Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NOM Slides Down the Slope

The National Organization for [Heterosexual] Marriage (NOM) has run a somewhat snarky post on their agency blog about a recent Salon piece that featured three consenting adults in a polyamorous union.

The post generally falls into the "Seeeeeeeee, we told you so!" category of anti-same-sex-marriage advocacy, in which opponents of equality take one instance of something that's been going on for thousands of years and act like it's a Startling New Trend Brought About By Same-Sex Marriage.

It's like we're expected to believe that the legal process is so shallow and so simple that a movement to secure rights for polyamorous relationships would not be expected to win on its own substantive merits in courts, but rather would magically be able to piggyback entirely on the exact same reasoning as same-sex marriage.

And once that happens, of course, we've paved the way to bestiality! Because new lines have never been drawn around marriage before and drawing new lines around something means abandoning all lines altogether! And you see, this is what happens!

What NOM seems to fail to realize is that it's that notion that many people scoff at. Which, I think, is maybe a reflection of that agency's own shallow, surface-level rhetorical style and propaganda.

Just as a style note, the NOM post doesn't currently link to the Salon article (it can be found here, though), and the post's formatting awkwardly suggests that the NOM author's writing comes from the Salon piece. Nonetheless, the "NOM Staff" poster writes:
"The author uses her 9-year-old daughter to deflect criticism. Her daughter dutifully and understandably repeats the adult arguments for same-sex marriage and applies them to her family. 
...Because 'love makes a marriage' now. And to say otherwise means you’re a hater." 
Well, no. Not necessarily.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are and were called "haters" not for a "mere" opposition to the idea that "love makes a marriage." They've been called haters because of many advocates' opposition to equality plus their extensive, widely-documented history of perpetuating hatred and bigotry against gay people.

If NOM wants to seriously deny that history, I can post evidence all day.

I'll end here by noting that I support the extension of protections to additional family units, and that I have mixed thoughts about marriage as the be-all, recognized family structure in the US. I'm not aware of mass numbers of people in polyamorous relationships seeking marriage, or of any coordinated large effort for that to gain traction, however.

I know that even mentioning that one might support protections expanded family structures is an "admission" that anti-equality adovcates love to play the "Seeeeeee, we told you so" game with, which is weird because they're usually the same folks who are all about supposedly protecting families.

But, I think that conversation reveals just how narrowly many traditionalists view the concept of family and how they often view marriage as an institution to coerce men into marrying the mothers of their children, and to coerce those who procreate together to raise their children together no matter what.

Beyond that, marriage as a useful institution, and even basic protections, for other family structures seems to be, to them, meaningless and pointless. Other family types seemingly have no place at all in the ideal society of many traditionalists and may as well, to them, not even exist.

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