Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is supporting gays the same as supporting Nazis and pedophiles?

The city of Charleston in my state of South Carolina will be hosting its first Gay Pride.

Conservative columnist John Rackliffe isn't happy about that. Nor is Rackliffe happy that North Charleston's mayor Keith Summey has agreed to be the Grand Marshall of this event:

How should a Christian and former North Charleston resident react to such a gesture? Knowing what I know about how God feels about homosexuality, should I be supportive of the Mayor’s decision? After all, like Summey suggested, he is mayor for all of North Charleston’s residents no matter what their sexual preference. Perhaps, as an elected official, Mayor Summey cannot exercise his stated belief that he “is not supportive of their lifestyle.” Perhaps, he has no choice but to cater to the whims of his citizenry.

Mayor Summey has a choice. What if NAMBLA (look it up), wanted to hold a rally on the steps of North Charleston High School? Should the citizens of North Charleston tolerate it? How about the American Nazi Party? What if the wanted to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday in Park Circle, should the people of North Charleston be accomodating because they have the right to express themselves too?

That sort of hyperbole is par for the course for Rackliffe, who has written other very interesting pieces on the lgbt community such as The homosexual agenda, 'out of the closet' and after your children.

Rackliffe's biography calls him a "born again Christian" who "desires to share his love of Jesus Christ with others through writing and civil discussion."  Comparing gays and lesbians to Nazis and pedophiles doesn't strike me as Christian and it certainly doesn't strike me as civil.

But I find his candor refreshing in its honesty.

There are some on Rackliffe's side of the spectrum who imply that gays are too pushy, too volatile, and therefore are causing problems with their attempts to "change" the view of supposedly what's normal. Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage seems to have cornered the market on phony piety, continuously wringing her hands in abject misery over being "unfairly labeled as a bigot simply because she wants to defend traditional values."

But however nauseatingly untrue Rackliffe's words are, it is nice for someone on his side of the spectrum to drop the mask and show what the push against gay equality is really all about.

It's about spreading ignorance and fear based on presumptions of religious superiority.

And in this case, it's about being extremely presumptuous regarding the role of public servants (i.e. elected officials).

Why else would Rackliffe criticize Mayor Summey for agreeing to show support to an event put on by law-abiding, tax-paying citizens and compound the verbal error by comparing these same citizens to Nazis and pedophiles?

Despite what some folks may believe, homosexuality is not against the law (although some people clearly wish that it would be) and there is no "gay lifestyle" (at least I haven't gotten the newsletter from "National Headquarters" detailing one).

 But gays and lesbians are contributing very much to society, living normal lives, and raising families.

Why should Mayor Summey treat them any differently than any other group of constituents?

By agreeing to be Grand Marshall, maybe Summey wanted to assure them that as an elected public official,  he represents their interests also. After all, isn't that his job?

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Blog swarm HRC on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and other Tuesday midday news briefs

DADT blog swarm: contact HRC to publicly demand the President to take the lead on repeal in 2010 - An excellent idea. Let's get on the ball here!

Police halts anti-gay demo as pro-gay activists secretly meet in Kampala - The situation regarding the Ugandan anti-gay bill gets more tense.

Smitherman is approved to adopt son - Excellent news on the family front.

The Right Wing's Meaningless Manifesto - Another $!*# declaration? How about a declaration AGAINST declarations?

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Another 'ex-gay' leader, another dubious religious leader

From the excellent site TruthWinsOut.org comes this revelation about another "ex-gay" leader:

A Truth Wins Out (TWO) and South Florida Gay News (SFGN) investigation revealed today that a Wall Street criminal mastermind who was convicted in 1987 of “fraud of spectacular scope” has secretly reinvented himself as a moral leader who “cures” gay and lesbian people. Known as “Abba Dabba Do” in the financial world, Arthur Abba Goldberg was sentenced to 18 months in jail for bilking poor communities with complicated bond schemes and served six months in prison.
“We have long considered Arthur Goldberg a con-artist, but our investigation shows he is also an ex-con,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. ”His diabolical past mirrors his dishonest present-day work with the ex-gay industry. Whether it was shady deals on Wall Street or shading the truth on gay issues, Goldberg is someone who lacks credibility and can’t be trusted.”
“Mr. Goldberg’s silence today about his illegal conduct yesterday is a clear indicator that 18 months in prison 20 years ago has not inhibited his willingness to deceive others in order to advance himself today,” said SFGN Publisher Norm Kent. “You free yourself by admitting your wrongs, not erasing them. Goldberg is hardly in a position to be advocating how gay men and women should be authentic with their own lives when he is a fraud with his.”
Upon completing his parole, Goldberg dropped his conspicuous middle name, Abba, and co-founded Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) in 1999.

He is currently the president of Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH), an umbrella group for “ex-gay” referrals and the Executive Secretary of the notorious National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). He is also the President of Congregation Mount Sinai, a temple in Jersey City and a Principal for the International Center for Gender Affirming Processes (CGAP). Goldberg is a key ex-gay industry insider and viewed as an architect of its strategy and message machine, says TWO and SFGN.

More here.

For those who are interested, I wrote a piece last year about JONAH demonstrating how it, like so many of these other phony "Christian" groups, distort legitimate studies to demonize the lgbt community.

Mr. Goldberg seems to have gone from one racket to another.

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