Just a day after devoting her podcast to portraying LGBTQ-affirming activities in public schools and libraries as a threat to children, Ingraham invited a representative of one of the most extreme anti-gay groups onto her Fox television show to drive the same fear-mongering message.
As she did on her podcast, Ingraham complained that the “drag queen story hour” programs that have become popular in some public libraries had originated in San Francisco. “We’re trying to find out what’s really going on here,” she said. “What is the point of doing this with kids?”
One of Ingraham’s guests was Arthur Schaper, who leads the California chapter of MassResistance, an extremely anti-LGBTQ and anti-legal-equality group. Not surprisingly, Schaper made no effort to hide his disgust and contempt for LGBTQ people, and especially the “degenerate” drag entertainers who read to children. “You have adult homosexual men, adult entertainers, going into a public library, reading to children,” said Schaper.
“We’re not talking about diversity here, we’re talking about deviance,” Schaper said. “We’re talking about perverse and destructive lifestyles being animated, or advertised, to children, as if it’s normal.”
It’s not only drag entertainers that bother leaders of MassResistance; last year the organization helped a Texas group in its attacks on a local library over a pride-month-themed bulletin board and book display. MassResistance also worked with anti-LGBTQ legal group Liberty Counsel to back parents and school board members who opposed the creation of a Gay-Straight Alliance club at a high school in Franklin County, Tennessee.
Schaper continuously interrupted Ingraham and her other guest, gay Christian author Jonathan Merritt. While Schaper claimed that parents around the country have been complaining to his group about “these perverse programs,” Merritt pointed out that the story hours are completely voluntary, and that no parent is being required to bring their children to them.
Ingraham appeared annoyed that Schaper held up a copy of MassResistance’s book, “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality,” which is seemingly designed to provoke anti-gay disgust among readers. “Approval of homosexuality is a capitulation to irrationality which profoundly affects our society,” according to the book’s introduction, which says, “Demands for ‘gay rights’ or ‘LGBT rights’ or ‘gay marriage’ should be answered not only with arguments citing morality, religious freedom, and parenting standards, but by noting the unnatural, unhealthy, and repugnant character of GLB sexual practices and associated public behaviors.”
Igraham didn’t seem bothered by Schaper’s message as much as his use of props on her show. Indeed, Ingraham and her producers apparently had no problem giving a platform to MassResistance, whose leader and founder Brian Camenker has said that evangelicals should consider their opposition to the LGBTQ movement as “a war,” not “a church service.”
At an anti-gay gathering on the eve of the World Congress of Families in 2015, Camenker said God has a “very brutal” set of rules “for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immortality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” Camenker declared, “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”
“We are in a war,” he said, adding that gay-rights activists “would send us to concentration camps if they could.”
In a merger of anti-LGBTQ zealotry, notorious anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, joined the MassResistance staff last year.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch reported that white nationalist Kenny Strawn is a member of the MassResistance chapter led by Schaper, who also engages in anti-immigrant activism.
Like other Religious Right groups, MassResistance has been stepping up its support for anti-LGBTQ efforts around the world, translating some of its materials into Spanish to help an anti-marriage-equality effort in Mexico and into Chinese to help an anti-equality group in Taiwan.