Beginning tonight and continuing throughout next week, viewers across the Chicagoland area will get a chance to watch a TV program featuring David Smith, the head of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), the key organization that is lobbying against marriage equality in Illinois. And when they do, these viewers will come to learn what we already know: that the IFI's agenda goes far beyond the issue of marriage and instead seeks to "change" LGBT people.
Below is an advanced copy of the full, half-hour program. Things to listen for:
- @ 4:15: Smith saying that we shouldn't love gays how they are: "I would say it's loving to tell them the truth about what their behavior is doing and where it's going to lead them."
- @ 12:50: Smith admittng that his real fear is "the normalization of homosexual behavior"
- @ 16:04: "Ex-gay" Linda Jernigan, who is working with the IFI on opposing the marriage bill, claiming that gay people abuse substances, engage in domestic abuse, and try suicide because "there is no peace...the laws do not bring peace"
- @ 19:00: Jernigan claiming there are millions "who have left homosexuality," but they don't have the courage to share their stories. Then, @19:30, Smith "praises God" for the "ex-gays."
- @ 19:50: Jernigan says LGBT equality activists have "stolen the real civil rights movement"; adds, @20:44, that LGBT rights cannot be a civil rights because homosexuality is "transformable" (David Smith "amens" this)
- @ 25:12: Jernigan closes by telling gays to "put trust in Jesus" so they can have "freedom" from homosexuality (Smith "amens" this as well).
There is no denying that this whole thing seeks far more than just the stoppage of marriage equality. In fact, it might be the most proudly pro-"ex-gay" a state policy group has ever gone in the run-up to a marriage vote. Have a look:
[SOURCE: Total Living Network]
If you want to change my ring finger, that is one thing. If you want to change the core of my being, that is a whole other ballgame. And the IFI is trying to bait-and-switch by replacing the issue of marriage equality with one of trying to "change" LGBT people.
The Illinois Family Institute and its staffers (Laurie Higgins is another IFI-employed proponent of gay "change") are on record admitting their true animosity against the existance of LGBT people. When they talk about their opposition to LGBT people as LGBT people, I suggest the media take these statements seriously. They provide a much fuller context to whatever David Smith, Linda Jernigan, and Laurie Higgins say about marriage equality in Illinois and elsewhere.
**FOR MORE OF WHAT SMITH AND JERNIGAN HAVE SAID ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE (much of it blaming Satan for "causing" homosexuality), see their GLAAD CAP PROFILES:
David Smith [GLAAD CAP]
Linda Jernigan [GLAAD CAP]
Laurie Higgins [GLAAD CAP]