Monday, November 19, 2012

Brian Brown: Gay marriage is not inevitable if you give us enough money

Interviewed by the Baptist Press, National Organization for Marriage Head, Brian Brown claims that they were outspent three to one in the last election cycle. On November 7, the same Mr. Brown said that they were outspent by at least four to one. At one point their Thomas Peters said it was eight to one in some cases. Make up your mind. I am remiss in not working the numbers myself; Something that I will soon correct.

BP Continues:
"This is not over," Brown told Baptist Press, referencing the nationwide debate over marriage's definition. "... They had a great election from their perspective, but I hope that what this does is wake folks up and energize folks and people realize that [these losses] were not inevitable, same-sex marriage is not inevitable."

NOM's total losses were more than just Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. They lost a judicial retention contest on election day in Iowa. NOM won only one of three senate races that they invested in. Taking just one of eight contests is not going to keep anyone in the anti-equality business. Brown also said, repeatedly, that President Obama's support for marriage equality would cost him the election. Asked about his emotions on election eve:
It was tough. We had been screaming from the mountaintops that we could lose these unless we had the money necessary. And while we did get some resources in, we were so greatly outspent. And then to have such a close margin in each of these states -- we could have won.
Actually, on November 1, Brown claimed "Our ads and working." If they did an "screaming from the mountaintops" it was about imaginary victims of equal marriage who weren't in equal marriage states.

The simple fact is that NOM is a religious organization with a religious objection to marriage equality. NOM exists and Brown has a job solely because there are some people who share his religious beliefs. NOM cannot run campaigns based on their belief that "God will be pissed."

NOM, the Knights of Columbus and the RC Bishoprics provided a considerable amount of money to the four campaigns. In 2011 National Organization for Marriage received 76% of its funding from just two donors. Nevertheless, it remains dependent on individual campaign contributions for any future electoral initiatives.

Nothing will deter donors more than the notion that national marriage equality is inevitable.

What Brown completely overlooks, or misunderstands, is the ground came. In the four states we had tens of thousands of young energetic volunteers     gay and straight     who were having one-on-one conversations with voters. Religious based inequality simply does not have that kind of appeal. Brown continues:
Does anyone honestly believe that if you put marriage on the ballot in North Carolina again that we would lose? We wouldn't. [Gay marriage supporters are] going to push in more states, and we're going to have more fights, like in Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island, Oregon, and we have to be prepared, we have to have the resources. You cannot go into a battle as important as this -- the definition of marriage -- and not have the proper resources.
In one sense, Brown is correct. At the moment, we probably cannot win a ballot contest in North Carolina or Oklahoma or Mississippi. Just last week a judge in Oklahoma, for example, sentenced a youthful offender to ten years of Sunday church attendance. Within much of the Bible Belt, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is an irrelevant inconvenience for theocrats. That is why winning in the courts is so important. On the 30th of this month we will know which of the eight "marriage cases" the Supreme Court will choose to hear. If we win the DOMA cases, and I think that we will, then I think that we are only one additional case challenging "full faith and credit" away from national marriage equality.

Then, according to Brown:
... the longer this goes on in these nine states [where gay marriage is legal], the more clearly everything that we have said will come true about the consequences of legalizing gay marriage. Young people are not static in their beliefs. When they see their church being punished because it won't place children in a same-sex household, they're going to look up and say, "I didn't think this was going to happen." When innkeepers and businessmen are punished because they don't accept same-sex marriage, and they're fined, they're going to see that people are being targeted because of their beliefs. And most importantly, when kids are taught in the schools that their parents are bigots because of their faith -- when this happens, some of those folks who voted for gay marriage are going to say, "We were sold a false bill of goods."
Really? I have some news for Mr. Brown. Right now, in Memphis, TN, for example, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity. Regardless of marriage equality, a public accommodation is breaking the law if they refuse a gay commitment ceremony. NOM's cast of victims never have anything to do with gay marriage. I hate to break it to Brown but nobody gives a rat's ass if Catholic Charities is forced to obey the law in exchange for getting tax dollars. Brown lives in an alternate reality of Latin Mass, no contraceptives (seven kids) and home-schooled children while bowing and scraping to the Church hierarchy.

Thus far, the real experience in equal marriage states is that allowing a few gays to get hitched is unnoticed and irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of people. If anything, people are going to wonder;

What was all the fuss about?
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