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02/07/2014

While NOM's prez talks about religious recognition of marriage, can the rest of us move on and settle the civil marriage question?

by Jeremy Hooper

The National Organization For Marriage's president is so wrapped up in his own faithful motivations that he cannot understand that our fight is one for *CIVIL* marriage equality. In his egocentric view, we equality advocates must also be following some sort of "orthodoxy" and employing "dogmatism" when we tell him, from our multi and varied perspectives, that he doesn't have the right to use his personal religion to deny civil marriage licenses:

201402071341"You see, this radical agenda is its own kind of "orthodoxy" and dogmatism, and doesn't brook competition: it is intolerant of any "heresy" and insists on either converting or condemning absolutely — with no room for negotiation. Humanity, as made in God's image, "male and female," will be remade according to their own imaginings — genderless, sexless, role less — and the meaning of marriage written on our hearts will be scribbled over with nonsense. In their minds, it's as if the Creator made marriage to cause harm to gays and lesbians and to punish them with a cruel attack on their basic human dignity. It does not ever occur to them that marriage is a profound public good that greatly benefits men and women, and especially their children."

—NOM's Brian Brown, in a message where he brushes aside the UN's report on the Vatican's handling of sex abuse so that he can yet again diminish LGBT people and our families

"In God's image"? "The Creator made marriage"? "The meaning of marriage written on our hearts"? Those are personal beliefs driven by theology, not civil rights arguments grounded in constitutional law!

It's seriously like we're having two completely different conversations. Brian is talking about canon law, Catholic ordained marriage, and religious ceremonies, which marriage equality advocates are not making any effort to shape or alter in any way. We are simply saying that this personal choice to follow the Catholic church does not give him the personal license to force that view on everyone else. Period. End of conversation. It's not up for debate. Stop it.

And if he's not willing to stop making it all about the Creator, then Brian can at least hand over his own state-granted marriage license. You know, since his tax and estate planning benefits apparently flow from God and God alone.

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