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02/09/2011

Without faith motivation, NOM would not exist. That's just a fact. Own it.

by Jeremy Hooper

Just last week, we showed you how the National Organization For Marriage of Rhode Island, on a non-public part of its website, is rallying pastors with language like:

"The Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament clearly and specifically forbids homosexual conduct – as well as all other forms of sexual misconduct outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:8-11)
...
The Bible plainly declares that God loves all people, regardless of their lifestyle, and that he accepts, forgives, heals, and transforms all who come to him in genuine repentance and faith
"
Pastors' Resolution [NOM Ri]

We've also shown you how local Catholic churches have been running political rally cries in their Sunday bulletins. Catholic churches that even go so far as to run button ads for NOM on the parish website:

Screen Shot 2011-02-09 At 8.43.46 Am
[St Bren Church]

But at today's state marriage hearing (4:30PM in House Judiciary), you of course won't hear NOM-RI and its Exec. Director, Christopher Plante, playing up the faith element. Because these folks know that while the faith element is the most key component in their efforts to rally motivated troops against gays' civil marriages, it is not an element that plays well in two-sided legislative debate. Which is also why you'll find Mr. Plante in local Rhode Island papers playing down religion's clear and obvious role/motivation:

Although NOM has strong supporters in faith-based communities, Plante says the argument goes beyond religion.

“We work with faith communities but our argumentation here is not faith-based. One can’t make this argument on faith alone,” he said, explaining that his organization does not believe there is a fundamental right to marriage for same-sex couples.

Unlike many proponents who compare homosexuality to other civil rights, Plante says preventing same sex-marriage is not akin to depriving rights based on race or gender.

“There is no basic right to same-sex marriage. Your gender, or Rosa Parks’ race were defined by immutable qualities within you and within her,” he said. “There is no scientific consensus as to why someone is gay or lesbian. I’m not saying it’s purely a choice, but it’s not solely genetic.”


Read more: Warwick Beacon - Pro family group ready for gay marriage debate [Warwick Beacon]

Okay, first off: Let's leave the science to science, Mr. Plante. If there is no scientific consensus, as stated, then there is no real basis to say "it's not solely genetic." An overstatement that's of particular concern when one considers that all the "ex-gay" support, something that's full repudiated by all credible science, exists solely on the marriage opponents' side (and is something that will surely come up at today's hearing, as it did yesterday in Maryland).

But science aside: It is so intensely disingenuous for Mr. Plante to deny faith's role. Because NOM has a *CLEARLY* Catholic root and position, something its heads acknowledge when in sympathetic media. Cue Maggie Gallagher:

click to play audio clip)
[SOURCE: "Catholic Answers Live", 6/30/08]

And beyond just NOM: These marriage opposition outreach efforts are always, first and foremost, based in the church community. Just check out how and where Prop 8 proponents obtained their petition sigs, as reported by NOM itself -- the petitioning was done almost exclusively via the faith network. We're already seeing the same thing in RI, as evidenced by that secretive pastor petition posted at beginning of this entry. Heck, even Mr. Plante's own education is theological (He's a grad of King's College and Covenant Theological Seminary).

So no, these marriage battles, be they in RI or elsewhere, don't ever stay 100% religious, since at some point these folks have to work within the parameters of civil law to draft language and rally voters in a way that meshes with political reality. But that component is just a pragmatic actuality with which the "pro-family" crowd must contend. The vehicle that drives them there is *ALWAYS* personal faith, first and foremost. Personal faith that should be respected, protected, and defended by all of us, regardless of our own prayers. Though personal faith that should not be respected, protected, and defended when used as a weapon against the fair application of equal protection and due process under our shared civil law!

***

*Reminder: This is the same Christopher PLante who recently likened gay parents to dead parents. A "tragic situation," he said:


*AUDIO SOURCE: NOM's Chris Plante on Rhode Island radio [NOM]

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