CONTRIBUTORS

Posing a threat to free speech?

A gay rights advocate and opponent argue during a rally outside the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. A flurry of political activity in states such as Maine, Rhode Island, Illinois and Colorado followed President Barack Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage.
Mike Groll | AP
A gay rights advocate and opponent argue during a rally outside the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. A flurry of political activity in states such as Maine, Rhode Island, Illinois and Colorado followed President Barack Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage.
Posted July 18, 2012, at 4:29 p.m.
Last modified July 22, 2012, at 6:16 a.m.

Few things in nature are as terrifying as a prolonged drought. Rain is life-giving, a sign of God’s grace, but drought puts life to the test with a slow, consuming fire.

Hence the blazing sun and a deserted town at high noon symbolize a time of trial, a final crisis when an honest man stands alone against the heat.

The heat is increasing for those opposed to the normalization of homosexuality. Fewer and fewer people are willing to speak out against a movement which has the power to silence its opponents.

Many leaders of the pro-family movement carefully avoid any discussion of the morality of homosexuality. Instead they prefer subtle sociological, psychological and legal arguments in support of traditional marriage. They do so not because these arguments are effective, but because they fear being called haters.

Their unwillingness to confront the homosexual rights movement gives the final measure of credibility to the canard that “opposition to sodomy is bigotry.”

These leaders err greatly by hiding God’s message on homosexuality. Not only do they bring discredit on those who are faithful to God’s word, they also put themselves in jeopardy.

One new tactic used by the homosexual community is to silence free speech. One pro-family leader, Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance, is being sued for defamation of character for publishing a letter revealing the alleged activities of a homosexual youth organization in Maine. The plaintiff is a registered sex offender in Maine. Camenker, a man with limited means, is faced with losing his website and his livelihood as well.

Another pro-family website, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, has been warned that if it continues to publish the same material, it too will be sued for defamation of character and its Web hosting service will be forced to take the website off the Internet.

Similarly, Dr. Scott Lively, another leading figure in the pro-family movement, is being sued in Federal District Court by an organization called “The Sexual Minorities of Uganda” in what can only be characterized as a frivolous lawsuit and an assault on the First Amendment.

These three examples prove that the power of the homosexual rights movement is now so vast and so reckless as to pose a threat to free speech.

Although the proposed referendum question exempts the clergy from performing same-sex marriages, this will quickly change. If and when the homosexual rights movement triumphs, any opposition to homosexuality will quickly become a criminal offense as it is now a criminal offense in Canada and England and other countries in Europe. This includes any statement from the pulpit that homosexual acts are sinful. Reading Leviticus aloud in public will then constitute a crime.

A movement powerful enough to support a foreign organization in their attempt to suppress the free speech of an American minister can easily silence any pastor, teacher, public official or ordinary citizen who dares say that homosexuality is wrong.

For the leaders of the pro-family movement to use the same message as their opponents — that marriage is good — and that the morality of same-sex marriage is not an issue, is more than a plan for failure. It is active collaboration with those who claim that truth-telling is bigotry and the Bible is hate speech.

When free speech is forbidden, that is precisely the time when one is most obligated to speak out. If neighbors cower in silence, that obligation grows heavier. Kneeling in the dirt and begging for forgiveness will not work, because as every confrontation with evil teaches, appeasement is no solution.

After the town has fled, leaving the doors barred and the street deserted, a few will remain to confront an absurdity which can only yield barrenness and sterility.

Homosexual marriage is after all, the final swing of the scythe which cuts an already blighted society to the ground.

Michael S. Heath is president and CEO of the No Special Rights PAC and served as executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine from 1994 to 2009.

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