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02/04/2011

We (c) Maggie's (a) & (b), raise a (p.s.)

by Jeremy Hooper

I was struck by this comment that Maggie posted to the National Organization For Marriage's blog:

Screen Shot 2011-02-04 At 3.02.31 Pm

And while I would let my six-year-old nephew take on the Swiss cheese logic at play, unfortunately he's at school. So you'll have to deal with me.

Obviously, the problem here is that Maggie has, yet again, falsely defined the terms. Namely: The terms that say (a) her work regarding the union of husband of wife constitutes nothing more than defense, and (b) that to defend heterosexual marriage means to not defend same-sex unions. Maggie is acting as if Sophie must make her choice: Stand with Tom & Sue as they dance the horah, or stand with Scott & Joe as they toast their good fortune to live in an increasingly enlightened world. Maggie know this B.S. Or at least she should.

And then there's the secondary element of "having the moral view" but supposedly not being able to defend it. Well no, Maggie: Every single person is entitled to hold a personal religious view on certain subjects. The issue is the extension of that personal moral view into the public policy realm. Abstaining from eating a cheeseburger because of the mix of meat and dairy is one thing. Lobbying the shared civil government to codify that kosher dietary choice is another thing entirely. So too, *civil* marriage equality.

Look, I am someone who absolutely believes that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, and would fight to defend any of the wonderful heterosexual unions in which I have direct concern/involvement. But I also know, firsthand -- as in live, love, and bake brownies in one on a daily basis -- that marriage is ALSO sometimes the union of a husband and husband or wife and wife. And this is not anecdotal: This is the legal reality of life within many of our United States and a host of other countries.

The problem is that Maggie's position -- just like her career work on this issue -- is defined by limitation. Limitation that she masks by turning discrimination into "defense" and faith-based desires on a civil subject into a no-brainer "moral view." But limitation, nonetheless.

Maggie has gotten much mileage out of this way of thinking. Within her hour, there is certainly a tchotchke or two that was bought and paid for by gay marriage cash. But I honestly do not believe that these same old tired lines have much breath left in the lungs. Because fewer and fewer people are seeing the world and its people as in need of retaliatory defense, but rather to simply realize the overlooked and/or denied strength whose infrastructure is already in place. I truly believe that the majority wants a world where bully clubs, moral pedestals, talking points sheets, and "culture war" scorecards are all lowered. I have to believe that a majority of my heterosexual peeps don't define their own ability to maritally thrive on the basis of how fully they can futz with my own family.

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