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12/11/2011

Days and Slights: This Week in NOM (Dec. 4 - Dec. 10)

by Jeremy Hooper

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Dear NOM Watcher,

This week, a Christmas carol:


"On the first day they dissed us, my NOMmmies hoped you'd see, a histrionic clip from FRC…"

I was astounded on Monday to see NOM begin pushing the Family Research Council's truly over-the-top documentary, titled "The Problem With Same-sex Marriage." You might remember this months-old video from the YouTube clip that FRC was forced to change after the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network called out Frcvidtheir lies.  Or you might remember the video for featured subject Brian Camenker, a fringe Massachusetts activist who usually doesn't get much play with the more mainstream conservative groups. Or you might remember the video's inclusion of "ex-gays," meant to suggest that "change" is the solution to the supposed "problem of same-sex marriage." Or you might remember the dramatic video artwork (at left), which shows kids crouching down in fear, as if they are about to be annihilated by a nuclear bomb.

Whatever you do or not remember about the beyond-the-pale video, we should all remember that NOM pushed it to its supporters.


"On the second day they dissed us, my NOMmies claimed that we, are stripping the UK of 'mommy'…"

On Tuesday, both on NOM blog and its spinoff Ruth Institute counterpart, the NOM crowd was trying to make hay out of a benign change in the UK, which allows passport applicants to choose a "Parent one"/"Parent two" option rather than the limited "Mother" and "Father" boxes that were on the application before. It should be obvious to anyone -- even anti-gay anyones -- why the government would want to make such a change. Gay people exist. We have children. If the government interest is head-counting, then steps towards a more accurate, more representative tally should never be seen as controversial.

But leave it to NOM to yank controversy out of a less-than-molehill. For starters, the organization deceptively twisted the option into a requirement, saying that Passport-2the UK was "replacing" the "Mother" and "Father" lines. This is an outright lie.

Secondly, the NOM crowd positioned this new option as some sort of slap in the face. But why? Hopefully not even the NOMmers deny that same-sex couples have families. So why should a paperwork change that only reflects reality slight anyone?! The slighting was before, when same-sex parents were forced the indignity of figuring out how to handle a form that didn't match their lives.

Third, NOM asked of the UK policy: "Is the U.S. next?" Well, the answer to that is no. Why? Because the U.S. already made a near-identical change earlier this year. And frankly, that NOM didn't even realize this change had been made would seem to say more about this ridiculous "controversy" than I ever could.  So let's move on...


"On the third day they dissed us, my NOMmies 'liked' a plea, for gays to change and not be 'empty'..."

Over the past however many weeks, I've been noting the growing "ex-gay" advocacy within the House of NOM. This week, more of it.

On Wednesday morning, I noticed a Facebook comment on NOM's official Wall, in which a supporter wrote, "The Lord Is Amazing! There are many formerly gay people that realized the wrong in it and felt the same emptiness and changed!" But okay, whatever -- that's just one supporter, and I wouldn't put her words directly in NOM's mouth.

Except here's the thing: NOM actually "liked" the comment.  And by that, I don't mean emotionally -- I mean the person running NOM's Facebook page (presumably someone at Opus Fidelis, the organization's Catholic social media firm) clicked "like" on this particular call for "change."  A thumbs up to the idea that homosexuality = "emptiness."

Though really, why should that action surprise us? After all, the comment was made on a post in which NOM pushed the testimony of a "former lesbian" who now speaks out Screen Shot 2011-12-09 At 4.41.41 Pmagainst same-sex marriage on the basis of her personal Catholic beliefs. NOM pushed this "former lesbian" testimony (actually the person just calls herself celibate; NOM chose the "former lesbian" label) on the blog, the Facebook, and in the organization's weekly email blast. In fact, president Brian Brown even said the testimony was an example of how "God works in mysterious ways but always calls each of us back towards Truth itself, to be united with love, which is who He is."

To this growing tactic, I say, "fine." If NOM wants to start positioning a faith-based effort that all of credible science rejects in order to make its case against civil marriage, then I actually have little problem with that. Just as long as they stand by it when we head to the ballot in one of the upcoming states.  Put it in your campaign ads, I always say!


"On the fourth day they dissed us, my NOMmies showed to me, 'protect marriage' hypocrisy…"

Via Keith Olbermann's Current TV program, we learned that Brian Brown attended (and got physical at) a swanky D.C. fundraiser on behalf of sudden GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich. This news makes me incredibly happy.

Here's the thing: I don't care, personally, if a candidate marries twenty-seven times on his or her path towards happiness. I only minimally care about my President's private life. Obviously when choosing a President we look at character, and as human beings, we can't help but cull insight from how he or she seems to live. But over all, I would never toss out a candidate because of relationship patterns.

However, I'm not someone who is going around the country telling people that marriage must be one certain thing, namely: One man, one woman for life. I'm not trying to inscribe marital limitation into public policy. I'm not heading a special interest group that positions the lifelong love between man and woman as the only acceptable marital freedom available to a taxpayer. I'm not being so bold as to suggest one concrete definition for "the sanctity of marriage."  Oh, and I'm certainly not carelessly accusing others of threatening marriage, children, the family, and society.

Brian Brown is doing all of these things! And so if the NOM president wants to get behind a candidate that has himself been married three times -- with each transition marked by admitted adultery, remember -- then Brian is going to have to explain to America why we should believe any of the snake oil that he (or Gingrich himself) is selling! And that's not because of how I or anyone on my "side" feels -- it's because of the way Brian Brown has told us he feels!  How he told us we, as a country, should feel!  He is the one who has demanded certain, largely faith-based "definitions" of marriage be inscribed into our public policy, both statewide and federally. If NOM ends up endorsing Newt Gingrich, the scrutiny will be rich, loud, and, I think, damaging to the entire "protect the sanctity of marriage" movement. It will also be deserved.


"On the fifth day they dissed us, my NOMmies denied to me, TWO GOLDEN RINGS…."

Actually, they didn't just do this on the fifth day. NOM does this every day, now leading the entire opposition movement in every state where we engage. That's why we put the fine-toothe comb to their work: In hopes that the Ghost of Christmas Future will get to tell the tale of an America where citizens can live their lives rather than fight for the same.


Until next week, my turtle doves,

-Jeremy

Jeremy Hooper
Good As You/NOM Exposed

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