Gay Marriage | Iowa | News | Religion

Chuck Hurley and Keith Ratliff: Iowa's Dynamic Duo of Bigotry


The Des Moines Register profiles Chuck Hurley and Keith Ratliff, who have found a common cause in their quest to rid the world of same-sex marriage:

"Ratliff and Hurley have been two of the loudest voices in this legislative and cultural fight, organizing rallies against same-sex marriage and lobbying the Legislature to let Iowans vote on its legality. They take different approaches to the same argument. Ratliff's approach echoes the Old Testament: God has spoken, and His laws are etched in stone. 'It's in God's word,' Ratliff said. 'We feel this ends the discussion.' Hurley's tone is more New Testament. He speaks of the same-sex marriage debate in parables. He makes analogies relating the issue to the big picture of human salvation, framing the debate not around what two people do in their bedroom but around our culture's descent into a moral abyss. Their views often are expressed in sound bites that seem full of hate. But Hurley and Ratliff insist their argument has nothing to do with hate and everything to do with speaking the truth in love. 'It seems (hateful) at first blush because of their self- justification for their behavior,' Hurley said. ' 'Who are you to tell me I'm doing something wrong?' It's just kind of a visceral reaction.' Their dissonant approaches harmonize into one argument. What is at stake, Hurley and Ratliff believe, is nothing short of the destruction of humanity's first institution."

IowamarriageHurley is the bigot who organized the "prayer walk" in mid-January to try and put pressure on Iowa's highest court to force the legislature to take up the anti-gay marriage amendment.

Hurley's and Ratliff's crusade originates from a primitive, ignorant place:

"And part of their argument also hinges on homosexuality being a choice. Sure, some people are predisposed toward homosexuality, Hurley and Ratliff believe. Here, they make an analogy with alcoholism. Some people are genetically predisposed toward alcoholism; each time they take a drink, however, they are choosing a destructive behavior. It's the decision to engage in the behavior — not the predisposition toward the behavior — that's the sin. This is where Ratliff becomes agitated. Gay-rights activists sometimes compare their movement to the civil rights movement. That, Ratliff said, is off-base. Blacks were discriminated against because they were born with a certain skin color. But homosexuality, Ratliff believes, is a behavior, not an innate human trait. And it's a behavior that, by choosing to follow the word of God, can be avoided."

In related news, a new poll from the Register found that 62% of Iowans feel that marriage should be between a man and a woman: "Thirty-two percent believe same-sex marriages should be allowed, while 6 percent were unsure. Iowans are split, however, on whether the state constitution should be changed to ban gay marriages. And more than half of Iowans who responded to the poll support Iowa allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. About four in 10 Iowans oppose civil unions, and 4 percent are unsure."

Unlikely allies fight same-sex marriage in Iowa [des moines register]
Iowans lean in favor of civil unions [des moines register]

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  1. Oh for the love of Christ. Are we really stoking that old warhorse of an argument again? Are we really wanting to have that silly bickering over whose discrimination is more justifiable?

    Some people are black. Some people are gay. Some people are left-handed (lefties used to be "converted" too). For Chrissake, get the hell over it and get a life.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Mar 3, 2008 12:40:06 PM

  2. Im Totally sick of BlacK Preachers PUSHING Bigotry..they of ALL people should KNOW BETTER! When they have thier "rallys" - someone should be reading verses out of the Buy-Bull ENDORSING SLAVERY!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Mar 3, 2008 12:55:00 PM

  3. Well, Reverend Ratliff is a Democrat. I wonder how he's going to feel having a Democrat president who says hating gay people is un-Christian. The other guy, Hurley, isn't even human. He could've worked in a Nazi concentration camp--exterminating gays & Jews. He'd have killed blacks too--if they'd had any. There are a few in Iowa though--just hope they don't all think like Ratliff.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2008 12:55:48 PM

  4. So if I chose to be black, then it would be OK to discriminate against me. That makes me feel better.

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 3, 2008 12:57:16 PM

  5. "...totally sick of black preachers pushing bigotry..."

    All preachers pushing bigotry should make us sick. We all should know better. Yeah, black folks who practice anti-gay hatred/discrimination should know better, and white gay men who practice racist discrimination should know better. Black bigots just as ugly as white ones. Latino ones may look a little cuter--when they're young.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2008 1:04:35 PM

  6. So Mr. Ratcliff believes that we should follow the Bible.

    Okay, the Bible gives these laws to follow: Leviticus 25:43-45 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. Exodus 21:20-21 20: "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished”, 21: “but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property” and Titus 2:9 “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,” and again we have 1 Peter 2:18 “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
    I personally think people who love slavery as the Bible does are the worse kind of person and lack any morals.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Mar 3, 2008 1:04:51 PM

  7. What if I don't believe in "God"? What if I'm not Christian? Can I be gay then? I have freedom of my own religion, you know? Why does your faith has to limit my life?

    Posted by: yvespaul | Mar 3, 2008 1:10:52 PM

  8. I don't care what anyone says, I think they make a cute couple. They're going to have to sort out the bottom-bottom thing though.

    Posted by: David D. | Mar 3, 2008 1:14:59 PM

  9. What a couple of prize-winning assholes.

    Posted by: Frank L | Mar 3, 2008 1:40:47 PM

  10. It always amazes me when people who call themselves "religious" or "Christian" are the least Christ-like in their behaviors. I never realized the Bible was to be used as a shield to hide behind and cast stones of hatred.

    Posted by: Larry | Mar 3, 2008 1:47:48 PM

  11. There's no such thing as "same sex marriage" or "gay marriage". Its "marriage equality" we want.

    Words matter.

    Posted by: John In Manhattan | Mar 3, 2008 1:59:52 PM

  12. Why do people insist that civil rights only apply to inborn characteristics and not to chosen behavior? Civil rights protections apply to one's religious faith as well, and surely that's an example of chosen behavior. So the issue of whether homosexuality is chosen or not is simply irrelevant to the discussion.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 3, 2008 2:04:36 PM

  13. Why do people insist that civil rights only apply to inborn characteristics and not to chosen behavior? Civil rights protections apply to one's religious faith as well, and surely that's an example of chosen behavior. So the issue of whether homosexuality is chosen or not is simply irrelevant to the discussion.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 3, 2008 2:05:36 PM

  14. Excellent point, ROB! Whether it's orientation vs preference, it's not their right to deny us equal protection under the law. But these idiotic religious bigots believe we've chosen an evil activity that will lead us to eternal damnation. Oh, my God, I'm starting to sound like of them.

    I don't think I've ever meant or seen a good Christian who was also politically conservative. They can't help being emotionally unstable because they're hypocrites. Even Jesus was a Leftist.

    Somerset Mauham pegged them all in his play, "Rain" with the character of the sanctimonious Reverend Davidson who reformed Sadie Thompson, then he raped her. They're all like that--sexually dishonest and moral hyporcrites.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2008 2:25:53 PM

  15. So I figure it's only a matter of time before we find the white guy with a juicy cock up his greasy ass (which he paid for), and the black guy in bed with a 12 yr old boy. And both are porn addicts... trust.

    Posted by: Gartrip | Mar 3, 2008 2:28:30 PM

  16. "What is at stake, Hurley and Ratliff believe, is nothing short of the destruction of humanity's first institution."

    Wasn't prostitute the world's first institution? If so, it's funny to see a couple of reverends support it. Are they worried that if Larry Craig can marry a same-sex partner, he won't have to troll through airport bathrooms anymore looking for paid action?

    Posted by: Ed | Mar 3, 2008 2:28:57 PM

  17. They're both closet queens.

    Out them -- and be sure to take pictures with your cell phone cameras.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 3, 2008 2:36:49 PM

  18. David E. - totally agree. Those that scream the loudest...

    Posted by: St. Teresa of Avila | Mar 3, 2008 4:46:27 PM

  19. Hurley looks like he takes it up the poop shoot.

    Posted by: Ron Nesbit | Mar 4, 2008 6:14:31 PM

  20. El Kabosh takes it up the poop shoot.

    Posted by: Brian Baskind | Mar 5, 2008 9:52:10 PM

  21. Why don't u have a try a some bisexual dating sites as , where you can find many open-minded bisexual singles, like-minded bi couples, also hot bi curious too.

    Posted by: ninapoe985 | Mar 7, 2008 5:01:43 AM

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