Backpedaling Ensues After National Outrage Over Evangelical Position on LGBTQ Protections
I've recently written about Mat Staver and the Liberty Counsel wanting to get LGBT protections removed from the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act and how their wishes most likely will not be granted. Luckily, Mat Staver and the Evangelical crew have now backpedaled on their position following outrage, according to LGBTQ Nation.
Staver was opposed to the anti-lynching bill because he felt that because it mentions protections for LGBT people, that the bill included special rights for LGBT people themselves. He also claimed that this is the first time a federal law mentioned sexuality and gender identity, which is not true. Staver and the Liberty Counsel spoke to lawmakers to persuade them to remove mention of sexuality and gender orientation from the bill, effectively removing all protections for LGBT people.
But Staver has claimed fake news on this and said that these accusations (read: factual statements) are false reporting. Staver even says that the Liberty Counsel opposes "lynching across the board for any person. Period!” and said that his real issue with the law is that it limits the application of the law.
He said that "Lynching should be prohibited no matter the person’s reason for committing this violent crime.” By saying that, he is showing that he doesn't understand the purpose for the bill. Lynching is already illegal (since murder has been illegal for a significant period of time) but its illegal status didn't discourage governments from promoting it. Just look at the Jim Crow era, which, relatively speaking was, somewhat recent. Black Americans were frequently lynched during that time and the US government let it slide mostly.
Back to the topic at hand - adding protective language to the bill, whether it be protective of someone's sexuality and/or gender identity, race, or, yes, religion, will give the government incentive to persecute racist and homophobic people on the basis of them being racist or homophobic instead of continuing to ignore the fact that hate crimes exist.
Mat Staver is now changing his story by saying that he opposes the lynching of all people to really just save face because knowing his homophobic history and the group that he founded, I doubt he would mind if fewer LGBTQ people existed.