Tuesday, September 18, 2018

FRC blogger advocates for Christian Privilege to advance anti-LGBT bigotry

David Closson
Hate Group Blogger
On Friday a federal judge ruled that plaintiffs have standing to sue in Dumont v. Lyon. The case challenges the constitutionality of Michigan's law allowing state-funded child placement agencies to turn away gay people from being foster or adoptive parents because of an agency's religious principles.

David Closson (a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has twice authored blog posts on behalf of Family Research Council (an anti-LGBT hate group). The first of these, on August 31, decried the fact that Buffalo, NY had the audacity to enforce New York State and local nondiscrimination laws regarding adoption agencies. The second, on Monday, is about Dumont v. Lyon. Young Mr. Closson, it seems, is an advocate for Christian Privilege, a right to discriminate. 

Mr. Closson does not understand the concept of standing. Article III standing is required to sue in federal court. It has three parts:
  1. A plaintiff must have sustained an injury in fact. The injury cannot be hypothetical, theoretical or prospective.
  2. The injury must be reasonably traceable to the actions of the defendant that are challenged in the suit.
  3. A favorable decision for the plaintiff will redress the injury alleged to have been sustained.
In other words: It is alleged that Colonel Mustard whacked Dr. Black in the observatory with the ax. The Black family will have standing to sue irrespective of whether or not the allegations are true.

Closson writes:
In his ruling, Judge Borman explained that because faith-based agencies process 20 percent of the active foster care and adoption cases in Michigan, it is “reasonable to infer that the ability of faith-based agencies to employ religious criteria as a basis to turn away same-sex couples erects at least a 20% barrier to that Prospective Parent Plaintiffs’ ability to adopt or foster a child in the State of Michigan.” Noticeably absent from Judge Borman’s comments on this point is that the ACLU’s clients in the case live closer to four other foster and adoption agencies than St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a co-defendant in the case. All four agencies facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples.
It is noticeable to people with a religious agenda, The proximity of other agencies is certainly irrelevant to standing and probably irrelevant to the case. The ACLU will undoubtedly argue that the best interests of children are served when every agency has available the largest pool of potential parents. Courts have routinely ruled that the availability of similar products or services is irrelevant to claims of discrimination. This concept was recently affirmed in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado.

Mr. Closson might be young but he is a done deal when it comes to bigotry and ignorance. He is a good fit with a hate group:
This is an appeal to “dignitary harm,” a concept that refers to the alleged emotional pain and humiliation suffered when someone disagrees with another’s moral decisions or lifestyle; the notion is increasingly invoked by activists who want to silence dissent from anyone who disagrees with the LGBT agenda.
Being gay is not a “moral decision.” Nor is it a “lifestyle.” These are familiar ways in which hate groups attempt to marginalize LGBT people. These claims express rank bigotry. Assigning this to a disagreement means that Closson claims that this is about what people believe. Their opinions about  gay people are irrelevant. This is about their actions.

People are free to believe anything that they want. The sanctity of chopped liver is fine with me. Then show me an anti-LGBT treatise that does not have the elements of a) activists and; b) an agenda.

Also show me one of these diatribes that does not include the idea that the 80% majority is being unfairly persecuted. No one is interested in silencing opinions or beliefs. This reflects an arrogant overstatement of the importance of their religious beliefs (and themselves).

If there is an agenda it is equal protection under law. When the state funds agencies to do the business of the state and those agencies discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation that does no depict equal protection.

Uniformly absent from hate group rhetoric is any sense of empathy. There is no controversy surrounding the fact that we are suffering discrimination. The defendants in this case argue that the discrimination should be permissible on religious grounds. Mr. Closson seems incapable of understanding how discrimination affects people.

Closson is arguing that a Christian agency should have a right to discriminate. I have to wonder what his position would be if tax dollars were going to a Muslim agency refusing to place children with Christians and Jews. I have a pretty good guess.

In order to obscure the perniciousness of discrimination, hate groups (and David Closson) argue that sexual orientation is a choice (a “moral decision”) or a “lifestyle” (which also assigns a stereotype). Ultimately these are efforts to conform reality to ancient texts. I, for one, refuse to be marginalized by alleged Bronze Age utterances (the oral Torah dates to about 1300 BCE). If that makes me an activist, so be it. I am quite proud of that description.

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