The Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group of religious conservatives campaigning against Question 6 to approve marriage equality in Maryland, held a panel over the weekend that demonstrated how anti-gay their campaign truly is. Jeremy Hooper noticed two important details: the inclusion of an ex-gay advocate, and the violent Biblical language promoted by one of the religious leaders.
Greg Quinlan is the President of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays), an ex-gay advocacy organization that manufactures visibility for the supposed ex-gay community. He also serves as director of government affairs for the New Jersey Family Policy Council, which has advocated against LGBT equality there. In his testimony, Quinlan claims that the only reason he was ever gay was because he was abused and sexually molested, and that now he has left the “lifestyle” and identifies as ex-gay. By advocating that gays can and should change, the Maryland Marriage Alliance proves that its motivation is not just about the definition of “marriage,” but clear animus against people who are not heterosexual.
If that weren’t proof enough, consider the testimony of Pastor Robert Anderson, who joined the panel to share a Biblical perspective for why same-sex marriage should be opposed. After comparing homosexuality to prostitution, bestiality, polygamy, and incest, Anderson endorsed the Biblical interpretation that both gays and their allies are “deserving of death”:
ANDERSON: The Scriptures in Leviticus 18:22 — you know what that says, that a man is not to lay down with another man; if they do that, it’s an abomination. But there is one verse I really wanted to drive home and then I’ll stop, but that’s in Romans Chapter 1. And it’s the very last verse — as you know, Paul addresses this. Listen to the last verse: “Knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death. Not only do the same” — but watch this — “for those who also approve of those who practice these things.”
If we don’t vote against it, then we are approving these things that are worthy of death!
Of course, Quinlan and Anderson flank Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance. And the juxtaposition of these two ideas illuminates the official campaign’s philosophy: gay people have to deny their own existence, and if they don’t, then they and their allies are worthy of death. That is not a paraphrase or an interpretation, but the verbatim language of those advocating against Question 6. To vote No to marriage equality is to endorse that position.