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Spurn of phrase: NOM's Jennifer Roback Morse says same-sex marriage = square circle

by Jeremy Hooper

And now a "culture war" vocabulary lesson from The National Organization For Marriage's Jennifer Roback Morse:

"You may have noticed that I do not use the term “same sex marriage” very often. In fact, I am making a conscious decision not to use the term at Screen Shot 2011-08-16 At 1.12.42 Pmall any more. I think the term gives away too much ground to our opponents. Continually using the term makes it possible to believe that such a thing as a marriage between people of the same sex is possible.

I don’t use the term “square circle” because such an entity is not possible. Likewise, I think it is not possible for two people of the same sex to be married to each other. So, I use another term that I believe is more accurate. I use the phrase “redefinition of marriage” or “so-called same sex marriage,” or in a pinch, “genderless marriage,” depending on the context

-Jennifer Roback Morse, head of National Organization For Marriage affiliate The Ruth Institute

Right. So this is one of those interesting situations where I actually welcome the opposition voice's attempt to slight us. Because actually, this one just helps our case. Hear me out.

Same-sex marriages exist in civil law. Already. Undeniably. Unchangeably, despite the anti-equality crowd's indefatigable efforts. So when one of the people at the forefront of the "protect marriage" fight expresses a personal belief that same-sex marriages aren't possible even as they so totally are tangibly possibly within the civil law of six states and the nation's capital (for now), it only helps us demonstrate that (a) there exists a separation between personal belief and public policy and (b) public policy need not change anyone's personal belief. By stoically digging in her heels on a matter of phrase, J-Ro-Mo is helping show that both will continue to coexist, the civil equality and the personal heel-digging.

Ms. Roback Morse can continue to write columns like this one even after civil marriage equality is granted in all fifty states and federally. Heck, she can continue to run a group opposed to the idea, making a living off of her personal Catholic beliefs for as long as folks want to cough up coin for the purpose of bringing thunderstorms to certain kinds of wedding showers. Oh, and J-Ro-Mo can call our marriages "roast beef on rye" if that's how she wants to utilize her tongue. Who the heck really cares what she calls our marriages? I support her right to call them whatever she wants! We equality activists are not asking for her personal change of heart, only that she accept that her personal beliefs most likely will not win out in a church/state-separated world where LGBT people have more than demonstrated their right to exist equally under the law. We are demanding that she respect our fairly won gains in all matters pertaining to civil law, even if she can't voice any sort of support.

So yeah, I say go ahead, NOM senior staffer: "Square circle" me all you want. Every time I look down at my hand and see the shiny gold circle that adorns it, I might think you somewhat square for being so against love, rights, and basic fairness. But I won't try to stop your right to be vocally opposed.

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