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12/16/2011

What matters more to NOM: 'Protect marriage' rhetoric or 54 years of actuality?

by Jeremy Hooper

Like many social conservatives, the National Organization For Marriage has begun a campaign to undermine any and everything about Ron Paul, now that the Congressman actually looks viable in Iowa. Brian Brown even wrote a lengthy letter about it, which I may or may not talk about later, depending on how much I can put the pause button on my holiday joy in order to pick apart the musings of a man who'd strip me of my one golden ring (my gayest of gay apparel).

But honestly, this picture right here pretty much says it all:

Screen Shot 2011-12-16 At 1.33.56 Pm

Why does it say so much to me? Well, look at how NOMmers want supporters to see these two men: Small Paul, Tall Newt. Let's think about that contrast.

Regardless of what one thinks of Congressman Paul, the man has been married to his one and only spouse, Carol, for almost fifty-five years. That is just a fact. For some, it may be a value-added fact, others value-neutral (even value-subtracted for a few). But it's a fact, nonetheless, one that certainly puts Ron Paul ahead of any of other candidates in the field just in terms of marital commitment, experience, and longevity.

I won't rehash Newt Gingrich's record with the institution, but let's just say it's quite -- different. Again, that might be value-added, -neutral, or -subtracted, dependent of any number of views and factors. For some it's pertinent and some it's and aside. But like Paul's record, Gingrich's own past of marriages, adultery, and divorce is a documented fact, of his own admission.

Which brings us to NOM. NOM is a group that cannot, by design, be value-neutral with these kinds of facts. NOM has asserted itself as this nation's organizational paragon, out to "save" our marriage culture nationwide. They want your cash, your vote, and your generalized support in this mission, and have been known to do and say just about anything to get all three. So now we have the latest tactic in the NOM arsenal: Exalting Newt Gingrich's portrait (both literal and figurative) while diminishing Congressman Paul's. Uhm, what? Really?!? For truth?!

This newfound adoration for Newt Gingrich is seriously like some Bizarro World thing to me. Many of NOM's past strategies have been quite personal, hurtful, and offensive, but honestly, this aggrandizing of Newt is almost the most disrespectful of all! And not just disrespectful to people like me -- in fact, this tactic is in many ways more disrespectful to the core NOM supporter. Here they have been telling folks for years that marriage is "traditional" and that its "sanctity" must be "protected" at all costs. But when they have two real world examples in front of them, they act like demonstrated track record doesn't matter? They give only the slightest of hat tips to Ron And Carol Paul's demonstrated commitment (and to be fair, Brian does note it in his letter) while acting like Newt is the one with solidly NOM-my credentials?! NO!!!! NU-UH! THEY DON'T GET TO DO THAT!

Others can quite logically make a case for Newt, with not even one second of consideration for who he has married, how many times, or how each transition was marked. NOM is not allowed to do that! They laid down this gauntlet, where marriage is "one man, one woman for life," and where gays, regardless of personal commitment or longevity, are the ones tearing down that structure. They haven't just posited this stuff as theory -- they have put it out there as definitive. So NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! NOM is not going to get a pass on their newfound Gingrich love! And if they try to continue act like rhetorical chatter is their new standard and that Newt Gingrich is their new buddy in this shared "traditional marriage" fight -- which is quite likely, considering their growing pro-Newt rhetoric and Brian Brown's recent attendance at a pricey, insider fundraiser -- then we must focus like laser beams on their hypocrisy!

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