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06/19/2008

Some things, like legal fact, are not a matter of opinion

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 6-135We use quotation marks to indicate terms that we do not accept as accurate. For example, we never write "pro-family" without the quotes, because we think this self-label that the anti-gay movement has adopted is an unfair descriptor of their quest. We also use the punctuation when writing the word "ex-gay," because such is not an accepted sexual orientation, but rather a construct of the aforementioned "pro-family" movement. In both cases (and a few others), we 100% stand by the editorial choice to write these and other terms in this way.

On our opposition's side of the fence, they often use quotation marks around the word "gay," because they don't accepted that adopted term. They also use them around ideas like "born that way," because they think being gay is a choice. Fair enough. They, just as we, have every right to not make note of the ideas that they do not accept.

However, as the California marriage situation plays out, we keep seeing conservative news outlets use fear quotes in a way that goes beyond simple disagreement and personal editorial opinion, and into the realm of just plain fibbery. For when referring to same-sex couples who have legally obtained a marriage license or the concept of same-sex marriage in general, we keep seeing them put fear quotes around the term "marriage." And when representing these fully legal civil bonds in this "alleged" way, they are not simply expressing their personal view. Instead, they are misrepresenting fact.

To us, this obstinacy speaks volumes about their movement. They simply choose to ignore any truth that doesn't reconcile with their faith views. It doesn't matter to them that, like it or not, same-sex marriages now tangibly exist in certain jurisdictions. Since their interest is not to actually inform, but rather to propagandize their desired outcomes, they eschew the actuality of the law and instead write from the perspective of their faith stances on marriage. But the thing is, we're not talking about church weddings here. We would accept their usage of the punctuation when talking about religious marriage, because their organized movement does not accept the idea that gays can be married in the eyes of God. But when talking about civl marriage equality, they should feel a duty to be factual. In fact, we would think they would see an interest in reminding their readers that these weddings are legal, so as to rally their troops to fight against them.

But hey, why should we be surprised that this movement would be so childish about how they handle legal fact and civil reality? After all, this is the same coalition who thinks the liberty and justice for all guarantee has a hidden caveat that excludes LGBT people.

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Your thoughts

I do so love it when you put down the hammer, Jeremy.

Posted by: Jamie | Jun 19, 2008 10:21:48 AM

Then again, the federal government places these marriages in quotation marks.

Posted by: Tim Hulsey | Jun 19, 2008 7:07:02 PM

Not a bad point, Tim. A different point entirely, I would argue. But a valid one nonetheless.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 19, 2008 7:22:30 PM

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