The office of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) revoked access to a Senate meeting room for a right-wing confab planning to discuss how American social conservatives can learn from Russia's draconian crackdown on LGBT people. Among the participants slated to speak at the event was Breitbart.com columnist and notorious homophobe Austin Ruse.
BuzzFeed's J. Lester Feder reported on November 14 that Kirk - who supports marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- had shut down the planned November 15 "Family Policy Lessons From Other Lands: What Should America Learn?" conference. A Kirk spokesman explained that "Sen. Kirk doesn't affiliate with groups that discriminate."
Later that day, Speaker of the House John Boehner managed to secure the room for these activists. However, I found it interesting that Austin Ruse was involved with these activists. But maybe I shouldn't have been. Three years ago, Ruse and I had a serious verbal confrontation via my blog because of a United Nations General Assembly voted to delete the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from a proposed anti-discrimination document.
Our back-and-forth confrontation should give you a look at Ruse's anti-gay mindset (his comments are in blue. Mine are in red):
A year ago the Holy See and the Bush administration tried to get the General Assembly to endorse a statement condemning precisely the kind of violence against homosexuals that you cite. The effort was quashed by France and her allies in Europe? Why? Because these efforts are not really about stopping violence. They are about forcing a broad range of homosexual "rights" on traditional peoples using the least democratic venues possible.
Your statement is a wonderment. Just how do you "force" homosexual rights on "traditional peoples?" Austin, please get rid of the phraseology because you aren't speaking to the choir here. Why don't you be specific in your objections.
But Austin, you didn't answer my question. You went through a lot of legalese and "harum," "harum," but did not defend your original point. How does one force "homosexual rights" on "traditional peoples?" You seem to be talking about the process here. But when you (were) originally quoted, you were talking about the fact that the process had to do with gays and lesbians? Is it the process that you disagree with or the fact that through the process, folks are seeking to protect lgbts. And if the latter is the case, you really need to defend defining "traditional peoples" as countries who would persecute and imprison lgbts.
When non-democratic bodies like unknown UN committees and courts make decisions like this and then impose them on the people, that is force. Should have made that clearer.Thought i did.
But you didn't make it clear. . . . in the One News Now article, you were all "how dare they try to elevate the homosexual agenda to a global right." Don't you think you aren't being honest?
Well, no. Because that is what they are trying to do. They are trying to bootstrap homosexual language out of a UN committee to a new global norm. Look up the Yogykarta Principles. It's all in there.
Now you are dodging by saying that I should read some third party document. And you still aren't clear. It is the process that you disagree with or the fact as you so put it that they are pushing protection for sexual orientation and gender identity?
You have hit on it. There are two questions. First, there is the question of how human rights law is made. We hold that backdooring it through unknown UN committees is wrong and anti-democratic.Second, is the thing itself. We object to there being special rights for "sexual orientation and gender identity" not the least of which that these are undefined terms that can be spun anyway courts want to. According to some, there are more than 20 gender identities. We believe this is crazy. So, yes, two questions. We oppose both.
There are not 20 gender identities. That doesn't even make sense. You are using propaganda created by groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition. What you are
to are paraphilias, not sexual orientations or gender identities.On
that point, you are operating from ignorance. Secondly the ability to
live your life without fear of persecution is not a special right and
should never be viewed as such.
Well then, how many are there. Name them.
No you don't my friend. You made the charge about the 20 different gender identities. YOU name them. What you were implying about is here is - http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/Paraphilias.html - and they have nothing to do with gender identities.
I stand corrected. Now name the genders.
You keep talking about gender. Don't you mean sexual orientations? In that regard, you are still relying on inaccurate data. When you said "20 genders," I think you were referring to an inaccurate claim that there are 20 sexual orientations. You see some religious conservative organizations thought up that nonsense by linking paraphalias to sexual orientations and claiming that they are one and the same, which they aren't. So basically it comes down to the fact that you were trying to refer to a religious right talking point and got it mixed up rather badly. Austin, sexual orientation is generally divided into three categories - homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. I am unaware of any other orientation, but if there is, I doubt the number is even close to 20. The real question here is why are you focused on this minor issue and evading the fact that lgbts are being persecuted in other countries. I'm hip to the fact that your entire line of questioning is a silly dodge masking the fact that you refuse to address why you stand with countries persecuting lgbts and then refer to these countries as "traditional people?"
You and other radicals propose that gender identity and sexual orientation should be new categories of nondiscrimination in human rights law yet you are unwilling, likely unable, to define what they are. That is the problem with these terms. They are elastic and can be defined almost any which way. This is why they cannot be allowed and will continue to be stopped.
Mr. Ruse, I would answer your question but I prefer that two things be my answer: 1. Our entire exchange where you couldn't justify or explain standing in the corner of countries who persecute lgbts. 2. And the fact that you have now stooped to name-calling. Me a radical? How hilarious.
Anyone who suggests that dangerous terms like sexual orientation and gender identity should be new categories of nondiscrimination are in fact radical. I note that you cannot define the terms. I didn't think you could. That is the problem and why the terms will never stand up to a democratic vote in the General Assembly, that is, if my colleagues and i have anything to say about it. I also suggest that you toughen up a bit. You cry when someone calls you a name. You are living up to at least one stereotype.
Austin, you are being deceptively distracting. Batty (another commentator who got into our discussion) answered your question quite adequately but let's not forget that the initial problem was the fact that you seem to be defending countries which persecute lgbts. It's a point which you continue to evade. So I guess my advice to you is stop being such a hypocrite. Someone who leads a human rights organization shouldn't cling to technicalities.
The Member States of the UN, and not just the ones who criminally prosecute homosexual behavior, do not recognize the Yogyakarta Principles, nor the legal "expertise" of the advocates who drafted them. For more on the YP:
You have given is someone's technical definition of sexual orientation and gender identity but you have not told us how many sexual orientations or gender identities there are. Moreover, the definitions you give show a central fallacy and that is that gender is elastic and can be changed. While some UN agencies hold this definition, the UN General Assembly does not. The UN definition of gender: "Men and women in the context of society." I am dodging? I have answered every question you have put up. On the last question. I do not support the death penalty or torture or any other such thing for homosexuality. I do believe governments may regulate and even punish, with limits, homosexual behavior. Homosexual behavior is harmful to those who practice it and to society at large.
You finally answer the question. You are for countries who persecute lgbts. For the record, Austin, your accusations regarding "homosexual behavior" are inaccurate and the result of either junk science (by the discredited Paul Cameron) or legitimate science taken out of context. Maybe you are also attributing sexual behavior to lgbts while ignoring the heterosexuals who engage in the same behavior. Whatever the case may be, it's sad that someone who leads a supposed human rights group is so clueless about human rights period.