Sunday, April 09, 2006

IRD is an anti-gay organization

Today's International Herald Tribune has Elizabeth Bumiller's latest White House Letter, covering the controversy over gay families attending the Whilte House Easter Roll, on Monday, April 17. Over 200 families with same-sex parents are planning to bring their children.

Predictably, religious conservatives are quite certain that the families are "crashing" the event solely to make a public statement, and that they are thereby exposing their children to a form of political exploitation (despite the lack of clear evidence that children are worse off in gay families, bringing up "the children" is a convenient way of elevating the debate out of the religious sphere among not-necessarily-religious "traditionalists"). Mark Tooley, the director of the United Methodist Action Volkssturm at the Intitute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), detailed the move by the Family Pride Coalition to organize the attendance of these law-abiding families in a January 17 article in the Weekly Standard. Relying on the obvious "deviancy" of these families to make his softball point to the Weekly Standard's readership, Tooley doesn't so much decry the desire of these families to make themselves publicly known as point out how secretive the Family Pride Coalition and its partner Soul Force had been in getting out the word to "LBGT" families. (Tooley likes to put "LGBT" in quotes -- I assume to suggest sarcasm.) Of course, Tooley's article provides the very reason for why they might have wanted to keep their plans under wraps. And, besides, the event is hardly secret anymore.

Says Tooley:
THE WHITE HOUSE EASTER EGG ROLL dates back to Rutherford Hayes, who opened up the South Lawn to children after the Easter egg roll at the Capitol was shut down. In typical fashion, a fusty Congress became concerned about damage to its lawn and turned the kiddies away. President Hayes and his successors have been glad to compensate for Congress' lack of hospitality. Besides thousands of children and parents, the roll often includes prominent entertainers, the Easter Bunny, and sometimes the president and first lady.

The Easter Egg Roll has remained non-controversial for too long, apparently. Soulforce, in cooperation with other homosexuality advocacy groups, such as Family Pride, wants same-sex couples and other non-traditional "sexual minorities" to bring their children to the White House so as to expose America to "LGBT" families.
Now, I ask you, as I ask myself everytime I have to think about the IRD or read any of their press releases, what part of "Institute on Religion and Democracy" don't you understand?

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