The Right Wing

7 Insane Right-Wing Reactions to Gay Rights Gains

As the Supreme Court gears up to hear cases on marriage equality, the right wing is launching its last hateful offensive.

Sometimes people are so hateful and their logic is so twisted and flawed that their words speak for themselves. The extreme right wing’s reaction to the possibility that the United States may finally recognize marriage equality is a textbook example.

Support for marriage equality is skyrocketing, bolstered by the younger generation’s increased tolerance and demonstrated by the recent ballot-box legalization of marriage equality in three states. According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 51 percent of people said that same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to only 40 percent who opposed it. This poll’s results are staggering given that in 2004 only 30 percent of those polled supported same-sex marriage, while 62 percent opposed it.
Those who oppose marriage equality are increasingly isolated. Even their own messaging demonstrates this reality; recently the anti-gay marriage movement switched from an offensive position, i.e. same-sex marriage is evil, to a defensive one, i.e. we as Christians are being persecuted for our values. Maggie Gallagher, one of the leaders of the anti-gay movement, has embraced this new messaging, frequently saying things like, “Here’s the simple truth for me — about why I continue to withstand the abuse: Because I think our traditional understanding of sex and marriage is good. Because I will not volunteer to live in a world where these ideas are treated as bad and discriminatory.”
Now that the Supreme Court has announced it will hear two cases that may pave the way for marriage equality in the U.S., the anti-gay marriage movement is on the offensive, spewing lies and bigotry. Check out the seven craziest, seriously bat-sh*t insane claims the right wing is making about marriage equality.
1. A life sentence?!?
The African nation of Uganda has faced sharp criticism from the international community for permitting the killing of a gay man (he was bludgeoned to death), which could soon be legal under Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill. (The country’s version of Rolling Stone also published a call to hang homosexuals, and then listed 100 people’s names.)
Yet, less well known is how anti-gay activists in the United States are behind Uganda’s new bill. Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika, was one of the key authors of Uganda’s original bill, which called for the death penalty for anyone convicted of homosexuality.
This week Lively publicly supported Uganda’s new version of the bill, which calls for a life sentence. His rationale?
“First, the Bible has always defined homosexuality as a crime, and not just in the Mosaic Law. Homosexuality was condemned by God long before Moses declared it a capital crime (by God’s own instruction), and God’s condemnation of it was reaffirmed repeatedly in the New Testament....In the New Testament, Chapter 1 of Romans not only condemns homosexuality as “depraved,” but reaffirms the death penalty for it as well (verses 18-32).”
He continued:
“Most importantly, there is one easy, guaranteed method of protecting oneself from ever being subject to the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda: Don’t commit sodomy! We all seem to forget, in the dense propaganda haze of American popular opinion, that homosexuality is defined by voluntary sexual acts. Homosexuals are no more compelled to commit sodomy with each other than a married man is compelled to cheat on his wife.”
And what publication would allow him to write these declarations, you ask? The WorldNetDaily, which also happens to be the new home of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum. 
2. Crying apocalypse.
Perhaps the most predictable argument against marriage equality, but one that right-wingers insist on using anyway, is that marriage equality will make us all die. And no, I’m not referring to the marriage-equality-will-cause-the-death-of-human-species-due-to-lack-of-reproductive-sex argument (although they’re fond of that one, too). I mean the argument in which we all die--soon.
Speaking on the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality Radio Hour, anti-gay advocate Ken Hutcherson explained:
“God does not have the same consequence for the same sin, bro. We’ve got to understand that as Christians and we better wake up soon because I think that one of the things God is showing us is that He’s getting a little sick and tired of America, he’s definitely having a holy throw up fest with his bride, we need to really stand back up and get this unity going or God is going to really turn loose judgment on us.”
Hutcherson doesn’t specify if the judgement will come by way of fire or ice, but either way, it sounds bad.
3. Sounds a lot like eugenics...
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has a bold new idea about how to interpret emerging genetic explanations for homosexuality, which--for anyone with basic knowledge of history--is going to sound a whole lot like eugenics. His theory? 
“Homosexual children, on this theory, are born evolutionarily and genetically disadvantaged. They have been overexposed or underexposed to testosterone because something has gone wrong in the process of genetic transmission. In other words, they are the product of a genetic abnormality at best, a birth defect at worst,” Fischer writes on his blog.
This conclusion is so far from the scientific discovery it’s based on that it’s almost not necessary to compare, but for anyone interested, here goes. 
Researchers at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis now think that homosexuality is “written in how our genes are expressed,” which is part of an emerging field called epi-genetics. (More information here.)
But Fischer doesn’t care about the science; what he cares about is eliminating homosexuality. So, while he writes that he doesn’t really believe there is a genetic rationality for homosexuality, whether it be genetic or epigenetic, he does have a suggestion for prospective parents who do believe in science: abort these defective babies.
“After all, if 90% of babies in the womb who are diagnosed with Downs syndrome never draw their first breath, what are the chances that parents disposed to abortion will not exercise the same choice with regard to the gay gene? 
The scientists in Koebler’s article, in my view, are now resorting to genetic subterfuge and are coming dangerously close to saying that homosexuality is the result of a genetic defect, a genetic abnormality. In other words, read from one angle, these same scientists are saying that homosexuality is the result of a birth defect....”
Unfortunately (for Fischer), he worries that legislation, pushed by the “homosexual lobby” will prevent this sexual-orientation cleansing:
“In fact, I expect that if this theory gains some currency, it will not be long before we have legislation from the homosexual lobby prohibiting “sex-selection” abortions on any child carrying this epi-marker. They’ll be happy to let you abort anyone else, but these children will be as protected in the womb as unhatched bald eagles.”
Is it just me or is there something about his tone that makes it sound like he--an adamant opponent of abortion for any reason--would actually disapprove of this prohibition?
4.Jesus will have to get gay married, too?
For full disclosure: This one is my favorite. I tried to be objective, but just as a mother actually does have a favorite child, this argument is the one I love the most.
According to Linda Harvey, founder of the group Mission: America, says if the U.S. legalizes marriage equality, then our Lord Jesus will be forced to get gay married.
“Speaking of brides and grooms, there's another Christian concept that illustrates the unchanging standard of man and woman as the model for marriage: in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to several times as the "bridegroom." And when he returns, he will return as a bridegroom seeking his bride: the church, which is the body of all believers, also called the Bride of Christ. It's a beautiful analogy.
What happens to such a concept in a same-sex marriage? Does Jesus as bridegroom seek another groom? No, that would be a twisted and frankly offensive spin on a profound and marvelous concept. As Christians, we must never accept the idea of same-sex marriage. It certainly doesn't work as sound Christian doctrine and it will be shown before long not to work as revolutionary secular law either.”
As with the right wing’s other logical fallacies, it’s completely unclear why, if Jesus does come back and has a preference for marrying a female Bride of Christ, he can’t just choose to do so, which certainly wouldn’t be illegal just because same-sex marriage would be legal. He could just, you know, flip-flop around all those Grooms of Christ until he finds his Bride. 
Then again, this is the woman who didn’t really understand how Halloween works, so maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on her. Her take on the Satanic holiday:
"We all can see it’s a huge celebration in the LGBT world, especially for the gender-confused folks. This illustrates some of the problem. The core of Halloween is glittering artificiality, you can pretend to be someone you aren’t for a night, you can flirt with danger, you can divine a different destiny, but it is all void of the presence of or will of God.... [Costumes] disguise our very souls.”
5.The fallacy of the slippery slope...
Ah, the slippery slope argument. So predictable and so inherently flawed. Brad Dacus, the president of Pacific Justice Institute, is convinced that if the U.S. legalizes marriage equality, it will be open season for all the sexual deviants to demand their own equality under the law.
On the radio show Crosstalk,Dacus told host Jim Schneider:
“If the Supreme Court rules that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and that the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is unconstitutional, then we’re basically going to have an open heyday for homosexual marriage as well as other kinds of 'marriage' being introduced and being protected through this case law precedent, such as polygamy, perhaps adult incest and who knows what else will be attempted to be added on.”
I mean, who really knows, he asks, as he barrels down the slippery slope of insanity....
6. Refusing to abuse children is child abuse?
Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel (don’t you love these names?) is spearheading the fight against California’s recent decision to outlaw “sexual orientation conversion therapy” for children. For those who don’t know, sexual orientation conversion therapy is essentially a brainwashing tactic used to convince children to “give up” homosexuality. This non-treatment has been discredited by nearly every major medical association in the U.S., including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of Social Workers and American Psychiatric Association. Many of these groups have also warned that the practice can cause suicidal thoughts and actions.
Don’t try to tell any of this to Matt Barber, however. To him, California’s decision to ban the practice amounts to politically motivated child abuse. Speaking on the Janet Mefferd Show, he said:
“I know from personal experience dozens and dozens of former homosexuals, typically it’s through a relationship with Jesus Christ that they are able to come to a full and complete freedom from their unwanted same-sex attractions. We know the untold thousands of people who have left homosexuality, those results speak for themselves. You match that up against these anecdotal, unsubstantiated, politically motivated claims of suicidal thoughts and so forth, we see that this is clearly a political move; it has nothing to do with science or helping these children. They are using these kids as pawns in a dangerous and selfish political game of chess.”
California’s denial of this “therapy” to children is all the more offensive to Barber because, in his warped mind, nearly half of all adult gay men “were sexually assaulted by a homosexual pedophile" during their childhood--yet another completely unproven claim to add to the list.
7.All the teachers’ fault.
In an almost laudable display of conflating two completely separate political issues, Brad Dacus has another gem for us: the rising support for marriage equality is all the fault of the teachers unions. 
“The polls show and the stats show that older people are the number one supporters of traditional marriage, they are older people and they are literally dying. The people who are the biggest proponents of homosexual marriage, they’re young people, they’ve come out of our public schools, the teachers unions have been establishing this agenda and this indoctrination through our public schools for quite some time.”
Yes, you read that right. The problem isn’t just those pesky liberal teachers pushing their blue ideology. No, it’s actually a unified and concerned union agenda. Way to kill two birds with one stone, Dacus. He continued:
“So they’ve succeeded in this indoctrination process in many of our public schools across the country for a new way of thinking, a new perspective. Along with Hollywood, we have a whole new mindset and in fact young people are overwhelmingly, I think it is 2:1, in favor of legalization of homosexual marriage. Of course, that number could easily change to include other forms of marriage as society continues to slip down that slippery slope.”
We’re back at the slippery slope now, are we? Well, since you’ve dragged our children into it, I hope the slide at least has child-friendly rails.

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and the author of "A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home," forthcoming from Zuccotti Park Press.