19 Kids and Calling: Michelle Duggar Involved with Anti-LGBT Robocall Campaign
The worlds of reality TV, fundamental christianity and hate speech converged Monday when Michelle Duggar, star of the TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" leant her voice to a homophobic and transphobic robocall campaign aimed to put pressure on council members in Fayetteville Arkansas to vote against a nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect its local LGBT citizens.
In the robocall, Duggar urges local voters to speak out against the ordinance she claims will endanger "the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children" and enable "child predators."
The robocall which was obtained by the Fayetteville Flyer in part reads:
Hello, this is Michelle Duggar. I'm calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children. The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men - yes I said men - to use women's and girls' restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only. I don't believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.
According to the Fayetteville Flyer, the proposal, brought forward by Alderman Matthew Petty, would appoint a city staff member to field complaints from residents who feel they've been discriminated against during housing transactions, employment decisions, and other public accommodations in Fayetteville.
State and federal laws prohibit some discrimination, but in Arkansas, a person can be fired for being gay or evicted for no other reason than being a transgender tenant.
Monday's robocall isn't the first time Duggar has leant her celebrity to anti-gay causes. In 2013, she and her family took part in the Family Research Council's "Value Bus Tour" that travelled across Virginia to mobilize voters in support of virulently homophobic Ken Cuccinelli for governor and E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor. In addition to being regulars at the hard right-wing Value Voters Summit each year, she and her husband, Jim Bob have also leant their voices in support of anti-gay presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee. Their eldest son Josh is executive director of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council.
According to The Daily Beast, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have made a career out of normalizing the extreme Christian right. The couple adheres to a fringe strain of fundamentalist Christianity dubbed the "Christian patriarchy" or sometimes the "Quiverfull" movement, which preaches a combination of beliefs that run counter to mainstream America: absolute female submission, a ban on dating, homeschooling, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as humanly possible.