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Anti-gays respond to Jersey milestone; unfortunately, 'mazel tov' not response

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images Jerseyequal-3In a piece in which they react to yesterday's official legalization of civil unions in New Jersey, Focus on the Family today features the following passage:

Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said gay activists are not satisfied with "just getting benefits."

What they want is total acceptance of their lifestyle," he told CitizenLink. "The only way they can get total acceptance is if they can redefine marriage so that it is no longer gender-specific."

The move comes as no surprise. Caleb H. Price, an issues analyst for Focus on the Family, said the New Jersey campaign is part of a national strategy mapped out last year.

Basically gay activists are saying openly what we have said all along they were saying," Price said. "They will settle for nothing less than a full-fledged redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples."

Right, okay. But here's the thing -- gay activists are not "saying openly what ["pro-family activists] have said all along they were saying." Instead, gay activists are continuing to say what we've always said, which is: We will not rest until we receive the full equality that we demand and deserve! Those cards are fully on the table, and we're not afraid of who sees them. On the contrary, we're quite hopeful that the whole of society will start paying attention to what we're saying, as our message in a form unadulterated by conservative, "pro-family" spin, is one that is undeniably righteous!

Mr. Price makes it sounds like his team had us found out years ago, and that it is only now that we are revealing our "marriage-destroying" hand. That's so he can make it sound like our marriage-seeking endeavors are part of some dark, insidious agenda that we've hidden from the public at large. The actuality, however, is that we've been craving marriage for years, and in some cases, decades. Some communities and folks have only heard about it for the past few because it was only then that the issue was pushed to the forefront, giving some their first public exposure to gay people! Then when those like Mr. Price started pushing for marriage bans under the guise of "marriage protection," we gays were forced to come out in even stronger numbers to try and stem the tide of misinformed, uncivil discrimination. Our message, however, has remained what it has always been: We will not rest until we receive the full equality that we demand and deserve!

Later in the piece, FOF again quotes New Jersey Family Policy Council head Len Deo, who this time asserts:

"People do understand what marriage is, and what it's about," Deo said. "The problem is, once you remove a part of marriage by replacing one gender, then it is no longer redefining the institution -- it is actually destroying it."

Which might be semi-sound logic if same-sex marriage legalization would, in fact, "replace one gender." However, unless we've been grossly misinformed, the word "replace" actually means to substitute a person or thing for another. Contrary to popular "pro-family" belief, legalized gay marriage does not mean that we gays will spend our weekends attending heterosexual ceremonies, where we'll proceed to knock out and take the place of the marrying party whose gender is different from our own. Instead, legalized gay marriage means that to the definition of marital acceptability, we will simply ADD the capacity for a same-sex couple to get hitched. In these "pro-family" activists' hearts and mindss they must realize this, as the concept is quite elementary. However, their straw-grasping talking points will not allow them to speak in truthful terms, as such factuality would lead us gay folks down the aisle in no time flat.

We're surely years away from the time when our opposition will drop the baseless idea that gays are somehow seeking to subvert, not merely participate in, the institution of marriage. So since they seem unwilling to drop the duplicitous lines, we must continue to challenge and correct every last ounce of their misguided rhetoric. As long as they're going to throw stones at our lives and loves, we must rise up in protest. And we will do so using the battle cry that will now and forever steer us in the right direction: We will not rest until we receive the full equality that we demand and deserve!

So congrats, Jersey society, on your new step towards parity! However, we can't wait -- and we sincerely, unapologetically hope you're listening "pro-family" folks -- until full marriage equality heads down the turnpike!

Civil Unions Not Enough for New Jersey Gays [FOF CitizenLink]

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