Wisconsin Family Action – an anti-LGBT, anti-choice, pro-”intelligent design” GOP front group in the Badger State — is probably most familiar to regular readers of this site as the organization which Dan Savage and I spanked last month after they attempted to stir up outrage over a drag show at UW-Fox Valley.
Well today they’re at it again. WFA’s latest exercise in anti-gay demagoguery comes in the form of a tweet warning ominously of a “New Staph Strain Circulating in Homosexual Men.”
Activist extraordinaire Scott Wooledge has the screen grab:
The groups WFA tagged in the above tweet are revealing: PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays), a “pray away the gay” group; the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage; and the Heritage Foundation, a major funder of anti-LGBT causes across the country. For a supposed “pro-family” group, those are some pretty extreme bedfellows.
And as usual, Wisconsin Family Action has neglected to do its homework: the article they link to is a National Public Radio report from January 2008 — more than five years ago. So this staph strain is about as “new” as the iPad, the Beijing Summer Olympics, and the Barack Obama presidency. But hey, why should such trifles get in the way of a good online gay-bashing?
I say “as usual” because WFA’s latest date stamp fail reminds me of a similar fail they involved Michael and I in. In 2009, Wisconsin became the first state with an existing constitutional marriage discrimination amendment to legislatively pass domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples. Michael and I were a spokescouple for Fair Wisconsin, a statewide equality organization, during the DP push and were the first couple in Brown County to file for a domestic partnership in August of that year.
On the first anniversary of the domestic partnership registry, Fair Wisconsin asked us to write a post for their blog about the importance of the basic protections it afforded to same-sex couples. In 2011, as part of a lawsuit WFA filed challenging the constitutionality of the domestic partnership registry, the group cited that blog post as “proof” that domestic partnerships were “substantially similar” to marriage, in violation of Wisconsin’s constitutional ban. They based their claim on the fact that Michael and I were wearing tuxedos in the photo Fair Wisconsin included with the article (above). But if Wisconsin Family Action had bothered to do their homework, they would have read the caption below the photograph — which made clear that it was from our wedding, not our Wisconsin domestic partnership — or even looked at the timestamp on the photo, which read 3/22/06, three whole years before the DP registry was in place. Lambda Legal requested affidavits from us to refute WFA’s claims and everything.
So as you can see, incompetence from Wisconsin Family Action is hardly a new phenomenon. But as public opinion in the Dairy State continues to move decisively in the direction of equality, WFA’s desperate and inaccurate homophobic attacks are becoming less and less relevant.