Next week, Linda Jernigan will head down to Springfiled to lobby lawmakers on the pending marriage equality bill. Here is David Smith, president of the Illinois Family Institute, making the announcement:
So who is Linda Jernigan and what does she believe? Let's examine.
First thing to know is that Linda is an "ex-gay." I don't mean that she is someone who simply used to have same-sex relationships and who now chooses celibacy. No, no—I mean to say that Linda is a professional "ex-gay" activist who routinely aligns herself with groups like the IFI and Peter LaBarbera's Americans For Truth group for the purpose of demonizing LGBT people and our rights. Like so many "former homosexuals," Linda has made it her mission to carry water for the anti-LGBT movement.
But not only is Linda against our rights— she is really against us, as people. Linda's rhetoric is among the worst you will find anywhere, denying gays of peace, happiness, God, and anything decent that we might claim. To wit:
-- Claims expanding homosexuality is "Satan's plan"
-- Says: "To say that homosexuals have gay pride is an oxymoron because based on how they are and based on how they present themselves, there is nothing to be proud about" (at :35)
-- Says of gays: "The Devil has stolen their identity, he kills their joy, and then he ultimately destroys their lives"
-- Claims Christians have "a mandate from God" to "UTTERLY DESTROY any kingdom that attempts to oppose and defy the standards, laws, and principles of our God." Clarifies that this doesn't mean she wants to "promove violence towards homosexuals" but that she wants to "confidently annihilate demonic forces that oppose the expansion of the kingdom of God"
-- Claims homosexuality is "rooted in Satan" (at 1:51)
-- Says the gay rights movement was created by a "demonic spirit" and that it is what you will find at gay pride events today
-- Claims "you have to be in inebriated state" to perform some gay acts (at 7:20); says being in another state "allows the demons and the devil and his agenda" so that gays will be able to perform
-- Says (at 4:57) "if homosexuals don't want to go to hell..they need to put their faith and trust in Jesus and they too will be able to live in the truth of the Lord"
-- Says homosexuality is a "transformable beahvior" like marijuana or cocaine (beginning at 6:27)
-- Instructs gays to "not believe the lies of the Devil"
LINDA JERNIGAN [GLAAD CAP]
This is not someone simply opposed to marriage policy. This is not a lobbyist. This is someone who comes right out and says it: She thinks gays are demonic, Satan-controlled, and in need of "change."
And this is who the opposition thinks is fit to speak to the merits of civil legislation? This is what they consider to be rational debate? This is what passes as dissenting opinion in this crucial civil rights conversation? This is what those Illinoisians who demand free, fair, and reasoned debate are told to dignify as if it's mere conservative advocacy?
The Illinois Family Insitute, the state's leading "pro-family" policy group, seems to think so. Here's hoping the local media addresses the IFI's chosen advocacy for the hostility that it so clearly is.