LaBarbera Wants an Anti-Gay Rosa Parks

Amid the constant stream of calls from the anti-gay bigots, Peter LaBarbera went on Janet Mefferd’s radio show and said that what the Christian right really needs is its own Rosa Parks. And he finally has a suggestion on what they should do: sidewalk counseling.

One of the watershed moments, if not the watershed moment, of the civil rights movement was when Rosa Parks just said, ‘I’m not giving up my seat on the bus, I’m not doing it,’” Mefferd said. “And this sweet woman ended up becoming this massive hero and she didn’t have any other idea behind it other than she didn’t think it was right and she was correct in that. Seems to me we need a Rosa Parks moment and I know we’ve had some of those already where they’ve gone to court over it, but just say, ‘Do your worst, I’m not doing this, I’m not going to do this because this is against my conscience.’”

LaBarbera insisted that governors should flout court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans and urged anti-gay activists to emulate anti-abortion “sidewalk counselors,” who protest abortion by approaching women entering clinics.

Well, they’ve already had local government clerks refuse to issue marriage licenses, but it’s done nothing at all. And they certainly don’t equate to Rosa Parks; she was a private citizen, they are acting as official agents of the government and therefore cannot refuse to do their jobs. As for sidewalk counseling, I find that hilarious. Are they really going to hang out outside a county courthouse on the off chance a gay couple comes by to get a marriage license and talk them out of being gay in a few seconds? Yeah, good luck with that.

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  • Al Dente

    but just say, ‘Do your worst, I’m not doing this, I’m not going to do this because this is against my conscience.’”

    Fine, LaBarbera, don’t marry another man. See if anyone cares.

  • Chiroptera

    Well, the bigots do have precedent on their side. Remember that the bigots’ attempt at “sidewalk counseling” for the Little Rock Nine was so successful that President Eisenhower had to send in the 101st Airborn.

  • donkensler

    Yep, some sidewalk counseling would totally make me want to marry a woman.

  • John Pieret

    LaBarbera insisted that governors should flout court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans

    There’s that famed “conservative respect for the law” again!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    As for sidewalk counseling, I find that hilarious. Are they really going to hang out outside a county courthouse on the off chance a gay couple comes by to get a marriage license and talk them out of being gay in a few seconds?

    No. That’s ridiculous. When a HomoCouple walks up to the county courthouse they’ll rush in ahead of The Gays and get their “marriage” license. Then the gay couple can’t get “married”! Take that, Normal Marriage Opponents!

  • whheydt

    I think where LaBarbera goes wrong in this is that he forgets that Parks became an emblem of the fight to restore and expand rights that had been denied, where he is fighting to restrict and roll back rights. His equivalent would be if someone had grabbed Parks and thrown her off the bus. Of course, LaBarbera would like to throw gays under the bus.

    Oh, well… In 20 years, LaBarbera (or his equivalent) will be crowing about how marriage equality was his idea all along.

  • Trebuchet

    “Sidewalk counseling” outside abortion clinics consists mostly of blocking sidewalks and screaming obscenities. That’s what he actually has in mind.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    Are [Christian bigots] really going to hang out outside a county courthouse on the off chance a gay couple comes by to get a marriage license and talk them out of being gay in a few seconds? Yeah, good luck with that.

    The only compelling argument I can think bigoted Christians have to challenge gay people is their belief that gay people who are unrepentantly gay will suffer unimaginably in Hell for all eternity. Where the bigot making their case celebrates the existence of their infinitely evil savior extortionist.

  • Deacon Duncan

    Actually, I think I’m LaBarbera’s Heterosa Parks. Just like Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, I refused to marry someone of my own sex. My wife and I have been together for decades now.

    What’s that? There’s hundreds of millions like me? And nobody is trying to force any of us to marry someone of the same sex? And in fact the coercion is all aimed the opposite direction? Hmm, maybe he should re-think which side of the civil rights debate he’s really on. Except that “re-think” implies that he has ever done any thinking in the first place.

  • cptdoom

    The second-best part of this recent expansion of equality in the US, which really has happened with breath-taking speed, has been watching the religious right lose their collective sh*t over it. And the best part of that is that the howls of outrage have been largely confined to the professional anti-gay groups. Other than Ted Cruz and a couple of Congressmen, the GOP has been largely silent and I think the religious right is finally realizing they’ve got no moves left. Their political allies were using them all along; they were just a convenient voting block to motivate. As the public move grows more accepting of same-sex marriages, even if grudgingly, the GOP is being forced to at least tone down the ant-gay rhetoric, and that really ticks off LaBarbera and company. Man those tears are sweet.

    Ten years ago “protecting marriage” was a guaranteed vote-getter and now the religious right is facing an America that really doesn’t care about same-sex marriage in the same way. Even those opposed can’t get that worked up over it any more, for a simple reason. They’ve seen the effects of same-sex marriage in parts of this country and nothing really happens. Sure a few smiling couples show up at the courthouse and then the next blonde girl goes missing and everyone’s attention is diverted. Same-sex marriage is simply not going to be their next Roe v. Wade as the miserable turnout at their marriage rally this year should have told them. It’s easy to motivate people with rhetoric about “killing babies,” but it’s a lot harder to motivate them with the boogey man of same-sex marriage when the reality of this social change is on public display, and not really that scary.

    That’s really why LaBarbera is screaming in the wind now. He’d never be able to rally the kind of movement Rosa Parks and the other Civil Rights Movement leaders were able to create. In the Jim Crow South, millions were facing discrimination, humiliation and disenfranchisement on a daily basis. You just don’t have that with same-sex marriage – although they may still be able to find a few “oppressed” bakers and photogs forced to actually do business with gays and lesbians. And as for this myth that Rosa Parks spontaneously sparked the Movement with her action, that’s bull, as any history buff knows. Ms. Parks was not the first person to stand up against segregation, but she was active in the NAACP and her case was carefully picked as a test case because she was the perfect plaintiff – hardworking, never in trouble with the law, stable family, etc. And the spontaneous movement grew out of an infrastructure of Civil Rights groups with 30 years of history. Where is that kind of foundation for anti-gay attitudes?

    In many ways LaBarbera and his buddies have orchestrated their own downfall. Their repeated attempts to impose anti-gay legislation, even as they were initially successful, forced gays and lesbians one again to fight back publicly, and in doing so we told our stories. That is the single most powerful way to change people’s opinions and the anti-gay right inadvertently gave us even more opportunities to do so. Prop 8 itself also galvanized the community in a way that hadn’t happened since AIDS. Young people, gay and straight, were largely behind the grass roots movement that grew out of Prop 8 protests and gave us the eventual victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington in 2012.

  • Hoosier X

    I assume Heterosa Parks will make headlines when she refuses to give up her seat on the West Hollywood bus, causing her to miss her stop and end up in Century City.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    I thought Parks — just like all the Civil Rights figures — was a Communist-trained agitator looking to destroy ‘Murka and freedoms.

    There was an assistant DA here a few years ago who was always on about Martin Luther King Jr. being a Commie who plagiarized his college thesis. Because if that were true it would totally negate all the good of MLK’s life work, right?

    And the Rosa Parks’ example is the opposite of what LaBarbera and Mefferd are going for. One of the reasons the white establishment was outraged was because by Parks sitting in that seat it meant a white man would not have the seat to which he was entitled. The people in the anti-gay camp are like the white guy on the bus; they feel that when gay people have the right to marry it somehow diminishes their rights.

    If Mefferd and LaBarbera had been around in 1955, they would have been fighting on the front lines of the right’s struggle –that is, fighting for the rights of the city to discriminate and for the white guy to get his bus seat back.

  • http://dailydouq.wordpress.com dailydouq

    Since the religinuts appear to have lost this one I’m happy to see them wasting their energy (and organized mobs) on flogging a dead horse. Let ’em stand in the courthouse doors trying to “counsel” people seeking marriage licenses; as other comments have indicated that’s not going to change any marriage intentions and there are a lot more courthouses to picket than abortion clinics.

    The religinuts are probably shocked at the relatively sudden reversal of the courts on this issue but unlike some of their other crusades the anti-gay bigotry is harder to foist on the rest of the population. Too many families have LGBT members and will overcome their biases on a personal F2F basis so the anti-gay response is going to be left to even a minority of the religinuts and thus dissipate their venom.

  • lorn

    Parks was prosecuted for not giving up her seat and the law was reversed in the courts.

    To make this work he is going to need a law that demands a man get married to another man so he can be prosecuted for complying. So… LaBarbera wants a law that requires men to marry other men, so that he can have his Rosa Parks to work a legal reversal in the courts.

  • matty1

    It kind of sounds like he wants to go all Phelps to be honest and there are few things that will drive people away from his group better than that. I say go for it Petey boy.

  • birgerjohansson

    “I thought Parks — just like all the Civil Rights figures — was a Communist-trained agitator looking to destroy ‘Murka and freedoms.”

    .

    This is why the success of the civil rights movement meant the end of USA as a superpower, eventually leading to the annexation of USA by the Soviet Union in 1989. Also, why we all are speaking Russian now.