When I read stuff like this, my first reactions are often a combination of incredulity (no way anyone would do that!), derisive laughter (these people MUST be joking!) and anger (f*** these people!). In this case, we’re talking about an organization – the Orwellian “Liberty Counsel” – that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled an anti-LGBT “extremist group” which “advocat[es] for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.” Here’s some more background from the SPLC on the “Liberty Counsel.”
- “The Liberty Counsel shares a close affiliation with Liberty University (founded by the late Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Va.)”
- “With the expansion of equal rights for LGBT people, especially, the Liberty Counsel has come into their own, working to attempt to ensure that Christians can continue to engage in anti-LGBT discrimination in places of business under the guise of ‘religious liberty.'”
- “[Liberty Counsel Chair and Founder Mat] Staver…went so far as to call for a new revolutionary war as marriage equality advanced. In March of 2015, Staver stated that he would personally advocate disobedience to any U.S. Supreme Court ruling that favored marriage equality, and that ‘collectively, we cannot accept that as the rule of law.’ During the 2015 brouhaha over Indiana’s religious freedom law, Staver likened “the homosexual lobby” to terrorists, claiming that ‘it’s hard to negotiated with people who are irrational and who are inventing things that simply don’t exist.’”
- “He has also supported the criminalization of homosexuality both in the U.S. and in other countries, stating in one instance that Malawi’s anti-homosexuality laws were in its ‘own best interests’ after the U.S. reportedly withheld monetary aid to the country because of its efforts to outlaw homosexuality…”
So, what are these anti-LGBT bigots up to now? Today, they announced that they had filed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County School Board “for illegally changing its nondiscrimination policy so that it conflicts with the state’s policy” by adding “‘sexual orientation’ on November 6, 2014, and again added ‘gender identity’ on May 7, 2015.” The first question will be whether this group can claim legal standing
or injury in court. That should be, uh, “interesting.” If they do manage to gain standing, it seems crazy that a court will enjoin the Fairfax County School Board from NOT discriminating, essentially forcing the Board TO discriminate.
Of course, you never know what a court will do, so stay tuned, but the broader point here is more “what the hell is WRONG with people like the ‘Liberty Counsel'” (and their fellow anti-LGBT “extremist group,” the “Traditional Values Coalition”)? Do these people really not have anything better to do with their lives than to spend time, energy and money fighting to make gay, lesbian and transgender kids’ lives miserable? Just disgusting.
P.S. h/t to my friend Josh Israel (see him speak about this issue in the above video) for alerting me to this disgraceful lawsuit.