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01/28/2012

NOM's Thomas Peters: One tweet says so much

by Jeremy Hooper

NOM's blogger, Culture Director, and head of their forthcoming Next Generation For Marriage project wrote the following:

Screen Shot 2012-01-28 At 10.57.51 Am
[@americanpapist]

Let's break this down.

First we have the courteous vs. angry thing. That's always the setup, isn't it? Thomas' "side" can do no wrong, while our "side" is out for blood. Personally, I know this setup to be quite untrue, since I've covered Thomas' words and actions perhaps more than anyone, and have never "attacked" him personally. But why should that matter? The NOM crowd has to diminish both our fight and our fighters in order to seem like the "nice" team. The script demands it.

Then we have the "troll" thing. I've been fascinated by the way the anti-equality crowd tosses this word around without any regard for context. In truth, a troll is someone who goes on some sort of forum with the intent of causing some sort of rabble, often in an anonymous or misrepresentative fashion. However, the anti-equality crowd has taken to using the label for anyone who pushes back against their work. More often than not, the NOM crowd uses the word "troll" to mean anyone who challenges their echo chamber. This especially egregious when talking about this, the marriage equality fight, since the blinders are designed to shut out those who are truly affected by the discrimination in play.

Then there's the block-and-move-on thing. SO TYPICAL! Because again, NOM folks want to operate in a vacuum where they only have to hear their own talking points. In this bubble, we who engage on the pro-equality side have nothing of value to add. There is no conversation to be had. Folks like Thomas use the fingers in the ears, ignorance is bliss strategy because it's far easier than actually listening to those whose rights, welfare, and souls they crush.

I do recommend being courteous when directly engaging, and I have years of history doing so, both publicly and privately. But we cannot, will not, and should not stop talking *to* those who want to only talk *at* us. If Thomas wants to lead the "Next Generation For Marriage," then he's going to have to start opening his ears (if not his mind) to us, the current generation for marriage equality. A "please stop hurting me" request/demand is not an attack. A loving American human who wants to live in peace is not a troll.

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