On today's episode of Hardball, Family Research Council spokesperson and board member Peter Sprigg said that he believes that Lawrence vs. Texas (the Supreme Court decision that struck down the sodomy laws) was "wrongly decided" and that "gay behavior" should be criminalized.
His comments were in the middle of a debate with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis.
Freudian slips about the lgbt community are nothing new to Sprigg. Two years ago, he said that he would prefer that the United States "export" gays and lesbians.
The entire video is below and Sprigg's comments about "criminalizing gay behavior" are at the end (the exchange begins at 7:40), but I would suggest that you watch the entire thing. Sarvis totally destroys him.
And it proves the point that in a head-to-head debate with facts on hand, religious right groups can't get away with their nonsense.
Transcript (courtesy of Firedoglake.com):
MATTHEWS: What should a young woman or man, 22 years old, out of college, officer material, they want to serve their country. But they’re gay. What should they do? They want to serve their country?
SPRIGG: Well, they should serve it in some civilian capacity, and not join the military.
MATTHEWS: Why not?
SPRIGG: Because the presence of homosexuals in the military is incompatible with good order, morale, discipline and unit cohesion. That’s exactly what Congress found in 1993 and that’s what the law states!
SPRIGG: Don’t ask don’t tell is the Clinton compromise policy which is actually incompatible with the law that was passed by Congress. There’s almost universal misunderstanding about that. I’d like to see us do away with this don’t ask don’t tell, and simply enforce the law that was passed by Congress.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Peter, do you think people choose to be gay?
SPRIGG: Uh, people do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to have homosexual conduct [...]
MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: Well, I think certainly-
MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.
And lest we forget, the rest of Sprigg's comments are extremely offensive. His implication that gays and lesbians shouldn't openly serve in the military because we may subject heterosexuals to sexual harassment is akin to saying that integration should not exist because black men will force themselves on white women.
It's insane and if FRC had any personal integrity, it would make a statement distancing itself from Sprigg's statements. In light of all the attention about the Ugandan anti-gay bill, his comments about "criminalizing gay behavior" are just ugly. Of course even if there were no Ugandan anti-gay bill, Sprigg's comments should still be viewed as uncalled for.
But I doubt that FRC will say or do anything distancing itself from Sprigg. His comments are totally on point with religious right dogma, not only about gays in the military but also other facets of our lives.
Religious right groups don't see us as people and they have been exploiting the fears and ignorance of people of faith in order to get others to share their view of the lgbt community.
The only reason why Sprigg got caught today is because he couldn't muster up enough shiftiness.
We need to spread this clip and remind everyone what Sprigg said. Whether he realizes it or not, he is the true face of religious right groups.
Behind their phony veneer of "traditional morality" and "loving the sinner but hating the scene" is a corrupt working of lies, distortions and yes, hate.