More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
American Family Association's Bryan Fischer Calls for Criminalization of LGBT People
On August 29, Bryan Fischer, a spokesperson for the American Family Association (AFA), used his Focal Point radio show to call for the recriminalization of LGBT people in all 50 U. S. states. He lamented that many of the states’ anti-sodomy laws were taken off the books, starting in 1962. In 2003, the landmark Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court Case overturned the remaining laws that existed in 14 states. The AFA filed an amicus brief in support of Texas’s anti-sodomy law. When the law was overturned the AFA called the decision “tyranny.”
On his radio show, Bryan stated that since the country had anti-sodomy laws for a good portion of its history, that those laws should be put back in place.
“Both of the cases that went to the United States Supreme Court that dealt with the issue of whether states should criminalize sodomy, and of course they still ought to be able to do it, every state in the union criminalized sodomy until 1962 and then forty nine states until 1972, then they began to fall like dominoes. But by the time of the founding until the late 20th Century, homosexual activity was a felony offense in the United States of America, there is no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again, absolutely none.”
Instead of discussing the protections that are provided by marriage equality, workplace nondiscrimination, or stronger hate crime laws, Fischer is advocating for the arrest and punishment of regular Americans who are building loving relationships and taking care of and protecting their families and loved ones. His views are out of touch with mainstream America, even with those who struggle with how to accept LGBT people. He does not speak for anyone, except for his tiny constituency that is determined to target and denigrate the lives of LGBT Americans with anti-LGBT rhetoric.
His statements are further evidence why Brian Fischer should not be considered as a credible spokesperson in the discussion of LGBT equality in America. Any media outlet that gives voice to Fischer does a complete disservice to the story they are attempting to cover. His voice cannot be used in the name of “balance.” There is no balance for the arrest and punishment of average Americans who have done nothing wrong.
GLAAD calls on all media outlets that care about fair coverage to stop using Brian Fischer as a commenter or “expert.” His views do nothing to further the dialog about LGBT people in America. Instead, GLAAD would like to see more thoughtful and mainstream voices who can discuss the reality of LGBT people in America without advocating for criminalization.