July 11, 2007

Homophobes Strike Out in San Diego

Last weekend, the San Diego Padres promoted "Floppy Hat Night" where they gave away about 12,000 floppy hats to children 14 and younger. That same night, the Gay Men's Chorus of San Diego sang the national anthem, and San Diego Pride purchased 1,000 tickets to the game.

This caused some local homophobes to get their knickers in a twist.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune's article:

Roughly 75 protesters showed up outside Petco Park's front gate dressed in red T-shirts emblazoned with the message “Save Our Kids.” They handed out fliers. A few attempted to talk with Padre fans as they arrived for the 5:05 p.m. game that was nationally televised on ESPN.

“We're here to inform parents, to warn them about what's happening inside (the ballpark),” said James Hartline, a self-described Christian activist who directed the protest. “Bringing together homosexuals with baseball and kids is beyond bounds. We're trying to get people to turn around, not go to the game, and we're succeeding.”

If so, it wasn't readily apparent. Official attendance for the game was 41,026, just short of a capacity crowd for the 42,685-seat ballpark.

Of course, if the American Family Association was staging the protest, they'd claim credit for the 1,659 empty seats, but that's a topic for another day.

“We are not boycotting. We are not protesting,” said J.D. Loveland, development director of Set Free Ministries, an El Cajon-based Christian organization that announced last month that it would withdraw its 42 workers from Petco concession stands for yesterday's game in objection.

The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus sings the National Anthem before Sunday night's Padres game against Atlanta.“Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe it's just bad planning,” Loveland said. “But our bottom line is that Christian folk believe in the sanctity of marriage as stated in the Bible, one man and one woman. Homosexuality is a sin,and promoting it with a Pride Night when thousands of kids are also going to be (at the ballpark) is wrong. So we took a moral stand. We're not anti-gay. We're anti-anti-Christian.”

Local gay leaders responded with puzzlement, dismay and some anger.

“We're talking about a baseball game. That's all this is,” said Ron deHarte, executive director of San Diego Pride, which had purchased 1,000 tickets to yesterday's game, then advertised them on the group's Web site as “Out at the Park with the San Diego Padres, an official San Diego Pride event.”

Now which one of those two people made sense? That's a no-brainer. Everyone knows having gay men singing The Star-Spangled Banner and allowing gay people to buy tickets to a baseball game is anti-Christian, right?

Padres officials said the team was caught in the middle and that the convergence of events was a scheduling coincidence.

“San Diego Pride wanted to buy a block of tickets and chose this date, and they weren't the only ones,” Stieren said. “There are almost 100 groups at this game, more than 11,000 people. The Gay Men's Chorus sang the anthem because they applied, sent in a tape and we thought they were good. Beyond that, there's nothing else going on. People are making this bigger than it really is.”

Just in case you question that last statement, check out this e-mail blase sent out by Tony Perkins from the (Straight) Family Research Council:

This past Sunday, at the San Diego Padres baseball game, what was advertised as a "Free Floppy Hat Night" for kids under 14 turned out to be a double play. While the Padres management was enticing families with the giveaway for kids, it was also promoting the evening as a Gay Pride night at the ballpark. Children who received free hats were treated to the Gay Man's Chorus of San Diego singing the national anthem prior to what one homosexual group billed as "Out at the Park with the San Diego Padres."

The San Diego Padres organization should be ashamed that they would promote such an event on a night they specifically designed for the family. On this curveball of an evening, the Padres struck out.

Click the link below to contact the San Diego Padres and tell them that baseball is a family game that shouldn't be used as an exhibition of homosexual lifestyles. The national pastime is just that: an opportunity for fans of the sport to enjoy a game and take respite from the daily grind. It's not place for politics - or political correctness.

We've provided a short sample text you can sign or modify as you like to the Padres. Let's tell major league baseball to leave politics aside at the turnstile.

Thank you and God bless you.

As usual, Perkins doesn't let facts get in the way of his bigotry. As you can see from the newspaper story, the Padres did not promote that game as any type of "gay night." The way those type of events work is that the organization buys the tickets and then sells and promotes them theirselves.

I wonder exactly what homosexual lifestyles were exhibited at the stadium that night? Were gay men and lesbians making out and/or fornicating?

Of course not, they were simply watching a ball game and picking up a floppy hat for their kids.

This bothers folks like Perkins and groups like the Family Research Council because they just don't want gay people to do anything outside of the closet.

I do agree with Perkins on one thing--let's keep politics, especially your right-wing hate mongering, out of the ballpark and just let everyone enjoy their peanuts and Cracker Jacks in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Bro! As you and I have discussed many times, the religious right talk out of both sides of their mouths. On the one hand, they talk about how they love the sinner and hate the sin and then on the other hand, they protest any time we are present at any event outside of our homes. So you love us, but don't want to see or hear us? Yea, sure.