Folks can agree to disagree on whether there should be hate crime laws, but those with legitimate concerns about equal protection under the law have to take a look at the kinds of groups that are opposing the legislation — and their motives. For these groups, it’s about ensuring gays are marginalized and have second-class citizen status. The demonization continues.

The American Family Association is just one of the groups involved (is this organization like a bad penny or what?). It is footing the bill for an ad against hate crimes legislation that has run in publications like Roll Call. [The above ad has also appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, The Indianapolis Star, and The Nevada Appeal.]

Here are some of the “values-based” organizations signing on to the ad:
Citizens for Community Values
American Family Association
Focus on the Family Action
Coalition of African American Pastors
Exodus International
Liberty Council American Values
Vision America
National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families
The Inspiration Television Networks Coalitions for America
Tradition, Family and Property
National Association of Marriage Enhancement
Point of View
Biblical Heritage Institute
Let Freedom Ring American Family Association of Pennsylvania
American Family Association of Indiana
American Family Association of Michigan
Indiana Family Institute
Florida Family Action
Paid for by American Family Association

You can view the full ad and its text here.

Featured in the above ad is Randy Thomas, a promoter of the work of “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International. He has been lobbying on the Hill working against the hate crimes bill.

My last two trips to DC were lobbying on Capital Hill, meeting with conservative groups and moderate groups about this type of legislation. I will continue to lend my voice and talents, as a minister of the Gospel first and of sexual redemption in that context. I will do so to talk about the issues of true instances of homophobia and also make sure religious liberties are preserved.

Wayne Besen is hopping mad about this development and Thomas’s role in it.

Maybe Thomas is upset because he doesn’t have a sexual orientation. Since the Exodus International leader became an “ex-gay,” he has never had sex with a woman and presumably not a man.

What I find particularly disturbing is the heavy “ex-gay” involvement in federal politics. When these guys are on television they say they are about “helping” gay people and have no political agenda. Yet, they keep ending up in the middle of Inside-the-Beltway political battles. I’ve said this time and again – “ex-gay” leaders are consistently some of the biggest pathological liars I’ve ever seen. Randy Thomas is among the most congenital of them all. Has he ever told the truth?

I agree with Wayne on this point — the open politicking of the fringe-nut/”ex-gay” crowd at this level is amazing. It shows a level of engagement (and financial backing) that can be intimidating – witness Ford and its bootlicking of the AFA. I think we’ll see plenty more of this crap on all sorts of gay rights issues from these groups.

BTW, the automaker met yesterday with gay leaders, and a public response to the two-hour meeting is scheduled for today. We’ll see if they have any cojones. Kraft told the AFA and their ilk to shove it when threatened with a boycott. Let’s see if Bill Ford finds any balls.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding