The other day I was having a discussion with a friend about how LGBTQ+ people are deeply concerned about the political climate in America and how it will affect us now and in the quickly approaching future. What Roy Moore just said is a perfect example, a flashpoint, of why this is a dangerous time for our community. Here are some quotes from The Guardian article, “‘Maybe Putin is right’: Republican Senate frontrunner (Roy Moore) on Russian leader.”
In an interview with the Guardian’s Anywhere But Washington series, Moore also said that Ronald Reagan’s famous declaration about the Soviet Union being “the focus of evil in the modern world” might today be applied to the US.
“You could say that about America, couldn’t you?” he said. “We promote a lot of bad things.” Asked for an example, he replied: “Same-sex marriage.”
When it was pointed out to Moore that his arguments on gay rights and morality were the same as those of the Russian leader, he replied: “Well, maybe Putin is right.” He added: “Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.”
Moore, who was forced from his job as chief justice after the Ten Commandments controversy in 2003, was later re-elected to serve as chief justice. His second stint as Alabama’s most senior judge also ended in controversy, after he was suspended in 2016 for refusing to obey the supreme court’s ruling on same sex marriage.
In his interview with the Guardian, Moore repeated his belief that Trump was put in the White House by God. “Everybody else thinks it’s the Russians,” he said. “I think it was the providential hand of God.”
For some context, the Russian “gay propaganda” law was passed in June of 2013. Since then, violence, kidnappings, and murder against LGBTQ+ people in Russia dramatically increased. They say the bill is to “protect children” Which is hogwash. The bill was meant to threaten and intimidate LGBTQ+ people into silence and appeal to social conservatives and religious activists. Because of this law and the oppressive systemic homophobia that produced it, our brothers and sisters in Russia literally face the threat of death.
This is the public policy/leadership induced anti-lgbtq climate Roy Moore feels akin too.
In the late ’80’s I was violently attacked by two homophobic men. If it weren’t for two lesbians coming to my rescue, I am not sure what would have happened. The first time I was out in the ’80’s and early ’90’s I had guns pulled on me as I left gay bars. While not nearly as bad as decades before, I do know what it is like to live with a pervasive sense of fear outside our little gay safe havens. The LGBTQ+ community has come a very long way in 30 years, but there are plenty of people like Roy Moore who believe that stigmatizing my core relational sense of being is ok. They believe it is more than appropriate to disenfranchise us from the public and political realms because of who we love. They demonize (literally) my relationship with my partner, our future, and feel like it is ok to describe our relationship and family as a force of evil in the world.
And these addicted to power evangelicals are the people in power, bending the ear of the President, right now.
Roy Moore and evangelicals like him won’t be the ones who round us up for jail or worse, but they will create an environment I had experienced before, where I was sitting bleeding into the snow being comforted by my roommate and two lesbians while the police took my attackers word saying I had “hit on them” romantically (not true.) The police then laughed at me saying “I deserved it (the beating).” When you stigmatize, demonize, and disenfranchise, evil is the result.
When you stigmatize, demonize, and disenfranchise, evil is the result. When you prioritize political power and idolize government over loving your neighbor as yourself, evil is the result.
We cannot and will not let Roy Moore help usher in the environment where LGBTQ+ people have to live in silence and fear. I pray that good hearted people of Alabama will not elect him to the Senate and that we start right now with plans to overhaul Capital Hill in 2018.
Please also continue to support, love, and pray for our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters in Russia.