Fringe Factor

Fringe Factor: Gay People Need to Be More Tolerant

Newt Gingrich wonders why people can’t express their anti-gay views about Michael Sam’s on-screen kiss more freely, an Idaho congressional candidate is a 9/11 truther, and more.

Gay People Need to Be More Tolerant

Former House speaker turned presidential wannabe-turned-pundit Newt Gingrich thinks homophobic people deserve to express their anti-gay views freely, without fear of discrimination, the same way gay people think they deserve equal rights and freedom from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Gingrich explained his theory on CNN’s Crossfire during a discussion of former Giants running back Derrick Ward’s tweets about how much it offended him to see Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on ESPN after being drafted to the St. Louis Rams. “You talk about how you want to be inclusive…That’s repression, that’s not inclusive,” Gingrich said, referring to death threats Ward has received in response to his comments about the kiss. When Jamal Anderson, a former football player and another guest on the show, asked, “Is it repression to try to teach them to be understanding and open to people, especially when you talk about people they have not been exposed to?” Gingrich replied, “Shouldn’t you also be teaching people who are gay to be open and understanding of people?”

Show Your Gay Niece You Love Her by Rejecting Her

It’s been a while since our favorite televangelist, Pat Robertson, made a Fringe Factor appearance, so his latest anti-gay comments are just on time. This week, Robertson offered a 700 Club viewer some sensitivity training on showing her niece, who recently came out, that she still loves her. Basically: deny, deny, deny. “You want to be loving and warm, and let them know that you love them, but you cannot accept it and you cannot be an enabler,” Robertson said. “If they’re living together as a homosexual and you’re a Christian, you cannot say, ‘I accept this lifestyle.’” To be sure, Robertson clarified, gays aren’t all bad. They are “very talented people” with “an enormous capacity for artistic expression,” he said. He just doesn’t want any in his family.

Congressional Candidate Is a 9/11 Truther

Reed McCandless is gunning for a Republican congressional nomination against incumbent Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho. McCandless is also a 9/11 truther. Yes, this man, who’s already made one run at Labrador’s seat, in 2012, believes a controlled demolition was involved in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Indeed, it’s the only issue on which McCandless has made his opinion known. “It’s my responsibility to help the Republican voter become aware of some things that, to me, the Republican voter is supporting unwittingly,” McCandless told local Idaho paper The Coeur dAlene Press, referring to the “truth” about what brought down 7 World Trade Center on 9/11. “There is no other explanation other than it was a controlled demolition. I cannot expect Congress, I can’t expect the Republicans to get this right on their own. They need a push, and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Religion Overrules Law

Republican Ben Sasse is slated to win one of Nebraska’s Senate seats this November. If he is successful, he will bring with him a staunch belief in absolute religious liberty—that freedom of religion can justify breaking the law. Sasse’s website explains this philosophy in detail: The GOP Senate nominee “believes that our right to the free exercise of religion is co-equal to our right to life. This is not a negotiable issue. Government cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances. He will fight for the right of all Americans to act in accordance with their consequences.” Ian Millhiser and Josh Israel of ThinkProgress note what his belief would mean for a person who carries out a so-called honor killing—religiously motivated murder that claims the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands of women every year around the world, the United States included. “Under Sasse’s formulation of religious liberty, a person who killed his own sister because he believed he was under a religious obligation to do so would be immune from prosecution for murder,” they write.