RECENT  POSTS:  » Indiana legislature, Gov. Pence awaken a fierce, powerful, anti-discrimination giant » Eleven Republican US Sens. give anti-gay conservatives a taste of a near and less divisive future » NOM proudly touts #March4Marriage backers who believe homosexuality 'should be treated by society as immoral, dangerous perversion' » Video: Gee, with compelling videos like this one, I just can't imagine why the anti-gay right is losing in court » #TBT: Even after legal equality, Americans—and particularly religious Americans—struggle to accept certain marriages » Indiana threatens its commerce, tourism dollars, reputation, general welfare of its citizenry » Video: AFA prez expounds on organization's movement-destructive ad by adding even more religious fervor » NOM resorts to blatant lying in its 2015 #March4Marriage materials » NOM coalition partner: America will fall unless you March For Marriage » AFA helps SCOTUS see that opposition to *civil* marriage equality is all about religious fervor  


NOM coalition partner: America will fall unless you March For Marriage

by Jeremy Hooper

This comes from the Coalition of African American Pastors, an affiliate of the National Organization For Marriage:

Owennom-2 This scripture sums up the condition of America today; there is no new thing under the sun, and all nations eventually end up at the same end of the road when they choose to disregard the divine laws of God. The historical specter of what a fallen nations looks like can been seen throughout the pages of history; and history proves that when spiritual corruption and lawlessness are permeating a nation it will fall. The nations of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Mede-Persia, Greece, and Rome all testify to the divine judgment of God—history cannot be denied.
Today America is following in the tradition of these nations, which is evidenced by ‘lawlessness’ that prevails from the highest court in the land! ...
The war to keep faith and family strong remains our priority. At CAAP we work against the odds to make a difference in our nation. Nonetheless, there are exciting things ahead for CAAP. We want you to join us at this year’s March for Marriage April 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The march was moved to coincide with the Supreme Court case, and we're looking to bring even more of our friends, partners, and engaged youth to the event.

But let's be fair, folks. When years go by and God doesn't destroy America for embracing fifty-state equality, I'm sure these characters are all going to offer us their sincerest of apologies for the psychological torment that they willfully perpetuated. Right?

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AFA helps SCOTUS see that opposition to *civil* marriage equality is all about religious fervor

by Jeremy Hooper

The American Family Association has placed this unwittingly helpful ad in The Washington Post:


Well that'd weird, AFA. Because I'm pretty sure that couples wanting to enter into a civil marriage (i.e. the only thing we're talking about here) must obtain paperwork from the state before they can do so. Yet humans aren't allowed to weigh in on that which humans must carry out in order for them to be legally recognized? Only God gets to have a say on a civil institution with no religious requirement attached to it? The judiciary gets no role, at least unless and until God gets His own seat on the high court?

It's just so ludicrous. These are not serious ideas for serious people. Even Scalia would have to scoff.

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Video: Did this Texas 'biblical marriage' rally assemble least diverse crowd in recorded human history?

by Jeremy Hooper

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About those children of fractured families who keep blaming same-sex parenting for their issues...

by Jeremy Hooper

Divorce is hard. From what I understand, at least. Both my and my husband's parents have been happily married for around fifty years, and Andrew and I have a marriage solid enough to make even the toughest rocks jealous. I'm privileged to have avoided being directly touched by such separation, but I've certainly been around divorce enough to know that it can be a difficult thing for both the couple and their children.

It's not an insurmountable difficulty, obviously. Millions of families have weathered divorce in a way where everyone has come out well. In the best case scenarios, the couple finds a way to reshape their relationship into one of friends and coparents, and both remain ever-committed to however many children they brought into this world together. But there are also the other situations where new partners and old resentments lead to strife, or other scenarios where one person leaves the picture altogether. Then there are the other cases still where the process is sometimes painful, but the choice to separate is still the best (or only) option for all involved. Because divorce is not only hard, but often complicated.

Unknown-20Heather Barwick knows the pain of divorce. She writes about it on The Federalist and previously spoke about it in a Christian magazine.

Unknown-1-2Katy Faust felt pain from her biological parents' divorce. She's written about it many times.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 At 1.29.46 Pm
Robert Oscar Lopez has turned his parents divorce and subsequent parental structure into a cottage industry of commentary and activism.

BA Newmark (who assumes the pseudonym of "Rivka Edelman") bemoans her parents divorce in the 1970s.

Dawn-StefanowiczDawn Stefanowicz describes a broken marriage that doesn't seem to have culminated in divorce, but one that did involve outside sexual partners for both parents, sexual abuse at the hand of her father, and a marriage that was doomed from the get-go.

They all have the right to express themselves. Divorce, remarriage, step parenting, infidelity, and particularly sexual abuse—it can all be difficult. And life altering. And worthy of adult reflection.

But unfortunately all five of these individuals, working together as a collective that Lopez has masterminded, have gone beyond pontificating on their own broken structures and have committed acts of intellectual malpractice. All five have taken their own personal stories, which are all defined by bad breaks and neglect and hardship, and misapplied them to same-sex parenting. While not a one of them can fairly say that their lives would be better off if their biological parent(s) divorced and entered into new opposite-sex unions rather than same-sex one, they all go ahead and demand that the homosexuality that entered their lives in carrying capacities is undeniably at root for much anguish—anguish that they must now banish. They write letters against same-sex parenting. The fill conservative outlets with commentary pieces that are often downright nasty (and often mention me by name). They file friend of the court briefs at various levels, and at least some of them have already announced plans to file at the US Supreme Court. And they are doing all this because all five personally want to stop civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Now let's talk about another story. My story. My husband and I started discussing children when we were twenty-three and twenty-five years old, respectively. It was on our second date, at a random diner in Queens, when Andrew and I admitted that we both hoped to be parents someday. We both agreed that adoption was something we had always favored, as we both felt some sort of cosmic draw to the idea that we, both nurturers through an through, were on this overpopulated planet to share our love and commitment with at least some of the many in need. At a time and an age when most of our peers in NYC were focusing on more immediate and playful things, Andrew and I were committing our lives not to just each other, but to also a third (at least).

For the next decade, parenting conversation was always part of our day-to-day life. When we passed Manhattan boutiques, we talked about styles that we preferred for the infant and toddler set. When invited to kids' birthday parties (and there were many), we were the first to jump in the ball pit with the kids, partly because doing so is hella fun, but also because we were on a bit of a trial run of the whole parenting thing. Even well before we were ready to start the process, we would grab spare hours to research adoption and parenting and child rearing and everything else that we knew to be in our future. When it comes to family planning, few have done more than us.

Once we decided to move forward in the adoption process, our commitment was put to the test as fully as it could be. Anyone who has had experience with adoption knows that the process requires potential adoptive parents to open up every aspect of their lives. From financial statements to medical histories to background checks to multiple visits from social workers, our parental fitness was put through every kind of ringer. I couldn't have been any prouder when the judge deemed us "highly qualified." I also couldn't help but think how much every potential parent and child could benefit from a process that puts the relationship and the commitment to the test in such a full and focused way.

Our profile apparently stood out, because we matched in record time. And once we did match with a birth family (after said family first met with a whopping thirty-two other couples), we went into preparatory overdrive. We chatted with the birth mom near-nightly on the phone, and despite the several states separating us, we even made it to more than a few prenatal doctor visits. Crucially, we spent much quality time discussing wants and desires and reasons behind the adoption plan. And when back at home in NYC, Andrew and I put almost all of our summer plans on hold so that we could "nest." We outfitted our home with every last need (and more than a few superfluous-but-adorable items), read every parenting book that Amazon review told us might be beneficial, selected our at-home care team (pediatrician, eye doctor, specialists, etc.), and readjusted our minds as fully as two can without knowing the many unknowables that come with parenting. Nothing that was in our control was left to chance or whim.

On the day of birth, we were blessed to be in the delivery room. I cut the cord. Andrew held her first. We took turns giving her her first bottle. Other than the ultimate parental decision that led us to the most amazing and fulfilling path our lives could ever take us on, no one has ever made a parental decision for Savannah other than Andrew or myself. And this was all at the birth mother's staunch and repeated request. She wanted Savannah to have two committed and doting parents from her very first breath of life, and we were more humbled and more grateful than I could ever put into words to oblige her wishes.

This continued commitment defines how we now live. I scaled back my consulting work so that I could dedicate the bulk of my weekday hours here in this relatively short season of my life toward the bonding and education and general wellbeing of my precious little one. Andrew spends every available second prior and following work with baby girl, sucking up the precious moments that we both know will be all too fleeting. Savannah and I attend an early education program twice a week; Andrew and Savannah take swim classes every Sunday; we are starting foreign language this summer and classes at Alvin Ailey dance in the fall. Our plans are her plans; she is we, thus us.

Like all children's futures, Savannah's is a question mark. She will grow up with her own experiences. She will go through great high and (hopefully far fewer) B Herlju0Aarplmlows. She will have opinions (and by will, I mean already does!) and beliefs and feelings about the world and her place within it.

But one thing is certain: Savannah is being brought up in the world in the same way that millions of adoptive parents have so successfully done before. Savannah's parents were as-married-as-we-could-be for a decade before her birth, and legally married for over four years prior. She became a part of our family not only because an abundance of love and the resources to provide it, but also because of a wealth of intention. She was wanted before she was known; she was cared for well before we ever laid eyes on that gorgeous face or her that most beautiful first cry. She is a child of a well-functioning, highly committed, rock-solid, intact home. Her every (reasonable) want is met; her every last need takes priority over my or my husband's own needs combined.

It is not only the height of offense for these children of what they themselves describe as broken and beleaguered homes to equate their experiences in the latter party of the twentieth century with childhoods like the one that my kid and countless others will know. I want to repeat that millions of children come from homes touched by fragmentation, and they very much thrive, whether in spite, because, or simply apart from it. But this sort of story is not the story that Lopez and Barwick and Faust and "Edelman" and these so-called "children of gays" are trying to sell in order to undermine gay equality. These activists are described deep wounds that informed a Pandora's Box of negatives. And they are misapplying these wounds to situations that aren't even on the same planet as the ones they are describing.

If these conservative activists (many of whom are driven by personal faith) insist on making this their mission for the next few months, then any credible media outlets that run their stories without noting the real fractures at the center of them is operating with disturbing negligence and a rank irresponsibility for their profession. Many of these people despise me in a very weird, obsessive, and often slanderous way [and I mean that literally; I've been advised to file suit against Robert Oscar Lopez for the many times he's made supposedly factual claims about things I've never done (and would never do)], but I can take those slings and arrows. I couldn't care less about them, frankly.

What I do care about is what these activists are trying to do to countless good people and many good homes as they target not only the rights but also they psyches of both the adults and the children who reside within them. It's one of the ugliest developments I've witnessed in my over ten years of doing this kind of work. To me, it sounds like all of these adult children need to step away from the misguided activism and find real help overcoming the heartbreak that came from the fracturing in their lives. Divorce is hard. From what I understand, at least.

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Ha! NOM uses ad for a desk to represent president's real office

by Jeremy Hooper

This is the header from the National Organization For Marriage's latest action alert:

Nom-Email-Header-Retina Desk

Cook office! Sleek. Modern. With the times.

Only thing? It's not Brian's office. Although it could be if he wants to pay the Executive Desk Company they nearly four thousand dollars they are asking in the ad from which NOM grabbed this graphic:

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 At 12.37.17 Pm

I mean, I know times must be hard over there at NOM. But I would presume Brian at least still has furniture in his office. Right?

One more funny thing: Notice they blurred out the Apple logo on the laptop. Guess NOM can't support a company (and company head) that so proudly and strongly repudiates everything for which they stand. And by "stand," I think I mean that in the figurative sense. But who knows, since NOM's president doesn't necessarily have a real desk.

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Idaho House makes a mockery of legislature, targets judiciary

by Jeremy Hooper

If you can't beat 'em, just end their careers:

IDAHO: House Votes To Impeach Any Judge That Rules For Same-Sex Marriage [J.M.G.]

If this were to pass into law, there is no way it could hold up under legal scrutiny. You can't just impeach judges because they make a constitutionally sound decision with which you and your faith-based fervor personally disagree. And in fact, keep such fervor off of the fair application of the law—and particularly when it applies to minority populations who have been subjugated by majority tyranny—is kind of the role of the judiciary.

But we are dealing with oppositional forces whose options are now as limited as their willing to understand that which they fear. I guess desperate times call for bills that make mockeries of legislatures.

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Org that infamously vowed to 'drive wedge between gays and blacks' equates marriage rulings with slavery

by Jeremy Hooper

I've lost count of how many social conservative commentators, many of whom are clearly working off of some sort of coordinated intra-movement script (yes, they have those), have made the truly heinous logic leap of connecting the infamous Dred Scott decision with the US Supreme Court's potential ruling granting fifty-state marriage equality (see here and here and here). But somehow the National Organization For Marriage's attempt to connect the expansion of freedom for a minority population to the cruel denial thereof—complete with eighteen fundraising links—manages to be somehow more disgusting than the others:

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Imagine the barbaric nature of the logic used and the opinion adopted: a person, a certain type of person, is a piece of property who can be owned, traded, bought and sold. Whether man or woman, no matter where born this type of person could not be considered a citizen and an act of Congress adopted to protect them was invalid.

The type of person involved was African American, whether free or slave, and the decision is the infamous
Dred Scott v. Sanford decision. We mark the 158th anniversary of this unimaginable decision by the US Supreme Court this month.

The Dred Scott decision was wrong on so many levels that it’s difficult to cover them all in this email. But the most important thing to realize about the decision is that it ignored both natural law and the principles of the American founding to impose a political ideology on the country.

Does that ring a bell for you with anything in the news today?

Some people think that the US Supreme is the final arbiter of controversial topics — whether slavery or marriage — and we must accept whatever they decide.
Avoiding Dred Scott[NOM]

I'm not sure if the anti-gay movement is deliberately seeking that one nasty element that will really make their team seem that much nastier when future documentarians start assembling their inevitable films on this fight. But whether they are or they aren't, they seem to have found it in this truly disgusting Dred Scott talking point. It's a new low, even for a movement that has spent so much time in the rhetorical basement.


*Oh, and in case you don't know what I'm talking about in the headline: NOM admitted, in strategy documents that they never wanted the public to see, that their whole game plan is based around dividing gays and blacks:


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NOM cofounder Maggie Gallagher proposes new org: NORL

by Jeremy Hooper

Claiming that she and her "traditional marriage" supporters are a minority group and bemoaning that "big business" is coming out strongly against the so-called "religious liberty" (i.e. license to discriminate) bills that are emerging in conservative-led legislatures across the nation, National Organization For Marriage cofounder Maggie Gallagher is now saying that her team needs to start a new National Organization For Religious Liberty. Explains Maggie:

We need a national organization that spends money on federal elections to pass new workplace protections for traditional believers.
The great lesson social conservatives need to learn from our losses in the gay marriage fight—and there are many of them—is that we aren’t a politically organized minority group yet. But we had better become one. You aren’t a politically organized unless and until you have organizations that can affect elections directly, by summoning foot soldiers for the ground game and money for the air war. We do not yet have a single social conservative group that operates in this space, except the Susan B. Anthony List on abortion. I do not know that S.B. 129 is a particularly effective bill. I know the difficulty passing it in a state like Georgia is a sign of our times. We need effective, thrifty, disciplined political organizations which will help local groups message, but which will fight primarily federally.
We Need a National Organization for Religious Liberty [Pulse]

Such nerve. Maggie talks about how her side's losses in the marriage fight are many, yet she fails to acknowledge how instrumental she herself was in leading her team to these losses. She was front and center in the "traditional marriage" strategy. And yes, she created a national organization for marriage that is just like the one she is describing now. And it all failed. Why are her movement's funders supposed to trust her now?!

This is total deja vu. Maggie's pitch here sounds just like the pitches I heard her giving back around 2007 when she was trying to sell the idea behind NOM and was so busily putting her rights on the ballot. That all failed because the underlying idea was unconstitutional. These "religious freedom" bills would ultimately meet the same fate. Please, America, don't force LGBT activists to say "we told you so!" twice. We have a chance to save a lot of time, resources, money, and goodwill.

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