Saturday, June 13, 2015

NOM: Eastman got his ass kicked but was "brilliant" nonetheless


National Organization for Marriage sent an email to supporters on Saturday titled: “Our Chairman Debates...and Delivers.” Yet, according to NOM:
NOM's brilliant Chairman, Dr. John Eastman, delivered a stirring and powerful defense of marriage in a debate last week at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The debate was hosted by the group Intelligence Squared before an uber-liberal audience and was structured in such a way as to ensure that the "results" were pre-ordained: the position in support of same-sex 'marriage' would be declared the winner. Still, the exercise was quite illuminating as it replicated in many ways the debate that has occurred throughout the courts and before the US Supreme Court. Our side presented cogent arguments based on the constitution while those seeking to redefine marriage relied primarily on emotional appeals.
NOM's definition of “uber-liberal:” All Jews except Hasidim; all mainline Protestants and most Catholics south of Opus Dei or Tradition, Family and Property. According to the praises of Mr. Brown:
It was a spirited discussion, but Dr. Eastman and Mr. Girgis clearly dominated, presenting cogent and persuasive arguments that the constitution of our nation does not prohibit traditional marriage laws. …
Evan  Wolfson? Not so much:
Our opponents' position relies virtually entirely on emotion and political correctness. Evan Wolfson, head of the activist group Freedom to Marry made an entirely emotional argument throughout his remarks. He began his presentation with the claim (a false one) that over 60% of the American people support the "freedom to marry" for gay couples. Yet what does a political poll (even one falsely presented) have to do with what the constitution requires when it comes to defining marriage? No matter! This misperception of what the polling shows formed the basis of Wolfson's closing argument as well. …
Evan is factually correct. Brown insists on denying the reality that the American people accept marriage equality. The polls are irrelevant for Brown unless he sees one that he likes. Furthermore, acceptance increases wherever marriage equality is in effect. NOM's credibility problem grows by the day as people realize that none of the terrible things that NOM promised are likely to occur.

Brown is correct that the polling has no bearing on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans. However it does demonstrate the lack of support for those bans across the country. The reality is that NOM is an ultra-conservative Catholic organization with a religious objection to same-sex marriage. Eastman and Girgis are also ultra-conservative Catholics who share the same religious objection. Their task is – and always has been – to construct arguments based on anything other than religious opprobrium for same-sex marriage. It is an intellectually dishonest endeavor at the outset. It is why they failed and continue to fail.

Brown is incorrect with regards to Evan Wolfson's closing argument. It did not rely upon the polls which he briefly mentioned.

Brown is not happy with the outcome:
Even though the outcome of the audience vote was predetermined from the outset, it is still worth 90 minutes of your time to see how vacuous the arguments are from those who would abandon the institution of marriage which has existed since the very creation of humanity simply because they can produce some bogus polling data that suggests that they've fooled a majority of Americans into supporting the concept. Contrast this against the principled, reasoned arguments presented by Dr. Eastman and Mr. Girgis and you can see, in a nutshell, the issue presented to the US Supreme Court.
Right Brian it was all rigged because marriage discrimination is so popular. Moreover it's a fairly safe bet that the opinion of the Supreme Court will be at odds with the opinion of John Eastman. The Court's is the only opinion that counts.

As for the outcome, the question: Does the Equal Protection clause require the states to license same-sex marriage?

Pre-debate:
  • No: 13%
  • Yes: 53%
  • Undecided: 34%
Post-debate:
  • No: 14%
  • Yes: 83%
  • Undecided: 3%
In other words, marriage discrimination picked up 1% while marriage equality increased by 30 percentage points. I suspect that Mr. Brown hopes that people will just take his word for the effectiveness of Eastman and Girgis.

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