Some bigots have particularly novel reasons for waging war on LGBT rights and marriage equality. For instance, some people (like a certain former congresswoman who served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence!) are convinced that gay people would legalize child rape, if only they had the chance.
Another strikingly bizarre theory appeared this past week as a guest column in the Nashville newspaper The Tennessean. The piece, titled, “Born gay? No way,” was written by Ed Manners, a pastor at Kirkwood Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee. The op-ed kicks off by emphasizing that—with the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage right around the corner—we are “at a crucial point in the life of America.”
The point is so crucial because society seems to be slipping towards an era in which gay people are treated more like human beings. “The gay lifestyle is not an inborn issue; it is an issue of personal choice and it is condemned by many major religions,” Manners continued.
Then things get weird.
“That brings us to the question of why such a push for gay rights?” Manners penned. “Since it cannot be proved people are born gay and gay couples cannot procreate the only means of increasing or replenishing the numbers of gay people is recruitment. The gay and lesbian agenda is a massive recruiting campaign.”
Wacky theories that gays and lesbians are out to insidiously recruit swaths of the straight majority—your kids, even!—is sadly nothing new. But yes. The gay-rights movement has been all about repopulating the childless queer population of America all along. You read it here first.
The 76-year-old pastor tells The Daily Beast that he has been receiving phone calls congratulating him on the column—but he isn’t overconfident that the SCOTUS decision will go his way. “I think it’s 50-50 right now,” he says. “It could go either way, so we’ll see.”
This was his first op-ed for The Tennessean. He hopes to write another one as the Fourth of July approaches—this one on how America was founded as a Christian nation.