BuzzFeed has a lengthy article on Brian Brown, the National Organization for Marriage’s President, about the upcoming votes on marriage equality happening November 6. In the article Brown differentiates between what is and is not discrimination against gay people:
“I don’t believe people should be able to vote on things that are actual discrimination,” Brown said. “I don’t believe that we should have a vote on whether African-Americans can eat in restaurants. That is true discrimination, and obviously we would never do anything to say that that [sic] should be voted on.”
Asked if he had the same view opposing a vote on whether gay people could eat in restaurants, “Yeah, of course.” But, quickly pivoting back to his group’s sole target, marriage, he said, “It’s comparing apples and oranges. Opposing gay marriage is not discrimination.”
The article goes on to discuss the four state votes in Washington, Minnesota, Maine and Maryland and Browns view on all of them. What BuzzFeed missed in this discussion was asking the important and simple follow-up question to Brown’s particular view on discrimination: ‘why?’
This is something that a lot of journalists miss as well as a lot of gay marriage equality advocates. When we debate the gay marriage equality question we always rebut the statement that our relationships and our families are not a civil right. Instead we should be asking our opponents to defend their own positions. We should be doing it because they can’t.
The arguments for banning gay marriage equality are weak at best. The focus around children and family and procreation isn’t a strong defense. Just because you can make a baby doesn’t mean you can raise one. Using the Bible as a defense is also shaky. There are numerous things in the Bible that even our opponents would look at and say we shouldn’t follow (just read a few verses past that oft quoted Leviticus passage and you’ll see what I mean). And ‘that’s the way it’s always been’ is a flimsy reason if there is nothing to back it up.
Rather than let our opponents close the conversation with an incomplete but powerful point, we should be encouraging them to further explain the reasonings behind this point. When we let them speak on these details, we will see them lose their power.