What’s Up with Focus on the Family?

Things just get curiouser and curiouser. I’ve posted before about how James Dobson and Jerry Falwell have both made strangely supportive statements about gay & lesbian equality in the past year or so. Now I come across this. Focus on the Family is suporting a Colorado gay rights measure that would give same sex couples some of the rights enjoyed by heterosexual spouses.

The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family teaches that gays and lesbians lead dangerous and deviant lifestyles. The ministry has long lobbied against recognizing same-sex couples as spouses or parents.

So it came as a surprise to political analysts — and to gay and lesbian activists — when Focus on the Family endorsed a bill this month that would give same-sex couples in Colorado some of the same rights as heterosexual spouses.

The bill tries to chart a neutral middle ground through an issue that has roiled state after state in recent years.

…”It corrects unfairness,” said Peter Brandt, senior director for public policy at Focus on the Family, which is based in Colorado Springs, about 60 miles south of Denver.

Focus on the Family endorsed the bill the same week it joined several influential clergy to propose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Colorado. That measure will probably be on the November ballot; most analysts expect it to pass handily.

Brandt said he saw no inconsistency in fighting same-sex marriage while endorsing limited rights for gay or lesbian households.

What to make of this?

Is it possible that Dobson is seeking a middleground on gay & lesbian equality? And if so, why? It is because a position of total opposition is growing more unteneable and cannot hold? Are stories like Laurel Hester’s turning the tide of public consciousness? Iv’e noted before that even people who are conflicted on the issue of same-sex marriage believe that gay and lesbian couples should have at least the rights that the Colorado bill supports: hospital visitaion, the ability to carry partners as depedents on health insurance, making medical decisions for each other, and maybe even inheritance and property rights.

Whatever the case, as Pam points out , it looks like Dobson is getting a taste of just how loving and accepting some of his fellow believers can be.

Bloggers and Christian commentators have criticized Dobson for endorsing a Colorado measure that would allow any two people who can’t marry — everyone from gay couples to two elderly sisters — to sign up and get the right to visit one another in the hospital, transfer property and make medical decisions for one another.

… “I’m used to getting beaten from the radicals, from the left. I deal with that because that goes with the territory,” Dobson said. “I really find it very difficult to be attacked in such an unfair way from conservatives who claim to follow the cause of Christ.”

Tell me about James. Just remember, what you’re getting is merely a taste, not a full serving.

Maybe as Preemtive Karma points out, Dobson has acquired a “sense of karma.” Or maybe he’s just an old man trying to ensure a place in heaven.

Via QueerDay.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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4 Responses to What’s Up with Focus on the Family?

  1. Shaula Evans says:

    My gut reaction is that there must be a political agenda behind this.  <i>Cui bono</i> after all, right?Verrrry curious.  I’m interested to see how the story develops.

  2. I hope that Dobson is figuring out that judgment isn’t his to make.  I don’t believe it’s anything more than that.  Rick Warren has been a hugely positive influence on attitudes of the "mainstream Christian right".I am a Christian, but I’m no more right-wing than I am a thimble.  There are many of us out here — it’s just that the mainstream wants to paint anyone who calls themselves Christian as ugly and bigoted.

  3. SteveS says:

    They know they can’t win, they are losing, so they want to throw us scraps hoping those of us under the table (like dogs) will be satisfied with the scraps and not seek a seat at the table.If they knew they could condemn us and drive us back into the closet and win don’t think for a minute they wouldn’t do it. This is throwing us scraps.

  4. Will Brady says:

    Talking out of both sides of the mouth, the snake promises riches and retribution at the same time. Dobson and falwell must have begun to recognize that spewing forth hate-based messages puts them in the same category as Fred "God-Hates-Fags" Phelps.The overtness of their message has to be toned down as more and more ordinary [non-gay] folks see through the deception. After all, once they lose credibility in one area [i.e. that civilization will not collapse with gay marriages]  then other points of view begin to seem suspect.And if they lose their audience base, it weakens [if not altoghether jeopardizes] their funding sources. Without the funding source, their ability to transmit the message of fear-mongering and social control is less stable, and they begin to lose power over others.So conceding now, before they think it too late, they remain in power a bit longer, still protecting from going out and legitimately earning a living like so many others.Well, that’s one take on the situtaion.Will Brady

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