27 thoughts on “Comiskey and Bergner tell Right to tone it down”

  1. I’m with Warren on this. Well, other than I think that some really do push gay issues for the money… but we can disagree about the extent to which that comes into play. For me this feels a bit like arguing the obvious, so I’m going to rest the subject and just let you disagree, Ivan.

  2. I agree with you Dr. Not only is Peter’s group not a powerhouse, but neither is any other organization that’s specifically dedicated to countering gay advocacy groups.

    Anyone for lemon meringue pie?

  3. Ivan – I know AFTH is not a powerhouse but you mentioned Pete and I did not know what you knew about him.

    It is tempting to continue to fuss over this and if others want to that is fine as long as it continues to be respectful. However, I don’t see the point for me at least. I have first hand information about how these things work and that is all I need. On the other hand, do I think any of these groups that have been mentioned ride an issue just to make money for themselves? No, not at all.

  4. Boo,

    Uh, would I say it otherwise? I never said anti-gay groups don’t raise money. Read Gordo’s comment again, then read my response again. But let me cut you a bit of slack for a second. Aside from the same sex marriage issue, (which by the way, wasn’t marketed as an anti-gay decision, but a protection of marriage – Whether or not you agree with that is irrelevant. It wasn’t marketed as an anti-gay issue), have you seen any other anti-gay measures being promoted on the scale of the anti-SSM issue? Even remotely close? Have you seen massive campaigns, as many anti-gay websites as the anti-SSM websites that have gone up? When’s the last time you saw an anti-gay book published, as often as anti-SSM books that have been published? If you think the anti-SSM marriage ballot is part of this, then sunstantiate the claim that as much money is being spent on *other* anti-gay agendas, because you are lumping the two together – All one and the same anti-gay agenda. And when you can prove me that, prove to me as Gordo said that it’s an issue that is being used to raise money, over others. It’s an old argument, and without any merit whatsoever.

    Timothy (and boo), gimme your address’ and I shall send you both a slice.

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    I’m glad you brought up AFT… again. With the comments appearing on this thread, you’d think he had a budget of several million dollars. But yeah, he tried once already, and folded…. It doesn’t look like much has changed second time around. But I’ll be honest with you. I’d agree completely if AFT had the funds, and I several other groups popped up also with the funds. But I wouldn’t agree necessarily that it’s a decisive fund raising issue as Gordo implied.

  5. “Americans for Truth about Homosexuality” is the full name.

    This is interesting – the group was given 501(c)3 status in 1998, yet Guidestar has no IRS Form 990 for any year.

    “Shocked and dismayed” is my personal favorite because it’s obvious that the person saying it is neither. It reminds me of the police chief in Casablanca upon discovering that there is gambling going on in the back room.

  6. Villifying any group of people is a big fundraiser for sure. However, people are already beginning to see these things as venomous, with their funds better allocated elsewhere. Whether discussing the “religious right” or the “homosexual assault,” groups which tout such devicive language instantly are turning many people off.

    Unfortunately, rather than tune down their message (as many promoting the ex-gay community have…and done so more effectively), they have attempted over and over again to amp it up – and frankly, the average American is tired of it. We want a unified country…not one that blames “gays” or “zealots.” Let’s all come together and deal with the larger issues…war, healthcare, etc.

    As much as research and all other science supports the relative nonexistence of successful “conversion” therapies, etc..the current ex-gay movement is distancing themselves from the radical factions (Narth, Exodus, etc..), lending more credibility to their stance…and giving at least the illusion that they read a scientific study every now and again.

    A well-played move.

  7. Yes, Ivan, I meant you not Gordo

    And, along with Boo, I too am curious about the pie over there.

    I seem to be on the same mailing lists as Warren because I too see the culture warriors begging for funds to “fight the homosexual assualt on the family” and to “defend our freedoms from the religious right”.

    Warren, I love the “decry” count. That is too funny.

  8. Ivan – If it didn’t raise money, it would not be as prominent in their appeals. I am not saying that gay issues are what funds these groups, not at all. But I feel certain that people give thinking they are helping to offset a moral tide they disagree with. Again, this is no shock. The left does the same thing warning the world about the evils of what they believe to be anti-gay efforts.

    Pete Labarbara does head an organization called Americans For Truth which I think is a single issue group devoted to homosexual issues.

  9. BTW, since we are talking about underfunded groups…how about a contribution toward “Equality Advocates of Pennsylvania?” They are an amazing group of many attorneys, etc…who have recently been doing work in Employment law – defending those harassed, etc..because they are glbt. Their board is diverse, even having a minister sitting on the board of directors.

    They also run a group called the “value all families coalition” that has helped defeat the discriminatory bills that have come before the legislature.

    If you look at groups, like CT where The Family Institute of Connecticut almost exclusively bashes and promotes an anti-gay agenda…it just makes you nauseaus.

    Why spend so much money and effort in oppressing a group of people?

  10. Ivan- no offense, but do even you actually believe what you’re saying? Anti-gay groups raise money with nothing to show for it? Focus and FRC and TVC aren’t out pushing anti gay marriage ballot agendas? Are you perchance from a parallel reality? And if so, how’s the pie over there?

  11. Oh, and you asked about what we feel is inappropriate? Personally, everyone can do what they like, as long as they’re honest. But hey, what advocacy group is honest these days?

  12. Dr. Throckmorton,

    There’s no reason to suspect that homosexuality wouldn’t be on the agenda, and there’s no reason that it wouldn’t exist on their mailings, newsletters and such. But to say it’s used to raise money, just doesn’t add up. If it were the case, it would be *very* obvious, and it just aint. At the every least, you’d have one organization, well funded, specifically dedicated to counter gay advocacy groups, and such just does not exist. So the money is being raised, supposedly, but they have nothing to show for it. How do the two add up? I’m just speaking logically here. You can all do the research yourself and see that the original comment by Gordo that “Anti-gay activists are using the issue to raise money and to organize” is pretty much false. Robert Knight and Peter Labarbera were both probably among the most vocal and well known anti-gay activists. Is Robert Knight heading a powerful, well funded anti-gay group? Is Peter LaBarbera?

  13. Ivan – I would like to hear about your research. In the circles I have been in, I think it would not be viewed cynically but “fighting the gay agenda” is on a whole bunch of appeals I have seen. It goes both ways, I am on left of center mailing lists as well and I get a similar amount of appeals to fight right wing extremism. Given that these are advocacy groups, I am not sure why that is so shocking.

    Rather than us all get in a snit about who raises more to do what, perhaps we could all be specific about what we see is inappropriate. What we have on the right (and I have been in the thick of some of these discussions) are real differences of viewpoint. Many cultural warriors on both sides want to WIN and use rhetorical excesses to top the other side. Most people outside of those circles are tired of it but those in the fray just keep using the same words and talking points. I once counted how many times in their news releases GLSEN used the term “decry” to refer to actions they disagreed with. For awhile it was every other news release. After awhile of being “shocked and dismayed,” and “horrified” by the actions of opponents, I turn it off. Apparently it works often enough via intermittent reinforcement schedules (I suppose to raise money and awareness) because they all keep doing it. They? I’ve done it some as well.

    Anyway, the view from my soapbox is getting blurry so I will step down. I think both sides demonize the other to reach their perceived constituents. Can I get a witness?

  14. Timothy,

    I suspect you were addressing me and not Gordo? The idea that anti-gay actvists use the gay issue to raise money would be laughable to most, of not all of the right wing Christian activists. I assure you, Timothy, I’ve done my research.

  15. The church needs to SUBMIT to the idea that someone can identify as gay and still be a Christian. This is the bottom line…right here. I may indeed consider homosexual relations to be outside the realm of God’s original intent….and yet….at this point in our culture we are dealing with all sorts of things that venture outside God’s original intent. I’ve been divorced TWICE….at what point does that “sin” become something that’s between ME and God and not me and the everybody deciding whether or not I’m within the framework of Biblical “law”? We (in the church) are going to have to submit on some of this stuff and let go. God will take care of what needs to be taken care of…and maybe we are wrong about how that needs to be accomplished. His ways are higher than our ways. Don’t bring up scriptural reference to homosexual acts being sin to me. That’s NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about folks being in relationship to God and allowing HIM to work on them as we love them with His love. Thank the Lord my sins have been “acceptable” enough to allow that to happen for me…..and it continues for me. I’m not “there” yet. I continue to struggle…and yet…I’m loved beyond belief by those in my church.

    Just some food for thought.

    love and grace,


  16. Gordo,

    Without doing a thorough research, I have to say that I think you may underestimate the emphasis that these groups put on gay issues when they do their fundraising appeals and when they issue their comments to the press. I receive fundraising appeals from some conservative Christian groups and can assure you that anti-gay efforts are strongly emphasized – offhand I can’t recall receiving any requests recently that didn’t highlight anti-gay activism as the reason I should give.

    Further, though you may suppose otherwie, most statewide gay supportive organizations are woefully underfunded.

  17. Gordo,

    Have you checked up to see how much of the budgets of CWFA, FRC and Focus are devoted to homosexuality? I suggest you have a thorough look through all 3 websites. A drop in the ocean compared to the gay advocacy groups.

    Also, I only mentioned the major gay advocacy groups. There are plenty of other state based gay advocacy groups, someone of them with significant budgets (compared to the pro-family groups of the state based organizations), and with grants from very wealthy people, like Tim Gill for example, and numerous others. And once again, the budgets of the state based pro-family organizations will be tiny, and the amount devoted to anti-gay issues even smaller, with a few minor exceptions.

  18. Drowssap said: “If scientists understood what caused homosexuality most people on the right would accept it although many would do so grudgingly.”

    I don’t know if I agree. We know what causes variations in skin color but there is still racism everywhere.

  19. Ivan

    2005 Budget:

    Lambda Legal Defense Fund – $10 million

    HRC – $23.7 Million

    NGLTF – $814,000

    Focus on the Family – $138 million

    FRC – $10 million,

    CWFA – $8.5 million

    You can look it up:



    Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas are not confused about homosexuality.

  20. I believe the root cause of most of the disdain towards gay people is confusion. When people don’t know something they get defensive. If scientists understood what caused homosexuality most people on the right would accept it although many would do so grudgingly.

    On the flip side if scientists understood what caused homosexuality it probably wouldn’t be long for this world.

  21. While I welcome some of Comiskey’s sentiments at face value, I can’t help feeling that he’s trying to have it both ways. Yes, I think it’s possible to make a fuzzy distinction from some of the harder rhetoric of the political groups, but I see a lot of ex-gay ministries doing roughly the same thing (especially PFOX).

    And even the “nicer” ex-gay groups are in on the act, they’re just starting ot use a softer touch. But as long as groups like Exodus and Alan Chambers continues to distort research to make us out to be, for just one example, more prone to domestic violence when the federal statistics they cite claims the opposite, their words just aren’t going to go anywhere in the gay community, not matter how “loving” they may be in saying it. Smiling while lying or obfuscating comes across as being particularly creepy.

    I see someone advocating a change in tactic, but nothing else.

  22. I’ve always wondered about the idea that anti-gay actvists use the issue of homosexuality to raise funds. Maybe I don’t quite understand the dynamics of it, but if this is the case, why is the only group dedicated to anti-gay activities (for the most part) TVC, and a seemingly underfunded AFT which folded the first time round? The major groups like CWFA, Focus, FRC seem to utilize a tiny amount of their money to combat what they call the gay agenda. If it indeed is true, wouldn’t you expect to find several massive organzations the size of HRC, NGLTF, Lambda Legal, and with as much political clout?

  23. “Often the people who are on the frontlines … we’re not able to express the complexity of our own feelings,” said Miranda.

    I never thought that hate was all that complex a feeling.

    Anti-gay activists are using the issue to raise money and to organize and its not surprising that they wouldn’t take well to someone telling them to cut it out.

Comments are closed.