The newest weapon in the homophobic religious right's arsenal against "the gay agenda," is their attempt to assert that anti-discrimination measures violate their religious freedom because, they fantasize, good Christians will be prosecuted for talking about how God hates fags. As the mouthpiece for the religious right, Fox official News has jumped on board the homophobic bandwagon with Shannon Bream's "fair & balanced" discussion during which Bream promoted right wings smears about a proposed San Antonio anti-discrimination ordinance. The part of the ordinance, which stipulated that any person who has a documented history of discrimination will not be appointed to any municipal or contracted position, caused right wing Christians to freak out with bizarre claims such as Todd Starnes' unfounded speculation that those who oppose gay marriage and who go to church will be barred from employment. Not only is this false; but the offensive language was eliminated as a result of pressure from the persecuted Christians - something not mentioned by Bream who had no problem pushing the homophobic propaganda on her "fair & balanced" news show.
Last week, Bream teased her "America Live" segment in an earlier piece during which she and Brent Bozell whined about how that nasty Muslim Reza Aslan was being so rude about Lauren Green's "legitimate" question of why he, as a Muslim, would write a nasty book about Jesus. She set the upcoming patented Fox persecuted Christian propaganda message with this comment: "We know that there are a lot of folks out there who are happy to criticize Christian viewpoints and faith and we have a story on that coming up as well."
Bream reported "a first amendment issue is heating up in San Antonio." She then advance the patented Fox persecuted Christian meme: "As the city council considers a controversial measure that critics say challenges freedom of speech and religion, a rule could block the hiring of anyone who speaks out against homosexuality because of their moral and religious beliefs and that includes Christian business owners." The chyron reinforced the propaganda: "Free Speech Battle Brewing." Bream reported that the rule "could block the hiring of anyone who speaks out against homosexuality because of their moral or religious beliefs and that includes [drum roll please] Christian business owners." She introduced her panelists, Democratic strategist Bernard Whitman and right wing radio host David Webb, who seems to be Fox News' newest acceptable African-American.
Bream read the objectionable section of the ordinance involving those with past histories of discrimination towards "a number of things" (race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability) "including sexual orientation and identity." She told Whitman that "a lot of people are worried that if you happen to be of a religious background, and there are many that don't approve of homosexuality, you're out of luck." Whitman explained that discrimination has no place in the public square asked when religious people are going to stop using religion do "attack and demean." Bream defended the Christians who are "arguing" that the ordinance discriminates against them.
Webb defended claimed that the ordinance prohibits the First Amendment rights of those who hold religious views and is part of a "broader anti-religion effort" done by those "who want to paint religion as this abject enemy of anything that's fair..." In asking if the wording of the ordinance could be changed, Bream cited the First Amendment. Whitman asserted that the ordinance isn't an attack on religion but an effort to prohibit discrimination. Webb claimed that there is no discrimination against gays in San Antonio. Bream quibbled with the wording of the ordinance without noting that the old ordinance has the same language and that the new one merely adds gays to the list of those protected. Webb continued to bray about an "agenda" that is "un-American."
While Bream's spinning the issue was bad enough, what was worse is THE OBJECTIONABLE WORDING HAS BEEN DISCARDED - and that was reported on July 26th, five days before Bream's piece. So it looks like Bream, in using a false premise, was the one with an un-American agenda!
H/T Media Matters
Update: Video is available at Media Matters.