Focus on the Family actively campaigns against equality for LGBT people, but a new video reveals just how much gall the organization has in defending discrimination. In a conversation between host Stuart Shepard and Focus’s resident ex-gay Jeff Johnston, the two suggest that “the real agenda” of the equality movement is to “marginalize” Christians for opposing same-sex marriage:
SHEPARD: This is no longer theoretical. I mean we’ve talked about it for years and a lot of people said, “Oh, don’t pay attention to them, they’re just making this up, there will be no impact. We’re just talking about fairness, equality, providing this for folks and it will have no impact on you whatsoever.” We’re seeing people want to shut down businesses and using the weight of government to do this. [...]
JOHNSTON: They’re not just pushing Christians into their churches, they’re reaching into their lives and saying, “Here’s what you should say and here’s what you can’t say.” So they’re attacking freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of speech.
SHEPARD: So the effort to redefine marriage is not just about creating this new type of relationship out of thin air, it’s actually about silencing Christian voices in the public square.
Shepard and Johnston are categorically denying that discrimination is discrimination. They cite various cases of so called “marginalization” of Christians, but none of them even took place in states that have marriage equality. In each situation, it was a business refusing to provide a service to people because of their sexual orientation and then being challenged under state laws because that form of discrimination is illegal. A New Mexico photographer refused to document a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony and lost in court. Bakers in Colorado and Oregon have been challenged for refusing to sell cakes to celebrating same-sex couples. A t-shirt company in Kentucky was found to be in the wrong for refusing to print t-shirts for a Pride festival. None of these states even have same-sex marriage; the business owners simply do not have legitimate standing to discriminate.
Focus on the Family feels that challenging these Christians constitutes an attack on their motives, and they’re right. They’re defending discrimination, and personal religious beliefs offer no justification for that second-class treatment in society.