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|National Organization for Marriage aims to export anti-gay battle to Middle East|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|November 12, 2012 16:30|
Maybe they should change the name to the INTERNATIONAL Organization for Marriage. In the wake of massive losses for marriage equality opponents in last week's elections, leaders of the National Organization for Marriage plan to export their anti-gay strategies — especially to the Middle East, where they hope to draw more sympathy.
Tuesday's vote brought the reelection of President Barack Obama, the first sitting president to personally support marriage rights for same-sex couples, and a string of victories on ballot measures for marriage equality.
Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington affirmed the right of gay couples to marry in their states, while Minnesota became the first state to vote down a proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman.
So what's an organization dedicated to banning gay marriage to do? Apparently, NOM leader Brian Brown's plan is to whine and appeal to religious extremists -- wherever they may find them.
"Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it," Brown said in a Nov. 7 statement. "Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now."
Brown, like other Christian conservatives, conveniently forgets that if you look to the Bible for "marriage as God designed it," you would end up with men marrying multiple wives.
"Biblical marriage" also includes the requirement that a wife who can't prove her virginity be stoned to death, and that both the man and the woman in an adulterous couple must be put to death. And if a man rapes an unmarried woman? He pays her father and marries her. (All thanks to Deuteronomy).
And saying that these marriage examples come from the Old Testament is an insufficient explanation, since these same gay marriage opponents look to the Old Testament book of Leviticus to justify their proscription on homosexuality.
In any case, it appears that anti-gay hatred, like politics, makes for strange bedfellows. Now losing the marriage battle in the U.S., conservative Christians like Brown want to align with those who would otherwise be their opposites — conservative Muslims.
The Colorado Independent participated in a conference call with Brown and other NOM leaders last week in the wake of the elections. Among the topics, Brown was asked what could be done to stop corporate support for marriage, since NOM had lobbied against Starbucks and General Mills for their stands in support of marriage equality.
According to the Independent:
Brown said the aim is to make these companies’ political stances known in countries in the Middle East and elsewhere that generally do not support same-sex marriage, or homosexuality in general.
“Their international outreach is where we can have the most effect,” Brown said. “So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this. These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done some of this; we’ve got to do a lot more.”
Seems NOM needs to go after fundamentalist Middle Eastern countries since the anti-gay fundies are losing ground here.
As news site King5.com noted in its report on NOM's plan:
This isn't the first time NOM has targeted Starbucks. Last spring, NOM launched a boycott of the company on DumpStarbucks.com. To date, they have collected over 48,500 signatures. However, ThankStarbucks.com was launched in response and collected over 650,000 signatures.
If that's not enough, Brown also used the conference call to complain that the GOP's problem was that it paid TOO MUCH attention to the economy and not enough to gay marriage.
Again from the Independent:
During the call, NOM’s top leaders said they needed to greatly expand their fundraising efforts. They argued that Mitt Romney should have focused more on the same-sex marriage issue, and they blamed Karl Rove for allegedly pushing Republicans and outside groups to focus solely economic issues.
Let's hope the "price to be paid for this," to use Brown's words, is NOM and its ilk's increasing isolation from American politics.
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