NOM Uses “Former Lesbian” To Claim Gay People Don’t Need Marriage Equality
December 07, 2011 4:47 pm ET by Carlos Maza
In a December 6 blog post, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) promoted a column asserting that marriage equality isn’t necessary to provide same-sex couples with equal rights and privileges under the law. The column, written by Minnesota blogger Peggy, peddled the long-debunked myth that same-sex couples can receive all the same rights and privileges of marriage through non-marital contracts and agreements.
What stood out about NOM’s blog post, though, was the way it described the column’s author:
On his Twitter account, NOM president Brian Brown used the same language to promote the column:
In both instances, NOM chose to identify Peggy as a “former lesbian,” implying that she had somehow found a way to stop being gay. Peggy’s sexual orientation has little, if anything, to do with whether gay couples are disadvantaged by marriage inequality, but NOM thought it was important to highlight that detail in the headline of its post.
Over the past few months, NOM has joined a number of other anti-gay groups in promoting “ex-gay” therapy – the scientifically discredited practice of attempting to change one’s sexual orientation. The organization has promoted the testimony of “ex-gay” leaders and praised a conservative commentator for calling homosexuality an “addictive” and “learned” behavior. In September, NOM celebrated a study that allegedly found that “ex-gay” therapy could be effective in some instances, calling it “good news.”
And earlier today, NOM “liked” a Facebook comment that asserted “many formerly gay people” had been able to change their sexual orientation.
For the record, Peggy does not seem to identify herself as a “former lesbian.” As Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper noted:
It should be noted that "former Lesbian" is NOM's terminology. The person who wrote the linked-to commentary identifies as "a 40-something lay woman who was in a same-sex partnership, then contemplated religious life, and is now celebrating her single vocation chastely with help of good friends, great laughter and even better red wine." She doesn't even say she "changed": She says that she has chosen to be chaste on the basis of her chosen faith. NOM made the choice to use the loaded (and scientifically shunned) "former lesbian" label! [emphasis original]
In reality, this post is a good reflection of NOM’s general public relations strategy. At first glance, it only appears to be interested in preserving the “traditional marriage.” Look a little closer, though, and NOM’s anti-gay animus becomes painfully obvious.