There is a direct connection between the anti-gay hate speech in Senator Jim DeMint’s book “Saving Freedom” and the persecution and even murders of gay people in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
American society must hold DeMint accountable, and demand that he halt his savage and relentless anti-gay hate campaign.
For the record, author and journalist Lindsy Van Gelder reports that DeMint’s niece Sandy DeMint is lesbian.
Senator DeMint consistently opposes hate crimes legislation crafted to protect gay Americans from violent bigots. His stated aims in doing so are not his actual aims — those of perpetuating anti-gay bigotry and anti-gay violence.
Sean Kennedy was a gay South Carolinian murdered in 2007 in cold blood simply because he was gay. Here is a description of Stephen Andrew Moller’s fatal attack against Kennedy:
On May 16, 2007, at about 3:45 am, Kennedy was leaving a local bar in Greenville when a car pulled up beside him, a young man got out of the car, came around and approached Kennedy, called him a “faggot” and then punched him hard enough that his facial bones were broken, he then fell and hit the asphalt. This resulted in his brain separating from his brain stem and ricocheting in his skull. He was left lying there and a little while later, one of Kennedy’s friends received a voicemail that said, “You tell your faggot friend when he wakes up, he owes me five hundred dollars for my broken hand.” He later died of his injuries.
Moller was convicted of manslaughter and has already been released from jail. South Carolina had no hate crimes provisions, thus Moller, who absolutely did commit a hate crime, could not be tried and sentenced for the specific crime he committed. Senator DeMint later voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Clearly, DeMint with his hateful and pernicious attitude is a danger to the GLBT South Carolinians whose well-being he as U.S. Senator is supposed to help defend. I called all four of Senator DeMint’s offices and asked the persons answering if they could tell me who Sean Kennedy was. All four said “No.” So it isn’t just that DeMint is a figurehead of the prejudice that fuels anti-gay violence; he also traffics in perpetuating ignorance of the recent history of victims of anti-gay violence in his own state.
DeMint as a leading U.S. member of “The Family,” aka “The Fellowship,” a secretive and powerful evangelical group, has immediate ties to Americans who spread vicious anti-gay hatred to Uganda, resulting in the Ugandan government proposing life imprisonment and/or the death penalty for all gay people. The Ugandan anti-gay law is intended as a model for other African countries to follow. When the extreme nature of the Ugandan law attracted negative attention internationally, U.S. members of “The Family” distanced themselves from it in public, claiming they did not realize what the Ugandan government was planning. However, the anti-gay hate activist and “Fellowship” member Scott Lively, reporting from Uganda when the anti-gay law was being planned, wrote on his blog that a Ugandan told him that the “Fellowship” program “was like a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true.”
As long as “The Fellowship” remains a largely secretive evangelical organization, international human rights groups and the American public have no means of monitoring its activities. Senator DeMint could tell the public he is against the Ugandan law while communicating with Ugandan officials his support of it.
Here is a marrow-chilling passage from Senator DeMint’s book. “The loss of the moral influence of churches on society is immeasurable. For persons involved in immoral behavior, the best thing that could happen to them and the country would be accountability to a church body and subjection to public embarrassment. Nongovernment public discipline creates a deterrent for destructive behavior without the use of legal force. Yet the government has chosen to protect and promote . . . homosexuality . .. once discouraged by the consensus values of America’s churches.”
There you have it. Instead of truly loving and nurturing his lesbian niece Sandy DeMint, Senator Jim DeMint would like to see her persecuted and given no legal protections against the persecution.
Americans of good conscience should not leave the fates of innocent gay people in South Carolina in the hands of hateful rabid monsters like Senator Jim DeMint. We must send Senator DeMint a strong and unwavering message that there is no room whatsoever for faith-based anti-gay bigotry in our society.