I find it hard to keep track of which side certain organisations are on. It’s often not obvious from the name.
Planned Parenthood, for instance, are the good guys, providing important sexual health services and having their funding cut by politicians who lie about what they do.
Focus On The Family, on the other hand, are a Christian organisation who do a lot of preaching against just about everything that sounds fun. (And in making sure I had these the right way around, I noticed that Google have cached an interesting version of their Wikipedia page.)
And another one which could go either way based on the name is the National Organization For Marriage.
Now, I’m still kinda torn on whether I’m in favour of marriage at all. (I’m all for love and long-term committed relationships, but there are some arguments against institutionalising it. I’m not getting into that discussion now.) But I do know that any notion of marriage I’m ever going to support would have to be a lot more open and liberal than the narrow, overly specific idea that the NOM are talking about when they use the word.
They’re not too keen on the gays, is what I’m getting at.
They have some responses up on their site to what they consider the toughest questions that a defender of “traditional” (i.e. “no queers”) marriage can be asked.
It’s seriously lame, you guys.
For example, here’s what they lead with, as their most slam-dunk convincing argument designed to shoot down any nonsense about equality or human rights:
Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.
That’s it. That’s them breaking out the big guns. That’s all they’ve got.
I know, right? So lame.
That’s obviously a run-on sentence. Either separate those two clauses with a semi-colon or a full stop, or throw a conjunction in there.
Oh, and also it’s a bullshit argument. They want to hold equal rights back from a sizeable chunk of the population, so that the majority don’t have to go through the trauma of a minuscule change to the English language.
Because that really is all it means. It’s about semantics and language, not about anything real. Nobody’s marriage is being affected; just what’s legally meant by the word “marriage”.
This is confirmed in their answer to the question about who same-sex marriage is supposed to harm:
Who gets harmed? The people of this state who lose our right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife, that’s who. That is just not right.
Yes, that’s the big moral outrage here. Those despotic campaigners for equality are crushing some people’s rights to keep the law intolerant and prejudiced, like they want it to be.
This is kinda like saying that Jaffa Cakes should be outlawed because I can’t abide there being any dispute over the meaning of the word “biscuit”. Why should anyone give a fuck if you’re upset that you don’t get to define a word and its legal implications for everyone else?
They also have a recommended response to accusations of bigotry. If someone suggests you’re trying to take away people’s rights, NOM think you should say:
Do you really believe people like me who believe mothers and fathers both matter to kids are like bigots and racists? I think that’s pretty offensive, don’t you? Particularly to the 60 percent of African-Americans who oppose same-sex marriage. Marriage as the union of husband and wife isn’t new; it’s not taking away anyone’s rights. It’s common sense.
So, they have two basic points here, both super-classy:
1. “Oh, you think my position is bigoted? Well, I have a black friend who agrees with me, sooo… that’s pretty racist of you.”
2. “Of course we’re not taking away gay people’s rights to get married and raise children! Gay people never had those rights to begin with!”
I could carry on having fun with this, but the blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has taken it apart pretty thoroughly.