By Dan Gonzales,
for Ex-Gay Watch

I was baffled by the Family News in Focus audio program (Windows Media, Real) even more than normal Aug. 26.

Rather than taking the moral high ground and criticizing Cheney’s remarks from a Jeffersonian (states rights) approach to gay marriage, the two guests quoted both dealt exclusively with Cheney’s “undermining and hurting the president.” Focus and the day’s guests also seemed unsure of how to react to Cheney’s statement, “freedom means freedom for everyone” and failed to formulate a rebuttal. Apparently we’re supposed to ignore this freedom statement and get all worked up that his greatest sin was not maintaining a consistent facade with Bush.

There was then a story on a custody case in Virginia and how it is being affected by the former couple’s now-dissolved Vermont civil union. One party involved, who Focus reports is now “ex-gay” (Washington Blade article) has ended the relationship and now wants sole custody of her biological child which was raised jointly by the couple. This obviously messy situation is only made messier by Virginia’s recently enacted oppressive legislation and Focus seems unsure of how to react here as well.

I couldn’t tell if the story was supposed to be about the evils of homosexuals, the evils of civil unions, or how states like Vermont are only “exporting marriage confusion.” Quote from the radio broadcast:

Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation of Virginia calls for a sympathetic Christian perspective.

[Cobb:] It is cases like this that are the reason we passed in Virginia the marriage affirmation act, the sad part of this case is that a child is being used by the homosexual movement for their radical agenda.

Am I missing something here? I don’t see an ounce of sympathy in Cobb’s statement or for that matter anything the least bit constructive.

I can’t quite put my finger on either story but something just seemed “off” about Bob Ditmer and his guests’ rhetoric today.

–Dan Gonzales

Addendum, Aug. 31: In retaliation against Cheney, the New York Times reports that President Bush’s campaign staff worked with FRC and other religious-right leaders to toughen the GOP platform’s repudiation of gay civil unions.

At a news conference yesterday, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a group of social conservatives, said that the push to strengthen the platform’s opposition to same-sex civil unions was partly a response to Vice President Dick Cheney’s statement last week that he personally favored leaving the issue up to the states.

“We are obviously troubled by the vice president’s comments last week, which in ways led to the strengthening of the language in the platform,’ Mr. Perkins said.

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