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Bigotry, a National Organization for Marriage Trademark

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Walter Barton

By definition, a bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own. Having a set of beliefs, religiously or politically, that form a unified system prevalent in a community or society is not in itself bigotry. However, when that set of beliefs creates an injustice, stigmatized a part of the community or society, makes a moral judgment on choices within that society, it becomes inconsistent with reason. 

The National Organization for Marriage, NOM, provides guidelines for opposite-sex advocates of Catholic faith by posing five questions. Firstly, "How will my same-sex marriage hurt your marriage?"  In their guidance, they believe proponents of same-sex marriage want to "dramatically and permanently alter" the definition of marriage and family. They believe that if same-sex marriage comes to fruition, they will be called bigots. "The law will teach your children and grandchildren that there is nothing special about mothers and fathers raising children together, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a bigot."  In their own words, NOM professes an intolerance to providing same-sex couples from experiencing "a loving, faithful, permanent union" helping to satisfy men and women's deep human longings for connection with each other" fostering commitment, trust, fidelity and cooperation." This is to say nothing of the over 1000 benefits, rights and privileges a civilly recognized marriage brings from the society. 

NOM goes on to pose another question, "Is same-sex marriage like interracial marriage?" Their answer to the question tells us that the "laws against interracial marriage were about keeping two races apart, so that one race could oppress the other, and that is wrong."  Yes, this is wrong for one race to oppress another. It is also wrong for one sexuality to oppress another. NOM continues with the set of beliefs that marriage is for procreation and the fear "women aren't stuck with the enormous, unfair burdens of parenting alone"  I can agree marriage is a desired step in the creation of life, but it is not a requirement, by law. But marriage is more than a procreation activity. It is that "deep human longings for connection with each other" fostering commitment, trust, fidelity and cooperation." And this has nothing to do with the question about interracial marriage.  

"Is polygamy next?" NOM provides no answer to this question except to insinuate same-sex marriage is similar or closely related to having more than one spouse at a time. I would think a more serious issue would have been about serial monogamy, someone like Newt Gingrich, a Roman Catholic, or about pedophilia where about 50% of those arrested are married men and a large majority are heterosexual.

Question 4 is "What will happen to our Catholic organizations?" NOM appears to drop the subtle fear tactic and goes directly to the emotion experienced in anticipation of the dangers of gay marriage. "Legal scholars warn that the tax exempt status and accreditation of Catholic organizations could be at risk."  If any tax exempt organization is making their property available to the public for profit, then the laws must apply to them as any other entity. The Catholic Church has legal scholars who can figure out a way to defend a bigoted viewpoint consistent with Church policy. 

Lastly, NOM asks, "What will public school teach?"  Instead of providing guidelines for advocates of opposite-sex marriage, NOM relies on that emotional element again. "Heather and her two Mommies will become standard kindergarten fare."  Public schools should teach positive messages about marriage. The axiomatic idea of Heather and her two mommies not being positive is not a clever bumper sticker intended to express a general truth. It is pathetic. 

NOM instills fear of same-sex marriage by a systematic set of questions designed to deceive the rational person into believing that there is some grand scheme to redefine marriage and family which is presented to Catholics as a threat to their set of beliefs. Same-sex marriage will only entitle unions outside the Church in the secular world. No one forces the Catholic Church to recognize those marriages. In fact, the Catholic Church believes that the union of a man and woman in the eyes of the Church has to be done within the Catholic Church. Nothing changes with all those non-Catholics marriages. NOM promotes the oppression of gay rights as being okay because polygamy will be next. And for good measure, NOM throws in a fear of losing tax exempt status and public school curriculums.   

The narrow closed-mind views of the National Organization of Marriage provide no rational substance to oppose gay marriage. It is my opinion that they meet the definition of bigotry.


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After 26 years retiring from the Navy, then another 14 years as a psychotherapist retiring again, I have finally found time to be more active.
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