Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If we repeat our campaigns - we will lose our campaigns

Whenever our rights are tendered to the whims of the electorate we have lost. That is the sad, undeniable truth. Oh, we fought very hard. Over the last four years, people worked tirelessly in California, Maine and North Carolina to thwart ballot initiatives. Yet, in spite of selfless efforts we failed to advance our equality interests.

In 106 days we are faced with four opportunities at the ballot in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. If we make some changes we will have a better than even chance of winning some of these contests. In the final analysis, we have been great at organizing but uninspired in our tactics.

The first thing that we need to do is to accept, as fact, that there does not exist a coherent and rational argument supporting the notion that marriage equality has any effect on anyone else. The anti-equality forces need to manufacture secular objections to gay marriage.

Engaging in debate over nonsensical objections tends to make those objections real.

In 2009 we lost in Maine because we allowed NOM and the Catholic Church to make this a debate over whether of not children would be taught gay marriage in schools. We even made advertisements in response. The correct answer was "that's nonsense; marriage equality does not change school curricula. If people are worried about children then they should consider the tangible benefits of marriage for children being raised by gay parents."

Just today, Schubert sent out a piece from Protect Marriage Maine titled: Help Protect Our Children.  If they were really interested in protecting kids they would worry more about divorce.

Their cognitive dissonance only works when we cooperate.

It's our children who suffer when their parents are denied the right to marry. More recently NOM is trying to get into debates over gay parenting. You know "every child needs a mommy and a daddy." What does that even mean and what does it have to do with marriage equality? Regardless of whether or not gays can marry, the same heterosexuals will unite in the same marriages, crank out the same kids and sue for the same divorces. Gays will continue to adopt children. Nothing changes with respect to which kids are parented by which adults.

If we want to guarantee that we lose, we will get into a debate over the competence of gay parents.

We know that gays make good parents. We know that the research supports gay parenting. We know that the flawed Regnerus study  was funded by Opus Dei. Why argue over something that is irrelevant? In doing so, we substitute objective criteria for the electorate  with subjective criteria. If the voters pull levers based whether or not gays make good parents; We lose! Not because we are bad parents but because;  a) The voter is voting on something immaterial to the issue and; b) The voter is now voting on what they perceive is the lesser risk and; c) We allowed NOM to skirt the real issue which is their religious objection.

There is no risk associated with "gay marriage." Marriage equality benefits society.

That is precisely why NOM is changing the conversation. The truth is that NOM is a proxy for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Instead of reacting to BS, we need to force NOM to react to issues of common interest. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Our country's essential culture of fairness.
  • The real experience in equality states and the relatively minuscule number of issues relating to marriage equality.
  • The continuing decline of divorce in Massachusetts.
  • The First Amendment and separation of church and state.
  • Every child deserves married parents.
Ultimately, the real issue is whether or not churches should decide who can get married.

We're not forcing the Catholic Church to marry us. They don't have to accept our marriages. They don't even have to like the fact that gay people can marry. However, allowing them to make a decision relating to civil law makes as much sense as a group of rabbis outlawing the consumption of pork and shellfish.
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