Friday, December 6, 2013

Where they are at

National Organization for Marriage
Last night, National Organization for Marriage posted something titled “Where We're At” to their RSS feed. By now it is probably on their blog. And a mighty exercise in delusional wishful thinking it is.

First off, Brian Brown wants everyone to know that they are at 40% of their year end goal of $1,000,000 so please send them more money to piss away on bloated salaries, payroll for people who aren't even working for NOM, expensive overseas trips to bolster Brian Brown's ego and to keep folks like Rev. Billy Owens on the payroll. Then there is this:

I wanted to stack up some numbers for you to let you know where marriage in America stands as of this moment:
  • States that currently define marriage as the union of one man and one woman: 34
  • States that have state constitutional amendments protecting that definition: 30
  • States that have redefined marriage to include homosexual couples: 16
Of those 16 states, marriage has been redefined by the courts (5 times) or by legislative action (11 times — Maine passing their law through referendum).
First let's get the numbers right. I seem to recall winning marriage equality in Maryland and Washington at the polls in 2012. We also beat back a constitutional amendment in Minnesota to eventually foster marriage equality in that state. And Brown's "point?"

What do these numbers tell me?
  1. The vast majority of America and the American people overwhelmingly back marriage.
  2. Same-sex 'marriage' activists are going to be very hard pressed for victories in the future. State constitutional amendments are the highest form of protection offered at the state level, and overcoming that won't be easy.
  3. We still have several opportunities to add to our totals by passing state constitutional amendments in states favorable to our cause, like Indiana.
Point one is obviously baloney. The fact that equality has not yet been achieved in most states or that states have become equal marriage states by virtue of legislative or court action does not mean that the "vast majority" of our citizenry backs banning same-sex marriage (which is what Brian Brown means when he writes about "back[ing] marriage"). The most recent poll that I have seen suggests that Americans support equality by 52% to 43%.

In addition, Mr. Brown likes to pretend that state legislators do not represent the citizens of their state. For that matter he seems wed to the notion that we do not have a representative form of government.

Point two remains to be seen and depends upon the outcomes of numerous court challenges. Even Mr. Brown may recall a Supreme Court decision in US v. Windsor. The case to watch might be in Virginia. The parties are Bostic et al v. McDonnell et al. The cause is violation of equal protection and due process and it was filed on July 18, 2013. The team of Olson and Boies are lead counsel for the plaintiffs. The prospect of equality in Dixie has a certain visceral appeal to it.  Not to mention the overwhelming irony when we consider the landmark case of Loving v. Virginia.

Point three may become irrelevant depending upon the outcome of cases in several states including the aforementioned one in Virginia. Furthermore, only a single state, Indiana, is considering a constitutional amendment. Asking citizens to deprive a minority group of rights guaranteed by the US Constitution has become rather tawdry. Brown doesn't see it that way because he is a Defender of the Faith® and a true believer.

And by the way, were all of Brown's assertions true then why is NOM begging for more money? The "problem" would seem to take care of itself.

Where we are really at is this: First of all, the federal government recognizes same-sex marriage. Moreover, that recognition is based on the state where the nuptials takes place rather than the state of residence. Therefore, federal marriage equality is portable. Even someone living in the swamp known as Mississippi enjoys numerous federal privileges and protections if they are in a same-sex marriage.

Mr. Brown also left out Washington DC and the fact that two states – Oregon and New Mexico – recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Oregon does so in spite of a constitutional amendment. While admittedly incomplete, that essentially makes Oregon and New Mexico equal marriage states. Giving effect to those as well as Illinois (which takes effect in June) 39.61% of the population lives in states that recognize same-sex marriage.

I would like to say that resistance is futile. While that is true, it misses the point. NOM is a purveyor of anti-gay bigotry. It is a hate group in the true sense of those words. Yet NOM has the full weight and support of the Catholic Church behind it. They have the ability to denigrate gay children and the children of gay couples as they continue to lose state after state. Indeed, they seem to believe, as they continue to lose state after state, that their abject homophobia is somehow going to convince the general population that gay people are evil. Until NOM is relegated to its rightful status as something comparable to the Klan and until NOM becomes a serious embarrassment to the Church the organization will continue to harm people.

So where they are at is vicious and vitriolic.

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