|Rick Bratinn: self-loath closeted gay or pandering political whore?|
One of the tactics used by the Nazi regime to set the stage for the Holocaust was a never ending propaganda campaign to depict Jews as less than human. Jews were described as a threat to children, disease ridden and many other horrible things. This Nazi tactic was adopted by fundamentalist and evangelical Christians years ago now and directed at the LGBT community. Again, the goal has been to dehumanize gays and to in the process make their mistreatment acceptable to the "godly folk." Indeed, change "Jew" to "gay" and some of the Christofascists propaganda reads nearly verbatim with that of the Nazis. Typically, Christofacscists stop short of flat out saying gays are subhuman. Not so with Missouri state representative Rick Brattin - likely a closeted gay himself given the track record of virulently anti-gay Republicans - who flat out said that being homosexual is something different from being a human being. In a main editorial, the Kansas City Star takes Brattin to task. Here are excerpts:
Rick Brattin, a Missouri state representative from Harrisonville, seems pretty certain: Homosexuality and humanity are incompatible.
“When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Qur’an, of other religions,” he said Monday, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”
The statement, made on the Missouri House floor, was deplorable. It betrayed a stunning lack of understanding of theology and self-government: The Constitution protects all Americans from the tyranny of any single faith-based approach to secular law.
We asked Rep. Brattin to explain his statement, but he did not return a phone call to his office.
It isn’t the first time state Brattin has tripped over the Constitution.
He has sought an equal footing for teaching creationism in public schools. He proposed requiring the father’s consent before an abortion except in cases of “legitimate rape.”
It’s a disappointing record. Sadly, some of Brattin’s colleagues appear to sympathize with his views.
Monday, state lawmakers tried to pass an amendment prohibiting discrimination in the state on the basis of sexual orientation or gender status. In Missouri, you can still be fired because the boss thinks you might be gay.
Brattin made his statement during the debate on that amendment. But it quickly became clear that there were not enough votes to pass the plan, leaving gays and lesbians still unprotected by Missouri’s discrimination law.
That sends exactly the wrong message about tolerance in the state.
It gets worse. After all the amendments were dropped, including the protections for gays and lesbians, the House passed Senate Bill 43, a measure that would actually make it more difficult to sue for discrimination.
The bill is another unnecessary blemish on the state. . . . . what business wants to operate in a state that tolerates discrimination? Or a state where a representative thinks gays and lesbians are less than human?
The states that grow in the 21st century will be those that show tolerance, acceptance and intelligence. Missouri’s lawmakers are sending a clear signal this state is not any of those things. The governor should veto the bill. And Brattin should apologize.