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04/08/2014

On 'thought policing,' NOM makes for terrible warden

by Jeremy Hooper

The National Organization For Marriage has determined that Dan Cathy, who said that gays bring God's judgement; Phil Robertson, who made comments equating homosexuality with bestiality; and Brendan Eich, who donated to the highly discriminatory and ultimately unconstitutional Proposition 8, then faced grassroots (read: not LGBT-rights-group-driven) opposition that ultimately led him to resign (read: he made the choice to step down) from his company, are all three the victims of LGBT-driven "thought policing." NOM even has a handy graphic:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 At 11.36.12 Am
[NOM]

Only thing? It's really NOM that is doing a much more heightened form of policing!

The fact is that all three of these situations arose organically. I know that's not how the narrative has ultimately been spun, but it is the truth. In all three, the person at the center of the controversy said or did something (or a number of somethings) that was controversial, people caught wind of those words and/or actions, and people responded the way human beings are designed to do. All three men had the complete and unfettered right to engage the way they did, and no one on the LGBT rights side sought otherwise. They said and did what they did, free from any and all government interference, and then citizens rose up and responded in the varied ways they did (e.g. with wallets, with board room discussion, with TV viewership, etc.) because people had strong opinions about the situations. This is true on all sides of the discussions.

But NOM and allies have created this truly bizarre world where they've turned criticism of their view into suppression and have spun scrutiny of their movement into some sort of un-American act. NOM is of course free to ban, bar, provoke, condemn, and prod LGBT people for political gain and personal profit, but then NOM portrays people as "bullies" if they stand up against anti-LGBT words or actions. They talk about "free speech" all the time but, in a selfish, disingenuous, and truly anti-intellectual turn, they take any speech that pushes back against their agenda off the table of acceptability. NOM turns LGBT people who stand up for our lives—the same lives, let me remind you, that NOM exists only so it can marginalize and limit—into jailers; NOM pretends those who reject LGBT rights into the "victims."

It's NOM's view that is trying to limit speech! Wherever you stand in the Chick-fil-A, Duck Dynasty, or Mozilla situations, all three are examples of speech playing out in the public sphere—good, bad, and otherwise. What NOM really hates is that, increasingly, those of us who stand for the pro-equality view are winning out. They hate the fact that they are losing, which is the real reason why they are trying to portray their shrinking stranglehold on public opinion into some sort of criminalization.

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**Oh, and let me remind you that NOM is now actively boycotting Mozilla, making it the first national organization on either side of the LGBT rights conversation to make that choice. NOM has also waged (failed) boycotts against Starbucks, General Mills, T-Mobile, and others. So spare me this "thought policing" nonsense.

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