cross-posted at BlueNC
As many of you know, Patrick Wooden, a black pastor in Raleigh who is helping lead the push to write a gay-marriage ban into North Carolina's constitution, jumped into the spotlight a few weeks ago with remarks that are disgusting and hateful, even by fundie standards. In two separate radio appearances with Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality that gays have to wear diapers or butt plugs and stick objects up their rears to keep from losing their bowels.
I was in two minds about whether calling Wooden to account was worth the effort. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Wooden's comments prove the lie to the usual religious right line that they love gays--just not their lifestyle. Regardless of where you stand on gay rights, this kind of hate has no place in civilized discourse. Period. Let's tell Wooden's buddies at the Christian Action League and Vote for Marriage NC--the people driving this amendment--to put their money where their mouth is and tell Wooden his comments are unacceptable.
Every time I listen to Wooden's comments, I can't help but think that this guy is like Fred Phelps with black skin. And yet, the "mainstream" religious right has, at least publicly, left Phelps on an island. LaBarbera himself has condemned Phelps as "a crude caricature of pro-family traditionalists." He could have just as easily been talking about Wooden. And yet, if his full interviews with Wooden (part 1, part 2) are any indication, he didn't even bat an eyelash at Wooden's words. Apparently, neither did Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon--they had Wooden as a guest on their radio show after Wooden made his hateful statements. You mean to tell me they didn't know about this? Come on.
I was also reminded of how Bill James, a wingnut county commissioner in my hometown of Charlotte, claimed that all gays were "sexual predators" in response to a request to sign a letter supporting the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." The other three Repubs on the county commission somehow had the ability to express their opposition in a civilized manner--but not James. Then again, this is the same guy who once told his fellow commissioners that gays stick gerbils and hamsters up their rears.
Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell's attempt to blame gays and lesbians for 9-11 was too much even for some fundies. How in the world can Wooden's statements not be over the top as well? If those behind the anti-gay marriage amendment stand behind Wooden, their definition of "love" is going to be in need of a major rewrite. If they're going to have a debate over gay marriage, it's not too much to ask that they do it in a civil manner. So let's tell them to put a rein on Wooden and condemn his hateful words.