Republican Party

Confused Pastor Calls for Civil Rights Movement to Deprive Gays and Lesbians of Civil Rights

Reverend William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), is planning a shindig with the Heritage Foundation in October, where bigots can “work together to stop this nonsense.”

“This nonsense” being equal standing before the law for gay and lesbian couples.

“The adults are confused and they’re confusing the children,” he said, echoing Pat Robertson, who claims there are no gay people, just confused straight people.

Owens asked, “how can two men rear a child? How can a man be a mother? Tell me that.”

Owens has been told that, but he, like Justice Scalia, who claims same-sex parents are not as good as “traditional” parents, simply refuses to listen.

A report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics fund that,

Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.

And that’s not all. The authors of the report point to the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, which began in 1986. “The NLLFS examines the social, psychological, and emotional development of the children as well as the dynamics of planned lesbian families.”

It turns out, based on the NLLFS, that the children of lesbian mothers,

indicated that they had high levels of social, school/academic, and total competence and fewer social problems, rule-breaking, and aggressive and externalizing behavior compared with their age-matched counterparts.

There are Owens’ answers but he will not acknowledge them because they violate his prior beliefs. Neither will Scalia nor Robertson acknowledge these studies or any study that does not tell them what they want to hear.

So what Owens wants to do, based on belief and pseudoscience of his own, is start a new Civil Rights Movement, one based not on a call for equality but a call for inequality.

You think we did something during the Civil Rights Movement? This is our Civil Rights Movement…We are going to fight to the end, we are not going to give up, we are going to fight like we fought and get civil rights, like we marched for miles and miles and miles, we took the heat, whatever it took, we are going to stand for the family.

But for Owens’ analogy to work, the Civil Rights Movement would have had to have been composed not of African-Americans seeking equality but of whites seeking to keep them from ever obtaining equal rights.

Anti-gay prejudice is not about championing civil rights; therefore there can be no valid comparison of the two. Nobody is seeking to eliminate the family, or to say that opposite sex couples cannot have families. What Owens is talking about is the antithesis of a civil rights movement.

A more apt comparison would be between CAAP and the NSDAP (the National Socialist German Workers Party), otherwise known as the Nazi Party, with gays and lesbians standing in for the Jews, and a gay problem replacing the “Jewish problem.” And like a famous bigot before him, Julius Streicher, Owens is a race-baiter.

The obscenity Owens’ speaks of is based on lies. A lie that gay and lesbian couples are unfit parents; a lie that heterosexuals are better than gays and lesbians; a lie that gays and lesbians can be “reformed”; a lie that gays and lesbians are just confused straight people.

After all, as Pat Robertson deviously argued, you can’t be anti-gay (and therefore a despicable bigot) if there is no such thing as a gay person.

Turns out there is also no such thing as Owens’ so-called movement. As EqualityMatters points out,

1. CAAP Doesn’t Represent The African-American Community
2. CAAP Is A NOM Front Group
3. Owens Is Central To NOM’s Race-Baiting Strategy

You cannot redefine reality to match your prior beliefs and that is at the heart of the Religious Right’s continuing war on Marriage Equality. The Church got away with that in the fourth century when the emperor Constantine mistakenly gave them power. The coercive powers of the state and state-sponsored religion, created a multi-century reign of terror that was ended only by the European Enlightenment.

That’s what Owens’ so-called civil rights movement is all about. Bringing the full and coercive powers of the state, guided by hateful bigots like himself, to bear on the “gay problem.” It has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with fascist suppression of the constructed other.

And if the long history of the Church has shown us anything, it won’t end with gays and lesbians. It will not end until all dissenting voices have been silenced and what reigns is not the open debate of Jefferson’s freed minds but the charnel silence of the tomb.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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