Is it Christian to be Anti-Gay?

15 Aug

Between Chick-fil-A and today’s shooting at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) offices, there’s been a lot of discussion about something called a “Hate Group.”

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins

Groups such as FRC, the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family, Public Advocate, American Family Association and many others frequently refer to themselves as “Pro-Family,” “Pro-Marriage” and sometimes “Christian” organizations. And when asked, the leaders of these groups will be the first to tell you they hold nothing against the gay community. It’s their actions though, that you need to take a look at. As I’d mentioned in some discussions last week, Richard Nixon can say “I’m not a crook” all he wants, that doesn’t mean he’s not one.

While these groups may do some excellent work with Christian charities, their primary focus is on fighting to have the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people denied. But over the years, they’ve been able to frame what it is they do with those “Pro-family” and “Christian” modifiers. It’s a frustrating fight for those of us seeking nothing more than equal treatment under the law, when these incorrectly-identified groups can lie by claiming they are being attacked by people who are “Anti-Christian” or “Anti-family.” Even today’s attack, though details are still not complete – it’s become clear that the suspect was angered over FRC’s anti-gay policies. If it was an organization that was simply hosting soup kitchens, running orphanages and caring for the poor, I can almost guarantee he wouldn’t be driven to opening fire in their offices.

That’s where the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) comes in. According to their website, “SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, we work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.” One of the ways they do this is by exhaustively researching the work of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-nazis, racist skinheads,  black separatists and border vigilantes and identifying them as “hate groups.”

Identifying an anti-gay group as a “hate group” is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups. 

While identifying themselves as “pro-family” groups, they are actually fighting against more than 1 million American families with more than 2 million kids who are being raised by LGBT parents. Without marriage protections, some of these families are legal strangers to one another. Anti-gay adoption laws, which were lobbied for and won by these organizations keep kids from ever finding forever homes. And anti-gay marriage laws assure that these families will suffer from a crippling lack of legal protections. There is nothing “pro-family” or “Christian” about allowing families to be ripped apart or seeing children raised by a foster care system when there are thousands of loving couples ready to adopt.

In addition to the work of these groups in the U.S., some of them have been linked to anti-gay legislation in other countries. The Ugandan “Kill the Gays” bill would penalize acts of homosexuality with life imprisonment or in “aggravated” cases, gay people could be put to death. While the US Congress was preparing to pass a condemnation of the Ugandan legislation, FRC spent $25,000 on lobbyists to stop them from denouncing the law. They claim that they were only trying to change the language of the denouncement, but in prior lobbying documents from FRC, they’d indicated they were attempting “to amend” legislation, whereas the tax documents for this action contained no such itemization of amendments.

National Organization for Marriage’s        Brian Brown

These groups have painted themselves with bright colors to make people think they are fighting for tradition, for family, for morality and for freedom. But the truth of the matter is they don’t fight for anything. They are only fighting against LGBT people so that we can’t experience the same freedoms they do. How else can you explain the National Organization for Marriage, whose mission statement is “to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” attacking things like bathrooms for transgender people, gender identity in children, or children being taught that gay people even exist. They’ve even worked to falsely link gay people to pedophilia. None of those things have anything to do with “protecting marriage,” so why are they fighting them? Because they are not pro-anything, they are anti-gay.

Folks, none of this is about marriage and none of this is about “protecting” anything. These groups have spent years weaving a myth shrouded in flowery and false “pro-Christian” memes. Today’s attack on FRC is something that was perpetrated by a man who was clearly out of his mind. And just as these groups’ motivations have very little to do with marriage, I don’t beleive the shooter’s motivations did either.

Despite Family Research Council’s lobbying against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, we believe that what happened today was a hate crime and should be investigated as such. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community understands all too well violence against people based on their political beliefs and personal lives.

And while nearly every group pro and anti-LGBT, took time today to condemn the shooting and call for sanity and non-violence in this debate, one group made the active decision to politicize the discussion. The National Organization for Marriage released statements and blog posts (long before anything was known about the shooter), to attack SPLC for identifying Family Research Council as a “hate group.” At a time when many people’s thoughts are with the victim of the shooting, NOM is once again spending their time on something other than marriage. If there was ever a question about their true motivations, that question has been answered.

These are the vocal organization who are out in the media every day claiming to represent Christians and Christian morality. If you are a Christian and know that what they are doing is decidedly against the things you’ve learned, it’s up to you to speak up. Tell them and tell your religious leaders that the bigotry being taught is not representative of you.

In closing, I wanted to share my own motivation in writing this. A comment from someone named Leslie McLafferty on my previous post about today’s shooting:

14 Responses to “Is it Christian to be Anti-Gay?”

  1. salamander231 (@salamander231) August 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    A true Christian is NEVER anti equality. Needless to say the people who call themselves “christian” and do the work of the devil are NOT christians.

  2. Meggy81 August 16, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    I don’t believe that any religion is automatically bigoted. I believe that there are many who practise oragnized religions who are ill informed and therefore make it hard for people who aren’t passing judgement and being discriminatory to admit that they follow any organised religion.

    • Annette Gross August 16, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      I agree. Some people think that if you’re “religious” you can’t support LGBT rights. Well, there should be no distinction – you can certainly be religious or spiritual or faithful and still believe in equal rights. It’s not an either/or.

      • Meggy81 August 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

        Thanks. And I shouldn’t have said many I should have said some. It’s not fair for me to depict the minority as speaking for the majority. I have known Christian same sex couples. My ex husband’s aunt and her partner were one of them. Sadly she passed away recently or I’m sure they would have gotten married since they lived in NY

  3. Chris VonTanner August 16, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Jamie, Once again…brilliant.

  4. Annette Gross August 16, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Thank you so much for this article. I believe everything you said is true. Regarding the Chick-fil-A situation, I’ve read comments written by people saying that the LGBT community and their allies are against them because they are Christian, because they close on Sundays, because we don’t like religion, etc. etc. etc. The real reason is that they donate money to anti-gay causes. But it’s very easy for the other side to twist words around to suit their purposes. I am going to post this on my Facebook page so my friends can see what is at stake. Thank you!

  5. Al August 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    As I read a number of articles and look at a number of sites I am struck by a total absence of any articles or states about gay hate groups … as in groups of gays that promote hatred and intolerance in a manner much the same as the “hate groups” discussed above. This strikes me as rather disingenuous give the level of rabid hatred towards heterosexuals and hypocrisy / intolerance I have seen expressed by gays I know personally or I see posting on web sites.
    Can you please provide thoughts on this observation … and whether or not there are any truly unbiased sites (SPLC does not qualify based on my examination of their site) that accurately report on this issue? Thanks.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      Hi Al,

      Forgive me for going out on a limb here, but on a cursory google search for heterosexuals who’ve been beaten and murdered by homosexuals, I’m not coming up with anything really.

      You see, LGBT people haven’t really been fighting to have the rights of heterosexual people denied. Additionally, I’m sorry that SPLC doesn’t qualify as unbiased based on your examination, but for quite some time now, they’ve been seen as a leader in the civil rights of minorities around the country. Maybe you should look for an organization that represents oppressed majorities. I’m sure they’re out there if you look hard enough.

      • Al August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

        Thanks for the response. I will look some more.
        And I was not just talking about murder. I was talking about hate speech … intolerance … bigotry. Are you suggesting that some homosexuals are not guilty of such?

      • Jamie McGonnigal August 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

        I will acknowledge that gay people are guilty of standing up against bigotry, speaking up in defense of their lives. Are there gay people who in response to generations of hatred and oppression gone too far? Of course. Are there heterosexuals who are truly victims of “anti-straight hatred” based only on the fact that they are straight, based only on the fact that they love someone of the opposite gender? I’d be extraordinarily hard-pressed to find even one true example. Examples in the other direction are countless.

  6. leslie mclafferty August 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Jamie, your commentary is well thought out. However, the premise is completely wrong and the idea that your right are being denied is a false claim. Gay marriage is a question of fairness not equal rights. I personally do not care if you get married but I will stand for the rights of people that do not want to aknowledge homosexuality as being something normal. You see, most people view homosexual behavior as being devient behavior and do not want to be forced to treat it any different. Whether they are right or wrong, they have a right to their beliefs.

    It is the fascist actions of LGBT groups and the SPLC that led to the shooting of the guard. The FRC and groups like them have a right to political speach without being labeled anti- anything. Nazi’s used the same tactics to get people to fall in line.

    You can claim to that these hate groups like SPLC and GLAAD are concerned about the man that was shot but if you go onto their websites you will find comments like this: “Well that was quick. Very quick. Suspiciously very quick.” or “Evil Homophobes.” You see, it is hard to believe militant gays care about the guard. My guess, based on the hatred spewed by people like Dan Savage is that most gays who support fascist tactics would loved to have pulled the trigger themselves.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      Perhaps some research will help here. According to Loving vs. Virginia, the case which struck down interracial marriage restrictions in the US, the court decision said, and I quote:

      “Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man.”

      As far as you not wanting to acknowledge people being gay as “normal,” that’s absolutely your right. And it’s my right to acknowledge someone like yourself as a bigot. However, it is NOT your right to deny me MY rights. And I’d love to see some evidence (from an unbiased source) that “most people view homosexual behavior as being devient behavior and do not want to be forced to treat it any different.” The only evidence I’ve seen are things like polls showing the majority of Americans in support of marriage equality and an even larger majority in support of legal protections for LGBT couples.

      Considering your claim that the “fascist actions of LGBT groups and the SPLC led to the shooting of the guard,” I’d love for you to explain whose actions it was that led to the murders of Matthew Shepard, Lawrence King, Steven Domer, Satender Singh, Michael Sandy, Ahmed Khalil, Sakia Gunn, Philip Walsted, Octavia Acuna, Ronnie Paris, Richie Philips, Jason Gage, Justin Enos, Fannyann Eddy, Scotty Weaver, Aaron Webster, Steen Fenrich, Leon Laureles, Carl Warren, Jr., Joseph Ileto, Gary Matson, Winfiel Mowder, Billy Jack Gaither, James Primus, Brandon Teena, Anton Walker, William Metz, Michael Despain, Thomas Frazee, Robert Haines, Joseph Holleran, Duane Linsley, Eric Balagot, Chris Miller, Ronnie Smith, Harold Draper…you get the idea.

      If these victims of unspeakable beating, torture and eventual murder were not somehow also the victims of hatred spread by organizations like FRC, NOM, AFA, etc, then how dare you blame the actions of ONE single individual clearly not in his right mind for shooting a man in the arm?

      Feel free to comment further, but I will not be approving any further deranged posts from you.

      • Meggy81 August 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        Marriage is a basic civil right and the US is in violation of the UN mandate for human rights by allowing nearly 1/2 the country to decree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Marriage pre-dates Christianity so why do some Christians believe that they get to define the meaning of something they didn’t create? Isn’t that what the GOP is currently bashing Obama about anyway? They didn’t make up the idea of marriage in the first place

  7. margaret August 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    i am from the UK Scotland and it is bad hear for LGTB but not as bad as there I would sa. I am not LGTB but don’t see y if I am aloud 2 b happy with who love and have kids yous shouldn’t b 2 and as for the Cristina side of thing god made us in his image and that goes for our brains 2 so how we think and who we love is ok with him as long as we love and don’t hate

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