The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a nonprofit organization created to “protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” They are on a nationwide tour, encouraging people to “rally behind marriage” (exclusively heterosexual marriage), and making a stop in Central Florida on August 8th. They believe marriage needs to be protected from us. According to N.O.M., marriage is “about bringing together men and women so children can have fathers and mothers.” Marriage creates families. Families they believe we are destroying. They believe that if it is acceptable to have gay marriage, soon their way of life will lose all meaning.

 Below are some of their key talking points: 

  MYTH:  If gay marriage is legal, people lose the right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife 

  MYTH: “If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.” 

  MYTH: “Religious groups like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army may lose their tax exemptions, or be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage." 

  MYTH: “Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.” 

  MYTH: “When the idea that children need moms and dads get legally stigmatized as bigotry, the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.” 

  MYTH: “Love is a great thing. But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of husband and wife for each other and their children.”       

Here is my response to each talking point:

     Legalizing same-sex marriage is not, nor has it ever been about taking away rights. Everyone has a personal right to define marriage and family however they would like. The people of any state do NOT have a right to deny marriage to any legal consenting adults. Everyone also deserves respect, regardless of differing views. When gay marriage becomes law, I would imagine that the least of our concerns will be those who opposed it. That being said, I do not condone mud-slinging or name-calling of any sort. The personal cruel words of individuals to individuals are not of any legal concern, nor should the fear of such hatred be the reason to keep the rest of us good citizens away from our rights as Americans. Before worrying about whether one will be called a bigot, I would urge opponents of same-sex marriage to think about how many times we have had “faggot” shouted at us, and exactly who and what creates a society where that is acceptable. 

     As far as families are concerned, I can publicly announce my feelings towards children and the family, however since procreation is not a legal requirement for marriage, this argument has no basis in reality, regardless of your personal views.      

     Groups which utilize public parks or facilities (whether they are religious in nature or not) do not reserve the right to deny access to anyone. Public parks and facilities are just that, PUBLIC. The United States Constitution does grant us the separation of church and state, after all. This means, that you will still have free use to your public facilities, and non-profit organizations, private churches can turn us away, just as they have been doing.      

     Back in 1978, there was proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative. It sought to weed out “homosexual” teachers in California. People were afraid that gay teachers would make their students gay. That seems a ridiculous prospect now, and yet the same sentiments that drove the campaign to pass proposition 6 still exist. How anyone wants to raise their children has nothing to do with how other people choose to raise their children. Your family is yours, and my family is mine. The argument that schools will teach anything about marriage is invalid. School are not there to judge anyone’s personal life. School authorities may of course step in, if children are being harassed, and we would expect that from them if the child was being bullied about having only a mother. However some say it isn’t there place to say anything at all to someone being harassed for being gay, or having gay parents. 

     We do not live in a gay-friendly society.  N.O.M. says that it is against violence targeted at homosexuals, but they fear for gay marriage being legalized because children will be taught “two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife”   To say that you are against violence, but do not wish to teach tolerance for other cultures to your children, is a contradiction. It is tolerance, mutual respect for each other that makes us civilized. It is the very difference between saying “that’s too bad, that gay kid got killed” and saying “that isn’t right, he didn’t do anything wrong, a child has been murdered!”    

     Marriage in this country can be entered into by strangers, who have no intentions of having children, who have no “special love” for each other or religious affiliation whatsoever. I have yet to hear of an organization crusading to ensure that only couples who are in love or intend to have children are getting married. Love between same-sex couples is just as “special” as between any heterosexual couple.    

     We respect everyone’s personal beliefs for what a family means to them. All we ask is that this respect be reciprocated. Fear of change is what guides N.O.M. to do what they do. They like life just the way it is, and they do not see that they are hurting people. Marriage is about love, commitment, and making someone a part of your family. Everyone who enters a courthouse should have the same rights regardless of race, gender, gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation. 

     We will be outside the winter park church on Sunday August 8th. We will spread our message of love for everyone. This will be a peaceful protest. We are not protesting the individuals, we are protesting the National Organization for Marriage and the anti-gay message they are spreading.
Yvette Clawson
8/6/2010 05:05:36 am

I love it. You are so well spoken. I will see you on Sunday for the protest. All of us together, as long as we keep at it, CAN make change and make America a better, safer place for all of us!

9/29/2010 04:06:25 am

Check out HRC's NOM exposed campaign!


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