Monday, August 31, 2009

The Washington Post Vindicates Discrimination

I was referred to a recent Washington Post article (you can read the whole thing here) that, in essence, treats the gay community as if we are the enemy. It's a profile of Brian Brown, the Executive Director for the National Organization for Marriage. Here are some of my selected excerpts, and my subsequent responses to them:
He shoulders the accusations of bigotry; it's horrible when people say that your life's mission is actually just prejudice. He tries to help people see that opposing gay marriage does not make them bigots, that the argument should have nothing to do with hate or fear, and everything to do with history and tradition.
No, marriage has two standings: legal and religious. The United States is not a theocracy. Religious denominations do not run the legal system. They do not get to pick and choose which rights to bestow unto whom. The gay community simply wants its legally entitled rights. We are not fighting for religious institutions to bow down to our wishes. You can go on disagreeing with our right to equal treatment under the law, but to the extent that it does not take away our rights.
The reason Brian Brown is so effective is that he is pleasantly, ruthlessly sane.
The implicit statement here is that the gay community is, or comes off as, insane.
He sends out regular e-mail updates to NOM's mailing list, conveying his excitement on the issues with exclamation points. Some pro-gay marriage activists then get hold of these e-mails and mock them.
I can't possibly fathom having a job where I get excitement from removing the legal rights from other human beings. This is a disgusting sign of humanity.
But his more informed opponents know that scoffing is a response born of fear.
Are we to live in fear? Is that the world in which you're going to let us live our lives? We are afraid that we won't get to see our partners as they lie dying in a hospital, or make decisions for them in a time of incapacity. Does that feeling make you thrive?
Jackson says Brown and NOM "have a sense of dignity about human beings. They simply believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the best for society. But they're not gay bashers."
You can't have it both ways. You are either pro-gay and pro-gay rights, or you're anti-gay and anti-gay-rights. I'm afraid that there really can be no gray area on this issue.
It is irrational when the opposition points to polls suggesting that most young people support gay marriage. "People mature," he says. Their views change.
I liken this statement to 'maturation generates regression'.
Brown is Catholic. He converted at Oxford, where he studied after a BA at Whittier College (he grew up surfing in California). He liked Catholicism's traditions of social justice and work for the poor. Along the way, he met Sue, also a devout Catholic. After UCLA he accepted a position with the Family Institute of Connecticut, and worked to prevent the distribution of condoms in schools. "People would ask, 'What does your husband do?' " Sue says. "It was embarrassing to say he worked on condoms. But it was nothing compared to this."
It must have been completely embarrassing to tell your friends and family that your husband worked hard to make sure that sexually transmitted diseases were widely spread among students. I feel so much sympathy for you.
In short: The institution of marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Yes, there have been homosexual relationships. But no society that he knows of, in the history of the world, has ever condoned same-sex marriage.
I can think of a few: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Canada, Norway, and Sweden. And on a more regional level: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Yes, those are included in the history of time.
"I can only go by my own experience, and I believe there's a huge difference in gender." The kids don't need Brian "walking in the door because he's another person. They need him because he's a man."
Not all heterosexual couples have children. When will you start to move on taking away their marriage rights? By your logic, should it not be legally mandated that all married couples bear children?
And then he's out the door, going off to quietly crusade for the hearts and minds of people who, like Brown, pride themselves on being rational, mainstream and sane.
Yep. We gays, and our supporters, are nothing but a collective group of highly irrational, fringe, and insane people. The real, caring, supportive people here are the ones that want to preserve a tradition, while at the same time keeping their select friends, family, and coworkers marginalized and empty of any legal rights that are already given to heterosexuals.

If you'd like to send an email to the writer of this antagonizing article, Monica Hesse, you can go here.

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