What can you say about Jennifer Thieme, Finance Director of NOM’s former affiliate, the Ruth Institute? Well, as my southern friends would slyly declare: Bless her heart. She tries her best to be a good anti-gay activist, with decidedly mixed results. Now she has a post up at Matt “Barb Wire” Barber’s new website, and she ends it by suggesting that folks on her side should engage people with a series of “conversation starters” — leading questions that turn out to be remarkably easy to answer. This strategy has been tried before and it didn’t work out well for them. Let’s see how it turns out this time:
Did you know that man/woman marriage is being removed from legal recognition?
No, because that’s not happening. Every man/woman marriage that was recognized before the passage of marriage equality will be recognized after the passage of marriage equality.
Is removing the gold standard from policy going to increase or decrease the power of the government over the individual over the long term? Will it be good for children?
Opponents of marriage equality tried and failed to show that same-sex parenting is inferior to opposite-sex parenting, so the whole premise of the question is false. Meanwhile it’s obvious that giving people more freedom over their personal lives will decrease the power of the government over the individual. And of course it will help children: the children of same-sex couples who will now have the legal family protections they deserve. It will help other kids too — see my next answer for more.
What sort of a message are we sending to children by removing the gold standard from policy?
It sends the message to gay kids that they are not disgusting, deviant, loathsome creatures incapable of love and doomed to life of loneliness, regardless of what they might hear from anti-gay activists.
Further, the message that you can live a life of love, commitment, and fulfillment, whether you’re straight or gay, will help all kids navigate the fears and uncertainties of adolescence. We’ve learned that gay-straight alliances in schools reduce the risk of suicide for all students, gay and straight, so there’s every reason to believe this message sent by marriage equality will help all kids, gay and straight.
Why is the radical Left in love with marriage now, when they have historically reviled marriage?
Have they? All of them? Anyway, I don’t know — I’m not part of the radical Left. But perhaps because they believe in equality under the law for all citizens? Really, though, you should just ask them — while remembering that the “radical Left” represents only a small fraction of all those who now support marriage equality.
If this was only about civil marriage, why are we seeing religious liberty issues arise?
These “religious liberty” issues arise from non-discrimination law, and some people are using their religion to demand a special right to ignore those laws. I understand that this demand for special rights is not how you want to spin your cause, but that’s what it is.
You really ought to advocate abolishing all discrimination law, because it all restricts the liberty (including the religious liberty) of people to choose whom they will associate and work with. That’s a much harder sell, of course, but if this is a sincere issue of principle then that shouldn’t dissuade you. If this is just about disliking gay people, though, then stick to your present course.
Should we take the radical Left seriously when they tell us where they’re going?
Again, the “radical Left” represents only a small fraction of all those who now support marriage equality, so I’m not sure how this is relevant.
Well, that was easy. And you know what? It just gets easier every year.
“But the truth is, you don’t have a choice.”
Uber anti-gay Matt Barber has gone on the offensive with his own website called BARBWIRE. Whether that moniker’s another sad attempt to bolster his tough masculine toughness, or just his drag name, I can’t say. But it is a hoot. Bryan Fischer (!) has a column on “defeating Darwinism in four easy steps” and it’s marvelous display of studied ignorance. Scott Lively (!) has an article proving that the anti-gay violence in Russia is probably perpetrated by other gays because, well, Nazis.
Think twice before you visit, though. I already wasted too much time today in the comments, feeding my outrage addiction. You know, one paranoid theory on the right is that the Democratic party pays its minions to post comments on right-wing fringe websites (where’s my money?) but I could almost entertain an opposing and corresponding theory that these sites are set up just to suck us into channeling our energy there instead of into more useful activism.
Hell, it’s almost more plausible than thinking these folk could be for real.
My favorite part of Opening Ceremonies was at the end, when Putin declared the Games open and they lit the Eye of Sauron.
It’s not enough to have the better message. We also have to make sure it reaches people in their head, their heart, and their gut. This woman, in mere moments, does a brilliant job.
Noted social science expert Mark Regnerus recently warned people against the use of bad statistical data:
Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas in Austin, says something called “confirmation bias” might be at work. In other words, people like statistics that reinforce their beliefs.
His colleagues responded: Read more…
I love this video!
I have a good-hearted friend, the sort of guy who will spend 30 minutes in your kitchen at the end of your dinner party washing your guests’ dishes just to make things easier on you the next day. He posted this on his Facebook page and I thought reading it might be a lovely way to start the weekend:
Today in the gym locker room at work, someone made what I interpreted to be a homophobic comment. It wasn’t the first time, and it wasn’t even from the dude that likes to constantly call people ‘sissy.’ The locker room was full. It was awkward. I thought about saying something, but didn’t. As I felt the embarrassment and anger stew within me, I considered wearing my socks into the shower stall so as not to expose my freshly-painted rainbow toenails. I quickly talked myself out of it. Fuck it, I thought to myself. Off I waltzed barefoot into the stall, determined to enjoy my hot post-workout shower and sing my little lungs out as I do every morning. If the fellas weren’t familiar with the Frozen soundtrack from their daughters, they certainly are after this week. Also, I use the term ‘sing’ loosely.
I stepped out of my shower, still a little disheartened, and was immediately told by one of the guys, “Jake just left but he said he wished everybody around here was as happy as you are.” I stopped and smiled, surprised. I always figured the guys were rolling their eyes at the weirdo belting out girly songs in the shower. Then the guy who made the disparaging comment earlier walked past me and I saw his eyes dart down to my feet. “Well now…” Here we go, I thought, ready to jump on the defensive. I’ve seen a lot of things in my days,” he chuckled, “but never rainbow toes.” I laughed and we proceeded to have a lovely conversation about his daughter, the joy of pedicures, and the value of not taking yourself too seriously. We won’t be going to get sushi and mani/pedis any day soon, but I did make a new gym buddy.
Sometimes the smallest and most seemingly insignificant of events can teach us some of the most valuable lessons. Today I was humbly reminded:
• People can only be as big, or as small, as I allow them the space to be.
• Every moment is a choice. I choose to make each moment an opportunity to learn and to grow.
• Be me. 100%. All the time. No apologies, no excuses, no exceptions.
• Living openly, honestly and unapologetically is the most powerful form of activism and the easiest way to change hearts and minds.
• With discomfort comes challenge, and with challenge comes growth.
• Nobody can accept me unless and until I accept myself – flaws, quirks, shortcomings and all. I am perfectly imperfect.
• I will always be my own worst enemy. It is just as important – if not more – to be kind to myself as it is to be kind to others.
• There is no reality. Only perception thereof. I choose to create an empowering interpretation.
• Rainbow toenails don’t just make me smile.
[Trigger warning for racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and homophobia.]
Everything we do as gay people is aggression. You know that, obviously. It was in the pamphlet, right?
Recently I stumbled across an articulate, horrifying, “traditionalist” Catholic blog called The Thinking Housewife, the sort of place where people worry a lot about white gentile oppression; where readers debate whether black women are significantly less attractive than white women or only slightly so; where it’s “an absolute deal breaker” if a white woman, no matter how attractive, has a black ex-boyfriend; where Francis‘ scaling back of papal ostentation is a moral crime; where a fella can toss out references to “Jew-mongers” without the PC police getting all up in his business.
What makes this blog so horrifying isn’t just the content, or the fact that it’s widely-read, but that it’s actually pretty well-written. My warm, comforting stereotype is that these must be ignorant fools who resort to ALL CAPS and crazy, Punctuation!!! but that’s not the case here at all.
In a recent post, Laura (the Thinker Herself) asks readers for advice on Charles’ social dilemma. As he describes it:
My wife and I are members of an informal social group of about 15 couples in our late 50′s and early 60′s who meet monthly in a member’s home for purposes of enjoying good wine (65 million Frenchmen can’t be all wrong!) and discussing topics of mutual interest. The membership consists of well educated and successful upper middle class white couples who could be characterized (with one exception) as basically apolitical suburbanites who always vote Republican, probably by default and without giving much thought to it. Nice people, nice homes, nice manners, nice clothes, otherwise preoccupied and utterly clueless – you know the type.
The exceptional couple are trendy left-liberal childless professionals who occasionally get in your face about some silly left wing issue of one kind or another…
At the last gathering of our group, I happened to overhear the left-wing couple mention to another member that they intend to propose for membership an openly homosexual couple who were recently “married” and with whom they are friends. I know this homosexual couple very casually and they are successful, educated and socially presentable people – we are not talking about grungy, emaciated, tattooed and pierced social freaks here. Nevertheless, the thought of a homosexual couple joining our small and highly congenial group simply turns my stomach. Read more…