Posts tagged "Laurie Higgins"

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Laurie Higgins of the American Family Association-affiliated Illinois Family Institute is a big fan of Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, and she writes today that the United States should impose a similar law here in order to restrict the work of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

She claims that GLSEN is behind the “censorship” of anti-gay views, because apparently bigotry is needed in schools for the sake of balance, and urges the US to adopt a Russia-style propaganda law in order to curb GLSEN’s “totalitarian” grip over schools.

Now Laurie Higgins has an extra place to spew her bigotry: Matt Barber-run BarbWire.com

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW 

Anti-gay activists including Rush Limbaugh, Fox News’ Todd Starnes, and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and Tim Wildmon have been having a field day this week attacking the Grammy Awards for hosting a performance involving a mass marriage that included same-sex couples. Today, the Illinois Family Association, the state affiliate of the AFA, joined the fray, sending out an email attacking the awards show for contributing to the “destruction of marriage.”

IFI’s “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins writes that the Grammys were “a tragic freak show” and “a gawdy[sic] spitball hurled in the all-seeing eye of a holy God.”

The wedding ceremony, Higgins writes, was “a sorry, sick, non-serious ceremony that looked like something from the garish dystopian world of the Hunger Games” and “a non-wedding festooned with all the indulgent gimcrackery [sic] of Satan’s most alluring playground: Hollywood.” She particularly attacks “homosexual faux-pastorette” Queen Latifah and “the Dorian Gray-esque” Madonna for taking part in the proceedings.

But Higgins disapproval goes beyond the same-sex marriage portion of the entertainment. She also criticizes Beyoncé — the object of a few recent tirades from the Right — for providing a “vulgar anti-woman, anti-marriage performance” that Higgins compares to “soft-core porn.”

“Beyoncé has abused her power as a beloved role model for young girls to teach them terrible lessons about sexuality and marriage,” Higgins writes. Her anger extends also to Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z, whom she claims “seems to revel in the lustings of strangers for his wife.”

Is it money that motivates his eager embrace of his wife’s immodesty, or pride that he has access to her body when all other leering men do not?” Higgins asks. “If it’s money, how is he different from a pimp?”

 

Another reason why the IFI are a bunch of fake “Christians” and advocate very dangerous values and a threat to the humanity of the State of Illinois.

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

The Illinois Family Institute, the state affiliate of the American Family Association that led the unsuccessful fight against marriage equality last year, is back to fighting smaller battles, this time attacking the University of Notre Dame for officially recognizing an LGBT group.

In an open letter to Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins posted on IFI’s website, the group’s “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins expresses her “disappointment” that Notre Dame has for the first time recognized a student LGBT group, or as she calls it, “those who affirm homosexual acts and acts related to gender confusion as normative and morally defensible.”

Higgins tells Jenkins that in recognizing its LGBT students, Notre Dame might as well affirm “other sin predispositions” like incest or pedophilia.

She then turns to the eternal consequences of LGBT organizing, warning that openly LGBT students will bring “nothing but temporal and eternal harm” to themselves and their colleagues.

I also want to express my disappointment that Notre Dame has chosen to recognize a “student organization” initiated and shaped by those who affirm homosexual acts and acts related to gender confusion as normative and morally defensible. In permitting an organization that affirms subjective moral propositions that defy Catholic (as well as orthodox Protestant) doctrine, Notre Dame’s distinct Catholic identity has been weakened. Would Notre Dame recognize other “student organizations” initiated by those who affirm other sin predispositions (e.g. polyamory, consensual adult incest, or the “sexual orientation” recently designated “minor-attracted persons”)?


If the Notre Dame-recognized “LGBT” organization had been initiated by those who were committed to helping “LGBT” students live lives that embody Catholic beliefs on sexuality and gender, such an organization would be a service to Notre Dame students. Unfortunately, the central goals of students who affirm a homosexual or “transgender” identity are contrary to Catholic doctrine and as such can bring nothing but temporal and eternal harm—intellectual, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual harm—to “LGBT”-identifying students and the larger Notre Dame community.

Higgins did, however, praise Jenkins for Notre Dame’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate.

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

The Illinois Family Institute, a state affiliate of the American Family Association, sent an email to its members today featuring an essay by IFI’s “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins defending Russia’s draconian “gay propaganda” law.

Higgins calls the law – which is essentially a gag rule on gay rights advocacy – “reasonable and wise” and claims that gay rights advocates oppose it because  “nothing angers homosexual activists quite like being denied access to the hearts and minds of other people’s minor children.”

She goes on to claim that anti-gay conservatives in the U.S. face far more “draconian and insidious” penalties than gay rights advocates in Russia.

Higgins joins AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who not only praised the Russian law but said it didn’t go far enough.

To further put things in perspective, note that the consequences of violating this law are only fines of $120-150 for individuals, $1,200-1,500 for “officials,” and $12,000-15,000 for “legal entities.” Hardly sounds unreasonable to fine adults $150 for trying to inculcate other people’s children with their subjective beliefs about sexual morality, but nothing angers homosexual activists quite like being denied access to the hearts and minds of other people’s minor children.

Don’t be deceived, the outrage of homosexuality-affirming activists has nothing to do with concern for critical thinking, free speech, or intellectual diversity. Proof for that claim comes from a perusal of resources presented to American teens in their government schools on the topic of homosexuality. The suppression of conservative ideas on issues related to homosexuality is virtually absolute, and the consequences for violating the de facto bans on conservative resources are far more draconian and insidious than those imposed by the Russian law. Paying a $150 fine is small potatoes compared to the kind of personal and professional repercussions that would redound to any teacher in a public school who dared to present resources to minors that articulated conservative beliefs about homosexuality.

To assault people because of their beliefs or feelings is beyond the pale, as is making inflammatory statements that express a desire that others die, experience eternal damnation, or f**k themselves (things that are hurled at any public figure who dares to express moral propositions about homosexuality with which “progressives” disagree). Prohibiting the distribution of homosexuality-affirming resources to minors is both reasonable and wise.

Laurie Higgins, your defense of bigotry is neither reasonable nor wise. 

h/t: RWW

"It isn’t enough for homosexuals to have their own offensive annual parades every June in every major city dedicated to celebrating deviance. And it wasn’t enough to ruin Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade for families with a live performance from a play that celebrates cross-dressing. No, it seems their goal is to ruin every public event for families by publicly celebrating perversion: Inquiring minds want to know if Christian leaders would remain similarly (and oddly) silent if the sin being celebrated were consensual incest or the enslavement of other humans? What should Christian leaders do when a biblical truth is dragged into the public square and into the political scene? And what should Christian leaders do when their flocks are being deceived by the pervasive dissemination of lies, including even the dissemination of lies to our littlest ones—lies which are darkening their minds and molding their hearts. If the church does not participate in exposing these lies, which are confusing even adults, who, pray tell, will?" - Laurie Higgins, head of the Illinois Family Institute, posting to their Facebook page. (Via Good As You)

H/T: Joe.My.God

On Tuesday, the Illinois legislature voted to make their state the 15th to allow marriage equality.
The marriage law’s primary opponent, the Illinois Family Institute, did not take it well.

In a blog post emailed to the group’s supporters last night, IFI “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins offers her “random thoughts” on the “tragic marriage vote,” which range from warning that “public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways” to declaring that “plural unions” are now “inevitable” to lashing out at pro-equality Christians to comparing marriage equality to slavery, segregation, and “Hitler’s reign of terror.” 

We can only hope that Illinois will escape the fate of Maine, which IFI told us invoked the wrath of God when it legalized marriage equality.

 Laurie Higgins and the hate group Illinois Family Institute (IFI) are a bigoted disgrace to the state of Illinois and to Christianity by whining about the outcome of Tuesday’s SB10 vote in a malicious manner.

H/T: Miranda at RWW

Laurie Higgins uses extreme and deeply offensive rhetoric; that is not news to anyone who follows LGBT politics.

But the fact that the Illinois Family Institute, the organization leading the fight against civil marriage equality, keeps using these extreme views in its official talking points is certainly noteworthy:

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[IFI]

Okay, first off—stop with the idea that gays are not sexually complimentary. Unless Laurie Higgins has had more gay sex than I have, she knows not of what she speaks. Gay people are, in fact, sexually complimentary—physically, emotionally, and in every way that a heterosexual couple can be. What is both offensive and dangerous is telling gay people that our only choice is to force ourselves into a sexuality that does not match our lives—something that the IFI tells LGBT people all the time (see their close ally Linda Jernigan). I don’t think Ms. Higgins really wants her straight children to find themselves in marriages with closeted gays.

Then there’s the reproduction card. Unless and until these special interest groups propose a bill that mandates reproduction as a part of marriage, they have no leg to stand on here. None. Zero. Nil. Some married folks, same-sex or opposite-sex, start families while others do not (or cannot). The willingness and/or ability to have children is not an acceptable reason to deny a civil license that doesn’t require or even speak to the number of kids that the couple will parent. It’s a bit like judging a persons’ ability to obtain a driver’s license by focusing on the make or model of their car.

And then there are the biggies: Incest and polygamy. Laurie isn’t just mentioning those things as some sort of thought exercise; Laurie is dropping those loaded words into the conversation because she, a dedicated (and way too verbose) writer in a movement that is bleeding moderates, knows that these terms invoke fear within her committed audience’s minds. It’s all part of the radical anti-LGBT agenda. It’s been going on for years, and we all realize it for exactly what it is, even if these Falwells- and Schlaflys-come-lately think they are being novel.

h/t: Good As You

The Illinois Family Institute (IFI) is the group primarily fighting marriage equality in Illinois, and Thursday it joined other anti-gay groups in championing the “critically important” narrative of Robert Oscar Lopez. Lopez, who blames his lesbian moms for his lack of social skills and leads an ex-gay life, believes that same-sex parenting is “child abuse,” and any attempt by same-sex couples to have a child is a “crime against humanity.”

In a post celebrating Lopez’s anti-adoption “child abuse” rhetoric, IFI’s Laurie Higgins encourages Christians to overcome their fears and engage in “stone-casting” against the “tyrannical, oppressive, poisonous cultural force” that is LGBT equality:

Lopez describes what all conservative activists already know: The homosexual community and its ideological allies have become a tyrannical, oppressive, poisonous cultural force that compels conformity and compounds the suffering of children intentionally denied mothers or fathers. […]

And still most Christians — and shockingly their leaders — say relatively little. Ever anxious that the non-believing world in its relentless misuse of Scripture will excoriate them for judging (rightly), speck-looking, or stone-casting, Christians opt instead to become complicit in child abuse.

Studies of same-sex parenting have generally found no differences among the children in such families, including any claims of “suffering.” Higgins and the other groups that have shone a spotlight on Lopez magnify stigma against same-sex families, creating the very harm they claim to be protecting the children from.

Even if the marriage equality bill fails when it comes back before the state House this fall, same-sex adoption will still be legal in Illinois. It’s estimated that nearly 4,000 same-sex couples are already raising their own children in the state. IFI offers no solution for these children, but will campaign against their parents as “child abusers” and try to prevent them from enjoying the same legal rights as other families. 

h/t: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

In many of the states that have waged marriage equality fights recently, opponents have often coalesced around a coalition consisting of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the state’s Catholic conference, and the state’s “family policy council” affiliate of the Family Research Council. In Illinois, however, these typical players have not united in the same way, seemingly in part because the state social conservative group is the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a hate group in its own right associated with the American Family Association.

IFI’s rhetoric is quite a bit more brazen than what anti-gay groups have used in other states, which may have scared away its would-be allies. 

Today marks three months since the Illinois Senate passed the marriage equality bill, and with only three weeks left for the House to pass it, here’s a look at some of IFI’s rhetoric that is dominating the opposition:

  • Today, IFI posted numerous photos from its rally this weekend, including a sign that reads, “The crime against nature will never be equal.”
  • Speakers at the rally included ex-gay advocate Linda Jernigan and another hate group leader, Peter LaBarbera, who told the crowd that homosexuality is “unnatural and wrong,” citing HIV rates among men who have sex with men as evidence of “the dangers of homosexuality.”
  • In February, IFI’s Laurie Higgins wrote that gay people shouldn’t even be allowed to teach because they’ll put pictures of their partners on their desk that students will see.
  • In fact, IFI believes that parents should pull their children from any classroom that attempts to create a safe environment for LGBT students.
  • IFI has claimed gays and lesbians already have equality because they can marry the opposite sex like everyone else; same-sex marriage is thus a demand “to be treated specially.”

This extreme rhetoric extends beyond the talking points conservatives have traditionally used in these fights, which tend to focus on supposed protections for children, gender norms, and the institution of marriage. By openly condemning homosexuality as unnatural and curable through therapy — as well as enabling the bullying of LGBT youth — IFI sets itself apart.

H/T: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

As the Illinois Senate prepares to vote on marriage equality today, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group, has published another screed against same-sex marriage. Her concern, as per usual, is that children will learn gay people exist and have families, but she also writes about how upset she is that gay people are even being hired as teachers:

Public schools will be hiring teachers who are in legal “homosexual marriages.” These teachers will put photos of their homosexual spouses on their desks and talk about their homosexual spouses to their students. Such images and ideas coming from teachers whom children love and admire will powerfully shape the feelings and beliefs of young boys and girls, particularly when such images and ideas are reinforced countless times in other cultural contexts. Such images and ideas will undermine what is being taught at home.

Some will argue that schools are already hiring teachers in homosexual relationships, so the legalization of same-sex marriage won’t change anything. They are only partly correct. Although schools are, unfortunately, already hiring teachers in homosexual relationships, once the government recognizes homosexual unions as marriages, administrators and school boards—particularly in elementary schools—will have the social stigma that makes them reluctant to hire teachers in homosexual unions knocked out from under them. And this, of course, is the chief motivation for homosexuals to pursue same-sex marriage when they already have all the benefits and privileges of marriage through Illinois’ civil union law.

As Jeremy Hooper points out, the question of gay teachers was settled decades ago and even Ronald Reagan opposed the Briggs Initiative to ban gay teachers in California. But given Higgins’ penchant for candid homophobia, her objection to gay teachers is perhaps not as surprising as her delusion that her argument has anything to do with same-sex marriage.

H/T: Zach Ford at Think Progress LGBT

The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a designated anti-LGBT “hate group,” thought it was successful when it opposed East Aurora School District’s transgender-inclusive policy and the district then rescinded the measure. But now that the district has formed a new committee to readdress what would be best for trans students, IFI’s Laurie Higgins is livid. Higgins has posted an epic screed against the effort, blatantly attacking trans members of the committee as “two adult cross-dressing males who wish they were women” and encouraging bullying of transgender — what IFI calls “gender-confused” — students.

Before delving into IFI’s epic tirade of bigotry, let it be noted here that mental health professionals agree that the best therapy for young people questioning their gender identity is to affirm them, including with social recognition (pronouns, name choice, etc.) and a non-discrimination environment. Gender identity is a separate experience from biological sex, and like sexual orientation, it is not chosen, however biologically invisible it may (yet) be. To not respect an individual’s identity is to reject it, and to encourage such rejection is to promote bullying and discrimination. That is exactly IFI’s intention. 

Here, Higgins is directly encouraging bullying. There is no “kind, compassionate and inclusive” way of telling a person that their identity exists outside of “morality, objective reality, and public order.” Such messages promote quite the opposite sentiment.

The Aurora community should demand that only Aurora community members may serve on the committee, and at the next election, they should get rid of any school board member who supports any “transgender” policy.

It is unclear if Higgins is even concerned if IFI is advocating on behalf of anybody. Her claims that cisgender (non-trans) students might get uncomfortable in the bathroom around a trans student — a consequence of being similarly misinformed about trans identities — are weak. They are no more substantive than arguments that white customers might feel uncomfortable with black customers at a lunch counter. IFI has a vendetta that is both political and personal, and such perspectives have no role to play when the goal is a safe school with an efficient learning environment. 

h/t: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

The Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay hate group, wants to make sure kids are kept in the most sheltered environments possible, free from any hint that being LGBT might be okay. In a new document called “Challenge, Teachers, Not Books,” IFI’s Laurie Higgins encourages parents to pull their kids from any classroom where either the teacher supports a gay-straight alliance, uses LGBT-inclusive reading materials, or indicates support for LGBT students:

If  parents have children who have already gone through the school or have already completed a year or more, they should ask those children and/or their friends or friends’ parents which teachers are known for bringing their politics into the classroom or who displays a “Safe Space” sticker, the inverted pink triangle, the rainbow flag, or the lower case Greek letter “lambda” on their desk, classroom door, or wall. Students usually know who the liberal, activist teachers are. Liberal teachers develop reputations, often as the “cool” teachers.

Then parents should call or email the appropriate department chair and/or their child’s counselor, and politely insist on a schedule change, explaining that they will not permit their child to be in the classroom or under the tutelage of  any teacher who has made their liberal politics known in school.

This document offers a clear explanation why the Southern Poverty Law Center designated IFI a hate group. This organization sees LGBT people only as “liberal politics,” not as whole individuals with real identities.

Fascism and bullying by the Christian Right at its finest.

H/T: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

Concerned Women for America’s Chelsen Vicari on Monday hosted a call with Linda Harvey of Mission America and Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute where they discussed their plans for a walkout on the Day of Silence, when students protest anti-LGBT bullying and bias by remaining silent throughout the school day. The walkout endorsers also include the American Family Association, Citizens for Community Values, Faith 2 Action, Liberty Counsel and Save California, all prominent supporters of the Religious Right’s anti-anti-bullying campaign.

We posted highlights from program where Higgins urged teachers to “plan activities that involve student communications so students are not allowed to do this” and Harvey warned that the Day of Silence is using children “as a tool” for an “ungodly agenda.” Harvey dubbed the Day of Silence a “God-dishonoring day” that makes children “bow before manipulative, exploitative and deceptive accusations.”

Higgins: What the Day of Silence does is ask kids to refuse to speak during instructional time in class, that they have no legal right to do and no school has to accommodate that, and so that’s what we’re doing is asking parents to call their school, ask if students are allowed to refuse to speak in instructional time, and if they are, to keep their kids home in protest about the disruption of instructional time for a political purpose.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW