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07/25/2013

The problem is that they see this as two-sided fight in which their position has merit

by Jeremy Hooper

On her eponymous radio show, Janet Mefferd shared this exchange with extremely anti-gay commentator Matt Barber:


Janet Mefferd Show, 7/24/13 [Relevant Radio]

Okay, so first off—Matt Barber says in a later segment of this very same show that he will personally defy any man-made marriage law that runs afoul of his religious beliefs:


Janet Mefferd Show, 7/24/13 [Relevant Radio]

It's also the same Matt Barber whose organization helped draft a document essentially calling for open defiance against the Supreme Court's marriage rulings (Barber signed on), and the same Matt Barber whose boss and cohost frequently calls for "revolution" against our increasingly pro-equality government. So let's cut the crap about the rule of law and abiding by it.

But that's not really what I want to talk about here. Instead, I want to talk about the opposition's sheer (and aggressive) inability to realize (or at least admit) the clear difference between what they are seeking and what we are seeking. Janet Mefferd acts like a person who chooses to flout civil equality is on the same footing as someone who takes a principled stand against discrimination. I can't even say I blame her, an anti-gay conservative, for going this route because the whole structure of the marriage debate in this nation has given her a lot of wiggle room to do so. This whole thing has played out as a two-sided debate in which both sides deserve equal merit. In the name of false balance, gay people have suffer the indignity of having our basic rights as American taxpayers put up before public debate, as if a largely faith-driven opposition movement's personal desire to brand us immoral and/or our marriages as fundamentally unachievable has as much validity as a movement that demands our civil marriage system follow a standard greater than personally-held animus, targeted religious fervor, or unchecked popularity contest.

In truth, this is a conversation between one side that demands basic faintness and another side that will stop at nothing to deny us of the same. It is a conversation about discrimination versus equality. Yes, we would proudly, loudly, and confidently call out any public official who flouted the civil marriage law and denied a gay couple of their deserved rights, protections, and freedoms. That is not even in the same ballpark as the far-right's attempts at publicly flogging any public official who stands up for the right side of history. Our cause is moving us toward peace. Toward justice. Toward the kind of unity that might hopefully allow us to come together as a nation and tackle actual social ills.

Their cause? The opposite.

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