Friday, August 31, 2012

Gay Man Covertly Attends NOM Conference

[Content note: homophobia]

Recent college grad and blogger Carlos Maza recently attended the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) "It Takes a Family to Raise a Village" conference in San Diego. This conference contained segments on homosexuality, defending marriage, and included a number of speakers known for, to put it generously, their anti-equality views on marriage.

Maza's account, which is pretty detailed, is interesting. If you follow this particular "culture war," not much about the conference is surprising, including the repeated mis-use and citing of Mark Regnerus' discredited study.

One of the more bizarre claims, entirely new to me, as the following, uttered by Douglas Allen:
"This is a puzzling one, but very interesting. The lesbian households, they tend to be much more likely to marry in the rates, not just in numbers, in numbers and rates, but they’re much less stable than the gay households. And lots of theories about why that is. You know, getting on the same menstrual cycle, getting really attached to your own biological child and not being willing to share the biological child with your female spouse." [emphasis added]
Wut the wut now?

Maza ends by talking about how he became kind of close to a young woman there who attended BYU. Despite their different views on homosexuality and marriage, they seemed to have much in common and she seemed to be kind, thoughtful and not motivated by anti-gay animus. "The enemy lines," he writes, "were blurrier" than he had previously imagined them to be. To him, the "us v. them" mentality seemed to have become stark mostly through the work and advocacy of NOM and the Ruth Institute. He notes:
"The ideological divide between me and the BYU student may have been small, but NOM had spent the entire weekend trying to widen it by teaching her that gays and lesbians - including me - are unstable, dangerous, and unworthy of raising their own families. Despite the promise to focus on 'marriage, not gayness,' ITAF had been a veritable crash course in demonizing LGBT people."
How sad.

I hope NOM and the Ruth Institute learn how to do a better job of bringing people together, rather than further polarizing society. Maybe one day, the LGBT people can be present at these conferences, not as undercover agents, but as people whose opinions matter with respect to our own health, autonomy, relationships, humanity, and morality.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go synchronize my lady cycle with my partner's.

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