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National Organization for Marriage Launches NOH8 Campaign???

January 02, 2011 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People, Youth Issues

The National Organization for Marriage, (NOM), learned a new strategy in 2010: steal the phrases used by the movement pushing to legalize marriage for same sex couples. It started with “Hate is Not A Family Value.” More recently, they have been offended by the FCKH8 videos, whose purpose is to counter the rhetoric  put forward by groups like NOM.

If you’ve seen them, you’ll notice that, yes, the F word is used and in one particular video,  it is used by children.

NOM has decided to use this as their next marketing campaign. Their slogan? NOH8. Perhaps, in their infinite ignorance, they have never heard of the NOH8 campaign started by Adam Bouska, where people have NOH8 printed on their cheeks, wear duct tape, and are photographed.  I can’t wait for the copyright infringement battle to begin. Better, I can’t wait for NOM to wear duct tape over their mouths. Permanently.

Setting aside their continued lack of originality and twisting of every word, methinks NOM doth protest too much. If you read their blog you would think that the children in these videos are taught to use the F word in every sentence, their parents are awful, and a lawyer should be called to check into child abuse.

NOM has conveniently ignored the true message in this video. That would mean acknowledging the logic, courage, and compassion in the message of equality for all families. Yesterday I checked YouTube. The video has almost 2 million hits and the “Likes” outweigh the “Dislikes” 10 to 1.

NOM as an organization is doing everything in its power, and bank account, to appeal to fear and hate. When asked to back up their position that marriage is between one man and woman, all they have now is “it is special.” When interviewed publicly, they have been forced to retreat from religious arguments that God made it so, marriage is for procreation, or it has been this way for 5,000 years since none of those requirements are present in the law now for heterosexuals.

They have attempted to claim that they do not hate gay people, that this is only about the special institution of marriage. Yet in their blog and their Facebook group, Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman, they continue to promote a misinterpreted Biblical view that homosexuals choose their sexual orientation, they are sexual deviants, pedophiles, and are out to convert all of our children to homosexuality.

When has NOM stood up to protect any LGBT person? When the rash of suicides hit the mainstream media in September, they refused to support actions to stop bullying. If NOM were truly worried about what children are exposed to, they would pay attention to the statistics on bullying of youth and start a campaign to stop bullying and abusive behavior. Do they know that four out of five youth who are called homophobic slurs are actually straight?

Here are statistics on bullying for 2009 from GLSEN, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. As a mother, I am far more concerned about the real harm that is being done to our children every single day in our schools and communities. It is far more traumatic than the use of the F word in a video. A video that comes with a warning label, by the way.

  • 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
  • 63.7% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.2% reported being physically harassed and 12.5% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.
  • 72.4% heard homophobic remarks, such as “faggot” or “dyke,” frequently or often at school.
  • Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
  • 29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.
  • The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1).
  • Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.

I read Brian Brown’s Christmas letter on the NOM blog. He even included a photograph of his family with all of his children. One gay person who commented on the blog, trying to be calm and engage in productive discourse, stated that he disagreed with NOM but wished Brian’s family a Merry Christmas and commented that his children are beautiful. They are.

And so are the children of so many same sex couples that I know. I wonder what Brian would tell one of his children about the value of marriage and family, how special and important it is if that child turns out to be gay. Will he want his  child to have the same rights and happiness as his other children? Perhaps Brian would understand if he had to explain his prejudice to one of his own children. Or will he turn on his child, the same way that NOM has tried to dehumanize and marginalize all people attracted to someone of the same gender?

Note: Tune in for the debate between Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry and Maggie Gallagher, NOM; brought to you by The Economist. Starts January 3rd online.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: Ridicule and Oppression is not Tolerance.

July 29, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

LGBT Lessons for Straight People - Why Equality MattersThe National Organization for Marriage, with its key speakers Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher and Louis J. Marinelli III, are touring the country.

Their rhetoric has changed and I am the first to admit that there must be a genius, albeit it one without morals, on their team. They tried, and succeeded, in taking away marriage from California and Maine by telling lies. Do we all remember the Gathering Storm video? Letting gays marry will mean that:

  • homosexuality will be taught in schools (wrong),
  • will force churches to marry them (wrong),
  • gays will make bad parents (wrong), and
  • since gays are pedophiles, we will condone that sort of thing (very wrong).

The arguments went on:

  • Gays cannot procreate. [Well, procreation is not a requirement for marriage.]
  • Homosexuality is a choice and is deviant behavior (wrong).
  • If we make gay marriage legal, where will it end? We’ll legalize pedophilia and bestiality.

What they are really saying is that they believe gay people are sick.

Pedophilia is abhorrent and is mostly committed by people that identify as heterosexuals. Just ask the Catholic Church, they are experts in this area.

What they fail to recognize is that being gay is not a mental illness, it is not a choice. Couples who want to marry are simply trying to make a commitment so strong that they are willing to commit to each other legally and financially. Marriage is what stabilizes families; all families.

Their Biblical arguments are a failure. Again and again, they ignore the points about other sins in the Bible. They cannot seem to remember that adultery made it to the Ten Commandments, not being gay. They cherry pick from Bible verses. Proven wrong at the Prop 8 trial, they have now resorted to two strategies.

The first is that there is something special about the union between a man and a woman. We can all see this right? Special. I don’t remember the word special anywhere in our Declaration of Independence or Constitution. I have not seen our country evolve to take away rights. We have always read more deeply into our founding documents to expand rights. Should we have stayed in 1776 when white male property owners were the only ones who could vote and slavery was legal? We have come a long way in over 200 years. But we are not done.

Their second strategy is playing the victim card. NOM is now the face of tolerance. They want civil dialogue. Those who disagree should be civil. Yes, if someone wanted to take away my rights, I’m sure I would just sit by politely and calmly and let them. [Sarcasm].

Everyone’s love is special. Tolerance? That is what they call denying rights now? Tolerance?

Do you want to know what NOM supporters really believe? Visit their Facebook page Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman. Here are some lovely screen shots of the discussions that occur there:

Judge for yourself, is this tolerance?

Protect Marriage: One Man One Woman

Protect Marriage: One Man One Woman

Protect Marriage: One Man One WomanNational Organization for the denial of Marriage to Loving Couples (a/k/a NOM)

National Organization for the denial of Marriage to Loving Couples (a/k/a NOM)
And if you still see “tolerance,” take a look at this video of Larry Adams, a NOM supporter and Rally attendee from Equality on Trial:

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science. More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: National Organization for Marriage

July 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

LGBT Lessons for Straight People - Why Equality MattersIf you haven’t heard of Maggie Gallagher, you aren’t gay. Maggie Gallagher was the face of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that has poured millions of dollars into a battle to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage. Now, NOM is on tour this summer, the Summer for Marriage Tour. Today, July 14th,  is their first stop in Augusta, Maine. From sea to shining, um, cornfields. Yes. They won’t cross the Mississippi River.

Maggie’s argument is that same sex marriage will destroy the traditional marriage. Of course, there is no evidence for this. The Prop 8 trial proved that.  Maggie and Brian Brown are simply damaged people with a twisted way of trying to solve their own dysfunctional issues.

Maggie was a single mom. Now, I have a lot of sympathy for single parents. Parenting is hard work. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been for me if I had not had my husband.

Ironically, Maggie is the President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. I have absolutely no idea if this organization is legitimate or has anyone with any intelligence working there.

But let’s pretend for the sake of this post that they do. I’ll tell you why. On their website, you can find a report called “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All Fifty States.” I have not read every word. But I’ve scanned it and cannot find one word about same-sex marriage.

Instead, this is what I found. Something that LGBT activists have been pointing out. Only this time, with numbers.

Let’s look at the highlights of this report.

These important changes in family structure stem from two fundamental changes in
U.S. residents’ behavior regarding marriage: increases in unmarried childbearing
and high rates of divorce.1 More than a third of all U.S. children are now born outside
of wedlock, including 25 percent of non-Hispanic white babies, 46 percent of
Hispanic babies, and 69 percent of African American babies.2 In 2004, almost 1.5
million babies were born to unmarried mothers.

Evidently it is important to point out the racial breakdown of these statistics.

78.5% of children living in single parent families live with their mother.

The Institute mined available public data for government costs associated with different types of households.

Here are a few examples:

Families receiving       Food Stamps                           Assistance                   Medicaid

Married                                        3.9%                            3.6%                            15.4%

Single Male Parent                   8.6%                            7.8%                            27.9%

Single Female Parent              26.%                            17.2%                          45.6%

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, in general, women earn less than men, and that often times both parents work in a two parent home. So is this really a surprise to anyone? Not to me.

The Institute went further and looked into other forms of government aid. These numbers are for single parent female households only. I do not know how they calculated the impact on the justice system, other than to state that kids in single parent homes are more likely to get into trouble. The actual number isn’t my point though. So, let’s just assume again that these numbers are real.

These numbers are in billions

Justice System                                                                                              $19.3

TANF – Cash Assistance                                                                            $5.1

Food Stamps                                                                                                  $9.6

Housing Assistance                                                                                     $7.3

Medicaid                                                                                                          $27.9

SCHIP                                                                                                                $2.8

ChildWelfare                                                                                                   $9.2

WIC                                                                                                                     $1.6

LIHEAP                                                                                                             $0.7

Head Start                                                                                                        $2.7

School Lunch and Breakfast Program                                                   $3.5

Additional U.S. Income Taxes Paid                                                        $6.1

Additional FICA Taxes Paid                                                                       $9.4

Additional State & Local Taxes Paid                                                       $6.8

Total U.S. Taxpayer Cost of Family Fragmentation        $112.0

That’s a nice tidy sum of $112 billion. You’ll notice that they call this family fragmentation. Here’s what I call it:

  • An opportunity to educate people about birth control. In school. When they are teenagers. Not abstinence.
  • Make the morning after pill available. Make condoms available.
  • Provide more opportunities for education for women and minorities.
  • Provide more job opportunities for single parents. Encourage employers to provide part-time jobs and child care subsidies.
  • Last, but not least, as a society we need to support couples when they are going through rough times. We all benefit from extended families, even when we argue about breast feeding versus bottles, spanking or not, church or not. Families have bonds, despite their differences.

Here’s what else I have to say.

What is the rate of unwanted children among gays and lesbians? I’m guessing fairly low if your sex partner is of the same gender. Kudos, you aren’t contributing to this government expenditure.

Maggie and her friends need to focus on heterosexuals. We are a huge problem. We cost the government billions of dollars. We behave irresponsibly and we expect our government to bail us out. Right Maggie?  We endanger our children when we cannot provide for their physical and emotional needs. We tear our children apart with our 50% divorce rate. We tear our spouses apart with our adultery or domestic violence.

Now let’s think about this. How will keeping couples of the same gender from marrying solve any of these problems? How does banning same sex marriage reduce this huge government expenditure?

NOM? What is your answer?

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science. More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

If Maggie Gallagher is Upset, Then So Am I!

September 10, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

nomMaggie Gallagher of NOM, the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage recently said:

This is not an issue of free speech but of neighborliness. Fundamental decency requires that we treat each other with respect, especially when we disagree deeply on hot moral issues. Sadly, I’ve grown used to the reality that tolerance is now a one-way street for gay marriage advocates. It no longer matters how respectfully and civilly one makes the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.

You see, Maggie is upset that people think she is a bigot. She is upset that people tell her that what she is doing is gay hate. Maggie just wants to be your neighbor. Because she has been respectfully and civilly making the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.

And if Maggie is upset, then I am upset. Because I actually agree that fundamental decency requires that we treat each other with respect. I feel hurt. I am so upset that I cried, got out of bed and I am writing this at midnight.  So if you are reading this blog, I would appreciate it if you would send this blog everywhere you can. Tomorrow I will print it and send it to Maggie.

Dear Maggie,

Allow me to help you understand.  You are hurting real people. Real people that love each other. Do you know how many gay couples I know? Let me count: Five couples that are close friends. That visit us and we visit them. People I speak to and work with every single day. About another 20 couples at church. Another 20 or so from work or other social groups.

You have hurt them to the point where I have seen them cry. You have made ME cry! You have made me angry and my friends angry. How dare you hurt people you don’t even know? Then you cry victim? Poor Maggie! I’m so sorry Maggie. If I had known you were so sensitive, I would have…….. wait, I would have done nothing differently. No one is trying to take away your marriage or any of your rights. So just exactly what are you upset about?  But maybe someone should take away your marriage. Then you might see how it feels.

My friends are real people, with real names, lives and families.  They love each other, pay taxes, mow the lawn, go to church (or not), give to charities, and obey the law. You are denying them legal rights that any two people who are committed to caring for one another deserve. Marriage is a legal contract that entitles people to 1138 rights under Federal Law. You want to stop people from having the right to protect each other financially and legally, and you wonder why people call you a bigot? Do you really have to wonder? Traditional marriage? Marriage is defined in the social context of the times. It has been many things, some of them quite ugly. When two people love each other so much that they are willing to be financially responsible for each other, that deserves legal and social recognition.

Tolerance is a one way street?  I must read over 50 gay news sites and blogs. Have I just gotten lucky that most of them are people who are trying to explain that they are human and deserve, what was that word Maggie, “Respect?” Is it respect when Pastor Steven Anderson says that gays should be murdered? Is it respect when readers will write comments like “homosexuals are the turds that you can’t get to flush down the toilet?”  Is it respect when gay teens have a suicide rate four times higher than their peers? When they are bullied and taunted every day? Is it respect when your parents throw you out, or worse, beat you? Is it respect when your employer fires you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity? Is it respect when a couple is arrested for a peck on the cheek? Is it respect when you are a gay soldier and fellow soldiers abuse you, knowing that you can’t tell?

Wouldn’t fundamental decency mean giving everyone equal rights? Maggie, you are either naive or a master at whimpering foul. When you have made it your life’s work to deny people rights, they are not going to like you. It’s really that simple. Wake up and get the message. Because I guarantee you, the gay people who do grow up to be healthy and confident got there the hard way. They have been through the hell of fear and discrimination. They have thick skins and they are not afraid to fight for their rights. And in case you didn’t notice, 75% of the newest generation is with them.

Maggie, go home and take care of your own life. And let other people have their own life. That’s neighborliness.
jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

Thank God for Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church.

September 03, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

phelpsFred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church folks are some of the most extreme people in all of religiousdom.  The Westboro Baptist Church website is GodHatesFags.com, a slimy place full of unpleasant commentary including a countdown for the number of days Matthew Shepard has been in hell.  The church and its flock often take their small children with them for protests and carry signs like those in the photograph and with phrases such as “Fags are Beasts” and “God Hates Fags.” They are known for protests of U.S. soldiers’ funerals, funerals of persons who died as a result of AIDS and funerals of hate crimes victims.

In spite of Phelps protesting soldiers, preaching that “AIDS cures fags” and claiming that the Pope is a Whore, for the most part, America wasn’t listening.  Until his clan made a tragic mistake.  They picketed American Idol, Adam Lambert.  Straight and gay fans of Adam were outraged and the twitter hashtag #GodHatesHates was launched exposing the level of intolerance faced by many LGBT people to the masses.  According to those on twitter:

#GodHatesHate was started by fans supporting Adam Lambert when protesters showed up at a concert with signs saying “God hates fags”. Adam has said in the past that “God hates hate more” in response to those protesters.

The hashtag quickly became the number one twitter trending topic of the evening on Sunday, August 30, 2009 and tweets poured through such as:

#GodHatesHate Take responsibility for yourself and stop using your religion as an excuse for your own hatred and bigotry. [via @Buffy2q]

Protesting Adam Lambert is like protesting sunshine! #godhateshate [via @EWMichaelSlezak]

#godhateshate … That’s why @adamlambert was created…nothing but love…beautiful,awesome love. [via VTAlum01]

#Godhateshate Pastor Steve Anderson and Fred Phelps do NOT represent the heart of Christianity and I’m sorry for those hurt by their rants.

But there is a danger in all of this.  Fred Phelps is a dramatic example of bigotry and it’s easy to spot his hate mongering; however, others aren’t so blatant like Maggie Gallagher, Pat Robertson, Carrie Prejean and the like.  For example, Pat Robertson often attempts to be more discrete in his message of hate.  When he spoke out against “gay days” at Disney World, he said:

I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you, This is not a message of hate — this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.

So, if your one of the many outraged over “God Hates Fags,” remember it’s the same message as many anti-equality people, just without the sugar coating.