We have already heard from right-wing leaders about how blocking immigration reform is needed to preserve gun rights, but now one anti-gay activist argues that opposition to marriage equality is also linked to gun issues.
Former Pennsylvania lawmaker Sam Rohrer, who now leads the American Pastors Network, held a press conference yesterday demanding that Gov. Tom Corbett appeal a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality, suggesting that the governor’s refusal to do so may jeopardize gun rights:
“If the federal government comes back and says, ‘We’re going to take away your guns – Second Amendment,’ and eviscerate that, or, ‘We’re going to take away private property rights,’ do you think this legislature or this governor is going to stand up and say, ‘Well, that’s fine, go ahead and do it’? Because if we do, we don’t live in a republic anymore.”
Rohrer blasted the court’s decision as “tyranny” and called for the removal of Judge John E. Jones III, who was appointed by George W. Bush and backed by then-Sen. Rick Santorum.
He also accused Jones of thinking that he is God:
“Let’s be clear, this ruling was made by one man – a federal district judge unelected and unaccountable. Politically appointed, never facing the voters and never answering to the press, many people in this position when unrestrained by moral truth, perceive themselves to be above the law,” said Rohrer, who held the press conference in the Rotunda of the state Capitol. “Indeed, their arrogance makes them appear as if they think they are God.”
Rohrer accused Jones – who in ruling the former ban on gay marriage as a violation of constitutional rights said the law should be “discarded into the ash heap of history”…because “we are better people than these laws” – of aggressive ideological elitism. The pastor added that Jones seemed to have an “undeveloped or distorted understanding” of the basis for civil law, adding that the judge may have been motivated by an intentional defiance of God.
One pastor who joined Rohrer at the press conference said the ban on same-sex marriage was needed to stop crime in the African-American community:
The Rev. Todd Johnson, pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, said the future welfare of the black community hinged on the protection of traditional marriage.
“Marriage is biblical and sacred honor between one man and one woman,” he said. “In the African-American community, the statistics are overwhelming: in traditional families anchored by the marriage of one man and one woman, children are less likely to commit a crime, less likely to have babies out of wedlock, more likely to graduate from school, and more likely to participate in the workforce in a meaningful way.”
Johnson said the uptick in negative statistics in the black community has coincided with the dismantling of the nuclear family.
“Governor Corbett’s decision shows a lack of traditional moral leadership, and in the end, it will have a tremendously negative impact on the already declining family structure in the urban African-American community,” Johnson said.