Monday, March 13, 2017

Marriage equality opponents need to face the reality of why they lost

Editor's note - With Trump in office, you can easily bet that on the wish list of the religious right is a return to SCOTUS and an elimination of Obergefell ruling which legalized marriage equality. With that in mind, I am reposting a piece from 2015 reminding everyone of how the religious right's unscrupulous tactics backfired and helped ease the passage for Obergefell, just in case we do have to engage in the future and need a pushback to the "unelected activist judge" narrative:

NOM head Brian Brown cried when marriage equality came to NY.  Good times!

Kim Davis. Kim Davis. Kim Davis.

Lord, I am so tired of hearing about that woman; the so-called Joan of Arc standing in the gap for traditional marriage fighting a battle which the only outcome will be her loss and thereby the destruction of America and Western civilization as a whole.

To put it plainly, what a crock.

And to put it even more plainly, no matter how this nonsensical ado ends, I find myself getting highly annoyed at almost everyone with media leverage because they are shortchanging the situation instead of spelling it out to the American people in its entirety. This cause celebre of the moment is not simply about a hypocritical clerk who continues to place her religious beliefs over the duties of her $80,000 a year government job.

I wish it were that simple.

This annoying Kim Davis affair is merely a sideshow to cover up the fact that the overall case against marriage equality was nothing more than a pitiful delusion. A sad pursuit run by folks who had more money and influence than common sense. More gall than love. More ways to get their message out, but absolutely no way to make it more palpable or more flavorable than the bland, watery indigestible stew of discrimination that it was.

In the early days of the fight, marriage equality opponents were on an incredible streak via their ability to get state after state to pass anti-marriage equality laws.  They, led mostly by the National Organization for Marriage, were riding high in their glory. It didn't matter that their talking points about "marriage uniting the two halves of humanity" was basic balderdash repeated by one spokesperson (NOM president Brian Brown) who spoke out of the side of his mouth in a monotone worthy of a character from an Ed Wood movie. It didn't matter that their other spokesperson (Maggie Gallagher) practically oozed false sincerity and brazenly lied about her anti-gay animus even when confronted with evidence of it.

And it certainly didn't matter that while they whined about falsely being labeled as bigots, they simultaneously ran ads and commercials implying that gays were attempting to corrupt children, even while entities such as Politifact and one of their own supporters called them out on it.

All that mattered were the wins because, as Gallagher once put it, "winning is fun."

But they were so blinded by their wins, they got just a little too overconfident and weren't prepared when the argument shifted away from public votes and into the courtrooms.

I consistently remain amazed about how they were mortified when the courts stepped in. After all, it was the next step. Isn't that how it's done in this country? Laws are passed and if some feel that  the laws are unjust, they challenge them in our courts.

It was when gays challenged marriage equality laws via the courts that the masks of false superiority came off and we began to see the true faces of marriage equality foes. They made so many crucial errors and missteps  Allow me to address these errors and missteps  (and in doing so, I want to shift tenses so I can speak directly to Brown, Gallagher,  other leaders of the anti-marriage equality camp, and possibly anyone else still upset at our victory):

Misstep 1 - During the Prop 8 case which determined marriage equality in California, some of your "expert witnesses" dropped out because they had no expertise in what they were claiming, leaving you with only two. One of those witnesses, David Blankenhorn, managed to undermine the credibility of your own case.  Even your lead counsel, Chuck Cooper admitted that he couldn't say how marriage equality could harm the institution of marriage as a whole.

Misstep 2 - During the DOMA case, you pushed evidence so bad that one of the sources complained how you were distorting her work. And even a blogger - yours truly - spelled out in detail just how poor the evidence you were presenting.

Misstep 3 - But your most embarrassing misstep was when you helped create a phony study which supposedly shed a negative light on gay parenting without having the style and finesse of doing it in a clandestine manner as those who engage chicanery generally do. You recruited and overpaid a college professor, Mark Regenerus, to finagle figures and used your hype machine and resources to give the study credibility with the goal of using it to influence the Supreme Court.

But you are sloppy. I'm talking very sloppy. You were so bold and brazen that by the time your bogus study came out, the lgbt and scientific community knew where the money came from, how it was being promoted, who was promoting it, and every single lie to pinpoint in it. You basically gave us all a huge barrel of fish, several loaded guns, and said "have at it.

All in all, your entire cause was doomed from the time of the first gavel strike. So now, instead of admitting your own incompetence, you want to compare your now futile fight against the reality of marriage equality to  the famous Charge of the Light Brigade.

You remind me more of actor Slim Pickens in the movie Dr. Strangelove during the scene where he rode that atomic bomb down to the ground. But even his character had the common sense to know that once the bomb hit, that would be the end of it all.

You all, on the other hand, think that even after all of your missteps and transparent lies, that you will actually come out as winners, undo settled policy, and take something away from the lgbt community that we fought tooth and nail to win

You don't want to talk about why you actually lost against marriage equality. You would rather distract everyone with bad anecdotes of pseudo anti- Christian persecution  repeated by people I wouldn't trust to sell lemonade at a child's stand, such as Fox News' Todd Starnes. You come with people like Mike Huckabee exploiting the unfortunate ignorance of so many about how our government works. You come with conservative activists, pundits, and religious right figures spinning wonderful speeches of noble sacrifices and declaring that the fight against marriage equality is "a hill worth dying on." But the last time I checked, some of  those same characters were saying that overturning Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, or eliminating Common Core were also the "hills worth dying on."

And that point leaves me very frustrated. If these folks are talking about "dying on hills," the least they could do is pick one and give all of us the courtesy of following through.
What I am trying to say is you lost this fight because when you started it, you didn't think it through. You weren't prepared to go all of the way. Sure you passed a lot of referendums, but you weren't skilled enough to form a proper argument that could sway the courts.

THAT, my friends, is the reason why you failed.  It wasn't because of Satan or "black-robed dictators " or "unelected judges." It wasn't because of a long-term plan between gays and Hollywood. And it certainly had nothing to do with any fraud, chicanery, or trickery of any type.

You had to prove one thing to the courts - that the passage of anti-marriage equality laws did not violate the rights of gay and lesbians couples and their children. When it was all said and done, you couldn't do it.  In spite of all of your tricks, lies, influence, speeches, crowds of support, you failed miserably to prove that one solitary point.

And when you failed, you lost. It's as simple as that.

Those who lose generally  lick their wounds, get over their sadness and carry on the best way  they know how. I would suggest that you do the same because frankly, none of you are special. Your religious beliefs don't make you better than anyone else. And they certainly don't give you an excuse to not obey the same rules and laws that the rest of us have to.

But I do have one question.

Should Kim Davis have to go to jail again, will Mike Huckabee be taking her place? After all, he did volunteer.

1 comment:

John Powell said...

Once again, this opera is missing the final aria. Or should I call it a Soap Opera? Unfortunately, these people are not the kind to simply gather their toys and go home in a huff when they lose. For the next round they will want to impress the courts by being as compassionate as the Tin Man and brilliant as the Scarecrow after their audience with OZ. And I doubt any new spins on old arguments will be enough. So what is left?

Perhaps they really can think of a way to get around science and blame us for natural disasters. Say, thousands of LGBTQ secretly sipping rope - in sync, of course - in Wyoming which could cause a tremor which in turn could cause a volcanic eruption of Yellowstone. Or, hundreds of LGBTQ laden cruise ships, again, secretly, gathering in the South Atlantic. The extra heat causing a massive updraft sparking a mega hurricane. One more: Everyone gets out their opera fan and starts waving it at Ohio, causing a severe tornado outbreak.

I know, that made no sense, but, as arguments to date have, one by one, been shot down there isn't much left but to try making the ridiculous sound plausible. Don't like saying this, but, it ain't over, yet.