First, I know that I am preaching to the proverbial choir on this. Please comment, but this diary is as much for lurkers, trolls, and freepers as it is for Kossacks.
Second, I am an entrenched GLBT ally. I have no direct and solely personal interest in same sex marriage, but I have family, friends, and Kos friends who are. That's more than enough for me to get involved.
Third, and this will come as the shocker of the week, but it turns out that the National Organization for Marriage is a bunch of liars.
Fourth, I haven't gone off on a good rant in a while and I don't have a date this Friday evening (or most Friday evenings for that matter). So this is my outlet for righteous indignation.
Fifth: I am the sort of person who reads methodology sections in academic papers. I actually enjoy this sort of thing.
If you haven't guessed. This diary is about the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) bullshite advertisement that will run in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and California.
They are liars of the highest degree. We need to call them out on this. Their arguments are patently false and an effort to smear good people who do things they think are "icky."
If you really need to see it again, click here. It links to YouTube if you are one of those people who hate to give hits to the enemy of all that is good and right. This is not about how the Human Rights Campaign got their hands on the audition tapes (but that's pretty funny, too).
Instead, let's discuss some of the more outrageous claims that the ads makes. HRC studied these too, but it bears repeating.
One of the secrets behind effectively marketing a tenuous moral position is to take "facts," embellish them with heart-wrenching personal stories, and produce believable "lies."
NOM was nice nice enough to cite the sources of their claims here (warning: NOM link). Let's take a look at the four arguments that NOM makes.
“I’m a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job.”
Shortly after the California Supreme Court redefined marriage in California law, a California Court of Appeals heard a case involving a doctor who had referred a woman in a same-sex couple to another doctor for artificial insemination because of his religiously based conscientious objection to participating in the procedure. The court held that the doctor could claim no religious exemption to the civil rights law under which she was sued because of the State’s compelling interest in ending sexual orientation discrimination,
HRC helpfully counters that this refers to Benitez v. North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in California. Lambda Legal helpfully adds that Guadalupe "Lupita" Benitez was denied fertility services for a year because she is a lesbian.
Was that a Hippocratic Oath or a Hypocritical Oath they took? Where does a fertility doctor get off (hee, hee, pun intended) deciding who can and who cannot have a child. Incidentally, the studies show that children from same-sex actually thrive.
Can't let logic get in the way of facts, though.
“I’m part of a New Jersey church group punished by the government because we can’t support same-sex marriage.”
NOM lets us know that:
A N.J. Methodist Camp Association was denied part of its tax exemption when it declined to allow a portion of its property to be used for a civil union ceremony.
They even include a citation to a New York Times article about the supposed affront to the church's rights.
It turns out that this particular church owns a pavilion on a boardwalk on the New Jersey shore. The church refused a request from a lesbian couple to hold their commitment ceremony there. This is a violation of the state's civil rights act. As a result, that portion of the church's property was not recertified for its property tax exemption. That portion is less than one percent of the church's property.
A tragedy, I know. I tend to disagree with the tax exempt status that religious organizations enjoy. Well...
...I turns out that the church had the tax exemption under the state's Green Acres Program. This program offers tax breaks to encourage land owners to open land to public recreation and conservation. The tax break is NOT based on a religious exemption at all.
This is a misleading claim on NOM's part. In this context, it is fair to call it a lie.
Next on the docket:
“I am a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is OK.”
Again, from NOM:
This statement is based on the case of Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2008). In this case, parents of young elementary school students objected to curriculum and class room discussion meant to inculcate in the children the idea that there are no differences between the marriages of men and women and those involving same-sex couples.
To the facts, here's the article from the Boston Globe.
It turns out that two parents sued the school board because the public school initiated discussions about same-sex couples. In true civil rights fashion, the students learned tolerance for same-sex couples. The issue obviously has salience in the state since the state allows same-sex marriage.
The couples, David and Tonia Parker and Robert and Robin Wirthlin (who I'm sure worry every night about the scourge of teh gay every night), sued. Had they succeeded, the district and presumably all of the public schools in Massachusetts would have been prohibited from teaching about this topic. Of course, that opens the door for white supremacists to sue to remove any mention of Black History Month, Creationists to set the beginning of science at 4000 BC. You get the idea.
Instead, the judge told these people to pound sand.
From the Globe article.
In his 38-page decision, Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of US District Court said that under the US Constitution, public schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."
"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation," he said.
Wolf said that the couples, David and Tonia Parker and Robert and Robin Wirthlin, have the option to send their children to private schools or home-school them. He also said they can work to elect a School Committee that might change the curriculum, but that they have no right to dictate what the school district teaches.
Classic. Of course, this will lead these these jokers to actually home school the kids and rant about having to pay public school taxes. I fear for the mental stability of the kids.
Finally, from NOM:
“But some who advocate for same-sex marriage have not been content with same-sex couples living as they wish. Those advocates want to change the way I live. I will have no choice.”
I KNOW! I've been to the meetings. GLBTs and their allies are actively formulating plans to intentionally change the way straight folks live. BULL SHIT! The worst that happens is that greater acceptance of GLBT just opens hearts and minds.
Anyway, NOM cites this Times article. The article is little more than an academic and legal discussion about the potential tax exemptions offered to church-related operations (schools, colleges, wedding halls, charities) and the laws related to hiring people at those places and serving people seeking charity services. This paragraph was particularly enlightening:
Asked by a reporter for The Chicago Tribune whether a conservative Christian college would risk its tax-exempt status by refusing to admit a legally married gay couple to married-student housing, Cass Sunstein, a constitutional scholar at the University of Chicago Law School who had not been at the Becket conference, answered, "Sure — and if pigs had wings, they would fly." He dismissed the idea as a scenario "generated by advocacy groups trying to scare people."
Naturally, the bold is mine.
The National Organization for Marriage is a bunch of disingenuous right wing nutcases and bona fide liars. They are a hate group on par with the Klan, but they speak with a sympathetic tone (emphasis on pathetic). In NOM's defense, they have never actually killed anyone. That does not make Matthew Sheppard any more alive, however. If you or your allies inspired a hate crime, you are in some way morally culpable. The same holds true for the Freepers quoted in articshadow's latest diary about their asinine comments.
These people are no better than racists, sexists, antisemitists, or any other prejudiced assholes. They need to be held accountable.
I nominate NOM for fuckbags of the year.