Last edited: December 30, 2004

Bill on [Censoring] Gay Material Not Intended as Censorship

Montgomery Advertiser, December 24, 2004
Alabama Voices

By Gerald Allen

Several weeks ago, I took a stand to protect our families, children and communities from the barrage of state-sponsored homosexuality. Since then I have weathered intense criticism from around our community, throughout Alabama and across the nation.

Most of the criticisms leveled against me stem from a misunderstanding of what I hoped to accomplish with this proposed legislation. While I admit that some of the statements I made, especially those related to digging a deep hole and burying books, were harsh, I take issue with how the facts were reported and wish to refocus the debate on why this legislation is important.

First, I take very seriously the trust you have given me in appropriating your tax dollars. Every year when the budgets are created, as a member of the House Finance and Appropriations General Fund Committee I examine the money appropriated to every state agency. I have consistently voted for a more transparent budgeting process and have introduced legislation over the years, which would make every dollar coming into Montgomery work harder for the people of Alabama.

Nevertheless, as legislators, it is our job to question how money is spent. When we see waste, or areas where public funding should be eliminated, it is our responsibility to make tough decisions.

Such is the case with public funding and government support of homosexuality. First, it is sad commentary in Alabama when a Christmas scene cannot be displayed on public property, but plays promoting homosexuality are being endorsed by schools across the state.

It is wrong when a child can be suspended from school for wearing a cross, but exalted for wearing symbols of an alternative lifestyle. For those who talk about censorship, where have your voices been over the years when books promoting Christianity have been taken from school children, the right to pray at football games eliminated and plays of a religious nature condemned?

The voices of dissent are quiet when religious censorship is the issue.

For those who worked to take religion out of schools and other public buildings, they successfully argued that religious displays, quiet prayers, books of a religious nature or even personal religious symbols were an undue influence on others.

Today, my argument is the same—plays glamorizing homosexuality, books advocating gay and lesbian activities, and public financial support for activities organized by homosexuals have created an undue influence on the children in our schools.

My proposal is not censorship, it is a sensible extension of what liberal America has taken away from our schools.

Further, across the country, states have taken steps to define marriage between a man and a woman. Although no one is attempting to legislate a person’s lifestyle, we should resist every effort to legitimize the gay and lesbian lifestyle. Accepting homosexual marriage gives legal legitimacy to a lifestyle that is unnatural. From the federal government to state legislatures, efforts are under way to stop legitimizing homosexuality.

Unfortunately, all of those efforts are in vain unless we stop supporting programs that encourage homosexuality. Although the media reports over the past weeks have painted me as an extremist, my position is not out of the mainstream. Twenty-three percent of respondents to a national survey listed morals as a top priority and more than 70 percent responded that homosexuality was immoral.

For those who claim that homosexuality is morally acceptable because of some inherited trait, surely we would not make the argument that obesity, violence, alcoholism and adultery are legitimate because they were also inherited traits.

So it is with homosexuality. Whether inborn or acquired, it is still, like all sexual contact apart from marriage, immoral. And immoral behavior cannot be legitimized by government support.

Why this issue? We as a state and nation have wandered farther and farther from the mainstream in an attempt to pacify the gay and lesbian elements of our society. Conservative values are being attacked from virtually every direction—all in the name of politically correctness and tolerance.

Again, my proposal is not censorship. Homosexuals can still freely practice their lifestyle choice. Books can be written, plays can be produced and spirited criticisms can still be levied.

At the end of the day, I feel strongly that we as a state should not spend tax dollars promoting such activities. I find it odd that the most vocal critics of my efforts to put religion back into our schools are some of the same people most critical of my efforts to take homosexuality out.

Censorship runs in both directions. The right of free religion has been balanced against freedom from religion for years—my proposal attempts to strike a similar balance with homosexuality.

Our president talks of moral clarity. It is time we all stand with some moral courage to do what is right to protect the values that have been defended for hundreds of years.

  • Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, represents District 62 in the Alabama House of Representatives.

[Home] [News] [Wackos]