"Ex-gay" advocate Greg Quinlan is one of the latest conservatives to cast himself as a victim, and it has gay activist Wayne Besen steamed.
Quinlan, president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, who says he is an ex-gay, did an interview last month with a Washington, D.C., TV station in which he described "hatred" and "bigotry" directed at ex-gays, who he said deserve protection under hate-crimes laws. He accused Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, of saying, "Somebody needs to run Greg over. He needs to be hit with a bus. Somebody should inject him with AIDS."
Besen, who says one of his group's purposes is to debunk "the ex-gay myth," said he first became aware of the interview Tuesday, and he responded with a strongly worded press release. "The bizarre and defamatory scenario portrayed by Quinlan exists only in his own mind," he said. "What he said is entirely fabricated and a dishonest and brazen attempt to smear me personally, destroy my reputation, and discredit the good work of Truth Wins Out."
He continued, "It speaks to Quinlan's character that he lies so easily and simply makes things up. I'd be willing to take a lie detector test to prove my innocence and to show that I've never said such vile words. Will Quinlan also take these tests to prove the 'veracity' of his calumny? Truth Wins Out is also exploring legal options at this time."
As Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently observed, "The reason conservatives hate it when liberals play the victim card is that it distracts from the real victims: conservatives." Here are a few examples we found of claims that conservatives are oppressed by gays, liberals, and the media:
"What this bill does is to shut down those who dare to speak against the sin of homosexuality with the hope and freedom that is found in Jesus Christ." -- Michael Marcavage, president of Repent America, on the federal hate-crimes law enacted in 2009
"It's the elephant in the room that it's not called a homosexual problem or scandal or what have you, and the reason, there is a very powerful political gay movement, and it's oriented towards supporting the Democrat Party. ... They succeed in stifling conversation about it. And so you don't dare mention it. People don't mention it. It's like not showing cartoons of Muslims. You just don't go there because they wreak havoc on you, and it's the path of least resistance." -- Radio talker Rush Limbaugh, discussing the Penn State child sexual assault scandal
"Movie director Brett Ratner was just unceremoniously canned as director of the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast. He crossed the line by saying 'Rehearsals are for (gay F-bombs).' That will get you fired. Mocking an FBI director, 9/11 or the Virgin Mary? That is apparently 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.'" -- Conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell, who also said the film J. Edgar is "using ersatz history to promote the gay agenda," which Bozell calls "the closest thing to a unanimously sacred cause in Hollywood"
"We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative." -- Anita Perry, wife of Texas governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry
"Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn." -- Sarah Palin, after the Tucson shooting that killed six people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; Palin had been criticized for circulating a map that showed Giffords's district in crosshairs in the previous election
"I don't have the right to say what I need to say. My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate, they want to eliminate." -- Famously antigay radio therapist Laura Schlessinger, who ended her show after criticism over her use of the ultimate racial slur
"There's an extreme double standard that conservative women are under attack for." -- Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, of "opposite marriage" fame, after a racy video of her was circulated
"The Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman to make false accusations." -- Presidential aspirant Herman Cain on the sexual harassment allegations against him; he and many right-wing pundits claim there is a concerted effort to discredit black conservatives