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01/28/2008

He who's turned fear into artform tries to flip the picture

by Jeremy Hooper

Perkinscolor-1Speaking about the battle in Florida between those who want to alter the state constitution so that it explicitly discriminates against gay people vs. those who favor things like decency, fairness, and humanity, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins (or his ghostwriter) recently made the following claims:

"Florida4Marriage has been scrambling to gather thousands of new signatures to place a marriage protection amendment on this November's ballot. As a result, left-wing groups are out in full force, countering the petition drive with the same scare tactics that defeated the Arizona marriage amendment. Preying on the fears of the elderly, liberals are wrongly arguing that the amendment would threaten their well being. It would not, but homosexuals aren't letting a little thing like the truth get in the way of an effective campaign."

Right. And what image does Tony (or underling who actually writes the stuff to which he lends his name) use to highlight the claims that gays are using untruthful scare tactics? This one:

Wa08A38 Normal

Yes, that's right -- his team has based their entire effort to change the constitution on the idea that marriage is "under attack" and needs "protecting" from the pesky gay activists, and yet he still has the nerve to claim that WE are the ones who resort to fear and fallacy. We are the ones flat out saying what we want (full and equal civil equality, flat out saying how we feel about our opposition (they are pushing discrimination and religious persecution into government), flat out saying why we feel we are entitled to our goals (we are tax-paying citizens whose relationships deserve just as much protection and recognition as our heterosexual counterparts), and making NO APOLOGIES for our attempts to cut through their "society will be destroyed/kids will be corrupted" rhetoric. They are the ones who wouldn't have even a portion of a leg to stand on if polygraph machines were forcibly installed in everyones' brains! And yet Tony, a 'mo foe ringleader, really has the gall to to throw this sort of stone from his glass house? No, no -- we didnt think so!

The truth is that marriage amendments realistically do threaten domestic partner hospital visitation rights and health and employment benefits. And since elderly couples are demonstrably choosing domestic partnerships in large numbers, they could realistically see repercussions from the short-sighted amendment. So while there are any number of reasons to oppose this bit of bullshit (chief among them being the simple fact that it's WRONG), it is not at all a lie to cite grandma's health care as one particular rationale. Perhaps if Tony and company were themselves working from a place of rationality rather than fear-mongery persecution, they would see the difference between actual stakes and hyperbolic fiction!!

States Work to Pop the Question on November Ballots [FRC -- "Washington Update"]

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