Marriage ADA features video testimonies of supposed "victims" of said intimidation.
But Equality Matters has raised a very interesting question which echoes something which has been trolling about in my mind the day the second "victim" - Jerry Buell - came out.
Is this thing backfiring on NOM?
Equality Matters took a clear look at the five examples NOM has featured demonstrating so-called "gay intimidation" and found them to be proving the opposite - i.e. these folks are not being victimized and NOM is demanding special privileges for those stand against marriage equality, even to the point of not being accurate about their stories:
Since its inception, Marriage ADA has posted five such videos. And so far, not a single one has actually demonstrated someone having their rights or dignity denied.
The first video posted tells the story of Frank Turek, a corporate consultant who claims to have been fired from Cisco Systems “for being somebody who has a traditional marriage viewpoint.”
In reality, Turek is far more than your average “traditional marriage” supporter. As Right Wing Watch has documented, Turek has a history of making outrageous anti-gay comments, including asserting that gay rights advocates and Islamic extremists are “in concert together” because they both hate Western civilization. He’s also compared homosexuality to alcoholism and pedophilia, calling it a “road to destruction.” It’s Turek’s views on gay people, not gay marriage, that got him in trouble. His contract with Cisco – and later with Bank of America – was terminated after employees complained about anti-gay remarks Turek was on the record as having made.
In other words, the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance’s first horror story was neither about marriage nor defamation.
The second story promoted by Marriage ADA was that of Jerry Buell, a Florida high school public school teacher who was temporarily suspended from his position after posting anti-gay comments to his Facebook account:On July 25, Buell posted on his Facebook page, "I'm watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about New York okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up.""If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don't insult a man and woman's marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???," Buell added.Buell was suspended while school officials investigated to determine if Buell had violated the school’s ethics code or social media guidelines. Ironically, even organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, which strongly opposed Buell’s comments, still came to his defense. Buell admits as much in NOM’s video:What I like about it is the people who were opposed to what I said and said “I totally disagree with your stand, but doggone it I’ll stand next to you because you had the right to say it.”Within days, Buell was allowed to return to the classroom. No further disciplinary action was taken.
NOM’s final three videos tell the stories of Rose Marie Belforti, Ruth Sheldon, and Laura Fotusky – three New York clerks who have either resigned or may be asked to resign from their positions due to their unwillingness to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Although Laura claims to have received “negative comments” after filing her resignation, none of the three women reported facing “threats to their person, property, or livelihood,” as NOM claims at the end of each video. They voluntarily resigned from their jobs after recognizing that upholding the laws of the state of New York would require them to violate their personal beliefs about marriage.
So let’s recap NOM’s alleged victims of “defamation”:
- a man whose contract was terminated after employees complained about his anti-gay history
- a man whose temporary suspension ended after he was supported by a pro-gay group
- several woman who decided to resign once they realized their jobs as government employees would require them to violate their religious beliefsNone of NOM’s videos demonstrate how opponents of marriage equality are having their “rights and dignity” denied. None of NOM’s videos are even examples of “defamation.” If you look past NOM’s ominous background music, these videos really just tell the story of how the LGBT community and opponents of same-sex marriage are learning to find an acceptable middle ground, even as gays and lesbians begin to experience greater acceptance and equality in the law.
I am making a wild guess here but I think I know who NOM's sixth "victim" will be.
If it's who I think it is, then NOM will be digging itself deeper in a hole.
And I just happen to have a heavy shovel and a sturdy back.