Right upfront, let's be very clear about something: No one at GLAAD is intimidated by Robert Oscar Lopez' rhetoric. In fact, more than just about anyone whose words GLAAD examines through the Commentator Accountability Project (CAP), Mr. Lopez embodies the very reason for the project's existence.
GLAAD highlights the commentators own words because GLAAD believes shining a light on the shocking comments that might go hidden otherwise. In the meantime, GLAAD is going to make sure that we have more conversation about what the anti-LGBT movement is doing and saying in order to keep a "culture war" raging.
Which brings me back to Lopez. While some commentators, like Bryan Fischer or Scott Lively or various staffers at the Family Research Council, have certainly said worse things about LGBT people and have pushed an overall goal that culminates in complete suppression, Mr. Lopez fills a unique niche among the anti-LGBT commentariat. His claims are so hyperbolic and his words so oddly off-kilter that you have to wonder if perhaps he, a college professor who identifies as bisexual and grew up with a lesbian mom, is a double agent who has made inroads on the other side in hopes that he can drain the anti-LGBT movement of its last vestiges of pragmatism. I mean, just look at this stuff:
-- Directly compares gay parents to slaveowners: "Slavery is the buying and selling of children. In US history, people whose families weren't large enough to work their own land paid slave owners to breed their male and female slaves, then bought their babies and raised them, presumably as beloved members of their family. Gay couples are no better when they arrange such things, even if they lie to themselves and say it's for love. To love a child you have to love yourself and the other biological parent; it all goes hand in hand. Otherwise you're being selfish and abusive. You are selfish and abusive in the way you put forth fraudulent arguments to justify the sale of human chattel and give over to modern slavery in the name of gay liberation."
-- Writes of gay men and their sex lives: "I have often wondered if a very large percentage of gay men have chronic PTSD that one would expect of rape victims."
-- In open letter to a theoretical lesbian couple with a child, refers to same-sex parenting as "this crime": "Why engage in debate with me at all if you are going to limit our vocabulary to brainless platitudes like "my family counts," "my family exists," and "I am as good as you"? Do you plan to keep your daughter in this Orwellian state of dumbed-down doublespeak for her entire life, lest she suddenly realize that you deprived her of a dad and spent much of her childhood trying to deflect blame for this crime onto other people?" Adds: "Do you ever plan to apologize to the girl you are raising for violating her basic human rights, severing her from her father and denying her a father and controlling her for your own quest for validation?"
-- Equates same-sex adoption with "cultural genocide once used against blacks and Indians": "The gay community is now entirely allied to the cultural genocide practices once used against blacks and Indians, since they are determined to say that, in the words of Nancy Polikoff, genetics doesn't matter as long as an adoptive couple can sway the powers that be to award them children. It all feels new and shiny to the gay community, because to them it's a way to overcome past inequality. But they are repeating the same genocidal practices of the past."
-- Without any evidence, claims that the late Tyler Clementi probably "had liaisons with men who were older than eighteen and committing statutory rape."
-- Described the anti-bullying "It Gets Better" project as "expressly designed for delivery to vulnerable minors in a state of potential nervous breakdown;" added that the late Tyler Clementi's parents "need to step up and show true courage; rather than allow their son to be exploited by the very same subculture that actually caused his death, they need to take the LGBT movement to task."
-- Slurs same-sex parents as "slavers buying children from poor surrogate mums overseas": "The testimonials from happy children of same-sex couples are obviously handpicked and staged to maximize the value of propaganda, but a gullible populace won't ask what isn't being printed or broadcast. A gullible populace prefers ingesting whatever is printed or broadcast. 'Love' is a meaningless mantra, like 'nobody is really listening to your phone calls' or "we need drones for national security purposes" out of the mouth of Obama; but in a country where people are swayed by Obama's silky voice, why would people not be swayed by gay couples saying, 'we aren't slavers buying children from poor surrogate mums overseas, we love our kids'?
-- Claims the Human Rights Campaign "abets chattel slavery in the form of gestational surrogacy"
-- Claims Disney Channel show featuring lesbian parents is meant to "anesthetize us to cruelty"
-- Says of LGBT activists: "Dear God, these wacko LGBT full-body totalitarians don't know when to stop. They must control ALL forms of government record-keeping, ALL possible conversations between doctors and patients, ALL lessons in EVERY classroom, ALL jokes made in EVERY military barracks, ALL tweets, ALL florists and cake-bakers and photographers and....Dear God, they are taking over the whole world!!!! God help us."
-- Says neighbors should intervene in lesbian households "to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up": "Listen, lesbian moms out there -- cut the crap. You went out of your way to place helpless children into a fatherless home. You knew your household was going to be controversial. You shouldn't have created this situation in the first place. Now that you created it, we all have to make the best of it. Your loved ones and neighbors should be intervening in your household to make sure the kids don't turn out totally screwed up."
-- Claims gay people who use reproductive assistance are "re-pathologizing" homosexuality: "If it's normal to engage in homosexual relationships then you can't justify using sperm banks or surrogacy to procreate, in cases where a gay man's testicles are functioning perfectly and a lesbian's uterus and eggs are fit for action. The fact that you're not interested in matching functioning testicles to a functioning uterus because you're gay is supposed to be NORMAL; if we start involving medical treatments for you, then you are reinforcing the notion that homosexuality is a defect. That undoes the whole de-pathologizing move of forty years ago."
-- On same-sex parenting: "Lesbian moms allow the sources of their children's sperm to run off and be unbothered, saying to themselves, 'those two dykes will care for my kid, shit, I don't owe the world anything.' Gay dads are just two pairs of men running off to live in a world of men, avoiding the hassles and PMS and demands of the women who bear them children. Both forms of same-sex parenting pass on more broken family ties, cause more erasure, sever children from their origins, and teach men to be fatherless and feckless all at once."
-- Accuses "the gay lobby" of "pushing internationally to bring back chattel slavery in the form of gestational surrogacy" and "carrying out a systematic cover-up of the community's global pederastic sex trade"
-- Claims "support for gay marriage means supporting the view of children as COMMODITIES FOR PURCHASE, otherwise known as SLAVES."
-- In downright nasty (and vulgar) take on Edie Windsor's forty year relationship, Lopez reduces her shared decades with her late wife as being all about sex: "So it goes with Edith Windsor and the woman she was having sex with. She went to the Supreme Court and demanded that American taxpayers reward her for having lesbian sex by issuing her a back check for $300,000+. This is what civil marriage is based on. The country pays you to have sex. When it's a man and a woman having sex, it makes sense -- we need men to have sex with women so that we procreate. Why do we need Edith Windsor to have sex with another lady? What is the public interest in their sex life? They have the freedom to engage in sex because after Lawrence v. Texas, anti-sodomy laws have been deemed unconstitutional. So it's not possible for the state to prevent Edith Windsor from jumping into the sack with another sexy senior female and using dildos, dental dams, frottage, or whatever stimulating activities might send them into erotic thrall. They are free to do that. Once they are legally married, however, and they want the state to pay them for this mutually gratifying sexual activity, they are now no longer free to stop having sex. If Edith and her partner were to keep their clothes on for twenty years and not even do anything erotic at all, her partner could sue for divorce and claim sexual neglect. They would have to go to divorce court. Judges would have to know facts and figures about how they serviced or didn't service each other's erogenous zones."
-- Equates same-sex parents with abusers: "So the kid is basically a victim of two gay adults, who are now (without realizing it) rubbing it in the kid's face. 'See! Everyone says what I did is okay! You have NO reason to complain!' This is the way abusers often treat the people they abuse: They send flowers and apologize, justify themselves, make their victims feel it's all in their heads, publicly force their victims to say they're happy and nothing's wrong...I hate seeing kids be exploited and placed in traumatically uncomfortable positions. I hate seeing them be crushed into submission with the emotional tricks of abusive adults."
-- Claims surrogacy, adoption, and other paths same-sex parents take toward parenting recall "many of the worst vices against humanity that have been committed in past eras"
-- Published fiction books bashing gay life
-- Blames America's LGBT rights movement for other nation's draconian bans on homosexuality: "If we do not clean up what's going on in our own backyard, we will only make the problem worse, increase the alarm overseas, and incite ever-increasing levels of antigay backlash. No, I am not excusing antigay backlash that goes this far -- but I am saying that we can't ignore what's happening at home because, in fact, the best way for us to help counteract the antigay backlash overseas is to reform our own gay lobby and inspire other nations with examples of a country that can find a reasonable middle ground of acceptance and support for homosexuals, rather than blatant antigay repression on one end, or the tyranny of LGBT social engineering on the other end."
-- Says "I think polygamy is far preferable to same-sex marriage because at least there is a father and a mother in a polygamous household, irrespective of how many additional fathers or mothers there might be."
ROBERT OSCAR LOPEZ [GLAAD CAP]
It's just weird, wacky, peculiar stuff. The attack lines are almost difficult to get mad at, seeing as how they seem too kooky to land with anyone other than the fringe. Then you remember that he literally equates same-sex parents with the forcible buying, selling, and captivity of human beings, and some semblance of anger returns.
Yet despite his penchant for equating same-sex parents with slaveowners and general over-the-top-iness, Mr. Lopez keeps booking really prominent anti-LGBT gigs. In addition to testifying in front of multiple state legislatures against marriage equality, Lopez joined an amicus brief dissuading the U.S. Supreme Court from siding with pro-equality proponents, lands commentary placements with several different conservative outlets, is routinely promoted by organizations like the National Organization For Marriage, and joins all kinds of rallies designed to stop LGBT rights. Which is why we have to follow his words.
But let's restate: shining a spotlight on his words does not mean trying to silence his words, and it certainly doesn't mean GLAAD is in some sort of battle with him.
I feel the need to restate these points because, on two separate occasions now, Mr. Lopez has wholly concocted public fights in which he jousts at (and not with) an imaginary version of GLAAD that simply does not exist. Let's examine.
In the latest round of the battle playing out within Mr. Lopez' own mind, he brings up an upcoming conference at which he is scheduled to speak. That conference, sponsored by a national anti-LGBT organization at Stanford University, is to feature conservative thinkers like Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis who, along with Lopez and a few other speakers, will make the case, at least in part, for LGBT inequality. It's not the smartest idea to bring on Lopez' odd form of engagement, in my view, as I believe that Lopez' truly bizarre rhetoric makes him a liability to the opposition's cause. But if the organizers want to book him, that is their right.
GLAAD has not yet said anything about this conference. GLAAD has not written so much as a tweet about the Stanford event. If someone writes me asking for information on the speakers, I would absolutely send them Mr. Lopez' CAP profile because I assume that all involved, from any perspective, would see it pertinent to know what this chosen speaker has chosen to speak. But there has not yet been any call to action, any press release, or any public comment from GLAAD.
But check this out. Writing in American Thinker, Lopez
The Stanford Anscombe Society organized an April conference designed around media strategies for defenders of traditional families. Since I have been internationally active in defending three children’s rights – (1) a child’s right to be born free, not bought or sold, (2) a child’s right to a mom and dad, and (3) a child’s right to connect with their origins – the organizers invited me to deliver a keynote on the first night of the conference.
A melee ensued, incited by queer students who spent little time thinking about rights #1 and #3 and immediately zeroed in on my advocacy for children’s rights to a mother and father. I have often looked at slavery as a parallel to the market for trafficked children and gametes, a market encouraged by gay parenting advocates. In accordance with the anti-intellectual press releases issued by GLAAD, festooned with historical ignorance and political hysteria, I was deemed anti-gay and my presence itself discriminatory
It's pretty funny for Mr. Lopez to call GLAAD's supposed press releases "anti-intellectual" since what they really are is anti-existent. Call me obtuse if you will, but I think lying about fake press releases is the truly anti-intellectual (and certainly historically errant) form of engagement here.
Lopez goes on to say:
In the end, GLAAD lost this one
As it turns out, I will be speaking at Stanford after all. (At least that's the current plan.) The Stanford administration had to back down after there was a pro-free-speech backlash in the press, and now they are cooperating with the Anscombe Society to make the event possible.
GLAAD seems to have sent out their bloggers and troublemakers to goad people in Palo Alto into taking on the Anscombe Society, with the goal of blocking me and Ryan Anderson from speaking. Like in the Phil Robertson case, I guess GLAAD thought they had strong enough connections that they could just snap their fingers, and careers would end, and silence would reign. They're not as powerful as they thought they were.
Again, some Stanford students probably sought and disseminated information on Lopez and used blog posts that GLAAD has (/I have) written about other speakers like Ryan Anderson or Kellie Fiedorek? And GLAAD may still say something about the Stanford conference. But as of now, this post that you are reading right now is the first time any GLAAD property has publicly weighed in on any of this.
But I'm actually happy that Mr. Lopez mentioned Duck Dynasty in his closing paragraph since that reminds me: this is not the first time Mr. Lopez has lied about GLAAD in print. Back during the Duck Dynasty brouhaha of late 2013, Mr. Lopez wrote a piece, again in American Thinker, in which he yet again concocted a supposed GLAAD action out of whole cloth. He wrote:
I won't hyperlink this, but if you go to GLAAD's website and seek out their "commentator accountability project," you will find my name. This is GLAAD's blacklist. Within hours of GLAAD's publication of my addition to the list, which amounts to an excommunication from polite society, an e-mail was sent to the president of my university, along with dozens of other high officials in California, with the announcement: ROBERT OSCAR LOPEZ PLACED ON GLAAD WATCH LIST.
The e-mail stated clearly that as a result of my being placed on this list, I would never get a direct interview in the United States. (Whoever "they" are, they made good on the threat, because when I was brought onto Al Jazeera, they made sure that I was the only one critical of gay adoption, versus two hosts and two other panelists who were for it, and the host cut my microphone.)
According to the press release sent to my university, any media outlet introducing me would be bound to introduce me as an "anti-gay activist" certified by GLAAD as a bigot. When I read the claims of this e-mail, I wondered if this would be true -- would media in the United States really introduce me by saying I was certified as "anti-gay" by GLAAD?
Well, the answer to that question remains mostly unanswered. Aside from that one fling on Al Jazeera, since GLAAD placed me on their blacklist, no secular media outlet has invited me on its show in the United States. In-depth interviews with me have been broadcast in Chile, Russia, France, Ireland, and a number of other nations. In the United States, Christian broadcasters like the American Family Association and Frank Sontag's "Faith and Reason" show in Los Angeles have interviewed me. And I'd been interviewed, prior to the GLAAD blacklisting, by Minnesota affiliates of NBC, CBS, Fox, and NPR, as well as a number of newspapers. Since GLAAD's blacklisting, none.
Prior to GLAAD's blacklisting, I had received calls from people at universities discussing their interest in having me come to campus and give speeches. Three were working with me to set up dates. Since GLAAD's blacklisting, none. Those who had discussed this with me said point-blank that their superiors did not want to create controversy.
That is the power of GLAAD. There are other people on the watch list -- Maggie Gallagher, Ryan Anderson, and Robert George, all of whom I respect and all of whom make regular appearances on television. When GLAAD excommunicates them, there might be some hurt feelings, but it isn't quite the fatwa that it was for me. These other traditionalist spokespeople have enjoyed some advantages: they are not part of the gay community themselves, and they belong to well-established conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation. So I surmise that for them, being blacklisted by GLAAD isn't really the end of the world.
Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie. GLAAD did not send either and email or a press release to Mr. Lopez university. I know people like to think of GLAAD as this operation of thousands, but the fact of the matter is that I am in daily contact with any person at GLAAD who would be tasked with sending out a press release or email of this sort (or would themselves be in contact with anyone else with the power to do so). IT. DIDN'T. HAPPEN. Maybe someone sent an email to his university to point out his CAP profile, but GLAAD did not.
He invalidates his own lie when he says that the non-GLAAD email referred to GLAAD CAP as a "watch list." No one at GLAAD would ever use this language to describe CAP because that's not what it is. No one knows what CAP is more than I do. I have been working on this project since its very germ of existence. The project has never been a call to keep anyone off the air but rather a demand that if/when these commentators do find their way to the media, the anchor or reporter hold the pundit accountable for his or her own words.
If Mr. Lopez feels that he is getting less bookings, well, in a word: DUH! In the short time that he has in the public eye, his public engagement has only gotten worse. The more we learn about him, the closer to the floor we find our jaws. I suspect that folks looking to book Mr. Lopez might feel the same way. When they search him, they very well might find his CAP profile and decide to go another direction—one less concerned with comparing loving LGBT families to the institution of slavery. But if that happens, that's on him, not GLAAD. Everything in his CAP profile came from his own lips or fingers (and in fact, most links point back to his own website). If Mr. Lopez is comfortable with his own chosen way of engagement and feels that his viewpoints make for credible punditry, then CAP is not a "blacklist"—it's a promotional tool!!
So let me close be stating one more time: No one at GLAAD is bothered by his rage. It's totally fine. Rage on, Robert. Remember to take breaths and drink plenty of fluids; one must stay both oxygenated and hydrated.
But attack things that GLAAD has actually said and done and not what you might wish GLAAD did. All of GLAAD's energy toward Robert Oscar Lopez revolves around documented truth—show the same courtesy, kiddo.