Toward the end of a lengthy exchange in which she admitted that she believes openly and actively gay people "efface human dignity, undermine human flourishing, harm human bodies, and corrupt love between men and men and between women and women" yet denied that she holds animus in her heart, a seemingly exhausted and exasperated public school teacher who had been going back and forth with Illinois activist Laurie Higgins did what more people should do. Namely, he instructed Ms. Higgins to examine her GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project profile and see if she can look at those comments and still defend her self-determined status as a lover and not a fighter.
In the email that Ms. Higgins publicly posted to the site of her employer, the Illinois Family Institute, the aforementioned teacher writes to the anti-LGBT researcher:
Now, since you brought up the vile terms directed at you I have to ask. Are the statements made by you, as quoted on the [GLAAD] Accountability Project, truly yours? I assume you have accessed this site and read these comments. Others are equally disturbing. If you have not please check this out and let me know if those are your words. Again, there is a tremendous disconnect between what you say to me and what I see printed there and this is what I find with so many of the anti-homosexual and anti-gay marriage proponents. If those words are yours you would never say some of that stuff in front a national television audience let alone a group of kids…even your kids’ gay friends. You don’t even say such stuff in your e-mail to parents. If those are not your words than ignore my concern but if they are then you should not be surprised that some might find a similar vile form of expression. [SOURCE: IFI]
It was a good move by this teacher. In five prior exchanges, the reliably verbose Higgins spun and justified and tried to "explain" her work in more words than are necessary. But really, all one needs to do is look at the IFI researcher's CAP profile, which is truly among the worst. It reads:
-- Cultural Analyst for the Illinois Family Institute
-- Refers to homosexuality as "a disordering of the sexual impulse"
-- Equates defeating "evil" LGBT rights movement with defeating slavery and Naziism
-- Says people must speak out against "deviant" gays: "volitional homosexual behavior is deviant, immoral behavior regardless of its etiology. That moral claim is not only a legitimate but also a necessary moral claim to make publicly. And we should be making it with at least the same frequency, fervor, clarity, and tenacity with which others are making the claim that volitional homosexual acts are moral and good."
-- Refers to homosexuality as "destructive foolishness," right after she equates it with child sacrifice
-- Writes of the Christian's supposed call: "When I think about the evil done to children by teachers who tell them that homosexuality is deserving of respect and affirmation, I become angry, and I desperately want others to experience the righteous anger that should well up in decent people who see young children taught that evil is good. We do not embody the love of Christ when we remain silent while body and soul-destroying lies are being affirmed to and in children, teens, and adults." … "Our depraved, carrion-devouring culture swoops down and offers them the bleakly deterministic lie that they were born homosexual. They are told that acting on homosexual impulses is a moral good. They are told that refusal to act on such impulses is an act of futility that will result in utterly unfulfilled, lonely lives. And they are told that anyone who dissents from those claims hates them."
-- Claims: "Incestuous relations between consenting adults is no more depraved and perverse than sexual relations between two men or two women, which we now celebrate in our streets and our public schools."
-- Insists marriage equality will lead to incestuous and polygamous marriage
-- Says of her fight: "We must courageously and publicly state that homosexual behavior is profoundly immoral, perverse, anti-family behavior. No one who publicly affirms homosexuality as an immutable, morally defensible identity is fit to oversee a committee dedicated to youth and family. The belief that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality is a subversive, ahistorical, unproven, and destructive claim that is not the right of our government to affirm.”
-- Tells parents to move their children to another classroom if their teacher is too pro-LGBT: ""Email all your children’s teachers now, telling them that under no circumstance is your child to be exposed to any resources or activities that address homosexuality or gender confusion, including through “bullying prevention” activities or sex ed. Tell them that you will be addressing those topics at home in a way that honors your beliefs and respects the dignity of all persons–which public school resources do not. Ask them if they agree to honor your request. If they tell you that they will be exposing students to material on homosexuality and gender confusion, you can either ask for a teacher reassignment, ask for prior notification so you can opt your child out of class on the days when such material is presented, or seek to homeschool your child for just that class (e.g. health)."
-- Pushes claim that same-sex parenting is child abuse
-- Admits: "I think homosexual acts efface human dignity, undermine human flourishing, harm human bodies, and corrupt love between men and men and between women and women."
-- Once compared the silence of church leaders on homosexuality to the silence in the face of Nazism: "What is alarming about the account of the German Evangelical Church's reprehensible failure [in combating Hitler] is its similarity to the ongoing disheartening story of the contemporary American church's failure to respond appropriately to the spread of radical, heretical, destructive views of homosexuality. Don't we today see church leaders self-censoring out of fear of losing their positions or their church members? Don't we see churches criticizing those who boldly confront the efforts of homosexual activists to propagandize children and undermine the church's teaching on homosexuality? Aren't the calls of the capitulating German Christians for "a more reasonable tone" and a commitment to "honor different views" exactly like the calls of today's church to be tolerant and honor "diversity"? Don't pastors justify their silence by claiming they fear losing their tax-exempt status (i.e. government assistance)? Don't they rationalize inaction by claiming that speaking out will prevent them from saving souls? What is even more reprehensible in America, however, is that church leaders don't currently face loss of livelihood, imprisonment, exile, or death, as they did in Germany, and yet they remain silent. The church's failure to respond adequately to the relentless and ubiquitous promulgation of profoundly sinful ideas reveals an unbiblical doubt in the sovereignty of God; an unconscionable refusal to protect children; a willful ignorance of history; and a selfish unwillingness to experience the persecution and hatred that God has promised the followers of Christ that we will experience and that we should consider joy."
-- Says of pro-LGBT children's books: "Humans were quite obviously created anatomically and biologically as heterosexual beings. Using any objective criteria, all humans are heterosexual. There exists no argument about the morality of heterosexual acts per se, so the numbers of books in a library that depict heterosexuality positively is irrelevant to any discussion of the appropriateness of including a book that depicts homosexuality positively. Publicly funded schools have no right to make available to young children ideas and images that many believe are profoundly immoral."
-- Compares measures designed to prevent LGBT bullying to theoretical proposals that would protect promiscuous girls, incestuous couples, or polyamorists
-- Joins with the equally hostile Linda Harvey in annual protests against the pro-equality/anti-bullying Day of Silence
-- Says of President Obama's linking of sexual orientation to race: "A more sound analogy would compare homosexuality to polyamory or pedophilia"
-- Says Boy Scouts should deny gays because gays "demonstrate a profound disrespect for God and for themselves"
-- Says it's unfortunate that schools are hiring gay teachers: "Although schools are, unfortunately, already hiring teachers in homosexual relationships..."
Laurie Higgins [GLAAD CAP]
It's all very direct stuff that needs no explanation. This is what makes the Commentator Accountability Project so effective. The opposition voices love to act as if there is some deeply embedded loophole that we LGBT people are incapable of understanding—one that allows them to say awful things and still claim the nice, sweet, loving, moral high ground. But with CAP, GLAAD puts the verbatim (and directly sourced) comments out there and lets them speak for themselves. The commentators can stand by them or they can repudiate them, but they cannot sidestep or deny what is so clearly on the record.
For her part, Higgins responds by saying that she assumes the quotes are all accurate, that her words are always publicly available, and that "[t]here is nothing that I say in my articles that I wouldn’t say to my kids’ friends if they raised the issue." So until we hear otherwise, we assume that Ms. Higgins stands by all of it. That's really good for us to know, considering Illinois will soon be back in the bright spotlight when the state again takes up the marriage equality bill. It will be instructive for us (and especially the local media) to know that the chief analyst at the state's chief opposition group thinks same-sex parents are similar to child abusers, that the mere hiring of gay teachers is "unfortunate," or that homosexuality is on the same moral playing field as pedophilia. This (as well as the rhetoric in the CAP profile of IFI president David Smith) is undeniable animus and proof positive that the Illinois opposition works from a place that goes well beyond marriage.
But it's not just the media, countering pundits, professional activists, or public figures who benefit from CAP. This teacher demonstrated the everyday applicability of the project. We all know that one of the most effective tools in countering the opposition is to present their own words right back to them. Here in our increasingly connected world, we can all play a part in this. We can all demand accountability!