Animus? Who, Us?

Anti-LGBT advocates are outraged. They simply cannot believe that Justice Anthony and the colleagues who joined him in his majority opinion on DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act) ably noted the obvious role that animus plays in denying marriage equality to same-sex couples. Both yesterday and today, some familiar voices have responded to the charge.

Let's start with our old pal Bryan Fischer. The American Family Association senior staffer dedicated his entire 6/26 radio show to the historic rulings. He spent much of this time in supposed shock that the Supreme Court could ever consider people who advocate against marriage equality to have any sort of anti-gay feelings on their heart. This would be the same Bryan Fischer who has said stuff like this:

-- On multiple occasions, called for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households

-- Suggests Boy Scouts (who he calls the "Boy Sodomizers of America") would be better off drowned in the sea than to allow gay scouts 

-- Claims: "The homosexual agenda represents the single greatest modern threat to freedom of religion and conscience.”

-- Claims homosexuality is a form of "domestic terrorism"


Let us move on to Matt Barber. The Liberty Counsel staffer and conservative pundit spent part of yesterday attacking Justice Kennedy for his read on what has motivated anti-LGBT laws. But this is the very same Matt Barber who has put things like this on the public record: 

-- Has said that gay male relationships constitute "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’” 

-- Says gay people "purchase kids" and treat them "like having little pets or something"

-- Routinely uses words like "purveyors of evil" or  "satanic" (1:19 in video clip) to refer to his political opponents


Then there was Tony Perkins, who is by far the most booked of all of the anti-LGBT commentators. In various media hits yesterday (and he did a bunch of them), Tony joined the "Can you believe they think we're anti-gay?" club. But of course those of us who monitor Tony Perkins know that he's about the most anti-LGBT of any mainstream media pundit working today:

-- Says about gay advocates: “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful"..."pawns" of the "enemy.” (See 1:30 mark.)

-- Says many gays have an "emptiness within them" (:55) because they are "operating outside of nature" (1:09)

-- Says that gay young people “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict; homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.

-- Says "it's a fact" that homosexuality leads to "eternal damnation"

-- Says gays and lesbians are "held captive by the enemy"

More? Sure, we can do more.

-- Equates LGBT pride with drunkedness and adultery: "The month of June is Gay Pride Month. Now, I have not yet seen where they have declared Adultery Pride Month, I have not seen where they have declared the Drunkenness Pride Month." 

-- Compares the "unfortunate experience" and "lifestyle choice" of homosexuality to that of drug abuse

-- Says marriage equality will be "the nail in coffin of marriage" and will "take society down with it"

-- Says Republican Senator Rob Portman should not support his gay son's "choices that are both harmful to [him] and to society as a whole"


Peter LaBarbera also got in the mix.  The vocal opponent of all things L, G, B, or T was outraged that the Supreme Court found animus on his heart.  Only thing?  Any of us who have spent even a day covering Peter during his past few decades of advocacy know that he is someone who wears animus like he's its billboard! Some of it: 

-- In 2011, said that “organized evil” and “homosexuality-embracing conservatives” are helping gay Americans drag “America into a cultural pit” and are even more harmful “to the cause of Truth than a thousand burly men in high heels strutting down Main Street.” 

-- Claimed that when President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocate for equal protections for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people abroad, they are “spitting in God’s eye.”

-- Says (23:53-24:19) "God detests homosexual practice and so we should expect that, since this is a sin movement, we should expect that they lie and are often nasty."

-- Says of homosexuality: "We must re-stigamtize it again in the culture"


(*Personal note: Peter took a screen cap from my wedding video, wrote the word "perversion" on it, and publicly posted it.  Animus? Yeah, I think so.)

Or what about the National Organization's Thomas Peters?

He said that it is "poisonous to our discourse" to cite improper animus as key motivation for anti-equality laws. But this is the same Thomas Peters who...

-- Calls marriage equality supporters "the forces of evil"

-- A supporter of so-called "ex-gay" therapy, Thomas has claimed "change happens" but the mainstream media just doesn't talk about it.  

-- Says the Catholic church cannot support pro-LGBT clubs because they "promote behaviors that hurt the human person like these clubs do"

-- When Google came out for marriage equality, wrote: "So much for not being evil"


This is the kind of stuff that is truly poisonous to our discourse!  Without these kinds of denigrations there would not even be a fight.  This animus is what the other side has used against us for generations, and the above five commentators (and countless others) have spend a lot of their time putting this stuff out there in hopes that their supporters will buy into it and rally against us.  We didn't put it out there—THEY DID!  They presumably said this truly vicious stuff about us and our families because they believe it and they want others to believe it too.  They could have gone any number of directions with their punditry, their careers, and their public engagement, but they made the choice to go this direction.  That's on them.  

No, they may not like being held to account for their own words. They cannot, however, fault us (or Justice Kennedy) for simply listening.