Pam Spaulding

Report: anti-gay org to run ad in NYT blaming gays for 'Campaign Of Violence' in wake of Prop 8

Filed By Pam Spaulding | December 03, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Fundies, Mitt Romney, Prop 8

You knew this was coming -- it was only a matter of time before the emotion and outrage in the LGBT community after Prop 8 would be turned into a rampaging mob of heathen homosexuals persecuting Christians. The Blend has received word that the The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is pulling together a full page ad to run in the NY Times within the next few days, charging the LGBT community's response to Prop 8 is a "Campaign of Violence."

According to our source, the ad will cite an incident where a white powder was sent to a church, and "document" disruptions of services at houses of worship. The Becket Fund is also allegedly contacting like-minded anti-gay organizations to request that they sign on to the ad.

This D.C.-based organization recently published a "study" on the implications of marriage equality and anti-discrimination legislation on religious liberty.

The study found that all 50 states prohibit gender discrimination in some way, and only 37 states have explicit religious exemptions to these provisions, many of them quite narrow. This lack of robust exemptions could become a problem if (as has happened in some instances) religious objections to same-sex marriage are treated as a kind of gender discrimination. In addition, 33 states prohibit at least some discrimination based on marital status, and only 13 of these states provide religious exemptions, some with a wide latitude of exemption, others with only narrow exemptions. Of the 20 states that prohibit sexual orientation-based discrimination, 18 provide exemptions for religious objection.

Based on the data, The Becket Fund concludes that if same-sex marriage is recognized by courts or legislatures, people and institutions that have conscientious objections to facilitating same-sex marriage will likely be sued under existing anti-discrimination laws--laws never intended for that purpose.

In fact, Becket touts Mitt Romney's infamous "Freedom Requires Religion" diatribe this year. It was actually delivered at a Becket function at the Metropolitan Club in New York. Mitt and his wife Ann were awarded the Becket's Canterbury Medal for "Courage in the Defense of Religious Liberty. He spewed this nonsense:

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From the transcript of his speech:

"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone...It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it's usually a sound rule to focus on the latter - on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people."

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I see a lot of concern among gay bloggers over various voices of the right cherry-picking isolated and unrelated incidents from the overwhelmingly peaceful response by our side to the passage of Prop 8 and portraying them as tactics of the movement, but it seems to me it also presents an opportunity. If some unidentified (and for all we know Mormon) individual sending a church white powder is fair game, then so is everything from Matthew Shepard's murder in 1998 to this morning's gay-bashing of a 50 year-old man in Salt Lake City.

If nothing is off limits and everything attributable, we should welcome comparisons of our side's behavior to theirs before, during, and after the Proposition 8 campaign, because their side, of course, comes out looking much, much worse.

I strongly agree with Mattheww, and think him for his comments. Yes, let's compare -- in great detail. So, Becket Fund, how many Christians in the U.S. have been murdered for being Christian? How does that compare to the number of gay people in the U.S. who have been murdered for being gay?

By no means do I condone violence in response to Prop 8, but (a) the protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and (b) the negative things that may have happened are wildly small in number and intensity compared to violence perpetuated against LGBT people -- even if you just limited it to the violence that has actually been reported and documented.