Brown Continues to Play Pretend

One thing I find endlessly amusing about Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is his ability to bury his head in the sand — or up his ass — and continue to pretend that a majority of Americans are opposed to marriage equality. Notice the careful wording he used on the Janet Mefferd show:

Brown: If the Republican Party were to change its platform, that would be the death knell for the Republican Party. Right now the Democratic Party has changed its platform, has wholeheartedly embraced the redefinition of marriage. The Republican Party right now gives voters — and again, the majority of voters who have been able to vote on this issue have voted to protect marriage in this country — it gives those voters a party that at this point stands up for traditional marriage. We need to be encouraging Republican lawmakers to be speaking out more on the importance of marriage, not attempting to imitate the Democratic Party in embracing the redefinition of marriage.

An interesting way to put it — “the majority of voters who have been able to vote on this issue have voted to protect marriage in this country.” Well yeah, maybe. But the trends are pretty clear, aren’t they? Most of those bans were voted into law in 2004. Since 2008, only three states have done so. And in 2012, four out of four states voted for marriage equality. And since then, several more have legalized same-sex marriage through their legislatures. And the public opinion polls show quite clearly that a solid majority of Americans now supports marriage equality. And all the pretending in the world isn’t going to change that. You lost, Brian. You’ve already lost. All that’s left is mopping up the details.

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  • matty1

    So in eight years you went from opposing gay marriage being a vote winner to supporting it being a vote winner. This seems a very rapid turnaround to me. Not that I’m complaining but I’m curious how it compares to other changes, i.e how long did it take for a majority to be comfortable with interracial marriage or desegregated schools?

  • Jordan Genso

    matty1, I can’t tell if your comment is meant in jest. Because if your comment is directed towards Ed (I can’t really tell), then your reading comprehension is lacking.

    Where in the post does Ed state he is in favor of marriage equality being decided by popular vote? The post points out that popular vote is now in favor of marriage equality, rather than opposed, but you would have to have invent sentences that don’t exist if your takeaway is that Ed thinks marriage equality should be decided by popular vote.

    If someone else (Brian Brown, in this instance) makes an argument that a majority of voters are opposed to marriage equality, it’s entirely reasonable to point out that that view is incorrect without supporting the underlying idea that marriage equality should be decided by such standards. I would hope that you’re able to understand that, which is why I hope your comment was in jest.

  • Taz

    Jordan Genso – I think by “you” matty1 meant “the United States” (assuming he’s not from here). His comment makes more sense referring to US voting trends rather than one individuals opinion.

  • Rip Steakface


    He doesn’t even have to be not American. He can just be using “you” in a general sort of fashion.

  • matty1

    Taz, thank you for understanding. Yes I’m not American (English as it happens) and by ‘you’ I meant the United States. And yes I was asking how the speed of change in public opinion compares to other similar changes not arguing that public opinion is the right way to settle such issues.

  • Jordan Genso

    I’m now embarrassed. Sorry matty1. It’s ironic that my comment accusing you of lacking reading comprehension was based on my poor reading comprehension.

  • Just think how many billions of people, some of whom are still alive today, have lived without same sex marriage across the world throughout history and pre-history! ZOMG!

  • Scr… Archivist

    matty1 @1,

    Here are some survey results that might help you answer your question:

    This poll ranges from 1958 to 2007. The Loving v. Virginia decision was in 1967, and it took a while for the public to catch up.

    This article says that just after the 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, “A bare majority (54%) approved of the ruling, while a large minority of 41% disapproved.”

    I wonder how much of that majority was because it was an authority that had already made the decision.

  • poxyhowzes

    Brown claims that:

    the majority of voters who have been able to vote on this issue have voted to protect marriage in this country

    As a voter who actually had the chance to vote for marriage equality, I can assure Brian Brown and anyone else who cares to know that I Voted To Protect Marriage In This Country. That is, I voted for the right of gays and lesbians to marry same-gender spouses.

    I was among the majority of voters statewide to vote to Protect Marriage, and my state is currently one of 12 or so in this country to thus Protect Marriage.


  • Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    You know, if he’s got sand up his ass it might explain why he’s so agitated…

  • abb3w

    Bigots of the likes of Brian Brown can try and convince people the tide on attitude isn’t turning, but at the cost of undermining their credibility when people find out how they’ve misrepresented society’s shifting attitudes.

  • Doug Little

    Isn’t this dude the new Bagdad Bob?

  • Doug Little

    We need to be encouraging Republican lawmakers to be speaking out more on the importance of marriage, not attempting to imitate the Democratic Party in embracing the redefinition of marriage.

    Yes, Yes you do.

  • Doug Little

    Scr… Archivist @8

    I wonder how much it has to do with unprecedented access to information and ideas via the internet.

  • stubby

    We can soon add Minnesota to the list of states that have legalized gay marriage. The bill passed the House last Thursday and will glide through the Senate today. The governor has already said he will sign it, possibly tomorrow.

  • Worldtraveller

    I think the seeming ‘quick’ turnaround is mostly due to the nature of regional politics in the US. Those states who passed the bigoted bans were pretty conservative, and it was reactionary. They saw the writing on the wall, and wanted to get something in place to slow it down in their states. they were fairly sure they still had the majority, locally, and acted to get these laws in place.

    If every state had voted in 2004, many would have voted down anti-gay marriage statutes or amendments. if every state had again voted on this issue in 2008 and 2012, we would (I predict) probably have seen about half, or slightly more than half, now voting for marriage equality.

    Az remember, actually voted down a law (amendment, I think) banning gay marriage, before the legislature came up with more weaselly wording to get it passed later.