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08/15/2010

Dear Bishop Jackson: We're not scared of your anti-LGBT ghost stories!

by Jeremy Hooper
"They’re trying to shout you down. But if they weren’t afraid of you, they would ignore you" [SOURCE]

The above is a comment that Bishop Harry Jackson, the man who's trying more than anyone to put Harry-JacksonD.C. marriage equality up to a public vote, said today at the final National Organization for Marriage tour stop in the District of Columbia. So okay, let's think about it for a second.

(a) The "culture war" is a fight that is wholly declared by the far-right. The whole thing is a contrivance. In a perfect world, true science would be respected, the spectrum of the world's normalcy would be regarded as it is, and constitutional promises would be truly fulfilled. But those self-appointed moral authoritarians who wish to use their personal faith views to set the world's civil agenda refuse to let peace reign supreme. They create the shouts.

(b) This summer marriage tour was designed by NOM and allies like Louis "gays want prostitution, pedophilia, and polygamy" Marinellii. Designed for the sole purpose of either stopping or taking away gay people's rights. The only reason that any of us, pro or con, are taking time away from our summer days to deal with this utterly offensive tour is because NOM felt a need to take their hurtful dog and pony show on the road. Again: This is only happening because they can't accept gay people as their neighbors. At least not as full and equal neighbors.

(c) LGBT people are the ones being targeted. The easy response would be to stay home and hide. It takes fortitude to get out and represent, or to put ones self out there in any kind of public way. So by what logic does a principled, pro-LGBT challenge equal fear? If we on the right side of history were scared, we wouldn't be pointing our finger right in NOM's eye, then proceeding to (a) laugh at the utter failure that this tour turned out to be, while also (b) sighing over the fact that Brian Brown and company dislike our lives and loves enough to force us to waste our time and mental energy on this! If we were scared, we'd lay down and let the NOM steamroller pancake us into the pavement. We'd hand over our rights. We've give in. But we are not doing that.

(d) Shouts? Some do. Understandably so, considering the nonstop barrage of insults and attacks that come from NOM and crew. But the whole of the pro-equality movement does not amount to shouting and nothing more. We put out firm but fair push back. We deliver respectful but pointed commentaries. We argue strong and confident court cases. We write reasoned editorials. We tell our nothing-if-not-heartfelt testimonies. We live our good and decent lives, putting a face on this contrived "war." And yet no matter what we say, the opposition ignores our arguments so that they can move on to their preconceived talking points. Or they set up false research stables to churn out junky counterpoints to challenge our scientifically credible findings. Or they decry judges as "liberal gay activists." And no matter what we do, they paint us as the big, bad meanies, while painting themselves as the victims. So Bishop Jackson can say that "we" are "trying" to shout them down, as if either our side or our tactics are monolithic. But the reality is that *their side* is the one who is joined together for a common cause, striving for hostile acts that deeply affect actual human lives! We are playing defense against their aggression.


The bottom line: We would love, love, love, love, love to ignore the voices of inequality who collect attention and/or paychecks by denying that equality under the law expands to everyone. But their every move towards our belittlement is a shout, regardless of the decibel level its delivered, and is a slap, regardless of whether a physical hand movement is involved or not. They are aggressive by nature of their political involvement! The "nice" mask does not change that reality. The carefully workshopped talking points don't negate the pain that they inflict.

We pro-peace, pro-equality, pro-marriage, pro-fairness activists aren't scared. We've done scared. Scared isn't cute. We refuse to ever go back there again. What we are is determined. And our determination will lead us to our inevitable place of peace. A place where "culture wars," which have always been as theatrical as staged Civil War reenactments, will finally be equally as effective in terms of power to divide this country and deny certain people! What a great day that will be for us. For you. For the U.S. For the world over.

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