Monday, March 28, 2016

Fox News' Todd Starnes tells a sad lie about vetoed GA anti-gay bill

Todd Starnes can't stop lying.

There is a seriously disturbing trend regarding the recent spate of anti-lgbt laws. It would be a serious error on the part of our community to not raise hell about this trend.

The so-called "Christian" groups and spokespeople who support these anti-lgbt "religious liberty" laws have been deliberately lying and/or deliberating obfuscating the negative impact these laws will have on the rights of lgbt Americans.

Last week, I pointed out  how the Family Research Council tried to falsely paint North Carolina's recently passed anti-gay law as one of public safety for women and girls while omitting how it also prevents counties and cities in the state from protecting lgbts from any form of discrimination.

Today, Fox News personality Todd Starnes rang the alarm about GA Governor Nathan Deal's veto of a legislative passed anti-gay law masquerading as a "religious liberty" bill. Starnes, who already has a shady history of painting false stories of anti-Christian persecution, put on his best hand wringing performance in defending the vetoed bill:

Georgia’s Republican governor stunned the state’s religious community Monday by vetoing legislation that would have protected preachers who refuse to perform LGBT marriages.

“It’s open season on people of faith in our state,” said State Sen. Josh McKoon, the author of the 2014 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “It’s a slap in the face to conservatives, to evangelicals and to the broader faith community,” he told me.

 . . .Simply put – the bill would have protected pastors from having to perform same-sex marriages. Faith-based organizations, like Christian schools, would also have been extended protection from renting its facilities to any organization that was contrary to its beliefs.

However, gay rights groups alleged the legislation would have essentially legalized discrimination.

“Discrimination and intolerance have no place in the 21st century, and any town, city or state that enshrines it into law will not be judged kindly by history or by the American public,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a prepared statement.

Starnes' column is can be considered the top example in Obfuscation 101. His column omits the following details, via The Huffington Post:

 The bill would have prevented the government from taking action against organizations or people with “a sincerely held religious belief regarding lawful marriage between... a man and a woman.” It would have opened the door to all kinds of discrimination against same-sex couples. A state-contracted counselor, for example, could refuse to provide services to people in a same-sex marriage. Taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies could refuse to place children in their homes. Government employees, a la Kim Davis, could refuse to file official forms for same-sex couples.

It's not accidental that Starnes chose to omit a crucial part about GA's anti-gay bill just as it was not accidental that the Family Research Council is distorting NC's new anti-lgbt law.  What's truly sad about all of this are not just the distortions and lies or that FRC and Starnes are blatantly pushing these distortions.

The truly sad thing is that the lgbt community has probably gotten so desensitized to these day-to-day falsehoods about every level of our lives that a lot of us wave them off instead educating the world about them; the very thing we SHOULD be doing.


Erica Cook said...

I'm taking a class called "LGBT issues" and my instructor assigned a huge amount of reading. I have a learning disability and use text to speech software to take care of the bulk of my reading such as this article, (to me Alvin has a mechanical woman's voice) But my teacher scanned the material in a way my reader can't process so my mom has been reading a lot of it for me. She was reading one chapter from a book outlining older psychology texts which are often sighted by the religious right where it put lesbianism and pedophilia in the same category. It's a strange experience having some material read to you, especially when the person reading it doesn't actually know a lot about the topic. I heard her pause and could all but hear her process the fact that a scientific jurnal put her daughter in the same category as sexual predators. I've said it a lot to her before, but it's different seeing it.

Matthew Little said...

Tood Starnes wouldn't know the truth if it bit him in the ....well, you know where.

That said, the thing that especially galls me about the whole religious liberty cudgel is that the SoCons' (i.e. Social Conservatives) must love gambling on the idea that the public, most of whom are probably not very knowledgeable about the Constitution, would be willing to trade equality before the law in exchange for religious liberty and as you and others have well put it, are willing to lie to do so.

David Hart said...

The effect of these bills is to provide an affirmative defense to charges of discrimination. This would have the intended effect of nullifying non-discrimination ordinances in Atlanta and other locales.