"...there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists."
- Pat Boone, December 6, 2008
Last week, a full-page New York
Times ad equated protesters for
equality with a "violent mob."
Now, Pat Boone is calling Prop. 8
opponents "sexual jihadists."
Country singer and right-wing pundit Pat Boone has written a column equating the movement against Prop. 8 to the terrorists who tortured and murdered hundreds in Mumbai.
I am not kidding. This is a new low in anti-gay rhetoric.
Boone and his buddies continue to stir up fear, even if they have to lie. It's exactly how they passed the California marriage ban.
We need your help to stop the radical right from painting a movement about love and dignity as violent and radical. We need your support to stay strong, smart, and nimble, to combat these growing attacks with the simple truth: all we want is equality.
Make a donation to HRC on behalf of Pat Boone. Your gift helps HRC combat these lies – and sends the message that our call for equality cannot be silenced.
We'll even send Mr. Boone a note with your first name and gift amount to let him know you've donated in his name.
It's time to say enough to the deception and false ads that defeated marriage equality in three states and banned gay couples from adopting in Arkansas; enough to the attempts to equate peaceful protest with "jihadist savagery"; enough to the lies used to block federal hate crimes laws and workplace protections.
In the face of lies like this, there's only one thing to do: Demand the Truth – and that's exactly what we will be doing in the coming year. HRC will:
- Respond quickly and forcefully to the lies and intimidation with media outreach and grassroots mobilization, as part of an ongoing "Demand the Truth" campaign;
- Organize hundreds of thousands of activists to pass the Matthew Shepard Act and combat the inevitable misleading campaign that will be waged against us;
- Work with religious leaders to encourage LGBT people to come out in their faith communities and create venues for the voices of tolerance and love;
- Continue the march for marriage equality and relationship recognition, especially in key states where new doors are opening right now, including New York, Vermont, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Iowa; and
- Work with the Obama administration to undo years of White House anti-LGBT hostility.
If, every time they tell another lie, run another deceptive ad or use more fear-mongering to try and win votes and recruit new members, we respond by strengthening our movement for equality, eventually they'll realize they're hurting themselves more than they're hurting us.
But it only works if we all stand up.
What's perhaps most disturbing about Boone's rhetoric – painting LGBT people as a threat to society – is that it leads to the very real hate violence directed against LGBT people every day.
We can't stop the Pat Boones of our world from speaking their ugly lies, but together we can make sure that there's a political cost associated with this kind of hateful speech.