Sunday, July 18, 2010

NOM's Tour Bus for Bigotry Hits Snags Along its Way...

The "impressive clergyman" in the movie "The Princess Bride" put it best when he said "Marwiage is what bwings us togewer ... today!" The irony is, that in the early days of the twenty-first century, marriage and all the issues that surround it, are exactly what is tearing many of us apart.    

The self-proclaimed "National Organization for Marriage" (NOM) is a group founded by evangelical nutjob Maggie Gallagher.

Her partner in bigotry, Brian Brown has embarked an a "National Tour" taking the NOM-mobile to various cities to rally "tens of thousands" in support of  "traditional marriage."

The tour has managed in fact, to attract  tens of  people, not quite thousands. Our good friends over at JoeMyGod have been covering the massive non-crowds that have greeted the hate-mobile at its various stops.  Most recently the folks over at NOM, have been somewhat distressed that at most every stop they make, protesters in favor of marriage equality outnumber the NOM supporters by nearly 2 to 1. As a result they have been tweeting furiously about how militant gays are trying to deny them their first amendment rights.

This past week in Rhode Island,  the good people of Providence decided they were tired of hearing Brown attack their lives, their loves and their families. So the people there in Providence exercised their own first amemendment rights in telling NOM to pack up their hate and get it out of their state. Brian Brown at NOM apparently thinks the first Amendment only applies to him,  and is still stomping his widdle feet about it on twitter, facebook and on NOM's own website. Apparently NOM isn't happy that freedom of speech goes both ways.

In their fundraising email blasts leading up to this Tour-de-Farce, NOM pleaded for money citing the need to "Defend Traditional Marriage". First, let's debunk the idea that banning same sex marriage is "defending marriage." How is the fact that two people are allowed to live in a stable, monogamous legally protected and, I might add, legally binding relationship in ANY way a threat to society? How is anyone's marriage harmed or even threatened by this?

It isn't. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that. 

Saying that letting two people of the same gender get married would in anyway "redefine" the marriages of heterosexuals, is the same thing as saying that equal rights for racial minorities would "redefine" being white. That argument is a smoke screen and a scare tactic and not even the real issue.

Second, the idea that "activist judges" are rewriting our laws circumventing the democratic process. This also is nonsense, very easily packaged nonsense, soundbyte-ready nonsense, but still nonsense. If in 1860 you had put emancipation to a popular vote, it would have failed. If in 1960 you had but integration to a popular vote it would have failed. For that matter if in 1776 you had but independence to a popular vote it would have failed.

The reason we have a judicial branch is balance of powers, remember that one from social studies? It's funny how those who are so upset about judicial usurping of democracy, don't consider someone who wants to bring religion in the courtroom with the Ten Commandments to be an "activist judge." 

And as far as these judges being "un-elected" who appointed them? Elected officials did. So the idea that judges striking down discrimination is undemocratic just doesn't wash. But this also is not really the issue. So what is the real issue here? It's truth. Or more the lack of it, in this debate over marriage.

First we need to say to those who claim we need to "defend marriage." Fine, let's talk about divorce then. Let's talk about adultery, let's talk about illegitimacy. Any group that claims to be defending marriage that doesn't address these issues is a sham,  they are bigots solely interested in denying equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans. Nothing more.

If opponents to gay marriage are serious about defending this sacred institution, then Divorce, a far greater threat to marriage needs to be much harder to get and easier to prevent. Adultery, a far greater threat to marriage needs to punishable by criminal prosecution. Fines and perhaps even jail time. Anyone who has a child out of wedlock should then by law be forced to marry the other parent. Or if they are already married legally adopt the child. (Strom Thurmond has never been so lucky to be dead.)

It is time that we call the self-proclaimed defenders of marriage what they are.

There is no difference between those who say marriage is sacred and must be defended agains "gay attack", and those who said racial integration was a threat to America . Wearing a cross necklace and going on TV to say Gays and Lesbians are unfit to raise children is no different from wearing a white hood, and standing in front of a burning cross and saying "the darkies are coming for your daughters."

Saying America must be defended against a radical gay agenda, saying books and movies that portray gay and lesbians in a positive light are dangerous, saying the media is controlled by a "gay Mafia". This is no different from those who 70 years ago posted signs saying "Deutshe! Wach Auf! Kauf nicht bei Juden!" (Germans wake up! Don't buy from Jews!)

Government saying an entire group of people are a threat to our families, government saying who can and cannot get married or raise children. This is no different from a Senator's list of names of people who couldn't teach, or make movies or write books, or work in science, medicine or law. 

Attempts to legally create a second class citizen are not new. We have seem them before. They had different names though. The inquisition, Jim Crow, States Rights, Reich Racial Purity Laws, the blacklist.

It is time we call the people who are trying to do  this again, but to gays and lesbians what they really are. They are the inquisitors, they are the nazi brownshirts of Krystalnacht, they are the Klansmen of Mississippi burning, they are the dogs on the Edmund Pettus Bridge , they are Joe Mcarthy's committee.

They are an affront to everything our nation has ever stood for. They are completely un-American.

The the 'crusaders' of NOM are the modern day elders of Salem. This small group of people who would seek to take their religious beliefs and codify them into civil law, then force them on the rest of us.

They are the American Taliban.

And it is long past time we said so.

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