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10/03/2010

NOM would correct this sort of thing. If they weren't willful deceivers, that is.

by Jeremy Hooper

This is the latest comment posted to the National Organization For Marriage's official Facebook page:

Screen Shot 2010-10-03 At 1.51.14 Pm-1

Now, this stuff about a faith leader being hauled to jail is obviously untrue. Because the organized pro-equality movement is seeking CIVIL marriage equality only. As in period. As in that's it. As in we want churches to have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to the ancillary component of religious marriage ceremony, the same way they are currently free to choose which heterosexuals they will and will not bless (e.g. with interfaith couples, atheists, non-members, members in bad standing, or anyone else who falls outside of the church's faith parameters for any sort of reason).

But while this comment is prominently posted to NOM's Facebook wall, and while it's the sort of thing that is regurgitated incessantly by both official and unofficial NOM allies, you will NEVER hear anyone from Team We Control This Nation's Ring Fingers step in and correct the misinformation. Not Brian Brown. Not Maggie Gallagher. Not Robert George. No one. Because they want this sort of fallacy out there. They need these sorts of untruths to be out there. Out of the ten billion and six things that are frustrating about the organized anti-equality movement, this deliberate actuality-obfuscation just might be the most annoying.

I once read a tell-all book about "Saturday Night Live," in which one of the female writers from the early days of the show, Anne Beatts, described the gender disparity in 1970s, pre-Tina Fey comedy writing rooms by saying that "[the men] had to spell 'cat,' and [the women] had to say when the Edict of Nantes was revoked." It's a comment that ably sums up how I feel about the gay vs. anti-gay debate, where the former set has to do a triple flip over a high bar just to advance a half-step, while the latter side has largely sailed by in heterosexist America, just kicking over even the lowest bars that get in their way. Whereas the pro-civil rights side prides itself on cogent arguments and throughly researched bullet points, our opposition (and far too much of the public) feels like it's perfectly suitable to counter those carefully studied, thoroughly lawful, intensely measured, highly principled points by using rhetoric that ranges from red herring to abject lie, with 99% of the anti-LGBT data supported only by personal faith and not actual documentation. Plus, whereas the pro-fairness side is far more concerned about correcting misstatements and self-checking our movement for flaws, the anti-fairness crew has placed their organizational premium on blind eyes and negligent mouths. See above.

Obviously we're all beyond sick of fighting this marriage fight. But honestly, we're almost sicker at the way we on the pro-LGBT side are always painted as the big, bad, mean immoral, deceptive squad, when it's the team that brands us with that label who makes Pinocchio look as if he had an aggressive nose job by comparison!

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