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03/26/2010

9 reasons for teaching children not to lie

by Jeremy Hooper

We know that Minnesota social conservatives are scared that marriage equality could come to their state, and are therefore laying groundwork for a potential fight. But what they are saying to convince the state legislature to put a (debatably) constitutional amendment on the ballot is some of the worst that we've seen in any state.

This comes from the state's biggest anti-equality advocacy group, Minnesota Family Council:


9 reasonsandcitings

Okay, so first off the obvious: They are saying all of these things WILL happen. Not might happen. Not could happen in some circumstances. Just will happen. It's beyond the usual fear-mongering: It's flat-out lying.

But then you have to look at their supportive "evidence." Of their footnotes, THIRTEEN of the listed instances happened in states at times when there was no marriage equality! The only two that happened in a state at a time with full marriage (which, don't forget, is the topic) was the completely far-right-muddied David Parker situation from Massachusetts and the North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. Superior Court ruling from California in August of 2008 (during that small '08 window when gays could marry in the state). And in all instances, the topic of conversation was nondiscrimination, not really marriage. The only ones we will give them as being even tangentially related to actual civil marriage equality is (a) the Parker situation, since some of the decisions in support of the right of public school teachers to use inclusive curriculum did cite Massachusetts' marriage equality as a partial basis, and (b) the Ocean Grove, NJ, situation, since even though the point of contention was actually a civil union, the matter would've been the same had it been what it should've been in NJ: A fully equal marriage with no qualifiers or limitations. But none of the rest have any kind of connection to the rights and benefits up for debate in the civil marriage conversation!

Oh, and let's talk about that Ocean Grove situation, which MFC uses as their one, sole example to say, with certainty, that churches will be denied tax-exempt status. Using this example in this way is an outright lie and they absolutely know it! The actual facts at hand, to quickly summarize: The church pavilion in question was receiving a special tax break under NJ's Green Acres tax-exemption, which specifically requires compliance with state non-discrimination laws in order to qualify. So what they "lost" was a special break on a public accommodation that they wanted to restrict to only the heterosexual public! This would have happened if they had denied gays and lesbians (or any minority) from holding and sort of ceremony! They didn't lose regular tax-exempt status on an actual church: They lost it on a piece of property that required this kind of accommodating access, under NJ state law, in order to get what was undeniably a special right! You know, the kinds of rights they constantly (and militantly) claim that we are seeking?

So all in all, this document has about as much application to same-sex marriage as the toilet paper that I wiped my arse with this morning. But rather than flush it, we are to hold it up high and wide as yet another example of a movement that's willing to say any and everything about us, independent of truth, just as long as it's the "pro-family" crowd that comes out smelling like a rose!

Protect your children, Minnesota. Protect them from thinking that any of our most precious governing documents should be changed on the basis of aggressive lies!

***

**SEE ALSO: On MFC's blog, president Tom Prichard takes a page right out of Paul Cameron's resoundingly decried playbook and compares gay relationships to cigarette usage: What to do when it's clear both smoking and homosexual behavior is harmful? [MFC]

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