Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg Calls For Preservation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” . . . And The Criminalization of Homosexuality

Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg does not appear quite ready to accept gays serving the country in the military. On Hardball, he not only opposed the elimination of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy but argued that all gays should be arrested as criminals.

Here is the exchange:

Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Well, I think certainly..

Matthews: I’m just asking, should we outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: I think the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place in this country for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: YES!

It is astonishing that our religious right has so much difficulty with the leaders in Iran and other countries when they hold views that seem in line with those of people like Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, here. Not only would Sprigg bar gay Americans from fighting for their country, but would arrest them. This includes presumably arresting heroes who have been decorated for bravery in combat. He might want to visit the grave site of Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich (1943–1988).

Sprigg has a particular problem with Lawrence v. Texas where the Supreme Court struck down laws that criminalized homosexual relations between consenting adults. Of course, limitations on religion — including acts of entanglement of church and state — are horrific and unacceptable, but it is perfectly acceptable to declare millions of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to be criminals because of their private consensual relations.

For the story and commentary, click here and here and here.

102 thoughts on “Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg Calls For Preservation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” . . . And The Criminalization of Homosexuality”

  1. bdaman,

    So which way does your crown go? Does that mean you wear a gown when you crown is swirled around?

  2. Mike,

    I have the bad habit of linking to actual papers, here’s a summary of the first one.

    “Most recently, Blanchard et al. (15) collated several data sets and found another surprise: older brothers increase the probability of a boy becoming gay only if that boy is right-handed.”

  3. “Mike,
    An interesting aside, you might notice from that first article, there does some to be some slight link between sexual orientation and handedness. Who’d have thunk?.”

    Read both articles but they will take a heap of digesting to fully understand their implications. However, that being said that while firmly hetero, I love Judy Garland, Broadway Musicals, Interior Decorating, Fashion and dishing gossip. I have a hetero older brother. Who knows the arc my life would have taken if my mother left me a lefty?

  4. I think we’d be well advised to do a little research into developmental biology before we start talking about the subject.

    First off, the answer to the whole nature v. nurture question is often “both.” That’s part of why I brought up epigenetics. For those who can’t be bothered to look up words, epigenetics refers to changes in the phenotype (an observable trait caused by the expression of a gene) caused by something other than the changes to the gene itself. Sometimes these traits can be passed on, as was shown by studying the descendants of people who were exposed to famine in their adolescence (as a side note, I chose this example because it also illustrates that “nurture” doesn’t necessarily involve a choice on anyone’s part). The other reason I brought it up, was this recent study, certainly hints at some sort of epigenetic factor.

    I realize in order to be epigenetic there has to be some evidence for a genetic component. For that I’ll turn to this study:

    The other thing to take into consideration is that the field of genetics is a giant unmapped continent. We’re not even sure as to the exact genes involved in hair color, nor all the mechanics involved, and the genetic\epigenetic causes of behavior are MUCH more complex than those of physical characteristics.

    So while the mechanics of the genetic and biological components to homosexuality are largely unknown, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they exist.


    An interesting aside, you might notice from that first article, there does some to be some slight link between sexual orientation and handedness. Who’d have thunk?


    American Legal and Ethical tradition isn’t always right (I can do this as long as you can). The problem you have is that almost every argument you make is based on tradition or antiquity. Neither of which goes a long way to proving a point.

    Working on the assumption you want to convince people you’re right, the thing to do is to come up with a justification for a law against homosexuality based on something you can prove. Then prove your basis. In this case, I don’t think you’ll be able to prove that a society that no society “advanced in enviable ways when sexual lassiez-faire begins to be practiced by the third generation after that civilization started to loosen sexual mores.” Although I’d love to see you try (after defining what you mean by: advanced, sexual lassiez-fair, and loosen sexual mores).

  5. “As far as nurture goes, my ex-wife started out left handed but a teacher told her she had to be right handed. To this day she’s right handed but she honestly has trouble telling right from left.”

    The same thing was done to me by my mother more than 60 years ago and my left hand has always been considerably weaker than my right. This was a common practice back then, for some reason that is lost to me and I think it was a bad thing to do.

    I don’t know though if that equates to sexuality. I know emotionally I have been drawn to females since at least the age of five, before I was aware of sexuality and the strange, exciting dreams that I had with no real sense of what was going on. My assumption from this, admittedly with little proof, is that there are built in mechanisms (genetic?)that determine ones sexuality. However, sexuality itself is a continuum and its drives in different people gives rise to different “approaches.”

    What is ironic about this is that I was trained in a psychotherapeutic philosophy that was highly pro nurture as the
    determining factor in human behavior. That was more than thirty years ago. As the years have passed and new scientific experiments and understandings have been revealed I believe much more in genetic influence, than in those past days of my learning my craft.

  6. Well that’s nice but I never said anything about my believing in nurture over nature.

    In fact, if you’d read the comments you’re addressing prior to addressing them, you’d see I supported the opposite.

  7. ThirtyPercenter

    You know, South Park just brought to mind an organization that believes in nurture over nature: NAMBLA.

  8. Mike S

    Part of the confusion here may be from terminology.

    I think that we can agree to a certain extent that people are born gay. That does not prove or disprove that there is a genetic aspect to it-as there are many things that can happen during development.

    As far as nurture goes, my ex-wife started out left handed but a teacher told her she had to be right handed. To this day she’s right handed but she honestly has trouble telling right from left.

  9. ThirtyPercenter

    “Why do you ask?”

    I just get this impression that you are the kind of guy who sees the image of a “neocon” in every potato chip and toasted-cheese sandwich you come across.

  10. Mike…..
    Thank-you once again, you are far far better at explaining the point than I am, but you did in fact express all the points that I was trying to make!

  11. Thank you, I stand corrected. My apologies if I have offended you now or in the past.

  12. FFLEO,
    Interesting thought. Through the years many people who were closeted gays, were publicly homophobic. Roy Cohn immediately comes to mind, as does Ted Haggard.

  13. “I do differ with you a bit on origins, however. I don’t think it’s a straight genetic thing. For instance-people who go to prison and take up same-sex relationships with benefits and come out to resume their “normal” patterns.”

    I think you need to look at your underlying presumption in that statement which seems to assume that if a person has one or even a few homosexual experiences, then you can class them as homosexual.
    It is many years ago for me but I can remember how in the years of my sexual prime, my need for sex was overwhelming. People in prison perhaps being isolated from the opposite sex for many years, look to others of the same sex to “scratch their itch.” They are not gay generally, although the anti-gay mythology is that if you have even one gay experience, you’re gay. That is simply not true.

    In truth many fully homosexual people have had hetero sex for a variety of reasons. The determinant of someone’s sexuality is their deep emotional preference for one sex or another. Also going back to your prison analogy much of what happens in prison is rape, which is more about power than about sex.

  14. “My only concern with gays openly serving in the military is the harassment they may recieve in bootcamp. I think a group of guys showering would rather not know that one of them is gay.”

    Interseting comments. As a woman who served could you talk about the sexual abuse and rape almost 30% of our service women have had to deal with? I agree that there would be similar harassment to gays, but primarilly in training camp. Most of what i’ve read is that if they’re already part of a unit their sexuality is accepted.

  15. “There is no scientific evidence that proves it as fact. I agree that one can have tendencies set at an early age but you can not say it is genetic without scientific proof.”

    “So prove I’m wrong.”

    No. Let me explain. Doing so would be once again playing into your bigoted, troll hands. An analogy would be me saying evolution is scientifically proven and you telling me to prove it. It would be a fruitless discussion chock full of the usual nonsense that you do as a troll, with you never conceding anything even though your arguments lay in shreds around your feet.

    Suffice it to say that as someone who has treated homosexuals psychologically, for their other issues, as someone who has known, been close friends with and worked with homosexuals and as a psychotherapeutic professional I am convinced people are born gay. While no specific gene has been attached to homosexuality, as indeed with other conditions, numerous scientific experiments have shown that being born homosexual is the case. Due to them, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychological Association dropped homosexuality as a pathology in the 70’s. If someone is born with a certain predilection then the reasonable assumption is that it is genetic in nature.

    Of course bigot, as someone who believes Genesis is the creation story why would you accept that? By the way do you eat pork? That is an equal “abomination” to homosexuality in the Torah.
    However, you Christian fundamentalists stand second to no one in your misunderstanding of the Torah. It doe not prove “original sin,” nor does the story of Onan disparage masturbation.

    Finally, troll I said I would have expected a statement like that from you because all you are capable of doing is reciting the talking points developed by Karl Rove and Frank Luntz. Still, your problem is not your opinions, but the fact that you are so predictable in them, which ultimately tags you as a bore.

  16. I don’t have a problem with gays serving openly in our military.

    When I was in the Air Force, I could have sworn that my TI (training instructor) was a lesbian. She looked like Tom Cruise and had a small mustache and there was a picture of her and her female friend on her desk with their arms around each other. It was pretty obivous.

    Then there was another female TI who was a rather large sized woman with a deep voice. I remember her calling over an airman, who responded “Proceeding Sir!” and she yells at him, “I am not a sir!” The look on the airman’s face was priceless.

    My only concern with gays openly serving in the military is the harassment they may recieve in bootcamp. I think a group of guys showering would rather not know that one of them is gay. I think it would cause problems for a gay person who was open about it while in bootcamp. And yes, harassing someone because they’re gay should not be tolerated.

  17. I think we need criminal actions against religious behaviour and ignorant a-holes on TV, but hey, that’s just me.

  18. That anti-gay Sprigg feller sure looks like a homosexual to me–his voice and the way he parts his hair, and…

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