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Anti-gay Becket Fund launches full-page NYT ad – 'No Mob Veto'

This just dropped into my inbox directly from The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s communications director Tom Carter. Earlier this week I reported that the organization planned to buy an ad in the NYT smearing the entire LGBT community as violent and intimidating in the wake of the reaction to Prop 8 passing in California. You read and decide if this propaganda is a fair depiction of the situation — just ake a look at the usual suspects who signed on.

No Mob Veto, a project of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, was launched today (Dec. 5, 2008) with a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.

The ad deplored “The violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or ‘Mormon’ church, and other religious organizations-and even against individual believers-simply because they supported Proposition 8,” California’s ballot initiative defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The full ad can be viewed at

It is signed by over a dozen religious leaders, lawyers, civil rights activists, and theologians, spanning religious and political lines:

·       Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson – The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

·       Nathan J. Diament – Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

·       Rick Cizik – National Association of Evangelicals

·       Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action

·       Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship

·       Chris Seiple – Institute for Global Engagement

·       Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist

·       William J. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

·       Robert Seiple – Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

·       Douglas Laycock – University of Michigan Law School

·       Marvin Olasky – The King’s College, New York City

·       Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher

·       Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission

Describing this group, the ad notes, “We’re a disagreeable lot. We differ about a great many important things. Most, but not all of us, are religious believers. We likewise differ on important moral and legal questions, including the wisdom and justice of California’s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage.”

More BS below the fold.

But, the ad continues, “When thugs…terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous. Those who fail to condemn or seem to condone that intimidation are at fault as well.”

The ad solicits signatures from readers who believe that religious people have the right and duty to participate in the electoral process without fear and intimidation from anti-religious bigotry.

“This is a lesson America had to learn the hard way, overcoming bigotry against Jews, Catholics, and other religious minorities,” said Becket Fund founder Kevin “Seamus” Hasson, “and we are committed to not letting the country forget it.”

The ad makes clear that although anti-religious propaganda is not illegal, it is wrong: “Religious groups can’t claim some sort of special immunity from criticism,” but “violence and intimidation are always wrong, whether the victims are believers, gay people, or anyone else.”

The Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a nonpartisan, interfaith, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.

I guess The Peter and Bam Bam didn’t make the cut. Andy at Towleroad has more.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding