Marriage Equality

John Kirkwood on Gay Judges: 'We Were Better Off When the Mafia Ran Illinois'

Illinois pastor John Kirkwood joined Peter LaBarbara on Americans for Truth About Homosexuality Radio Hour last week to discuss a pending challenge to Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage. The two were up in arms because the Cook County circuit court judge presiding over the case, Sophia Hall, is openly gay. Not only do they want Judge Hall to recuse herself from the case (the Right made a similar, unsuccessful demand of Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the Prop 8 trial in California), but they take issue with the very existence of openly gay judges.

Kirkwood, perusing a newsletter article about a function honoring openly LGBT judges in Cook County compared the event to one honoring “the adulterous judges of Cook County” and mused, “We were better off when the Mafia ran Illinois because they were interested in making a profit, not making some kind of political statement that is totally abhorrent.”

LaBarbara: It’s just amazing, John. I mean, you know, Cook County is corrupt, but it’s hard to appreciate how corrupt it is if you’re outside of Illinois. And this is a county that, and we have a photo here of Judge Hall, she’s one of 14 openly homosexual judges in this county.

Kirkwood: Yeah, you know, it’s affectionately called “Crook County” now. And I can actually make the bold statement, and it might sound absurd as a pastor, but we were better off when the Mafia ran Illinois because they were interested in making a profit, not making some kind of political statement that is totally abhorrent.

….

Kirkwood: It just occurred to me how outrageous it would seem if the headline you read is, “Seek to Honor the Adulterous Judges of Cook County.”

LaBarbara: Right, right, well that goes to, John, that goes to you as a pastor and all of us. We’re believers and we regard homosexuality as a serious sexual sin. And so, yeah, just even the language: “gay judges.” I mean these are judges who are openly practicing immoral conduct, they’re proud of it, and even though they don’t think like that, that’s how many people regard homosexuality and that’s the problem.

Class Warfare from NOM’s Brian Brown

Conservatives of all stripes have indignantly cried “class warfare” in response to the Obama administration’s call for increased taxes on the richest Americans. They’ve denounced criticisms of Mitt Romney’s stealthy, wealthy approach to banking and taxes as anti-capitalist and un-American. They charge that liberals concerned about growing economic inequality are unfairly stoking resentment against successful people. Will the same conservatives now denounce a dangerously socialist-sounding fundraising email from the National Organization for Marriage and its president Brian Brown?
 
In an appeal of less than 700 words, with the subject line "If You Only Open One Email From Me This Month...Ma​ke It This One," Brown sounds the alarm about “gay marriage billionaires” (twice), “wealthy homosexual activists” (twice), “elite fat cats,” and the “gay lobby’s money.” The Human Rights Campaign is described, without being named, as “the largest and wealthiest radical homosexual lobby in Washington.”
 
Politics of envy, anyone?
 
Full text of the Brian Brown email below:

Fischer: Gay Biological Parents Should be Denied Custody and Only Allowed Supervised Visits

On his program yesterday, Bryan Fischer was discussing the study produced by professor Mark Regnerus purporting to show that children of same-sex parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents and the news that the University of Texas would be conducting an investigation into his study, seeing the latter as proof that "the homosexual lobby is vicious, they are venomous, [and] they are filled with hatred."

During the discussion, Fischer cited the study as evidence that children in same-sex homes are at a higher risk for sexual molestation, prompting him to declare that any parent "who goes into the homosexual lifestyle after siring children" should be denied custody and only allowed to have supervised visits with their children:

AFA Promotes Barton's Christian-Persecution Bunk

The American Family Association describes itself as “a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with emphasis on moral issues that impact families.”  We know from AFA’s primary spokesperson Bryan Fischer that rank bigotry doesn’t seem to run afoul of AFA’s definition of decency.  So where does honesty figure in?

The July-August 2012 issue of the group’s magazine, AFA Journal, includes a two-page spread from David Barton, the “historian” whose lies and misrepresentations have earned him condemnation from actual scholars – including evangelical Christians. The article, “Evidence of executive enmity” supposedly summarizes the evidence that the “anti-biblical” President Obama “has an ax to grind with people of biblical faith.”  Barton complains about a range of Obama administration policies and recycles false and misleading claims that have been repeatedly debunked, as RWW’s Kyle Mantyla has noted repeatedly. Barton also claims that Obama demonstrated “preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions.”

Among Barton's Christian-persecution claims is that retired Lt. Gen. William Jerry Boykin was disinvited from speaking at West Point “because he is an outspoken Christian.”  (In reality Boykin was disinvited after many faculty and cadets – most of them Christian – opposed Boykin as an inappropriate speaker given his inflammatory statements describing US foreign policy as a spiritual war against Islam.)

Also featured in the AFA Journal is a quote from “Catholic sociologist” David R. Carlin, Jr, asserting in Crisis magazine that “[T]he drive for same sex marriage is not simply about same sex marriage or the moral legitimization of homosexual behavior; it is also about the de-legitimizing of Christian morality” and that “those who are pushing for the institution of same sex marriage are ipso facto pushing for the elimination of the Christian religion.”  But what about all those Christians who support marriage equality? Carlin dismisses them: "The trouble with 'liberal Christianity' is that it isn’t Christianity."

Obama is Not a Christian Because 'the Bible is Very Clear About Homosexual Acts Being a Very Evil Thing'

All year, Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has been releasing monthly videos laying out "irrefutable proofs that Barack Obama is NOT a Christian!"

Today the CADC released its latest video focusing on Obama's support for gay rights, claiming that he has "recently come out of the closet" in support of marriage equality and thus "has revealed his true anti-Christian colors." 

But Cass is particularly upset by the way Obama "invokes Christ to try and justify his anti-Christ position" because "the Bible is very clear about homosexual acts being a very evil thing":

Garlow: 'If Necessary, Here we Die' in Fighting Gay Marriage

Last month, the Family Research Council hosted its annual "Watchmen on the Wall" conference in Washington DC and, in conjunction, organized a press conference where event speakers would gather to announce their support for the Defense of Marriage Act.

Among the speakers at the press conference was Jim Garlow, who took President Obama to task for saying that his Christian faith played a role in his support for marriage equality.  Declaring that anyone can call themselves a Christian but still be ill-informed, biblically illiterate, and even an apostate, Garlow offered Obama a lesson in "Basic 101 of Christianity" to set him straight that marriage has always been, and always will be, a union between on man and one woman. 

Garlow then closed out his remarks by likening those opposing marriage equality today to Revolutionary War pastors who fought the British because, just like them, these Religious Right activists are are willing declare "if necessary, here we die!": 

Perkins: Americans Will Never Accept Gay Marriage Because it 'Violates Reason and Natural Law'

Recently, Tony Perkins and Harry Jackson sat down for a half-hour interview with CBN's David Brody to discuss President Obama's support for marriage equality and what it will mean for the 2012 election.

Brody has posted the entire interview on his blog, in which Perkins compared the issue of gay marriage to the issue of abortion, declaring that Americans will never accept the legitimacy of gay marriage, regardless of what the courts rule, because "same-sex marriage violates reason and natural law" and warning that any Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of gay marriage will "create great unrest in this society": 

For his part, Jackson saw the President's statement as an opportunity to create a new "Black-Brown coalition" among African Americans and Hispanics rooted in opposition to the Democratic Party's growing support for gay rights and fueled by resentment against gay activists who are trying to push minorities to the back of the line. 

Jackson said comparisons between the push for gay rights and the struggle for civil rights are nonsense because systematic discrimination and violence against the gay community "never happened" and warned that if African Americans and Hispanics don't escape the "Democratic Party plantation," then "America's best days are over": 

Samuel Rodriguez: Marriage Equality an Assault on Religious Freedom

Samuel Rodriguez, the Hispanic Evangelical leader who is treated as a bridge-builder by some centrist Christians and the Obama White House in spite of his close alliances with the fringes of the Religious Right, has launched a fasting campaign against marriage equality.  Rodriguez, who serves on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood, has expressed “deep disappointment” regarding Obama’s recent embrace of marriage equality.

Rodriguez joined the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land on Land’s May 19 radio show to denounce marriage equality as a threat to religious liberty and to call on churches to be more aggressive in opposing it.  Rodriguez, who tells evangelicals that they should welcome Hispanic immigrants because God has sent them to redeem Christianity in America, insists that a multi-ethnic religious awakening is necessary to defend “Biblical marriage” in America.

Land and Rodriguez both portrayed the advance of gay rights as a threat to religious liberty, with Land claiming, “There is an attempt in our society to basically make it illegal to condemn homosexuality in our churches – it’s called hate speech.”  Rodriguez said the promotion of marriage equality is “an attempt to silence the church of Jesus Christ.”

Excerpts from the interview:

This egregious attempt to redefine an institution that God formed is not only a violation of everything that we understand to be appropriate but it is an incredible incursion into religious liberty and religious expression. So I believe that we need a multi-ethnic kingdom-culture firewall to push back. White evangelicals alone will not be able to defend marriage in America.

...

This is not an issue of equality.  There is an attempt to silence the voice of Christianity, there is an attempt to silence the voice of truth, of righteousness and Biblical justice. So really the church needs to wake up and say, 'Not on our watch.’  We must stand up for Biblical truth. We must vote vertical.  We must look at our legislators and those that represent us on Capitol Hill and say, ‘religious liberty, the family, biblical marriage and life, must stand protected.’

...

I do believe that the power of the pulpit in addressing truth and righteousness is critical.  We can’t sacrifice Biblical truth because at times it becomes confrontational. Listen, Jesus Christ had very strong confrontational moments. This idea that this is a patsy sort of Christianity. That’s not the Christianity that we follow and adhere to. Sometimes, truth hurts.

Random Book Blogging: The Book of Genesis and the Biblical Definition of Marriage

Last week, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis spoke at the Family Research Council's "Watchmen on the Wall" conference where he warned that the failure to embrace a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis is undermining "the doctrine of marriage" and leading to things like gay marriage.

As luck would have it, just last week I bought a copy of "The One Year Chronological Bible" and had begun reading through it in conjunction with my copy of The ESV Study Bible.  Ham's assertion that a literal interpretation was required in order to understand the true nature of biblical marriage was in the forefront of my mind as I began working my way through Genesis, especially once I realized how much polygamy and incest the book contained.

In fact, outside of Adam and Eve, and Noah and his wife, just about every major patriarch engaged in either polygamy or some form of incest, and often both.

According to Genesis 16, Abraham slept with and married his wife's Sarah's slave because Sarah was was unable to bear children. On top of that, according to Genesis 20, Sarah was also Abraham's half-sister and he later took at least one more wife.

Abraham's son Issac was married to Rebekah, who, according to Genesis 24, was the daughter of the son of Abraham’s brother, which would make Rebekah the daughter of Issac's cousin, or Issac's first cousin, once removed.

Rebekah then gave birth to Esau and Jacob.  According to Genesis 26, Esau married two Hittite women and then later took a third wife while Jacob married the daughters of his mother's brother, his first cousins, named Leah and Rachel.  Rachel was unable to bear children and so gave Jacob her servant to sleep with and take as a wife, to which Leah responded by likewise giving Jacob her servant for a wife.

In addition to these arrangements, Genesis 38 tells the story of Judah sleeping with and impregnating his daughter-in-law while Genesis 19 tells the story of God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah where only Lot and his two daughters were saved ... after which Lot's daughters got their father drunk and slept with him and became pregnant.

One of the arguments we hear most often from the Religious Right is that changing "the biblical definition of marriage" by allowing gay marriage will lead to things like polygamy and incest ... which is odd considering that, according to the Book of Genesis, polygamy and incest were predominant forms of marriage.

Barber: 'President Obama has Called Jesus a Liar'

It has come as no surprise that the Religious Right has been up in arms over President Obama's recent announcement in support of marriage equality, but what seems to have really upset them was his citation of the Bible's "do unto others" teaching in explaining his views.

Today, on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber blasted Obama for daring to cite the Golden Rule in support of gay marriage, saying that in doing so "President Obama has called Jesus a liar" and engaged in heresy: 

Barber: NAACP's Support for Marriage Equality is Offensive and Demeaning

Earlier this month, the NAACP passed a resolution supporting marriage equality and declaring that it would "oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens."

This move is not sitting well with Matt Barber, who is accusing the organization of making the announcement simply in order to provide political cover for President Obama and, in doing so, "thumbing their nose at their own constituents."  On top of that, Barber said the resolution was "offensive," declaring "how dare they demean and undermine and cheapen the genuine, noble civil rights movement" by supporting "deviant sexual behavior" especially since gays never had to drink from separate water fountains or were victims of lynchings: 

Patrick Wooden on Gay Marriage, The Golden Rule, and Strangers at a Family Reunion

Peter LaBarbera today posted yet another interview with his new best friend, Patrick Wooden along with John Kirkwood, pastor of Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville, Illinois, discussing the recent passage of the marriage amendment in North Carolina.

During the discussion, the three men tackled a wide array of related topics, including President Obama's statement of support for marriage equality.  It was Obama's citation of the Golden Rule in explaining his views that seemed particularly offensive to them, prompting Wooden to offer up a truly incoherent statement that "most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions" while Kirkwood simply compared Obama's citation of Scripture to Satan: 

LaBarbera: Talk about this use of the Golden Rule that Obama cited to justify his new support of the so-called homosexual marriage.

Wooden: It's funny, he's quoting Scripture to debunk Scripture. Amazing. But I agree with the President on the Golden Rule, I think we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us ... I don't that that I should aid anyone in entering into anything that does apply to them or does not appertain to them. Words still have meaning and the word "marriage" means something, it means the union between a man and a woman. So I don't know how he's applying the Golden Rule but I think we should treat people the way we want to be treated. But if a person wants to do something that doesn't apply to them, then I don't think we should help them do it.

Most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions. Most people don't allow perfect strangers to come into their house and sit at the dinner table and dine with them. And we shouldn't, under the Golden Rule, allow people who are not to participate in marriage to be invited into the union in the name of treating people the way we want to be treated. It makes no sense.

LaBarbera: And John, also, four years ago or long, dismissed Romans 1 to justify his support for homosexuality. So talk about this.

Kirkwood: Yeah, I don't think he holds The Word with a great deal of esteem. There was another guy in Matthew 4 who quoted The Word to rebuke The Word. It's not going to work out so well for him.

Matthew 4, for those who may not know, is when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.

Jackson: 'The Black Community is in an Adulterous Relationship with President Obama' Over Gay Marriage

Earlier today we posted a clip of Harry Jackson saying that, with President Obama's recent statement in support of marriage equality, "is just like during the times of Hitler" as gay activists are now "coming after one group after another group."

This afternoon, Jackson followed that up with a new statement accusing President Obama of leading the black community into "an adulterous relationship" by supporting gay marriage which is "no different than a married person having a relationship with someone other than their spouse":

Bishop Jackson also said Obama's announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage was nothing new.

"I realized Obama was for same-sex marriage from the very beginning of his political career," said Jackson. "Jeremiah Wright (Obama's former pastor) has been performing same-sex 'commitment services' for years. Obama has been exposed to this belief for years and has demonstrated time and time again that he does not believe that homosexuality is a sin. Actions speak much louder than words."

...

"The black community is in an adulterous relationship with President Obama," Jackson said. "He is asking us to stray from the most basic tenets of Scripture – that marriage is an institution made by God for man and woman to become one and procreate. He's telling us it's fine to hold onto our beliefs but that it's also okay to accept his stance on a position that goes against that core belief."

"This is no different than a married person having a relationship with someone other than their spouse," said Jackson.

NOM's Hypocrisy on Civility

The National Organization for Marriage has found time between its campaigns to enshrine anti-gay discrimination in state constitutions to join a Religious Right attack on gay activist and author Dan Savage, who has forthrightly apologized for comments he made when some students walked out of a speech he gave at a high school.  Earlier this week, NOM blogger and “culture director” Thomas Peters, speaking about the incident on a Seattle radio show, said NOM wants to debate issues like marriage with civility and respect.  When the interviewer told Peters he has heard vitriolic and denigrating language about gay people from religious leaders opposed to marriage equality, Peters said that “when people on our side have said something like that, NOM is always very careful to distance ourselves from those sort of comments, to say, ‘that’s not us, that’s not our movement.’”

Really? Is that why NOM promoted Rev. Patrick Wooden as a spokesman for the anti-gay amendment that voters in North Carolina just passed?  As RWW has reported, Wooden has called anti-LGBT violence “normal” and encouraged parents to beat their transgender child, blamed Oprah, Tyler Perry and the cast of Glee for promoting “wicked” and “perverse” causes, said that Chaz Bono is controlled by demons and claimed homosexuality is a “wicked, deviant, immoral, self-destructive, anti-human sexual behavior."

We have also reported that NOM also promoted Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, who Brian notes has said that gay rights is “Satan’s plan” and “Satan’s point of attack on the United States,” claimed “Oprah [Winfrey] will have to answer to her Creator” for “promoting” homosexuality, wondered if gay TSA agents were deliberately groping passengers, attacked the US for trying “to lecture the Ugandans about homosexuality” by opposing their “kill the gays” bill, and agreed with Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern that homosexuality is more dangerous than terrorism and the greatest threat to America.

Faced with this vitriolic and denigrating language, NOM's response has not been to say, “that’s not us, that’s not our movement” -- it has been to promote the vitriol-spewers as spokespersons for their movement.  So it’s hard to take too seriously anything NOM says about civil debate.

NOM's Real Values

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Maine's investigation of the National Organization for Marriage's campaign finance practices has resulted in the release of several internal fundraising and planning documents. HRC has posted them online where NOM-watchers are poking through them. For sheer reprehensibility, it's hard to top hiring (or at least planning to hire) someone to find and exploit children who are willing to publicly betray their gay parents.

But that kind of "ends-justify-the-means" approach to politics has been the hallmark of NOM and its campaigns in California, Maine, and elsewhere. Those who have been on the receiving end of those dishonorable and untruthful campaigns won't be surprised by much of what's in the NOM documents. But the brazenness of the language around racial wedge politics long practiced by the religious right should make it easier to expose the group's Machiavellian heart. And it may be useful in blunting their efforts to make opposition to marriage equality a "marker of identity" for Latinos and African Americans.

The NOM documents from 2009 discuss a number of organizational projects and strategies, including a "Not a Civil Right" project:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.

And just in case that isn't clear enough: "Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates and persuading the movement's allies that advocates are unacceptably overreaching on this issue."

NOM's stated plans to overturn marriage equality in Washington, D.C. include an effort to "find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally."

NOM's strategists said they needed "to accomplish a sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate gay with black, and sexual orientation with race. We need to make traditional sexual morality intellectually respectable again in elite culture. And we need to give liberals an alternative way of thinking about gay rights issues, one that does not lead to the misuse of the power of government to crush dissent in the name of fighting discrimination."

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People for the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council, released a statement on behalf of the Council's Equal Justice Task Force calling NOM's wedge strategies "deeply cynical" and "deeply offensive."

NOM also planned to target Latinos through a "community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous noncognitive elites across national boundaries" who can help "interrupt the process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity." NOM hopes that "[a]s 'ethnic rebels' such spokespeople will also have an appeal across racial lines, especially to young urbans in America." NOM said, "Our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of 'Anglo' culture."

NOM has had more success in some areas than others: most recently it failed in a stated priority of overturning marriage in New Hampshire, despite having made gains in the state legislature; and it failed to prevent marriage from advancing in New York. Its efforts in other states, like Iowa, are still underway. And it is pushing constitutional amendments in North Carolina and Minnesota. It also hopes to keep opposition alive "behind enemy lines" in states that have made marriage equality a reality.

But even in 2009, the top priority for 2012 was clear: defeating Barack Obama. In order for the group to achieve victory on marriage, "the next president must be a man or woman who expressly articulates a pro-marriage culture, and appoints sympathetic Supreme Court justices." In order to help achieve that objective, the group discussed plans to "sideswipe Obama" by portraying him as a "social radical" and by taking steps to "[r]aise such issues as pornography, protection of children, and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty and the federal level." No wonder Maggie Gallagher is such a fan of Rick Santorum -- his campaign plan mirrors NOM's.

In addition, it is utterly clear that the bishops and NOM were ready to make "religious liberty" a campaign issue well before the recent controversy over insurance coverage for contraception: "Gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church." NOM's documents also affirm the group's "close relationships" with Catholic bishops, with whom it would work to engage Catholic priests nationally as well as locally.

You can fault NOM for many things, but not for thinking small. NOM's planning documents discuss strategies for exporting its model and playing a major role internationally. It calls for a global "counterrevolution" against marriage equality, something that is, unfortunately, well underway, with disastrous consequences.

Did NOM Hire Someone to Unsuccessfully Find ‘Victims’ of Gay Parents?

HRC got its hands last night on a December 2009 National Organization for Marriage strategy document, which was unsealed in connection to NOM’s court challenge to Maine’s campaign finance disclosure laws.

The most explosive revelation in the document is NOM’s explicit plan to drive a wedge between the gay community and blacks and Latinos. But another part of their effort to recruit “hearts and minds” to the anti-marriage cause is also startling. Not only did NOM propose to document anti-gay “victims” of gay rights with emotional videos– a plan they implemented with a set of glossy films in upstate New York, for instance – they proposed to hire a staff member at $50,000 a year “to identify children of gay parents willing to speak on camera”:

Did NOM end up hiring someone to find children of gay parents who they could portray as “victims”? If so, it seems that a year’s worth of full-time work didn’t turn up a single child of gay parents who was willing to be portrayed as a “victim” of marriage equality.
 

NOM’s Brown Claims Gay Rights Advocates Want to Take Away Opponents’ Right to Vote

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown joined Iowa anti-gay luminary Bob Vander Plaats at a Des Moines rally today to call for a ballot referendum to overturn the state’s marriage equality law. Following Vander Plaats, who compared same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest, Brown argued that making the civil rights of a minority subject to a popular vote is in fact right in line with the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s marriage equality proponents, Brown argued, who are trying to “deprive” their opponents of civil rights– specifically “the right to vote":

Opposition to gay marriage is not rooted in fear and hate as supporters suggest, Vander Plaats said, but rather love and religious truth. He also lashed out at the notion of “marriage equality” as a slippery slope toward no restrictions on relationships whatsoever.

“If we want marriage equality, let’s just stop for a second. Why stop at same-sex marriage? Why not have polygamy? Why not have a dad marry his son or marry his daughter? If we’re going to have marriage equality, let’s open this puppy up and let’s have marriage equality,” he said. “Otherwise, let’s stick to the way God designed it – one man and one woman, period.”

Referring to Senate Democrats’ refusal to advance the amendment and clear the way for a statewide vote, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown invoked Martin Luther King, Jr., to suggest that it was the opponents of same-sex marriage whose civil rights were threatened.

“We hear that this is about civil rights, and that those of us who oppose the redefinition of marriage are somehow bigots,” Brown said. “And yet, what Dr. Martin Luther King called the most important civil right – the right to vote – these very same folks are trying to deprive us of this right.”
 

Harry Jackson Embarks on Campaign to Repeal Marriage Equality in Maryland

After failing in his campaign to overturn marriage equality in Washington D.C., Bishop Harry Jackson is now leading an effort to repeal a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland that will be signed into law tomorrow. We last saw Jackson raising money for the Maryland Marriage Alliance at “A Gathering of Eagles,” where he led the congregation in spiritual warfare against the demonic Queen of Heaven, who he said was responsible for gay rights and “perversion.”

In an interview with the Christian Post yesterday, Jackson baselessly claimed that Washington D.C. public schools are teaching “children – young children – to explore and examine the differences in heterosexuality, homosexuality and transgender lifestyles,” lamenting, “To say that it's okay for Heather to have two mommies is not biblical.” He also said that activists trying to repeal marriage equality are “not trying to impose our views on others” but said gay rights advocates “are trying to impose their agenda on us.”

“It is an oxy-moron,” Jackson said about same-sex marriage, “Two people of the same sex who marry and try to indoctrinate children into that lifestyle does nothing to strengthen marriage or families.” He also predicted victory in a potential referendum on marriage equality, maintaining that marriage equality supporters “are overplaying their hands and only harming our culture.”

CP: I want to start out by asking in light of Maryland's recent debate and upcoming legalization of same-sex marriage, tell me why you are willing to take such a pronounced and visible stand to defend marriage?

Jackson: First, we as people of faith are not trying to impose our views on others. We are simply using God's Word, given to us by the scriptures, to stand up for what is right. Instead, those who are advocating for what they call "marriage" that does not involve a man and a woman, are trying to impose their agenda on us.

The reality is, if you change the definition of marriage, you change the definition of the family, then you change what is taught in schools – that it's okay for Heather to have two mommies – and exploring your "sexual awareness" as a young child is acceptable; and it's not.

CP: Can you expand on how families will be impacted when same-sex marriages are legalized?

Jackson: Yes, let's use Washington, D.C. as an example. It's encouraged in public schools to teach children – young children – to explore and examine the differences in heterosexuality, homosexuality and transgender lifestyles. Now you and I both know that children should not be encouraged to examine these types of issues, especially in public schools. To say that it's okay for Heather to have two mommies is not biblical.



CP: Supporters of same-sex marriage say one of their primary goals is to educate the public that gay marriage does in fact strengthen families. How do you respond to that comment?

Jackson: It is an oxy-moron. Two people of the same sex who marry and try to indoctrinate children into that lifestyle does nothing to strengthen marriage or families. Again, it only attempts to redefine what marriage is and what a family should be. A mother and a father best raise children. There are factors in our society that interrupt that process and that is unfortunate, but gay marriage will not strengthen marriage.



CP: Do you believe the efforts to repeal same-sex marriage in Maryland will be successful?

Jackson: Yes, I do. To use a phrase from Muhammad Ali, "We float like a butterfly, but sting like a bee." But I must say that the opposing side has waged a brilliant public relations campaign. They want the public to believe the debate about gay marriage is only a religious battle, but it's not.

We are 31 for 31 on gay marriage when it's been put before the voters of different states. They are trying to press the issue in different states hoping to advance their cause with the Supreme Court. Still, when people examine what marriage is and should be, they tend to vote overwhelming against gay marriage.

But let me say this to conclude. I feel our opponents have become so aggressive on this issue, that they are overplaying their hands and only harming our culture. Yes, they may win a battle or two here and there but our side will prevail in the long run.

Conservatives Livid at Bush-Appointed Judge who struck down DOMA

Last week federal judge Jeffrey White ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause, representing a stinging rebuke to the House Republicans’ efforts to defend the law through the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). The Religious Right once hailed BLAG as a savior of the anti-gay law, arguing that the only reason judges were chipping away at DOMA was because of the poor arguments of the Justice Department. But White found that DOMA doesn’t pass constitutional muster under either a heightened scrutiny measure or the less stringent rational basis test.

Notably, former President George W. Bush nominated Judge White and the Senate confirmed him in a voice vote.

But even though he was nominated by a Republican and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate without Republican opposition, Religious Right activists are now accusing him of being an activist judge.

Gordon Klingenschmitt urged people to pray that God will “defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White” and that Congress will impeach him:

Let us pray. Almighty God, we pray You defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco, who ruled America’s founding fathers embraced sodomy and protected homosexual ‘marriage’ somehow in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore he struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law signed by President Clinton, that defined marriage as only valid between one man and one woman. We pray Congress impeaches Judge White, from Proverbs 19:25, “Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver blamed the Obama administration for the ruling as part of their plan to “sabotage” marriage, and called the judge’s ruling “absolutely ridiculous”:

"This is another outrageous example of the Obama administration abandoning the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, simply trying to sabotage marriage as the union of one man and one woman and pushing a radical homosexual agenda," Staver contends.



"I think that it's absolutely ridiculous to say that there's no rational or even debatable or logical reason for the Defense of Marriage Act, to say that you cannot have same-sex unions," Staver offers. "And in this particular case, the court did the wrong thing by ultimately finding that the Defense of Marriage Act as applied in this case was unconstitutional."

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition said Obama is leading a “direct war on marriage”:

Given the Obama administration's direct war on marriage, whether through attacking military chaplains' rights of conscience or refusing to defend DOMA, it's pretty clear which side he is on. Obama can't afford to come out of the proverbial closet though... for fear of losing an election.

America's moral virtue runs pretty deep. Despite the best efforts of this liberal government to affect that, the heavy hand of the Obama administration is no match for the Judeo-Christian values that inform the consciences of millions.

...which is why Obama is attempting to impose upon our rights.

Washington Anti-Gay Activist Likens Marriage Equality to Bloodletting

Joseph Backholm, the Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and the leader of the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign to repeal Washington’s marriage equality law, appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday where he likened same-sex marriage to the medical practice of bloodletting. Just as bloodletting was once a common practice until it was abandoned for not working, Backholm claimed, so too marriage equality for gays and lesbians will eventually be rejected even in states where it is legal. He went on to argue that the movement for equal rights for gays and lesbians is not comparable to the civil rights movement because, according to Backholm, “today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.” 

Backholm: Redefining marriage in this way, saying that there is no difference between men and women, that it’s not important for children to have both a mother and a father, that’s not just bad policy, it’s wrong in the eternal sense. So because it’s untrue, it will ultimately be proven as untrue and we will come around to recognize the error of our ways. We used to believe in bloodletting as good medical practice, culture has embraced a lot of things temporarily until they realized it’s based on things that are not true. This is one of those, it has to be temporary, not just because I want it to be temporary, but because it’s untrue in the eternal sense.

Mefferd: That’s a good way of saying it. They have through their propaganda and the means by which they talk about this issue in the media all the time, won a lot of people over to the cause who aren’t thinking very deeply about it, part of the way they’ve done this is talking about equality and civil rights, trying to equate it with the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. The problem is back in the 1960s when we’re talking about the mistreatment of African Americans, that was something that was wrong to do, in this case we’re talking about legitimizing immoral behavior and calling it marriage. I don’t know how you get around the immorality angle of it unless you just say it straight out, this is immoral behavior, we are not going to legitimize this as a nation.

Backholm: Sure, it’s a very fair argument and there are a lot of people within the church who are moved by that. But when we talk about the civil rights issue, the reason these are different, today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.
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