State Sen. Mee Moua said some who testified at Tuesday’s Senate hearing on gay marriage were so “fixated on the sex-making aspects” that they missed the spirit of the bill. But another aspect of the content of recent hearings on the issue has not yet been scrutinized: Tuesday’s statement by ex-gay activist Janet Boynes was nearly identical to that of Barb Davis White. One difference: Boynes didn’t repeat the claim made by White at last week’s House hearing that “Rosa Parks didn’t move to the front of the bus to support sodomy.”
At historic if symbolic hearings in House and Senate committees, White and Boynes gave first-person narratives about their experiences as African-American women, relating that they find it offensive when gays and lesbians use terms like “civil rights” or “equality” when discussing same-sex marriage.
White, who ran as a Republican against Rep. Keith Ellison in 2008 but is challenging him this year as an Independence Party candidate, staked out her claim to the testimony. “You should know that Barb and another gentleman worked on that language years ago,” White’s campaign manager Stephanie Zais told the Minnesota Independent. “Barb is quoted in a December 2005 newsletter stating those words, and she repeated them again at her recent testimony.”
Zais added, “We cannot control whether or not another person chooses to repeat those words.”
The Minnesota Independent was unable to reach Boynes for comment.
But, this duplication wasn’t the focus of Moua’s criticism, which came after a string of speakers presented their opinions on the nature of sexuality.
Father Michael Becker, representing the Minnesota Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “With homosexual acts, one person is essentially using another person, and this type of sexual behavior in our culture is rampant. What are the acts? The male homosexual act… If you legalize marriage … you would be teaching [society] that these acts are good and healthy.”
Bill Harley, a psychiatrist for the organization Wallbuilders, claimed that anyone can change their sexual orientation to become sexually attracted to “whatever happens to be available.”
“It is possible for same-sex-oriented people to become opposite-sex oriented. It’s also possible for opposite-sex-oriented people to become same-sex oriented,” he said. “In fact, most of us can become sexually attracted to almost anything or anyone under certain conditions. Eliminate attractive opposite-sex alternatives and people find they can respond sexually to whatever happens to be available.”
Boynes, who calls herself a former lesbian, said, “Science reports that the most deadly sexually transmitted diseases are highly [among] gay men. The human rectum wasn’t made for sexual behavior. The human lining of the rectum easily tears. That’s why the presence of such STDs as HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, gay bowel syndrome, and HIV are far greater in homosexual relationships.” (Gay bowel syndrome is not a recognized ailment.)
“It seems that the group of testifiers for the last half hour are so fixated on the sex making aspects of these bills,” said committee chair Sen. Mee Moua. “The bills are saying [marriage] is wonderful and if it’s going to be available then it ought to be available to all of us and don’t keep us out.”
She added, “It seems that the the fixation and the focus on the sex acts and the way you all presented it which seems so contrary to the spirit of the bills.”
Here’s White’s testimony on Feb. 22, 2010:
I’m also concerned about children. Some claim that all children need is two loving people in a committed relationship. In my experience this is simply not true. We tried this in my community, the black community, and found it to be wrought with failure. For decades we tried to raise our sons with two loving people, a mother and a grandmother. And we know it doesn’t work. But is anyone listening? There a mountain of sociological data that proves that children are far better off in a home with a mother and a father, not just two people in a committed relationship.
Let me tell you something else. A same-sex marriage environment is an environment with out a mother or a father. Here in the African-American community we already know what is happening. I want to tell you this: also we hear comparisons between same-sex marriage and equality and civil rights and discrimination.
Let me quote the late Rev. John Thomas. “Rosa Parks did not move to the front of the bus to support sodomy.”
I’m deeply saddened that people would accuse me of discrimination, because i believe a mother and a father should raise children. Some would say the laws to include same-sex marriage are like laws banning interracial marriages. I’m from an interracial marriage. Same-sex marriage and interracial marriages have nothing in common.
There is no difference between a black person and a white person other than their skin color when there’s a tremendous difference between a man and a woman. Allowing a black woman and a white man to marry does not change the definition of marriage. However, allowing two men or two women would fundamentally change that definition.
And Boynes’ statement on Mar. 2, 2010:
I am also concerned about children. Some say that all children need is two loving people in a committed relationship. In my experience this is simply not true. We have tried this in my community and found it to be wrought with failure. For decades we have tried to raise our sons with two loving people, a mother and a grandmother. And we know it didn’t work. But is anyone listening? There is a mountain of sociological data that proves children are far better off in a home with a mother and a father, not just two committed people in a loving relationship.
Let me tell you something a same-sex marriage is an environment without a mother or a father and here in the African-American community we already know what will happen. But what I do hear are comparisons between same sex marriage and equality, civil rights and discrimination.
I am deeply saddened that people would accuse me of discrimination because I believe a child needs a mother and a father. Some have said that the laws precluded same-sex marriage are like laws once banning interracial marriage. Same-sex marriage and interracial marriages have nothing in common.
There is no difference between a black person and a white person other than their skin color. But there is tremendous difference between a man and women. Allowing a black woman and a white man to marry does not change the definition of marriage. However allowing two men and two women to marry would fundamentally change the definition.