Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Religious freedom demands discrimination...NOT!

A couple of prominent gay writers have noticed a striking switch in the rhetoric of our friends at the National Organization for [straight-only] marriage (NOM). In the past, NOM has taken pains to make its only point of contention to be about marriage, and has not been anti-gay per se. Well the gloves are off.

  Jeremy Hooper notes that NOM is bringing its forces to bear to argue that the Boy Scouts should continue to discriminate, lest being gay be "normalized".
It is the single most anti-LGBT action in which I have ever seen NOM engage. This, an organization that has long denied it is anti-gay and instead insisted it is a "pro-marriage" policy shop, is coming right out an admitting it: NOM does not want homosexuality being seen as normal. NOM considers our values "alternative 'values'" With this action, NOM is aligning itself with the most radical groups on the oppositional side, fighting against the simple inclusivity of gay parents and children. 
In my eyes, this is a game changer. NOM can never live this one down. From here on out, we have no choice but to see NOM's fight as against the LGBT person. Here at a time when the organization is scrambling to find its messaging, NOM made this choice to step outside its focused cause and go hardcore against this, a fair-minded policy shift that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARRIAGE. NOM is wearing this undeniable animus like a merit badge, without concern or even realization for the fact that it just tied its own forward movement in knots.
Rob Tinsinai:
 Let’s be clear on why Brian’s all a-flutter. 
The Boy Scouts are not being required by law to stop discriminating. 
They are not instituting a national non-discrimination policy. 
They are not recommending that any local council stop discriminating. 
They are merely pondering whether to let local councils decide for themselves. 
And Brian Brown is freaking out. He’s drawing a battle line here and we should note it. I’ve searched for anything that would make Brian’s argument unique to the Boy Scouts, and I can’t find it. He’s made a case, right or wrong, that it’s a threat to religious liberty for private organizations to have no official policy on anti-gay discrimination. Brian’s reasoning — and correct me if I’m wrong — implies there is only way to protect religious freedom: make sure everybody out there implements and enforces a mandatory policy of discrimination against gay and lesbian people. 
This is Dark Ages stuff. In Brian Brown’s utopia, no one will dare sue for anti-gay discrimination because no one will dare reveal themselves as gay. No one will come out to their friends. No one will acknowledge their partner. Because every group, every charity, every employer will have a mandatory no-gay policy. 
Once you define "religious freedom" as Brian Brown's "right" not to see gay people, it's inevitable.  But it is profoundly anti-freedom.  And we should shine a bright light on it...and watch them scurry to the dark, where they belong.

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