Politics often mimics art.
Soon after Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and a bunch of other superheroes got together to form the Super Friends, Lex Luthor, the Joker and Cheetah joined with other super villains to form the Legion of Doom. Where the Super Friends stand for truth and justice, the Legion stands for lies and inequity.
A similar scene played out at the State House last night as the House Judiciary Committee took testimony on marriage equality last night.
In the wake of the formation of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, a coalition in support of marriage rights, Christopher Plante executive director of the anti-marriage equality group NOM-RI announced the formation of a local Legion of Doom: the Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God, or FAPSMEG.
Watch this video by Sam Valorose, that captures the good, the bad and the ugly that was on display at the State House last night:
To form his dream team of intolerance, Plante dragged Brian Camenker of MassResistance, a genuine Southern Poverty Law Center hate group to Rhode Island, to poison our state with his special kind of venomous bile.
That’s right, bigot, homophobe and Holocaust denier Brian Camenker, who once lied, “One bill in Massachusetts takes away all the penalties for bestiality. This is where this [homosexual] agenda is going” and another time claimed that “no homosexuals died in the Holocaust and that the pink triangle the Nazis forced imprisoned gays to wear actually signified Catholic priests” has been imported from Massachusetts.
That this coalition of NOM and MassResistance also has the support of the Knights of Columbus and Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Providence Diocese is simply disgraceful. In addition to running Bishop Tobin’s latest anti-equality screed on its new website, at least one representative of the Providence Diocese spoke at the press conference/rally held in the main rotunda of the State House, a rally so large and boisterous it could be heard on the 3rd floor.
My friend Dave described the scene downstairs. There was…
…speaking in tongues, laying on of hands to protect the children from gays, the ecstatic testimonies, raised arms, singing of hymns, etc. It was like a classic religious revival.
Other speakers included RI Senator Harold Metts, Rev. Luis Rodriguez, Iglesia de la Comunidad; Rev. Luis Suarez, President of the Hispanic Coalition of Pastors and Ministers and Pastor, Iglesia Nueva Generacion Cristiana; Rev. Santos Escobar, Inglesia Vida Abundante UMC; Ron L’Heureux, Founder of Project Exodus 18; and Darrell Lee, SM, Founder, Building Cities on God Ministries.
One wonders how many of these religious leaders are aware of Camenker’s views and more worrisome, how many of those in attendance hold the same views.
After I gave my testimony and after the rally in the rotunda had mostly dissipated, I found myself downstairs watching some men and women in a prayer circle praying intently until a woman began thrashing uncontrollably, speaking incomprehensibly and being gently guided to the ground so that she could freak out safely. It was vaguely similar to an epileptic seizure as the woman was in the throes of the Holy spirit or something. It was quite dramatic, but ultimately of no real significance to the legal proceedings upstairs.
Kind of like FAPSMEG.