Rush Limbaugh

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 1: How The American Right Came to Embrace Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.

This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.

On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.

Throughout this process, Russian gay rights groups reported a surge in anti-gay hate crimes. Journalist Julia Ioffe has documented some individual stories.

Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”

Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the  the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.

But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.

Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:

  • Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan praised Putin for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation” by going after gays and political dissent and suggested that the United States follow his lead.
  • The anti-feminist group Concerned Women for America hailed the Pussy Riot prosecution, saying that the band displayed an “utter lack of morality.”
  • Religious Right activist Bob Vander Plaats, whose Family Leader events in Iowa have become must-attends for Republican presidential candidates, praised Putin’s “decisive leadership” on anti-gay laws.
  • American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban was exactly the kind of “public policy that we’ve been advocating” and that, if anything, the ban didn’t go far enough.
  • Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality praised the propaganda law, writing, “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth.”
  • Scott Lively, an American activist linked to Uganda’s push for the death penalty for gays, wrote that under Putin’s leadership, Russia has become a “beacon of freedom” while the U.S. has descended into a “gay version of the Soviet Union.” Lively also gave himself credit for “indirectly” assisting the ban on “homosexual propaganda,” calling it “one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
  • Vision America’s Rick Scarborough suggested that God would rebuke President Obama over his condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, saying that Obama’s criticism of the propaganda law “puts our country in a very precarious place.”
  • Radio host Linda Harvey, head of the group Mission: America, praised the gay “propaganda” ban, declaring that any “responsible adult” would support it.
  • Rush Limbaugh praised Putin for “putting [his] foot down” against gay peoples’ “full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”
  • Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) called the Russian law a “good thing” and claimed that “most of the people in the United States” would support a similar measure.
  • Larry Jacobs of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families hailed the propaganda law for “preventing [LGBT people] from corrupting children" and declared  that "the Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world."
  • Six American Religious Right groups, including the World Congress of FamiliesMission: America and C-FAM , joined an international coalition of right-wing groups in signing a statement supporting the anti-gay crackdown and condemning the international outrage against it.

American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/12/13

  • Media Matters: Limbaugh: "If You Believe In God, Then Intellectually You Cannot Believe In Manmade Global Warming."
  • David Weigel: Should Ted Cruz start running for president? Iowa’s social conservatives demand it.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Man who hoped to define Boy Scouts by its discrimination will now define gay people for you.
  • Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: GOP Rep.: ‘Global Warming is a Total Fraud,’ Plot to Institute ‘Global Government.’
  • Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: 'It's not my issue.'

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/22/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/3/13

  • Rush Limbaugh says that while “the one in Egypt’s a military coup, here it’s a Democrat Party coup.” 
  • North Carolina Republicans have added far-reaching abortion rights restrictions to a bill banning Sharia law. 
  • Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values wants Ohio Gov. John Kasich to run for president.
  • Speaking of Ohio, far-right activist Linda Harvey attended the Columbus gay pride parade. 
  • No comment: “Hi, I'm Ted Nugent. I have nine children from seven women, and I'm running for president.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/14/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/7/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/3/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/28/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/18/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/8/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/4/13

David Limbaugh Laments 'The Radical Display of Hate and Intolerance' Directed at his Brother, Rush

David Limbaugh in his column today defended his far more successful brother, Rush, for his daily sexist diatribes against law student Sandra Fluke, attacking his brothers critics’ “viciousness” and lack of “forgiveness”:

What is a much bigger story is that the left's primary interest here is not in protecting Fluke -- in my humble opinion. Liberals are attempting to exploit this as another opportunity to destroy Rush through a calculated, organized Saul Alinsky-type community organizing campaign to pressure and intimidate his advertisers into discontinuing their sponsorship of his show.

I am watching them operate on Twitter and other social networks, and their viciousness is palpable. They didn't want Rush's apology, which they absolutely refuse to accept. They want his scalp. And they've wanted his scalp for years because he is the most effective and influential spokesman for the conservative cause.

What I am observing is the most radical display of hate and intolerance that I've witnessed in years. It does not surprise me, but it is ironic that the very people who masquerade as exemplars of tolerance, civility and compassion have no room in their hearts for forgiveness.

If this is “the most radical display of hate and intolerance” that he’s “witnessed in years,” then he must not be listening to his brother’s show.

Besides Limbaugh calling Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” who should compete for the “Wilt Chamberlin scholarship” and release a sex-tape, Limbaugh has dubbed a then-13 year old Chelsea Clinton the “White House dog,” told an African American caller to “take that bone out of your nose,” said Democrats who wanted to stop the genocide in Darfur only wanted to win over black voters, imitated President Obama calling Hillary Clinton a “B-I-itch,” and denounced feminists as “whores to liberalism” who established feminism “to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

In another case of irony, the American Family Association is gladly promoting Limbaugh’s column attacking the campaign against Limbaugh’s advertisers as an “organized Saul Alinsky-type community organizing campaign,” even though the AFA and its affiliate OneMillionMoms runs pressure campaigns against Home Depot, JC Penney, Ford Motors, Toys R Us, Hardees, Macy’s, and AARP, and against advertisers on shows such as Degrassi, Glee and Modern Family.

Or maybe David Limbaugh can just tune in to the radio show of AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer if he feels the need to listen to more “hate” and “intolerance.”

Fischer: Limbaugh a Victim of 'Secular Sharia'

Every once in a while, Bryan Fischer comes up with some new line or analogy that he thinks is so clever that it ends up becoming the basis for a whole series of claims. 

Last year, it was the idea that gays were the biggest perpetrators of hate crimes in America, which he proceeded to use as the basis for an entire series of columns.

Recently, Fischer has become enamored with the idea that President Obama and the Left are instituting "secular Sharia" ... so naturally this phrase has quickly become he new favorite claim, which he broke out again today in defending Rush Limbaugh.

As Fischer sees it, Limbaugh probably should not have called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut," but only because the word is vulgar. Fischer explained that Fluke does in fact meet the textbook definition of "slut," so much so that she has no shame about telling the US Congress and the entire nation "about how much promiscuous sex she and her classmates are having."

Furthermore, the fact that Limbaugh has been forced to apologize for accurately calling Fluke a slut is proof that "secular fundamentalists" are just like "Islamic fundamentalists" because "leftists are pursuing their own caliphate in America with secular fundamentalism enshrined as their version of sharia law" for the purpose of destroying Christian morality:

Religious Right to Romney: Safety Net Un-Biblical

When Mitt Romney stepped on his Florida primary victory message by declaring that he wasn’t concerned about the very poor – and that he’d patch any holes that just might be in their safety net – most observers thought his mistake was declaring disinterest in the poor. But to right-wing activists, Romney’s bigger problem was his support for any kind of social safety net.
 
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack called Romney’s comments “unconservative,” saying that “The standard conservative argument is that a conservative economic agenda will help everyone.” 
 
“The safety net contributes to poverty,” declared Rush Limbaugh. “It does not solve it.” Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint told a reporter, “Those are the programs that are hurting, not just the poor, but our country.” 
 
Religious Right leaders added another touch: the safety net is un-Biblical. Yesterday, Liberty Counsel pushed out a statement promoting the Christian Reconstructionist notion that the Bible gives the government no role in addressing poverty:
Romney wrongly assumes that it is the role of government to provide more entitlements to help the poor. In fact, that is not the role of government. The historical biblical view of helping the poor is that they are best helped by individuals and the faith community. Government programs tend to enslave the poor in an endless cycle of poverty. The biblical model is that both, the giver and the recipient, are blessed. When government steps in between the giver and the recipient, the giver loses the blessing of giving and the recipient is often left in a worse, rather than better, position. Romney's statement that he would rely on government programs to help the poor indicates his intent to continue the same failed big government programs and policies….it is the duty of the church, the faith community, to look after the poor, the orphans, and the widows.
Longtime Religoius Right activist Gary Bauer made the same point in a USA Today column in January, arguing that “nowhere in the Bible are we told that government should take one man's money by force of law and give it to another man. Jesus' admonition was a personal command to share, not a command for Caesar to "spread the wealth around." 
 
There are, of course, alternative views about what the Bible has to say. President Obama, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast this week, cited the Biblical principal that much will be expected of the person who has been given much. (Laughably, Obama has been criticized by Ralph Reed for discussing how his faith influenced his approach to policy-making.) Writing recently for Sojourner’s, an economically liberal evangelical group, Tim King called Bauer’s claims about scripture “false,” saying that biblical injunctions related to forgiveness of debts and the release of slaves are “forms of government mandated redistribution of wealth” and “laws concerned with justice not encouragements to charity.”

Fischer: Rush Limbaugh Has Been "Intimidated" And "Compromised" By The Homosexual Lobby

In an amazing display of anti-gay synergy, the AFA's Bryan Fischer and "A Queer Thing Happened To America" author Michael Brown hosted something of a joint radio program yesterday whereby the two hosts were patched in together while each hosting their respective programs, essentially making each host a guest on the other's program.

These two leading anti-gay activists came together in this manner in order to discuss Brown's recent column speculating that Rush Limbaugh is afraid to blame the Penn State child molestation scandal on homosexuality because he is afraid of angering the gay lobby.

Brown gave Right Wing Watch a nice little shout-out around the 21:35 mark, noting that we regularly post their latest anti-gay statements.  And then, after Brown had left, Fischer continued to talk about it, saying that Limbaugh has been "compromised" by the homosexual lobby when he had Elton John sing at his wedding:

I mean, you talk about the people who are the real bullies on the playground, it's the homosexual lobby. They're pushing everybody around. They've even intimidated, apparently, Rush Limbaugh into craven silence. So that's an enormous sort of recognition of the power of the homosexual lobby that even somebody like Rush Limbaugh, who prides himself on the fact that he can't be intimidated by anybody, I mean, he has been driven to utter and absolute silence by the homosexual lobby.

Now I believe Rush got compromised - it's one of the reasons why you listen to Focal Point, by the way - Rush completely compromised on the homosexual agenda. He got compromised on the homosexual agenda when he paid Elton John a million bucks to sing at his wedding. I mean, he was done at the point. Elton John, one of the most prominent homosexuals on the planet, in a civil union with some guy in the UK, he's buddy-buddy with Rush now, so Rush is not going to go out there and say anything against the homosexual movement, against the homosexual lobby, against homosexual activists. So he's compromised on the issue.

One of the reasons why you listen to Focal Point [is] because we're not going to be bullied by the homosexual lobby.

Right Lashes Out At Media, Clinton After Cain Revelations

Last night, Politico broke the news that during Herman Cain’s tenure as director of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, two women left the trade association after settling sexual harassment claims against Cain. Cain has since denied the charges, accusing the media of leading a “witch hunt” against him and responding to one reporter by asking, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

Like clockwork, the Right’s major media critics are rallying to Cain’s defense.

Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council even tied the allegations against Cain to the discredited accusations that Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick when he was attorney general of Arkansas. Bozell argues that while the Cain story is a “hit piece,” the media should have given more coverage to the Broaddrick allegations:

Sadly, Herman Cain’s predictions have come true. In May he stated that he was ‘ready for the same high-tech lynching that [Clarence Thomas] went through -- for the good of this country.’ That's what Politico is doing with its unsubstantiated and thoroughly hypocritical hit piece against him. Anyone in the press that gives this story oxygen is equally hypocritical.

In the eyes of the liberal media, Herman Cain is just another uppity black American who has had the audacity to leave the liberal plantation. So they must destroy him, just as they tried destroying Clarence Thomas. The richest irony here is that the same media that refused to cover evidence of an alleged rape by a state Attorney General who became President now are running stories based on unnamed sources, about offenses that aren’t a fraction as grave. But one was a liberal Democrat, the other a conservative Republican -- hence the double standard.

Rush Limbaugh is also using the Cain case to attack Clinton. Limbaugh said that coverage of the charges, which were originally made in the 1990s, amount to a racist media trying to bring down a black conservative:

You know, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, folks. After all of these years, none of us should be surprised, but I still am. Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative. You know who's laughing himself silly today is Bill Clinton. (imitating Clinton) "Yeah, I really did it. Ha-ha. They praised me and they went as far out of their way as they could. Even my old buddy Carville is out there and he's saying, 'Look what happens when you drag a dollar bill through a trailer park, you get Paula Jones.' I have everybody defending me and they're going after this black guy, and they're going after him with some of the ugliest racial stereotypes I have ever seen. That's how our side does it; we get away with it. I just love it. I love watching it."

What's next, folks? A cartoon on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are they gonna do next? No, Snerdley, I'm not kidding. The racial stereotypes that these people are using to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells us who the real racists are, yeah, but it tells us that Herman Cain is somebody. Something's going on out there. Herman Cain obviously is making some people nervous for this kind of thing to happen.

Not to be outdone, Ann Coulter said on Fox News that the left is twisting civil rights laws that were meant “to protect blacks from Democrats from the South” to help “white women from Scarsdale”:

“It’s outrageous the way liberals treat a black conservative,” she told Geraldo. “This is another high-tech lynching.



Nothing liberals fear more than a black conservative. Ask Allen West. Ask Michael Steele. Ask Clarence Thomas. And even what the allegations are here, I mean, just shows you how the civil-rights juggernaut has gone off the rails. The idea of civil rights laws to begin with ironically was to protect blacks from Democrats from the South who won’t protect them. Now it’s you know, white women from Scarsdale who say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that he called me honey.’” Coulter also questioned some of the details of the report and if they merited the definition of harassment.

“It’s not groping, it’s not touching or demanding sex,” Coulter said. “It’s that he had remarks that they found inappropriate. One is he had inappropriate gestures that were not overtly sexual. Well, what were they then? This isn’t dropping your pants and saying ‘kiss it.’ This is an outrageous attack on a black conservative who is doing extremely well and will be our vice-presidential candidate.”

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pat Robertson says he will no longer be making political endorsements because "the truth of the matter is politics is not going to change our world. It's really not going to make that much of a difference."
  • Suddenly, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are BFFs.
  • Bryan Fischer is very excited that Rush Limbaugh talked about his article on the radio, even though Limbaugh has no idea who Fischer is or where he saw the article.
  • Lots of legislators seem to love Wallbuilders "ProFamily Legislators Conference."
  • Finally, the Supreme Court has rejected Alan Keyes' birther lawsuit.
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Rush Limbaugh Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 05/30/2014, 12:10pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. As the Radical Right continues its never-ending quest to stoop to new lows, this week conservative activists and Republican politicians claimed that progressives are sanctioning rape, planning to scrap the First Amendment and causing mass shootings by supporting marriage equality. 5) First Amendment About To Be Repealed It seems that Ted Cruz isn’t even trying to pretend that he is anything more than a shameless con artist. The Texas senator told a summit of Religious... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/10/2014, 5:32pm
Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Miss. Republican Senate Candidate’s Thoughts On Gays, Drugs, Libertarians. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Utah Distances Itself From Anti-Gay Study. Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Limbaugh Blasts Colbert Pick: ‘CBS Has Just Declared War on the Heartland of America.’ Jeremy Hooper: The real shame, Mark Creech, is that your side will never admit this kind of animus in court. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Fox News host: Obama is ‘giving away’ the Internet in a plot to tax web page clicks. Chris Rodda: Two Years Ago Today, the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/28/2014, 12:20pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. After turning the children of America gay, it turns out that Disney’s hit film Frozen is also tricking kids into embracing witchcraft. Of course, that is just one of several anti-gay conspiracy theories we uncovered this week. 5. Gays Part Of New World Order/Freemason/Marxist Conspiracy Religious Right pastor Scott Lively, who has played a role in influencing anti-gay laws in countries such as Uganda and Russia, explained in a recent interview that he believes the gay... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/14/2014, 5:00pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. The tired old arguments about gay recruitment seem to never die… but maybe our new Illuminati overlords will save folks like Rush Limbaugh from the gay menace. 5. Marriage Equality Makes Kids Gay Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council debated a caller on his radio show, Washington Watch, about why the FRC uses the phrase “natural marriage” since the definition of marriage has fluctuated over history and throughout different cultures. Ultimately, Perkins... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/11/2014, 3:30pm
The backlash to the announcement by University of Missouri defensive end and likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam that he is gay is troubling the usual suspects. Anti-gay author Michael Brown is out with a column criticizing Sam’s “selfish act” and suggesting that he should’ve stayed in the closet. According to Brown, Sam’s “hormones might be raging for men the way the other players’ hormones rage for women,” which will make “the ‘bromance’ type of close relationships that many players enjoy” impossible since they won’... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 01/27/2014, 6:05pm
Anti-gay commentators were none too pleased with last night’s performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” at the Grammy Awards, which included a ceremony where thirty-four couples — including same-sex couples — were married. Unsurprisingly, many claimed that the show was evil and mean to anti-gay activists. Here are five of the angriest anti-gay reactions to last night’s show: 5. Grammys Make Me Want To Vomit, Send Us To Hell Conservative commentator Erik Rush admitted he didn’t actually watch the Grammy Awards last night,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/17/2014, 6:35pm
Media Matters: Rush Ties Democrats To Nazism, Communism, And Terrorism. J. Lester Feder @ BuzzFeed: Ugandan President Denounces Anti-Homosexuality Bill — But Stops Short Of Blocking It — In Letter To Parliament. Jeremy Hooper: Video: Michael Brown (again) claims #GLAADCAP is 'censoring'; is (again) bearing false witness. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: ‘That’s what gave us Jim Crow.’ Tim Alberta @ National Journal: Conservatives Form Their Own Caucus Because the RSC Isn't 'Hard-Core' Enough. Daniel Strauss @ TPM: GOP... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 01/10/2014, 2:40pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. This week, we learned more details about President Obama’s sinister gay-Sharia plot. And according to one right-wing radio host, if the president fails to implement his nefarious policies before his second term runs out, he will simply set up “a satellite administration in exile.” 5. Pot Wreaking Havoc On Colorado! Colorado’s legalization of marijuana went into effect at the start of the year, providing plenty of material for satirical websites such as the... MORE >