This picture was taken during one of those dreary right-wing " How To Take Back America" conference in 2009.
The man in the picture to the left is Brian Camenker of the SPLC - declared hate group Mass Resistance. Amongst so many other anti-gay exploits, Camenker and Mass Resistance has:
made a claim in 2006 that "gays were trying to get legislation passed to allow sex with animals" in Massachusetts,
Manufactured a phony panic about "schools teaching children about homosexuality,"
Claimed in 2005 on Comedy Central's Daily Show that if given time, Camenker would be able to connect gay marriage in Massachusetts to the "reduction" of the quality of life in the state, a spike in homelessness rates, or and a lowering the quality of the air in the state
Also, according to Media Matters, Mass Resistance also
. . . previously called on parents to keep their children home from school during an event promoting awareness of, and opposition to, anti-gay bullying and has stated that suicide prevention programs for gay and lesbian youth have no "legitimate medical or psychological basis." The organization was also a major source behind the right-wing's false attacks on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings back in 2009.
Camenker, the group's longtime leader, has viciously attacked gays in the past. In 2007, he reportedly denied that gays and lesbians were targets of the Holocaust and has compared his supporters to the Allies and the gay rights movement to Nazis. In 2008, Camenker wrote that [s]ame-sex marriage "hangs over society like a hammer with the force of law."
Now why is all of this important? The man to the right in the picture is Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) On April 15th, Franks will be holding a hearing before the House Judiciary subcommittee. The title of the hearing is "Defending Marriage."
Now I'm certainly not saying that Camenker will be a witness at the hearing, but based on the fact that they seem to attend the same conferences - and are cordial enough to take pictures together - I think it's safe to say that this upcoming hearing won't necessarily be lgbt-friendly.
According to the Washington Blade:
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), chair of the committee, has said President Obama could be impeached for his decision to drop his administration’s defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court, and the upcoming hearing would likely represent his views.
In a March interview with Think Progress, Franks said he supports defunding the Justice Department if it doesn’t defend DOMA and added he would “absolutely” favor impeaching Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder if support for doing so “could gain collective support.”
Oh what "fun" this hearing is going to be!