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09/30/2009

SFMM: Well you see, we delete because sticking our fingers in our ears is just easier

by Jeremy Hooper

We've been banned from commenting on Stand For Marriage Maine's Facebook page, despite the fact that we have not posted one hateful comment (even when faced with their side's extreme hostility). And we've received anecdotes and screencaps from others who have had their own firm but perfectly fair words banned.

Yet despite that reality, Stand For Marriage is "explaining" away their completely non-transparent form of discourse by writing off all of us on the pro-equality side as being "argumentative" and "biased":

Screen Shot 2009-09-30 At 11.27.12 Am-1
Stand For Marriage Maine's Facebook wall

Start capping your comments, everyone!

**A very small sampling of our comments that were deleted (before the all-out banning began):

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*MORE: This one was just deleted:

Screen Shot 2009-09-30 At 12.00.30 Pm-1

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

"attack marriage as between one man and one woman" That is not true, at least when it comes to me, I love marriage between one man and one woman, I'm hoping to take part in the tradition some day, I was raised by one man and one woman. The difference is that I also believe that there are others out there who want to marry the person they love, who may just be of the same sex as them. I've had friends raised by gay couples, and guess what, they are productive, happy members of society!

I understand them wanting a place they can talk to others who believe what they believe, but, silencing dissent is not helpful to anything.

Posted by: Piper | Sep 30, 2009 12:08:48 PM

Piper: Shutting out dissent is a concept that has come to define their movement. There exists almost no "pro-marriage" blog, forum, video site, etc. where a free forum is the order of the day.

It's even more enraging considering that they (a) build their campaigns around the narrative that gay activists want to shut out free speech and others' various freedoms, and (b) have injected themselves into a matter to which LGBT people, more than any, deserve a chance to speak.

The bottom line: They know they cannot win in a transparent, open debate. They loathe the Internet because it is killing their movement (their messaging was once much easier to control when it was confined to their own closed networks).

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 30, 2009 12:19:58 PM

I don't have screenshots, but the following comment got me deleted and banned form the page. Basically, all I did was ask for non-emotionally-based arguments against my equality - something they should be all too proud to give. If they're so sure they're correct, shouldn't they be openly defeating their opponents' arguments?

"Considering the striking intolerance of moderators on other so-called "pro-family" Facebook pages, I know that this comment will probably be deleted. But considering that it's my life which Prop 1 will affect, my thoughts on the matter are relevant to the discussion.

"Human beings, be it through love or other circumstances, have the tendency to intertwine their live to the point that treating them as fully separate legal or financial entities is problematic. Civil marriage (not religious marriage, mind you) is a body of law which attempts to address that fact by granting special rights, privileges, and protections to committed unions. This protects the union and smoothes out the inevitable conflicts caused by human codependency.

"For the law to blatantly ignore the unions of same-sex couples on the basis of personally-held moral dogma is unjust at best and dangerous at worst. I'd assume that most of you would think the union of two Satanist swingers is immoral and dangerous to children, society, and the institution of marriage - Does that mean you think that they, too, should be barred from entering into legal marriage?

"Some people view unions between Christians and Jews as immoral. Some view interracial unions as unnatural and depraved. Upon whose personal sense of morality should marriage rights be based? Nobody's. Not yours, not mine. Reason, rather than individual bias, should prevail.

"All that being said: Why do you think that, when I form a union (and a family) with another man, my family should not be protected by common law? Upon what reason should such discrimination take place?"

Posted by: Harrison | Sep 30, 2009 12:57:16 PM

They just want to have a little place of their own where their hateful bias can thrive without good people, like us, telling them "discrimination is wrong" and "why should I have to settle for something less equal because of your religious beliefs?" Considering how few fans they have versus Protect Maine Equality number of fans, I would be surprised if they even pass 2,000 fans before the election. Protect Maine Equality passed that number within a day.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 30, 2009 1:31:50 PM

They keep deleting my comments too. But I'll repost them every time. Here's what they say:
Mitchell, I can respect that you are struggling with this issue. However, if you are looking for facts, you may wish to seek third-party information. Asking an organization such as Stand for Marriage Maine about their policies will get you little more than talking points. They make a point of deleting comments and opinions with which they disagree... Read More... Read More, no matter how respectful and non-confrontational they are. In short, this site is not about education, it is about preaching to the choir.
For examples of the deleted comments, please see: http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/09/sfmm-well-you-see-we-delete-because-sticking-our-fingers-in-our-ears-is-just-easier.html
For independant news coverage of SFMM's advertising, see:http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=nmlzk4&s=4
I hope you are able to view this post before it, too is deleted.

and

This fight, often called the "culture war" is about respect, more than anything. There is a strong, proud, positive Christian tradition in America. The enthusiasm with which people commit themselves to their faith is, for the most part a beautiful and inspirational thing. Traditionally though, as minority groups in the United States and the world... Read More ... Read Moreover are shown to be victims of discrimination and persecution, such as in Pre-Civil War America, where African Americans were enslaved because of of their race, or modern Iran, where citizens are put to death for being gay, it is the prevalent religious institution that voices the loudest objection to their civil rights, as was the case in pre-Civil War America, as is the case in Iran. Religious zeal must be applied with a sense of caution, unless we want to find ourselves in another Inquisition situation.
I am not saying that the fight for marriage equality is as life-threatening as either of these examples, but the concept is the same. Even though there are differing opinions within the Churches themselves, the majority of dissent to the advancement of civil rights comes from a misplaced application of holy enthusiasm.

Posted by: Dan Petraglia | Sep 30, 2009 2:11:05 PM

I think I have been banned from commenting. Lololololol

Posted by: Dan Petraglia | Sep 30, 2009 3:22:28 PM

"Have any of you had a conversation with God?" -- Bruce Lovett Ummmm... Last time I looked, having a conversation with a mythological creature should qualify you for an insane asylum and some lithium.

Posted by: Mykelb | Sep 30, 2009 3:57:13 PM

Jeremy
Yeah, I know in my head what you say is true, but I keep trying to think the best of people (I just never learn do I?!)

I love to hear their protestations of Gay's shutting out dissent after this kind of thing, and when asked why they say their blog has been "hijacked" oh please, people don't agree with you, they need to express it in a respectful manner, but if more people are disagreeing with you than are agreeing with you it's a pretty good bet you are losing the argument, unless you can come up with a sparkling point, which they never seem to do.

Posted by: Piper | Sep 30, 2009 7:33:46 PM

I think the only real way to be able to post on their sites and such is to make it appear that you are simply curious, rather than defending gay marriage. Otherwise they'll be like "OMG YOU'RE EVIL YOU'RE TEH GHEY GET OUT OF HERE!!!11!1one!". The comments (while I fully agree with them!) read more like, "I'm coming on here, but I'm saying this and I don't think you guys are right" rather than, "I'm curious, you have a lot of emotional arguments but I'd like to hear some factual arguments to use as well". (Does that make sense...? I'm not trying to defend them, nowhere NEAR that, but if we're gonna try and post on their sites we need to be a bit less.. overt, I suppose?)

Posted by: Yuki | Oct 1, 2009 2:27:24 PM

Why bother writing on their site? Write a factual essay refuting their points and send it in to your local OP-ED section of the paper. Most people still read their local newspapers whether its on paper or online.

Posted by: Mykelb | Oct 7, 2009 9:52:59 AM

But it shouldn't be an either/or, MykelB. They shouldn't be shutting out perfectly fair comments just b/c those comments are dissenting.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 7, 2009 10:05:48 AM

G-A-Y, Life isn't fair. We all know this. The only way to counter their terrorist, biased, diatribes, is to deligitimize their arguments in respected, objective news sources.

Posted by: Mykelb | Oct 19, 2009 11:24:53 AM

No it's not the *only* way, Mykelb. That's just silly. And honestly, it's a tad offensive to sites like this one, that spend 8-10 hours a day covering this movement.

We will continue to monitor EVERYTHING that comes from the opposition, and continue to refute it. This is a changed media age. An Op-Ed is fantastic, but it's not the be all, end all.

And as for their choice to ban comments: It's not about life being "fair" or not. It's about Stand For Marriage Maine, a specific troop that is trying to take away a specific right, being demonstrably unfair. We keep record of it -- it makes a difference.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 19, 2009 11:43:58 AM

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