|Fox News personality Todd Starnes|
There are times, when I want to point out the basic dishonest of the anti-gay religious right in America, I don't have to go on a long expository. I just merely point out the actions of one of their spokespeople. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, "Crazy" Jane Folger, or the American Family Association are always good for it.
And today, it's Fox News personality Todd Starnes.
Seriously, someone needs to ask serious questions about how Starnes continues to have a job, even with Fox News, when he has a reputation of distortions and outright lying to further the "anti-Christian persecution" angle which is extremely popular amongst conservatives. (Editor's note - actually, The Atlantic has asked those questions.)
Today, he put his poison pen on the case of the Oregon anti-gay bakery, Melissa's Sweet Cakes.
First, a little background via an Oregon publication:
The owners of a Portland-area bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple has paid more than $135,000 to cover a legally-binding order from the Bureau of Labor and Industries. Charlie Burr, the communications director for BOLI, told KOIN 6 News the agency received a payment of $136,927.07 from Aaron Klein on Monday. That payment followed a collection effort earlier this month that netted about $7000 earlier in December, Burr said. Klein and his wife, Melissa, own Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, which BOLI ruled was unlawful discrimination. In July, BOLI said a state exemption for religious organizations and schools does not allow private business owners to deny service to potential customers because of sexual orientation.
It's pretty standard, although with some details omitted. However, check out how Starnes, via the American Family Assocation's One News Now, and probably other places where his column ran, spins the story:
Melissa Klein was checking her bank accounts just a few weeks before Christmas when her face turned ashen. The money was gone – every single penny.
Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries had confiscated all the cash in Mrs. Klein’s checking account and savings account as well as a special account set aside for their church tithe.
Yes, friends – the state of Oregon stole money meant for our Lord.
Mrs. Klein and her husband, Aaron, are devout evangelical Christians who own a mom-and-pop bakery – Sweet Cakes By Melissa.
In July, they were ordered to pay more than $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple after they refused to bake their wedding cake. The Kleins objected because of their religious beliefs.
The judgment was awarded to the lesbians for “emotional suffering.”
Just a few weeks before Christmas, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wiped out the Klein family’s bank accounts – taking nearly $7,000.
Starnes' sad sack goes on like this throughout the entire article. However, there are two things he glossed over: