The Minnesota House and Senate recently approved a referendum on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The question would go to the ballot 18 months from now in 2012. The state already prohibits gay marriage by statute, but proponents of the amendment claim this is necessary to prevent the law from ever being overturned – although, as the Proposition 8 ruling has shown, these amendments are far from invulnerable.
Realistically, it’s a pretty sure bet that this will be approved, given that such laws have always passed every single time they’ve been put on the ballot in 31 states. That’s just what happens when minority rights are put to a majority vote: they’re no longer protected and irrevocable as rights are meant to be, but treated as mere privileges to be given or taken away at will by the straight majority. And while the gap is gradually closing, as demonstrated by the turnout in California and Maine, I wouldn’t count on it.
So, over the next 18 months, yet another state will be embroiled in a hateful and vicious campaign against gay couples. Here’s what we can expect to see: The public will be told over and over that gay people are a threat to their children. Millions of dollars will be wasted by both sides on something that shouldn’t even be an issue to begin with. The vote will end in a shameful stain on the history of Minnesota, followed by unending court battles. Wasn’t this a great idea?
The National Organization for Marriage, which typically leads these anti-marriage efforts, has already gotten involved, partnering with the Minnesota Family Council on their “Minnesota for Marriage” campaign. Jeremy Hooper at the Good As You blog took note of some literature provided on the MFC’s website. In one of their publications, which offers “Informed Answers to Gay Rights Arguments”, they state that the gay population includes “a disproportionate number of pedophiles.” They further claim that “some homosexuals” engage in bestiality, as well as “ingesting urine and feces”. Now there’s a uniquely ambiguous phrase: “some homosexuals”. Do they mean to say there aren’t some heterosexuals who do that? Their source for this is none other than the discredited works of Paul Cameron and his Family Research Institute.
Now, it may come as a surprise, but the National Organization for Marriage often claims to focus solely on marriage. They’ve tried to maintain a respectable image of only being concerned with preserving marriage as something special between a man and a woman. According to their own talking points, it’s all about “redefining” marriage – the benefits that come with it are a separate issue entirely. As they put it, “Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose”. So, what would they say about working with an organization that accuses gay people of pedophilia, bestiality, and “ingesting urine and feces”? Is this the kind of message that they would endorse? Is that something they’d like to be known for?
I think we should ask them. Do chairman Maggie Gallagher and president Brian Brown agree with these claims? What do they think of the Minnesota Family Council’s accusation that gay people are “ingesting urine and feces”? I’d really like to know where they stand on this. Will they try to distance themselves from these statements, or are they willing to get behind this? We want answers here. Is there no filth too vile for them to eat up? Let’s find out.