Rep. David Richardson

Sunday morning Florida Rep. David Richardson sent me a link to his reply to John Stemberger’s “open letter” wherein he accused Richardson (Florida’s only openly gay legislator) of being divisive and inflammatory. Richardson’s reply is a good read. The only thing that Stemberger dislikes more than gay people is an uppity gay person who insists on equality. Richardson
makes a very good point (one I overlooked) that Stemberger’s missive was
really an open letter to his own supporters. In his reply Richardson extends an invitation for Stemberger to call him. I doubt that Stemberger has the
balls to do so. Like most bullies, he is probably a coward.

My original post on this matter is here. It will open in a new tab.

On
reflection I may have understated Stemberger’s anti-gay animus in my original
post. I reach this conclusion having gone through his many emails and my
prior posts. On the website of Florida Family Policy Council (the subsection on gay rights), they liberally quote from AFA including:

From AFA’s perspective, we believe the core goal of the homosexual
movement is to abolish the traditional, Judeo-Christian view of human
sexuality, marriage and family. In that regard, the homosexual movement
is the latest and most radical manifestation of the Sexual Revolution.

And Peter Sprigg (Family Research Council) with his denial of sexual orientation—Gay is just a bad habit:

This
pamphlet clarifies certain misconceptions about the meaning of
“discrimination” (some forms of which can’t-and shouldn’t-be eliminated)
and of “civil rights” (distinguishing those which limit government
power from those which limit the rights of others). It also explains why
homosexual conduct is not comparable to other characteristics usually
protected by civil rights laws (“race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin”). Protection against private “discrimination” has historically
been offered only for characteristics that are inborn, involuntary,
immutable, innocuous, and/or in the Constitution-yet none of these
describe homosexual behavior.

Louis Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition):

Restore
the foundations of moral order in America! Homosexual activists want
their sexual lifestyles to be a civil right, but did you know that they
seek to silence the truth about homosexuality and abolish moral judgment
in any form? The Agenda takes you inside the culture war, exposing the
shocking methods of the “gay” campaign and the strategies homosexual
activists are employing to transform American society radically.

If FFPC is going to repeat the rhetoric of hate groups then I would argue that they are a hate group. The quotes, above, are a very small sample of LGBT hate on the organization’s site. They also link  to some material that has been taken down. Perhaps the authors of those polemics have realized that their expressions of homophobia are too extreme. Stemberger hasn’t gotten the message. His good buddy is fellow Floridian (and always entertaining) Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel (which is also a hate group). Indeed, this merry duo is responsible for the drafts of many anti-LGBT bills. They also orchestrated the ballot measure that made same-sex adoption illegal in 2008.

In late August Stemberger will preside over Florida Family Policy Council’s 11th Annual Policy Awards Dinner. Keynoting that event is the ever friendly Ben Carson.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.