Peter LaBarbera, president of a group called Americans for Truth, is upset with President Bush for his supportive comments on the parenthood plans of Mary Cheney and her long-time lesbian partner. Although Bush has made a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage one of his platform issues, in the case of the vice president’s daughter he struck a different tone. “I think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And I’m happy for her,” Bush told People magazine. “He blinked,” complains LaBarbera.
LaBarbera had previously attacked Cheney as “immoral” and said that he was “saddened at the spectacle,” joining a number of other right-wing figures to call the pregnancy “tragic” and “cruel.” Religious-right leaders James Dobson and Tony Perkins also piled on. Dobson’s article in TIME magazine, in which he called the family “yet another untested and far-reaching social experiment,” was roundly criticized by both researchers whose work he cited, but the Right is still standing by him.
In response to Bush, LaBarbera writes:
President Bush has been too timid about using his Bully Pulpit to promote pro-family values, but occasionally he stumbles and uses it to advance the opposite. In this case, he could have declined comment altogether or, better, used this situation as a teaching moment to reaffirm the natural superiority of the God-ordained family.
Maybe the latter is asking too much of Mr. Bush given his relationship with the Cheneys, but I do wonder why a president who talks so openly about his Christian faith was unprepared or unwilling to apply it logically to this touchy situation. Assuming that as an evangelical Christian, Mr. Bush believes homosexual practice is sinful, are we to believe that this man who faced down Islamic radicalism and launched the War on Terror is afraid to say what he really believes about lesbians having children to be raised in homes that are fatherless by design? …
By uttering platitudes rather than principles about Mary Cheney, the President of the United States missed a golden opportunity to instruct a nation about the gold standard of traditional marriage as the optimal environment for raising children. He blinked when put in the awkward position of either telling the truth or pretending that Ms. Cheney’s is not unlike any other (wonderful) pregnancy. It is different, by a long shot. Not that she won’t have maternal love for her child; of course she will. But the child is being brought into a household where the most important person in his or her world will be modeling lesbian behavior, which is changeable and always wrong, and an affront to a holy and loving Creator.
Bizarrely, even though LaBarbera was one of the first to politicize Cheney’s pregnancy, he claims that politicization of personal matters is a hallmark of “the ‘gay’ agenda”:
The whole Mary Cheney-baby episode typifies how the “gay” agenda advances in our emotionally-driven culture. The personal becomes political, and “open and proud gays” use their relationships with family members, friends and co-workers to persuade them to embrace behaviors with which they once disagreed — or at least go silent about them. This is the goal of homosexual activists’ “coming out” strategy, which is brilliant in its manipulation of human nature.
LaBarbera is an ambitious antigay activist: after working as a reporter for the right-wing Washington Times, he headed Accuracy in Academia while doing his own anti-gay investigative reporting. He then joined the Illinois Family Institute, but, complaining that “there is not a single, serious national group dedicated specifically to exposing and countering” the “homosexual activist agenda,” he left to form Americans for Truth.