Monday, March 25, 2013

Only-a-flesh-wound for Anti-Gay Forces

With the Supremes about to hear the closely linked Prop 8/DOMA arguments in the next two days, the machinations, lies and delusions of the anti-equality types fascinate more than ever. They call to mind the 2012 election night pathos of GOP bigs, like Karl Rove, guaranteeing Mitt Romney's victory as state after state tumbled into the President's bag.

A pathetic but more topical version was yesterday's comments by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown on a very friendly to him Fox segment. (Screen snag segment of him here. I claim fair use for the altered pic.) He ostensibly debated Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry. In reality the few minutes they had were Solomon detailing the new reality of public support for same-sex marriage, Brown hunkered down in an old anti-gay version, and the host giving him the "last word" that amounted to half the total time.

By the bye, a crisp, revealing piece on his obsession with keeping homosexuals from marriage rights just appeared in the New York Times.

Even with his temporal treat on Fox, Brown showed the sorry state of the anti forces. He represents the dwindling party that want to harm, hinder, hobble and hamper homosexuals. As so many polls show, Americans have come around quickly from not being able to imagine gay marriage to accepting and supporting it. Solomon cited a few of those, the data are everywhere, ranging from a plurality to a large majority in favor, and this happened so fast I have to admit I had predicted a much slower evolution many times. I'm delighted to have been wrong.

Brown's sorry statements are instructive for many reasons:

  1. Big proof. He falls back as seemingly all anti-equality types do to 31 states have laws or amendments or both limiting a marriage to a man and a woman. He never mentions that those were almost entirely passed in relatively bygone days of anti-gay panic after Hawaii considered equal marriage, Vermont instituted civil unions and the clincher, the MA Goodridge decision legalizing SSM coming up on a decade ago. That could not happen now, 10 states and DC have instituted SSM and more are headed that way.
  2. Mob rule. NOM's prime offense against equality is the same as other anti-gay groups'. Brown says that because CA voters overturned the legislature/governor legalization (a.k.a. representative democracy) with Prop 8, no court should have the right to deny them, even if their action violates state and perhaps US constitutions. 
  3. Don't stir the pot. Brown would have it in a meme the media seem to have promulgated that if the SCOTUS makes a big move — ruling to overturn Prop 8 and maybe even that state law against marriage equality are unconstitutional — this will create a culture war. He and other bozos who make this assertion cite Roe v. Wade. In reality, it is the anti-SSM side who turned this into a cultural battle and continue to do so. We have instead seen too many times that pleas to go slowly in granting fundamental rights and freedoms are just attempts to permanently squelch them.

Lackaday for Brown and his ilk, even if the Supremes do not invalidate state laws and amendments on SSM, more and more states, with considerable numbers of citizens will have the option of marriage equality. Those 31 states were the paranoid extreme. Now that the nation sees the benign and beneficial nature of SSM for the couples and children involved, fear recedes and compassion steps in.

NOM and their running dogs have long loved such verbal tricks as "redefining marriage" and "let the people vote." Of course, they were the ones changing the marriage definition to exclude gay couples. Sometimes that was with such straw-man arguments that SSM will necessarily mean all manner of sexual practices long prohibited by federal and state laws. Sometimes it was the bizarre assertion that only those who can and will have children through their married, heterosexual intercourse should marry, denying the elderly, otherwise infertile, and childless by choice. Also, what a huge insult to the millions of adoptive parents.

The ballot-initiative ploy had two vicious prongs. First, we long ago concluded as a nation that we should not vote on the rights of any minority. Second, it's just another fallback from failure. Where a state like MA had court-mandated equality, the anti forces wanted a vote to strip the right. Where a state like CA voted in the legislature for SSM, Prop 8 also wanted to take away an existing right. No matter how equality comes about, the NOM sorts will try every trick and scheme to destroy that new freedom. Even coming up to a decade of established law here, the MA anti-equality forces make noises of somehow mounting yet another plebiscite to follow other failed efforts.

The graceless Brian Browns of our world will not go away quickly or quietly. They will not accept defeat . They will not consider embracing the newer, fairer marital world. They simply want to hold back homosexual couples and deny they equal treatment.

The rest of the country is moving on.

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