Brown: Fight Against Equality is the Real Civil Rights Movement

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is a beleaguered man. He’s losing the fight that he has dedicated his entire life to for the last decade and I suspect he knows it, even if he pretends there’s still hope for fundraising purposes. Which explains why his rhetoric is getting even more disconnected from reality over time:

“In my view, when you stand up for marriage as the union of a man and a woman, you are standing up for civil rights,” he said. “You’re standing up for the civil rights of children, you’re standing up for the rights of the oppressed, you’re standing up for the one institution that we know has done the best in combatting poverty, in increasing the opportunity for educational attainment. This is the ideal structure in which to raise children and altering it or trying to even more transform it by moving forward with same-sex marriage will be and has been profoundly damaging.”…

“You know, folks supporting same-sex marriage are trying to hijack the civil rights movement to use it to support the redefinition of marriage,” he added. “That’s not what the civil rights movement was about. In truth, we’re standing for civil rights when we’re standing for the truth of marriage. We’re standing for the rights of churches to proclaim the Gospel.”

But you aren’t “standing up for marriage as the union of a man and a woman” because no one is threatening it. Men and women will still be entirely free to get married, it’s just that men and men and women and women will too. It’s not a zero sum game, where either gay marriages eliminated straight ones. It’s like when they passed the Civil Rights Act and you could not have whites-only lunch counters anymore. Letting black people at the lunch counter didn’t prevent white people from going there too.

This has become the go-to strategy of the Christian right in this country — whatever the other side claims, they claim it too, no matter how ridiculous it is to make such a claim. We can’t discriminate against gay people? Then we’re the ones being discriminated against. We can’t oppress gay people? Then we’re the ones being oppressed. It’s really quite Orwellian.

"That picture of Trump as an orange is great. Where did it come from?"

Trump Supports Moore and Dismisses Accusations ..."
""... are we baddies?" Cue Mitchell & Webb."

Trump Supports Moore and Dismisses Accusations ..."
"RIP the Moral Majority. Your ragged corpse reveals the pestilence that always lay within."

The Vileness of Christian Right Support ..."
"I'm not sure that is how the Darwin Awards worked - thought even if you'd ..."

Flat Earth Crackpot May Die Soon

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • eric

    This is the ideal structure in which to raise children and altering it or trying to even more transform it by moving forward with same-sex marriage will be and has been profoundly damaging.

    For whom? How is someone else’s marriage damaging me? Umpteen cases, umpteen lawyers and plaintiffs, and AFAIK not one of the anti-SSM crowd has been able to give a legally relevant answer to this.

  • jufulu

    My personal experience leads me to believe that traditional marriage can lead to damaging the parties involved, including the children.

  • Larry

    #1 Eric

    AFAIK not one of the anti-SSM crowd has been able to give a legally relevant answer to this.

    MAJOR SPOILER :

    (that’s because there are none)

  • Chiroptera

    We’re standing for the rights of churches to proclaim the Gospel.

    I applaud that brave, brave man. I shake my head in shame when I pass all the churches in this town that have been shuttered by Homeland Security and the Christians hauled off to FEMA camps.

  • ZugTheMegasaurus

    “Zero sum game” is exactly what I find myself coming back to over and over when I come across these incomprehensible arguments. It’s usually the only thing that makes it make sense. Anti-feminists think that women want to oppress men in exactly the way men have historically oppressed women. SSM opponents believe that supporters of SSM want to flip the law on its head, so that now it will be allowed while opposite-sex marriage is illegal. Christian politicians believe that allowing non-Christian invocations at meetings will mean that Christian ones are prohibited.

    What I can’t understand is why so few of them realize that those ideas are absurd.

  • scienceavenger

    @5 I don’t think your comparisons hold, because in the cases of Christian politicians and anti-feminists, it is often a zero sum game: if you have a nonChristian invocation, you are having one less Christian one. If you deprive a man of his former privilege and give X to a woman, he isn’t getting it. I’m not saying those changes aren’t justified. I believe they are. But it does have an effect on those other groups. SSM doesn’t…barring my pet theory, that these anti-SSM ranters are repressed homosexuals, and think everyone else is too, thus if we don’t allow them to get gay married, they’ll get straight married.

  • D. C. Sessions

    “Zero sum game” is exactly what I find myself coming back to over and over when I come across these incomprehensible arguments.

    That’s a rather basic part of the “conservative” mindset. They’re not really into mutually beneficial relationships, whether personal, commercial, or political.

  • Larry

    What I can’t understand is why so few of them realize that those ideas are absurd

    Well, I’ll tell ya, Zug. These are simple people, people of the land. The common clay. You know. Morons.

  • eric

    But it does have an effect on those other groups. SSM doesn’t

    It does though, and they are very aware of it. Government permission to do something makes it harder for them to convince people that its wrong. Particularly if there are no negative effects observed for that ‘something.’ They know exactly what’s at stake here: as long as SSM is illegal, they can claim to speak ‘for the people.’ When it becomes legal, their position is going to fade into obscurity the same way anti-miscegenation views have. They know it. We know it. Its the same reason the cigarette companies fought against labeling long after the science was a foregone conclusion: because statistically speaking, government imprimatur does in fact change minds.

  • rietpluim

    National Organization for against Marriage – FTFY

  • thomwatson

    “You’re standing up for the civil rights of children [except for LGBT children or the children or same-sex parents], you’re standing up for the rights of the oppressed [except for the oppression in marriage, employment, housing, and public accommodations perpetrated against LGBT people], you’re standing up for the one institution that we know has done the best in combatting poverty [except for same-sex couples, who contrary to popular belief are “at least as likely–and sometimes more likely, to be poor than [sic] married heterosexual couples”: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/report/2009/07/01/6430/poverty-in-the-lgbt-community/ ].”

  • moarscienceplz

    I’m mad as hell that MY RIGHT to swing my fists must end where your nose begins, and I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!