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NOM's clumsy heavy hand finds its next 'they'

by Jeremy Hooper

This is the graphic NOM is pushing in the organization's latest e-blast:

Screen Shot 2012-02-03 At 11.06.43 Am

The subject is Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley, who used the word "coward" in reference to those who put politics before principle in last year's state marriage debate. It was a moment of passion for which she has apologized. But regardless of what anyone thinks of the comment, a few truths are in order.

  1. The quip was made by a she, not a they. It was one person's thoughts, not a movement's.

  2. As mentioned, she was speaking in particular about those who probably or verifiably do support marriage equality, but who chose to play political games instead. Last year's MD marriage process was defined by legislative weirdness, where staunch supporters became non-, and then back again. More than many other states, the merits of marriage and what it means to Marylanders got lost behind these stunts, games, and outside political pressures. So that was the First Lady's primary focus, not the everyday NOMmer who is, has been, and always will be against equality.

  3. Over the years, NOM and the vast web of NOM associates have called marriage equality activists any number of things. Just last week, NOM's own Thomas Peters referred to a WA state lawmaker as a "jerk." Jennifer Roback Morse gives speeches about history won't be kind to gays, calls gay love "shameless," and even admits that she doesn't accept the category of gayness. Maggie Gallagher has admitted she sees homosexuality as an "unfortunate" thing. Brian Brown once accused our side of conducting both "fatwas" and "jihads." And so on and so forth. So again, regardless of what you think of "coward" and the way it was used, let's not act like NOM is pure.

  4. Even though Brian tries to flip the script...

    "Even as they threaten the jobs, the businesses, and the livelihoods of people willing to stand for the great truths of Genesis—even as they bask in the accolades of Hollywood and a complacent media—even as they wallow in the silver coins flung into their campaign chests by billionaire gay-marriage backers—they call you and me 'cowards'?"

    …there is no reasonable way that one can call LGBT people "cowards." In this far-right-declared "culture war," we are the survivors. The battle-hardened defenders. The persistent purveyors of principle. The sons and daughters who have lived truths even at great personal costs. The thrivers who have made it through some of the worst stone-casting in modern history. While we have to spend much time around lyin', this aint no cowardly movement.

I didn't and probably never will call you a coward, Brian Brown. But your rhetorical games will never make me cower, either. And I will never sit back and let you reduce and misdefine my righteous movement as some sort of wrong-headed "they."

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