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08/29/2013

Same ol' victim routine doesn't counter 'Same Love' (@katembryan)

by Jeremy Hooper

First let's start with her closing passage, which reads:

"Now, I’m just hoping that Eminem steps in to do the heterosexual version of “Same Love”, and it can be our anthem for the traditional marriage movement."

Considering the real Slim Shady is on record supporting marriage equality, I don't think Catholic activist and writer Kate Bryan should be holding her breath for that pro-discrimination anthem.

But that's far from the other flawed notion that Ms. Bryan (who I happen to know has very close personal ties to the National Organization For Marriage and at least one of its top employees) puts onto digital paper. Upset with the super popular "Same216Deaa9E1A110B504A50A47C45C54E1 Love," which just reached peak attention for being the poignant and understated counterpart to whatever Miley Cyrus did on that VMA stage, Ms. Bryan sets out to deny the song's powerful message. To accomplish the task, she says this:

"Comparing the same-sex marriage movement to the civil rights movement is appalling."

And this:

"[T]raditional marriage supporters are under the most (and worst) attacks in the world today."…"The vitriolic attacks against traditional marriage advocates are a million times worse than the attacks against gay marriage advocates"

And also this:

"I have been Catholic my whole life and I have never heard any words of hate against homosexuals or people who believe in gay marriage from the Church or anyone who represents the Church."
FULL PIECE: 'Same Love' aint about love [Catholic Vote]

On the first one: Many actual civil rights heroes strongly disagree. Perhaps you watched yesterday's extremely LGBT-inclusive March on Washington anniversary, where many speakers noted the importance of LGBT rights? That is actually the more common view, despite the anti-LGBT crowd's stated attempt to drive a wedge between gays and blacks.

On the second claim: No, "traditional marriage supporters" are not, by and large, under attack. Attack, in the literal sense, is not the same as "attack" in the way that far-right conservatives use it. LGBT people have been mistreated, maligned, abused, threatened, bullied, banned, barred, condemned, stereotyped, denigrated, and dehumanized for years. LGBT people have been attacked in every way imaginable because of who we are. Telling a person he or she does not have the right to discriminate is not even in the same ballpark.

On the third: The Catholic Church is at a constant war against LGBT people's rights. The Catholic Church tells people we are intrinsically disordered and that celibacy is the only acceptable option for our lives. I agree that these views are not typically delivered the way a fiery Southern Baptist preacher might deliver them. But at the end of the day, the goal is largely the same. That goal: Keeping LGBT people on a lowered tier.


Look, I understand why a young person like Ms. Bryan would oversensitive to a song and culture that is leading behind her discriminatory view. However, the same ol' victim routine, which was long ago crafted by her "culture war" elders, is not going to do the job that she wants to do. You can't work to discriminate against people and then tell them they are not maligned. You can't lead with your personal theology (Ms. Bryan's B.A. is in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville) and then deny the *CIVIL* rights parallels between the LGBT and other movements. You can't just assert your desire to have another artist record an anti-gay anthem without noting that the artist, like virtually every recording artist, supports equal rights for LGBT people.

You can't make us see you as the "victim" simply because that is the narrative that you all have workshopped as your movement talking point. It might play within your own choir. Thing is? Far more people are listening to "Same Love."

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