For those of us looking to find information to expose and combat the trend of "religious liberty" bills coming from the religious right and supporters in the wake of legal marriage equality, the Southern Poverty Law Center has come out with a kick ass report on the groups behind these bills (all of which should unfortunately be familiar to us lgbts) and their history of homophobia:
In recent years, the LGBT rights movement has witnessed a sea change in American attitudes toward the gay community and, along with it, a series of dramatic policy and legal victories — most notably marriage equality — that would have seemed unthinkable just a decade ago.
Yet, while the majority of Americans support LGBT rights, these gains have produced a strong backlash.The hardline religious-right groups that have long relied on the use of demonizing falsehoods to justify discrimination against LGBT people have not simply folded their tents and walked away.
Rather, they have used their large megaphone to create a dangerous new narrative that portrays Christians who object to homosexuality on biblical grounds as victims of religious persecution. This idea is particularly compelling to millions of evangelicals who see themselves and their values as being under siege in a rapidly changing society.
Across the country, these opponents of LGBT equality are working to persuade state legislatures to pass laws known as Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) — statutes that ostensibly allow individuals to deny goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of their religious beliefs.
. . . . The new RFRAs are being championed by extreme religious-right groups that — as these profiles reveal — want to reverse the recent progress toward equal protection under the law for the LGBT community. If they had their way, the country would return to the era when gay people remained in the closet and the government claimed the right to say what could go on between consenting adults in their bedrooms.
These groups are clever — and cynical.
They know that, as Americans have grown more accepting of LGBT people, they can no longer rely on discredited stereotypes to stymie the march toward full equality. So they have wrapped their bigotry in the cloak of religious freedom.
The public should not be fooled.
Get the full report (and you can even download for later reading) here.