This weekend, Prague began its second LGBT pride festival, which the U.S. embassy supported as an opportunity to “reject discrimination while embracing tolerance and respect for the dignity of all persons around the world.” The embassy’s support has sparked a backlash, however, and a broad coalition of anti-gay leaders and groups sent a letter condemning the embassy for advancing the “gay agenda” and “stigmatization and marginalization” of those who oppose marriage equality. Here’s an excerpt:
- Regarding “gay rights,” those caught up in this lifestyle have the same rights as other citizens. This does not include the “right” to force others to validate a lifestyle they find objectionable, for religious or other reasons. It also does not include the right of men to marry men and women to marry women.
- The foregoing pseudo-rights do not advance human freedom and dignity but debase them.
- We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the “gay” agenda on societies with traditional values.
The letter features a veritable who’s-who of hate group leaders and purveyors of anti-gay stigma, including:
- Brent Bozell (Media Research Center/For America)
- Scott Lively (Author of The Pink Swastika who evangelizes anti-gay rhetoric in Uganda)
- Benjamin Bull, Piero Tozzi, and Roger Kiska (Alliance Defending Freedom)
- Linda Harvey (Mission America)
- Jim Garlow (Renewing American Leadership)
- Peter LaBarbera (Americans for Truth About Homosexuality)
- Tim Wildmon (American Family Association)
- Matthew Staver (Liberty University Law School/Liberty Counsel)
- Bill Donohue (Catholic League)
- Tom DeLay (former House Majority Leader)
- Brian Camenker (MassResistance/Parents Rights Coalition)
- Tom Shields (Coalition for Marriage and Family)
- Matt Barber (Liberty Counsel Action)
- Robert Knight (American Civil Rights Union)
- Lou Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty (Traditional Values Coalition)
- Jennifer Roback Morse (National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute)
- Mike Huckabee (former governor of Arkansas)
- Alan Keyes (former UN ambassador)
- Alveda King (King for America)
- Diane Gramley (American family Association of Pennsylvania)
- Richard Land (Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission)
Some of these anti-gay figures may differ in the extremity of their rhetoric, but by signing onto this letter together, they demonstrate that they all believe homosexuality is a “lifestyle” choice that is “objectionable.”
The United States has committed to fighting LGBT discrimination and criminalization across the globe, but the Czech Republic already has sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections that exceed those in the U.S.