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02/21/2011

NOM: So far (off), so (hostile to a public) good

by Jeremy Hooper

In an odd weekend blog post, the National Organization For Marriage purported to sum up marriage equality supporters (i.e. their opposition/target) by citing this quote for the 1995 French film Le Haine:

"It's about a society on its way down, and as it falls, it keeps telling itself, 'So far so good... so far so good... so far so good.' It's not how you fall that matters. It's how you land."
"So Far, So Good!" [NOM Blog]

Right. Okay. So once again we see NOMmers trying to flip the narrative. The ring finger-focused organization's new strategy involves seizing the historical inevitability claims that equality supporters have long (and accurately) attached to the principled cause of civil fairness, in hopes of convincing their own supporters that marriage bias is actually what fits within a "winning the future" meme. Basically, NOM is saying that those of us who claim marriage equality as a benign good with no demonstrable harms are actually just biding time before our inevitable crash landing. They are suggesting that our constitutionally-entrenched pushes are shallow and empty, with their code word-laden "protect marriage" rhetoric the ultimate prevailer. The NOM crowd is essentially pre-screening future civil rights documentaries for their invited audiences, pushing their own fight into the smoothly scored, brightly lit parts of the film. All of it, of course, at the expense of the equality side, whose proponents they've monolithically cast into antagonistic roles.

They've beaten us with flawed messaging before every time. But even through an objective lens, I see this tactic as totally risky for the House of Gallagher/Brown. Because as stated in regards to NOM's Jennifer Roback Morse own history lesson: The opposition's claims of historical inevitability are steeped in implied pain for any families that feature at least one gay member. Whereas our (accurate) suggestion that polls are changing and that our arguments are the winning ones merely envision a future where "culture wars" disappear and equal protection finally gets its due time in the spotlight, the anti-equality movement's desired destiny is entrenched in more/greater denial. Denial of the role that LGBT people play within reality's spectrum. Denial of the rights due to all citizens. Denial of gay families' worth. Denial of the basic idea that LGBT people deserve to "win" this thing, since we are the ones being injured -- injuries whose remedies would come at no one's undue expense.

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