Georgia is a hotbed of conservative and religious activism that, well let’s just say, shies away from supporting LGBT issues. We’re looking at you, Tanya Ditty. Turns out, the state is home to at least two anti-gay hate groups, too.
The Sons of Thundr at Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, southwest of Atlanta, and American Vision in Cobb County’s Powder Springs made the latest list of hate groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yep, that collection of 1,018 extremist groups that incudes racists, skinheads, KKK’ers and Nazis. How nice for us that Georgia is home to two of the 26 anti-gay hate groups in the U.S.
Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades – a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement’s rise to political power.
For Christian Right leaders, the gay rights movement and its so-called “homosexual agenda” are the prime culprits in the destruction of American society and culture. In the words of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the battle against gay rights is essentially a “second civil war” to put control of the U.S. government in the right hands, meaning those who reject gay rights.
The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as “perverts” with “filthy habits” who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and “convert” them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging “facts” about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the “bestial” black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.
What earned Sons of Thundr a place on the list? How about a page on its website called “Sodomites can be Saved” where it proclaims “All homos are: sick, brain damaged, perverts!”
For American Vision, it’s arguments equating gays to child molesters and murderers and proclaiming that keeping gays in the military closet wasn’t nearly enough. There’s that whole “homosexual lifestyle” argument, too.