groups, and accused 5 more (including Maggie’s National Organization for Marriage) of pushing demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities – though it stopped short of calling these 5 “hate groups.”
On Sunday, Maggie quoted a Washington Post column by Matthew Franck:
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-respected civil rights organization, publishes a “report” identifying a dozen or so “anti-gay hate groups,” some for no apparent reason other than their vocal opposition to same-sex marriage.
This. Is. A. Lie.
Not one of these groups – not one – appeared on the hate-group list merely for opposing marriage equality. The SPLC specifies why it added each one. You’ll find more details at the end of this post, but in short, the organizations were guilty of offenses like:
- Distorting scientific research to demonize gays, even over the researchers’ objections.
- Calling for the criminalization of homosexuality.
- Advocating the death penalty for gays.
- Accusing gay men of recruiting children and being more likely to molest them than straights.
- Holding gays responsible for Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.
Maggie knows this. She includes a link to the SPLC report containing this information! We have no room to give her — or Mr. Franck — the benefit of any conceivable doubt. They may not think these items justify the “hate group” designation, but they’re committing outright deceit in saying that opposing marriage equality was the only “apparent reason.”
Maggie spread this lie in a piece called, “Is the Hate Card the Recourse of Those Unwilling to Engage the Debate?” I happen to agree that some activists play the hate card too readily, but Maggie needs to pick her battles. Death penalties? Pedophilia? Nazi Germany? There is hate here. (She ought to fight those battles more honestly, too, but I doubt that’s a winning strategy for her cause).
The rest of the column is mired in contradiction:
What’s going on here? Clearly a determined effort is afoot, in cultural bastions controlled by the left, to anathematize traditional views of sexual morality, particularly opposition to same-sex marriage, as the expression of “hate” that cannot be tolerated in a decent civil society. The argument over same-sex marriage must be brought to an end, and the debate considered settled. Defenders of traditional marriage must be likened to racists, as purveyors of irrational fear and loathing. Opposition to same-sex marriage must be treated just like support for now long-gone anti-miscegenation laws.
This strategy is the counsel of desperation.
Oh, there’s desperation here, and a hope to silence debate. But more on that in a moment. It continues:
In 30 states, the people have protected traditional marriage by constitutional amendment: In no state where the question has been put directly to voters has same-sex marriage been adopted by democratic majorities. But the advocates of a revolution in the law of marriage see an opportunity in Perry v. Schwarzenegger , currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. In his district court ruling in the case in August, Judge Vaughn Walker held that California’s Proposition 8 enacted, “without reason, a private moral view” about the nature of marriage that cannot properly be embodied in public policy. Prop 8′s opponents are hoping for similar reasoning from the appeals court and, ultimately, from the Supreme Court.
Do you see the contradiction? Maggie and Mr. Franck claim we want to shut down debate, but here’s the reality:
Our side is happy to appear in the courtroom, where each side is free to present its best experts and have those experts cross-examined, leading to thousands of pages of testimony and analysis, all of it available to the public. Furthermore, we’d love to have these hearings televised, for maximum exposure.
NOM, on the other hand, opposes the courtroom approach. They’d rather see popular referendums on civil rights, elections where arguments are made in 30-second fits of sloganeering, safe from cross-examination, free of any evidence requiring more than half a minute to convey. And if hearings have to happen? NOM certainly doesn’t want them televised!
I don’t want to overpaint the moral picture. Both sides, of course, are choosing strategies that offer the greatest chance of success. But it’s laughable for her to accuse us of shutting down debate as we struggle to bring our cause to the highest court in the land.
Why the dishonesty? Why the logical incoherence? Maggie and Franck point to one possibility: desperation – but on their side, not ours. They know they can’t win the court battles. They know their electoral victories are getting smaller and smaller. They know they’re losing this fight. I guess the SPLC just pushed them over the edge.
Desperation does that to you – and by the way, if you don’t recognize the title of this post, you really need to rewatch “All About Eve.”
Finally, as promised, the 13 groups added to the hate list, and a sampling (just a sampling) of the reasons for each:
Abiding Truth Ministries
Its founder, Scott Lively, blames gays for the Holocaust and claims the Nazi SS recruited gays because of our “innate brutality.”
American Family Association
Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of analysis for government and policy, has written, “[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” Further, he wants to criminalize homosexuality.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
ATAH’s founder Peter Labarbera has helped perpetuate the myth of gays running the German Nazi Party. He’s called homosexuality a “lethal behavior addiction,” and has claimed “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” in the gay population.
Leader Gary DeMar believes in the dealth penalty for practicing gays.
The organization wants the US to adopt Old Testament law, including the execution of gays.
Dove World Outreach Center
The group’s pastor, Terry Jones, campaigned against a gay candidate by posting signs that read, “No Homo Mayor.” The group has endorsed Westboro Baptist Church’s condemnation of homosexuality (“God Hates Fags”), though not all of their methods.
Faithful Word Baptist Church
Its founder, Steven Anderson, has called for the execution of gays.
Family Research Council
The organization’s leadership accuse gays of being more likely than straights to molest kids, calling us a “danger to children.” Its senior research fellow Peter Sprigg opposed immigration equality for gay couples, saying he’d rather export gays from the country than import them. He apologized for the remark, but later called for the criminalization of homosexuality.
Family Research Institute
More crap about gays and pedophilia, this time from founder Paul Cameron, who believes gays should undergo “public shaming,” and when it comes to Uganda’s Kill-the-Gays bill, he says, “Whatever they decide, I’m OK with.” He’s also been kicked out a long list of professional psychology association after researchers complained he’s misused their data to lie about gays.
Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment
The group has said “legalizing homosexual deviations” will create a “confused and sick society.” It also asserts “[P]enalizing people for engaging in homosexual behavior is clearly not discrimination, just like penalizing people for exhibitionism or incest is not discrimination.”
Illinois Family Institute
The SPLC added this group to their hate list for their promotion of Paul Cameron’s discredited lies about gay men.
The group’s head, Brian Camenker, has claimed that gays want to legalize bestiality and push perversion on kids, and that no gays died in the Holocaust. The group has also perpetuated the image of gays as child predators.
Traditional Values Coalition
Yet more accusations that gays molest children. Also that we recruit them because, you know, we can’t reproduce.
I’d love to see Maggie defend the claim that some of these groups were added “for no apparent reason other than their vocal opposition to same-sex marriage.” But that won’t happen – because NOM, you remember, is no big fan of cross-examination.