Bill Donohue | California | Gay Marriage | Mormon | News | Proposition 8 | Religion

Becket Fund Launches Full Page Ad in NYT Condemning Anti-Religion Violence Over Prop 8


On Tuesday I reported that the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty was preparing a full-page ad for the New York Times condemning violence against religion, which they claim occurred during protests following the Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8, which was funded to the tune of over $20 million in Mormon contributions solicited by the Church of Latter Day Saints, revoked the civil rights of millions of Californians by effectively banning same-sex marriage in the state. The Becket Fund's ad ran today and you can read it above.

HassonThe ad is attached to a website,, and solicits signatures endorsing a campaign to"expose and publicly shame anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry — against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason."

The ad makes reference to envelopes containing white powder sent "to terrorize places of worship." Those envelopes were under investigation by the FBI at last report and the incident was condemned by LGBT leaders, among them Equality Utah's Public Policy Manager Will Carlson, who said: "We have no idea what the source is of this vandalism or white envelopes, whatever. But there is no place in this dialogue, in this dialogue that needs to happen, for violence, no place for vandalism and no place for intimidation."

The ad is signed by Kevin J. "Seamus" Hasson – The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Nathan J. Diament – Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rick Cizik – National Association of Evangelicals, Ronald J. Sider – Evangelicals for Social Action, Chuck Colson – Prison Fellowship, Chris Seiple – Institute for Global Engagement, Dr. Alveda King – civil rights activist, William A. Donohue – Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Robert Seiple – Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Douglas Laycock – University of Michigan Law School, Marvin Olasky – The King's College, New York City, Roger Scruton – writer and philosopher, Armando Valladares – former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission."

Said Becket Founder Kevin "Seamus" Hasson in a letter sent to Towleroad regarding the ad placement: "This is a lesson America had to learn the hard way, overcoming bigotry against Jews, Catholics, and other religious minorities, and we are committed to not letting the country forget it."

UPDATE: HRC responds...

UPDATE II: GLAAD calls for letters to the NYT...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Cry me a river.

    Posted by: RP | Dec 5, 2008 12:04:31 PM

  2. Bigotry against homosexuals, on the other hand, appears to be perfectly okay with this group of Amerikkkans.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 5, 2008 12:10:45 PM

  3. Where is the response from Geoff Kors of Equality California, or Lori Jean of the L.A. LGBT Center, or any of the 'leaders' of No on 8 campaign? Missing in action as usual.

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 5, 2008 12:12:04 PM

  4. Threw the gauntlet down, didn't they?

    Posted by: Raybob | Dec 5, 2008 12:12:08 PM

  5. I fully support that stance and I look forward to hearing statements from the Catholic Church that homosexuality is not a choice and is not grounds for discrimination, not just in states that outlaw it, but anywhere in the world. I look forward to LDS' renunciation of its orientation conversion torture. And I look forward to invitations from Evangelical leadership for speakers on gay rights to meet with their congregants in an official and non-confrontational setting.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 5, 2008 12:12:41 PM

  6. I think you'd only have to change a dozen words or so to turn it into an ad condemning religious harrassment and persecution of gays.

    Posted by: David D. | Dec 5, 2008 12:14:17 PM

  7. Shouldn't they be concerned with far more serious matters like the war on Christmas?

    Seriously, this ad is a joke. Offensive, yes, but a joke full of bogus violence claims while ignoring the elephant in the room. No, I don't mean Donohue but rather the anti-gay bigotry these freaks thrive on.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Dec 5, 2008 12:16:19 PM

  8. The bullies who oppress us are concerned about their own rights. That's rich, but Proposition 8 kind of tipped us off to the fact. Shame they won't extend the courtesy to others that they insist on for themselves.

    What this letter says, in effect, is: they're not like other people, they don't like it when they're attacked, because it hurts their feelings, and it wounds them, and it's just wrong, you know?

    But if you're queer, it's still hunting season, naturally.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Dec 5, 2008 12:16:43 PM

  9. I wrote about the LDS church's attempts to distance themselves from the anti-gay marriage amendment here in Arizona on my blog. The very, very Mormon community of Mesa- 739 people and businesses gave to the "Yes on 102" campaign and 4 gave to the "No on 102" campaign.

    Mr. Hasson and his groupies are just big crybabies. If you don't want attention shined on your bigotry, then stay out of politics.

    Posted by: homer | Dec 5, 2008 12:19:22 PM

  10. I would be the first person so sign up for that list!

    Posted by: Travis | Dec 5, 2008 12:20:47 PM

  11. Gotta love it when majoritarians complain about a "mob."

    Posted by: KipEsquire | Dec 5, 2008 12:21:06 PM

  12. Since when are protest considered violent. I've the "victims' provoked the "violence" against them. This is their way of saying, what we did we know was wrong but don't get mad at us.

    How do we know some crazy mor(m)on didn't send the church some white powder for sympathy or ignite a true culture war.

    There is a bigger problem with them committing violence against us. The people who follow their rhetoric and killing and hospitalizing gays but that seems to be OK. It seems to me they don't quite know what violence is and for some reason we always seem to be the bad guys

    Posted by: Keith | Dec 5, 2008 12:22:39 PM

  13. There is just a little irony in claiming religious discrimination in this setting.

    When religious groups, as they have been numerous times in the past, are racist/segregationist/terrorist/supporters of pograms/genocide/and other forms of discrimination they richly deserve criticism.

    Posted by: Cycledoc | Dec 5, 2008 12:22:49 PM

  14. I would encourage everyone to visit their website and in the "Tell us your story" list any incidents of violence against LGBT people that you know about.

    Posted by: homer | Dec 5, 2008 12:28:13 PM

  15. In the mean time followers of these “organizations” are being foreclosed on, laid off, fired and losing their pensions. The children of these same followers are being abused, lied to about sex and the benefits of abstinence, misled about the reality of modern heterosexual marriage. What exactly has nomobvote done for them except collect money and case fear?

    Posted by: ggreen | Dec 5, 2008 12:29:17 PM

  16. Let me see if I get this right...

    Hate, Bigotry, Verbal and Physical Abuse by the church or in the name of the church directed at any other human or group of humans on the planet that don't believe as they do is acceptable and indeed, a constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and exercise of religion.

    Any response by those unbelievers attacked by the church - ANY church (Cathlicks, Mormons, Scientologists, Westboro Baptists), whether a defense or a counter-attack is religious intolerance and a condemnable act that must be stopped.

    That seems fair to me!

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | Dec 5, 2008 12:33:56 PM

  17. typical. justify your bigotry by demonizing the gays. they deserve every brick they gat.

    Posted by: daisy | Dec 5, 2008 12:35:40 PM

  18. Hypocritical pussies.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Dec 5, 2008 12:38:05 PM

  19. It is interesting to me that these people can't see that Prop 8 and all the other anti-marriage laws are acts of violence and intolerance of a monumental scale.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 5, 2008 12:40:01 PM

  20. So, what do we do about it? Will we counter their blatant hypocrisy with our own ad? Will someone be able to point out the absolute hypocrisy of a group that is actively and blatantly using their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech and the free exercise of their "religion" to deny the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of other American citizens? This is the typical "bait and switch" of the wing-nut evangie/fundies and the Republicons: they scream that they are being persecuted by the very people they spent $40 million to promote a voter initiative that denied their alleged "persecutors" the right to be full and equal citizens of the United States of America. What do we do about this? How do we fight back? We simply cannot let The Becket Foundation and its bigoted supporters get away with this without a response from our community.

    Posted by: mike | Dec 5, 2008 12:40:07 PM

  21. You may want to pop to their website and tell them your story. I challenged them to take good look at themselves and what their religions really stand for. Their religions advocate violence against people in their holy scriptures

    Posted by: Keith | Dec 5, 2008 12:40:23 PM

  22. according to the lexicon of the religious right:

    1) dissent = censorship
    2) protest = persecution
    3) stupidity is a virtue.

    Posted by: alguien | Dec 5, 2008 12:41:49 PM

  23. So when I saw the ad's headline, "No Mob Veto" I thought it referred to the CA mob's veto of marriage rights. Huh. This is typical right-wing tactic: turn the charge on its head and blame the victims.

    Like RP said, cry me a river.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 5, 2008 12:42:38 PM

  24. You've got to be effing kidding me.

    Unreal. These same religious stole the rights of glbt Californians and now they claim to be the victims. I'm gobsmacked.

    Where is our response? We need a leader like yesterday. And Joe Solmenese, Neil Guilino, and Geoff Kors are not it. The time for "sit and be patient" way of thinking from the HRC, GLAAD and EQCA respectively has long since passed.

    Let's not get lulled back into apathy. We need to keep fighting.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 5, 2008 12:43:11 PM

  25. The ad decries "anti-religious propaganda", but I suspect that means anything that challenges religion.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 5, 2008 12:48:41 PM

  26. 1 2 3 4 5 6 »

Post a comment


« «Federal Appeals Court Stands by 'DADT' Ruling in Margaret Witt Case« «