The Southern Poverty Law Center, a legendary organization in the fight against organized bigotry, recently designated a handful of anti-gay organizations, including the Family Research Council (FRC), as hate groups. The designation is based on “dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about gays and lesbians.”
The hate group designation prompted a full-force response from FRC that has included a newspaper advertisement signed by several anti-gay members of Congress, including House Speaker-designate John Boehner. The ad is part of a new campaign called “Start Debating, Stop Hating,” which accuses LGBT groups of resorting to calling them haters without debate.
We are tired of debating. We are tired of justifying why we deserve equality and dignity. It is impossible to debate with people who are not coming from a place of respect or demonstrating a willingness to listen.
I will not debate my rights with the Family Research Council. Critics would say that I am being rigid, hypocritical and intolerant, but I could not disagree more. Our journey toward equality has been completely demoralizing at times. We have endured the embarrassment of watching our fellow citizens vote on whether we deserve the same rights as everyone else, we have watched commercials that portray us as monsters who are trying to corrupt your children, and we periodically tune into C-SPAN to see our country’s leaders use our lives as fodder for political maneuvering. Forgive me if I am not eager to get into a debate on whether I am deserving of equality.
I do agree with the second part of FRC’s campaign though – the part that says “Stop Hating.” I am thrilled that SPLC finally added these organizations to the hate group database, because the fact is that when your measurement of success as an organization is the denial of equality to an entire group of people, you are a hate group.
In a world that is overran with causes that deserve the time, money and attention of a so-called Christian organization, they take the money of Christians and spend it on holding back an entire classification of people from being able to enjoy the same rights that they do.
At this moment, thousands of young gay people are excited for the holiday school break, because it means a respite from the anti-gay bullying they face each day, yet the FRC continues to fight anti-bullying efforts and their answer to those being harassed is that the harassment will stop when you begin denying who you are.
Right now, gay parents are working to create a special Christmas for their children, and the Family Research Council is dedicating resources to make it more difficult for children to be adopted into gay households.
People who want to be able to fight for their country and live an open and honest life at the same time are forced to hide who they are, in part because FRC dedicates such a significant portion of their operating budget to fight against DADT repeal efforts.
Please take a moment to sign a petition letting FRC president and patriarch of the anti-gay movement Tony Perkins know that rights, equality and love are not for them to debate.
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