Not that we’d ever suggest this, but you have to wonder if there are some pissed off gay activists plotting to pull a Fred Phelps at Monday’s funeral of Georgia’s beloved anti-gay hater state Rep. Bobby Franklin.
You know the gig – scrawl some hateful things on posters, add a few more offensive quotes on sandwich boards for your 8-year-olds and crash the funeral with chanting and picketing. Phelps’ legendary anti-gay pickets landed him in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
So it might seem like a bit of cosmic justice to flip those methods and turn them on Franklin, the 56-year-old Cobb County lawmaker who made a habit of offending gays and pretty much anyone else who isn’t a middle-aged white guy living in the suburbs. He was found dead on Tuesday.
What, you say? Franklin was anti-gay? Well, yes, if you agree that “anti-gay” is something like this quote from Franklin:
“The Bible says it’s a capital offense,” Franklin (photo) said of homosexuality. “You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it’s not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we’re told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed, you’ve been justified and so forth. It’s not what you were. You’re not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing.”
But if you think Franklin’s such a nice guy, you’re probably reading the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which apparently got a hand job from the devil to whitewash Franklin’s offensive record in its coverage of his death.
The AJC was so overwrought with grief that they dusted off a February profile of Franklin and hyped it in the days after his death. It salutes him as “intensely conservative” and does so without mentioning the anti-gay swirl around him at the time the story was originally published.
In reporting his death, the AJC also missed the anti-gay angle in a piece titled “Franklin remembered for his principles, dedication.” Dedication to hate and offense, maybe.
Even veteran – and respected – political columnist Jim Galloway, who first broke news of Franklin’s death, lost his arm’s length objectivity from the news, admonishing commenters to be polite and reminding them that Franklin “was a kind and gentle man.” When the comments disagreed, he shut them down.
Then again, this the same AJC that skips LGBT events. And even Franklin’s hometown paper, the Marietta Daily Journal, glossed over his anti-gay views though the MDJ is where his gays-are-drug-dealers comment originated.
Patch is the lone, non-gay media outlet, with a reference to Franklin’s anti-gay views. Patch. How sad.
We’re not advocating a gay jig to be danced on Franklin’s coffin during Monday’s services, set for 11 a.m. at Cumming Baptist Church. Not even a Phelps-style protest outside. But it’s not too much to ask that his shameful record gets included in the reporting of his death.
Photo courtesy Hyosub Shin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution