Bob Newhart Headlining Anti-LGBT Group’s Annual Summit with Rick Santorum, Bill Donohue

Newhart

Legendary TV icon Bob Newhart is set to headline an annual summit for the anti-LGBT Legatus Group, Jeremy Hooper reports for GLAAD.

Hooper notes a bit of the group's anti-gay history:

On November 1, 2012, Legatus magazine, the print publication of the conservative Catholic organization of the same name, listed five "non-negotiables" for voters about to head to the polls. Marriage equality (which the magazine labeled homosexual "marriage," smear quotes and all) was one of the five listed items, with the staff writer instructing Catholics "to avoid voting for candidates who endorse or promote policies that provide for any of these acts and to vote instead for those who promote policies in keeping with moral law." The phrase "intrinsic evil" was used seven times.

Although this organization's insistence that civil marriage equality is one of God's major unacceptables shouldn't come as a huge surprise, considering Legatus pushes the idea that homosexuality itself is a "disorder" from which one must be "cured." I'm not exaggerating when I say that. In a 2011 Legatus piece, Legate John Haas (whose family has close ties to the National Organization for Marriage, by the way) called for our "curing" in the clearest of language.

Also telling are the folks appearing with Newhart:

And get this: Newhart is scheduled to appear alongside such noted anti-LGBT figures as the Catholic League's Bill Donohue and Rick "man on dog" Santorum. Yeah, it's going to be that kind of a night. Why in Larry, Darryl, and my other brother Darryl's name would Mr. Newhart, legendary TV star and one of the most genuinely well-liked people to ever appear before a film camera, sign up for such a gig?!

GLAAD has reached out to Newhart's people "to let them know how, exactly, an appearance at this event will come across to LGBT people and allied voices."

Comments

  1. Mike says

    Mr Newhart appeared in “In And Out” as the school principal, lampooning the very sorts of individuals he’s about to address and share a stage with. This makes no sense.

  2. KJH says

    I fear another great actor will not be remembered for his roles, but for coming out on the wrong side of history. I guess I need to reconsider my opinion of Mr. Newhart. Sir, I am so disappointed in you.

  3. BZ says

    Disappointing, like when Steve Allen went off his rocker on a homophobic screed. Not that I’m excusing it but a) people sometimes start acting wierd when they get really old and b) the Silent Generation absorbed a LOT of homophobia in its day.

    Still, I’m hoping it was some kind of mistake.

  4. andrew says

    Sorry to hear that. However, Bob Newhart was born and raised in a middle class Irish Catholic family. I think that all his education was in Catholic schools. He is probably attending that affair because he agrees with them.

  5. Mike says

    On the other hand, the comedy icon Bob Newhart might follow Elton John’s lead in accepting the invitation to Russia and speak directly to the audience about the importance of equality and human rights which he has ALWAYS supported! Certainly hope so . . .

  6. woody says

    Bob Newhart is a brilliant stand-up comedian. He could handle this very well and put them to shame in a clever way. He’d have the pope on his side, who thinks these extreme right-wing catholics aren’t helping.
    Andrew, loads of people who went to Catholic schools can’t stand the right-wing holier-than-thou Catholic crap. Catholics, by and large, disagree with the loudmouth bishops on gay marriage, birth control and many other issues.
    He may agree with Santorum et al, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he layed into them.

  7. Bill says

    @Chris hoult: don’t be too hard on him. Given his age, he might be on the verge of Alzheimer’s and may not quite understand what the gig is.

    On the other hand, if I were a comedian as talented, and basically retired, I might take consider taking that job too – with every intention of coming up with something that would crack up the LGBT community and infuriate the idiots paying the bill. Newhart could do that if he wants to – at this point he must be independently wealthy.

  8. trg says

    I remember briefly watching The Bob Newhart Show back in the day. He played a shrink – of all things. There were some anti-gay jokes and I haven’t watched it since. Guess Bob figures he has nothing to lose.

  9. parkrunner says

    He sure let me down. I’ve been a fan since his stuttering man on the telephone schtick on TV and my parent’s albums. I’ve stuttered all my life and feel like it helped to ease my shame. I learned to laugh and smile at people’s reaction when they hear me for the first time.
    MTM, Bob Newhart then Carol Burnett lineup was the last time I shared a TV night with my entire family.
    This news won’t take away the sweet memories, but it did tarnish it a little.

  10. RonCharles says

    If he goes there and speaks out against intolerance, then, it will be a good thing. On the other hand, if he lends this group his full, unqualified support, it will be a personal insult to every gay man and woman with whom he has ever worked, and to every gay man and woman who has ever been a fan of his.

  11. RonCharles says

    If he goes there and speaks out against intolerance, then, it will be a good thing. On the other hand, if he lends this group his full, unqualified support, it will be a personal insult to every gay man and woman with whom he has ever worked, and to every gay man and woman who has ever been a fan of his.

  12. RonCharles says

    If he goes there and speaks out against intolerance, then, it will be a good thing. On the other hand, if he lends this group his full, unqualified support, it will be a personal insult to every gay man and woman with whom he has ever worked, and to every gay man and woman who has ever been a fan of his.

  13. RonCharles says

    If he goes there and speaks out against intolerance, then, it will be a good thing. On the other hand, if he lends this group his full, unqualified support, it will be a personal insult to every gay man and woman with whom he has ever worked, and to every gay man and woman who has ever been a fan of his.

  14. RonCharles says

    If he goes there and speaks out against intolerance, then, it will be a good thing. On the other hand, if he lends this group his full, unqualified support, it will be a personal insult to every gay man and woman with whom he has ever worked, and to every gay man and woman who has ever been a fan of his.

  15. LoveThatBob says

    i would suggest that everyone refrain from getting nasty at Mr. Newhart until we know what exactly he knew about this gig. it’s common for gigs to be booked for an entertainer without them personally knowing all of the details.

  16. TonyJazz says

    I’ve seen a number of seniors who gravitate towards hatred and bigotry as they’ve aged (after all, these are the people targetted by Faux News).

    It’s sad, and it shows that we don’t necessarily get wiser (nor smarter) as we age.

    We need to be self-aware and not fall into the same trap ourselves….

  17. MFinBH says

    Too much knee-jerk reaction here, because Newhart has one of the best reputations in Hollywood. I can categorically say he’s one of the good guys.

    If you are going to tweet or FB him, be courteous and explain your concern without attacking him. This man is a national treasure who may well not know all these thorny details. He may, on the other hand know all about it and pull a seamless Colbert-style takedown (which he has been doing since before Colbert was born!)

    Let’s keep it classy, folks.

  18. John says

    I have sent a tweet to Mr. Newhart and to “The Big Bang Theory”.

    I advised Mr. Newhart that Pope Francis is preaching tolerance but Legatus is not. I suggested to “The Big Bang Theory” that they not invite him back if he appears at the summit. Also, I said that Jim Parsons should be all over this.

    If he does end up going, it will be a real shame. I stopped watching re-runs of “Frasier” when I found out about Kelsey Grammer’s extreme right-wing views and would have to give up on Mr. Newhart (I’ve seen him in concert three times) should he follow-through with this appearance.

  19. Kevin says

    I sent Bob a note on Facebook that I was disappointed. I just got a Facebook message from Bob’s daughter Jennifer. She said that the Legatus date has been cancelled.

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