Gordon Klingenschmitt and Matt Barber, anti-LGBT activists and co-founders of Christian Civil Rights Watch—“the civil rights cause of our day” according to Barber—posted a conversation last week criticizing a California bill targeting so-called conversion therapy and celebrating a new high-profile spokesman for the “ex-gay” movement.
Luis Ruiz, a survivor of the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, was a speaker at the “Freedom March” organized earlier this month by “ex-gay” activists and “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston.
“I love this story,” said Barber, “because it’s a story of redemption and freedom from demonic oppression and persecution and a sin lifestyle that I believe frankly is spiritual in nature.”
Barber also loves the “ex-gay” story because, he says, it is “a clear and present danger to the born-that-way myth.”
Like many “ex-gay” activists, Ruiz describes an unhappy gay life of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex.
“He was trying to cram alcohol, homosexual behavior and drugs into a God-shaped hole in his heart,” says Barber. He calls Ruiz, who says he is HIV positive, a living example of the biblical admonition that “the wages of sin is death.”
Klingenschmitt and Barber went on to discuss legislation being considered in California that would amend the state’s consumer protection law to declare conversion therapy to be fraudulent, relying on the opinion of major medical associations that such therapy can be harmful and has not been proven to be effective.
Barber, who also serves as general counsel of Christian Civil Rights Watch, says that if the bill became law it would ban Christian books about sexuality as well as the Bible itself, and he said that Ruiz could be arrested for privately or publicly telling his story. He says the legislation reveals the desire of LGBT activists to “criminalize Christianity.” Multiple analysts say that such Bible-banning claims by the Religious Right are bogus.
Barber and Klingenschmitt didn’t stop with criticism of the law; they continued a long and dishonorable tradition of equating pro-equality activism with support for pedophilia, saying that activists are “aligning themselves” with child abusers by denying abuse victims access to Christian counseling.