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05/18/2011

NY's Family Research Foundation still rallying with deception; In related news: grass = still green

by Jeremy Hooper

New Yorker's Family Research Foundation, the chief anti-marriage-equality lobby group in NY state, just wrote this on the organization's Facebook wall:

Screen Shot 2011-05-18 At 1.38.58 Pm
NYFRF [Facebook]

So let's unpack this bullcrapola, shall we?

(a) Actually, many on the "protect marriage" side *DO* claim that pastors could be required to marry people. We heard this all the time during the Prop 8 fight. It's been fibbed many times since.

(b) The wedding photography canard, regardless of how you fell about it, is rendered 100% moot by the fact that the one citable instance that the right loves to use, the matter involving Elane Photography, happened in New Mexico. As in the same New Mexico that does not have same-sex marriage. This shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that these conversations -- again, no matter how you feel about them -- are not dependent on marriage equality, but rather on the existence of LGBT people who want to employ photographers. It's a non-discrimination matter, not a marriage-dependent one.

(c) No, town clerks with religious convictions are not going to be able to walk off the job whenever a couple he or she disagrees with enters into the room. Just like these government employees are not able to abandon their duties whenever any kind of straight couple comes to their counter. All jobs have rules, and the issuance of civil marriage licenses requires the issuance of license to those couples who qualify under law. Just like gay clerks are currently required to give licenses to heterosexual couples -- even those couples who vote against gay people's civil rights.

Now, that being said, there are probably any number of ways that the workers can get around this. If a clerk pretends he or she needs to make an immediate bathroom run upon seeing a same-sex couple come through the door, he or she is most likely going to get away with it. But that is the clerk to figure out. Saying "I pray, you're gay, go away" is not going to work. Not in America.

(d) Tax-exempt status of churches is not under any threat anymore than preachers are under threat to marry same-sex couples! The reason why this lie has become a meme is because groups like NOM have been lying for years about the pavilion in Ocean Grove, NJ, which they claim lost some sort of faith-based right. In truth, the church pavilion in question was receiving a *special* tax break under NJ's Green Acres tax-exemption -- a program which requires compliance with state non-discrimination laws in order to qualify. A qualification that the pavilion agreed to upon signing up for the special break. So what the pavilion "lost" was a distinctive tax break on a public accommodation that they wanted to restrict to only the heterosexual public. This could've happened if they had denied gays and lesbians (or any minority) from holding any sort of ceremony, not just a civil union commitment! They didn't lose regular tax-exempt status on an actual church: They lost it on a piece of property that required this kind of accommodating access, under NJ state law, in order to get what was undeniably a special right.


But of course NYFRF won't listen. None of the "protect marriage" organizers will. Because their minds are made up. Their script is written. It's their movie -- we just get anti-intellectually edited out of it.

***

*Posted all this to NYFRF's Facebook wall, but of course they deleted it. Because ear-fingers are much more convenient:

201105181643

And believe it or not, they actually deleted this too:

201105182142

They also do something very obvious. Every time after they delete comments like the above, they always proceed to allow at least one benignly contrarian comment, followed by their own "nice" response. It's so obviously a way to counter the criticism/deny the reality that we've so clearly screencapped.

And it's all just so typical.

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