Saturday, June 1, 2013

Illinois is just a temporary setback for equality

By the end of the year, Illinois will be in the equality column. If you understand the dynamic     you understand why it is virtually impossible for NOM to prevail in the long run.

We all knew exactly what National Organization for Marriage would do and they did it. They trotted out a few African-American ministers, who are on their payroll, and some Illinois House representatives got played. Yes it pisses me off too. I had my clever little map of the Porno Pete blast zone ready for display. It will just have to wait a few months.

The dynamic is the same as in Maine and New York. Once people come over to the side of equality, they never go back. In New York, legislators did not vote for equality out of political expediency. They did so because they knew (like Maine's voters) that it was the right thing to do and some of them did so with considerable political risk.

Once persuaded, our supporters are pretty solid. I am reminded of David Blankenhorn. When he first wrote that OpEd in the New York Times some people took it to mean that he "surrendered." That wasn't the case at all. David later wrote, in a blog comment, something to the effect that he was never more a peace with himself. Blankenhorn knew that his organization would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from people like Sean Fieler. However, most people don't want to be perceived as a bigot on the wrong side of history.

NOM has an entirely different problem.

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage is in permanent defense. While public opinion on marriage equality is only going one way, NOM has to hold their supporters in check. They are highly unlikely to pick up any converts. And that's without the Supreme Court taking any air out of their balloon. NOM is radioactive. Their president is a disorganized amature, Thomas Peters is a half-wit and even Maggie doesn't seem to want anything to do with them. Oh, and their bought-and-paid-for researcher, Mark Regnerus, has been thoroughly disgraced.

All that we have to do is chip away two or three votes and in November (with the veto session) Illinois will become an equal marriage state. And chip, chip, chip away we will. Until yesterday this was a local endeavor. Now Illinois has become a national target. I am sure that I am not the only one who will be surveying Illinois House representatives.
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