Editorial: Previously I have written about the World Congress of Families, and about their ability to use vast funding to covertly influence the governments of many western governments, and also on a further field in Africa.
I am continuing our watching brief to bring you this article on Dr. Everett Piper, who has been selected by U.S. Sen. James Lankford to join him at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in Washington on Jan. 12th.
Now you may well ask why is this important to LGBT people in the UK? The reason is that in the US it is estimated that 3.8% of the population (9,083,558 m) are LGBT, whilst HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry in 2005 concluded that there were 3.6 m gay people in the UK – approximately 6% of the total population.
Obviously these numbers are voters, yet, Sen Lankford (and his running mate now Dr Piper) seem to want to ostracize them – indeed to end up treating them as third class citizens.
The Congress of Families, and indeed similar bodies with the same aims, have tried repeatedly to organise both in the UK and in Ireland, and we need to be on our guard that they don’t try to suborn our politicians to repeal the rights that we have fought long and hard to obtain.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Outspoken Oklahoma Wesleyan University president, Dr. Everett Piper, in Bartlesville, was selected by U.S. Sen. James Lankford to join him at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in Washington on Jan. 12th.
According to an Associated Press story, published Wednesday, Piper has made news in recent months by criticizing college students as “narcissistic” and is now wanting his college to get a religious exemption from Title IX requirements because transgender people are a “human fabrication” who can be “discriminated” against because they are somehow scientific aberrations.
Piper’s views have been embraced by Lankford, who has made numerous anti-gay statements in recent years, saying sexual orientation is a “choice.”
And with hard-right fundamentalist Christians bristling at the mere thought of gay marriage or LGBT rights of any kind, they have twisted the notion of “religious freedom,” claiming, somehow, that their religious beliefs are being threatened.
Notes the AP article about Lankford’s love of Piper: “A first-term Republican from Edmond, Lankford praised Piper’s “stand for religious freedom.”
That’s code for “I am a fundamentalist Christian and should be able to discriminate against the gays and their ‘agendas.'”
Piper, a regular columnist for the conservative Oklahoma news website Forty Six News, arrogantly boasted in his latest column – “Title XI Exemption and I’m Proud of It” – that “the transgender agenda” is out to “insult” men and women.
America’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, the Human Rights Campaign, released a statement Wednesday in a piece by Liz Halloran headlined “Oklahoma Wesleyan University president says he is ‘proud’ to discriminate against transgender people,” saying that “(Piper defended) the university’s decision to request an exemption to existing civil rights law in order to discriminate against LGBT students on religious grounds, Piper used the same bigoted and hateful language that is his stock-in-trade: referring to transgender people as a “human fabrication,” and non-discrimination efforts as “misogyny.”
Halloran also quotes HRC President Chad Griffin, who said: “Mr. Piper’s assertions are despicable, but, sadly, not surprising, given his track record of working with anti-LGBT organizations like the World Congress of Families. Piper, meanwhile, sarcastically responded to this criticism by writing a response titled “I spoke to a hate group last week.” Piper actually embraces his role as hate leader for the Christofascist right.
HRC’s Griffin continued, adding: “Piper should be ashamed. Imagine what it feels like to be a young LGBT student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and hearing the president of your school publicly disparage you in this way. His astonishingly callous response to revelations that he sought the right to discriminate against his own students is not only stomach-turning, but anathema to the role of an educational leader.”
We agree. And we are also disappointed that Sen. Lankford, who is elected to represent all Oklahomans, is comfortable palling around with the likes of loud-mouthed, reactionary bigots like Everett Piper. However, given Lankford’s record, we’re not all that surprised.
This is an opinion piece from Red Dirt Report editor Andrew W. Griffin