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NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: January 2012

February 01, 2012 1:13 pm ET by Carlos Maza

It’s only been a month, but the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is wasting no time spreading anti-gay misinformation in 2012. As a number of states inch closer to legalizing same-sex marriage, the organization has revved up its efforts to mislead voters by peddling anti-gay talking points and ginning up right-wing horror stories about marriage equality.

Misinforming About Marriage Equality

NOM spent most of January working overtime to inject its brand of anti-gay misinformation into a number of state legal battles over LGBT equality. For Maryland, NOM promoted a letter to the editor claiming that marriage equality in Maryland would “usher in an era of depravity that no amount of lawmaking could ever correct.” The group also promoted the comments of anti-gay Bishop Harry Jackson, who claimed that same-sex marriage would decrease rates of heterosexual marriage while increasing rates of heterosexual divorce.

For Washington, NOM lauded a survey showing that a majority of Washington voters opposed same-sex marriage, though the group never actually published the survey or disclosed its methodology. NOM also advanced arguments by Pastor Joe Fuiten, who fearmongered that the proposed marriage equality law would require churches with vending machines to perform same-sex weddings.

And in New Hampshire, NOM released a radio ad rehashing the organization’s favorite anti-gay talking points, including the myth that students would be forced to learn about same-sex marriage in school. The group also promoted comments made by Scott Moody, an economist who claimed that same-sex marriage would cause a demographic winter by lowering birth rates.

Opposing Same-Sex Parenting

NOM’s long history of opposing same-sex parenting came to a head early in January, when Ruth Institute president Jennifer Morse wrote about two lesbian couples who had given birth to their children with the help of sperm donors. Morse referred to their family structures as “an intrinsically unjust situation” and peddled the myth that lesbian relationships are less stable than heterosexual relationships. Her solution to the “unjust situation?”:

The correct result is to shut down the IVF clinics. They are generating injustices right and left. At the very least, ban gamete donation and sales.

Apparently taking its cues from Fox News, NOM also promoted the story of a Wisconsin student whose essay in the student newspaper was pulled after parents complained about its anti-gay content. NOM claimed that the school “censored” and “punished” the student for “oppos[ing] gay adoption” and “promoting natural adoption.” NOM failed to mention that the student’s essay included references to the discredited anti-gay research of Paul Cameron as well as multiple calls for gay men to be executed.

Promoting “Ex-Gay” Therapy

NOM continued to advance the myth that homosexuality could sometimes be changed or cured through so-called “reparative therapy.” The organization promoted an article by Stanton L. Jones in which the author attempted to dismantle a number of supposedly “false beliefs about homosexuality, including:

  • being gay is just as healthy, both in terms of mental health and physical health, as being straight;
  • sexual orientation, just like race, is a biologically determined given to which environmental variables such as family and culture contribute nothing and to which individuals make no voluntary contribution;
  • sexual orientation cannot be changed, and thus the attempt to change is intrinsically harmful;

NOM also promoted an “expert” op-ed criticizing Maryland’s marriage equality efforts by arguing that ex-gay groups like Exodus International prove homosexuality isn’t innate.

Engaging In Anti-LGBT Name-Calling And Fearmongering

NOM returned to an old favorite in January, once again touting a “great interview” with conservative author and commentator George Gilder. NOM even specifically commended Gilder for his views on issues that don’t “directly impact marriage.” These views, unfortunately, include Gilder’s theory that gay marriage could convince “confused” young boys to become addicted to gay sex.

Days later, NOM president Brian Brown took to Twitter to promote a story about a group of people who claim to have fallen in love with inanimate objects. Brown included the “#SSM” hashtag, which designates tweets relating to same-sex marriage, seeming to imply that the bond between same-sex couples is comparable to a fetishist’s “relationship” with inanimate objects.

NOM also highlighted an article from The Advocate spotlighting a number of gay couples who agreed not to be monogamous. The article only focused on a handful of couples, but NOM used it as an excuse to depict all gays and lesbians as non-monogamous:

[NOM Facebook Page, 1/19/12]

NOM also promoted an interview with Canadian economist Douglas Allen, who claimed that gay and lesbian relationships are generally more unstable, unhealthy, and promiscuous than heterosexual relationships. 

Linking Homosexuality To Pedophilia

No month of NOM’s anti-LGBT misinformation would be complete without an attempt to link homosexuality to pedophilia. In a January 5 blog post, NOM’s Ruth Institute promoted a column written by Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian Thought at McGill University in Montreal. Farrow’s column asserted that marriage equality would cause “the bastardization of the citizenry” and leave behind a “moral wasteland.” More importantly, Farrow argued, it would make it impossible to discriminate against pedophiles:

Pedophilia, for example, is an orientation, or so the psychologists tell us. And orientations are now constitutionally protected, not to say politically celebrated. How then can we continue discriminating against pedophiles, which clearly we do? [emphasis added]


To see last month’s round-up, click here.

Previously:

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: November 2011

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: October 2011

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: September 2011




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