The following letter appeared in todays Opelika-Auburn News:
To the Editor:
Rudy Tidwells defense (letter to the editor titled Chick-fil-A COOs comments twisted on Aug. 4) of Chick-fil-A honcho Dan Cathy is bizarre. Cathy did not directly condemn same-sex marriage, Tidwell tells us; he simply affirmed the biblical view of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Apart from the misrepresentation of the biblical view (which actually describes marriage as being between one man and multiple women), what on earth is the difference? It’s like trying to find a difference between saying all dogs should be killed and saying only animals other than dogs should be allowed to live. The two claims are logically equivalent.
Moreover, Cathy in fact went beyond this simple affirmation, inasmuch as he further opined that those who support marriage equality are prideful, arrogant, and inviting Gods judgment which frankly sounds just a bit prideful and arrogant on Cathys part.
In any case, the outrage against Chick-fil-A is about more than just Cathys comments. Chick-fil-A has a history of donating to anti-gay hate groups, according to daikykos.com, including some that have advocated the criminalization of homosexuality. Ill be eating elsewhere.
Roderick T. Long
The phrase according to dailykos.com (or daikykos, as they inexplicably misprinted it) was added by and at the insistence of the O-A News, whose editor asked me for a citation for what I had thought was common knowledge, so I sent them to a Kos post that had useful links. Now it looks as though Im taking Koss word for it. Oh well.
I wrote a… very informal… blog post about the first infographic. I found it to be very misleading.
I have yet to see primary evidence of CFA contributing to groups who actively try to outright criminalize homosexuality.
Seriously? That’s the term widely used in the media. Nobody thinks that’s the actual title.
No it doesn’t. Go back and read the bill you linked to.
Do you deny that Chick-fil-A contributes to the Family Research Council? Or do you deny that the Family Research Council has advocated criminalising homosexuality?
Moreover, lobbying to prevent the u.s. from condemning laws in Uganda criminalising homosexuality is certainly a contribution, albeit indirectly, to the Ugandan criminalisation of homosexuality. So, to a lesser degree, is lobbying to water down such a resolution.
I’m just outraged that you would choose to capitalize the first letter of Uganda, a country with no military power at all, and therefore worthless, while disrespecting the mighty united states by lowercasing it. Are you saying you’d rather be living in the terrorist nation of Uganda, and that you’d just as soon wipe your butt with the american flag? The founding fathers of the united states chose to give you your freedoms and this is how you repay them!!!!!
“Seriously? That’s the term widely used in the media. Nobody thinks that’s the actual title.”
Who knows what people think. The comments sections of news outlets showcase wild amounts of misinformation. “Kill the Gays” is capitalized and quoted like it’s a title. They’re being intentionally inflammatory.
“No it doesn’t. Go back and read the bill you linked to.”
Presumably you are referring to this:
“Whereas the legislation would severely punish `homosexual behavior’ and individuals who `attempt’ homosexual acts, including by life in prison or the death penalty;”
This is the US HR bill. I was referring to the actual Ugandan bill, which I did not link to at the time (I have updated the blog entry with the hyperlink http://wthrockmorton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/anti-homosexuality-bill-2009.pdf). I take responsibility for the confusion (if any).
Part II.3 defines aggravated homosexuality as same-sex intercourse while infected with HIV, or with a minor, or as rape. These people are “liable on conviction to suffer death”.
Part II.2 defined regular/consensual homosexuality, with a punishment of life in prison.
So it isn’t fair to call it a “kill the gays” bill, if virtually every instance in which gays would be killed would be for seriously criminal things.
(Note: you can see how the HR bill is consistent with the literal reading of the UG bill, but is phrased to suggest wholesale killing of homosexuals)
“Do you deny that Chick-fil-A contributes to the Family Research Council? Or do you deny that the Family Research Council has advocated criminalising homosexuality?”
No, and no. I said “actively try to outright criminalize homosexuality”. I know he’s advocated criminalization. But:
“When asked about Sprigg’s comments regarding the criminalization of same-sex behavior, FRC President Tony Perkins said that criminalizing homosexuality is not a goal of the Family Research Council, but did not denounce Sprigg’s statements”
Vocalizing an opinion is different from spending money lobbying for laws. If the media limited their claims to what the FRC is tangibly trying to do, they’d generate less moral outrage.
“Moreover, lobbying to prevent the u.s. from condemning laws in Uganda criminalising homosexuality is certainly a contribution, albeit indirectly, to the Ugandan criminalisation of homosexuality. So, to a lesser degree, is lobbying to water down such a resolution.”
Maybe. But I made at least two points about the HR bill. That it was inaccurate and inflammatory, and that conservative groups could reasonably oppose it while also opposing the execution and life imprisonment of homosexuals in Uganda.
But first: it makes no exception for informed, consensual sex with HIV (which does happen). Indeed, if two people who both have HIV have sex with each other they could both be executed. (Likewise for two minors having sex; both could be executed, as the law is written.)
Second: it also authorises the death penalty
1) against homosexual sex between boss and employee (regardless of the circumstances);
2) against having homosexual sex with a disabled person (nothing about it being a mental disability that would impair consent; consensual sex with a deaf person would count);
3) against “serial offenders,” i.e., anyone who repeatedly has homosexual sex.
The list of criteria is connected by “or,” not “and,” so (3) is not talking about serial cases of the other criteria; it is authorising the death penalty against anyone who has homosexual sex repeatedly. That’s it.
So much for your claim that “every instance in which gays would be killed would be for seriously criminal things.”
So yes, this is quite appropriately called a “Kill the Gays” bill. (As for the silliness about capitals, you know that capital letters are as common in nicknames as in regular names, right?)
The Family Research Council also submitted an amicus curiae brief in Lawrence vs. Texas. Doesn’t that go beyond merely voicing an opinion?
As I’ve just shown, your first point is false. Therefore the second point is false as well.
“But first: it makes no exception for informed, consensual sex with HIV (which does happen).”
This is technically true. Do you think the bill was written with this in mind?
“(Likewise for two minors having sex; both could be executed, as the law is written.)”
Which makes me think that the law wasn’t intended to apply to these niche cases.
“Second: it also authorises the death penalty
1) against homosexual sex between boss and employee (regardless of the circumstances);”
I found this strange too. I thought it might be because of the coercive nature of employment in Uganda…? Or the perception that an employer might extort sexual favors from their workers. I.e. I think they are perceiving this as a subset of rape, even if would not be rape under normal western/market standards.
“2) against having homosexual sex with a disabled person (nothing about it being a mental disability that would impair consent; consensual sex with a deaf person would count);”
Again, the most obvious explanation is the rape narrative. Rape is consistently invoked in the other prohibited sub-points. The wording of the bill also specifies this person as a “victim”, which may or may not be distinct from “consensual partner”. Who knows.
“3) against “serial offenders,” i.e., anyone who repeatedly has homosexual sex.”
The wheels in my head have spun various ways in which this is not a straightforward “kill the gays” line. None of them rule out a particular circumstance – whereby a repeat offender of the old laws came before the court and was convicted a last time. So I’ll concede this point.
But I still don’t anticipate wholesale slaughter of gays. The bill reads “held liable on conviction”. Being answerable doesn’t mean the punishment actually goes through. I cannot find any statistics or even media spotlights of homosexuals executed because of this bill. But I will look more thoroughly int he morning.
What would the moral majority think if it were the “Kill the Gays bill that killed 10 people?”
“As for the silliness about capitals, you know that capital letters are as common in nicknames as in regular names, right?”
Yes. It is technically consistent with an informal title, but the media doesn’t think they have to make this clear. The infographic never mentions the true name of the bill (so we can’t look it up easily).
“The Family Research Council also submitted an amicus curiae brief in Lawrence vs. Texas. Doesn’t that go beyond merely voicing an opinion?”
I was unaware of this. I’ll look for the brief in the morning when I have more time.
“As I’ve just shown, your first point is false.”
At best, you have proved it is inaccurate. It is definitely inflammatory. “Kill the Gays” implies an active genocide. The actual text of the bill threatens homosexual practitioners with life in prison, the death penalty for many legitimate crimes, and also repeat offenders.
“the second point is false as well.”
No. The second point stands. We have not discussed it here, but I mentioned before that the bill claims all human beings have intrinsic dignity, and also calls for the president to express unequivocal opposition to the bill and ENSURE (!) that HIV aid is administered efficiently in Uganda. None of us want to see forceful US intervention in Uganda.
I have no idea. Certainly the people who wrote it seem to be hate-filled, trigger-happy people. In any case, a law that literally says this, and will be applied by a judge working for a homophobic regime, is a tad risky.
That’s nice. Because a law that authorises killing virtually all gays but then gets applied in a selective matter is nothing to worry about.
And who opposes that?
What’s wrong with unequivocally opposing a bill that calls for killing virtually all gays?
I think it’s obvious that this is referring to financial aid sent to Uganda by the u.s., not to military intervention to control financial aid sent by others. Admittedly it doesn’t make that explicit. You seem to think that’s a big problem here, but not elsewhere.
In any case, does anyone really think that final bit is the basis of the FRC’s objection?. Their own description of the bill as “pro-homosexual promotion” suggests otherwise.
“Kill the Gays” is a perfectly fine term for a law that authorises killing virtually all gays, regardless of how religiously (so to speak) it’s enforced.
To whom would they have to make it clear? Who would assume that this is the bill’s official title? Should all references to “Obamacare” be replaced by the official title?
So did you have a hard time finding out the name of the bill?
From what I can see, they are very vocal. A google search of various terms like “Uganda execute gay(s)” or “how many homosexuals has Uganda killed” turns up zero cases of the law actually being enforced. I found one case where a journalist was beaten to death in his home, probably by an acquaintance. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/africa/28uganda.html
But I don’t see evidence that Uganda ever went around, rounded up “repeat offenders”, put them on trial, and killed them.
I got the opposite impression. I thought the bill was political pandering. The wording of the sentencing gives judges leeway.
I am definitely concerned about any bill that seriously threatens the welfare of innocent people. In this specific case, I think the mainstream media has gone WAY overboard in order to score cheap political points and bully their opponents.
It would be kind of weird to expect the FRC to agree with that statement, even if we do. The FRC can oppose the slaughter of homosexuals while also believing that they are metaphysically inferior.
If the president unequivocally opposed something I did, I’d be scared. It would be different if congress said they were united in opposition, but no, they want the Commander in Chief to speak. It’s probably just a symbolic gesture, but the modern nation building narrative is predicated on human rights.
I’m not worried about the US controlling other financial aid groups. The word “ensure” is ambiguous, but active and imposing. If Uganda were serious about killing gays, I don’t think better US aid management would be enough to “ensure” effective treatment of HIV.
The chances of this leading to intervention are low. But the chances of the HR bill doing anything good are low too.
The FRC gives a full statement explaining that they had problems with the accuracy of the bill, some of its declarations about homosexuality being universally recognized as permissible, and “does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality — nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.”
And yet a reasonable person would see “Kill the Gays bill”, and think “they’re killing gay people”. The media says something that is technically true, but spreads a false and exaggerated view. There’s nothing “fine” about that.
To everyone. I mean, this is the next best thing to lying right? They tell the “truth”, and get everyone to believe a lie.
WRT Obamacare, I don’t think it’s misleading in the same way. And Americans are all familiar with it, and know it isn’t literally called Obamacare. Though I would question whether americans are aware that Obamacare reforms more than just the health-care system.
Me personally? No.
I disagree; I would be astounded if the FRC denied one of the basic tenets of Christianity. I would instead expect them to embrace it, and then apply it in a screwy way.
Plus I see that their website affirms “the inherent dignity of the human person” and claims that “Christians are called by Gods [sic] Word to affirm the dignity of every person.”
But they don’t think homosexuality is a metaphysical status; they think it’s a sin.
I’m sorry, but that just strikes me as crazy. I very much doubt that anyone with even a smidgen of political awareness thought “Kill the Gays” was the real name of the bill. It’s perfectly ordinary and familiar for people to refer to law by a nickname, often a pejorative one (e.g. the “Papers Please” law). Why should the media have to assume that its readers are idiots?
Would anyone with internet access and minimal competence at using a web browser have trouble finding out the name of the bill?
Indeed, sometimes nicknames for laws are more accurate and honest than the official names (I can think of a few more honest renderings for something like the PATRIOT Act, for instance).
But shit, man. The law has life imprisonment even for non-“aggravated” homosexuality. I dunno what Ugandan prisons are like, but I doubt they’re any better than US prisons. If someone wants to argue that the FRC can’t be construed as having supported that bill, or that even if it did that blaming the Chic-fil-A for it is like playing Six Degrees of Association from Hitler, fine, I can see how that could be up for reasonable discussion.
But denying the reality of the law itself? Pure dishonesty.
You’re probably annoyed that I overlooked the “serial offender” line of the bill, but I appended my blog acknowledging your correction of my error.