Today we begin our traditional review of the most offensive, ridiculous and otherwise outrageous quotes we heard from the right over the past 12 months. Demonizing and promoting discrimination against LGBT people is one of the overriding obsessions of the right in America today. That was even more true this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry and local and state governments debated whether to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Here’s some of what we heard from the right about LGBT people this year. We have so many quotes on this that we’ll have to follow up with a Part II posting. (Click here for posts on what we heard from the right in previous years.)
“The Bible says if you engage in homosexuality, your body will do things that will penalize you. So if you can have a vaccine for AIDS, then you’re keeping your body from penalizing you. I don’t think they’ll ever find a vaccine for AIDS.”
- Religious-right propagandist David Barton, arguing that God doesn’t want a vaccine for AIDS.
“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
- Dr. Ben Carson, Republican candidate for president, explaining why he believes being gay is a choice.
“I say everything is right on schedule. I’m trying to shore up my own family first and, hopefully, that will be an example to other people…”
- Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, explaining in March why the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage wouldn’t surprise him — because it would be just another sign of the “end times” and God’s imminent destruction of the world.
“If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder. So, that’s Satan working on us.”
- Former NFL player and football TV analyst Craig James, suggesting that supporters of LGBT equality are doing Satan’s work.
“I think they should be free to turn away anyone they don’t want to do business with.”
- Texas state Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia, defending his proposed bills that would have allowed Texans to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against anyone.
“Should a Jewish bakery have to bake a cake for the neo-Nazi convention coming into town? Nobody would say that. Nor would anybody say a gay florist couple has to give flowers to a Westboro Baptist protest at funerals.”
- Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, suggesting that barring the use of religion to discriminate against LGBT people would be like forcing Jews to serve neo-Nazis.
“Where will it stop? It won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.”
- Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (and since then a Republican presidential candidate), suggesting that the main goal of supporters of laws barring discrimination against LGBT people is to destroy religion.
“You look at what’s going on in Baltimore today, you know, you see issues that are raised there. And healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in the way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective.”
- U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, bizarrely linking the violent protests over charges of police brutality in Baltimore to same-sex marriage.
“(H)omosexuality is a sin and that they the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality. Why else would they have been hiding in the closet(?)”
- Nebraskan Sylvia Driskell, who claimed to be an ambassador for God and Jesus Christ, explaining why she decided to sue all gay people (collectively) in a federal court. She asked a federal judge to decide whether homosexuality is a sin.
“The business lobby, the Texas Association of Business, has decided now they’re going to put all their investment in the homosexual agenda, and that’s one of the things they did.”
– Jonathan Saenz of the religious-right lobby group Texas Values, accusing the powerful Texas Association of Business of “turning their back on Texas values” by opposing proposed legislation that would have promoted discrimination against LGBT people.