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Citizens For Community Values Uses Men In Dresses To Scare Voters

October 26, 2010 6:15 pm ET by Fae Jencks

Today, an Ohio-based group called Citizens for Community Values issued an "Action Alert," urging its supporters in Bowling Green, Ohio to take to the polls on November 2nd to protect their children. Unlike many of the other conservative calls to action we've seen this election cycle, CCV isn't concerned about the impact of rising debt on their children or any of the other causes célèbre Republicans are tying to future generations of Americans nowadays. No, CCV is concerned about men in dresses.

That's right — men in dresses scaring little girls in public restrooms.

Citizens for Community Values' President Phil Burress lays out this nightmare scenario in the group's "Action Alert":

You and your young daughter, planning for her first day of school, go to the mall to look for clothes. While there, your daughter leaves you to go to the restroom. After just a few moments, she comes back with a frightened look on her face and wants to leave quickly. It is obvious she is very distressed. As a concerned parent, you try to comfort your child, seeking to calm her distress while trying to learn its cause.

Once you leave, as she settles down, you begin to ask questions.

"What happened? Did someone try to grab you?"

"No," is her reply.

"Did you see something wrong?" There is a long pause.

Finally you ask, "Sweetheart, what is it that made you upset and not want to go back?"

You are caught speechless and bewildered by her reply:

"Mama, there were men in the girls bathroom wearing dresses!"

So, how does CCV then suggest Bowling Green residents combat this potential threat? By voting down two recently enacted ordinances that the group claims have "created the environment that will make this scenario real." These ordinances, however, do nothing of the sort. They actually aim to protect Bowling Green residents from discrimination on the basis of, among other things, sexual orientation. But to CCV, these protections don't promote safety and tolerance, they lead to scary confrontations in public bathrooms and awkward family conversations about gender identity.

Using issues involving the LGBT community, and frequently resorting to gross exaggerations to scare voters in order to rev up the conservative base, is in no way a new election tactic, nor is it new to CCV. In fact, the organization has spent big bucks in the past on campaigns against similar non-discrimination laws, or, what the group deems "special rights legislation."

You see, Citizens for Community Values views homosexuality as "destructive" and believes that "claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are greatly exaggerated." Likewise, because homosexuality — and they repeat this multiple times in order to make themselves perfectly clear — is "a matter of choice," people who identify themselves as homosexuals should not be subject to the anti-discrimination protections that are afforded to those with "characteristics that have no bearing on an individual's behavior or morals." In fact, according to CCV:

Persons who practice homosexual sodomy do not demonstrate any of the characteristics that identify disenfranchised classes. They are not discriminated against in any of the ways considered essential by the courts - economic status, educational opportunity or political representation. In fact, the level of education and the average income of homosexuals are considerably above the average education and income for the population in general. A study of their movement shows that they clearly enjoy all the legal rights and privileges of other citizens.

Given these extreme viewpoints, it is unsurprising that the organization touts its affiliation with virulently anti-gay groups such as Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association.

However, in opposing equal protections for men and women no matter what their sexual orientation, these organizations promote a truly harmful message. While CCV states that it is not "against homosexuals," the group provides all of the evidence necessary to draw its supporters to the conclusion that gay men and women are not equally worthy of fair treatment under the law. As we've seen in Ohio and across the country, this kind of a lack of acceptance can have a dangerous and tragic results.