Last week we noted that Peter LaBarbera was reporting that anti-gay right-wing groups, led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, were threatening to boycott the next CPAC convention if the conservative gay organization GOProud was allowed to remain as a co-sponsor.
LaBarbera’s piece contained his paragraph:
It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.
On Friday, Exodus International took issue with Barber’s quote and contacted Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver about it, who responded by denying that Barber had ever said such a thing:
“Neither Matt Barber nor anyone with Liberty Counsel wrote or made any such public statement that is being alleged in this blog. Liberty Counsel promotes the traditional family of one man and one woman because we believe that such relationships are best for society and for children. While we strongly disagree with the sexual politics and agenda of activist organizations and individuals, we also believe that each person is entitled to respect. While there are some that hate us because of our message of sexual integrity, redemption, change, and hope, we have never, and will never, confuse the person with the agenda. We have never sought to dehumanize people to promote our message. Our message is one of redemption through the power of Jesus Christ.”
LaBarbera then showed up in the comments to the Exodus post and insisted that Barber had indeed made the comments in question and that Barber had given him permission to quote him.
Then Barber weighed in to say that they were both right – he had made the statement, but before he started working for Liberty Counsel:
“This is for clarification only. As affirmed in Liberty Counsel’s statement, neither I nor anyone with Liberty Counsel ever publicly ‘wrote or made’ the comment in question – an unapologetically direct and accurate depiction of the sin of sodomy (a sin that God directly and accurately calls both an ‘abomination’ and ‘detestable’). Some years before I began working with Liberty Counsel, I made the comment in private conversation with Peter LaBarbera. At the time, Peter asked if he could ‘quote me on it’ and I said yes.”
Barber is among the most vicious of anti-gay activists. He routinely launches attacks calling gays “homo-fascists” and liberals modern day Baal worshipers, while likening homosexuality to incest and bestiality … but he wants it known that while he did make the statement in question and stands by it wholeheartedly, he didn’t make it while he was working for Liberty Counsel.
As if that makes one iota of difference.
Staver’s claim that they “believe that each person is entitled to respect” is utterly laughable given his own history of outrageous anti-gay statements. Liberty Counsel was fully aware of Barber’s rapidly anti-gay views when they hired him away from Concerned Women for America, and to try and claim that Barber’s views don’t represent the organization because he made them several years ago is pathetic considering that it was because of those views that Liberty Counsel hired him in the first place.