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12/07/2012

NOM hitches its desperate boat to far-right, exceedingly anti-intellectual military meme

by Jeremy Hooper

Another morning, another instance of the National Organization For Marriage arguing to "protect" against something that no one on our side is seeking.

This time it's military chaplains who are in the discriminatory organization's focus, with NOM president Brian Brown claiming in an email blast that military chaplains might be forced to marry couples if we don't pass an unnecessary bill that some of the most reactionary members of Congress have proposed:

Senators Roger Wicker and James Inhofe have introduced these provisions in the Senate as a stand-alone bill, the "Military Religious Freedom Act of 2012," but the Senate leadership has blocked their efforts every step of the way.

But even if the Senate never votes on the Wicker/Inhofe bill, we can still protect the Defense of Marriage Act and the religious liberty of our military chaplains, who could otherwise be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies as part of their official duties.

We have one chance, but we need to take action immediately.

TAKE ACTION: Defend Marriage and Military Chaplains under Attack! NOM Marriage News [NOM]

"One chance"?" Ugh. I am so damn tired of the anti-intellectualism.

This ridiculous "chaplains might be forced to perform marriages" meme began last year, when the Defense Department made it clear that military chaplains could—I repeat, could—perform same-sex marriages on military bases IF THEY WANTED TO DO SO. When the government clarified that ability, the most anti-LGBT members of Congress (led by Todd Akin, funnily enough) jumped at the chance to exploit the intelligence of the American public. They immediately took the option—the option, let me repeat—and acted like it was force. These anti-equality opportunists, already pissed about Don't Ask Don't Tell's repeal, began yelling from the rooftops: "THEY'RE GOING TO FORCE RELIGIOUS PERSONNEL TO MARRY GAY SOLDIERS!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

It's one of those claims that should be too ridiculous to even dignify, something Leader Pelosi made clear when she was asked about it at the time. But the patent ridiculousness never matters to the far-right factions that hope to insult and exploit the lower information citizen. They turn a choice into a requirement. In their twisted script, a freedom becomes a deprivation of the same. And even though no religious person is ever forced to perform any kind of marriage ceremony for most any reason, oft-maligned and frequently stigmatized same-gender couples are portrayed as the ones who are going to break that whole system for everyone. Even though we aren't seeking such a right (who the hell wants to be married by someone who doesn't want to marry you?!), they just go ahead and say that we are. The overall message: "Those mean, militant gays strike again!"

It is egregious behavior that takes a steaming dump in our reasoned discourse. This is precisely why NOM, an organization that has become a veritable outhouse for such behavior, is so quick to jump on the deceptive meme.

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