The Religious Right erupted against the Obama administration’s new policy to protect the rights of LGBT people around the world with warnings that God will punish America and calls for urgent prayers against the initiative. Yesterday, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber joined Janet Mefferd to attack not only the administration’s directive to support LGBT-rights abroad but also to dismiss the ample evidence of violence against people as a result of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Both Barber and Mefferd earlier defended countries that criminalize homosexuality, and while speaking together they both claimed that violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is not a problem. Apparently, Barber and Mefferd do not believe that arresting, imprisoning and punishing people because they are gay are forms of violence, and choose to ignore the overwhelming evidence of persecution of LGBT people throughout the world.
Barber dismissed concerns about violence against the LGBT community as “nonsense” and said that efforts to protect the rights and dignity of LGBT people are “unconscionable” and “disgusting.”
Barber: You don’t force other nations to put their stamp of approval, the official government stamp of approval, on disordered, sinful behavior.
Mefferd: Here’s a question I had too. In all the stories I was reading yesterday about this directive, in none of them did I see any break down of statistics on the number of homosexuals and transgenders worldwide who are being tortured, persecuted and killed for being gay, have you seen any statistics like that?
Barber: Of course not, it’s nonsense. It’s Orwellian New Speak.
Barber: His latest actions I think bring shame upon this nation that he has pledged to serve in that again he’s embarrassed us in the eyes of nations around the world by pushing this radical—and it is a radical sexual anarchist agenda—and telling other nations ‘you will sign off on this radical sexual anarchist agenda or you will get no U.S. foreign aid.’ That is extortion, it is unconscionable, it is disgusting but it is in keeping with this radical president’s M.O.
The United Nations has consistently pointed to the “abuses that target LGBT people, including killings, torture, rape, violence, disappearances, and discrimination in many areas of life” and Lutheran Social Services found that violence against the LGBT community in the developing world is “horrific” as “people from the LGBT community are beaten, killed, tortured, psychologically tormented, or jailed because of their sexual orientation.” The group also notes that the government is often responsible for promoting anti-gay attacks, as many times “the police will not protect individuals and may be the worst perpetrators of the violence.”
According to the ILGA’s 2011 report [pdf] on “State-Sponsored Homophobia,” 76 countries criminalize homosexuality, five of which have the death penalty. The ILGA noted that for many LGBT people, particularly in Africa, the situation has “worsened” with increases in “harassment, humiliation, extortion, arbitrary arrests, judicial violence imprisonment, torture, hate crimes and honor killings.” Corrective rape against lesbians is also on the rise in countries like South Africa and Jamaica.
Rather than do actual research, Barber and Mefferd are so committed to their anti-gay ideology that they even try to whitewash the unmistakable cases of violence against LGBT people throughout the world.