Imagine an anti-LGBTQ gathering that included remarks by a trio of aggressively anti-gay activists—Scott Lively, Peter LaBarbera, and Brian Camenker—and now imagine that none of them was the most ridiculous, obnoxious or extreme speaker. Such was the scene at the National Press Club on Tuesday afternoon, where a new group calling itself “Gone Too Far” introduced itself with tirades against the LGBTQ equality movement, the proposed federal Equality Act, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus who support it.
Three right-wing African American pastors—Randy Short, Stephen Broden and E.W. Jackson—are part of the group’s organizing committee, as are Lively, LaBarbera, and Camenker. (Notably, the latter three were all part of a group of Religious Right leaders who defended Rep. Steve King when he was punished by his House colleagues for his most recent racist comments.) Additional organizing committee members include Arthur Shaper, head of the California branch of Camenker’s MassResistance; Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ; and his Oklahoma clergy colleague, Dan Fisher. Blair is also a promoter of “nullification”–the notion that the individual states hold the power to nullify federal laws.
The press conference began with the blowing of a shofar, prayer, the singing of “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and “God Bless America,” and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. When Short took to the podium, things went downhill quickly.
“Today is a day that we declare war on those who are ungodly, unbiblical and wicked,” said Short, who is from the D.C. area and who is listed as “coordinator” of Gone Too Far on a press release. “We are sick and tired of all the deviants, all the eugenicists, all the homophiles coming out of the closet to destroy this country.” Short was particularly outraged that members of the Congressional Black Caucus, with the exception of Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, have endorsed the Equality Act, which Short called “the pedophile bill.”
“We have a group that nobody wants that has decided like a parasite to hook itself to the history and legacy of the African American people,” he said.
Short, whose Facebook page denounces “CBC QOONS,” called members of the Black Caucus “a group of infamous fakers, haters, takers, liars, excuse-makers” who “have auctioned the future of our black babies for the sodomite agenda and for the pedophile or the minor-attracted person agenda.”
“I want to say to you,” said Short, “that the Congressional Black Caucus is the equivalent of a terminal venereal disease on the body of black people in this country, and they cannot take a stand against our people being wiped out.”
Short went after iconic CBC members by name. He declared Maxine Waters to be a “fraud,” adding there is “nothing black about her—her wig is from Korea.” Of civil rights hero John Lewis, he asked, “What closet are you in, boy? They didn’t beat you enough in the 60s for you to turn on God, turn on your people, turn on morality, turn on the black woman, turn on the black unborn, turn on the black children.” Short called on them all to resign.
Saying, “We don’t need a Hitler; we’ve got LGBTQ,” Short suggested that the equality movement is a conspiracy to spread diseases to the black community and “wipe out an unwanted population of people through immorality.”
Those people who should know better, who call themselves minority leaders—who know that bowel movement and the blood shed at Edmund Pettus Bridge don’t come together. We’ve got another epidemic brought to us that’s covered up—shingles. Folks sick because folks eat bowel movement in the sexual acts they have, and now they’re injecting children, giving them these diseases, calling it vaccines, because Big Pharma makes so much money off of the new odd diseases that come out of the conduct of these folks.
Short had an odd question for the audience: “Can anyone prove that all the slaveholders were heterosexual?” And he had an answer:
You can’t scientifically prove that. So didn’t some of these gays, even though they didn’t procreate way back then, didn’t they own our people? Who was raping the boys on the plantations? What is ‘breaking the buck?’ Why don’t we know that on the plantations, black men were raped by gay white men to break them down, and now we’re unified with them, and gay is the new black? Have you lost your mind?
One of the few people Short had any kind words for was Anita Bryant, who he said was right for her anti-gay-rights crusade in the 1970s. “God bless Anita Bryant,” he said.
A cursory online search turns up other examples of Short’s unusual worldview, including a 2014 statement attributed to him that asserted, “I will always love Ayatollah Khomeini.”
Next up was Broden of Dallas, Texas, who said during his failed 2010 congressional campaign that the violent overthrow of the government should be an option “on the table” for dealing with government tyranny.
Like Short, Broden made much of language in the Equality Act, saying that the purpose of the bill is “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation—and for other purposes.” Broden implied that “other purposes” opens the door to the potential protection of pedophilia and bestiality by civil rights laws.
Broden said the “sinister” Equality Act would encroach on religious liberty and free speech, and would essentially transfer protections of the civil rights struggle to “wealthy white men.” He continued, “It is the gateway to a moral depravity that will ultimately destroy this nation.”
Following Broden to the microphone was Dan Fisher, who promoted Gone Too Far’s “Proclamation for Morality.” The proclamation spends a lot of time talking about sexually transmitted diseases, anal sex, pedophilia and, of course, the horrors of Drag Queen Story Hours.
“All truth is God’s truth,” Fisher said. “And his truth applies to all people at all times and in all places. There is not one truth for men and another for women, one for blacks and another for whites, one for heterosexuals, and another for those identifying as LGBTQ.” God alone, he said, has the authority to define and regulate sexuality and marriage.
“If Congress attempts to label as a civil right that which has been understood by generations as immoral, it would not only be reversing centuries of western Judeo-Christian thought, but would be in essence, as Pastor Broden said, actually rendering historic, orthodox Christianity illegal,” Fisher said.
Next up was Stephen Black, who runs a ministry for “sexually and relationally broken people.” Black said God saved him from his gay-identified “years in darkness” and he denounced efforts by LGBTQ activists to ban conversion therapy for minors. He said the term “gay Christian” is “heresy.”
Scott Lively, the notorious globe-trotting anti-LGBTQ activist and author of “The Pink Swastika,” followed Black at the mic. (Lively ran unsuccessfully last year for the Republican nomination for governor of Massachusetts.) At the Gone Too Far event, he took special aim at the Equality Act, anti-discrimination legislation that was introduced in the 115th Congress. The Equality Act, Lively said, is not really about equality but about “LGBT supremacy.”
Lively denounced former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of landmark gay-rights rulings, as “the worst enemy of the family in the history of the Supreme Court.” Lively charged that the Equality Act was meant to accomplish what he said was the LGBT movement’s goal of abolishing laws governing the age of sexual consent, as well as the legalization of prostitution and polygamy. He also said that that the transgender movement is really about promoting the “pedophilia agenda.”
After Lively came Peter LaBarbera, famed for his fondness for chronicling leather/fetish events in lurid detail as head of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Lively became part of Camenker’s growing MassResistance organization last year, and at this week’s press conference, he promoted the group’s tome on “the health hazards of homosexuality.”
LaBarbera said the LGBTQ movement is an anti-God, anti-normal, anti-truth, anti-moral, anti-freedom “revolution” being led by people who are “desperate to rationalize their sin.” He said gay rights activists are “accelerating their war on the church because the church, the Christian church mainly, is the last bastion of opposition to this revolution.”
Camenker wasn’t at the speaker’s table but was given a minute at the end of the press conference to say how “thrilled” he is to be part of the Gone Too Far effort. At an anti-gay gathering in 2015, Camenker said that God has “very brutal” rules for dealing with people who want to tear down the moral structure of society: they “must be destroyed.”
During a Q&A period, Broden said the Equality Act is part of a “dark, evil sinister plot to destroy America.” Tapping another right-wing conspiracy theory, Broden said the Act’s origins go back to the development of “Cultural Marxism” in Germany in the 1920s. Lively also spoke about Cultural Marxism, which he said was another name for secular humanism, which he said was a religion that elite establishment Republicans and Democrats share.
Asked by a conservative activists about Trump, who waved a rainbow flag on the campaign trail, Lively defended the president, saying he cuts Trump some slack for not doing more because he “still does not have control of the government” due to deep state activists who have their claws and tentacles dug into the Defense and State departments. “Donald Trump is God’s man in the White House,” Lively declared.
Gone Too Far is promoting “God’s Voice,” a conference being held in Oklahoma City on February 22 and 23 that is described as “a biblical response to the queering of the church.” LaBarbera and Black are among the scheduled speakers, along with radio host Janet Mefferd.
Excerpts from Randy Short’s comments at the Gone Too Far press conference: