Bob Newhart has been announced as the headliner for a conference that’s being run by a reactionary anti-gay Catholic group, reports GLAAD.
The organization, Legatus, sits on the far, far right of the Christian spectrum and is notably homophobic and antichoice. Among its platforms is the idea that homosexuality is a disorder that can be cured.
From a 2011 piece in the Legatus journal:
There are many reasons why people suffer from SSA [same-sex attraction] disorder. Some “discover” this tendency within them. Others grow into it through pursuits of pleasure or experimentation. Some use it to punish themselves or others. Whether the disorder has some deep, unknown roots over which one has virtually no control, or whether it’s a developed disorder resulting from bad choices, it leaves an individual disposed toward activities and a lifestyle that are dangerous — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Fortunately there is hope for those who suffer from the disorder. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality reports that significant numbers of homosexual persons have undergone treatment and had their sexual drives properly ordered. These findings are a beacon of hope to those suffering from SSA, as well as for their family and friends who desire their happiness and good health.
Legatus suggests homosexuals who cannot be cured “can find true help through an orientation toward their Savior and Redeemer.” (Which kind of sounds like they’re suggesting gays fantasize about Jesus, but we digress.)
In 2012, Legatus published five “non-negotiables” for good Catholic voters, including not voting for candidates “who endorse or promote policies that provide for [same-sex marriage] and to vote instead for those who promote policies in keeping with moral law.” (The New Civil Rights Movement indicates the phrase “intrinsic evil” was used seven times in the writeup.)
Newhart is billed at the conference, being held in Orlando in February, alongside legendary college-football coach Lou Holtz and homophobic cronies like presidential wannabe Rick Santorum, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.
Unsurprisingly, gay fans of the legendary comic are disappointed and hope he simply wasn’t aware of the group’s agenda.
Newhart, 84, rose to fame in the 1970s with The Bob Newhart Show and returned to TV a decade later with Newhart. More recently he appeared in the 2003 Will Ferrell movie Elf and delivered an Emmy-winning guest performance on Big Bang Theory.