Dean Cain, the actor who played Superman on the ‘90s TV series Lois & Clark, will speak tonight at the 13th Annual Values Voter Summit, a conservative political gathering hosted by the anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC). He will also screen his new film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, about the infamous back alley abortion provider convicted of multiple murders in 2013. Once the LGBTQ community caught wind of his planned appearance, there was a Dean Cain GLAAD Twitter exchange discouraging his attendance.
GLAAD and longtime gay political writers Matt Baume and Jeremy Hooper engaged Cain via Twitter to discourage him from speaking to the hate group. During the Dean Cain GLAAD exchange, Cain said he didn’t know much about the FRC, proclaimed himself as pro-choice and pro-gay rights and said he was only attending the Summit to discuss the film.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FRC as a hate group because of its long and well-documented history of publicly supporting “criminal sanctions” against people just for being gay, using bunk science to promote the idea that homosexuality is morally and physically unhealthy and promoting so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy. The FRC has also helped push deadly anti-gay legislation in African countries and is pretty much against trans people having any rights or social support whatsoever.
In a series of tweets, GLAAD asked Cain, “We know that you’ve professed your support for LGBTQ people in the past, so why are you speaking at an event hosted by the anti-LGBTQ activists at @FRCdc? … FRC’s president @tperkins (Tony Perkins) has said this about gay people: ‘They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful’ … ‘pawns’ of the ‘enemy.’ … Allies should not turn a blind eye to the people, groups and rhetoric that propel this event. There is no event on the calendar that is more rabidly against LGBTQ people and our rights.”
The Dean Cain GLAAD exchange continued when he responded, “I hope they ask me about my support for gay rights, and the fact that I’m pro-choice. … I’m not there to do anything other than discuss the film. … I haven’t studied their record. I’m speaking there. And I support gay rights. And I’m pro-choice until viability. End of story.”
Shortly after the Dean Cain GLAAD Twitter exchange, Baume questioned Cain’s support of the gay community, asking Cain directly, “Any plans to actually call [FRC] out for labelling your LGBTQ fans ‘pawns’ of the ‘enemy?’ Or for their support of ex-gay abuse? Taking a specific, loud, visible stance against a group that harms vulnerable people would be, you know, super, man.”
He added, “Do you honestly think that press junketing for some movie and hoping an anti-gay group gives you permission to talk about queer people is ‘fighting’ on our side? That’s the most timid allyship I’ve ever heard of. … Seems like it should be easy for someone who supports queer folks to say that he opposes the work of one of the worst anti-LGBTQ organizations in the country.”
Cain repeatedly said that he’s only speaking to help publicize the film and that he would need to study the FRC’s work before opposing them, even though, as Baume points out, GLAAD and others sent Cain many links to FRC’s anti-LGBTQ work.
Hooper, who has long conducted opposition research into the FRC and its methods, added his own two cents into the Dean Cain GLAAD Twitter exchange by telling Cain directly via Twitter, “By your own admission, you don’t know FRC. I do, very well. @glaad does, very well. People are sincerely trying to help you understand this unique situation. … [The FRC] have spent millions fighting us. It’s impossible to separate this press opp from the organization.”
Cain replied that it was possible to separate the two, reiterated that he would still speak at the event and thanked Hooper for his input, even as Hooper said that it would take Cain only 20 minutes of Googling to learn everything he’d need to know about the FRC’s extensive anti-LGBTQ work.
Let’s be clear: Gosnell will whip up anti-abortion sentiment worldwide.
Cain, who also played a gay playboy named Cole in 2000 dramedy The Broken Hearts Club, plays the role of Detective James Wood in Gosnell, a Philadelphia detective who helped uncover Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s ghastly clinic that performed illegal late-term abortions in dangerously unsanitary conditions.
While the film focuses on an extreme case of a particularly horrific abortion clinic, it’ll undoubtedly be used by anti-abortion activists to help stoke public sentiment against abortion providers. It’s worth stating that some Pennsylvania women undoubtedly turned to Dr. Gosnell for help since 85% of Pennsylvania counties lack abortion clinics and women can only receive public funding for abortions in the cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
The FRC opposes abortion, and the film’s producers have previously produced conservative documentaries defending fracking, denying climate change and portraying environmentalists and Barack Obama as anti-American.
Cain is a Trump supporter whose own stance on abortion is rather confusing
Cain calls himself pro-choice and also says he’s more of a libertarian on the issue. But the Libertarian party’s official stance is that government should stay out of abortion, something that is both impossible and would all but guarantee its being made illegal by numerous U.S. state governments.
Cain says he voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. elections. During a March 30, 2016, town hall during Trump’s election campaign, Trump said that if the United States outlawed abortion, women who get abortions should be punished. He later backtracked, saying that abortion providers, not women, should be punished. But outlawing abortion, imprisoning abortion providers and forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term is punishing women.