A pro-family advocate in Michigan says he's honored to be on the front lines in fighting for First Amendment rights to speak out against homosexuality.
Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, is concerned that the "Hate Crimes Act" signed into law last year will be used to prosecute those who speak in favor of traditional biblical morality. He cites a personal example.
"Several years ago Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit and I were personally accused by the National Gay &Lesbian Task Force in a news release of being responsible for inciting the alleged beating death of a 72-year-old homosexual man in Detroit, merely because we had actively supported Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment reaffirming marriage as only between a man and a woman," he remarks.
Glenn says aside from the fact that officials found that there was no assault and the man died of natural causes, it illustrates the point that preachers of biblical truth are being targeted. He encourages boldness.
"Don't be intimidated," he counsels. "Continue to speak biblical truth; continue to tell people that marriage is and always has been between one man and one woman -- that's what's best for society, best for children. And stand up against these continuing restrictions on the exercise of free speech."
Glenn is speaking of the case of 72-year-old Andrew Anthos, who died mysteriously in 2007. Anthos, shortly before his death, had told family members that he was attacked because of his sexual orientation. However, the police and medical examiners concluded that his death was the result of a fall and there was no evidence that he was attacked.
But Glenn plays a little loose with the facts regarding the Gay and Lesbian Task Force letter. This is what it said:
"For years, Michigan has been subjected to the homophobic rants of Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan, while so many otherwise good and decent people have been silent. Just two years ago, the state endured an ugly campaign, led by Cardinal Adam Maida, to 'protect marriage' by writing anti-gay discrimination into its constitution. Based on that amendment, a three-judge panel of Michigan's court of appeals voted last month to terminate medical insurance coverage for families of LGBT government workers throughout the state.
So while the letter did somewhat link him to Anthos's death (which was probably unfair), Glenn really has no right to plead total innocence here. He wasn't "merely standing up for marriage." The letter speaks to his long history of vilifying the lgbt community.
Like in 2006 when he spoke against gay/straight alliances in public schools because according to him, they "promote risky behavior,"
Or when he opposed anti-discrimination policies on the assumption that they would make bathrooms co-ed,
Or when he opposed anti-bullying legislation because according to him, it "promoted the homosexual agenda."
Or that ridiculous lawsuit he has help to launch against hate crimes legislation, legislation which does nothing to punish anyone for speech unless that speech is advocating violence,
Or last week when he declared that there should criminal sanctions against "homosexual behavior." The discussion that he had with me afterwards in which he tried to justify his words only spoke to his desire to further stigmatize the lgbt community even to the point of using information designed to help us as a weapon against us.
And that's the huge hypocrisy of folks like Glenn. They claim that they are being attacked for merely standing up for "Christian values." It's a good lie they tell as long as no one is made aware of low they stoop to defend their idea of morality.
UPDATE - Check out One News Now's "poll" on hate crimes legislation and the "variety" of questions it offers:
What kind of impact do you believe the Hate Crimes Act will have on freedom of expression for Christians? (related article)