How Exactly Should The Government Go About "Discouraging" Homosexuality?
For the most part, the spokespeople for the Family Research Council manage to advocate their right-wing anti-gay agenda in manner seemingly designed to avoid controversy and appear moderate and fair-minded.
That is not to say that its agenda isn't misguided and offensive - it is - but simply to note that, by and large, people from FRC tend not to say particularly radical things that expose the hostility toward gays that underlies much of their work.
The one exception to that rule is FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg, who seems to think that the best way for government and society to deal with gays is to treat them as pariahs.
Last year, during a discussion of the Uniting American Families Act, legislation which would allow same-sex partners to be united legally through the U.S. immigration process, Sprigg explained FRC's opposition to the bill by saying that the last thing the U.S. should be is importing gays:
I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.
Sprigg eventually apologized for the remark, but Sprigg continues to speak out against anything and everything that he feels might normalize homosexuality or otherwise lead to equality for gays in ways that barely conceal his contempt.
For example, today Voice of America ran an article about Frank Kameny who, in 1957, was fired from his job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service for being gay but who was on hand this week when President Obama extended some benefits to the partners of gay government employees. The article notes that gays have made tremendous strides toward achieving equality over the last several decades but acknowledges that there are still those who are vehemently opposed to this progress and turned to Sprigg for comment:
Today, gays and lesbians do not suffer the discrimination they did decades ago. President Obama recently appointed an openly gay man to head the Office of Personnel Management, the same institution that fired Kameny for being gay 52 years ago.
Despite that, there is still a strong movement against gay rights, and in some cases, against homosexuality.
The Family Research Council in Washington is among the concerned groups. The council's policy analyst, Peter Sprigg, says he believes homosexual conduct is harmful to society.
"We should be discouraging it rather than encouraging it," Sprigg said. "And any time you give a benefit or a subsidy for a particular behavior, you're obviously encouraging it. We just feel that that's bad public policy."
Sprigg says people should not be afforded special rights for what he considers to be their chosen way of life.
"We do not believe that anyone is born gay. Evidence for genetic or biological origin for homosexuality from birth is weak to non-existent," Sprigg said.
Ignoring the obvious hypocrisy of the fact that Sprigg doesn't think people should get special rights for "choosing" to be gay while they do deserve special rights for choosing to be ... say, Christian, I'm curious to know just what Sprigg thinks that the government should be doing in order to "discourage" homosexuality?
Tax it? Oppress it? Make it a criminal offense?
It's one thing to argue that the government should not be recognizing the validity of gays and their relationships or granting them equality - that's offensive as it is - but it is even more offensive to claim that the government should be actively "discouraging" homosexuality and I'd really love to know just what exactly Sprigg has in mind.
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