The above video is from the National Organization for Marriage - the same whiny hate group that gained some notoriety for its support of anti-gay ballot propositions like Proposition 8, but which is perhaps better known for its hilariously awful Gathering Storm ad. (”The clouds are dark, and the winds are strong, and I am afraid.”) The group is currently touring the US, spreading their gospel of intolerance.
The video tells the harrowing story of a mother who was bullied by marriage equality advocates at a NOM event in Albany. Bullied! First, they blocked her view of the event. And then they set her on fire.
Sorry, typo; first they blocked her view of the event, and then only some of them were considerate enough to turn around when she wanted to breastfeed her baby.
This was a happening so heinous that NOM felt it was worth making a video about it. “Gay marriage protesters” bullying and intimidating a “mother with young kids”. And at a peaceful rally, no less. Spot all the manipulations there; first you should be outraged that they were gay (well, ‘gay marriage protesters’, but you know where the emphasis is here), and then we’re told that the woman was a mother - mothers are always good - and that she had her kids with her - sweet innocent babes who have never harmed anyone, poor souls! And it was a peaceful rally; no-one tried to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants all day.
Of course, the marriage equality protesters were also peaceful. They did not threaten anyone. They did not push, provoke, or abuse anyone - if they had, you can be sure NOM would have said so. The video makes it quite clear that they simply stood still and refused to move. They played by the same rule book as NOM, yet what NOM was doing was peaceful and what the marriage equality side was doing was ‘bullying’.
(Should they have looked away when the lady breast-fed her child? I’m sure I would have, but no-one is obliged to look away if you breastfeed in a public place.)
The point of this video is to paint NOM and their supporters as victims. This is their favourite role to play; long-suffering martyr guardians of traditional values trying to preserve their way of life against the deviant infidel. This was also their position in the Proposition 8 trial, the verdict for which should come in any day.
Yet when it comes to showing the world the face of their oppressor, the best they can manage is some people obstructing a woman’s view in a park - oh, and someone gave their tour bus a flat tyre. They know they can’t prove that gay marriage invalidates or weakens their own marriages or their families. They know that it won’t corrupt their children or destroy their churches. They know that it won’t do anything worse than offer some stability to people they don’t like. So they show you people with umbrellas, standing in a park, and ask you to be afraid.
Contrast that to what organisations like NOM are doing to gay people in the US. They’re demonising them, spreading lies about them, damaging and marginalising their families, driving up their tax bills, taking their rights away and keeping them from enjoying equality. Clearly they are the bullies, but their best cover for this is to try to convince you that they’re the victims.
Here’s another video from another NOM event. This is the voice of the National Organization for Marriage. This is as coherent as it gets. See if it makes sense to you.
On the subject of incomprehensible right wing protests; it’s San Diego Comic Con week again, and this year the show may receive a visit from the grand wizard of all bigots, the Lady Gaga of hate, Mr Fred Phelps himself. His Westboro Baptist Church is expected to be at the convention centre at 1:15pm on Thursday because - and I swear, this is their given reason - comics are full of false idols.
Obviously these are trivial-minded, sensationalist, publicity-hungry people. I rather doubt they believe in anything other than the importance of their own celebrity. Even so, the horrific ideas that they promote are dangerous - though they probably make far more converts against them than for them.
Counter-protests are likely - my favourite is the proposal for Glee fans to assemble to sing ‘Hate On Me‘ - but the best idea came from comic writers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction and their GodLovesBatman initiative. They intend to donate $100 to AIDS research if the Phelps clan makes their scheduled 45 minute appearance, and more if they stick around longer. You can read all about it here, and you can make a pledge of your own. I will happily match their $100 pledge.
Ironically, the Phelps clan will also be also be protesting at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego on the same day, because Al Gore is appearing there. As long-time readers will know, the hotel has been the subject of ongoing protests and boycotts by gay rights activists because its owner was a major donor to Proposition 8, though the comic industry has seemingly never participated in that protest. Doug Manchester claims to have repented, and pledged money to support civil unions, which is rather like claiming to renounce racism and demonstrating your sincerity by paying for blacks-only drinks fountains.