Friday, June 4, 2010

Lower Still

In a March 25 editorial published in the Washington Examiner, a right-leaning online newspaper, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council attacked a House resolution that expressed the “sense of the House of Representatives that the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009’ under consideration by the Parliament of Uganda...threatens the protection of fundamental human rights.”

Perkins wrote “House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-CA, introduced H.R. 1064 in response to a proposed ‘anti-homosexuality bill’ in Uganda. His proposal advocates for a universal human right based on sexual orientation, and hints at punishing our allies with the withdrawal of U.S. foreign assistance should they demure from accepting Berman's demand.”

Of course, 1064 does nothing of the kind. The resolution was in response to Uganda’s so called “kill the gays” bill, legislation that penalizes a single act of homosexual sex between consenting adults with a potential life sentence and exposes a “serial offender” to a possible death sentence.

The resolution, which remains in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is non-binding and establishes no law. As noted on, the Senate passed a similar resolution on April 13 by unanimous consent. In other words, it did even get a vote. The resolutions are akin to these bodies stating an opinion on the Ugandan law, which has yet to be voted on in that nation’s parliament.

A few American evangelicals, notably Rick Warren, pastor of California’s Saddleback Church, were shamed into disavowing the law after their links to the law’s Ugandan proponents were exposed in American media outlets. None of these right wingers surrendered their opposition to the gay community even as they condemned the law.

What is confounding is that the council is supporting the Ugandan law and expended lobbying resources to stop Berman’s resolution. Putting aside that the Ugandan law is immoral, what possible political benefit could this organization gain from endorsing it and picking a fight over a resolution? Or are they so blinded by ideology that they no longer make such calculations?

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