David Bohnett was the founder of the highly successful Internet venture known as Geocities which was later bought by Yahoo for over three billion dollars. Mr. Bohnett has put his considerable wealth to work by doling out about $34 million dollars in grants through his foundation which claims it is “committed to improving society through social activism.”
He recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Gay, Lesbian and Straight Network (GLSEN) and during his acceptance speech suggested: “It’s time to combat head-on the religious organizations that are funding the opposition to marriage equality.”
Mr. Bohnett highlighted the specific church groups he described as shameful and cowardly for daring to oppose the legalization of homosexual marriage. Claiming that religions “promote hatred and bigotry toward lesbians and gays” and use the bible as a “weapon” to deny freedom and equality, he stated that “among our greatest adversaries who actively work against us are the leaders of the Catholic, Mormon and evangelical churches.” Mr. Bohnett called for an aggressive campaign to stop what he describes as “religious intolerance.” His stance is shared by Henry Knox, a leader of the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign who has attacked the leaders of the Catholic Church and described the Knights of Columbus as an “army of oppression.”
This is not the first time that churches have been threatened by the radical gay activists of the “homosexual marriage” movement. Since the success of California’s Proposition 8 that permits marriage only between one man and one woman, religious groups have come under attack and made the scapegoat by the angry and vocal opponents of Prop 8. In the aftermath of the California events, organized protests designed to disrupt places of worship were held and public calls made to investigate and “dig up dirt” on Mormon Americans who donated to the cause of traditional marriage. Currently in Maine, leaders of the Catholic Church who are working to overturn the legalization of homosexual marriage have been subject to investigations by state agencies and targeted with vicious hate mail and threats. In Connecticut, after the legalization of “homosexual marriage,” legislation was introduced that would allow the state government to reorganize the Catholic Church in what Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport called “a thinly-veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on the important issues of the day, such as same-sex marriage.”
Mr. Bohnett and his allies including many here in Rhode Island often speak of tolerance, diversity and understanding in their promotion of “homosexual marriage.” However, it is clear that such tolerance, diversity and understanding is reserved only for those who support their cause and deny that marriage is only between a man and a woman. For advocates of homosexual marriage it is equally clear that Catholics, Mormons, Evangelical Christians and other people of faith can only be tolerated when they are silenced from speaking the truth, can only be welcomed if they acquiesce to the demands of gay activists, and can only be understood if they deny the eternal truth of God’s teaching.
Obviously Mr. Bohnett’s comments are neither the first nor the last attempt to silence churches and religious leaders from voicing opposition and organizing resistance to attacks upon Judeo-Christian values that are the bedrock of Western Civilization. All throughout history, the Church has been subject to attack and ridicule for voicing the truth both in and out of season. The truth that marriage is between a man and a woman is not bigotry or intolerance but merely the truth of the millennia. The Church will never abandon her charge to promote and protect traditional marriage even in the face of the demagoguery and intolerance of bigots like David Bohnett.