Backers of the Ban, Part One

We haven’t spent much time writing about the organizations backing the civil unions and marriage ban. We try to spend our time making the case against the ban to the many people who will listen rather than focusing too much on our opponents.

That’s not to say we want to ignore our opponents. We need to understand what we’re up against and what our opponents are telling Wisconsinites. For this reason, we’re starting a semi-regular series on the blog, “Backers of the Ban.” It will look at different organizations and leaders who actively support the ban.

Ralph Ovadal and his so-called church, Pilgrim’s Covenant, are the focus of this blog entry. This will be an overview, but in future entries we’ll dig in more on specific aspects of their activities.

Many Wisconsinites are familiar with Ovadal and his followers. You might have seen them protesting at traffic intersections, at the Capitol, highway overpasses, events with Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, outside high schools (to protest student gay-straight alliances), and summer pride events.

They oppose reproductive choice for women and equal treatment for LGBT people. They also have very strong feelings about Catholics. After Pope John Paul II passed away, Ovadal wrote, “The nature of popes is the nature of antichrist.”

Ovadal and his group are actively working to help pass the civil unions and marriage ban.

In July 2005, they claimed on their website that they had already leafleted 35,000 Wisconsin families with their pro-amendment flyer. If this is true, this makes Ovadal and Pilgrim’s Covenant Church a significant grassroots force on the side of the amendment. Not that all people read the flyer or agree with its content. We regularly hear from non-gay people all over Wisconsin who are outraged when they receive one.

Some people liken Ovadal and his operation to Fred Phelps’ “God Hates Fags” outfit, but Ovadal seems to use somewhat less inflammatory rhetoric. To my knowledge, unlike Phelps, Ovadal’s group doesn’t use the word “fag” in their materials. However, like Phelps, he argues that “God’s Word has made it clear He will judge and destroy a nation which allows homosexual acts.” (See his tract, “What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality.”)

Ovadal has been actively opposing equality for LGBT people for years. He openly advocates the reinstatement of laws to criminalize private, consensual sex between gay and lesbian adults. He also opposes civil rights laws that prohibit sexual orientation bias in the workplace. His group distributes brochures like “A Little Discrimination is a Good Thing” and “Is Someone You Know a Bugger?

There will be more to say about Ovadal and other backers of the ban in the coming months. In the meantime, if you see signs of activity by this or other organizations, please let us know.



At 12:07 PM, Anonymous bri said...

the thing that really really gets me is the straight up lies that get published in these brochures:

"currently, many in the homosexual movement are working to lower or even eliminate the age of sexual consent for children."
from is someone you know a bugger?

"partial-birth abortion, the procedure in which babies are partially delivered and murdered by having a scissors jammed into the back of their heads."
from the real tammy baldwin

"given the fact that the homosexual community is the source of a greatly disproportionate amount of violence, sexual assault, and disease"
from a little discrimination can be a good thing
where they also define "discrimination" as "the use of good judgement"

i will stand by a person's right to publish what they want, but it kills me that some people, probably not many, but some, will believe what they read. it is also tragic that any attempted debate on the subject matter would likely result in a declaration of your path to eternal damnation.

kudos for taking the time to draw some attention to the lies that are being spewed by "religious" crazies. hopefully, by better understanding their rhetoric, we can help people know the truth.


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