The marriage equality campaigns have been swift to respond to the virtually identical ad that is playing in four states right now. "Deceptive and debunked," says Maine; "False," says Maryland; "Misleading," says Minnesota; "Dead wrong, outdated," says Washington.
Mainstream media will probably be reluctant to tell the truth about the man featured in the ad: David Parker. The truth is that Parker shares more common ground with Michele Bachmann and Pat Robertson than with the average soccer mom. He is a radical anti-gay activist. The record shows that Parker was spoiling for a fight long before he filed his twice-dismissed federal lawsuit against the Lexington Public Schools. As a precursor to his lawsuit Parker orchestrated his own arrest at his child's school over the book "incident," an act he described in his own words as "civil disobedience":
The Administrators agreed to meet with the Parkers to consider their several requests, which appeared related to a picture book entitled "Who's in a Family?" The book was among several included in a "diversity book bag" that children in the Lexington Public Schools are permitted to take home for parents to read with their child if they wish. [Emphasis added.]
The parents -- David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin -- said they believe their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion, as well as parental and privacy rights, require they be given a chance to exempt their children from receiving the bag of books or hearing the books read aloud in class. The books are not required reading.
David Parker was arrested for trespassing at Estabrook Elementary School in April 2005, when he refused to leave the building until school officials promised to give him prior notification of their use of books that include homosexual characters.
Rachel Cortez, president of the school's parent-teacher association, said at the time that parents are given a chance to examine the books during a back-to-school night event early in the school year. [Emphasis added.]
Parker could have left at any time, and he declined to pay a $40 bail so that the police would have no choice but to hold him overnight for arraignment. Parker was grandstanding and, in a very literal sense, playing for the cameras, as the Lexington Public School's press release makes clear:
While Mrs. Parker chose to leave before police arrival, Mr. Parker did not. Two plain-clothed detectives arrived at 5:20 p.m., followed by a Police Lieutenant at 6:00 p.m. All attempted to coax Mr. Parker to leave voluntarily. However, Mr. Parker made it clear that he would not leave unless his demands were met and that he knew he was engaging in "civil disobedience" and was willing to accept the consequences. Mr. Parker declared, "If I'm not under arrest then I'm not leaving." Mr. Parker also used his cell phone to make a number of phone calls, and a small group of people began arriving with cameras. [Emphasis added.]
I'm sure the spectacle of his father being arrested at their school did wonders for the Parker boys' mental well-being. Kids love it when their parents are arrested in front of their school and video of the incident is played for their schoolmates on the TV news. That's some great parenting there.
Jeremy Hooper has collected 15 quotations from a variety of radio interviews Parker has done during the course of his anti-gay activism, including appearing on MassResistance's radio program. MassResistance is an extremist anti-gay group that is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate groups list. MassResistance's leader, Brian Camenker, has told followers that the gay community is pushing for a "bill in Massachusetts [that] takes away all the penalties for bestiality." (Need I say no such bill or movement to create such a bill exists?)
In these radio interviews Parker comfortably discusses "the gay agenda" in hyperbolic language and espouses conspiracy theories that can only be described as paranoid and detached from reality-based community. As a matter of course during these interviews, Parker repeats many discredited and dangerous beliefs, such as the notions that prayer "cures" gays and sexual orientation is the result of early sexual trauma. (There is zero scientific evidence supporting either of these theories.) Parker believes being gay is a "disease" akin to drug addiction or alcoholism. He believes gay people are not authentically interested in parenting and just "using" their children for a political agenda. This is a nefarious plot he describes as "brilliant in its deviance and subtlety."
Parker believes LGBT equality will create "apartheid" for Christians in America and that those who disdain gay people will face "segregation" and be treated with a "Jim Crow attitude." It will be "an apartheid, and the Christians are the ones set apart," one radio host says, to Parker's full agreement.
Parker believes that schools should be teaching that the church is "the wedding bride of Christ" and that children can pray the gay away. Parker believes that after gay marriage is accepted, public school teachers will "probably" behave like "sexual predators in parks," and that high schools will soon commence teaching "sodomy" and "how to sodomize." The audio recordings of Parker saying these things are here.
The Parkers' complaint, and that of their co-plaintiffs Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, is the only documented case of such a complaint in Massachusetts in eight years. Frank Schubert has cleverly leveraged a failed case involving two pairs of disgruntled parents into an argument against the equality of millions of Americans.