When all else fails, the right-wing homophobes resort to outright lies and falsehoods to push their extreme views on people. The ad placed by Hardy Billington in support of the hateful legislation, HB 2051, the Don't Say Gay bill, in the Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic is no exception:
Hardy Billington is a Baptist Deacon and state committeeman of the 25th Senatorial District as well as committeeman for the Butler County Republican Party, and until recently, Billington was also running for reelection to the Poplar Bluff School Board - more on that in a bit.
Above all, Hardy Billington is a bigot.
In his ad, he claims that "study after study reveals that homosexuality... can take anywhere from 10, 20 to 30 years off of someone's lifespan." Common sense rates this as FALSE. I know science is hard for some extremists, but bear with me: there is not one scientific study that shows being gay shortens your life by one single day, let alone 10, 20 or 30 years. The "studies" Billington is referencing all seem to come from religious based organizations that "estimate" but provide absolutely no scientific proof. Here's the thing, just because you say something, that doesn't make it true. Just because I say, "The sky is purple," does not, in fact, make the sky purple. Just because you say being gay takes 30 years off the life of a person does not make it a fact.
Another outlandish lie Billington includes in his "ad" says the "gay lifestyle" kills people at a rate "2 to 3 times the rate of smoking." Again, common sense rates this as FALSE, but I decided that science might have something to say on this too, and it does. A quick glance at CDC fact sheets tells us this:
Again, there's no scientific study that shows that over a million LGBT individuals are dying every year just because they're gay. Have any idea why? Because it's a patently false notion.
As for Billington's advocacy of "tough love," that seems to me to be encouragement to bully individuals who identify as LGBT. How Christian of him. How loving. Why, let's all bully people who happen to be different and see how that works out. Maybe these deaths of LGBT youth aren't because they've engaged in some destructive behavior because of their "gay lifestyle." Maybe, just maybe, there are increasing deaths of LGBT individuals because they've been bullied and take their own lives after they've been made to feel sub-human by the likes of Billington and his homophobic ilk.
Perhaps Billington should look to his Bible for guidance on how to approach people who happen to be different from him. I'd suggest starting with Matthew 7:1:
From there, I suggest that Billington head to Leviticus 18:19:
With regards to Billington's race for reelection to the Poplar Bluff School Board, there is some good news: on April 3, 2012, Billington lost. Not only did Billington lose, but he came in dead last. I'm very happy to report that Hardy Billington will not have a place in school leadership from which to bully LGBT youth and individuals. Kudos to the citizens of Poplar Bluff for refusing to give him an opportunity to foist his hate-filled ideas on the populace. Now if only the Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic would also refuse to give him a platform for his hate.