Craig James: Supporting marriage equality = Supporting Satan

Craig James

Craig James

Former New England Patriots running back and current Family Research Council employee Craig James spoke out against marriage equality this week — again — declaring that supporting marriage equality is equal to practicing Satanism, according to The Huffington Post.

Commenting after his former team — the Super Bowl Champs, by the way — and Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays joined 376 businesses and companies in calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down bans on same-sex marriage.

During an FRC radio program on Monday, March 9, James declared, “If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder. So, that’s Satan working on us.”

Yep. He said that. You can listen to it here at Right Wing Watch. And by the way, James is a Texan — one more reason that Texans who favor equality and fairness need to speak up and drown out the voices of hate that have been allowed to rule here in the Lone Star State for too long.

James was a football star at Stratford High School in Houston in the late 1970s, and in the early 1980s, he and fellow running back and future NFL star Eric Dickerson teamed up as “The Pony Express” to lead Southern Methodist University’s Mustangs to numerous victories. James’ star there was later somewhat tarnished when he admitted that he had received “insignificant gifts” as part of the scandal surrounding under-the-table payments to SMU players from the mid-1970s to 1986.

After a year in the USFL with the Washington Federals, James joined the Patriots as a running back. When injuries forced him to retire from football after the ’88 season, James started a career in radio and broadcasting, starting as an SMU game analyst before moving on to KDFW-TV and then ESPN.

James left ESPN in 2011 to run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat in the U.S. Senate when she decided not to run again. During the race, James was fired from Fox Sports Southwest because of anti-gay views he expressed in his campaign. Among other anti-gay comments, James said that being gay is a choice and that gay people will have to “”answer to the Lord for their actions,” according to the Houston Chronicle. He also chastised his opponent Tom Leppert, who had resigned as mayor of Dallas to run for the Senate, because Leppert had appeared in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Dallas’ LGBT Pride parade.

Public Policy Polling conducted polls that indicated Craig was becoming less and less popular the more people learned about him, and he eventually placed a distant fourth in the Republican Primary that year, with just 4 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz, another well-known anti-gay Texan (well, sort-of Texan), won and continues to oppose the godless LGBT hordes in Washington, most recently with a proposed constitutional amendment that would keep federal courts from prohibiting states from banning same-sex marriage.

James joined Family Research Council in 2014.

 

—  Tammye Nash

The wingnuts speak on SCOTUS decision not to hear marriage case appeals

On Monday, Oct. 6, the national LGBT community rejoiced and wedding bells began to ring in 11 new marriage equality states when the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would not hear appeals of circuit court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in five states.

But for the right wing faction of the U.S., that ringing wasn’t wedding bells, but a death knell.

bryan-fischer

Bryan Fischer

Perhaps one of the most outrageous declarations came from Bryan Fisher, “director of issue analysis” for the so-called American Family Association. Fischer called the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the marriage appeals “the Dred Scott of gay marriage” and said that marriage equality is “as morally bankrupt and indefensible as the institution of slavery. Slavery ate away at America’s soul, and homosexual marriage will do the same thing, It is a deviant and grotesque caricature of the real thing. For this sexual debauchery to be normalized by the highest court in the land is a sign of the nation plunging headlong into a bottomless moral abyss.”

Jeremy Hooper, special projects consultant for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said that sometimes the best way to rebut what someone says is to get out of the way and just let them keep talking. So let me step aside and let the wingnuts speak. …

Right Wing Watch  rounded up responses from other wingnuts, including the Liberty Counsel, which issued a press release denouncing the Supreme Court’s “decision to watch marriage burn to ashes,” and accusing the justices of “dereliction of duty.”

Liberty Council Founder and Chairman Matt Staver declared, “Everyone will be affected by same-sex marriage because it is an intolerant agenda that will directly collide with religious freedom.”

The Family Research Council predicted that “more and more people [will] lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage,” adding that the Supreme Court’s decision “will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage. Even more alarming, lower court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves. This judicially led effort to force same sex ‘marriage’ on people will have negative consequences for our republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law.”

FRC did not that the court’s rejection of the appeals “ensures that the debate over natural marriage will continue and the good news is that time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage.”

The National Organization for Marriage called for passage of a national marriage amendment: “…the only alternative to letting unelected judges impose their view of marriage on Americans across the country is to pursue a process that will allow the American people to decide for themselves what is marriage. It is critical not only to marriage but to the republican form of government in this country to amend the Constitution to reaffirm the meaning of marriage. We therefore call on the US Congress to move forward immediately to send a federal marriage amendment to the states for ratification.”

And Focus on the Family clamored that the decision will result in a “further expansion of threats to religious freedom.”

“Marriage has always been — and will always be — between a man and a woman. Ultimately, no court can change that truth,” Focus on the Family’s statement said. “So regardless of legal outcomes, we’ll continue to address the importance of one-man, one-woman marriage to families, society and especially for children who have a right to both a mother and a father. Our concern continues to be for children who deserve to grow up with both a mom and a dad, as well as for the religious freedom rights of people who strongly believe in God’s design for marriage and want to live consistently with those beliefs.”

Faith and Freedom Coalition called the decision a “miscarriage of justice” and warned that SCOTUS will “reap a political whirlwind.” And the Florida Family Policy Council’s John Stemberger warned that the court “risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy” by ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

Here’s a video of Bryan Fischer and his declaration of how SCOTUS imposed “sodomy-based marriage” on 11 states that voted against it.

—  Tammye Nash

Suspect in shooting at Family Research Council volunteered at LGBT center

The suspect in today’s shooting has been identified as 28-year-old Floyd Corkins II

The suspect who shot a security guard today inside the headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council worked as a volunteer at an LGBT community center in Washington, D.C., according to multiple reports.

The suspect, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins II, made a negative reference toward the Family Research Council’s work before opening fire after entering the lobby of the group’s headquarters at about 10:45 a.m. The suspect argued with the security guard before shooting him in the arm. The guard is in stable condition.

Even before it became known that the suspect was a volunteer at the center, a coalition of national LGBT groups responded by issuing a joint statement condemning the shooting. The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, meanwhile, blamed the shooting on the practice of labeling anti-gay groups as hate groups.

I’m sure there will be a lot of debate in the LGBT community over the next few days about how we should best respond to this senseless act of violence, but here’s my initial reaction: Yes, we have crazy people in the LGBT community, too. And in that regard, we truly are just like any other group.

—  John Wright

UT agrees to investigate professor’s flawed study that found children of gay parents are worse off

Mark Regnerus

The University of Texas at Austin is launching an investigation into a flawed parenting study that found children of straight couples have better lives.

Mark Regnerus of UT’s department of sociology and the Population Research Center conducted the study. Regnerus examined children living in stable, two-parent heterosexual households for his control group and analyzed a mixture of children raised by gays and lesbians, including those who had a parent in a same-sex relationship but didn’t live with that parent.

The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation funded the study. Both are known for their support of conservative causes. The Witherspoon Institute has ties to the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage and ultra-conservative Catholic groups like Opus Dei.

The study gained enormous negative backlash from the LGBT community, including groups like the Family Equality Council, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, after it was discovered that right-wing organizations helped fund the project.

UT’s investigation will determine whether the study lacked scientific integrity and whether Regnerus had unprofessional relationships and gained from the study’s backers.

—  Dallasvoice

WATCH: Anti-gay Congressman Louie Gohmert calls ENDA part of Obama’s ‘war on religion’

Louie Gohmert

Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert told a conservative radio show Tuesday that he thinks ENDA is a continuation of the Obama administration’s “war on religion.”

Gohmert spoke with Today’s Issues host Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president, saying the federal legislation that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is “a part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” Right Wing Watch reports. FRC has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A Senate committee began a hearing on ENDA on Tuesday.

Gohmert went on to criticize religious groups that accept homosexuality and also said that ENDA’s passage would require Christian schools to hire LGBT people, a misguided theory as religious institutions would be exempt from the bill. He said it would be “kind of tough to teach biblical principles in Romans 1 in a school if you are of the persuasion of being homosexual.”

From the video:

Perkins: Today, in the Senate they are having a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act…. What this would do is give special employment benefits and protections based upon their sexual behavior and orientation. What do you see as the outcome of this? I mean, are you concerned increasingly that this is a way to essentially punish religious freedom in the business environment, in the business sector?

Gohmert: It continues to be part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values. But of course this is one that even is extremely contrary to the Muslim religion as well. I mean, Islam, Judaism, although there are plenty of people in Judaism and Christianity who think despite the plumbing that God created, that as the Iowa Supreme Court said, there is no biological evidence of a preference for a man and a woman being married as opposed to a man and a man.

Watch the clip below.

—  Dallasvoice

San Antonio SBOE candidate who created 10-step plan to prevent GSAs thanks anti-gay hate group

David Williams

Texas State Board of Education candidate David Williams, a Republican running for the seat held by Democrat Michael Soto, has made public his view that gays can change their sexuality.

The buzz about Williams’ remarks started last week when the Texas Freedom Network reported that he had posted a comment on the Family Research Council’s Facebook page about being proud of the fact that a Gay Straight Alliance at his son’s school in 2006 was rejected as a new club by the student council. Williams was then a public school teacher in Oklahoma. He is now a middle school math teacher at a private school in San Antonio, according to his campaign website.

FRC’a anti-gay views have led it to be identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the post, Williams thanks the organization for its “support for the traditional family” before mentioning that “prayer and community action” led to the GSA’s rejection, mentioning that God has led him to run for the SBOE seat. “The Lord has given me a new mission, to run for the Texas State Board of Education. Please pray for me and thank you for being a voice up there for those of us out here.”

Williams emailed TFN on Monday in response to the report that he was anti-gay because he was happy the GSA’s creation was blocked, writing that the “GSA was voted down by students in order to be fair to ex-gays that found change is possible. Students were presented the several scientific views on the origins of same sex attraction and did not think a GSA to support one view only was needed.”

In the email to TFN, Williams also linked to an article on the website of Parents and Friends of Exgays and Gays about the GSA situation years ago, mentioning his leadership position as mid-Oklahoma representative for Christian Educators Association International and his creation of a 10-step plan “to deal with homosexual activism in schools.”

—  Dallasvoice

GOP frontrunner Rick Perry tries to assure social conservatives that the gay rumors aren’t true

Gov. Rick Perry

In an apparent reference to longstanding rumors that he’s gay, Texas Gov. Rick Perry assured a group of influential social conservatives over the weekend that “there is nothing in my life that will embarrass you if you decide to support me for president,” according to this report from the Texas Tribune.

Perry spoke during a private gathering in Texas’ Hill Country attended by hundreds of social conservatives including several prominent anti-gay bigots, such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. The gathering was organized by David Barton, the WallBuilders founder and so-called “Christian historian” who recently suggested that four Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of same-sex marriage in New York should be scalped.

According to the Tribune, those in attendance asked Perry about a range of hot-button social issues, including abortion, immigration, gay marriage and hate crimes. Perry’s wife, Anita, was even asked whether she shares her husband’s views on abortion and same-sex marriage, to which she replied that she does. From The Tribune:

While job creation is the chief campaign message, winning evangelical voters is a major part of Perry’s nomination strategy. Polls show they make up some 40 percent of the electorate in some states, and social conservatives are expected to play a huge role in the outcome of the race in first-test Iowa, where Perry is giving native daughter Michele Bachmann a run for her money. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ordained minister, won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.

Research published last weekend by the Palm Beach Post shows that “white, born again evangelicals” also make up more than a third of the vote in the GOP electorate in Florida, a key state that is expected to draw a lot of attention from Perry.

Perkins, the Family Research Council president, said religious conservatives will increasingly become comfortable with the Texas governor once they get to know him and examine his record in detail.

“I think he has the answers that are satisfactory when those issues are brought up,” Perkins said. “I think he is addressing them with the leaders in that community and as that information disseminates, I think he will be fine.”

—  John Wright

THE AUDIO, THE VIDEO & THE TRANSCRIPTS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s big gay marriage flip-flop

On Thursday we told you about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s big flip-flop on same-sex marriage.

Last week, speaking to a group of GOP donors in Aspen, Colo., Perry said New York’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage was “fine” with him because he believes marriage is an issue that should be decided by the states — and not the federal government — under the 10th amendment.

Perry’s comments in Aspen landed him in hot water with social conservatives who’ve historically been among his biggest supporters.

Then, on Thursday, Perry attempted to backtrack during a radio interview with Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay Family Research Council. Perry declared that “gay marriage is not fine with me” and expressed strong support for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Gov. Rick Perry

Perry, a likely GOP presidential candidate, maintains that his position hasn’t changed, and that his support for a federal amendment is still in line with states’ rights, because three-fourths of states would have to ratify it. But we’ll let you decide for yourselves after listening to his comments on both occasions.

Above is video of Perry’s comments last week in Aspen at a forum that featured several Republican governors. Perry’s comments about marriage begin just after the 30-minute mark, when the moderator asks him what he thinks about cyclist Lance Armstrong, an Aspen resident, and the issue of stem cell research. Perry ignores the stem cell research question and chooses to focus instead on the FDA’s investigation of doping allegations against Armstrong, citing the probe as an example of Washington’s overreach. Here’s a transcript of Perry’s response:

“The fact of the matter is our federal government is engaged in way too many things that they shouldn’t be involved with at all,” Perry said. “The idea that they’re telling us how to deliver health care, the idea that they’re telling us how to educate our children, the idea that they’re telling [New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez] how to build transportation infrastructure in her state, is just completely and absolutely out of the main line thought of our founding fathers. They had no preception of what that would look like 200 years [ago], but they knew that they wanted to enumerate.

“The 10th amendment clearly states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution nor prohibited to it by the states, are reserved to the states,” Perry said. “The simplicity and the eloquence of that is so powerful. The idea that the federal government is telling us how to deal with issues that we ought to be.

“[Virginia Gov.] Bob [McDonnell] and I are social conservatives,” Perry said. “I am an unapologetic social conservative. I’m pro-life, I’m pro-traditional marriage, and the fact is we passed a constitutional amendment, and it passed by 77 percent of the vote in the state of Texas. Our friends in New York, six weeks ago, passed a statute that said know what, that’s New York and that’s their business and that’s fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th ame3ndment, stay out of their business if you live in some other state or particularly if you’re the federal government. The idea, the idea that the FDA is spending your tax money going after Lance Armstrong for something someone said he did in France is an absolute atrocity.”

Now for the audio of Perry’s remarks on Thursday, when he was questioned by Perkins about his widely reported comments in Aspen:

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Senate DOMA hearing; Gov. Perry’s Religious Right trifecta; NY marriage

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has been named a chairman of Rick Perry’s Aug. 6 day of prayer.

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning will conduct the first-ever hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. The DOMA repeal legislation was endorsed Tuesday by President Barack Obama. Today’s historic hearing begins at 9 a.m. Central time. You can watch live on the committee’s website by going here.

2. We’ve long known that Gov. Rick Perry’s Aug. 6 Day of Prayer is being funded by the American Family Association, but now it looks like Perry has achieved the trifecta of Religious Right involvement. The AFA announced Tuesday that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America have been named co-chairmen of the event. From Right Wing Watch: “Even though Perry and the AFA are adamant that the prayer rally is apolitical, the fact that leaders of three of the most prominent Religious Right political groups in the country are hosting the event along side a potential presidential candidate makes us think otherwise.”

3. Fearing overwhelming demand this coming Sunday — the first day same-sex couples can marry — New York City officials have announced a lottery system that will guarantee 764 couples access to one of the city’s five clerks offices.

—  John Wright

Anti-gay leaders rally behind Perry for president

Time reports that a group of anti-gay bigots from the Christian Right held a conference call last month and agreed that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is their preferred GOP presidential candidate. Those on the conference call included Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which is considered an anti-gay hate group; San Antonio Pastor John Hagee, who famously linked homosexuality and Hurricane Katrina; and David Barton of WallBuilders, who believes the government should regulate gay sex. Perry of course, is hosting a Day of Prayer on Aug. 6 in Houston funded by the American Family Association, another anti-gay hate group, to the tune of $1.5 million. From Time:

What’s wrong with the existing crop of candidates? Tim Pawlenty has the support of evangelical leaders outside the Christian Right–in a recent survey of the board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals, 45% named Pawlenty as their preferred GOP nominee. However, that impressive result may have something to do with the fact that the NAE president, Leith Anderson, is Pawlenty’s pastor and may not be representative of broader evangelical opinion. Mitt Romney ran into problems with evangelicals in 2008 because of his Mormon faith, and his recent refusal to sign an anti-abortion organization’s campaign pledge did nothing to win over his critics.

Meanwhile, no one questions the social conservative credentials of Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann. But Santorum’s poll numbers in Iowa are smaller than the number of children he has. And while Bachmann has been on a hot streak since the first candidate’s debate, Christian Right leaders continue to be far less willing to embrace her (or Sarah Palin, for that matter) than the rank-and-file or more secular politicos. Is that sexism at work? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But geography is an important factor as well. Many Christian Right leaders think the GOP primary schedule favors a Southern candidate. And southern Minnesota does not count.

—  John Wright