Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011 Page: 18 of 48
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Reaching industrial-strength level of crazy
As right-wing anti-LGBT rhetoric
gets further 'out there,' we must
step up to counter it
I guess it wasn't enough that the right-wing
crazies tried to equate homosexuality with
pedophilia, now they have come up with the
argument that giving LGBT people equal rights
is an assault on freedom of speech and freedom
Funny I never remember asking anyone to
change their religion or to stop speaking, no mat-
ter how crazy they are.
I hold freedom of speech very near and dear
to my heart. In fact it is one: of my core values.
And religious freedom? Well you have the
right to preach and believe anything you want,
until you begin advocating violence against other
That is where the whole issue of LGBT rights
breaks down for the far right. If they are not
"free" to advocate outright physical assaults on
LGBT Americans, they somehow feel it is im-
pinging on their freedom.
Does this sound a lot like the anti-abortion
crowd who advocate murdering doctors and
blowing up clinics? Though they would be the
first to deny it, they are cut from the same cloth.
Funny how these same folks are among the
first to point fingers at all Muslims and cry "Ter-
rorists!" In fact our friend from north of the bor-
der, Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma, has actually
said that LGBT people are more dangerous than
I really see all this as another attempt to re-
frame the issue of LGBT rights by the right wing.
They know that opinions in America are chang-
ing, and as a recent poll showed, even here in
Texas an overwhelming majority of
registered voters support expanded
civil rights for LGBT Texans.
It is a rising tide and it scares them,
and so they crank up the rhetoric.
Bryan Fischer, a mouthpiece of
the American Family Association
drove the point home with this gem
delivered at the recent AFA-spon-
sored Values Voters. Summit, at-
tended by all of the main Republican
"I believe we need a president
who understands that just as Islam
represents the greatest long-range threat to our
liberty, so the homosexual agenda represents the
greatest immediate threat to every freedom and
right that is enshrined in the First Amendment.
It's a particular threat to religious liberty... !'
Now, if you have trouble understanding this
strange equation, "LGBT rights = no religious lib-
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association
erty," then let me explain the twisted logic.
The far right believes:
• We are a Christian nation, but only the fun-
damentalist, fire-breathing born-again variety of
• "Free speech" means "the right to attack,
abuse and in general deny rights to anyone other
than predominately white Christian Americans."
(See above for definition of "Christ-
• Limiting the ability to discrimi-
nate against LGBT people, particu-
larly in areas that involve legal
representation and equal rights, is a
limit on free speech.
• Granting LGBT people equal
legal rights "will end Western Civi-
lization." (That is a quote from Lib-
erty Council's Mat Staver.)
And so with this kind of logic it's
easy to see how we LGBT folks are
such dangerous threats.
Now, take it a few steps further — which
Bryan Fischer is more than willing to do — and
go after the recent "don't ask, don't tell" repeal.
Fischer 's vivid imagination comes up with this
"And so, I'm predicting that things are about
to get very ugly in the United States military for
people of faith. We are going to see principle-dri-
ven officers, one after another, are going to be-
come Victims of systematic hate crimes. This is
going to be a pogrom; this is going to be virtual
genocide, military genocide, career genocide for
people of faith in the military, perpetrated by the
Now we have indeed reached the level of "in-
dustrial-strength crazy," and it's time we take a
stand against it.
First of all, the idea that the American Family
Association (a recognized hate group) can actu-
ally somehow have a lock on what it means to be
"people of faith" is beyond laughable. It's time
liberal, progressive Christians came out of the:
closet and began reclaiming the word "Christ-
ian," before it is too late.
Secondly, the idea that all the major candidates
for the GOP presidential race showed up at an
event staged by a hate group should put to bed
forever the idea that the Republican Party is a big
tent, unless that tent is for a fundamentalist re-
Third, it's time we realized that not only are
these folks nutty, they are dangerous, and though
it is easy to laugh at them, We need to take them
To do otherwise is just plain crazy. ■
Hardy Haberman isalotigtimelocal LGBT activist
and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Al-
liance. His blogis at DungeonDian/.blogspot.com.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, October 14, 2011, newspaper, October 14, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239189/m1/18/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.