Proposition 8

Jennifer Roback Morse: Hollywood to Blame for Gay Marriage Decisions

Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage knows who to blame for yesterday’s marriage equality victories in the Supreme Court: Hollywood. Roback Morse, the campaign spokesperson for Proposition 8 in California, discussed the marriage equality decisions on today’s Sandy Rios in the Morning. She blamed Hollywood for the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying that Hollywood is “dominated by all aspects of the sexual revolution.”

Morse also blamed television for American’s “distorted view” of how many gay people there are in the country. “They’re only about 2% of the population,” she claimed. “But if you watch TV all day, you’ll think it’s 30 or 40% of the population’s gay.”

Morse urged anti-gay activists “to go down fighting” and suggested that the freedom of speech is at stake: “You need to speak out while you still can because these guys are closing in on us in all kinds of dimensions.” According to Morse, gay rights advocates believe “the sexual revolution is the highest objective and will bend the rule of law and bend the Constitution” in order to realize their goals.

Craig Parshall: Marriage Equality Victories Will Lead to 'Suppression of Speech'

Craig Parshall of National Religious Broadcasters added to the torrent of right-wing doomsday prophesies about marriage equality yesterday, claiming that a Supreme Court victory for gay rights would ultimately lead to hate speech laws wielded against Christians. In an interview with his wife Janet Parshall, a talk show host with Moody Radio, he warned that “the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.”

We have a hate crimes law on the federal level now that we didn’t used to have. It’s only been in play for a few years, but I’m already seeing indications that it could migrate toward the suppression of speech. So there’s no question in my mind that if either or both of these decisions go the wrong way, the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.

He was also upset that Justice Kennedy, during the arguments on Proposition 8, had brought up the well-being of California children being raised by same-sex couples. “There are some 40,000 children in California…that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?,” Kennedy asked.

Parshall, who has previously called the children of gay and lesbian parents “victims of gay mentality,” said that in this case the views of children shouldn’t be considered. “We don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions,” he said. “Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions.”

(Of course, in this case, the parents are not able to make the decision to get married because they are legally barred from doing so).

The issue was, I thought, brought to a head in a very interesting, but I think wrong-headed, question by Justice Kennedy, the swing vote again, who said, ‘Well, but what about those 37,000,’ and actually, excuse me, he said, ‘the 40,000 children living in same-sex relationships in California?’ Actually, the number’s 37,000, I think he rounded it up, that’s fine. The 37,000 children. ‘What about them? They want their putative father and other significant other to be called a married couple.’ Well, number one, do they? I don’t think a survey has been made of those 37,000 children. But, number two, we don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions. Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions. The child doesn’t make the decision about whether marriage should be instituted for the purpose of gay parents.

NOM's 'Historic' Fail

For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies couldn’t pull it off. Not even close.

In reality, NOM’s rally had a few, perhaps several, thousand attendees.  (NOM’s Thomas Peters claims 15,000, which seems, um, generous.) And every time one of the speakers tried to make the crowd feel like part of a larger movement by talking about the 200,000 people they said marched recently for one-man/one-woman marriage in Puerto Rico, or the hundreds of thousands or millions in France and Spain, or even the 585,000 who have signed the Manhattan Declaration or the half million who marched against legal abortion, it only served to highlight how few bothered to show up in Washington. According to various speakers, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent five busloads; anti-gay state senator Ruben Diaz claimed 32 buses from New York. Brian Brown gave a shout out to some Chinese Christians from Chicago.

The ethnically diverse speakers’ list was a mix of old and new, including some familiar faces on the anti-gay circuit, such as Harry Jackson, Gary Bauer, and Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Harry Jackson led the crowd in a chant that he said was a prayer for the Supreme Court: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered.” Bauer delivered a blustery message to the Republican Party that if they “bail” on marriage, he’ll lead as many people as he can out of the GOP (which may not be that much of a threat). Vander Plaats urged Supreme Court justices to look to the Founding Fathers, Billy Graham, and Pope Francis. Also speaking were Doug Mainwaring, now making the circuit as the anti-equality gay man the Religious Right loves to love; Frank Schubert, the mastermind of the dishonest Prop 8 campaign and every anti-equality campaign since then; and Jim Garlow, who made a name for himself among the Religious Right with his pro-Prop 8 organizing. Garlow insisted you cannot call yourself a Christian and support the Court’s “obliterating” what he called a “core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Garlow should have seen the packed crowd at the morning’s pro-equality interfaith service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.) Garlow warned Supreme Court justices that they will one day stand before “the Chief Justice of the Universe” and will be held accountable if they defy His ways.

A couple of groups sent under-30 speakers to say how wrong the media is to suggest that Millennials are a lost cause on this issue.  But facts are facts, and polls show that support for marriage equality is overwhelming among under-30 Americans: 72 percent of Millennials believe same-sex couples should be able to get legally married, including 58 percent of under-30 Republicans.

Many of the speakers were on-message to the point of being boringly redundant, repeating the message on marchers’ pre-printed signs: “Kids do best with a mom and a dad” and “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Sometimes this came with a strong shot of gender stereotypes: mothers provide tenderness and fathers provide protection.  Brian Brown even showed a video of the Religious Right’s newest heroine, the 11-year old who testified against marriage equality in Minnesota and asked which of her parents she did not need, her mother or father. Perhaps someone could explain that no same-sex couples seeking to get married have any desire to force her to get rid of either parent.

NOM’s backers for the marriage march included the far-far-right-wing Catholic group Tradition, Family & Property, with its scarlet banners, capes, and marching band (see Adele Stan’s reminder who TFP is), Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, a couple of Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Columbus and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Brown gave special thanks to the Mormon-run GFC Foundation for providing grants for buses.

 

NOM's Brown Invokes Lincoln on Federal Marriage Amendment: 'We Cannot Be…Half Slave, Half Free'

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown joined Steve Deace on Friday to discuss the marriage equality cases being argued this week at the Supreme Court. If the Court rules broadly in favor of equality, Brown said, NOM would turn its focus toward advocating for a Federal Marriage Amendment banning marriage equality throughout the country. Responding to conservatives who are concerned about the Federal Marriage Amendment’s infringement on states’ rights, Brown invoked Abraham Lincoln: “We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution.”

I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way – that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, a Roe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution. We shouldn’t have to do this, we shouldn’t have to worry about activist judges, you know, making up out of thin air a constitutional right that obviously none of our founders found there and no one found there until quite recently. But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution. And if the Court forces a solution, the way we’ll amend that is through  the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Wildmon: Overturning DOMA and Prop 8 May Lead to Hate Speech Laws

During the debate over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Religious Right groups like the American Family Association warned that the law would “criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality” and “take away our religious freedoms.”

Of course, none of that happened, but that hasn’t stopped anti-gay activists from making the exact same false claims again and hoping more people will fall for it.

Yesterday, AFA president Tim Wildmon appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show and alleged that if the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) then we will see “persecution against Christians” and restrictions on the freedom of speech.

Wildmon: You’re headed down the road of persecution against Christians who believe in the Bible as their standard for moral behavior. In Canada now they have different rules there where you can’t even criminalize the lifestyle itself or you’ll be charged with a hate crime. You know that’s the road we’re headed down if these laws, if DOMA is struck down, if Prop 8 is struck down, then you’re headed for control of speech, even if it’s religious speech.

Ironically, the AFA’s own legal counsel, Pat Vaughn, admitted that “the Defense of Marriage Act is probably unconstitutional.”

LaBarbera: Gay Rights Legal Brief Is a 'Tool of Repression'

In an interview with the American Family Association’s news affiliate Instant Analysis (formerly OneNewsNow), Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality condemned the large group of corporations that joined legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8.

LaBarbera blasted the corporations for “pushing homosexuality on the American public,” calling the amicus brief “a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.” He claimed that if the Supreme Court rules against Prop 8, “that will be a sad day for American freedom” and “a disaster,” as deciding who should have the freedom to marry “should be left up to citizens.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality acknowledges that corporations are at liberty to do what they want privately, such as adopting pro-homosexual policies.

“... But when you start pushing homosexuality on the American public using the government, that's another matter,” he offers. “Then it becomes a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.”

According to the family advocate, the Prop. 8 case before the nation's high court is essentially the “Roe v. Wade” of the homosexual movement.

“If the court steps in and overrides the decision of the people of California not to support homosexual so-called marriage, that will be a sad day for American freedom,” he tells American Family News. “All across the nation citizens have spoken on this issue – [and] at the very least it should be left up to citizens.

“If the court imposes national homosexual marriage, that will be a disaster – and it will fuel the culture wars for decades to come.”

Of course, it is absurd to argue that a Supreme Court decision against DOMA or Prop 8 actively represses or takes away the rights of marriage equality opponents. But the Religious Right is often inconsistent in its arguments. Another AFA news item, however, explicitly rejects paying any attention to how the public feels, contradicting LaBarbera’s argument.

Sam Rohrer, a former Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania and head of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, tells the AFA that the public’s view on marriage equality doesn’t matter because judges should rule according to “moral law” established by God as “the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible.”

The Christian Post reported on Monday that The Washington Post has published two polls that show "Americans are done with DOMA." But the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network (PPN) contends that the results are "likely skewed."

PPN president Sam Rohrer believes that polls are worth about the amount it cost to conduct them - particularly when they are financed by organizations that advocate for the destruction of marriage, including the Respect for Marriage Coalition.

"When they use polls to try to substantiate and/or to prove an acceptance of a position that has not been historically sound, I'm saying [that] is an inappropriate use of polls," Rohrer submits. "And any judge that looks to the poll as a determination of how they may or may not judge and rule on this case is to embrace moral relativism rather than moral law."

That is especially relevant now, as the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act next month; the resulting ruling is expected near the end of June.

The Coalition's poll results show that 83 percent of Americans, "regardless of their personal opinion on the issue," believes same-sex "marriage" will be legal nationally "in the next five to ten years." But that can only happen if the federal Defense of Marriage Act is repealed by the Supreme Court or Congress.

And a national survey conducted on behalf of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) reportedly reveals that 59 percent of registered voters "oppose" Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and a spouse as someone of the opposite gender.

The PPN president asserts that the purpose of the recent polls is to influence public opinion and the courts.

"What the Pastors' Network is saying is that when making a decision, a moral decision where you're talking about an institution created by God, God doesn't need public opinion polls; so neither should a judge consider what polls may or may not be," Rohrer contends. "It's a moral decision, and moral decisions ought to be made based on what God says -- not what some poll may or may not say."

Part of the oath of office high court justices take is to support and defend the Constitution. And as Rohrer points out, the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible -- not the popular view of the culture.

Right Wing Round-Up

Ahn Equates Marriage Equality With Racist Laws

During today’s show Holy Spirit Today, Che Ahn said that even if same-sex marriage became legal in the United States it will never be justifiable in the same way laws that didn’t consider African Americans citizens were illegitimate. Ahn is a prominent Religious Right activist who worked on the campaign to pass Proposition 8, co-founded The Call with Lou Engle, and was an official endorser of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. He is also a vocal proponent of Seven Mountains Dominionism who claims that the president of South Korea is an ‘Apostle.’

According to Ahn, LGBT equality “is not a civil rights issue” because they never had “rights taken from them.” He went on to say that same-sex couples have no right to get married just as the country banned incest and polygamy. Ahn concluded that “just because it’s legal does not mean that it’s right, at one time we had a law saying blacks were not citizens, that didn’t make that right.”

Watch:

Engle: The Call Needed To Convert Gays and Lesbians, Muslims

After many of the organizers for Lou Engle’s The Call put on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston, Engle is gearing up for The Call: Detroit on November, 11th. The Call is a youth-focused prayer rally centered on militantly anti-choice and anti-gay messages and has received the endorsements of leading Republican and Religious Right figures like Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Tim Wildmon, Mat Staver and Pat Robertson. Engle recently promoted The Call at Awakening: 2011 in Chicago, and echoed his earlier sentiment about The Call’s goal of converting “millions of Muslims” to Christianity and transforming “urban communities”:

Later, Engle discussed the 2008 The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium which he led with Dobson, Perkins, Jim Garlow, Dutch Sheets, and Che Ahn where they supposedly secured the passage of Proposition 8 through their prayers. He said that during the rally he prayed for gays and lesbians to become heterosexual ‘ex-gays,’ saying, “We held a big gathering of The Call in San Diego praying that God would save and can transform a hundred thousand gay and lesbian men and women by the power of God.” Engle even claimed that he later met a woman who said she became an ‘ex-gay’ as a result of their prayers:

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

Who's Who in Today's DOMA Hearing

Cross-posted on PFAW blog

Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights:

CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena:

• Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, demanding the discriminatory policy’s reinstatement.

• The group claims anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth in schools amount to “homosexual indoctrination” and “promote homosexuality in kids.”

• The group insists that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over its refusal to defend the unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is backed by the far-right Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch- backed Castle Rock Foundation, all well-known right-wing funders.

• George Weigel of EPPC wrote in June that “legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause.”

• Ed Whelan spearheaded the unsuccessful and widely panned effort to throw out Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision finding California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Walker was in a committed same-sex relationship at the time of the decision.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dedicated to pushing a far-right legal agenda:

• The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."

• The ADF claims 38 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections in the name of “free speech” and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which allowed the Boy Scouts to fire a Scout Leader because he was gay.


Ahn: Prayers Led Prop 8 To Victory

In a speech recently posted on GOD TV about how “strategic prayer, strategic intercession was absolutely crucial in shifting Prop 8” in California, megachurch pastor Che Ahn told a story about how prayer led the amendment to victory. Ahn joined Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets, and Jim Garlow in The Call rallies across California to promote Proposition 8, which repealed marriage equality through a constitutional amendment, including a final rally in Qualcomm Stadium with major Religious Right leaders like James Dobson and Tony Perkins. Ahn, who is an endorser of Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally (which is modeled after The Call), described how their prayers reversed the lead Proposition 8’s opponents had in the polls: following intense prayer, Garlow, Sheets and Ahn at the same time “felt it was a done deal” that Proposition 8 would succeed:

It was amazing because the polls showed that those who were opposed to Prop 8, the ten point lead they had, the first ten days that dissipated, and after ten days the polls were even up to the election. And Jim [Garlow] was convinced that the beginning of prayer and fasting wiped out the ten point lead and so we know that strategic prayer, strategic intercession, was absolutely crucial in shifting Prop 8. Then on the day of The Call, we had maybe around 20,000 that gathered in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, and I’ll never forget around 4:15, 4:30 in the afternoon after we had prayed all afternoon for Prop 8 to be passed I felt something shift in my spirit and I knew it was a done deal. I turned to Lou and I said Lou, it’s a done deal I know Prop 8 is gonna pass. And then Dutch was right there and Dutch Sheets said, ‘I felt the same thing.’ Later on I’ve heard from Pastor Jim Garlow he felt the same thing around the same time all of us felt it was a done deal. Now we didn’t know that about the election, the national election, because we didn’t have a word about who was gonna win, but we did know that Prop 8 was gonna pass in this incredibly liberal state of California. And sure enough we saw the evidence of that and it won by a strong 52-48 margin. I need to thank God again for that let’s thank the Lord for that.

Ahn: America Needs To Confront Gay Marriage Like We Confronted Slavery

One of the most prominent endorsers of Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally said in a recent interview that the United States needs to confront and stop legalizing same-sex marriage in the same way the country confronted slavery. Che Ahn is a self-proclaimed apostle and, along with his mentee Lou Engle, co-founder of The Call, a militantly anti-choice and anti-gay prayer rally. Many of the organizers of Gov. Perry’s rally are heavily involved in The Call and its affiliated IHOP ministry.

In an interview with a British ministry, Ahn discussed his commitment to Seven Mountains Dominionism and the need for Christian Apostles to get to the top of the “government mountain” because “once we do get to the head we can make decrees and declarations and shift and influence that whole mountain.”

In another segment of the interview, Ahn likened the abolitionists’ fight against slavery to passing Proposition 8 in California and ultimately banning same-sex marriage nationwide:


Right Wing Leftovers

  • The San Antonio Express-News reports that "when it comes time to giving, [Governor Rick Perry] doesn't come close to the biblical guidance of tithing."
  • CNN gives Tony Perkins space to explain what the Religious Right wants in a Republican presidential nominee.
  • David Barton has endorsed Ted Cruz.
  • Gary Cass claims that Prop 8 would have passed by even more but that "Attorney General Jerry Brown intentionally described Proposition 8 on the ballot in a misleading way."
  • I am pretty sure that President Obama is going to refuse the offer to come together and pray with Wiley Drake.
  • Finally, Janet Porter warns you to beware that Lamb you are eating; it was probably "offered first to idols, in this case to the false god of Islam."

Focus On The Family Leader: Why Not Have An Ex-Gay Pride Month?

A self-proclaimed “ex-gay” official with Focus on the Family’s California affiliate, in response to Los Angeles’s recognition of LGBT Heritage Month in June, has called on the city to create a day honoring “ex-gays.” The Focus chapter, called the California Family Council, earlier this year slammed anti-bullying initiatives for allegedly “push[ing] a homosexual message” and attacked efforts to incorporate gay and lesbian historical figures in the school curriculum.

Speaking to the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Jim Domen, who leads the CFC’s outreach to clergy and was a staunch supporter of Proposition 8, said the government should honor people like him who “changed our lives” by becoming ‘ex-gays’:

Pastor Jim Domen, a staff member with the California Family Council, sees obvious disparity in the city's proclamation.

"I'm ex-gay," he tells OneNewsNow. "And so when I hear people celebrating, 'Oh, we're doing the LGBT month,' and those types of celebrations, I want to ask the question: 'Well, when does the state, when does the county of Los Angeles respect those who are ex-gay? When do we celebrate ex-gay month?' We've gone down this road -- it's not good -- and we've changed our lives. When does the state recognize that?"



Domen contends the city is essentially siding with those working to reverse that initiative, which upholds traditional marriage in the state.

"We continue to see this in our government leadership," he laments, "and it's heartbreaking when the people have spoken and yet elected officials will -- via their power or what have you -- choose to go against the will of the people."

Bryan Fischer's Countless Hate Crimes

As we noted last week, Bryan Fischer has made it his new cause in life to prove that "the number one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists."

Fischer bases this idea upon a definition of a hate crime that he took off us USLegal.com, which reads:

"A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability."

Fischer has seized upon the phrases "harassment" and "religion" and is now basically using them to declare anything and everything he doesn't like to be a "hate crime."

Last week it was situation with Peter Vidmar, who stepped down from his position with the 2012 U.S. Olympic team over his support for Proposition 8, and today is it some case involving a doctor in England:

If facing harassment because others have prejudice against your religion is a hate crime, then Dr. Richard Scott of the U.K. is the latest victim of the P.C. police.

He is facing an official sanction from the professional medical body in England, the General Medical Council (GMC) for having the effrontery to suggest to a patient that nurturing his spiritual life might be one part of a holistic course of treatment.

It makes no difference to the Tolerance Nazis that study after study has shown the beneficial health effects of faith in God and prayer, or that Dr. Scott only broached the subject with this patient after a lengthy consultation, and after medical checks had been performed and referrals for further care were arranged.

Nope, the Torquemadas of the left want to put Dr. Scott on the rack and punish him despite his unblemished 28-year record and despite the fact the patient in question is still seeking care at his clinic and so himself is apparently not criminally offended in the least.

This case doesn't even have anything to do with gays, so Fischer is now claiming that it is "secular fundamentalists" who are committing this particular hate crime.

The interesting thing about this new development is that Fischer intentionally overlooks the other elements of the definition of a hate crime, most notably the listing of "sexual orientation."

And given that, in Fischer's view, basically any criticism or pressure put on any conservative or Christian is "harassment" and therefore a "hate crime," let us point out that Fischer and the AFA led the charge to fire Kevin Jennings and impeach Judge Vaughn Walker, solely because they were gay:

AFA calls for resignation of Kevin Jennings, “Safe and Drug Free Schools” head

The American Family Association today called for the resignation of Kevin Jennings, the head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools in the Department of Education.

“This man is not a good role model for the nation’s children, nor will he fairly represent all Americans due to his spiteful attitude toward evangelical Christians,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon.

Time to impeach Judge Vaughn Walker

Contact your representative today and urge him to start impeachment proceedings

August 5, 2010

Yesterday (August 4), U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker single-handedly overturned California's Prop. 8, which elevated protection for one-man, one-woman marriage to its state constitution.

...

Judge Walker's ruling is not "good Behaviour." He has exceeded his constitutional authority and engaged in judicial tyranny.

Judges are not, in fact, unaccountable. They are accountable to Congress, which can remove them from office.

Impeachment proceedings, according to the Constitution, begin in the House of Representatives. It's time for you to put your congressman on record regarding the possible impeachment of Judge Walker.

If Peter Vidmar stepping down and some foreign doctor facing possible discipline are examples of "hate crimes," what just what is the AFA prolonged and orchestrated campaign to get two gay public servants fired from the jobs?

And can I point out that Islam is also a "religion" ... and Fischer has been leading a full-blown crusade against Muslims for years now.

So by Fischer's own standard, he is personally guilty of committing hate crimes on a daily basis. 

Fischer: Gay Activists Are "Number One Perpetrators Of Hate Crimes In America"

So far this week, Bryan Fischer has called gay activists Nazis, likened them to Spanish Inquisition and Torquemada, and said they will forcibly brainwash anyone who does not "support sexual deviancy."

So how could he possibly top that?  By seizing on the fact that Peter Vidmar stepped down from his position with the 2012 U.S. Olympic team over his support for Proposition 8 to announce that it is now his goal in life to prove that "the number one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists":

I am convinced that the number one group, the number one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists. They are, by far, the most egregious perpetrators of hate crimes offenses in the United States of America, all the while trying to tell the public that we are the hate mongers.

It's a hate crime if it involves threats or harassment - harassment is part, meets the definition of a hate crime. And is motivated by prejudice against someone's religion. That's a hate crime. If you harass somebody because you are motivated by prejudice against that person's religion, that is a hate crime.

Number one perpetrators of hate crimes in America: homosexual activists, gay activists, the homosexual lobby.

And ladies and gentlemen, I am going to start calling them on this. I'm going to call it like it is. These are hate crimes. They are threats and harassment motivated by prejudice against somebody else based on their religion and you're not going to stop me from talking about this.

We are now going to brand homosexual activists as the primary perpetrators of hate crimes in the United States of America. That is now my new cause.

Newt Gingrich Is Just Like King David

If anyone out there thinks that Newt Gingrich's serial infidelity will, in any way, sour the Religious Right on his presidential candidacy, think again.

As we've noted before, Jim Garlow was the man at the center of the battle to stop marriage equality in California through Proposition 8 and he's already forgiven Gingrich and calling him "the strongest possible candidate."

So it is pretty obvious that "family values" leaders will do what is necessary to come up with ways to justify supporting Gingrich despite his history ... and so we'll probably start seeing lots more pieces like this one from Michael Youssef on the AFA's OneNewsNow website comparing Gingrich to King David:

A number of years ago, I gave a series of messages on the life of King David of old. I entitled the series, "A Portrait of a Champion." One of the messages in that series was called, "Champions Know How to Repent." Even a great champion for God such as King David messed up "royally" and had to repent ... This brings me to Newt Gingrich. While many people have, and will continue to throw stones at the former Speaker's past marriage failures, I am glad that Newt is a man who knows how to repent. After all, isn't that all that each of us can do?

...

Back in 2007, I heard an interview between Newt Gingrich and James Dobson that I will never forget. In it, Newt Gingrich explained how, with hot tears, he cried to the Lord for forgiveness and mercy over his indiscretions. Isn't that what God's word requires? ... It is my view that Newt's personal struggles and successes will aid him in being not only a seasoned candidate but possibly one of the finest presidents since Ronald Reagan. I did not say a perfect president, but a strong and fair-minded president.

Ask yourself this question: "If I lived during the time of King David, would I have voted for him as president?"

Whalen: Vacate Walker's Proposition 8 Decision

Ed Whalen is back with another nonsensical article, arguing in the National Review that since Judge Vaughn Walker, who was appointed by George H. W. Bush, is openly gay, his decision to overturn Proposition 8 should be vacated and he should have been disqualified from ruling on the case in the first place. Using Whalen’s logic, white judges should be barred from ruling on cases involving white people, female judges should not be allowed to rule on cases involving women, and Jewish judges should be prohibited from ruling on cases involving Jews or Judaism:

In taking part in the Perry case, Judge Walker was deciding whether Proposition 8 would bar him and his same-sex partner from marrying. Whether Walker had any subjective interest in marrying his same-sex partner — a matter on which Walker hasn’t spoken — is immaterial under section 455(a). (If Walker did have such an interest, his recusal also would be required by other rules requiring that a judge disqualify himself when he knows that he has an “interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.”) Walker’s own factual findings explain why a reasonable person would expect him to want to have the opportunity to marry his partner: A reasonable person would think that Walker would want to have the opportunity to take part with his partner in what “is widely regarded as the definitive expression of love and commitment in the United States.” A reasonable person would think that Walker would want to decrease the costs of his same-sex relationship, increase his wealth, and enjoy the physical and psychological benefits that marriage is thought to confer.



Now that Walker has finally disclosed facts that would have warranted his disqualification from Perry, the appropriate remedy is for the Ninth Circuit — or, if necessary, the Supreme Court — to vacate Walker’s judgment upon a request by Prop 8 proponents. As the Supreme Court ruled more than two decades ago in Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp. (1988), where a district judge has violated section 455(a) by deciding a case that he should have disqualified himself from, it is “appropriate to vacate the judgment unless it can be said that [the losing party] did not make a timely request for relief, or that it would otherwise be unfair to deprive the prevailing party of its judgment.” In that case, the losing party did not learn of the facts requiring disqualification until ten months after the court of appeals had affirmed the district court’s judgment, so the question was whether the judgment that had become final on appeal should nonetheless be set aside. The Court found the request for relief to be timely, as the delay was attributable to the judge’s failure to disclose the facts requiring disqualification. A request now by Prop 8 proponents to vacate Walker’s judgment would indisputably be timely (and would clearly not involve any unfairness to the Perry plaintiffs), as the appeal on the merits is still pending, and Walker has only now revealed the information requiring his disqualification.

Scott Lively Rails Against "Sodomites," Claims Gay Rights Are The "Antithesis" Of Human Rights

As Kyle noted in March, Religious Right activist Scott Lively is keeping up his attacks on gays despite a lengthy Boston Globe profile on how Lively is “toning down his antigay rhetoric.” Writing for his organization Defend the Family International, Lively discusses how his review of historic religious and political documents has corroborated his fierce opposition to gay-rights, and goes on to argue that gay-rights is simply “the ‘right’ to spread sexual disease and dysfunction” and is the “antithesis of genuine human rights.”

Reading these documents one is struck by the continuity of several basic themes, central among them the protection religious freedom and family values. Equally striking in today’s context is the total absence of protection for homosexual practice or identity. Rather, we find express condemnation of homosexuality in several documents, and implied hostility to it through the remainder. Indeed, the most reasonable assumption of human rights jurisprudence is that so called “gay rights” are the antithesis of genuine human rights because they both undermine the sexual order on which family values depend, and contradict the fundamental tenets of the major world religions.



Consider the magnitude of what our generation is witnessing. Neither the four millennia of legal precedent, nor the opinions of the vast majority of the people of the world, nor the power or the authority of the worlds religions across the globe, nor the painful lessons of secular history of the consequences of sexual perversion to civilizations have proved sufficient to stop a relatively tiny group of sodomites from taking the reins of Western power and creating new rights for themselves at the world’s expense.

It is insanity, and I am afraid that it may be terminal. When the “right” to spread sexual disease and dysfunction supersedes the right to discourage such things in the courtrooms and legislatures of the world’s ruling powers their end is likely near.

Just as Lively warned that a “relatively tiny group of sodomites” is attempting to take “the reins of Western power,” he told OneNewsNow that gay-rights activists in California have “consolidated power entirely” in order to accomplish the “overthrow of the biblical model of family”:

"They're really the driving force behind all the different elements of what we call 'the culture war,'" he shares. "They haven't been visible in doing this, but they've been the driving force -- because their essential goal as a movement is the overthrow of the biblical model of family."

Lively explains that the city of San Francisco has a high concentration of homosexual power, and the city has taken direct action against the Catholic Church and against businesses that do not support homosexuality. He expects the same radical agendas to be prevalent throughout the state in the near future.

He points out that during the signature collection process for Proposition 8 -- a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman -- those who penned their support for the initiative were openly targeted. "They posted [the names of supporters] on the Internet," he exclaims. "They encouraged all their activists to go after those people -- and that's before they even have consolidated power entirely."
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Proposition 8 Posts Archive

Tory Roberts, Thursday 06/27/2013, 5:19pm
Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage knows who to blame for yesterday’s marriage equality victories in the Supreme Court: Hollywood. Roback Morse, the campaign spokesperson for Proposition 8 in California, discussed the marriage equality decisions on today’s Sandy Rios in the Morning. She blamed Hollywood for the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying that Hollywood is “dominated by all aspects of the sexual revolution.” Morse also blamed television for American’s “distorted view” of how many gay... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 03/28/2013, 2:43pm
Craig Parshall of National Religious Broadcasters added to the torrent of right-wing doomsday prophesies about marriage equality yesterday, claiming that a Supreme Court victory for gay rights would ultimately lead to hate speech laws wielded against Christians. In an interview with his wife Janet Parshall, a talk show host with Moody Radio, he warned that “the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.” We have a hate crimes law on the federal level now that... MORE
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 03/26/2013, 4:02pm
For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies... MORE
Miranda Blue, Monday 03/25/2013, 2:33pm
National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown joined Steve Deace on Friday to discuss the marriage equality cases being argued this week at the Supreme Court. If the Court rules broadly in favor of equality, Brown said, NOM would turn its focus toward advocating for a Federal Marriage Amendment banning marriage equality throughout the country. Responding to conservatives who are concerned about the Federal Marriage Amendment’s infringement on states’ rights, Brown invoked Abraham Lincoln: “We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/12/2013, 11:30am
During the debate over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Religious Right groups like the American Family Association warned that the law would “criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality” and “take away our religious freedoms.” Of course, none of that happened, but that hasn’t stopped anti-gay activists from making the exact same false claims again and hoping more people will fall for it. Yesterday, AFA president Tim Wildmon appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show and alleged that if the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 and the Defense of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/28/2013, 2:05pm
In an interview with the American Family Association’s news affiliate Instant Analysis (formerly OneNewsNow), Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality condemned the large group of corporations that joined legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8. LaBarbera blasted the corporations for “pushing homosexuality on the American public,” calling the amicus brief “a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.” He claimed... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/20/2011, 5:41pm
PFAW: "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is History, But There’s More Work to Do." Towleroad: Anti-Gay NOM Activist Maggie Gallagher Attends Staged Broadway Benefit for Team Challenging Proposition 8. Zara Golden @ Mediaite: GOP Congressman Tells MSNBC’s Chris Jansing How He Squeaks By On $400k. Texas Freedom Network: Barton Tries to Suppress Free Speech. Tanya Somanader @ Think Progress Health: Texas GOP Rep On Cuts To Family Planning: ‘Of Course This Is A War On Birth Control.’ Frederick Clarkson @ Talk To Action: Another... MORE