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06/23/2014

Non–New Yorker Brian Brown proves he knows nothing about state he hopes to make more discriminatory

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 At 2.05.50 PmNew York has marriage equality. Every single poll at the time of New York passing its marriage equality act showed New Yorkers supporting the law; that figure has surely only gone up in the subsequent three years.

Now check out what Brian Brown has to say about Republican Congressman Richard Hanna, an upstate New Yorker who supports marriage equality and who NOM is hoping to knock out in tomorrow's GOP primary:

"Richard Hanna has abandoned Republican principles and is a foe of New York families. He wants to redefine marriage and has refused to allow voters a say on this critical issue. He's also militantly pro-abortion," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. [NOM]

I'll leave abortion out of this. If NOM wants to pull its focus from its single issue roots, then that's on NOM (Brian actually uses the phrase "kill innocent children" to attack Hanna). I'll stay focused on the LGBT rights mission on which this site has always focused.

The fact of the matter is that my fellow New Yorkers support families like mine. Moreover, New Yorkers understand that supporting same-sex marriage, gay-headed families, and our children doesn't come at the expense of other family forms. It certainly doesn't make the supporter "a foe of New York families," like Brian Brown so disgustingly claims.

And then on marriage: Again, New York same-sex couples already have state and federal marriage rights, if they want them. My Manhattan-based husband and I have every single right that our straight counterparts have. So there is no "want" in terms of what Brian Brown calls "redefining marriage," and what Richard Hanna and the rest of us call supporting basic fairness. It's a done deal here. The marriage equality law could not be less of an issue in the Empire State. Even conservative Republicans don't want to touch it. New York is better for its expansion of marriage rights, and a great bipartisan majority of New Yorkers know this firsthand.

NOM talks like we are still living in the late '90s or something. The world continues to move—and fast—but NOM remains stuck in the discriminatory past. It's one part hubris, with Brian and his buddies refusing to admit that they have lost and lost very, very, very hard for the past handful of years. It's another part smoke and mirrors, with Brian trying desperately to convince just enough supporters to continue to keep the sinking ship that is NOM afloat for just a little bit longer. It's every part damaging—particularly to those within the Republican party who recognize that clocks do, in fact, run forward and that truly terrible special interest groups actually can do great harm to a larger body.

***

*UPDATE: Here's the mailer NOM sent to NY-22 voters:

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 At 2.37.27 Pm

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