Thursday, January 8, 2009

Anti-LGBT Group "Feeling the Pinch"

In December, the anti-LGBT Christian Action League announced it's $15,000 in the red, and fighting Equality NC's efforts appears to be one of the reasons. According to their website, Rev. Mark Creech blamed the shortfall on fighting "egregious forms of legislation that would have passed in the last session of the North Carolina General Assembly." Given how much time I saw Rev. Creech spending making sure gay and transgender kids don't have clear and effective protection from bullying, I'm betting he's talking about fighting us.

A little background: the Christian Action League is one of two right-wing groups that have lobbyists at the legislature working against equal rights every day. (The other is the NC Family Policy Council.)

The League's Creech and his friends at NCFPC are truly dedicated to their work.

I know these guys. We talk in the halls and in the cafeteria. Once in a blue moon we even find ourselves in coalition together (supporting lobbying reform, for example).

The thing that always amazes me is the way they can smile and be so friendly when a centerpiece of their agenda is to ensure that it's legal to discriminate against me.

So, although I don't wish anyone ill in these tough economic times—we're bracing ourselves for a tough year at Equality NC too—it's a little bit nice to know we're making enough progress to make them spend more on defence.

The article also outlines some of their agenda for 2009:

At its recent Western, Central and Eastern Conventions, the Christian Action League reported on some of the legislation it expects to have to address in 2009:

  • Legislation giving special rights to homosexuals
  • Replacing abstinence only based sex education with comprehensive sex education, which essentially promotes the use of condoms
  • Legislation that would use taxpayer money to study the merits of legalizing medicinal marijuana in the Tar Heel state
  • Modifications to the current ABC system

Yep, we're at the top of the list again. No surprise. The anti-gay industry knows that scary homosexuals are the best fundraising tool they've got.

But, let's look at that agenda again, and here's what it amounts to:

  • Keeping a whole segment of North Carolinians from being treated equally
  • Ensuring schools continue to lie to kids about sex despite all the evidence that "abstinence only" sex education doesn't work
  • Denying funding to a medical study they don't like, and
  • Making it difficult for folks to have a drink

They can dress it all up in carefully crafted language. But when you get down to what they really mean, their agenda is far outside the mainstream of what most North Carolinians believe.

I bet their supporters will come through for them, and Rev. Creech will be back in those halls smiling at me on January 28. I just hope we can keep him on the defensive in 2009.

-Ian Palmquist

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