Friday, August 14, 2015

#1435: Phil Burress

Phil Burress is a self-described former porn addict and director of Citizens for Community Values, an anti-porn group founded on religious extremism.

Of course, Burress is not quite content with targeting porn, so he has branched out to anti-gay efforts as well (surprise). His efforts reveal an almost remarkable lack of ability to think clearly about issues. For instance, when Ohio Gov. Strickland issued an order protecting gays from discrimination in state employment, Burress took objection to the use of “gender identity” and “actual or perceived” homosexuality in the order. There are at least two problems with those definitions, Burress maintained: first, there is no definitive test for homosexuality; and second, the word “perceived” addresses what people think, which made Burress ask: “So we’re going to be suing people because of what someone was thinking?” Yes, he is that ridiculous, and if someone fired Burress because he’s a Christian, you’d think he’d be consistent and refrain from suing “because of what someone was thinking”? He also complained that the order was likely a move to help homosexual activists who hope to eventually get a law passed through the state legislature that codifies “special rights” for them because of their sexual orientation (like not being fired for their sexual orientation). But the clincher was his claim that his organization “has been unable to find one case in his state [Ohio] or elsewhere in the United States in which discrimination because of sexual gender or identity in employment-related cases has been proven,” which for him makes Governor Strickland’s new executive order “very suspect”. He didn’t expand on what data gathering approach his organization had been using.

As for a 2014 proposal to expand Cleveland’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for transgender people, Burress warned that it would allow “mentally disturbed” people to “be around women and girls in a women’s restroom” (which, it should be noted, also illustrates Burress’s view on people with mental health problems).

When Senator Rob Portman came out in support of gay marriage after his son had come out as gay, Burress was (very) upset and called him “a very troubled man” who is  “distraught over what’s happened to his son.” Burress drew that conclusion after talking to Portman, who was “basically sad throughout the conversation,” according to Burress, who had initially thought Portman was “looking for help for his son to walk away from the lifestyle” through “ex-gay” therapy, but eventually realized that it was “obvious that he was going to embrace his son’s behavior, which was devastating, because he just gives his son no chance whatsoever of understanding, you know, that he doesn’t have to be that way.” One could, perhaps, imagine some reasons why Portman appeared, uh, “sad” to Burress in that conversation, but Burress is apparently not very savvy when it comes to picking up such things. He later declared war on Portman and the GOP over marriage equality.

“Hey, this guy is … kinda delusional,” should be your response at this point. And indeed. In March 2014 Burress said that if there’s a ballot referendum in Ohio in 2016 to repeal the state’s ban on same sex marriage, that will be the demise of Hillary Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee for president. Yes, really; the fact that polls suggested otherwise was just proof these polls were skewed: “On no other issue in America is the polling data is so wrong. The real polls are when people go to the polls and vote.” (Likewise, America will revolt if SCOTUS votes in favor of gay marriage, predicted Burress). And according to Burress, LGBT “activists” (“bullies” who seek to “brainwash Americans”) are in a conspiracy to confuse children in order to recruit new members; well, at least someone (probably Burress himself) has managed to confuse Burress to the point where one almost feels a bit sad for him.

More drivel from Burress includes his claim that gays will use every opportunity to force themselves on people and insult American families by existing (the premise is that people who are not themselves gay are by default opposed to gays).

Diagnosis: Hateful and angry and still somewhat influential, but so delusional he is almost worthy of pity.

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