Of course it IS personal. Our opponents vigorously oppose civil unions if they think they can get away with it. We see the attorney general of Texas just this week going after municipalities that dare to provide any sort of partnership arrangement for gay couples, calling them unconstitutional.
THe front group NOM is increasingly pulling off the mask. They applaud the attacks by the Texas AG. As the redoubtable activist Jeremy Hooper notes, the rhetoric from NOM is ratcheting up into an aggressive anti-gay tone.
The organization is increasingly partisan, reaching out to groups that are further and further on the fringe right. NOM has been taking on causes unrelated to marriage, like the matter of Boy Scout inclusivity. NOM staffers like Jennifer Roback Morse engage inever-harsher rhetoric that admits its cause is against LGBT people and not just marriage. We see constant signs of the "drive of wedge" strategy that came to light his year. Brian Brown has even used his email letter to draw a connection between marriage equality and pedophilia. Again, this is all happening because moderates and independents who were once more likely to support the NOM view have increasingly joined the majority of us on the right side of history. Brian is taking the organization in this direction because, quite frankly, what other choice has he?NOM supports the bile spewed by anti-gay obsessive Robert Gagnon, who considers homosexuality worse than bestiality or incest.
Interestingly, NOM's founder, Maggie Gallagher, has distanced herself from the organization she started. In fact her disappearance corresponds with their more agressive, anti-gay language. These days, she paints herself as a victim of religious intolerance.
But this anti-gay rhetoric can't succeed. 14% of people who used to oppose equality now support it.
STudies show that the biggest thing that changes the hearts and minds is knowing someone gay.
If you listen to the arguments during the hearings on marriage equality in Rhode Island, Delaware, or Illinois, what you hear is people saying, "I know gay couples. And they aren't the drooling spawn of Satan that NOM claims. They are decent citizens, good parents, and good neighbors. And I can't in good conscience deny them the same rights that I enjoy."
Which is why we have to come out, over and over again. It's easy to vote against people you don't know, scary demons in the media. It's a lot harder to vote against Uncle Jim, or niece Mary, or that nice young man in the office, or the lesbian couple you know at church.
And the more our opponents demonize us simply for being gay, the more the middle will react against them.
"First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win." Gandhi