Via Bilerico, the Stonewall Legal Alliance, a gay group at the FIU College of Law, is sponsoring a debate on Amendment 2 down at FIU. Stonewall invited members of the state coalition supporting the amendment to attend, but they wouldn't, so Stonewall went one better.
They invited members of Westboro Baptist Church.
If you're unaware of Fred Phelps and Westboro, they're the anti-gay equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan, but lacking the Klan's social skills. Now, the Southern Poverty Law Center is upset because they think this gives Westboro some legitimacy. I guess I can see that point of view, but frankly, I don't think an invitation to testify before Congress would confer legitimacy on the "God Hates Fags" crowd.
But the people who are really upset are the douchenozzles who are in favor of Amendment 2:
On the other side of the Amendment fight, Naugle-loving Fundie Janet Folger of Faith2Action is miffed as well:To which I say, you had your chance to debate and you turned it down Now you get to be represented by clown shoes.That's the most heinous thing I've ever heard. They go to the most radical group. It's a deliberate attempt to make the pro-marriage people appear to be something they're not.
But this, I think, really puts it into perspective. This is Law professor Jose Gabilondo who will be arguing the side opposing the amendment:
I think it's a mistake to distinguish between respectable homophobia and unacceptable homophobia.And that's really what this is all about. That's why I chose the Klan comparison above. Racism and homophobia are pretty much the same thing, just with different targets.
Consider: racist comments carry far greater social consequences than homophobic ones, and discrimination based on race is illegal but discrimination based on sexual orientation is, in many places, not. Our society still allows people to hate gays because the haters cloak their hatred in religious respectability, but if a church claimed openly that it was God's will that white people discriminate against (or enslave) people of color (which they did in the not so distant past), they'd be ostracized from polite company. It's Christian conservatives who are leading the charge against equality for LGBT citizens, and they're paying little to no social price for it. Tying them, as they deserve, to Phelps, may just cost them a bit.
It also might wake up some of those members of these groups who are wavering a bit, because the Phelps people are freaking nutjobs, and no one likes being connected to them. Maybe some of these people supporting Amendment 2 will think to themselves, "if those freaks support this, maybe I should rethink my position." I hope enough do to kill this Amendment.
And if you can spare a few bucks, hep SayNo2 runs some ads for the cause.