"Put gays to death" may have been a hack. This isn't.

The Minnesota for Marriage campaign is claiming that their message on Facebook saying gays should be “put to death” was the result of a hack, but whether or not that’s the case, their messaging elsewhere has been just as hostile and ridiculous. On the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage site, which is linked from Minnesota for Marriage and run by the Minnesota Family Council, several sermons openly and shamelessly describe gay people as the enemy of God himself.

Jim Garlow claims that “Satan is obsessed in destroying marriage, the coming together” of “male and female”. Kenyn Cureton absurdly compares the rise of gay marriage to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” demolishing a house, and describes homosexuality as “open rebellion against the divine pattern” and a “deceptive perversion”. He later parallels studies by gay researchers to “Joseph Goebel’s Nazi philosophy of propaganda” and says gays are “lost people trapped in Satan’s snare” who “find themselves as slaves” for trying to “achieve freedom from the so-called shackles of biblical morality and traditional institutions”. And John Piper states that “the first way to honor marriage in our day is not to confuse it with the abomination of homosexual or lesbian partnerships.”

So of course Minnesota for Marriage doesn’t want us put to death – they “strongly believe that people are entitled to love whomever they choose”, after all. They just think our love is an abomination and a perversion, and we’re “slaves to sin”, lost, rebelling against God, dupes of Satan, and a lot like Nazis. This is coming from their own website.

By the way, the Minnesota Family Council previously hosted documents accusing gay people of pedophilia, bestiality, and “ingesting urine and feces”.

"Put gays to death" may have been a hack. This isn't.

“Put gays to death” may have been a hack. This isn’t.

The Minnesota for Marriage campaign is claiming that their message on Facebook saying gays should be “put to death” was the result of a hack, but whether or not that’s the case, their messaging elsewhere has been just as hostile and ridiculous. On the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage site, which is linked from Minnesota for Marriage and run by the Minnesota Family Council, several sermons openly and shamelessly describe gay people as the enemy of God himself.

Jim Garlow claims that “Satan is obsessed in destroying marriage, the coming together” of “male and female”. Kenyn Cureton absurdly compares the rise of gay marriage to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” demolishing a house, and describes homosexuality as “open rebellion against the divine pattern” and a “deceptive perversion”. He later parallels studies by gay researchers to “Joseph Goebel’s Nazi philosophy of propaganda” and says gays are “lost people trapped in Satan’s snare” who “find themselves as slaves” for trying to “achieve freedom from the so-called shackles of biblical morality and traditional institutions”. And John Piper states that “the first way to honor marriage in our day is not to confuse it with the abomination of homosexual or lesbian partnerships.”

So of course Minnesota for Marriage doesn’t want us put to death – they “strongly believe that people are entitled to love whomever they choose”, after all. They just think our love is an abomination and a perversion, and we’re “slaves to sin”, lost, rebelling against God, dupes of Satan, and a lot like Nazis. This is coming from their own website.

By the way, the Minnesota Family Council previously hosted documents accusing gay people of pedophilia, bestiality, and “ingesting urine and feces”.

“Put gays to death” may have been a hack. This isn’t.

Minnesota anti-gay-marriage campaign goes full Leviticus

See update below.

Professional homophobes just can’t stop getting themselves in trouble with Leviticus 20:13, the infamous Old Testament verse that prescribes the death penalty for gay sex. For some reason, they can’t avoid citing a passage that almost literally says “death to gays”, with no regard for the fact that this would be quite an ineffective public face for their movement if they have any interest in attracting wider support from everyday citizens.

The latest ones to step in it? Minnesota for Marriage, Minnesota’s official campaign to double-ban gay marriage, which is already prohibited. Nine hours ago, they posted this on their Facebook page:

“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

~Leviticus 20:13

Jeremy Hooper later captured them telling other users “read your Bible” and “No one can deny the Word of God”, before deleting their own comments some time afterward.

This is a rather puzzling move for a campaign that’s supposedly for a constitutional amendment against marriage equality. Where does killing gays enter into that? Is their current campaign just one part of a broader initiative? If they’re going to go around saying gay people should be “put to death” as though the Bible should have some bearing on civil law, I think they need to explain exactly what it is they’re getting at. Until then, make sure everyone knows: Minnesota for Marriage said gay people should be put to death.

Minnesota for Marriage said gay people should be put to death.

Minnesota for Marriage said gay people should be put to death.

So let’s demand some answers.

(via Jeremy Hooper/Good As You)

Update: Minnesota for Marriage now claims that they were the victim of a hacking:

Good Morning – Last night our Deputy Campaign Manager, Andy Parrish’s personal email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts were hacked by an individual who posted the Leviticus verse below. We are currently working with Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Apple to see who hacked Andy’s account and who posted this message. Clearly we would never advocate for anyone to be put to death – We strongly believe that people are entitled to love whomever they choose, but they are not entitled to redefine marriage for all of society.

However, the Leviticus message is still on their Facebook page at this time. It wouldn’t be surprising if this was just a case of regret. Claiming gays should be put to death is not a new or unexpected thing coming from Christian homophobes.

Minnesota anti-gay-marriage campaign goes full Leviticus

Clarify something for me, Texas GOP

The Texas Republican Party’s 2012 platform reads:

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.

This may seem pretty straightforward, in that their obvious intention was “no gays allowed”, but it’s actually not that simple. What defines a “natural man” and a “natural woman” for the purposes of marriage? Everyone is “natural”, after all, but as far as these things go, this is one of the slights that’s so common it barely stings anymore. Do they mean someone who was assigned male, or female, at birth? Or do they mean cis men and cis women only?

Their platform document (PDF) makes no explicit reference to trans people. Given their insistence that “natural” men and women are the only ones eligible for marriage, how do they feel about trans people getting married? Do they support allowing trans people to change their legal gender? If not, are they comfortable with the idea of same-sex couples where one partner is trans being allowed to marry, since they’re still legally considered a “natural” man or woman? And where does this leave intersex people?

Does the Texas Republican Party even know what “intersex” means? Or “cisgender”, for that matter?

Clarify something for me, Texas GOP

Lazy pseudo-criticism of abortion

In an op-ed for the New York Times, former news anchor Campbell Brown has some advice for Planned Parenthood:

Once again, Planned Parenthood is potentially making an enemy of someone who has failed to pass its purity test. It’s gotten to the point where, in this election cycle, the group’s political arm (while proudly claiming to be nonpartisan) has not endorsed or directly given money to a single Republican. As a person who believes abortions should be safe, legal and rare, I support many of Planned Parenthood’s goals. But the militancy must go. Demanding a perfect record from candidates it supports has already left Planned Parenthood marginalized. So does an attitude that doesn’t ever seem to take into account that abortion is a morally complicated matter or that those on the anti-abortion side are often decent and well-intentioned people.

Putting aside Brown’s ideas about what would be the most pragmatic way for Planned Parenthood to build political support, the claim that they need to “take into account that abortion is a morally complicated matter” is puzzling, to say the least. Descriptively speaking, yes, it’s “morally complicated” – lots of people have different and conflicting views on abortion. What else is new? Normatively speaking, “abortion” as a whole is certainly morally complicated, but only because it encompasses a wide variety of acts.

Among these, some appear to be morally questionable, such as late-term abortion of viable fetuses when no one’s health is at risk. But others, such as earlier-term abortions for any reason, are generally considered acceptable by almost everyone – even the most vocal opponents of elective abortion. While many of them will say that the tiniest embryo is no different from a newborn, they definitely don’t act like they believe millions of children are being slaughtered at abortion clinics every year. At most, their church’s youth group will go on a road trip to the capital once a year and put duct tape on their mouths to protest what they purportedly believe is tantamount to another Holocaust. Doesn’t that just scream sincerity?

Those who do act on this belief, and kill or injure real people in the process, are universally condemned by the wider anti-abortion movement. Paul Jennings Hill fell on the wrong side of this question when he killed a doctor and his bodyguard, but he had quite a bit to say to those who call abortion murder while doing very little to stop it. Consider that if Dr. George Tiller had instead been a serial murderer of children and was shot by an ordinary citizen to prevent him from killing his next victim, people who oppose abortion likely wouldn’t see anything objectionable about this. They would not protest that he should only have been stopped through “peaceful, legal means”. Many of them characterize the actions of abortion doctors as murder, but are unwilling to follow this principle to its uncomfortable conclusion. The belief that abortion is a kind of murder does not accord with or explain their behavior. (The desire to control women does.)

So let’s not be fooled by the idea that abortion is “morally complicated”. Almost all of the time, it’s really not, and just because people may disagree about it, that doesn’t mean their arguments are equally compelling or that the ethical acceptability of abortion is actually unclear. Merely having lengthy and intricate debates about it does not make it complicated. Casting aspersions on abortion by simply making reference to its supposed moral complexity, while failing to explore, explain or endorse any specific arguments about it, is just a way of dodging accountability for your insinuation that abortion is unethical.

But regardless of the moral status of abortion, what does Brown expect Planned Parenthood to do about this? They aren’t in the philosophy business. Patients don’t go there for a crash course in applied ethics or a sermon on moral theology. They provide medical services, and that’s why people come to them. To whose advantage is it for Planned Parenthood themselves to state openly that the abortion services they provide may be immoral? Certainly not Planned Parenthood. But for the country’s largest abortion provider to describe its own work as morally ambiguous is exactly what the anti-abortion movement wants.

The purpose of Planned Parenthood is to offer reproductive health services, and to maintain its viability as an organization so it can continue to fulfill that mission. If a certain strategy helps or hinders them, then it should be examined, but Brown has given no explanation of how recognizing the alleged moral complications of abortion would advance Planned Parenthood’s goals. And however decent they may be, how have the “good intentions” of abortion opponents ever assisted Planned Parenthood in any meaningful way?

Lazy pseudo-criticism of abortion

Egypt's crafty language on gay rights

Check out the excuse the Egyptian delegation at the UN came up with to dismiss gay rights:

“Finally, concerning the highly controversial notion of sexual orientation, we can only reiterate that it is not part of the universally recognized human rights,” said the Egyptian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council.

We’re going to deny the legitimacy of gay rights, so that means it’s not universally recognized. And since it’s not universally recognized, we’re going to deny its legitimacy. See how that works?

Egypt's crafty language on gay rights

Egypt’s crafty language on gay rights

Check out the excuse the Egyptian delegation at the UN came up with to dismiss gay rights:

“Finally, concerning the highly controversial notion of sexual orientation, we can only reiterate that it is not part of the universally recognized human rights,” said the Egyptian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council.

We’re going to deny the legitimacy of gay rights, so that means it’s not universally recognized. And since it’s not universally recognized, we’re going to deny its legitimacy. See how that works?

Egypt’s crafty language on gay rights