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PHOTOS: SCOTUS Rally for Marriage Equality

AHA staffers joined other members of the United for Marriage coalition outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning in support of marriage equality. Click through to check out the photos.

During the debate over the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Religious Right groups like the American Family Association warned that the law would “criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality” and “take away our reli…

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The Appignani Humanist Legal Center filed amicus briefs in DOMA, Prop 8 Cases last week.

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In an interview with the American Family Association’s news affiliate Instant Analysis (formerly OneNewsNow), Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality condemned the large group of corporations that joined legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8.

LaBarbera blasted the corporations for “pushing homosexuality on the American public,” calling the amicus brief “a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.” He claimed that if the Supreme Court rules against Prop 8, “that will be a sad day for American freedom” and “a disaster,” as deciding who should have the freedom to marry “should be left up to citizens.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality acknowledges that corporations are at liberty to do what they want privately, such as adopting pro-homosexual policies.

“… But when you start pushing homosexuality on the American public using the government, that’s another matter,” he offers. “Then it becomes a tool of repression against Christians and people of faith who simply want their right to not support homosexuality.”

According to the family advocate, the Prop. 8 case before the nation’s high court is essentially the “Roe v. Wade” of the homosexual movement.

“If the court steps in and overrides the decision of the people of California not to support homosexual so-called marriage, that will be a sad day for American freedom,” he tells American Family News. “All across the nation citizens have spoken on this issue – [and] at the very least it should be left up to citizens.

“If the court imposes national homosexual marriage, that will be a disaster – and it will fuel the culture wars for decades to come.”

Of course, it is absurd to argue that a Supreme Court decision against DOMA or Prop 8 actively represses or takes away the rights of marriage equality opponents. But the Religious Right is often inconsistent in its arguments. Another AFA news item, however, explicitly rejects paying any attention to how the public feels, contradicting LaBarbera’s argument.

Sam Rohrer, a former Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania and head of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, tells the AFA that the public’s view on marriage equality doesn’t matter because judges should rule according to “moral law” established by God as “the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible.”

The Christian Post reported on Monday that The Washington Post has published two polls that show “Americans are done with DOMA.” But the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network (PPN) contends that the results are “likely skewed.”

PPN president Sam Rohrer believes that polls are worth about the amount it cost to conduct them – particularly when they are financed by organizations that advocate for the destruction of marriage, including the Respect for Marriage Coalition.

“When they use polls to try to substantiate and/or to prove an acceptance of a position that has not been historically sound, I’m saying [that] is an inappropriate use of polls,” Rohrer submits. “And any judge that looks to the poll as a determination of how they may or may not judge and rule on this case is to embrace moral relativism rather than moral law.”

That is especially relevant now, as the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act next month; the resulting ruling is expected near the end of June.

The Coalition’s poll results show that 83 percent of Americans, “regardless of their personal opinion on the issue,” believes same-sex “marriage” will be legal nationally “in the next five to ten years.” But that can only happen if the federal Defense of Marriage Act is repealed by the Supreme Court or Congress.

And a national survey conducted on behalf of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) reportedly reveals that 59 percent of registered voters “oppose” Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and a spouse as someone of the opposite gender.

The PPN president asserts that the purpose of the recent polls is to influence public opinion and the courts.

“What the Pastors’ Network is saying is that when making a decision, a moral decision where you’re talking about an institution created by God, God doesn’t need public opinion polls; so neither should a judge consider what polls may or may not be,” Rohrer contends. “It’s a moral decision, and moral decisions ought to be made based on what God says — not what some poll may or may not say.”

Part of the oath of office high court justices take is to support and defend the Constitution. And as Rohrer points out, the base of the Constitution and the individual rights guaranteed by it are based on the Bible — not the popular view of the culture.

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The other day, Matt Barber and Steve Crampton of Liberty Counsel were discussing the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments on Proposition 8 later this year, when Crampton warned that any decision to strike it down would put society “on the verge of total collapse.”

The two followed that up with a discussion of the related decision to by the court to hear arguments over the Defense of Marriage Act, which both Barber and Crampton discussed in an equally reasonable fashion, with Barber warning that gay marriage will be the sledgehammer that crushes religious liberty in America while Crampton proclaimed that the homosexual agenda “will eradicate us and they will not stop until the homosexual totalitarian view of the world is forcefully imposed on every American”:

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Anti-Gay, Anti-Immigrant, Birther Groups Join Forces to File Mother of All Prop 8 Briefs

In reading through the amicus briefs submitted by anti-gay groups to the Supreme Court, we’ve bee…

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Will the Supreme Court Read the Most Horrific Children’s Book of All Time?

Earlier this week, we looked at the slightly conflicted amicus briefs that the Family Research Council submitted to the Supreme Court ahead of its consideration of two major marriage equality cases. Today, Warren Throckmorton alerts us that the “ex-gay” group Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) has submitted its own brief to the Court.

The PFOX amicus brief [pdf], unsurprisingly, argues that gays and lesbians should not be a “protected class” under the law because homosexuality “is not an immutable characteristic.” As evidence, it presents the stories of four self-proclaimed “ex-gays” whose lives purportedly show that “sexual orientation can shift over time and does so for a significant number of people.”

One of the stories the brief presents is that of “Richard Cohen, M.A…an ex-gay who is now married with 3 children. He struggled for much of his life with unwanted same-sex attraction. Richard is the founder of the International Healing Foundation (IHF) and the author of Coming Out Straight, Gay Children Straight Parents, Let’s Talk About Sex, and Alfie’s Home.”

As it happens, Cohen is one of the most prominent purveyors of reparative therapy, the harmful process of trying to “cure” homosexuality that was recently banned for minors in California. And his book Alfie’s Home, cited in PFOX’s Supreme Court brief, is the most horrifically disturbing children’s book we have ever seen. We know, because we are unlucky enough to have a copy in our research library. Here is some of what the Justices have in store if they check out Cohen’s work:

Alfie’s Home was published in 1993 by Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. It starts out with a picture of the protagonist on a boat with his dad.

But it goes bad fast, going right for the right-wing myth that homosexuality is caused by childhood sexual abuse…

…and by insufficiently attentive parents:

Eventually, Alfie seeks help and takes part in the “touch therapy” advocated by Cohen…

…which leads him to “realize that I’m not gay” and start dating a woman:

You can see Cohen’s “touch therapy” in practice in this 2006 CNN interview:

He also made a cameo on the Daily Show.

For their own sakes, I hope the Justices don’t look too far into Cohen’s story. But if they do, they’ll get a revealing glimpse of the world that is trying to sink gay rights laws across the country.
 

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FRC: Anti-Gay Laws Reflect Public Opinion, Gay Rights Laws Reflect Powerful Gay Lobby

The Family Research Council submitted two amicus briefs to the Supreme Court yesterday urging it to reject ch…

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FRC: Anti-Gay Laws Reflect Public Opinion, Gay Rights Laws Reflect Powerful Gay Lobby

The Family Research Council submitted two amicus briefs to the Supreme Court yesterday urging it to reject ch…

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Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus warned today that if the Supreme Court overturns the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) then the U.S. will likely legalize polygamy and incest “as society continues to slip down that slippery slope.&rdqu…

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