Sometimes when a man has a near-death experience, it changes his perception of those around him and makes him more empathetic to people he once saw as being somehow lesser.
Then, there is Steve Scalise.
Back in June, when Scalise was shot and badly injured by a gunman during practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, one of the security officers credited with saving his life was a woman by the name of Crystal Griner.
Many noted at the time that Griner was an African-American lesbian married to another woman. Ironic, since Scalise is stridently opposed to gay marriage and once spoke to a white supremacist group, for which he later apologized.
So would Scalise's brush with his own mortality, staved off by the actions of this queer black woman, perhaps lead him to recognize the humanity of other homosexuals?
We got our answer Wednesday, with a press release from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) announcing Scalise will speak at the group's annual Values Voter Summit next week in Washington, D.C.
The FRC is an anti-gay group that, like Scalise, strongly opposes gay marriage. The congressman even recorded a video message to buck up attendees of the Values Voter Summit in 2015, months after the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide:
“I think we all know right now that our values are under attack here in Washington like never before. As someone who was the lead author of the constitutional amendment in Louisiana that put the definition of marriage as one man and one woman in our state constitution, I led the way in a state where 78 percent of our voters agreed that marriage should be defined in our state constitution. Yet now you have the Supreme Court come out with a decision that undermines that very constitutional amendment and amendments like it all across the country.”
And he kept it up in Congress, as Joe.My.God blog reminds us:
He continued his crusade in the US House, authoring and sponsoring numerous anti-marriage bills, including a 2014 attempt to allow states to override any federal rulings on same-sex marriage rights.
Scalise is making — by all accounts — a good recovery from his shooting and recently returned to work. Now that he has, the rest of us are free to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt, as we were urged to do back in June.
Griner did her job, and did it well, and she took a bullet in her ankle for her trouble. Unless Scalise plans to stand up in front of the Values Voter Summit and renounce his past positions on gay marriage, he is making a mockery of her sacrifice.
Watch Scalise's entire video to the 2015 summit below.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.