Tea Party Leader Contemplates Lawsuit Against Homosexuality


Just when you thought you had heard everything there is to offer from right wing zealots over the past few years, out of the moldy woodwork comes Rick Scarborough with the idea of filing a class action lawsuit against homosexuality. For those of you who are not familiar with Ricky, here is a short bio. Scarborough was a Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas and now is the founder and head of Vision America, self-described to “inform, encourage and mobilize pastors and their congregations to be proactive in restoring Judeo-Christian values to the moral and civic framework in their communities, states, and our nation.” Rick also heads up the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration (that group’s name needs no defining, me thinks). He has B.A. from Houston Baptist University, a M. Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a D. Min from Louis… okay, I’ll stop now. I think you catch the drift.

A progressive advocacy group released a partial transcript of what Scarborough said to Peter Labarbera at a Tea Party Unity gathering last Thursday. LaBarbera is founder and president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), which describes itself as “dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda”. It was a 501(c)3 United States tax-exempt organization until stripped of that designation following years of failing to file the appropriate paperwork. It is classified as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Upon learning of the designation in December 2010, LaBarbera considered it a point of pride and stated, “If you are not on the SPLC hate list, you are not doing enough.” Scarborough espoused on anti-gay strategies including a possible class action lawsuit claiming, “Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that.” In actuality, this is a blatant lie that can be easily dismissed. In 2008 the CDC released a report that stated, “… more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.”

Now, these kind of incendiary statements go beyond the pale of anything acceptable in a civilized country. Far be it from me to tell anyone that they don’t have the same freedom of speech as the next person, but when a man who carries some weight among the Tea Party, as well as his weak minded religious followers, spouts outright bullshit and portrays them as facts, he, in my opinion, becomes a danger to society. Scarborough and his ilk are a mere half step away from being the Westboro Baptist Church and bring no value to any argument they purport but merely spew hate as a means to be heard. Scarborough and his ilk have found a way to make a tidy living, in most cases with tax free status, not bettering society and adding civility to the discourse but tearing it down by with hate and divisiveness. I’m sorry, but that is not the society I choose to be part of. That is not a message I agree with, let alone choose to hear. That is not, what we as good hard-working members of our communities, should allow our children to hear.

I have, over the years, learned to be very leery of any group, or member thereof, which has the words value, family, marriage, Christian or truth in it’s name. They are to be monitored closely, kept on a short leash and allowed only the narrowest of parameters to promote their messages of hate.

I will leave you with a quote from Mr. Scarborough. “They’re not gay… that’s a twist into the words. It won’t be long until we’ll be calling pedophiles ‘happy people.'” That’s right, Rick, we will most certainly do that, but only after we start calling mass murderers ‘you crazy kids’ and serial killers ‘you silly pranksters.

All-len-all, it is time to turn our collective backs on these self-servers with nothing but hate in their hearts and give them the press that they deserve, none.