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05/15/2008

The only label we need, Brian, is 'unfair'

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 7-109In his response to today's amazing, fantastic, historic, world-changing California marriage ruling, the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown has made the requisite negative comments about marriage rights, "activist judges," and the supposed political correctness that fueled today's decision. However, it's this comment that really annoys us:

We call on gay marriage advocates to halt the divisive and intolerant rhetoric which cruelly and falsely labels millions of Californians as ‘hate mongers’ because we support marriage as the union of husband and wife.”

And why does this annoy us so much? Well, because it completely trivializes what gay activists have really been saying on this matter. Here we have a man who works for an organization whose SOLE PURPOSE is to deny marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples (using amongst faith-based claims about their lack of morality). But in a press release wherein he condemns an intensely thoughtful ruling that will help millions of people to protect their families, he has the gall to turn this around and make it sound as if its the gays who have been launching cruel, divisive, intolerant rhetoric?! Puh-leeze!

Brown is using that timeless "pro-family" strategy in which they try and connect in their readers' minds the idea that "gay=big, bad meanie" and "anti-gay (a label they'd never actually own up to) = good, traditional people who are simply standing for righteousness." So he's lumping everyone who has pushed and pleaded for a societal awakening on this issue as Angry Jane and Johnnies who can't engage in discourse without using words like "hate monger." It's a clever tactic, we'll give him that. But it's a patently unfair one that speaks not to the truth of this so-called "culture war" (another far-right construction), but rather the things our opposition tell themselves in order to justify the discrimination they are (either wittingly or unwittingly) encouraging.

California Court Strikes Prop 22 [NOM]

**UPDATE: And Brian's colleague at NOM, Maggie Gallagher, is also convoluting the matter at hand. Focus on the Family quotes her as saying of today's ruling:

Most Americans understand that marriage is not bigotry. It is common sense"

Well duh! Nobody thinks that marriage is bigotry, Mags. It's marriage INEQUALITY that is discriminatory! And yes, that is common sense!

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Your thoughts

Holy crap, this man's hubris is beyond astounding. The gays need to stop? Why doesn't he have to shut up, but the gays do?

You picked the right quote to get angry about; I think that's probably the most obnoxious thing these hatemongers can say. (And yes, you'll notice I went ahead and said "hatemongers." What are you gonna do about it, Brian?)

Posted by: The Watcher | May 15, 2008 7:14:53 PM

I don't think that any of the evil, despicable, mean, hissy-fit throwing / gay-marriage advocating activists would dispute that marriage is a union between a husband and wife who love each other and have committed their lives to one another in a legally binding contract until death (or dissolution) do they part.

We just think that the husband-and-wife thingy is a fictitious limitation of the concept that unfairly excludes equally loving and committed couples from all of the fun.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 15, 2008 9:44:21 PM

Dat Maggie's got some real smarts about 'er, duhdn't she? She's a real prize!

The average IQ at the Focus must have rose by double digits when they got her.

I've been drinkin' pretty heavily, and just couldn't convince myself to pass that one up.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 15, 2008 10:35:09 PM

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