February 9th, 2012

That About Which Reasonable People May Not Disagree

I've really missed babbling in my Live Journal. I've neglected it for months. What brings me back is the news that Washington state is evidently about to legalize samesex marriage (though it seems it must pass through a ridiculous repeal-by-popular-vote ordeal this November). My pleasure at this news has been stifled all day by NPR's reporting on the opposition to this reform, featuring comments from the moronic National Organization for Marriage. Before I get too far into it, let me point you to a much better post about the topic of marriage equality which you should probably read instead of mine: this one from my friend, author Brandon Bell.

In case you came back here after reading Brandon's really terrific and intelligent essay, I'll continue. The National Organization for Marriage is a huge piece of crap. To wit:

That douchebag is Brian S. Brown. According to the NOM website he "
serves as President of the National Organization for Marriage. Prior to coming to NOM in 2007, Brian was the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut. During the five years he was with the Family Institute, he developed it into one of the largest statewide pro-family organizations in the Northeast....Brian and his wife Susan have seven young children."  So it sounds like Brian S. Brown has enjoyed aplenty the alleged benefits of "traditional" marriage. That's fine with me, but what's not fine with me is that he and his organization somehow think that it's any of their fucking business if someone else--someone NOT like him and his wife--also want to enjoy those traditional values. And that NOM is an out-and-out hate group (almost forgot about that). 

Which brings me, gradually, to my main point and the meaning of the title of this post. A few days ago when I first caught the news on the radio about the action in Washington, NPR ran a segment featuring an openly gay WA state legislator, addressing his colleagues, and very graciously framing the debate in terms something like this paraphrase: "This is an issue about which reasonable people may disagree, and the opponents of samesex marriage are NOT bigots. They're just reasonable people that we're having a reasonable disagreement with." That's not at all a direct quote, but it's the sense of it. 

And I couldn't disagree more. Too often, in the interest of being more "reasonable" than the people on the other side, progressives overreach in assuming that the other side is actually composed of reasonable people reasonably disagreeing with us. NOM belies all of this. There is no rational reason for opposing samesex marriage other than the simple fact that the opponents think that gay people are gross and disgusting and would like us to return to the closet (NOT going to happen),  and they think it's "reasonable" to have the public vote on our individual rights when, generally, it's pretty much unheard of otherwise for basic rights to be subjected to a popular vote. It is entirely founded on bigotry and that fact doesn't change no matter how many flotillas of Bibles to which they set sail in an effort to say it has a "reasonable" basis. These are the ideological descendants of the same people who clung screaming to the past when women got the right to vote a century ago. And just think if women could NOT vote now. Maybe there would have been no political activist career for this lovely:

According to NOM's website, this charmer is Maggie Gallagher
"co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, which the Washington Post has called the "preeminent" national organization fighting to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife. NOM's formal mission is "protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it," but as Maggie likes to put it, "we fight gay marriage—and win." 

But what she is, in fact, is a giant bigot. She is not a reasonable person having a reasonable disagreement with me. The entire premise of their attack--that samesex marriage somehow destroys "real" marriage--is a total canard. It is a lie, a fraud, a cover for the plain and simple and totally obvious fact that these people just plain think that people like me and my partner of 12 years are gross and disgusting and they just don't like us. Well, bitch, the feeling is mutual, because...DAMN! So, in summary, I reject the reasonable-people-reasonably-disagreeing position and instead take the rather more hardline stance that it is none of the fucking business of NOM and their ilk how my partner and I live our lives and that they can take their "traditional" values and fuck right the hell off.  (And that's why I invited all y'all to read Brandon's much more   intellectually rigorous article instead of mine.)