John M. Becker

Duggars Respond to Kissing Controversy With Platitudes

Filed By John M. Becker | November 14, 2014 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christian love, controversy, Duggars, gay marriage, kiss-in, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, religion-based bigotry, social media

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have finally (if obliquely) commented on the controversy that broke out this week after they asked married couples to post kissing photos to their Facebook page, then deleted photos posted by same-sex couples (and in some cases, banned the people who posted them).

They posted the following on their Facebook page last night:

As the Huffington Post points out, this quote is a perennial favorite of opponents of LGBT equality who want to hold on to their prejudicial worldview while still laying claim to a moral high ground. (Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who violated state law when they refused to serve a lesbian couple, similarly whipped out the Warren quote in September when they were facing backlash for appearing at the virulently anti-gay Values Voter Summit.)

Warren's quote may help anti-LGBT evangelicals sleep better at night, but it's also sheer nonsense.

First of all, homosexuality isn't a chosen "lifestyle," it's an intrinsic orientation, as anyone with a fifth-grade public school education can tell you. Being transgender isn't a "lifestyle," it's an innate identity.

Second, folks like the Duggars don't just "disagree" with LGBT people (whatever that means) -- they work very, very hard to undermine and obstruct their basic civil and human rights. Whether it's recording a lie-filled, disgustingly transphobic robocall against a nondiscrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas or speaking at hate group rallies in support of marriage discrimination, the Duggar family has a long and ugly history of religion-based bigotry.

The Duggars would deprive me and my family -- and thousands of other people and families like us -- of the right to marry, raise children, hold a job, and transact business in the public marketplace without fear of discrimination. That goes way beyond mere "disagreement," and is about as unloving, uncompassionate, and un-Christian as a person can get.

And as I told the Huffington Post, that's exactly why I posted my photo to their page in the first place:

"[Michael and I] felt that our participation as a same-sex couple would highlight the dissonance between their professed support of love, intimacy, and marriage and the fact that they work so hard to obstruct the happiness and legal marriage rights of loving couples like us."

The Duggars clearly intend to hold on to their malicious, hurtful anti-LGBT beliefs. Of course, they have every right to do so, just like they have every right to moderate their Facebook page as they see fit.

But what I hope they learn from the dozens of beautiful married same-sex couples who responded to their challenge -- and the controversy that erupted when they tried to erase us -- is that the world is evolving into a place that recognizes and affirms all loving couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex. Such a shame that the Duggars refuse to evolve along with it.

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