Not fair? NOT FAIR?

Thomas Peters, cultural director of the National Organization for Marriage and self-styled “American Papist”, recently whined a bit about the latest victories for marriage equality:

And that’s all we’re looking for is an even fight, and every place where it’s been an even fight, where we’ve had as many resources, as much chance to get our message out, people have protected marriage every time. I don’t think we could say that any of these four fights were a fair one.

Well, let’s talk a little bit about what’s fair. Does it sound fair for a nation full of devout, conservative Christians to use their homophobic faith as grounds to strip secular, civil equal rights from a 3% minority? Does it seem fair for that anti-gay movement to do this, repeatedly and successfully over the course of decades, while almost no one else is willing to fight back for this minority’s rights? Does that track record look like one of a movement that was lacking in resources, or opportunities to get their message out? Is this a movement that’s been deprived of a fair shot at achieving their political goals? Please.

And do you really think it’s at all likely that NOM would find this an acceptable and plausible excuse by the proponents of equality for the last 32 times we lost at the ballot box? That the fight was not “fair”, true as that may be? No. They would not accept that at all. They’ve spent the past decade telling us that the people’s vote is the final word on our rights. It didn’t matter how unfair the fight was. It didn’t matter how just our cause was. Without that popular support, we lost. Period. This was something they harped on endlessly – that we could never get the public on the side of marriage equality, and we just had to accept our losses and get over it.

Yet they would now claim that the formerly all-important people’s vote no longer matters. Now, they aren’t quite so willing to uphold referenda as the last word on gay rights. Where we were supposed to take our hits, getting over it is just about the last thing on their minds. Coincidentally, their stance just happened to change when they lost four times in one night. Why? The difference is that while we knew we would have to get the public on our side for this to happen, they seem to have become comfortable with the assumption that they’re simply entitled to public support for their legal homophobia. And when that ceased to be reflected in the popular vote, they suddenly cry that the game they’ve been playing without complaint for years must now be rigged – because, as they see it, they’re never supposed to lose.

But who on earth could look at results that now stand at 32 to 4, and seriously argue that this fight was unfair to the ones who had their way 32 times? Only the blindly self-righteous egotists of the religious right.

Not fair? NOT FAIR?
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NOM speaker explains his homosexuality/incest parallels: “Too much sameness”

Robert Gagnon, professor of theology and speaker for the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, recently explained one of his anti-gay arguments on Facebook:

When I compare homosexual practice to incest it is primarily to make the point that if we are opposed to the latter we should also be opposed to the former, since both involve a union of persons who are too much alike on a structural (formal, embodied) level: too much sameness as regards kinship (incest) or gender (homosexual practice), not enough complementary otherness.

Next up on the chopping block: marriages of white people, Christians, and partners who both prefer salty snacks over sweet. Not enough complementary otherness!

NOM speaker explains his homosexuality/incest parallels: “Too much sameness”

NOM speaker explains his homosexuality/incest parallels: "Too much sameness"

Robert Gagnon, professor of theology and speaker for the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, recently explained one of his anti-gay arguments on Facebook:

When I compare homosexual practice to incest it is primarily to make the point that if we are opposed to the latter we should also be opposed to the former, since both involve a union of persons who are too much alike on a structural (formal, embodied) level: too much sameness as regards kinship (incest) or gender (homosexual practice), not enough complementary otherness.

Next up on the chopping block: marriages of white people, Christians, and partners who both prefer salty snacks over sweet. Not enough complementary otherness!

NOM speaker explains his homosexuality/incest parallels: "Too much sameness"

NOM cultural director: “The church doesn’t believe in gay and lesbian people”, just… gay and lesbian people

Carlos Maza recently went undercover at the National Organization for Marriage’s student “leadership” conference, and uncovered a treasure trove of religious hate and pseudoscientific ignorance. In addition to claims that gay relationships are “inherently unstable”, repeated citations of the debunked Regnerus study, and blanket dismissal of LGBT websites because they have gay hook-up and pet grooming ads, Maza heard this bizarre idea from NOM’s cultural director, Thomas Peters:

When it comes to “gay” and “lesbian,” my personal view, and I think Dr. Morse has a more optimistic and stronger view than I do on this one in terms of the adjective question, I largely tend to think that if the adjective question, if the descriptor question becomes a distraction from the point you’re trying to make, it’s hard to fight that one. And so, as a Catholic, the church doesn’t believe in gay and lesbian people, per se, in the way they do. “Born that way,” all this kind of stuff. What they believe is there are people born with deep-seated same-sex attraction. So as a Catholic a term which I use is SSA, same-sex attraction, and if you look at, it’s also with people who have moven [sic] out of the gay lifestyle into saying “I was a person and am a person with same-sex attraction.”

You see, it’s not that people are born attracted to the same sex. It’s just that they’re born with attractions to the same sex. Nobody is actually born being attracted to the same sex, except when they are. They’re not “born that way”, but they are born that way. Huge difference. Thanks for the explanation, NOM!

 

NOM cultural director: “The church doesn’t believe in gay and lesbian people”, just… gay and lesbian people

NOM cultural director: "The church doesn't believe in gay and lesbian people", just… gay and lesbian people

Carlos Maza recently went undercover at the National Organization for Marriage’s student “leadership” conference, and uncovered a treasure trove of religious hate and pseudoscientific ignorance. In addition to claims that gay relationships are “inherently unstable”, repeated citations of the debunked Regnerus study, and blanket dismissal of LGBT websites because they have gay hook-up and pet grooming ads, Maza heard this bizarre idea from NOM’s cultural director, Thomas Peters:

When it comes to “gay” and “lesbian,” my personal view, and I think Dr. Morse has a more optimistic and stronger view than I do on this one in terms of the adjective question, I largely tend to think that if the adjective question, if the descriptor question becomes a distraction from the point you’re trying to make, it’s hard to fight that one. And so, as a Catholic, the church doesn’t believe in gay and lesbian people, per se, in the way they do. “Born that way,” all this kind of stuff. What they believe is there are people born with deep-seated same-sex attraction. So as a Catholic a term which I use is SSA, same-sex attraction, and if you look at, it’s also with people who have moven [sic] out of the gay lifestyle into saying “I was a person and am a person with same-sex attraction.”

You see, it’s not that people are born attracted to the same sex. It’s just that they’re born with attractions to the same sex. Nobody is actually born being attracted to the same sex, except when they are. They’re not “born that way”, but they are born that way. Huge difference. Thanks for the explanation, NOM!

 

NOM cultural director: "The church doesn't believe in gay and lesbian people", just… gay and lesbian people

NOM demands businesses stay “neutral” on marriage, then partners with anti-gay business

Last month, the National Organization for Marriage sent a letter to some of the largest corporations in Minnesota, demanding that they not oppose the state’s proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage:

As a cultural matter that has little to do with your corporate mission to serve customers, earn profits, and provide good jobs for the people of Minnesota we would request that _____ adopt a neutral stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. We do not request that you endorse our efforts to protect the age-old definition of what is a marriage, but only that you stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue. […]

Wading into a culture war over an issue where _____ has no business interest is to invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside.

And just to prove how important corporate neutrality is to them, NOM themselves have now partnered with a coffee company to raise money for fighting gay marriage:

This week we are proud to roll out Jitters and Bliss Coffee as a provider of excellent coffee that can be brewed with a clean conscience any time you want at home, at the office or at your church. […]

During the month of July Jitters and Bliss is offering a 5% discount to every customer who enters the promotional code “marriage”. A small portion of each purchase made also goes to support the National Organization for Marriage as we work to educate people and corporations on the importance of marriage to our society.

Wow, it’s almost as though Jitters and Bliss has failed to “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of their customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue” by “wading into a culture war over an issue where they have no business interest”. But not to worry – NOM assures us this still somehow constitutes neutrality:

Jitters and Bliss has not, as a corporation, taken a position in the debate over marriage. Just like every company, they have customers, employees, and vendors who hold personal views on what marriage ought to be. They are committed to honoring those views by maintaining a neutral corporate position on marriage.

There you have it: giving a portion of your proceeds to the National Organization for Marriage is ” a neutral corporate position on marriage”. Now that they’ve established this precedent, I fully expect that they will never object to any business that supports the HRC, Lambda Legal, or any other group working for marriage equality. That sounds realistic, right?

NOM demands businesses stay “neutral” on marriage, then partners with anti-gay business

NOM demands businesses stay "neutral" on marriage, then partners with anti-gay business

Last month, the National Organization for Marriage sent a letter to some of the largest corporations in Minnesota, demanding that they not oppose the state’s proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage:

As a cultural matter that has little to do with your corporate mission to serve customers, earn profits, and provide good jobs for the people of Minnesota we would request that _____ adopt a neutral stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. We do not request that you endorse our efforts to protect the age-old definition of what is a marriage, but only that you stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue. […]

Wading into a culture war over an issue where _____ has no business interest is to invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside.

And just to prove how important corporate neutrality is to them, NOM themselves have now partnered with a coffee company to raise money for fighting gay marriage:

This week we are proud to roll out Jitters and Bliss Coffee as a provider of excellent coffee that can be brewed with a clean conscience any time you want at home, at the office or at your church. […]

During the month of July Jitters and Bliss is offering a 5% discount to every customer who enters the promotional code “marriage”. A small portion of each purchase made also goes to support the National Organization for Marriage as we work to educate people and corporations on the importance of marriage to our society.

Wow, it’s almost as though Jitters and Bliss has failed to “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of their customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue” by “wading into a culture war over an issue where they have no business interest”. But not to worry – NOM assures us this still somehow constitutes neutrality:

Jitters and Bliss has not, as a corporation, taken a position in the debate over marriage. Just like every company, they have customers, employees, and vendors who hold personal views on what marriage ought to be. They are committed to honoring those views by maintaining a neutral corporate position on marriage.

There you have it: giving a portion of your proceeds to the National Organization for Marriage is ” a neutral corporate position on marriage”. Now that they’ve established this precedent, I fully expect that they will never object to any business that supports the HRC, Lambda Legal, or any other group working for marriage equality. That sounds realistic, right?

NOM demands businesses stay "neutral" on marriage, then partners with anti-gay business

Maggie Gallagher: “Sustaining civilization itself”

Maggie Gallagher on “Debating Same-Sex Marriage”:

I wish I had better news for you. It’s not everyone of course, but it’s many people trying to establish a new public norm that make the traditional, Biblical understanding of human reality the moral equivalent of racism.

Combining truth and love is not easy. But it is our job, no matter how difficult.

I hope you will read Debating Same-Sex Marriage and tell me what you think. (It’s a trade paperback, so just $11 on Amazon).

Share with me what you have learned—and what you need to know—about how to combine faithfulness to the truth with love, compassion and respect for human suffering.

We need each other for many reasons, but not least of all to prevent us from withering into the caricature that too many gay marriage advocates see. This is a great work, the work of sustaining civilization itself.

Maggie Gallagher: “Sustaining civilization itself”

Maggie Gallagher: "Sustaining civilization itself"

Maggie Gallagher on “Debating Same-Sex Marriage”:

I wish I had better news for you. It’s not everyone of course, but it’s many people trying to establish a new public norm that make the traditional, Biblical understanding of human reality the moral equivalent of racism.

Combining truth and love is not easy. But it is our job, no matter how difficult.

I hope you will read Debating Same-Sex Marriage and tell me what you think. (It’s a trade paperback, so just $11 on Amazon).

Share with me what you have learned—and what you need to know—about how to combine faithfulness to the truth with love, compassion and respect for human suffering.

We need each other for many reasons, but not least of all to prevent us from withering into the caricature that too many gay marriage advocates see. This is a great work, the work of sustaining civilization itself.

Maggie Gallagher: "Sustaining civilization itself"

NOM in panic after whistleblower leaks major donors: John Templeton, Knights of Columbus, Mitt Romney and more

Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage issued a press release calling for a federal investigation of the Human Rights Campaign and the Internal Revenue Service. This follows the publication last week of a portion of NOM’s 2008 tax return (PDF) provided to the Human Rights Campaign by a whistleblower. The document lists dozens of major donors from that year. NOM president Brian Brown now claims: “It’s clear that the tax return was stolen, either from NOM or from the government.”

While the majority of media attention has been focused on a $10,000 donation by Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America political action committee, much greater contributions were made by a number of other donors. The largest donation on the list was $450,000 from John Templeton, president of the John Templeton Foundation. The foundation is best known for its grants to scientists whose research supposedly demonstrates the compatibility of science and religious belief, and it’s been criticized for blurring the lines between science and religion. Another $100,000 was given by Josephine Templeton. John Templeton also donated $1.1 million to pass Proposition 8 in California.

$250,000 came from the Knights of Columbus, an organization for Catholic men which also gave $1.4 million to pass Proposition 8. An additional $25,000 came from the California State Council Knights of Columbus. $172,500 was donated by Terry Caster, the chairman of Caster Companies, which owns A-1 Self Storage. Another $83,700 was given by other members of the Caster family. The Caster family also donated nearly $700,000 to pass Proposition 8. $150,000 came from Michael Casey, president of the Delivery from Heaven Foundation in Rhode Island, whose purpose is “to make contributions to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations”. And $100,000 was given by Sean Fieler, chairman of NOM’s American Principles Project, which campaigned to keep the Guantanamo prison open.

These are only a handful of NOM’s donors, yet this one document dating from 2008 has them calling for a federal investigation. This is what they don’t want us to see: the people and organizations enabling them to take away the rights of American citizens. NOM and their donors wanted to deny us our equality with no accountability whatsoever, and increasingly, it looks like that’s not going to be so easy. So far, this hasn’t been a very good year for NOM. Let’s hope there’s a lot more where that came from.

NOM in panic after whistleblower leaks major donors: John Templeton, Knights of Columbus, Mitt Romney and more