April 14, 2009

The Blathering Storm

In the wake of the tragic passage of California's Proposition 8, which amended the state's constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal last November, there have been encouraging signs in other states that the fight to grant homosexual couples equal rights before the law is picking up steam.

In recent weeks, the Iowa state supreme court has struck down a law banning same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, and the Vermont legislature became the first to pass a law explicitly putting same-sex marriages on equal footing with those between a man and a woman, overriding a gubernatorial veto to do so. Meanwhile, word has leaked out that New York Governor David Paterson will introduce a bill to legalize homosexual matrimony.

Of course, even though James Dobson, the hard-right leader of the fundamentalist Focus on the Family has admitted losing the culture wars, all is nowhere near wine and roses for gay men and women who want to formalize their commitment to the partner of their choice and have it recognized before the law. An openly homosexual state senator in Iowa has received death threats, and an organization called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has popped up to monger fear and sow intolerance on a national scale. (And while NOM may be somewhat hilariously inept at this point, it clearly has money behind it. As Californians learned to their chagrin with Prop 8, that's worth keeping in mind.)

Take a look at NOM's new video, ominously entitled "The Gathering Storm":

Personally, I think evaluating the effects of gay marriage on my home state of Massachusetts via this classic from The Daily Show - and yes, I know I posted it before in Poor Persecuted Persecutors, but it's just that good - should be mandatory for anyone who considers adding his name to NOM's mailing list:

After all, the rather pathetic arguments evinced in "The Gathering Storm" really make no more sense than the ones in this version:

Finally, as one might gather from the NOM video, there is a lot misinformation being disseminated about gay marriage, existing and proposed laws supporting it, and the "consequences" of same-sex matrimony. This final video is an excellent round-up of some of these issues and addresses specific examples that have been used to support the claims of groups like the National Organization for Marriage.

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