Monday, April 23, 2007

When In Doubt, Play The Gay Card

Illinois State House reporter Rich Miller has a great blog on Illinois politics called the Capitol Fax Blog, which I visit almost daily to keep up on what's happening in my native state. One item on his blog today really caught my attention because of the homobigoted rhetoric AI has observed religious right groups, such as Advance America, the America Family Association and the Indiana Family Institute, using in Indiana to oppose any legislation attempting to provide equal treatment to gays and lesbians. Miller notes the "hyperbolic rhetoric" the Illinois Family Institute used in a recent e-mail alert to its members in opposition to public pension legislation, which would allow domestic partners to designate a surviving spouse for purposes of survivor and death benefits under the state and teacher's retirement systems. Miller writes:

I’ve been on the Illinois Family Institute’s e-mail list for quite some time now. Usually, I just chuckle at their hyperbolic press releases. I chuckled a little more than usual today, however, and thought I’d share it with you.

First, the bold-faced headline…

IFI E-Alert: Contact Your State Rep. Today About The “Homosexual/Shack-up Teachers Bill” - Ominous legislation will equate shack-up couples and homosexual partners with married spouses.

Now, the lede, which is fairly sedate…

HB 1331, sponsored by State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), amends the Illinois Pension Code, to allow a designated domestic partner to qualify as a surviving spouse for purposes of survivor and death benefits.

As amended, HB 1331 changes the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code as well as the Chicago Teacher Article.

Scroll down a bit, however, and you’ll see this…

The assault on traditional American culture continues. This legislation, HB 1331, might as well be called the “Homosexual/Shack-up Teacher Bill”, as it most certainly will attract non-traditionalists and homosexual activists to Chicago classrooms. Make no mistake, this bill will be provide an incentive to draw non-traditional and homosexual activist teachers to come to Illinois schools.

So a pension equality bill becomes a gay recruitment effort in the public school system in the eyes of these homobigots. It seems the biggest concern from a public policy standpoint should be the fiscal impact, but that doesn't even rate a mention in the IFI's e-mail alert. Miller asks of his readers, "Do you think this stuff works? If so, please explain it to me." The comments he received from readers are divided over whether their homobigoted rhetoric works. I guess it just proves the modus operandi for these folks is pretty much the same in every state.

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