It really seems like the Family Research Council's staff is playing a public game to see how openly they can be about their true desires of "changing" gay people before mainstream media outlets start making that the definitive bullet point they use on any of the many occasions that a print or broadcast outlet chooses to book an FRC staffer as a pundit.
Take this latest from Peter Sprigg. We of course already know this FRC Senior Policy Fellow for his past comments saying he'd prefer to "export" gays or impose "criminal sanctions on gay behavior." But now, he admonishes an evangelical seminary for allowing the existence of LGBT students. In a piece regarding Fuller Theological Seminary's decision to allow a pro-LGBT group on campus, Sprigg tells the Associated Press:
Fuller is not acting in the students' best interests by sanctioning the group and should instead be teaching reorientation as the students' best option, said the Rev. Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization.
"It's possible to change any or all of these attractions," said Sprigg, a former Baptist pastor.
FULL ARTICLE: Fuller Theological Seminary's Acceptance Of LGBT Group, OneTable, Creates Ripples [AP via Huff Po]
He is saying it as a plain as day, and he's saying it to the most mainstream and widely read wire service out there. "We want to change gay people!" this senior staffer exclaims. Peter, much like his boss and everyone else who speaks for FRC, is telling the world that gay people are to be resisted. Not gay marriage, mind you. Not any LGBT rights policy. The FRC cause is rooted in animus toward homosexuality, and FRC staffers are pretty clear about what an FRC-guided world would look like for the millions of men and women who happen to LGBT.
As a side note: This is not a case of LGBT people versus Christianity, as people like Sprigg like to claim. Fuller is an evangelical Christian school. They are nothing that would be considered "pro-LGBT," but their actions have displayed much more tolerance than some of their sister schools. They have not denied the existence of LGBT students, equated being gay with racism, or banned LGBT students from meeting together. They have allowed a student-led organization to foster conversation on campus about LGBT issues. Last year, One Table, the student-led organization for LGBT students and allies curated a film festival that sparked dialog about Christian community and the LGBT community.
But Peter Sprigg isn't happy that this level of tolerance is being shown, and he'd rather see the school force students through "reorientation."
Yet the highly respected Face The Nation still books FRC president Tony Perkins and lets him speak as a mere conservative voice opposed to marriage. CNN still gives near-monthly commentary slots to Peter Sprigg. Top elected officials show up every year to speak at FRC's annual Values Voter Summit, pretending the whole thing is about policy and not any sort of personal animus toward any kind of people. It's as if we're supposed to all play this game of pretend and act like we don't know what we do, in fact, know. We're asked to isolate this one policy push or this one marriage ban into some sort of separate box and ignore the fact—THE FACT!—that this organization and everyone who speaks for it has an overreaching goal that culminates in the scientifically-discredited and exceedingly offensive "changing" of gay people.
I, for one, am not willing to pretend. When the AP asks Peter Sprigg what he thinks about an evangelical Christian school's decision to at the very least tolerate the reality of LGBT Christians and he responds by saying these LGBT Christians need a sexual "reorientation," I am not going to pretend he didn't say it. I think we are in a place where we are so used to hearing jaw-dropping things come from the religious right that we file these kinds of comments to a separate place in our mind, as if they do not exist in reality. But they do exist. IN REALITY!
Sure, Peter Sprigg, Tony Perkins, and the Family Research Council want to deny my nondiscrimination protections. Yes, they want to take away my legal marriage. Absolutely, they'd love to reinstate a military ban based around my sexual orientation and are itching to repeal hate crimes protections that aim to reduce LGBT-targeted incidents. But we have to stop acting like each of these things are compartmentalized and detached from the big picture truth: They fight all of our rights and protections because THEY DON'T WANT US TO BE LGBT. They don't believe we are or even can be truly LGBT. They think we are "problems" in need of "fixing" and they want to be the organization that reorientates, re-educates, and recreates society in their own, frighteningly hostile vision.
If that sounds crazy, it's because it truly, truly is. But I didn't put it out there—they did! I simply choose to believe that they mean what they say.