Does NOM think homosexuality ‘effaces human dignity’? Its Illinois ally does!
August 21, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor
The Illinois Family Institute is one of the only statewide family policy groups that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center's highly selective list of active anti-gay groups. That's because the IFI is, in all honesty, one of the most aggressively anti-gay groups working against LGBT people. This is not a pragmatic political organization focused on policy—this is an anti-LGBT organization focused on "curing" us.
- The IFI's president, David Smith, routinely calls gays "depraved" and "unnatural," is a major advocate for "ex-gay" junk science, and has gone after everything from gay pride parades ("the celebration of perverse sexual behavior and the blatant disregard for the laws") to open service (military was "politically coerced to embrace and endorse an immoral, unhealthy, and perverse lifestyle."). More here.
- The IFI's senior analyst, Laurie Higgins, has referred to homosexuality as "a disordering of the sexual impulse" and "destructive foolishness," has claimed incest is "no more depraved and perverse than sexual relations between two men or two women," has equated same-sex parenting with child abuse, and has written that "homosexual acts efface human dignity, undermine human flourishing, harm human bodies, and corrupt love between men and men and between women and women." Much more here.
- The IFI also has a regular stable of speakers who are among the movement's most extreme. Linda Jernigan, who has spoken at numerous IFI events and lobbied before the IL legislature on behalf of the organization, is a professional "ex-gay" who says homosexuality is "Satan's plan." And then there's the IFI's former president and current ally, Peter LaBarbera, who, while keynoting a recent IFI rally, said that gay people are an offense to nature.
The bottom line is that this organization is far beyond your everyday policy shop. The IFI doesn't even try to hide its overall mission of stopping (or "changing") LGBT people. Unlike other statewide groups, IFI is not affiliated with the larger "Family Policy Council" network that Focus on the Family/FRC mastermind, which is likely why the IFI is so able and willing to go off message. But go off message they do, and any national organization that gets behind the IFI invalidates its claims to be focused on policy rather than animus.
But while the IFI is so clearly in a category that transcends politics, the organization is still the one that leads the opposition in the Land of Lincoln. So now, with the Illinois legislature likely to vote on marriage in the coming months, the IFI is gearing up for its role as the organization leading the pushback. And who so you think is eager to push the animus-driven IFI and its efforts? Why NOM, natch:
Of course NOM positions this day as simply in "defense of marriage," but that is complete hogwash. I mean, "defending marriage" is always a ruse, since gay people don't threaten marriage in any way. In this case, however, the B.S. takes on another level entirely. All of the same people I mentioned earlier will be the guiding voices behind this lobby day, with IFI president David "gays are 'slaves to the sin of sexual perversion'" Smith leading the charge. There is no way you can fairly disassociate the IFI's driving mission from its legislative rallies. If NOM wants to get in bed with the IFI, then NOM is going to have to accept the full slate of animus that comes with such a sleepover.
Personally, If I wanted to prove that my cause was limited and loving, I'd steer clear from an org like the IFI. Not that NOM staffers want any advice from the likes of me. They are destroying their original mission just fine all by themselves.