In case you have been living in a cave under a rock with your fingers in your ears, you now know that Oregon became the 18th state to legalize marriage equality.
Now let’s get serious for a bit. On election night less than two years ago, many Americans got caught by surprise when President Obama was reelected to a second term. Fox News, just about all of the conservative media and bloggers, and their gut had told them that Mitt Romney would either win in a close vote or a landslide.
As it turned out, what they probably felt in their gut was a brief case of happy gas. However, when it came to all of the other prognosticators, it was genuinely agreed that these seers, these so-called correct predictors of the election day mood, was taking their audience for a ride. Prominent conservatives and republicans like David Frum and Joe Scarborough had it so correct when they read the riot act to folks like Fox News commentator Dick Morris and talking heads Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin for leading fellow conservatives down a primrose path of destruction fueled by a conservative bubble which shut all reality out of an assured Obama victory.
By that same token, someone needs to yank all of these folks who voted for these statewide anti-marriage equality amendments and give them a good figurative slap. And I’m not talking about a wimpy one. I’m talking one of those infamous Joan Crawford type smacks where you really get your hand in the cheek, leaving a loud noise and a lasting sting.
Someone needs to sit these folks down and say “look guys, you have been victimized, bamboozled, played for fools, treated like dopes, and basically sold a bill of goods worse than a car lot full of lemons. In other words, these so-called traditional values and morality groups have been using you.”
You see, in spite of the fact that in the past these laws were passed by overwhelming majorities, they still had to be defended in courts of law if there is a question of whether or not they were constitutional. And no spin about “activist judges” or the “will of the people” will change that. It’s standard practice in this country that laws are challenged and have to be proven to be constitutional.
And when this happens, someone has to defend these laws. And when it came to marriage equality laws, things changed bizarrely. Those defending the laws either offered off-the-wall defenses, no defenses at all, or defenses comprised of discredited studies so blatantly inaccurate that at times, I found myself feeling pitiful for the authors of these studies rather than dancing in glee at their obviously painful audacity.
Meanwhile, the amen corners which got folks all riled against marriage equality were pretty much nowhere in sight. I tend to think that was intentional.
In other words, it’s easy sending out mass emails (that would be you, Family Research Council and American Family Association), running television commercials (that would be you, National Organization for Marriage), preaching in the pulpits ( that would be you, various pastors) or leading one-sided interviews on your fake news channels (that would be you, Fox News) spinning stories of gays wanting to recruit children, pushing discredited or cherry-picked studies, or telling false anecdotal stories about “evil homosexuals.”
But, as a very smart lawyer once said, the witness stand is a lonely place to lie.
Scaring people enough to vote a certain way and proving that said vote was constitutional are two entirely different things.
And there, as they say, lies the rub. For all of the talking emanating from Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council or Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, or Frank Schubert of the National Organization for Marriage or all of their cohorts, just how many volunteered to testify in a court of law as to the validity of the anti-marriage equality laws they were pushing?
Where were theses so-called defenders of morality during the DOMA court case? The Prop 8 court case? How about the state cases? Hell, where were they during the Oregon court case which was just decided. If any time they were needed, that would have been it then because Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, wouldn’t defend the law.
Of course that’s not altogether fair for me to make such a judgement. I hear that NOM did request to defend the law but was turned down by the courts. Then again, knowing NOM like I do, I suspect the organization was making a deliberately futile gesture.
In common street language, these anti-marriage equality groups and their cohorts used a lot of spooky language, made a lot of false claims, but they wouldn’t back it up in the place where it counts, i.e. the courts. Instead, they turned tail and ran. Now when their side loses, they always return claiming that the system is biased so as to distract their supporters from the basic unavoidable point that all of their past fearmongering was (oh how can I say this) basically full of shit.
So true to form, FRC, NOM, various pastors, and other anti-gay groups are probably going to read the riot act, making predictions about how “America is on a precipice of destruction by God” or how “homosexuals are using marriage equality to force acceptance,” or, my favorite, “unelected activist judges are attempting the destroy this country’s so-called Judeo-Christian foundation.”
All I ask those who oppose marriage equality is to ignore those bombastic words for a second and count how many times these folks will be asking you for money.
At the most, don’t give them any more money because their track record is beginning to stink like five -day old fish.
At the very least, please recognize that you have been sold a bad bill of goods, i.e. lies told in the name of God, Jesus, and “traditional morality.” And all lies, even those told in the name of God,can NEVER carry the day.