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Antigay and proud: a look at the latest crop of hate-based groups from coast to coast.

JUST WHEN FRED PHELPS may at last be bankrupt, along come other virulently antigay groups. Take Latvia-based Watchmen on the Walls, which has growing influence on the West Coast. One of its founders is Scott Lively, who authored a charming book of Holocaust revisionism titled The Pink Swastika that blamed the rise of Nazi Germany on homosexuality. I'm sure there were some toe-tapping goose-steppers in the Nazis, but they weren't exactly in charge. They probably ironed the uniforms.

Lively made a statement to the press that read in part: "We are the Watchmen on the Walls. We are a global coalition of men and women who believe in the superiority of the natural family and marriage between one man and one woman....

"We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically and socially wrong, unnatural and harmful. This is self-evident to the vast majority of the citizens of the world, whom we represent."

The vast majority of the citizens of the world? How many is that, and do you have documents stating that they agree, or that they elected you to represent them? And where does the name "Watchmen" come from? The same place as "Klansmen"? These guys--as well as those in other antigay outfits--may say they don't condone violence, but many of their followers do and commit it with regularity. A twisted mind takes a twisted message literally. If these people think that words influence actions (such as their idea that pro-gay attitudes will turn innocent kids gay), they're not exactly practicing what they preach.

And for some, violence is in the eye of the beholder. Lively was recently ordered by a court to pay $20,000 to a lesbian photojournalist whom he was accused in 1991 of dragging by the hair through the halls of a church. Whoa, caveman! Ooga booga! Doing your fellow churchgoers a service? Now, that's lively.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A lot of the Watchmen are fundamentalist immigrants from former Soviet states who have made a name for themselves in Sacramento, Calif., protesting gay pride events and harassing gays wherever they see them. One of their techniques is to tap gays on the head, marking them as sinners who are damned. Think of it: You're coming out of a showing of Dreamgirls, and some fat Russian grandma in a babushka waiting on the sidewalk taps you on the head. That very thing happened to two friends of mine. The only Russian I want tapping me on the head is Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Lively said, "There is a war that is going on in the world.... It's a war between Christians and homosexuals.... And in the United States where the sexual revolution began, it was the homosexual political movement that designed this strategy to attack Christianity."

When I misbehaved as a child, my mother would say, "You are doing this deliberately to aggravate me!" That's what Lively and his followers think gay people are doing: being gay and attacking the "natural family" and trying to "destroy marriage" just to aggravate them. Indeed, the first thing gays do when they wake up is think, OK, lunch with J.R. at noon, conference call at 3, go out and aggravate Christians at 6, then cocktails.

I understand why Christians resent being called bigots and haters. I get why they oppose homosexuality. I get it. But please, if there is a war between Christians and homosexuals, it's their war, not ours.

The hatred continues apace across the country. In Milwaukee a pastor named Matt Trewhella blamed the California fires last October on that state's new education law banning public school instruction, activities, or materials that could be perceived as being negative toward gays. So now, in addition to 9/11, hurricanes, and floods, gays are responsible for the fires. I've heard of "flaming," but come on.

And in Massachusetts (yes, even there), a group called Mass Resistance tried to get Acton-Boxborough Regional High School to cancel its production of The Laramie Project. Ironically, the daughter of one of the group's leaders was in the play and came out as a lesbian. Her mother then withdrew her from the show and the school. The group had a conniption and posted the following on its website: "Of course, Claudia is no more a lesbian than the man in the moon. She's always had crushes on boys, and her bedroom has always been (and still is) plastered with pictures of boys." A picture of a wall covered with teen idol boys who look like girls appears with the caption "Does this look like a lesbian's room to you?" Uh, yeah, kinda. Pray for Claudia.

These groups at least teach us one thing about being a fanatic: It's really hard to just stay at home and relax.
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Title Annotation:COLUMN: BITTER, PARTY OF ONE
Author:David, Jim
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 29, 2008
Words:796
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