Thursday, March 21, 2013

Combat the USA Today's love letter to the religious right

Today, an article in the USA Today sent me farther north than I would prefer to be.

The article, Gay marriage? These voices say 'No' and explain why, focused on those who oppose marriage equality, i.e. organizations such as the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage and folks like Brian Brown and Tony Perkins.

Nothing wrong with that. And though I was not happy about the slant of the article - i.e. Brown, Perkins and company are portrayed as  "defenders of traditional marriage" - I could have dealt with the slant if the writer, Richard Wolf, looked as if he actually wrote the article.

If you will forgive me for being blunt, the way this article was written looked as if Wolf handed a series of questions to these folks while telling them to write anything and he would "pretty it up" later.

In other words, this isn't an good article. It's an incomplete piece of nonsense which is highlighted by the fact that Wolf glossed over the tactics of these groups. He pretty much omits the fact that these groups and individuals have possessed a long-term animus against the gay community.

I am not kidding.  Wolf writes about Brown and NOM and William Owens and his group, the Coalition of African-American Pastors, without mentioning NOM's gay vs. black strategy. He doesn't even mention the fact that Owens is on NOM's payroll and CAAP was attempting to undermine Obama's support in the African-American community while NOM was supporting Romney.

Wolf talks about Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, making sure to note that awful shooting last year. But he omits comments by FRC staffers expressing the desire to deport gays and to criminalize homosexuality. He omits the lies, junk science, and cherry-picking of studies FRC routinely engages in to demonize the lgbt community. He doesn't even mention Perkins' comments comparing us to pedophiles and terrorists.

Basically, every organization and person spotlighted in Wolf's article has a history of defaming the gay community in the same manner racists defame African-Americans, but Wolf fails to mention these important details.

Wolf's article is sad but it is also totally indicative of what the lgbt community has to deal with when it generally comes to the mainstream media and their articles about religious right groups. Too often, the lies and tactics used against us - the comparisons to pedophilia, the studies taken out of context, the ugly omission of our families and children, and the reduction of the entirety of our lives to a sex act - are either glossed over or not referred to at all.

And religious right groups get a free pass to plead Christian ennui while they hide their true motives and actions.

I say this time, we don't allow this situation to pass without comment.  On the right side of the link to the article is a way to contact Wolf. I say that as many of us as possible write this man and tell him that his article omitted a huge amount.  Please go to this page and leave a comment about Wolf's article on the comments and clarifications section. The organizations he spotlighted are not groups attempting to "protect" so-called traditional marriage. They are, in fact, bigoted groups willing to hide their homophobia behind religious beliefs.

Be nice but make sure to include a copy of GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project so in the future, he knows who he is dealing with.

And maybe a copy of How They See Us wouldn't hurt.

'Meet the one gay man the religious right actually does like' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Far-right itching to turn Doug Mainwaring's solo act into an orchestra - Doug Mainwaring is ONE gay man who opposes marriage equality. If the religious right has their way, his single belief will trump the rights of thousands of same-sex couples who do want marriage equality. It doesn't make sense, but then again, we are talking about the religious right. THIS is the warning.  

Nation’s Largest Pediatrics Organization Supports Same-Sex Marriage, Criticizes Regnerus Study - The American Academy of Pediatrics becomes the latest medical group to vouch for same-sex parenting and destroy Mark Regnerus's bogus anti-gay parenting study. It's a bit long but worth the read. You know, sometimes I think I am sadistic for posting all of these rebukes of Regenerus's work. But then I realize that he started it and is only getting what he deserves.  

Republican Lawmaker Opposes Marriage Equality Because He Doesn’t Want To Marry A Man - Based upon this article, we have some pretty DUMB Republicans holding office. 

LaBarbera: Treat Gay Family Member Like a Drug Addict - 'Porno Pete' strikes again.

FRC's Peter Sprigg sets a new low for logical failure

Peter Sprigg
The Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg is a master at cherry-picking legitimate science to demonize the lgbt community. I know this well because I have caught him committing this offense on more than one occasion. I would like to think that it is my constant monitoring of him which led him into the following ridiculous convolution of logic.

 In a post on the FRC webpage, Sprigg was attempting to explain why discrimination against interracial marriage isn't the same as discrimination against marriage equality. To say that Sprigg fails miserably is an insult to all failures in the history of mankind.

I'm serious.

There has to be a new definition of failure invented to describe just how off-base Sprigg went. The following is the gist of his piece:

Laws against interracial marriage served only the purpose of preserving a social system of racial segregation. This was both an unworthy goal and one utterly irrelevant to the fundamental nature of marriage.

Bridging the divide of the sexes by uniting men and women, on the other hand, is both a worthy goal and a part of the fundamental purpose of marriage, common to all human civilizations.

Ironically, this means that in one key respect, it is the supporters of marriage redefinition who resemble the opponents of interracial marriage. Both merely exploited the institution of marriage to advance a social goal that has nothing to do with the purpose of marriage, which is to promote responsible procreation. Virtually everyone now opposes the goal of one (racial segregation), whereas society remains sharply divided on the other (the forced affirmation of homosexual relationships), but this is ultimately irrelevant. Neither of these goals is related to the public purposes of marriage. Allowing a black woman to marry a white man does not change the definition of marriage, which requires one man and one woman.  Allowing two men or two women to marry would change that fundamental definition.

That's some serious Cheech and Chong logic there. Allow me to break down the errors.

1. Just who decided that the purpose of marriage was procreation. To make this point omits children born to unmarried couples as well as married couples who don't have children.

2. Sprigg is implying that marriage equality would upset the social order and pollute marriage. His implication is ironic. Earlier this year, Howard University School of Law submitted a brief to the Supreme Court making the case that those who opposed interracial marriage and those who oppose marriage equality have made similar illogical arguments. Number one on their list was how the opposers of both marriage situations claimed that they (i.e. interracial marriage or marriage equality) would upset the social order.

3. And the largest refutation to Sprigg's argument is simple. He does not say just how allowing gay couple to marry would "redefine marriage." He does not say how allowing gay couples would damage the marriages of heterosexual couples.  That so-called fundamental purpose of uniting heterosexual couples Sprigg mentioned would still take place. No one, Sprigg included, has ever accurately spelled out just how would allowing gay couples to marry damage heterosexual couples. And I don't mean some hypothetical, metaphysical point thought up in a boardroom. I mean concrete evidence. And let's face it. Neither Sprigg nor his bunch have any.

This hot mess of a post by Sprigg reveals something more than a man literally talking out of his ass. It reveals that if one was to take away the religious right's tendency to rely on junk science and cherry-pick legitimate science, this disgrace of a column is all you have left of their arguments against the lgbt community.

It's nothing but hot air propelled by bigotry.