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03/22/2013

Fighting [to legally estrange me from my husband] with zeal and strategy

by Jeremy Hooper

The headline alone makes me nauseous:

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Fighting Same-Sex Marriage With Zeal and Strategy [NYT]

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote a love letter to Brian Brown. I know for a fact that she spoke to at least four people who have tracked NOM every day since the organization has been in operation. The reporter used none of it. There are two minor opposition comments—the rest is a puff piece that makes this, the head of an organization that is fighting against actual human families in truly disturbing ways, seem like a charismatic politico who merely holds a differing view.

"Zeal"? That is what we all focused on when Prop 8 passed, right? I know I was all like, "Hey, I have to now cancel my planned wedding—but damn, at least the man behind the push did it with such ZEAL!"

Oh, and "strategy"? That is of course what we all focused on when we all learned that NOM wanted to "drive a wedge" and "fan hostilities"…

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…or when we saw Brian Brown encourage parents to attend an 'ex-gay" conference to prevent kids from "embracing this destructive way of life":

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So darn strategic! Why, it seems Brian's managed to take away people's rights, divide communities, foster connections with the most incendiary voices in the anti-LGBT community (see the speakers and co-sponsor list for NOM's upcoming marriage march), earn a hefty paycheck, and also get journalistic massages from papers of record. What zeal!!!

What a joke.

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**To be clear, I don't want The New York Times writing the kind of piece I would write about NOM. I wasn't expecting point-of-view activism. This is not me saying that the Times writer was wrong for not shaping her piece so that it would serve as an easy thing for me to cheer on. What I am saying is that the mainstream media needs to start actually paying attention to what the opposition is saying and doing rather than pretending like it's all happening in some other realm separated from mainstream politics or journalism. I want journalism that challenges the reader with both the hard facts and the softer corners. With this, we got a piece filled 3/4 with the latter.

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