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A Conservative Christian Speaks Out - For Gay Rights

by Kathy Baldock .
Thursday Dec 16, 2010

In December 2010, the Family Research Council (FRC) was placed on Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) list of Hate Groups. In amongst 932 designated active hate groups in the United States, which include neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists, white nationalists, black separatists, racist skinheads, Holocaust deniers, neo-Confederates, anti-immigrationists -- and, now anti-gay groups -- there is listed the Family Research Council.

Eighteen of SPLC's Hate Groups are anti-gay. For absolute clarity, deeming homosexuality as "unbiblical" will not earn an organization a spot on the Hate Groups list. But continuous dissemination of known falsehoods and the repeated, groundless demonizing of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people will score a group an uncoveted position on the list.

I listened to Tony Perkins, president of FRC, on Fox and Friends as he responded to the dishonor announced last week on being place on the SPLC's Hate Groups list. I boiled at his smiling "What? Me?" attitude.

Not Religion, But Actions, That Makes FRC a 'Hate Group'
No, Mr. Perkins, FRC is not on the list because you are a conservative group. Your actions have placed you there. No, Mr. Perkins, the left is not trying to shut down the debate or take away your freedom of religion.

GLBT people are fighting for what the mascot-version-God aside you says they deserve: equality. Religious straight conservatives (and I am one) will still be able to get married, have children, serve in the military and attend houses of worship of their choice. No one wants to strip us of any of those rights; they just want the same rights, not special rights, not more rights, not gay rights-the same rights.

Mr. Perkins, you drag God into your battle as an accomplice and, to me, that is even more despicable than your messages. You use God as your validation, saying you are fighting to protect His Judeo-Christian values. You and FRC deserve to be called dangerous and hateful; you and FRC have earned it.

FRC, regrettably, is not the only anti-gay group on the SPLC Hate List.

They are joined, most notably, by Abiding Truth, run by Scott Lively, American Family Association (AFA), Concerned Women for America (CWA) and National Organization for Marriage (NOM). All are dispensers of false accusations, myths and lies about GLBT people.

I have spent over five years as an active advocate/friend of the GLBT community, especially the gay/trans Christians and, over twenty five years as a devout follower of Jesus. I have feet in both the conservative Christian world and the GLBT world. I am in a unique position to assess the controversy. The lies about gay people really hurt in a deep spot in me. Lies that substantiate the "right" to discriminate.

Top 10 Anti-LGBT Lies Told by 'Christian' Groups
Here are the top ten myths and lies presented by FRC, CWA, AFA and NOM, (I won't even touch Scott Lively's ramblings here. Read the blogpost . He is widely agreed to be in the same special grouping with the Westboro Baptist Church). I follow each lie with a short commentary and link to where I have written about that topic in the past.

1. People make a choice to be gay.

If you know any/many GLBT people and you have listened to them, you would not entertain this statement as true. This is a pivotal statement used by anti-gay groups all the time time. It is simple and it is powerful.

Here is why: If being GLBT is a choice, then it is a conduct. Conduct is not protected by law. But a class of people, a status of people, is protected by law. If these conservative groups can get us to believe that being GLBT is a choice, then they can hope to withhold civil rights from gay/trans people. Again, conduct is not protected but classes of people are protected.

This house of cards and lies are starting to tumble down however. In the Supreme Court, a ruling was released on June 28, 2010, for Christian Legal Society (CLS) at University of California, Hastings School of Law v Martinez. CLS contented that they were discriminating against a behavior, the homosexuality of a perspective member, when they denied admission to the group. We are all clear that state money and property cannot be used to discriminate against a class of people, but CLS said this was about behavior.

In siding with Martinez, the Supreme Court decision called GLBT people a "class"; this is huge, huge. The Supreme Court has now designated GLBT people as a class, not a behavior, not a conduct. A group of people.

Forget all the myths and bigotry some groups will use to discriminate against GLBT people, the Supreme Court (and every recognized American medical, counseling and psychiatric group) understands that homosexuality/transgenderness is not a choice. They are a class or status of people. With that designation, equality will come.

I find it exceedingly sad that the state is leading the charge for social justice when God told His people over 2,700 years ago in the Book of Isaiah to "spend" themselves on justice issues. (Isaiah 58: 6-12) The courts are now leading the way to end this inequality.

It should have been Christians churches.

We have been here before on the issues of equality for women and Black Americans. God help us; Your people betrayed a mandate and used Your name to validate discrimination.

2. People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or had distant father/over bearing mother or some variation on bad parenting.

GLBT children are no more abused or subject to poor role models than heterosexual children. In fact, 15 to 25 five percent of all girls were sexually abused and 7to 15 percent of all boys.

Pretty sad statistic yet, there is no scientific evidence to link abuse and orientation. None. This myth has burdened parents of GLBT children with a guilt and shame that they somehow caused their children's orientation. Shame and blame. And, a lie.

3. Sexual orientation can be changed.

Reparative therapy has been rejected by all the established and reputable American medical, psychological, psychiatric and professional counseling organizations. The overwhelming majority of people that have "changed" have: chosen to be celibate, were bisexual and not exclusively homosexual, or opt to live a "straight" life to adhere to strong religious and social pressures.

Even the leader of the largest reparative therapy group in the world, Exodus, said just this week that he still is attracted to men. I would say, that if it were not for his paycheck, status and books, he would be more truthful.

I have two close friends who were leaders/founders of Exodus and they are transparent in telling the stories of the lies and lack of integrity in the Exodus-type message. I have personally interviewed both of them (Michael Bussee and Darlene Bogle), and this reparative sex industry is a sham and a money machine.

It does not work. I do not know one, not one person who has changed sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Not one. Have there been cases where some sexual abuse caused a skewed sexual view that was corrected? Sure. I would place that in the less than 1 percent realm.

Go to Beyond Ex-Gay and Box Turtle Bulletin for reparative therapy stories. The leaders of ex-gay ministries will never say you can change orientation; they appear to say that, but listen. They even know it is a lie.

4. Efforts to change someone's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual are not harmful nor unethical.

Oh really? Being GLBT is a status, not a behavior or "lifestyle" (this word drives me batty!). Constant pressure to change the core of a person is a violation of humanity and it is an abuse. Telling someone who is same-sex attracted that they must change who they are to be acceptable to family, society, God is harmful and unethical.

Ask an alcoholic or drug addict to get clean and you will see benefit. Ask an adulterer to stop cheating and you see benefit. Go on and on down the list of "bad behaviors" and encourage folks to eliminate them and you will see life and good.

Then apply this "you must change your orientation" attitude and dictate to a GLBT person, and you will see loneliness, depression, isolation and shame. I am sure people are well intentioned in wanting others to change and live "the good life" of heterosexuality. I could not change my orientation, yet, we ask others to change theirs. For our good. For their destruction.

Next: Lies About Psychology, Molestation, Religion



Comments

  • , 2010-12-16 17:13:31

    Great article and one everyone should read. The author is an amazing person who has done so much speaking out on behalf of the GLBT community.


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