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04/08/2014

NOM's Thomas Peters called us 'forces of evil' (and much more)—but we're the ones damaging discourse?

by Jeremy Hooper

Thomas Peters has spent the past few years working for the National Organization For Marriage, where the sole purpose is to deny gay people of deserved civil rights.

Thomas Peters has advocated for what was described as "a 12 step program" for homosexuality.

Thomas Peters has declared that Gay Straight Alliances "promote behaviors that hurt the human person."

Tipping his hand to what he sees as the endgame, Thomas has determined that what he calls "the homosexual agenda" cannot "coexist peacefully" with biblical Christianity.

Thomas Peters refers to equality activists as "the forces of evil"

And more.

But never mind all of that advocacy designed to create a culture hostile to LGBT rights and LGBT people. According to Thomas, it's LGBT activists who have fought in support of our lives—all of us, regardless of how we engage—who have supposedly created a hostile culture. In fact, Thomas says we—and again, that's all of us, in general, lumped in a same box—have created "a generation of little monsters":

What liberal activists who favor redefining marriage forget is that words have consequences. When they go around claiming their opponents are “bigots” and “haters”, their own supporters hear these words and proceed to act upon them accordingly.

Especially the young. Saying that young people are impressionable isn’t a cliché, it’s true. Adults and thought leaders on the left, in academia and in the media, have forfeited their responsibility to lead by example and tone down the rhetoric around the marriage issue.

What they’ve done is create a generation of little monsters. Young men and women who really do see in people like Brendan Eich, hatred and bigotry akin to a pro-segregationist racist. They believe what they’ve been taught by their elders and act upon the rhetoric they’ve heard from the media. The core of this protest began at the dating website OKCupid. That tells you a lot about the average age of the people who were signing protests and sending emails.

Now people like Andrew Sullivan and Bill Maher are acting surprised and dismayed over what happened to Mr. Eich.

But that’s what happens when they create little monsters, they can’t control them, but they are responsible for their actions.

FULL: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRENDAN EICH’S FIRING? THEY ALL ARE. WE ALL ARE. [Catholic Vote]

I mean, look, I know Thomas would have preferred we LGBT people just lie down and take his idea that homosexuality and murder are "sins" worth mentioning in the same breath ("If I murder someone, that makes me a murderer. But my action to murder, we know as Christians, is not the last word in my life. There is forgiveness, even of murder, and certainly of homosexual acts. The tens of thousands of chaste people with homosexual inclinations is proof of this."). But some of us disagree. Some of us believe that he is wrong and, at times, quite offensive. While we 100% support his right to speak, pray, and advocate, we don't support his right to suppress rights—which he has been doing FOR A JOB. FOR A LIVING. FOR A PAYCHECK. He has been creating a culture that threatens my real life human family in a very real world (as in earth, not heaven) sense. I would never do that to Thomas or his family. NEVER. I can't even fathom it.

I have advocated for my view and against Thomas' for nearly a decade, and I never use words like "bigot" or "hater." I also don't seek a world that negatively impacts Thomas' day-to-day life his marriage, or his civil rights in any way (and I mean a real way, not a NOM-talking-point-way). He does seek negative impacts for me, my husband, and my kid, and he does, in fact, resort to a really vicious tone from time to time. And let's remember: there is only a fight because his "side" determined they had to "culture war" against rather than naturally accept a certain population of human beings. This is one time where a childish "they started it!" seems almost appropriate. Because they did.

But that said, I'm not going to accuse Thomas of turning otherwise good people into monsters. I'll leave the ad hominem attacks to him; I'll continue to take my deserved rights and freedom.

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*Oh, and Brendan Eich wasn't fired—he resigned. And no national LGBT group led the charge against him. It was an organic, online-driven, grassroots effort made up of people from all walks of life. Many of us who work in LGBT rights weren't even aware of it until pretty late in the game.

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