Saturday, March 05, 2011

Arora controversy has National Organization for Marriage scrambling for cover

The situation with Maryland delegate Sam Arora which nearly derailed gay marriage in Maryland is fastly blowing up in the face of the National Organization for Marriage, the organization trying to prevent gay marriage from taking place.

Arora is the Maryland legislator first supported the gay marriage bill. He campaigned on it, raised money because of it, and engaged in discussions with lgbt families in terms of why this bill is important.

And for while he decided, even after all of this and publicly giving his support to the bill, to change his mind and vote against it.

Arora faced a serious firestorm from voters who felt betrayed, angry, and hurt at his shift. Because of this, he changed his mind again and said he will vote for the bill, while emphasizing that the question of gay marriage in Maryland should be the subject of a referendum.

Into this controversy stepped Maggie Gallagher, head of NOM, via a post on the organization's blog during Arora's initial change:

First, if Sam Arora is wavering under this media firestorm, he must be hearing from hundreds of constituents who do not want him to vote for gay marriage.

Secondly, as someone married to an Indian-American, I find it interesting that the gay marriage machine appears to be re-focusing its attacks from Black Democrats who oppose gay marriage to an easier target: Indian-Americans.

Tiffany Alston appears now to be off the hook regardless of how she votes.

Supporters of the Maryland gay marriage bill seized on Gallagher's comment, claiming that she was unfairly accusing those angry Arora of being racists. And they had a point. Nowhere in her post did Gallagher address the simple fact that the ire at Arora was solely because of his backtracking of an issue which played such a central part in his election.

Apparently THAT outcry against Gallagher was so strong that she felt the need to post the following "update" on her blog entry:

Update: Some folks seem to think I'm accusing critics of Sam Arora of racism. Weird. Racism requires animus or bias towards a race, which I never suggested... It would be absurd to imagine that the people going after Sam don't like Indian-Americans.

It is not absurd to imagine that picking a fight with important black Democrats would pick a fight in two core bases of the Democratic party and that it could be perceived as good to avoid that.

Personally, Gallagher's explanation not only makes no sense, it sounds as if she was caught off guard by the events of the Arora controversy and is now scrambling for cover.

She even sent me a personal email (this email was due to my constant nagging on her blog and a final request for an answer as to why she did in fact pull the "race card" in the Arora controversy):

I'm pretty sure nothing I said would satisfy you. You are free to read things the way you choose. Your entitled to your opinions, but not mine.

I clarified because people were misreading what I said. You find it unsatisfying and "bizaree." Well tastes differ. Take care, thanks for coming to NOM.

Sounds like she is getting defensive to me.

Whatever the case may be, I took advantage of Gallagher's correspondence to ask her the following:

Thank you for your response Ms. Gallagher,

And since you are in a responding mood, would you care to respond to the piece in PolitiFact which states that your organization, NOM is spreading a false story regarding kindergartners being taught gay marriage in Massachusetts.

This story is a key mailer that you sent to Maryland.

I would love to get your opinions on this.

I don't think I'm going to get an answer to that question.

UPDATE - Gallagher has in fact sent me a response to my question regarding the claim about kindergartners being "taught" gay marriage in Massachusetts. I will have that up as soon as possible.

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Anonymous said...

Can't believe Maggie Gallagher Srivastav--oh wait, she doesn't use her married name despite her support of "traditional marriage--is denying she played the race card after so blatantly and shamefully doing so. And yes, she absolutely did accuse Sam Arora's critics of racism. Why was his race the least bit relevant otherwise?

BTW I'm surprised they posted any of your comments. I've given up trying to respond to any of their blog posts; after posting a few (but not all) of my initial comments they finally stopped posting any, although I was careful to keep them clean, polite, and respectful (while disagreeing strongly with them).

I see you link directly to NOM's blog--which is the courteous thing to do, of course. Meanwhile NOM is violating multiple copyrights by copying, hosting, and displaying their links and sources as pdf's on their own site, e.g.:

The really funny thing is that they even copy the copyright statements. I guess they just don't read that far.

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to get over the fact that Maggie is married. Has anyone seen a long form birth certificate for her husband. Do we in fact know that he is an American citizen?
If her marriage is so "good" why does she feel threatened by Marriage Equality?
Is she afraid her husband will leave her for a man???