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Saturday, 18 June 2011

How to adopt a homophobe

My fellow blogger Stuart Hartill of Clinging to a Rock has passed on a nifty idea for Father’s Day, which is tomorrow. He was one of the recipients of an emailed request from John Becker of the US organisation Truth Wins Out (“Fighting anti-gay lies and the ex-gay myth”) about “adopting” a homophobic religious leader by making a donation to TWO in his (yes, it will usually be “his”) name.

“A few years ago,” writes Becker, “Father sat me down for the talk. ‘John,’ he said, ‘your voice is beautiful. Even so, it would be inappropriate to have you sing at the Cathedral anymore. I’ve been informed that you’re married to a man, and so your continued presence in this church would cause a scandal.’

Married to a man? Utterly disgusting! Becker continues:

Not the talk I expected from Father. “Father,” of course, was how this particular anti-LGBT religious leader preferred to be addressed, and many still call him “father” today. As we approach Father’s Day, I’m thinking about this man, and about many others who promote religion-based bigotry against LGBT people while purporting to call themselves spiritual “fathers”.

For example, this week as momentum in New York surged toward the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, Archbishop Timothy Dolan compared allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry with North Korean-style Communist dictatorship. Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt used his bully pulpit last week to endorse a proposed anti-gay amendment that would write marriage discrimination into Minnesota’s constitution, throwing the scientifically-discredited “kids do best with a mother and a father” meme into the mix for good measure. And it’s not just Catholic “fathers” who engage in this type of spiritual violence – evangelical preacher Damon Thompson, who claims on his website that he “fathers spiritual sons and daughters”, spews disgustingly vile anti-gay hate speech, all in the name of Jesus.

I’ve got a challenge for you: this Father’s Day, “adopt” an anti-LGBT religious leader by making a tax-deductible donation of any amount, in his honor, to Truth Wins Out. After you donate, email me at with his name and location, and I’ll send an email to your adopted Pop to let him know about the thoughtful gift you made on his behalf to fight anti-LGBT religious extremism. (You can even make your donation anonymous!) It’s a surefire way to bring a Father’s Day smile to Pop’s face.

What a good idea! You could extend it, of course, by simply doing it yourself if you fancied donating to, say, a UK organisation. Just make the donation and write to the bigot in question and say, “You’ll be dead chuffed to know that I’ve made a donation in your name to Gays R Us” (or whatever).

Talking of Father’s Day, sorry, Dad. I sent you a card the other day and forgot to put a stamp on the envelope.

Poor Mr Armitage, somewhere in the Northwest of England, will be facing a surcharge.

Oops! I’m in for a bollocking.

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