First, a very brief bit of history. My experience with the Liberty Counsel goes back to 2002. My very first effort as an “ex-gay” leader to enter the public policy realm was attending a meeting they coordinated to oppose the local Orlando City non-discrimination ordinance. After that, I saw them in action plenty of times because at the time I was in agreement with them; I was willing to adapt my testimony to fit their talking points and agenda. I am heartbroken each time I remember being against the very community I am now in love with; against my very neighbors. As they say, now that I know better I intend to do better. The last I heard from Mat Staver was a private message from him being “disappointed” in me and my post “The South is My Home, Too.”
I never purposefully insult or disappoint people for the sake of insulting or disappointing people. However, no one has a right to not be offended. I don’t seek to, but don’t mind offending the Liberty Counsel and those who profit from stigmatizing, disenfranchising and seeking to oppress LGBT+ people.
Enter the infamous Kim Davis. The conservative Christian government official who refused to do her job issuing marriage licenses to LGBT+ people out of “religious conscience.” She was rightfully punished as an agent of the state for abusing her position to execute her will instead of the will of the highest level of US government (the judicial branch is EQUAL in its authority to the other two branches). She abused her position by inserting her religiously stigmatized views instead of serving the people she was appointed to serve. She is not a victim as some paint her to be. She is an abuser. Anyone who reinforces stigma and dehumanizes LGBT+ love and relationships is being abusive. It’s even worse when those with government positions of power use their bigotry as a reason to prevent equality and freedom.
It’s even worse when those with government positions of power use their bigotry as a reason to prevent equality and freedom.
From firsthand experience, I know The Liberty Counsel knows exactly what to do with a negative attention seeking person who falls in line with, personalize, and regurgitate their agenda. Negative attention seeking can be very good for free earned media which then brings in more revenue to the organization.
Now it seems the Liberty Counsel is by her side in Romania stoking anti-gay fires once again. Their purpose?
Davis and Mihet (Liberty Counsel’s vice president of legal affairs and chief litigation counsel) are holding conferences in Romania’s largest cities, according to the release. The two have already met with two Archbishops of the Orthodox Church.
“Their message is simple and based upon the recent lessons learned in the United States: same-sex ‘marriage’ and freedom of conscience are mutually exclusive, because those who promote the former have zero tolerance for the latter,” the release said.
Speaking of “fake” things, this is a fake argument used to reinforce fear-based stigma against LGBT+ equality. Marriage equality is the law of the land. The United States Constitution, while recognizing God in a few places is primarily built on secular principles to provide equality for all. The Constitution does not give government workers who are Christian a “right” to pick and choose who they will serve or not. It’s not intolerant to tell any government worker they aren’t allowed to pick and choose the fair and equal application of settled law.
As a matter of conscience, if a person can’t fulfill their role as a government employee, they can and should go find another job that wouldn’t require them to subordinate their beliefs. No one is telling Kim Davis what to think. We can tolerate her right to believe whatever she wants to believe. What we won’t tolerate is the Kim Davis’ of the world abusing their government positions by disenfranchising and stigmatizing gay people.
I hope the people of Romania have open eyes to see that Kim Davis isn’t a Christian ideological martyr but a fake victim. Let’s hope they see that she chose to act in a way that is obvious bigotry and has no place in the creation and implementation of public policy. I hope Liberty Counsel’s presence there is an indication of their waning influence here. More importantly, I hope Romanian hearts open wide to the truth that LGBT+ people, our love, and our desire to be in equal standing with the rest of our community, is a way we bring God-honoring beauty into the world.
May Kim Davis and the Liberty Counsel come home from Romania to find an empty audience here, and no impact there.
Being free is good,
Photo Credit: Lexington Herald Leader