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The Big Gay Storm Threatens

The Big Gay Storm Threatens

There are big polemic and polarizing issues out there, that demand either advocacy or opposition. Things like tax reform, climate change, and civil rights are some prime examples of divisive topics that will easily send calm and collected individuals on an unyielding diatribe that will, at worst ignite plumes of hatred and resentment, and at best be cause for discomfort and effectively break up what was once a convivial dinner party. Gay marriage happens to be one of those issues.

To come right out and say it, I support gay marriage. Much in the same way I support the right of clouds to move effortlessly through the sky, ice to melt into pools of water, and chocolate to be dark and/or milky brown (for the record I think white chocolate is an abomination against god). In short, I think the right of consenting adults to marry is a veritable no-brainer (regardless of gender or sexual orientation), and can’t imagine wasting my energy trying to think up reasons why this right should be relinquished or even challenged.

I have followed the recent developments on the subject with the passage of Proposition 8 in California, as well as the recent victories of gay rights advocates in both Iowa and Vermont, and am encouraged by the possibility of change through straightforward political action. To characterize my mood about the general movement towards equality, I would have to say it would be something like composed sanguinity. And then along comes a commercial that is so misdirected, manipulative, hateful, and dishonest that all that composed sanguinity that was casually pinned to my lapel becomes a raging pendulous mace ready to smite my enemies.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a conservative religious group in heavy opposition to gay marriage, is running a television advertisement titled the “Gathering Storm” as an effort to rally and recruit an online army of two million gay marriage opponents willing to blather and bellow to anyone listening. Now, I have railed against ads in the past when they have been cynical, dishonest, and manipulative, but this particular advertisement has shaken me out of my passive state of composed sanguinity and moved me towards rabid activism against NOM and in favor of gay marriage anytime and anywhere.

I encourage you to view the ad yourself and make up your own mind (and feel free to use the space below to voice your opinion), but to summarize, the advertisement taps into a particular fear that says, by allowing gay marriage to occur, straight Americans everywhere will have their rights supremely violated. In this advertisement, actors stand in for real Americans as cheesy superimposed clouds and lightning gather in the distance (likely the electrical hellfire that are the nuptial-crazed gay masses) as each actor makes declarations like “My freedom will be taken away” and “Those advocates of gay marriage want to change the way I live.” Now, I empathize with (not respect nor understand) people who are not on board with gay marriage and feel uneasy about the definition of marriage changing to include everyone, and I have no reason to want these people to feel uncomfortable or disenfranchised. However, I have no regard and little patience for political and activist groups that are willing to feed on fear and ignorance in a self-serving effort to impede the rights of others while spreading misinformation and fueling intolerance.

But really–enough of my yakking. After viewing this advertisement and taking into account everything you know, believe, and trust, do you feel a message like this adds anything to the public debate? Is there value here? If there needs to be a voice of dissent regarding gay marriage, shouldn’t it be more constructive, and scrupulous?

Read more: Love, Parenting at the Crossroads, Sex, , , , , ,

By Eric Steinman

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon AppÚtit among other publications.

87 comments

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7:09PM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

Football Match Previews

2:24PM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

I find it very sad to be listening to this debate in the year 2009. Why, can anyone tell me, are so many humans so determined to have a "group" to HATE?? It makes me wish there was a country to go to where people can be free to choose to live their own lives, make their own choices, practice their own religions and love who they want to love. Oh, wait...wasn't that supposed to be HERE in the USA? Didn't our ancestors come here to be free to do those exact things?

Event Planner Bay Area

1:26PM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

Before you google anything be sure you are looking at a legitimate source. Anyone can have a website & an opinion. The problem with gays trying to be recognized as having rights is the same as the one women have been fighting for. This government is not ready to acknowledge that fair wages belong to anyone or benefits, or etc, etc. Our government knows they run the show. And that is very sad. I am not gay or bisexual, I believe God has plans for all people on this planet. I agree with Dixon if you dont know about any particular religion, dont bash it before you have real facts. Websites dont always have facts. Hope the "gay storm" remains peaceful. Violence adds negativity to ANY cause.

9:59PM PDT on Jul 12, 2010


Ufuk Karaca
oto dizayn

9:20AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

Continuing my last post...

4) I have done a lot of research concerning the Bible and homosexuality. What many people, including most religious leaders of today, do not seem to realize is that our Bible, even the King James Version, is NOT the original! It is a translation from Ancient Greek and Hebrew, and as with any translation, something of the original was lost in the telling. When one studies the Greek in the context of the time that it was written, then the passages that are commonly interpreted as condemning homosexuality are in fact only condemning ASPECTS that are also considered wrong in heterosexual relationships, such as prostitution, pedophilia, rape, and (in the case of the infamous Leviticus 18:22)orgies and cult sex in the worship of false gods. For a more in-depth explanation, try the full study at http://www.truthsetsfree.net/studypaper.html

5)Finally, there is a major argument that G+L is not "natural." But the hatred and prejudice against homosexuality has really only existed in the extremes now considered "normal" since the founding of the Christian church. In many of the most enlightened civilations of the ancient world, (Egypt, Greece, and Rome, to name the big ones. Go ahead, Google it) homosexuality was tolerated and even encouraged. G+L acts have been observed in over 300 species of animal in the wild and in captivity. Animals think in terms of "this feels good" or "must have babies," not about love! So how could homosexuaity not be natural?

9:16AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

I'm very glad that eric j's church is so open-minded and inclusive. Unfortunately that seems to be an exception. I simply comment based on my own experiences. I hate no-one and simply wish to be given the peace to live my life as I see fit.
I have never knowingly hurt another creature but am repeatedly told by "christians" that I am going to hell for my religious choices.
I have even had people approach me in my workplace and offer to convert me to save my soul!!!
I realise that not all christians are so hardcore and know some very nice, reasonable ones.
Unfortunately the bigots shout louder and get more coverage, therefore when someone mentions christians I shudder.

8:57AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

First off, let me say that I am a lesbian who was raised in a conservative CHRISTIAN home, and reading through the comments, I am shocked at the ignorance of many of you who claim to be "educated and informed." Allow me to make my points.

1) Homosexuality is not entirely genetic, neither is it entirely a choice. It is similar to alcoholism, in a way: some people have a genetic tendency towards it, and others don't, but it is lifestyle that determines whether or not someone will ultimitaly become an alcoholic. The same applies to G+L.

2) As for Dixon Murrah's comment that gay marriages are more prone to divorce than heterosexuals, nothing is futher from the truth. As a licensed therapist, I would hope you would have done your research before making such an assumption. Because gays often have to work harder at their relationships (simply to survive), their "unions" are generally very strong, and their divorce rate is nearly half that of "normal" marriages. Get your facts right.

3) Mark W, are you out of your mind? Just because a couple does not have children does not mean they are not "one." Examples: elderly marriages, the infertile, those who chose NOT to have kids. If lack of ability to reproduce is your only argument against gay marriage, then you had better ban all these other marriages as well.

Don't worry, I'm not done yet.

4:08PM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

For those intolerant, narrow minded, bigoted people who perpetuate hatred toward Christians (or Gays), keep in mind that you are part of the exact same problem that you are attempting to speak out against. I am a Christian that goes to a Christian church that not only supports the Pride parade here in San Diego, but has two gay pastors. They are spreading the love that Christ stood for. He did not spread lies and attack others. Please educate yourself.

12:01PM PDT on Jul 5, 2009

I find it very sad to be listening to this debate in the year 2009. Why, can anyone tell me, are so many humans so determined to have a "group" to HATE?? It makes me wish there was a country to go to where people can be free to choose to live their own lives, make their own choices, practice their own religions and love who they want to love. Oh, wait...wasn't that supposed to be HERE in the USA? Didn't our ancestors come here to be free to do those exact things?

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