Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Religious Right Freaks Out Over Washington Disclosure Case

Religious Right groups, from Protect Marriage Washington to Focus On The Families Citizen Link, are having a conniption fit over the fact that Judge Settle ordered the release of the 137,500 names that Protect Marriage Washington gathered to oppose the expansion of domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples in Washington State.

Citizen Link, in fact, has gone off the deep end; saying that those who value "traditional marriage" do not have the "right to privacy - even in the face of harassment and intimidation of homosexual activists". Additionally, they assert that the homosexual lobby has done "horrible" things to people and businesses that have opposed equality for LGBT people. My favorite of these "horrible"  things was that, "Business owners were affected as well, with boycotts of establishments where owners or employees had donated money to the cause." Additionally, they assert that there are serious chances of death threats and that this ruling has put "traditional marriage" supporters "at risk". 

Now, if anyone actually read the ruling (which I, as a law nerd actually did) you will notice that Judge Settle meticulously went through the claims of harassment and harm that proponents of Referendum 71 put forth. In each and every case, the judge showed that the "threats" and "harassment" that were claimed by supporters of Referendum 71 were either speculative, made up, or not even related to the Ref. 71 campaign. Some cases which might be labeled "harassment", such as verbal debate on the referendum, were in all cases viewed by those who claimed "intimidation" as a non-issue. 

This once again shows the lack of honesty of our opponents. Instead of actually addressing the issues that Judge Settle raised in his decision, organizations like Citizen Link make blatant accusations not rooted in evidence. 

Additionally, it seems as though the Religious Right has raised the bar for something to be considered "harassment". Instead of recognizing, for example, the right of citizens to vote with their dollars and decide which business to support; that has been elevated to "harassment". So now, it must be asked, is me having the freedom to decide who I wish to purchase from harassment? Does Focus On The Family want to have corporations and businesses not be accountable for any of their actions that affect society? How does this jive with Christian boycotts of places like Disney and Home Depot because of their pro-gay policies? Are Christians, through those boycotts, now harassing the LGBT community?

These are questions that need to be answered by the Religious Right. Why does harassment only go one way? Why is it that LGBT people are singled out for "harassing" those on the Religious Right, yet those same people who claim harassment, are the ones who are actually doing the harassing? 

In my opinion, they are the ones who are knowingly telling lies about our community, who are turning their LGBT sons and daughters into the cold because of who they are, and who are ones who are the ones directly causing the suicides of America's youth because of their religious based oppression and bullying. They are the true harassers, they are the ones who have the "majority", and we are the persecuted minority. They are the ones who, instead of recognizing that they are the ones who have caused pain and suffering in our community, have claimed for themselves the mantle of "victim". 

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