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).