One of our correspondents sent this report from the first day of the Family Impact Summit in Florida:
The first panel’s topic was “The Homosexual Agenda,” and Peter Sprigg, vice president for public policy at the Family Research Council, gave his talk with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation purporting to outline the “Elements of the Agenda.” Sprigg lectured the crowd about how “militant gay rights activists” were going about crossing off agenda points, and spoke at length about the gay rights activists’ movement to “indoctrinate every student from kindergarten to 12th grade.”
While Sprigg gave the usual compassionate-sounding phrases of the anti-gay movement—with statements like, “We desire the best for homosexuals, and desiring the best for someone and acting to bring that about is the essence of love…”— he “affirmed” the state of Florida for having the strongest prohibition against adoption by gay couples. He made the claim that “most children raised by homosexuals are the result of previous heterosexual relationships,” and proceeded to pontificate about how this “undermines the notion that homosexuality is something fixed from birth and cannot change—there are very few homosexuals who have never had a heterosexual relationship.”
Sprigg’s shining moment, I think, was when he chastised the “militant gay rights activists” for characterizing sexual orientation as tantamount to race. He stated that “homosexuality is not equivalent to heterosexuality,” and thus is not a civil rights issue like race.
We heard a lot about those “ex-gays” and then were addressed by “an ex-gay” in person: Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International. Chambers worried about “the militant activist groups out to co-opt family life, our rights, and change America into an America that is only good for them.” We were told that these “militant gay activists” were “trying to co-opt our very way of life.”
In fact, the phrase “militant gay activist” was bandied around so much, I felt silly for having left my weaponry at home … I was also ashamed not to fit Chambers’ image of what a gay man is: a “jaunty mustached muscleman,” apparently, in contrast to the “nice young people, old people, and attractive women” progressives are said to use in our commercials and media campaigns. Chambers also claimed that “the gay activist movement is wealthy. None of us in the pro-family movement are making money. I am in poverty compared to what the executives of the pro-gay movement are making.”
Chambers concluded by saying, “We have to stand up against an evil agenda.”
Bob Knight of the Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute posed a rhetorical question: “If there’s only less than 2-3% of the population that are gay, how are they so powerful?” Knight’s answer: “Because they are like a little kid, with a big brother and a baseball bat behind them—the American media.” According to Knight, the “gay media” is making bizarre, unfounded claims. Gay and lesbian journalists’ organizations, he argued, should be courted by The Weekly World News and the Globe instead of reputable news providers; “The truth about those gay aliens” should be exposed, he joked.
Knight claimed that the gay rights movement stole the “moral capital of the civil rights movement” by applying it to sexual behavior. He chastised the gay community for “messing with the institution of marriage,” and he accused us of “sticking a finger in God’s eye Himself, and saying that ‘we will define morality ourselves.'”