Thursday, March 28, 2013

Family Research Council exploits Matthew Shepard's murder to justify discrimination

I've read many reasons why same-sex couples shouldn't be married from religious right groups and all of them are either distortion-filled or just plain nasty. But the following from the Family Research Council's Robert Morrison goes beyond the boundaries of good taste. He exploits the murder of Matthew Shepard to somehow connect marriage equality to the problem of absent fathers:

When we see dozens of Democrats abandoning their previously held positions and a few Republicans also willing to betray the voters who put them in office, it would be easy to become cynical about everyone in politics. But we have to stand firm and push back. Marriage is a blessing to families. Three-quarters of the teen rapists in our prisons are fatherless young men, so are two-thirds of the teen murderers. Even gay martyr Matthew Shepherd [sic] was killed by two fatherless young men. Marriage bashes no one. Marriage benefits everyone. 

Barring some profane words which I have not used in years, I can sum up Morrison's passage in three descriptions: tacky, tasteless, and totally un-Christian.

Those two men who murdered Shepard didn't commit their crime because a father was absent in their households. They murdered Shepard partly because of the fact that they were hateful individuals. But I would wager what they may have heard in their homes regarding gays had more to do with their crime than a father possibly not being at home. And also in a society which taught them to look at lgbts as slugs not worthy of respect (no doubt aided and abetted by past words and actions of the Family Research Council and other anti-gay groups)

 At any rate, it doesn't make any difference. They were adults and made their choice to take this young man's life. There is no excuse for that. I also find it extremely distasteful that after years of besmirching Shepard's name, i.e. claiming that he was murdered in the case of a drug deal gone bad or claiming that he flirted with the men and caused his own death, someone from the religious right camp would actually have the temerity to exploit his murder via the result of physical homophobia to justify institutional homophobia.

Most of all, I don't like what I read in Morrison's description of Shepard. Folks will read what they want in his turn of phrase but I detect a sublime nastiness in how he termed Shepard as a "gay martyr." It's a ugly transference by Morrison because he implies that the lgbt community predatorily used Shepard's death to further our supposed "agenda." The only one with an agenda here is Morrison because he doesn't seem to care a whit that Shepard was an innocent child more than he is a talking point.

After all, why would he even cite Shepard in the first place.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.


BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

I found his use of Matthew's good name very tacky indeed.
Why is it this phrase.."Marriage bashes no one. Marriage benefits everyone." only applies to str8 people?

Prospero said...

While I am infinitely saddened by what happened to Matthew, it makes me sadder that so little attention is paid to the 1988 hate-crime murder of my friend and HS classmate, Anthony Milano in Bucks County, PA. Yes, it is disgusting that Matthew Shepard's name is being used in this way. Still - it bothers me more that Tony's killers have spent the last 25 years in prison, appealing their convictions and sentences, living well beyond the years they took from my friend.

ColdCountry said...

What I don't understand is that even if they were "fatherless," and even if all those teen rapists are "fatherless," what do they have to do with same-sex marriage? It's not only tacky and tasteless, it makes no sense.