Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days. We'll be providing a retrospective on the most heinous, crazy-making bits of anti-LGBT news that came across our radar last week. Our hope in doing this isn't only to darken the skies, but also to sound the alarm about the kind of idiocy that passes for "legitimate commentary" these days. Expect a healthy dose of snark in the following paragraphs — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.
5. GOP Senators Introduce 'License to Discriminate' Bill
A new bill sponsored by 11 Republican senators aims to protect the tax-exempt status of churches and religious nonprofits that oppose marriage equality… Even though there's exactly zero evidence that such religious freedom faces any substantial threat. But don't tell that to the bill's primary sponsor.
"What I would like to do is make sure that we go out of our way to protect churches from adverse action that could be taken against them as a result of their doctrinal views of the definition of marriage," Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, told the Washington Examiner last Tuesday. "We need not just statements, but we need legislation to protect religious liberty from this kind of potential threat."
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would prohibit federal agencies from rescinding the tax-exempt status of churches and nonprofit groups, according to the Examiner. Similar legislation was introduced in the House in September.
But here's the rub: The "threat" to which Lee refers to isn't just "potential" at this point in time, it's entirely hypothetical.
President Obama has promised to respect the rights of churches and religious-based nonprofits to deny service or refuse to recognize marriages that go against their religious doctrine. Every state that has enacted marriage equality legislation has done so with strong religious exemptions protecting the rights of faith-based institutions to do the same. And this tiny, totally unimportant document known as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution features a fundamental and oft-reaffirmed protection of religious liberty in its restriction that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
But please, continue with your hysterics, right-wingers.
4. Don't Shun Your Lesbian Friend, But Don't Let Her Recruit Your Children
In yet another shining example of so-called Christian love, televangelist and living dinosaur Pat Robertson told a concerned viewer that she shouldn't necessarily excommunicate her lesbian friend, but she definitely shouldn't let that dirty homosexual near her children, lest she turn the kids gay. (Because that's totally how it works, right?)
Robertson made the remark on Thursday’s edition of The 700 Club, after cohost Terry Meeuwsen read him a letter from a mother who had recently reunited with an old friend. "I invited her to meet my children. She said yes — and asked if she could bring her 'partner,'"the mom wrote. She added, "I don’t want her to think I am okay with her ways. And I don’t feel comfortable having her around my children. Should I keep this friendship?"
(Because, God forbid this old friend think that her long-lost buddy had gained some sense of tolerance in the years that had passed.)
Robertson advised the woman not to shun her friend and instead to show love, but noted, "You don’t want your children to grow up as lesbians, that’s what you’re talking about, you don’t want to show them that that’s an acceptable lifestyle for your family." He recommended that the writer tell her friend, “I have my lifestyle, it’s Christian and you have yours, it’s not; I’m sorry we can’t indulge in certain things together.”
Well, when you put it that way, Pat, it sounds like you're expecting the two (former) friends to engage in something nowhere near as G-rated as having cookies with the kids.
Watch the old cook below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
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