October 26, 2012

MAINE COMPASS: False reality blames gays for marriage crisis

Joseph R. Murray (www.joemurraylaw.com)

In his book, "Mere Christianity," C.S. Lewis recognized this key fact: "[A] man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance."

Lewis, of course, was writing about the evils of sexual promiscuity when he made such a keen observation, but one would be a fool if he believed Lewis' indictment was applicable only to sex.

Those opposing marriage equality in Maine have taken Lewis to heart. Anti-gay groups, such as the National Organization for Marriage, understand that they are on the losing side of the same-sex marriage argument and time is working against them.

Generations of new Americans are growing up in a nation in which their aunt or uncle is gay or their best friend has gay parents. The issue of homosexuality, thus, is no longer a theological discussion detached from the human concept; it is a discussion in which the faces of family and friends are no longer hidden.

The humanity of the same-sex marriage issue has inflicted a mortal wound on the anti-gay right. So dire is the situation that earlier this year NOM advocated a political strategy that sought to divide gays and blacks over the marriage issue.

Such a move was more in line with the Pharisees than Christ.

Such desperation, though, is inevitable. With gay families becoming mainstream, the days of depicting gays as evil deviants have gone the way of watermelon and fried chicken.

If gays are no longer the boogeymen, why should supporters send checks to fight what they no longer fear? They won't, and this is why anti-gay organizations appear to have replaced the Sermon on the Mount with the K Street bible -- an unholy marriage between fear and fundraising.

Make no mistake, the push to bar same-sex marriage in Maine, as well as other states, has nothing to do with protecting marriage. Such an argument is a sham, albeit a profitable one.

The mantra against marriage equality is simple -- gay marriage is a direct threat to the sanctity of marriage.

The leading cause of divorce is "irreconcilable differences," not the marriage of Elton and David.

Let's be honest, marriage is under assault today, but it is being attacked by the overwhelming acceptance, and ease, of divorce. In most states across the nation, a couple needs only to sign papers and just a few short weeks later their marriage -- the bond Jesus said "let no man separate" -- is obliterated.

Can anyone say with a straight face that the "I do's" of Heather's two mommies is a greater threat to marriage than Britney Spears' 55-hour Las Vegas nuptials?

Where is the moral outrage about no-fault divorce? Why aren't the self-appointed protectors of marriage lobbying state legislatures to ban the marriage's mortal enemy -- no-fault divorce?

The answer: There is no money in protecting marriage from divorce.

How many donor dollars would these groups raise if they sent fundraising emails asking "supporters" to help ban no-fault divorce?

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. If groups sought to ban no-fault marriage, it would be game over. Those who are married would not support the cause out of fear they might be part of the 50 percent that may need a quickie divorce. On the flip side, those who are divorced would take issue with being called a destroyer of marriage.

Fully aware of their limitations and desperate to keep the cash cow pumping, the anti-gay right has created a false reality in which gays take the rap for the marriage crisis facing the nation.

Images of gay storm troopers indoctrinating children into the "homosexual lifestyle" and raising the rainbow flag over state capital buildings have resulted in a tidal wave of greenbacks that made many "anti-gay" advocates very wealthy.

Anti-gay folks need this imagery to remain viable because it keeps such an outdated view of gays "inflamed" in the hearts of supporters in order to lower their "sales-resistance."

Put simply, the bottom line of the anti-gay right is dependent on a grassroots gay obsession.

At the end of the day the debate over marriage is no longer about morality; it is about money. The kingpins of the anti-gay right have understood this fact for a long time and pray every night its grassroots supporters continue to prove P.T. Barnum right.

 

Joseph R. Murray (www.joemurraylaw.com) is a former trial attorney who worked with the American Family Association, a group that worked to ban same-sex marriages. He is a former columnist for The Philadelphia Bulletin and has written guest columns for the Des Moines Register.

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