Oklahoma Pastor: Gay People Behind Half of Urban Murders
Pastor Tom Vineyard of Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma must be bummed. Though onlookers reportedly gave him standing ovation for his impassioned speech against adding sexual orientation to the protected classes named in Oklahoma City’s employment nondiscrimination policy, City Council members on Tuesday voted 7-2 in favor of the measure.
Making his case that adding explicit protection against discrimination would “bring down God’s judgment on [the] city,” Vineyard cited a New York City judge named John Martaugh, who allegedly said that over half the murders in large cities are committed by LGBT people.
A New York City judge said what? Hatewatch checked, and the only record we could find of Judge Martaugh and his obviously bogus statistic was in a 1992 column from the Gary, Ind., Post-Tribune, whose author, evangelist Jerry Kaifetz, also wrote, “Homosexuality has always been and remains nothing less than a fist in the face of God.”
Kaifetz told Hatewatch in a phone interview yesterday that he does not recall the source of the alleged Martaugh quote.
With a little digging, Hatewatch did uncover evidence that in 1951, a Judge John Murtagh led a campaign to increase the penalties faced by “perverts.” (Hatewatch found no independent record of the comment attributed to him by Kaifetz.) Murtagh also presided over the 1964 obscenity trial of comedian Lenny Bruce, whom he found guilty for performances that were “obscene, indecent, immoral, and impure,” “contain little or no literary or artistic merit” and were of “little social significance.”
Murtagh died in 1976. As it happens, his son, a Republican politician from Yonkers, N.Y., is a firm supporter of gay marriage.
The deceased judge’s alleged comment was only one part of Vineyard’s crusade against Oklahoma City’s plan to include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy. In an open letter dated Nov. 14, he begged Mayor Mick Cornett and the City Council to “please consider some statistics that studies have found regarding the homosexual population.”