On Tuesday, conservative pundit Bryan Fischer set off an internet firestorm after advocating for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.” The comment, released on Twitter, links to a Chicago Tribune article about a Mennonite priest charged in aiding in the abduction of the 10-year-old daughter of a same-sex couple.
Fischer, who hosts the radio show Focal Point on American Family Radio, stated earlier this week:
"The only way now in America's legal system that you can protect your child from being raised in a same-sex household is to get that kid into the Underground Railroad and get that child out of dodge."
To support his argument, Fischer also linked to an article by Robert Oscar Lopez, in which the author laments his upbringing by same-sex parents. “I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast,” said Lopez, an assistant professor of English at California State University-Northridge. "My home life was not traditional nor conventional. I suffered because of it, in ways that are difficult for sociologists to index.”
LGBT rights organizations were quick to respond. Jeremy Hooper, Special Projects Consultant for GLAAD, called Fischer’s remarks “chilling” on the media monitoring organization’s blog. “He is quite literally comparing his desire to take children from homes with same-sex parents to the heroic events that led to the freeing of slaves,” wrote Hooper. “This man has declared rhetorical war on LGBT families. It's time to hold him accountable!”
Maureen McCarthy, on the Human Rights Campaign’s blog, voiced similar concerns. “Fischer’s call for kidnapping children from same-sex partners is not only offensive, but a harmful mischaracterization of families that struggle daily to provide loving and safe home environments despite significant legal, financial and dignitary inequality.”
Despite criticism, Fischer stands by his remarks, and stated on Focal Point that the kidnapper has an obligation "to obey God rather than man."