It’s easy to hate Andrea Lafferty. As executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, Lafferty’s virulently anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-Obama, and anti-fun. Really, she doesn’t seem very cool. And she’s proud of that fact. That’s why I like her.
As far as right wing homophobes go, Lafferty’s pretty low. Her father, Lou Sheldon, founded TVC almost 30 years ago, and they’ve built their careers on keeping people down. Lafferty often describes gays as immoral scoundrels who love scat and has especially nasty words for trans people, whom she calls “she-male hybrids.” Her and the TVC’s rancid rhetoric have earned them a place on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups.” That list includes the KKK, Confederate group League of the South and Holocaust deniers.
Though some would hide in shame, Lafferty – and most of equally outrageous peers – celebrate their ranking. Said Lafferty, “It is a badge of honor for TVC to be listed by the SPLC as a ‘hate group.’ It proves we’re effective in challenging liberalism, socialism, and the LGBT agenda.” Right. Okay. Well, you sound crazy. Truly, Andrea, when you say things like, “all children in homosexual families come from broken homes,” you come off kind of like an asshole. But you’re unapologetic and have campy makeup, so I can forgive you.
Very few people admit to disliking gays – or any other group, for that matter – because it can get a bit embarrassing. Shoot, homophobic activists fight to keep their petitions secret, for fear of retribution. In fact, anti-gay activists from Washington head to the Supreme Court next week to keep their names secret.
It’s refreshing when someone like stump-obssessed Lafferty admits, “Yeah, I’m a jerk. Want to make something of it?” It doesn’t hurt that she and her peers go off the rails, providing the more rational with an amusing, kooky sideshow. They can be easily dismissed, as Michael Steele has done with the ex-gays. When Lafferty, who talks incessantly about fecal matter, claims that “Islam is not a religion, but a geopolitical movement,” she makes herself look like a fool. And it’s great.
While, yes, there are some who take the TVC seriously, I do believe movements like Lafferty’s are a dying breed. With the recession, people are less likely to throw money their direction – in fact, the TVC’s PAC, which spent $785,074 on the 2002 election, hasn’t raised any money for the last two election cycles – and the young right wing population has expressed more liberal social views. Soon, I hope, Lafferty will be out of sight and out of mind. Until then, I appreciate the fact that she has the balls to admit her beliefs. As I’ve said before, that’s better than someone who simply pretends.