NOM’s Idea Of “The Good, Loving People” Who Oppose Marriage Equality
May 25, 2012 4:51 pm ET by Carlos Maza
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was thrilled to see an Associated Press article this week profiling the views of a handful of opponents of marriage equality. AP’s article, which has been criticized for its one-sidedness, explains that many of the views of the same-sex marriage opponents have been shaped by their religious views and personal experiences.
On Wednesday, NOM praised the article for showcasing the “good, loving people who oppose” marriage equality, writing:
The Associated Press does an excellent job of interviewing some of the people behind the pro-marriage movement -- good people whose views are based not only on conviction but on real life experience that marriage really is the union of husband and wife and that when we abandon or deny this reality, children and society suffer.
The entire article is well worth reading.
NOM president Brian Brown touted the article again on Thursday, lauding AP for depicting the “decent, loving, law abiding people who don’t hate anyone but who want to stand up for what’s right – in our eyes, and more importantly in the eyes of God.”
So let’s take a look at what one “loving” anti-gay interviewee said to the Associated Press:
In North Carolina, Jennifer Cockerham's support for a gay marriage ban is rooted in a childhood spent in Bible Belt churches, warned against fornication and adultery. She said tornadoes and other cataclysmic events are a sign that God disapproves of the way Americans are living.
But with those beliefs as a foundation, Cockerham said certain experiences during her 23 years as a nurse cemented her opposition to gay marriage.
"My first encounter, personally, with a homosexual was when I had a patient who tried to commit suicide" after an argument with a lover, said Cockerham, who lives in Kernersville, N.C. "I felt really sorry for him because he had almost succeeded with the suicide attempt, and I felt that he had so much more to live for than that particular lifestyle that had brought him there."
Visiting a daughter at college near San Francisco, she was dismayed by the openness of gay and lesbian couples.
"I know that made me feel uncomfortable and also made me feel concerned with the fact that they just needed the Lord. I felt they needed a heavenly father who could love them and teach them differently," she said. [emphasis added]
Unfortunately, these comments also aren’t totally outside of NOM’s realm of anti-gay rhetoric. The organization has previously promoted a column which asserted that same-sex relationships cause domestic abuse, depression, and substance-abuse disorders. NOM’s also become more vocal about endorsing “ex-gay” therapy and the idea that people can be saved from homosexuality through the power of prayer.
And last year, NOM partnered closely with New York Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who claimed that God sent an earthquake to punish New York for legalizing same-sex marriage.
Considering how aggressively NOM promoted AP’s article, one has to wonder: if this is what NOM’s idea of love for gay people looks like, what qualifies as hate?