Brown: Fight Against Equality is the Real Civil Rights Movement

Brown: Fight Against Equality is the Real Civil Rights Movement April 27, 2015

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.

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