The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the folks who have fought every marriage equality amendment for the past few years, and who were particularly active in Maine's recent ballot loss for equality, have embarked on an East Coast tour to promote their message of marriage exclusion. Problem is, their tour has been something of a bust, with very low turnout everywhere they went. The most recent embarrassment was in Trenton, New Jersey, where they managed to rally a massive mob of 63.
You read that right. 63. And that's counting some of the camera crew and casual passersby.
NOM is desperate to try to gain attention and turn this turd-blossom into lemonade. Especially when you consider that this was what the camera's caught at their rally in Providence.
That wasn't the only controversial thing to happen in Providence. At one point during the rally, LGBT activists went behind the speakers in an apparent attempt to disrupt NOM's rally and began chanting. A few went up and began screaming in the face of NOM President, Brian Brown, which provided visuals that were propaganda gold for the anti-marriage movement.
Now, at Box Turtle Bulletin, we're not afraid to call it like it is. So my cohort, Timothy Kincaid, wrote a piece talking about how perceptions matter in the cultural battles we face. Agree or disagree -- I happen to agree in this case -- but we certainly had a rollicking controversy over Timothy's commentary among our reader's comments, with the very first comment demanding that we "take this shit down and write a supportive piece." You know, like what the Stalinist-style propaganda robots at NOM do on their web site.
Naturally, I refused. Because if there's anything we're fighting for, it's for freedom of expression. It's the freedom to express ourselves as gay people to our families and with our families, families that NOM refuses to recognize. And we have the temerity to demand our rights to express ourselves not because we're gay, but because we're Americans.
Now here's where things get absolutely hilarious. NOM's blog has been chronicling every stop of their tour, so today you'd expect an update on yesterday's disastrous turnout in Trenton. But no. They're celebrating because of "infighting among homosexual activists," and they point to our blog's comments as proof.
That's right. Blog readers are now "homosexual activists."
Oh yeah. We're having a lot of fun over that.
Here's the thing. NOM is peeing their collective pants in glee over discovering that the LGBT community is a very diverse group of people, ranging from Christians to atheists, Republicans to Democrats, from right-wing fascist to merely conservative to moderate to merely liberal to left-wing Marxist. You know, like the rest of America.
But Louis Marinelli, NOM's blogger, is so incapable of understanding that concept that he even seems to think Timothy and I are the same people. That confusion is instructive, because like many who fight so hard against LGBT equality, Marinelli is incapable of distinguishing among different people. Where we see people, he sees an agenda. And to him, Timothy and I are all the same.
And so what Marinelli is squealing like a schoolgirl over here is his cognitive dissonance that he has encountered now that his stereotype of the monolithic “homosexual agenda,” that bogeyman who lurks in the shadows and always behaves in a predictable way (bogeyman only exists in the imagination of the dreamer, hence the predictability) evaporates when confronted with the reality that, gosh, different people have different opinions! Imagine that! And furthermore, they’re going to express them!
Well golly willikers! Maybe we disagree with the whole equality thing altogether!
Don’t count on that.
Jim Burroway is the editor of Box Turtle Bulletin, an LGBT blog dedicated to news, analysis, and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric.