Bryan Fischer outs MS trans man, incites harassment and violence

On this one I'll have to admit that I'm guilty as well.  While I'm usually not someone who ignores any anti-LGBT commentator who holds some semblance of a prominent position with a major conservative organization, when I saw the American Family Association's issues analyst, Bryan Fischer, going on about a couple in Mississippi committing "biological fraud," I couldn't be bothered to see what kind of nonsense he was on about on this given day.  There's so much from that guy and his employer—who can possibly keep up?

Turns out, I should have paid more attention.  Bryan's rant, in this case, actually outed someone and subjected this person to real world harassment. And it demonstrates the very real harms that can and do come when anti-LGBT commentators play political sporting games with our lives and families.

First, here's the audio clip, which aired on Fischer's AFA Radio show this week.  It involves a perfectly valid marriage between a Mississippi couple, Nick and Jessica, which Fischer has taken it upon himself to make into a public debate.  The reason?  Nick is trans, so Fischer insists that makes it a "fraudulent" marriage between two lesbians. Fischer was "alerted" to this marriage by way of a Mississippi pastor, and a cousin of Nick's wife, Robbie Rikard:

SEE FULL Video Telecast Here: Two lesbians commit biological fraud, get married in Mississippi [Vimeo]

In addition to his radio show, Fischer then went on to contribute a post to the American Family Association's blog and other conservative websites (BarbWire, Renew America, etc.):

If there is any one thing the Mississippi constitution flatly and emphatically prohibits, it is a "marriage" between two lesbians. When the issue was on the ballot in 2004, 86 percent of voters in the Magnolia State pulled the lever for natural marriage.

Two lesbians getting married could not possibly be more illegal and unconstitutional anywhere in the United States than in Mississippi.

So how did lesbians NLF (initials used to shield their identity) and JRW get married last week in Mississippi and get an official marriage license to proudly post on 


Natalie does not need to be enabled in this self-destructive path, she needs to be helped. Given the exceptionally high suicide rate among transgenders, she needs the kind of therapy that will help her reconcile her psychological identity with her biological one. She needs the kind of help that will enable her to leave the lesbian/transgender lifestyle altogether. Simple human compassion calls for nothing less.

But Natalie (she now goes by ["Nick"]) was able to hoodwink Mississippians by pretending to be a man. She went to a doctor and asked to be put on hormone treatments. He gave her a shot, wrote a letter on her behalf, and she got a court order requiring the drivers' license bureau to issue her a license identifying her as a male. She got the license on June 16, 2014, and got "married" two months later, on September 18, to another woman.


This clearly is not a "marriage" that is permissible in Mississippi. State authorities, including the governor and attorney general, should immediately step in and invalidate this license.

And Mississippi's policy on transgenderism, if it permits this grotesque caricature of marriage, must be immediately changed.

FULL: Lesbians commit biological fraud, get 'married' in Mississippi [AFA]

Notice how Fischer sais in his written commentary that he's shielding the identity if "NLF" and "JRW."  Yeah, well, the thing about that?  On the telecast of his radio show, Fischer displayed the marriage license for all to see (and encouraged listeners with video capabilities to take a look), with the spouses' names fully visible.  Here's the screen cap:

Apparently, Pastor Robbie RIkard couldn't keep his reaction to his cousin within the family, and so called up Bryan and the AFA, who then outed them to the wider community. It is a fact that Rikard and Fischer outed Nick Fulgham as trans.  This was not something Nick sought, and according to Nick, the incident has led to a whole host of harassment:

Since this video has aired, and gone viral, my family and I have been overwhelmed with harassing phone calls, texts, Facebook messages etc. threatening messages, even vehicles driving by my house honking car horns. I cannot go to work, for this has bombarded my job. My wife and I have 3 small children, and we are fearful of what may happen due to this.

Nick's experience is in direct reaction to Fischer's work with the AFA.  This "story" would not exist without Bryan's radio show and printed platforms.  Any harassment Nick and his wife receive is 100% linked to the American Family Association's issues analyst.

But would Bryan Fischer ever stop to question what his attacks and outings actually mean for the people—and often vulnerable people—who he makes the subject of his political hits?  No, surely not.  It's just another day at the coal mines for him.  This is another chance for him to score some points against his political opposition.  There is little to no concern for the actual human beings, their tangible marriage, and whatever fallout they might experience from being quite forcibly yanked into the public eye for simply choosing to live their lives in accordance with their love, their legally-recognized identities, and the male/female civil marriage laws of the state of Mississippi.

And that's why I began this post with a warning about writing off these folks as being too out there for our time or concern.  Yes, the rhetoric is often so outlandish that it is easy to dismiss as a caricature of actual political commentary.  And no, none of us really want to take the time to keep pushing back against this stuff.  But there is still a lot of a fight left, and there are still a lot of commentators out there who are willing to throw LGBT lives onto whatever coals they think might spark a counterrevolution.  It's a dangerous game.