This is a cross-post from Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion
From J. Lester Feder at Buzzfeed:
An anti-gay activist from Massachusetts has warned Jamaicans that repealing the country’s sodomy provision would end freedom of speech and lead to a surge of sexually transmitted diseases during a rally in Kingston.
Brian Camenker, founder of MassResistance, was the keynote speaker at an event organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society in the Jamaican capital’s Emancipation Park on Dec. 10.
…Camenker also refuted the notion that homophobia was the main cause of violence against LGBT people. “You’ll hear a lot of talk about violence against gays; what they don’t tell you is that it’s predominantly from other gays,” Camenker said.
His comments echo arguments frequently made by conservatives in Jamaica to minimize widespread reports of hate crimes, which have surged recently on the island.
MassResistance (the “Mass” stands for “Massachusetts”) uploaded a video of Camenker’s speech a few days ago; it came to Feder’s attention via a critical post by Cathy Kristofferson at O-blog-dee-o-blog-da. Camenker’s appearance was at an evententitled “Perfect Law, Perfect Rights: To God Be The Glory”, and the date was chosen to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
Camenker’s visit came just a few days after Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and Andrea Minichiello Williams of the UK-based Christian Concern addressed the same group. Williams reportedly urged the audience to promote the claim that homosexuality is linked to paedophilia and opined that the swimmer Tom Daley had entered into a gay relationship because of the death of his father; some controversy has followed.
Christian Concern has links with MassResistance through Paul Diamond, who is closely aligned with Christian Concern and who acts as their barrister in discrimination cases brought by the group. In September 2011 Diamond spoke at a MassResistance banquetalongside Camenker, Scott Lively, and Rep. Sally Kern; Diamond reportedly raised the issue of the “harmful truths of the homosexual agenda” before moving on to employment cases where he feels Christians have not been accommodated to the same extent as members of minority religious groups.
Christian Concern also promoted a MassResistance article attacking Occupy Springfield for its opposition to Scott Lively, who is known in particular for co-authoring a bookclaiming that gay people were responsible for the Holocaust and for his support of authoritarian anti-gay measures in Russia and Uganda.
The wider context here has been very well summarized by journalist Jeff Sharlet, who recently wrote:
It’s time to recognize that a global homophobic movement has emerged. Each country is distinct; but the rhetoric is strikingly similar. I’ve reported firsthand on this from Uganda, Russia, Kenya, and the U.S. I keep coming across the same crooked statistics, the same obsession with Soros money, the same conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia. It’s not a conspiracy. I’ll say it again: It’s not a conspiracy. It’s worse. It’s a movement, a monstrous one.