Gay Foe Falwell Dead
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Lynchburg, Virginia) The Rev. Jerry Falwell died Tuesday. He was 73.
Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University, had a long history of opposing gay rights.
In 1976 he, along with Anita Bryant, led the charge against gay adoption in Florida leading to the most repressive anti-gay adoption law in the US.
Following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington in 2001 Falwell declared that gays and pro choice advocates were to blame.
Speaking on the 700 Club religious program Falwell said, "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'."
In 2003 Falwell announced that he was putting aside everything to devote his time to passage of a federal constitutional ban on gay marriage.
"I am dedicating my talents, time and energies over the next few years to the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which will protect the traditional family from its enemies who wish to legalize same-sex marriage and other diverse "family" forms," Falwell said.
In the 2004 election campaign he worked with Republicans to use same-sex marriage as a wedge issue.
A week after the November election he announced he was organizing battle plans for what he called an "evangelical revolution." Falwell said that the election showed that Americans want to return to "traditional values".
He promised to roll back gay rights laws in communities across the country.
“Reverend Falwell’s death today causes my thoughts to turn toward the members of our community who have at great personal sacrifice contended with the Reverend’s work and teachings," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese.
"As I remember Reverend Falwell’s life, I also remember all of the families of people who have died of AIDS,” said Solmonese.
"Reverend Falwell’s legacy is not about the tenants of Jesus’ ministry such as healing the sick and standing with the disenfranchised but about shunning and ridiculing those who have suffered and died of AIDS and their families. Many faith leaders today are moving away from his divisive approach and toward the compassion and inclusiveness that Jesus modeled every day of his ministry.”