Bil Browning

Indiana Religious Right Ties Itself in Knots

Filed By Bil Browning | January 22, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: constitutional amendment, Curt Smith, HJR-3, IFI, Indiana Family Institute, marriage amendment, marriage equality, Ryan McCann, same-sex marriage

hypocrite.jpgBy this point I don't know why it surprises me when the religious right ties itself in logical knots over marriage equality. They're just shameless about it too. They'll spout off easily proven lies and the hypocrisy knows no bounds.

The Indiana Family Institute gave us another great example yesterday. In an email blast to members, IFI President Curt Smith claims:

It comes down to this.

State after state around the country has come under attack by Leftist activists set on redefining marriage, robbing citizens of religious liberties and even shutting down businesses, churches and non-profits that disagree with them.

Actually it comes down to this... The very first point Smith makes is a lie. In all states that have embraced marriage equality, no businesses, churches or non-profits have been shut down over their anti-gay positions. In fact, some businesses have closed their doors voluntarily to avoid serving LGBT people. Churches have closed charities so they wouldn't have to show love to queers.

Those decisions were made by people with prejudices so deep they'd rather harm others or their own livelihood than treat other humans respectfully and equally. It has nothing to do with marriage equality; it's all about their own rejection of their supposed savior's teachings.

The lunacy doesn't end there though. Smith continues with the derp in his email and his own staff undermines his point.

Smith's email bemoans:

However, out-of-state Leftists groups from the coasts are pouring money into Indiana to try and fool legislators into turning their backs on their voting history and campaign promises.
...
Our opponents have spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to fool your legislator into believing that his or her constituents oppose marriage.

First, let's count up the amount of staff time and lobbying hours these groups have paid for to advance discrimination over the past decade. Three main organizations have worked nonstop to try to pass a marriage discrimination amendment and lobbied the legislature yearly. Where do they get all that money?

They beg and cajole dollars from their supporters just like LGBT organizations do. They also bring in out-of-state religious right bigwigs to headline their fundraising dinners and events. They cozy up to right wing politicians to raise money for themselves and political campaigns.

Best of all, while Smith complains about "out of state Lefists groups" trying to influence Indiana's debate on the proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, it's important to remember that every person who spoke against the legislation in front of the Judiciary Committee last week was a Hoosier.

IFI, however, is touting one particular anti-marriage testimony given to the committee on their blog. Ryan McCann, IFI's Director of Operations and Public Policy, is super happy that an out-of-state organization sent a spokesperson to try to shore up support.

Last week we were very encouraged to have so many great people testifying in favor of the Marriage Amendment (HJR3). Ryan Anderson, with the Heritage Foundation, is a great spokesman nationally for the marriage movement.

Of course, Anderson spent a considerable amount of time at last year's Values Voters Summit claiming that people who live in states that have legalized marriage equality have no right to free speech any longer. Joined by several other speakers, the group repeatedly claimed they were being silenced - even though they obviously weren't since they were talking about how much they hate the gays the entire time. Even better, the event was held in Washington, DC; a jurisdiction that has marriage equality.

So, yeah. Logic is not their strong point - and it's often tossed overboard in favor of scare tactics, outright lies, and deception. Want to know why the religious right is losing the battle over marriage equality? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's the hypocrisy, stupid."


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