Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Proposition 8 Propaganda Watch

Proposition 8, if you remember, is the initiative in California to take away the right of same-sex couples to marry. I remain amazed that so many people still seem to genuinely believe that "defending" marriage from gay people is a valiant mission. Despite the failing economy, the mortgage crisis, the unaffordability of health care, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and other major issues that actually matter to the world, they say "you know what, there is entirely too much love in the world that if we sanction any more of it our society will definitely collapse."

1. Worst Tagline Ever

Recently, I came across a Vote Yes on Prop 8 blog. This single-issue blog has, perhaps, the longest and most "interesting" tagline ever:

"If prop.8 does not pass, then every church organization that does not perform/believe [sic] Gay marriages will have to stop performing all marriages or be prepared to be sued for discrimination. I know that the approach is that they (Gay community), just wants [sic] to be treated equally but when is it fair to make somebody who's [sic] belief is opposed to homosexuality, be forced to go against their [sic] beliefs or be sued.[sic]"

As you can see, that's really just a long-winded and poorly-structured way of saying:

It hurts my religion's feelings that other people want equal rights. Therefore, other people shouldn't have equal rights.

Prop 8 blog, if you're reading this, feel free to use it.

In the meantime, the rest of us busy ourselves with understanding that in a democracy (note, not a theocracy) in which equal rights are guaranteed to all citizens, you're going to have to do better than that. Namely, it is just a complete and utter bullcrap invented myth that churches will somehow be "forced" into performing same-sex marriages under threat of a lawsuit. What we are seeking is the right to civil marriage along with all of the legal benefits that that entails. We are not seeking the equal right to have a religious marriage in any church we want. There's a difference. Familiarize yourself with it. Preferably prior to devoting an entire blog to that dishonest "argument."

And just in case the tagline didn't automatically discredit the site for you, the very first article I read was entitled "Newt Gingrich does a stellar job in laying out the tormentingly puzzling nature of what 'four Lawyers' did in over turning [sic] the will of the people..[sic]"

Alright. First off, I can't take any marriage defender seriously who appeals to the marriage defense "authority" of a multiple-time adulterer who was married three times. Secondly, Gingrich's "stellar" statement was factually incorrect. For, in his hypocritical piece of anti-gay-marriage propaganda, he said:

"Our courts have an important role to play in our government, but it is not their role to define American values. That right belongs with the people. As you know in 2000 California voters went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly in favor of legally protecting marriage. Earlier this year four judges overruled the will of the people and declared the law that protected marriage unconstitutional.

Think about that. Four appointed lawyers – that's all judges are – overruled more than four million California voters."

In actuality, judges in California are elected. They are not appointed.

Misinformation, lies, and ignorance: 1. Truth, fact, and knowledge: 0.

2. Obsessed Much?

Proponent of "man woman marriage" Jennifer Roback Morse, whose followers affectionately refer to her as "Dr. J," has created a blog for other advocates of "man woman marriage" to publish letters that Teh Mainstream Media refuses to publish. The only things worth nothing about this project is that (a) thus far, only two people have contributed to it and (b) well, just.... read what one of them writes:

"I am a long-time letter-writer to the San Jose Mercury News. Over the years, I have averaged about 1 letter published for every 8 submitted. Since May 15, I have sent 25 letters opposing same-sex marriage and have had only 1 published."

Oh. Oh. Dear God. It simply must be a conspiracy of the vast gay agenda and the liberal mainstream media.

But seriously, how strange. Does it even cross these people's minds that the San Jose Mercury News might possibly have other people's letters it would like to print? Could it maybe just maybe be that Mr. 25-letter-writer isn't the owner of his very own op-ed column in the San Jose Mercury News and is therefore not automatically entitled to have each and every one of his anti-gay letters published? And does it even cross his mind that other people might not be as obsessed with same-sex marriage and/or be convinced that it poses any particular Threat to the Very Foundations of Society as he is and that, therefore, maybe people don't want to read a letter about how same-sex marriage is Teh Big Bad every single flippin' day?

Ya know, sometimes you have to earn your audience, not just demand one like an arrogant crybaby with a warped sense of entitlement. And what the heck kind of a person writes 25 anti-gay letters to a newspaper in a span of few months, anyway? Get a hobby.

Being obsessed with gay people: 1. Working together to address actual problems: 0.

3. iPropoganda

Marriage defenders have also created a hip and tech-savvy "marriage defense" website aimed at youth called iProtect. The home page of this site contains revolving photos of a diverse mix of youth with fear-inducing slogans like "If you redefine marriage what's next?" and "No society has ever lasted with an 'anything goes' attitude." Maybe it's just me but I find it odd that family values folks are intentionally scaring young children into thinking that society is on the verge of imminent collapse and the only adhesive holding it together is the institution of man-woman marriage.

What, perhaps, is most telling about the i-Protect site is its "Facts" [sic] section. This "fact" sheet of sorts contains evidence not for how society will collapse if gays and lesbians marry, but rather, "evidence" that anti-gays have supossedly been censored and that gay (men) have relatively high rates of HIV/AIDS (because.... people with HIV/AIDS don't deserve marriage? Someone explain that one to me please.) See, I don't think Prop 8 supporters understand the concept of evidence and arguments and how the former are typically used to support the latter. Seriously, you don't just make a ginormous whopping claim like society might die out and then "support" it with a rag-tag collection of non-relevant bits of evidence (from WorldNetDaily and Lifesite News, nonetheless)!

Not only is the entire project a giant non sequitur but it's just outright dishonest. For instance, in the "Kids" section, the site engages in the typical anti-gay trick of referencing studies showing that children have better outcomes when raised by two parents than they do when raised by single parents to imply that children of gay and lesbian parents will have outcomes similar to those raised in single parent "broken" homes. That's one of the oldest "marriage defense" tricks in the books. Someday, maybe marriage defenders will stop pretending that their cited studies are comparing heterosexually-headed families to gay- and lesbian-headed families.

Interestingly, the "Public Health" section, citing no studies whatsoever, references various benefits of marriage such as "Unmarried men have a 250% higher mortality rate" and "The latest data show that 40% of married people say they are very happy with their life in general, compared with less than 25% of single or cohabitating individuals." Great. Marriage has benefits. No shit Shirlock. The question begged, of course, is a very important one: If marriage is so wonderful, has a multitude of health benefits, and makes people so happy, why is this website devoted to ensuring that gay people can't have these benefits as well?

And if you answer that by telling me that gay people already can get married (to persons of the opposite sex, of course) I would quickly respond that the associated benefits of marriage would sort of be erased if I "just" married a man for the sake of being married.

The purpose of this website is important, you see. It passes along a key message to our youth: Gay people don't matter. (Except when they matter enough to be able to destroy society). So, well done iProtect, for giving us the same old tactics- fear-mongering, propaganda, and AIDS-baiting- on a shiny new "youth-friendly" forum.

You know what they say. You can put lipstick on a pig. But we all know it's still a pig.

Grooming the next generation of anti-gays via fear, misinformation, and propaganda, 1. Grooming the next generation of responsible and informed citizens via truth, fact, and knowledge, 0.

No comments: