Posted by: Ophelia | April 9, 2009

There’s a storm a brewin

My fiance woke me up this morning complaining about this commercial and demanding I post about it.

Transcription courtesy of Renee at Womanist Musings

“There’s a storm gathering. The clouds are dark and the winds are strong and I am afraid. Some who advocate for same sex marriage have taken the issue far beyond same sex couples. They want to bring the issue into my life. My freedom will be taken away. I’m a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job. I’m part of a New Jersey church group punished by the government because we can’t support same sex marriage. I’m a Massachusetts parent helpless watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is okay. But some who advocate same sex marriage have not been content with same sex couples living as they wish. Those advocates want to change the way I live. I will have no choice. The storm is coming. But we have hope, a rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love to protect marriage. Paid for by National Organization for Marriage which is responsible for the content of this ad.”

I’m not sure I get what the doctor’s problem is, or how a private church group is somehow being hassled by the government. Feministe’s post about the ad has a link to the truth behind the allegations in the commercial.

The general argument of the ad is that the push for marriage equality isn’t just about rights for same-sex couples, it’s about imposing contrary values on people of faith.  The examples they cite in the ad are:

(1) A California doctor who must choose between her faith and her job
(2) A member of New Jersey church group which is punished by the state because they can’t support same-sex marriage
(3) A Massachusetts parent who stands by helpless while the state teaches her son that gay marriage is okay

The facts indicate that (1) refers to the Benitez decision in California, determining that a doctor cannot violate California anti-discrimination law by refusing to treat a lesbian based on religious belief, (2) refers to the Ocean Grove, New Jersey Methodist pavilion that was open to the general public for events but refused access for civil union ceremonies (and was fined by the state for doing so) and (3) refers to the Parker decision in Massachusetts, where parents unsuccessfully sought to end public school discussions of family diversity, including of same-sex couples.

So the big scary clouds involve state disapproval of bigotry in the public sphere. Oh no, doctors can’t refuse to treat gays, oh no children will learn about diversity, oh no! A public pavillion has to be open to the public! Someone save us.

I think it’s interesting that an ad that is based on fear mongering and drumming up support for pure bigotry trots out their “rainbow coalition” as if it means anything. So bigotry isn’t one color or creed, does that make it better somehow? (Furthermore, as much as I hate comparing types of oppression, I could easily see damn near any kind of bigotry in place of homophobia in the ad and it would mean the same thing–we’re scared of people wanting equal rights, someone hold us).



  1. I’m waiting for people to parody the ad, and replace the homosexual parts with, like, black people, or slavery, or something like that. People need to get over themselves.

    “I’m a doctor, and I am forced my law to treat black people.”

    “I’m a part of a New Jersey church group punished by the government because we refused an african-american family from access to our facilities.”

    “They’re teaching MY children that being black is okay? What are we coming to?!”

    • I forgot to mention, when I saw it this morning, it was cut down to make it a standard 30 second spot. I couldn’t even tell if they were for it or against it because they shortened most of these ‘speeches’.

  2. My reaction to this commercial was pretty much the same as whenever I hear alarmist talk about same-sex marriage. “OH NO IT’S TEH GAYS. THEY’RE ASKING FOR RIGHTS, WHAT CAN WE DO??”

    This fictional hysteria needs to end and the National Organization for Marriage needs to STFU.

  3. I am in shock. That commercial is SERIOUSLY upsetting — on so many levels!!!!

  4. I was very surprised to discover that the phone number for NOM national headquarters actually has my hometown’s area code. I thought I might swing by for a visit, but turns out it is actually about 2 hours from my house. I tried to call them to attempt to order pizza, but alas they have to call YOU back after you leave a message. I guess they had a lot of people calling to order pizza.

    Strangely, I didn’t feel any less mature after my attempted crank call. I was just disappointed.

    This probably has to do with having read NOM’s entire website over the weekend. Considering that the foundation for all of their arguments is about as sound as a four-year-old’s rationale for demanding Santa bring her a pony… Well, you get the point. Essentially their all their arguments can be summed up with “This is just how we feel.”

    I also would like to point out that their campaign which spans every “creed and color” spans exactly two religions–Christians and Jews; and exactly two languages–English and Spanish. At least, those are the only groups that their website provides information for.

    Every. Creed.

    It’s like a rainbow.

  5. This commercial actually becomes even more embarrassing and shameful once you’ve seen the audition tapes (some of which are floating around on YouTube). A few of the actors don’t seem to fully grasp what type of ad they’re auditioning for. If the majority supposedly supports the ad’s message, why couldn’t NMO find enough people who cared to bother to appear in their commercials?

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