The Washington Post

Vows, pledges and the far-right’s obsession with the Gays

The far-right wing of the Republican Party is held together by the 3G network. Not that one. God, guns and gays. And as we’re finding out once again nothing throws these conservatives into a tizzy more than the Gays.

Yesterday, I knocked Tim Pawlenty for having the nerve to question whether homosexuality was genetic, whether people were “born this way.” But at least the former Minnesota governor hasn’t signed onto — at least not yet — “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY.” This ridiculously offensive document comes from gay-obsessed Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The FAMiLY Leader. He’s the guy who said being gay was a health hazard more dangerous than second-hand smoke.
The two-page vow has the delusional and abhorrent assertion that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.” Said child born into slavery faced untold horrors, including beatings, rape and the probability that the family would be split apart as part of a liquidation sale. But I digress.

The declaration would etch discrimination into the nation’s founding document by calling for an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. It demands vigorous defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. And the marriage vow expresses doubt that being gay is an innate trait and that acceptance of homosexuality is the result of “anti-scientific bias which holds . . . that non-heterosexual inclinations are genetically determined, irresistible and akin to innate traits like race, gender and eye color.”

This is where Pawlenty and Vander Plaats are in agreement. As well as that other Minnesotan in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). She actually signed the pledge. And, thanks to Brian Ross at ABC News, we know that her husband’s medical practice appears to engage in so-called reparative therapy .

While Dr. Marcus Bachmann denies dabbling in “praying the gay away,” he is already on record likening gay men and lesbians to “barbarians who need to be educated.” Thanks to a report from Mike Isikoff at NBC News, we know that the “quality Christian counseling” offered by Dr. Bachmann has been buttressed by more than $137,000 in Medicaid funds since 2005. My taxpayer dollars (unwittingly) at work.

Listen, folks. You can’t pray the gay away. Those who insist upon it are dangerous and are doing the very people they claim to want to help a potentially life-threatening disservice. Even the American Psychological Association passed a resolution in 1997 that “raises ethical concerns about attempts to change sexual orientation, reaffirms psychology’s opposition to homophobia and client’s rights to unbiased treatment.”
If conservatives cared so much about families, they’d love and accept their gay children. And if they really cared about the institution of marriage, they’d recognize that the gay and lesbian couples fighting to get into it are the very people who will save it.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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