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12/07/2009

Video: Person of inclusive faith and scholar vs. Brian Brown

by Jeremy Hooper

There's not even the beginning of a debate regarding whether Steven Goldstein or Brian Brown's work will someday be remembered as the principled and worthwhile exercise. Those cards have already been printed. Brian's legacy inevitably loses. Period. End of discussion.

But we still exist in 2009 America, where the conversation regarding whether to hurt your neighbor or to love the same is considered a "two-sided" debate. So here, go watch another forum in which hurtful discrimination against a minority population is again presented as little more than a viewpoint, even though it's actually an attack. A platform where those who dedicate their entire careers -- THEIR ENTIRE CAREERS! -- towards jeopardizing LGBT people work overtime to craft their carefully-worded talking points so that they supposedly speak to the concept of "inevitability," rather than let the march toward basic fairness play out as it will. A segment that should already be relegated to the annals of unfortunate civil rights history, yet one that still seems a regrettably long way from cancellation:








A few things.

(a) (@3:29, vid2) Brian Brown can deny NOM's usage of "softer language" all he wants. But NOM fully admits on their website that they avoid saying the phrase "ban marriage" for tactical reasons. They also admit that their base loves the "ban same-sex marriage" wording, which obviously shows that this the wording that most commonly comes to mind when talking about this issue! That's because it's the truth: Banning marriage is 100% what they are trying to do!

(b) (@5:57, vid2) Brian Brown DOES NOT support civil unions. HE NEEDS TO ADMIT THAT FACT! HE MUST OWN IT! He always has and always will oppose any form of acknowledgement vis-à-vis gay unions. In fact, he was a MAJOR voice of opposition back when his former home state of CT was debating C.U.s (read what he had to say at the time)! He knows it makes him look less savory to come right out and say that he opposes civil unions, so he refuses to say it. WE MUST!

(c) (@6:15, vid2) Brian and Co. need to stop lying about the New Jersey Camp Meeting Association! The quick summary: The church pavilion in question was receiving a special tax break under NJ's Green Acres tax-exemption, which requires compliance with state non-discrimination law in order to qualify. The local Methodists didn't want to comply, so they couldn't continue to qualify for the special privilege. But all they "lost" was something that was already a special break! And they only lost it on the one public accommodation whose usage they wanted to limit to the heterosexual public, not on their other, overtly religious properties (which were never under contention)!

(d) (@6:48, vid2) When Brian talks about "winning" in states where marriage equality is already legal, you do realize what he's talking about, right? He's suggesting that he and his troops will be able to step in and LEGALLY DIVORCE the thousands of couples who have already entered into a same-sex marriage. Think about that for a second. His "win" would be to enter into a state like Connecticut (where this writer married) and invalidate all of the unions that have been performed there. Of course it's not going to happen. But just the fact that this is NOM's agenda tells you all you need to know about this heartless organization.

(e) Regardless of how much Brian talks about the momentum in his favor, the fact remains that we in the pro-fairness world started this year with two marriage equality states and we are ending it with five (with New Jersey and D.C. on the possible horizon). Yes, they narrowly robbed us in Maine by exploiting the same old fears. And yes, the New York Senate fell short. But in both of those losses come opportunities. Because of Maine (and CA before it), folks all across the country are now questioning the idea of voting on a minority's civil rights. Because of New York, local activists now know where to focus their energies and bank accounts. And because of the ignoble, fear-mongery work of groups like NOM, the whole of America is starting to see just how harsh the anti-gay movement truly is, waking up the complacent majority whose failure to turn out at the polls is what truly led us to loss in places like ME and CA. The momentum is NOT in our opposition's favor!!

(f)ail (@the entire thing)

Up Close with Diana Williams for December 6, 2009 [WABC]

**UPDATE: STOP NOM IN ITS TRACKS!**

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Your thoughts

i kinda hate brian but i did like the vid haha

Posted by: debt reduction | Dec 7, 2009 3:08:37 PM

spell check, spell check, spell check.

then...

proofread, proofread, proofread.

If you do not do these 2 things, you will appear uneducated to the average reader and your points will be lost.

Posted by: Bill | Dec 7, 2009 5:34:20 PM

Bill: I failed to proofread this post because I had to run off and cover the NJ hearing. You're right. So thanks for making me go back.

Though I do have to say: It'd be much more helpful to me in the future if, instead of taking the time to make a snarky comment with a tinge of offense for my overall work, you take the same amount of time to point out an error or two.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 7, 2009 5:49:55 PM

>>>Because of Maine (and CA before it), folks all across the country are now questioning the idea of voting on a minority's civil rights.<<<

Hey Jeremy; I don't know about you, but...here in Iowa I have seen nothing of the sort! In fact, our local Republicans are still adamant about using our once-every-ten-year Constitutional Convention process to force a public vote on our civil rights! Indeed, Churches and local Reps. still rally their troops to help them in over-turning the Court's ruling! I still remember our legislators were in session, with throngs of protesters screaming at them, "Let us vote!!! let us vote!!!" It was horrifying!!! Definitely something that literally gave me nightmares for weeks!

Moreover, it still appears that NOM's fear-mongering is still having a terrifying effect on the uneducated masses...especially in rural areas!

So, if you have seen folks, nation-wide, who are doubting having the ability to vote on the rights of a minority, please show me!!! I could use the encouragement...especially locally.

Posted by: Wade | Dec 7, 2009 9:11:59 PM

Wade: Let me clarify: People are absolutely still proposing that we vote on civil rights. That's likely to continue for a few years to come. And not just in Iowa -- it was brought up several times today in NJ, and came up many times in the NY debate.

What I meant is that the very idea of voting on minority rights, a notion that was dormant for a generation or more, is now back on people's tongues. Folks are considering the idea. And with an idea as nasty as that, I can't help but think that the increased acknowledgment of the notion (and conversation surrounding the same) will lead to enlightenment. It's not a publicly palatable concept. So even among those who are not fully with us on the issue of marriage itself, I expect increased repudiation of majority tyranny.

Of course it's up to us to connect the dots!!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 7, 2009 9:22:40 PM

Thanks Jeremy. I, for one, would sleep safer at night knowing that journalists in the "mainstream" media, like CNN, were also broaching the issue about precisely WHY folks think they ought to be voting on how their neighbors and FELLOW CITIZENS live their personal, private lives, by literally taking away newly granted civil rights! :o)

Posted by: Wade | Dec 7, 2009 9:50:10 PM

How awesome would it be if states such as CA and ME had citizens initiatives to decide whether they would recognize Maggie's and Brian's marriages?

Imagine if Brian went to CA with his wife and was told HIS marriage -specifically- was not recognized?

A girl can dream...

Posted by: stojef | Dec 7, 2009 9:50:41 PM

Thanks Jeremy.........Do You ever want to say.....Hey Bill.. Shut the fuck up!? Spellcheck is for cheating! Free thoughts.......Peace

Posted by: John Normile | Dec 8, 2009 9:55:08 AM

Nah John, I'm not upset with Bill. The original version of this post *was* filled with typos.

I guess I just figure that reg. readers know that I produce a ton of content every day, and that I don't have a staff. So if typos are seen, I would ask readers to help me out and say, "hey, go proof your post" (pref. via email) rather than cast any kind of aspersion here in the comments section. It would take the same amount of time, yet would be far more productive.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 8, 2009 10:03:57 AM

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