Anti-LGBT Christian organizations are exploiting county clerks and peddling lies about marriage equality
In an essay published Friday at Huffington Post, Alvin McEwan of the blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters wrote about the network of far-right Christian legal organizations that are exploiting and manipulating county clerks who refuse to allow same-sex couples to marry.
“We are all being played for fools. The clerks who are pitifully stalling or outright refusing to marry couples (gay or heterosexual) under the guise of ‘religious freedom,’ and the LGBT community are all being manipulated and exploited,” McEwan said.
“We should be aiming a lot of our fire at the anti-gay organizations and personalities who are instigating this mess,” he went on. “Individuals like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer and organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, or the American Family Association want a resistance against marriage equality.”
These groups, he said, are trying to create a media circus around the fight for same-sex couples to marry, and in order to do so they are buoying up doomed efforts be local county clerks to flout the law.
“Via mass and social media, they create and repeat inane horror stories of persecution and false claims that gays want to destroy Christianity,” he said.
For instance, a story currently making the rounds of your conservative relatives’ Facebook pages and howling, all-caps emails in which a gay man is reportedly suing two publishers of Christian Bibles for $70 million due to the Bible’s depiction of LGBT people.
The story has a grain of truth, seven years ago, a man named Bradley LaShawn Foster filed a sprawling, hand-written lawsuit against two Bible publishers in Michigan federal court for causing him twenty years of emotional distress as a gay man.
The suit was dismissed in 2009 with no judgment. Foster lost his case and cannot refile.
Charles Topher at Addicting Info said, “Fowler’s hand written complaint and lack of resources prevented him from obtaining legal counsel, and from the beginning his case was doomed. Had his case gone to trial, he would certainly have still lost, as the publishing of any translation of the Bible is protected under the First Amendment. That doesn’t mean Fowler didn’t have some very valid points, he just didn’t have anyone to sue.”
For a detailed analysis of Foster’s suit, read Topher’s fascinating post.
However, there is not currently any federal court case against any Bible manufacturer that accuses publishers of emotional distress, nor any that Addicting Info could find requesting that Bibles be changed or edited, censored or rewritten in the name of LGBT rights.
Nonetheless, professional anti-LGBT organizations are using these types of stories to stoke resentment and create the impression that there is widespread resistance to U.S. marriage equality.
“It proves the point that the more things change, the more they remain the same,” wrote Holy Bullies’ McEwan. “When LGBTs had no or very little political power, anti-gay groups exploited fears and religious beliefs to keep the boot of oppression on our necks. Even though the LGBT community has amassed much political power over the years, the anti-gay propaganda playbook doesn’t change.”