Yes, this is the actual, unintentionally hilarious headline of a Richmond Style Weekly article.
Is this really what pastors are supposed to be doing? Fighting to make people vulnerable to unfair treatment, special taxes and violence? Something seems not quite right about that.
The “pastors” to which the headline refers are a new subsidiary arm of the “Virginia Family Foundation” (more accurately known as the Some Families Foundation), created in anticipation of the November 2007 election. That didn’t go particularly well for them, so now “Pastors for Family Values” has its weapons trained on hate crimes and employment nondiscrimination legislation.
Interestingly, Family Foundation president Victoria Cobb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the subgroup “grew out of last year’s successful campaign to amend the Virginia Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.” One would think that having secured the most far-reaching “marriage” amendment to any state constitution in the nation, our jittery friends would feel satisfied that they had “protected marriage.” But, no. “Marriage” appears as one of the top concerns in the mission statement of “Pastors for Family Values.” And at their inaugural summit back in September, the spawn of Jerry Falwell exhorted the group to “protect marriage.”
You may recall that during the amendment campaign, Victoria and her friends insisted that they were strictly interested in “protecting the definition of marriage,” and that this had nothing, nothing at all, to do with wishing harm on the GLBT community.
I don’t want to be mean, but it sure does appear that they were lying.
If they were not lying, if their intention was not to interfere with the free exercise of contract rights, then why oppose legislation that allows the free exercise of contract rights? HB 865, introduced by Delegate Adam Ebbin, “allows coverage under a group life insurance policy to be extended to insure any class of persons as may mutually be agreed upon by the insurer and the group policyowner.”
If they were not lying, if their intention was not to do harm to GLBT individuals and our families, then why oppose the same protections from hate violence for GLBT people that other people enjoy on the basis of their religious beliefs? There have been no bills introduced in Virginia addressing hate crimes, but heaven forbid that should stop “Pastors for Family Values” from repeating the same silly talking points that have discredited our very own Loudoun AGI. “Pastors” – please, by all means keep insisting that Swedish and Canadian law trumps our First Amendment. Oh, and please, please follow the lead of these monsters in New Jersey, who claim, incredibly, that transgender people do not “need” protection from hate violence. We can always use more material with which to expose your utter moral blindness. Especially when you claim to be “Christians.”
Will the monstrous, immoral hatred of the Some Families Foundation be on full display this year, or will they have developed enough healthy shame to closet it just a bit? Will they fabricate some improbable reasoning to oppose even the creation of a registry for advanced medical directives (because, you know, in addition to the vast majority of Virginia residents who are straight, it might grant a little peace of mind to a gay person somewhere, and you can’t have that). It remains to be seen.
To follow the progress of this year’s legislation, see our 2008 Legislative Session page, and please sign up to join us for Equality Virginia’s Lobby Day and Legislative Reception on Thursday, January 24. It’s up to us to educate our legislators about our lives and the lives of our loved ones, and to show them that we pay attention to what they do. Those who want to do the right thing need to know that they will have our support, and those who don’t – well, they are learning too. It seems that Delegate Matt Lohr thought better of once again introducing his disingenuous bill attacking student Gay-Straight Alliances. He told the Daily News Record that “it’s not worth going through and making that a central piece of legislation knowing it’s not going to get out of the Senate committee.”