Flop-sweating Peter LaBarbera has been spouting nonsense about LGBTs since the early ’90s, such as his recent and completely absurd Dr. Seuss-inspired poem about the danger of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on live television. Yet for some reason he hasn’t completely self-marginalized himself — or been completely marginalized by the media.
As evidenced by his ridiculous appearances on radio shows throughout last year, there are still bookers out there willing to put him on the air, as if he had some credibility as a speaker.
Poor Peter’s struggled to make a name for himself as a serious antigay critic ever since a friend at the Christian Coalition invited him to denounce gays in a publication called The Lambda Report. Since then, he’s snuck around at gay events with a camera and tape recorder, hoping to catch someone in the act of being lewd so he can crow about how gross gay people are. He’s also “researched” more gay porn than most gay men we know. And to think we don’t get paid to do it.
These days he runs Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which is basically a stale blog where Peter & friends lament these troubling times. After refusing to provide required financial data to the IRS, the government revoked the group’s nonprofit status several years ago.
So let’s be clear: Peter LaBarbera has no idea what he’s talking about, makes stuff up, and is completely wrong about everything. Yet he still gets invited to appear on “mainstream” news and opinion shows.
Just to remind all those lazy television and radio producers out there, here’s a delightful walk down memory lane of some of his greatest (aka worst) hits:
Quote #1: When he saw happy gay soldiers reunited with loved ones, he had this to say: “Only a decaying society pretends that homosexual relationships are morally equivalent to normal, male-female couples.”
Rebuttal: This really gets to the heart of Peter’s problem, and why he’s just so irretrievably crazy: somewhere along the line, he’s become convinced that gays are just fundamentally bad, and the happier we are the angrier he gets.
Quote #2: Speaking to terrified wig-stand Janet Mefferd on her radio show last year, he said, “God detests homosexual practice and so we should expect that, since this is a sin movement, we should expect that they lie and are often nasty.”
Rebuttal: This was part of a long, rambling diatribe in which Peter presumed to know exactly what God thinks. The phrase “this is a sin movement” is particularly colorful.
Quote #3: He told an audience in Jamaica, where LGBTs are routinely beaten and tortured and killed, that they must retain laws criminalizing homosexuality.
Rubuttal: Good idea!
Quote #4: Complaining about his organization’s listing as a hate group by the SPLC in 2010, he claimed that most child molestation victims and abusers are male.
Rebuttal: That’s not true, obviously.
Quote #5: “It’s almost as if homosexual sodomy was created to spread disease,” he told another radio show.
This is a common religious right refrain, that gay sex is riskier than straight sex. Even if that were true, which is is most decidedly not, if he was really concerned about mortality, why not go after, say, cliff jumping or drunk driving or smoking?
Quote #6: When Ben & Jerry’s temporarily changed the name of “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” to celebrate marriage equality in Vermont, LaBarbera freaked out that the ice cream company was neglecting to “talk about the dangers of the lifestyle.”
Rebuttal: This is like expecting every commercial featuring a husband and wife to feature a warning about accidental pregnancy.
Quote #7: He asked of homosexuality, “More Dangerous than Smoking?” Presumably he did not ask this question because he thought the answer was “no.” Later, he clarified, “In fact, I think some ‘gay’ behaviors like sodomy are more dangerous than cigarettes.”
Rebuttal: We are delighted to hear him make this statement, because it is so completely false. Nope, not more dangerous than cigarettes. Not even close. Unless you are being sodomized by a giant cigarette, in which case, maybe.
Quote #8: He posted a claim from a woman saying, “From my work I have learned that repeated sodomy (or anal sex) results in a condition called anal laxity (looseness) that requires surgery or a colostomy bag in order for the bowels to function properly.”
Rebuttal: Right, and if you do too many bench presses your arm muscles will become lax, too! Can you even imagine if that was actually true?
Rebuttal: Saint Peter gets to decide who can belong to what religion.
Quote #10. After Illinois passed marriage, he said, “No matter what happens through the law or what politicians do, two men will never really be married.”
Rebuttal: Haha, sorry, actually yes they are! Married married married. Look, it’s a piece of paper that says “married” on it. Guess what that means! (Hint: married.)